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Posting to former colonies

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Derek Burch
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Joined: 20 Dec 2010
Posts: 53
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:53 am    Post subject: Posting to former colonies Reply with quote

Why are so many sellers on ebay unwilling to post to the US? It isn't that much more expensive for a letter size lot, and there is no need to mess with 'small package' declarations (which are more likely to cause delay than anything else). Our post office is very slow, but almost everything does arrive eventually.

Any UK sellers willing to comment?
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Joined: 11 Mar 2010
Posts: 65
Location: Tyneside, England

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The US is one of the few destinations that Royal Mail will not insure mail for, unless something has changed in the last couple of years.
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Joined: 03 Sep 2010
Posts: 54
Location: California

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a Machin collector accross the pond (US) I have literally done 1,000+ transactions over the years, most from the UK, and have yet to lose but 1 item that I can remember. When I see a UK item on ebay for a cost greater than 2 pounds to ship I pass because the cost to ship is too high. Most shipping cost is 1.25-2 pounds on items I buy, and virtually no losses either way. Funny enough is that I can buy and item on ebay today from the UK and maybe 50% of the time have that item in my mail box (Northern California) in three days. I think this whole thing of items being lost is blown out of proportion based on my experiances. I will say though, I am honest and don't say something is lost to get a refund when it wasn't. I am sure there are some out there who pull that. I think sellers need to find a way to recognize those who have high ebay ratings. I do get perturbed by those who are unwilling to sell to the US and are missing out on the exppanded market. When I email them they use the excuse they don't want the items to get lost. Their choice I suppose.

I have also sold my extra's all over the world to more countries then I can count and have not had a reported loss yet. The old proverbial 'lost in the mail' is lost on me since my experiance doesn't show such acvities as rampent.
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Joined: 20 Nov 2010
Posts: 105
Location: Lincolnshire, UK

PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I sell a bit on eBay (from the UK) and happily post to most places, including the US. Until recently I have been sending as Royal Mail Small Packet, which my local PO insist I do if it clearly isn't just a letter; ie. it has a stiffener or obvious 'lump' in the envelope. This is a catch22 as it means higher postage costs in order to get a proof of posting. I can just drop it into the post box with no proof and stamp it as a standard letter....BUT....I recently asked my stamp insurance company about losses in the post (reasons in a bit) and got this reply...

"Strictly speaking there is no condition in the insurance on how you do this but Royal Mail are a disaster zone (including Special Delivery) so we are very nervous about using them"

I asked them as I am also friendly with a number of dealers of GB Queen Victoria material, some of it high ticket, and more then one of them has been caught by the 'goods never arrived' scam. eBay say speak to Paypal and Paypal say only the buyer can raise the case for compensation!

You start to see the difficult situation that can exist here if the cards fall the wrong way!

Although I am not strictly speaking a dealer, I do state terms on my listings and these state that insured mail must be used for anything worth more than the Royal Mail standard cover, which is not very much for international shipments. The down side being that insuring is expensive.

For what its worth, I just checked the Royal Mail shipping costs to the US:
Airmail letters (cover up to 46 with proof of posting) - 1.65
Small Packets (cover up to 46 with proof of posting) - 2.07
Airsure with up to 500 insurance - 9.45

Then there's the cost of packaging materials, which are around 40p give or take (depends how big the envelope and stiffening board are).

Selecting the postage service is an easy choice if you're only talking about an item costing a few pounds, but what about when its say 150. Either the buyer has to accept full responsibility or it goes by an insured service and the buyer pays for it.

The final piece of the jigsaw is that the USPS don't treat inbound insured (registered) mail as registered, it just goes into the standard delivery service form the point of arrival in the US, hence risk of loss is higher.

I guess we all pays our money and takes our choice. Some, like myself, are happy to take the risk of international postage, noting the caveats above. Others simply opt to avoid the risk of a can of worms. We all have a different appetite for risk.

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Machin Man

Joined: 08 Jul 2007
Posts: 970
Location: Houston, Texas pending eye surgery

PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Over the last almost fifty years I have also used the mails for trading and buying stamps and stamp related material with and from stampers and sellers all over the world with very little problem. In Fact, the only noticable loss was a ten dollar bill pilfered at the West Palm Beach, Florida, post office between the time the box in front of the post office was emptied at midnight and about ten AM the next morning from a letter addressed to a seller in Seattle, Washington or Portland Oregon.
Some time ago there were a few letters with 50-100 used stamps to Eastern Europe and India/ Pakistan that had the fairly common used stamps removed or missing but recntly that difficulty seems to have been mitigated.
Just about any purchase under thirty or forty dollars I have paid cash, US currency and posted ame to the UK, Ireland, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Scndanavia and Western Europe.
Until recently I have bought many lots from seller in the UK, at least until so many sellers have become unwilling to accept US dollars there. I do hardly look at lots in the UK any more.
I haven't had anyone in the UK mention that they had a problem insureing a more expensive mailing.
" .... You may think you understood what you thought I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you think you heard is not what I thought I meant. .... "
Charlie Jensen
Lecanto, Florida
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