International Shipping & Ordering: Stories/Tips/Tricks/Advice

Help Support Talkbeer:

Which Int'l shipping service do you prefer?

  • BiaB

    Votes: 3 12.0%
  • Etre

    Votes: 21 84.0%
  • Y'all are crazy for spending that much on shipping

    Votes: 1 4.0%

  • Total voters
    25
Joined
Nov 13, 2013
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'Merica
Alright TBers, I need some advice. If this is posted in another thread I apologize. I looked (lazily) and did a search. I have seen posts about using USPS for this but not a lot of talk about tips or dos/don'ts.

To be honest, I know I am going whole hog here. I started with the locals4locals thing. Knocked out 6 trades so far (all locals) including a 2nd trade with a great guy. I plan on trading with all of them again. I also have a couple of trades in the works.:confused: I have even had the chance to begin a thread in what has become a talkbeer staple, the "give away" beer. So now here I am thinking, "this is getting crazy Barry, you are getting carried away." Maybe, but I sure am having a blast while I am doing it and "meeting" some great people in a great community.

So, I am looking for comments/pro-tips from peeps that have actually done the deed internationally and can help me do it too. Thanks. :cool:
 
Joined
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Ship USPS. Declare the goods as "collectible glassware" valued at $20. Fill out the customs form at the post office. Pack extra good and be prepared to spend more money on shipping than most of the beer is worth.

It usually takes some time (a couple weeks and sometimes more, depending on which country you're posting to). But be patient and good luck.
 
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Joined
Oct 10, 2013
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Location
Indianapolis, IN
Here is the advice claaark13 (LYMI) gave me about a year ago when I started shipping International...

The first thing you need to do is to setup a USPS account online. How many bottles are you shipping? Flat rate work well if you're shipping between 1-3 bottles. Beyond that, you'll need to use your own box. You'll be able to price everything even before putting together an account, but the non flat rate boxes will be something like 5% cheaper after you setup an online a count. Totally worth it. The only downside is that you'll either need to over-ballpark your weight when doing it online, or you'll need to use an accurate scale. I use the one in our mail room at work and I still always add 2oz to feel better. If you get there and their scale says you're an ounce heavy, you'll have to fucking do it all over again.

The big benefit of doing it online is that you walk up there and basically drop the box off. The forms print ahead of time, you just give them to the teller and they put it on there and you walk away. There are 4 forms that print, all the same, but you keep one and the post office keeps one, so only 2 actually get sent. If they ever ask anything when you drop it off, just say you're shipping some nice glasses.

Filling out the forms the first time online is confusing. You have to say collectible glassware on the top part of the page, and I think then again when describing the object. It'll make more sense when you see it. I always put the correct number of glasses I'm sending up to about 6, then I just use 6. I divide the total weight rounded down, assign it to the glassware. Then I divide $20-25 by the number of glasses to make it a nice figure. Again, it'll make sense when you do it.

Honestly, I prefer international trades to domestic. You get better quality beers and those guys generally don't put their dicks in your ass.

If you had any questions, let me know.

Ah, and don't forget to pack the shit out of the box. Just assume it will be dropped 5 times at best. And always try to remember to write the tracking number like 5 times on there. I generally write the receiving address as well just to be safe.....maybe even twice.
I've shipped international 4 times now and his advice was pretty spot on.
 
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Joined
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To be honest, I know I am going whole hog here. I started with the locals4locals thing. Knocked out 6 trades so far (all locals) including a 2nd trade with a great guy. I plan on trading with all of them again. I also have a couple of trades in the works.

You may want to get a little more into trading before you do international stuff. The stakes are all around a lot higher, and it somehow seems to get murky in determining who is to blame if a box gets damaged/lost. I've personally lost x3 bottles of Fou' Foune, and received 2 other boxes that looked like the Hulk threw them through the wall of a building.

There isn't a set number of trades you should do before international. I mean, if you think about it, every trade that the Euro guys do is pretty much an international trade. I would just recommend against it until you feel like you're absolutely comfortable paying that much for shipping and willing to accommodate the other party if something goes wrong. If you're there now, enjoy your first international trade. Some of those Euro guys are great. Even the ones who are really just Canadians posing as Dutchmen.
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2013
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We ship out between 50-100 boxes a day via UPS and FedEx and have a USPS account (they actually come here to pick it up) but it is all domestic shipping so the USPS international is going to be different for sure. Not worried about accurate weight, got that covered. Looked at the shipping costs and it looks like a 15 lbs box is going to run me about $89ish or so to Sweden. Not sure how heavy the box will be yet, still working it out with HenrikO. But he encouraged me to ask others here about the best shipping practices on this side of the pond. Didn't see a whole lot on this topic here so I thought I would start asking. So far I am getting a lot of GREAT information. Just need to make sure I don't fuq it up.
 
Joined
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Everything is boxed. Every bottle is boxed and it's all loaded in a box in a box. I mean that shit is tight. You could drop it 3 stories and it would be fine. The box is pretty big and about 30lbs. (I might have gone overboard on the extras) Going to fill out the customs forms today and then take it over to the post office for launch. Any last words of wisdom? Encouragement? I'm nervous but I think I got it all covered. Cheers fellas and thanks for all of your help.
 
Joined
Oct 15, 2013
Messages
30
You'll do fine. This really isn't as hard as everyone makes it out to be.

Fill in the customs form as follows:

GIFT
Collectible Glassware
$20

Boxes going out of the US usually aren't much of an issue. It's perfectly legal to ship beer here in Europe, and our customs guys just want tax money and that's it. Boxes going into the US are the ones you need to be more careful with. I would suggest using styro shippers going into the US (we can't buy them in Europe; ship a styro to an established Euro trader first and let him send it back to you), and keeping the weight under 10KG. I've only ever had one box in over 75 to the States get picked off, and it was the only one over 10KG. Not that correlation means causation, but a 35 LB box worth $20 is much less believable than a 20 LB box worth $20. You could just increase the value and pay the taxes, but that means closer inspection of the box, which you don't want.

A 20 LB box costs about $75 or so with USPS. That's what, two boxes across country? It's not as bad as everyone makes it sound.

Have fun,
Jeff
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2013
Messages
7,302
Location
'Merica
You'll do fine. This really isn't as hard as everyone makes it out to be.

Fill in the customs form as follows:

GIFT
Collectible Glassware
$20

Boxes going out of the US usually aren't much of an issue. It's perfectly legal to ship beer here in Europe, and our customs guys just want tax money and that's it. Boxes going into the US are the ones you need to be more careful with. I would suggest using styro shippers going into the US (we can't buy them in Europe; ship a styro to an established Euro trader first and let him send it back to you), and keeping the weight under 10KG. I've only ever had one box in over 75 to the States get picked off, and it was the only one over 10KG. Not that correlation means causation, but a 35 LB box worth $20 is much less believable than a 20 LB box worth $20. You could just increase the value and pay the taxes, but that means closer inspection of the box, which you don't want.

A 20 LB box costs about $75 or so with USPS. That's what, two boxes across country? It's not as bad as everyone makes it sound.

Have fun,
Jeff

Well the box ended up being 43lbs. So we will see what happens I guess.....:oops:. It is double and triple boxed so it is pretty bullet proof. Thanks for the input...
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2013
Messages
283
Location
Sydney, Australia
Sent a 31LB box to myself from Seattle to Sydney. Crazy expensive. Nearly $200 AU to do do so but 12 bottles is 12 bottles I did not have to carry on the plane back to Sydney and pay Australian taxes on it.
Yes it is illegal to send beer by USPS but USPS is flat broke and the beer is really not crossing US states. So no harm, no foul.
As somebody else said it is the box coming to the US is the issue and USPS is not a good caretaker of boxes. Should be fine but to be forewarned is to be forearmed
 
Joined
Apr 10, 2013
Messages
70
I try finding regulars willing to send 20 kg back every time to lower freight cost as much as possible. I bag each bottle just in case there are leaks and toss them in a 12x styro shipper with some pasta (noise makers to mask the slushing noise) and then request they fill the shipper and send it back. I also only use the shipper one time for international shipments and then reuse it for domestic shipments. For whatever reason USPS destroys boxes!

Here is a rate table for international priority mail

http://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/notice123.htm#1231081

Belgium is zone 5

Here is a list of all the other countries

http://pe.usps.com/text/imm/immpg.htm

Hope that helps - in anyone from europe wants to go $4$ on bottles and 20 kg msg me and i'm sure we can work something out.

Cheers
 
Joined
May 15, 2013
Messages
450
Location
Illin'
According to tracking, a shipment to me is sitting at the large facility in Forest Park, IL and hasn't moved in 2 weeks. Local post office doesn't have it. 2 weeks seems like a long time to just sit there.
 
Joined
Apr 10, 2013
Messages
70
According to tracking, a shipment to me is sitting at the large facility in Forest Park, IL and hasn't moved in 2 weeks. Local post office doesn't have it. 2 weeks seems like a long time to just sit there.
customs?

yeah that is the only down side of using USPS - their tracking sucks and are notorious for losing packages
 
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