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Thread: Shipping News - sorta

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Shipping News - sorta

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post

    Shipping from NZ to the US, for this kind of package size, costs around USD$12 and is insured up to around USD$165. Paying a bit more for the shipping ups the insurance to around USD$1300. It is curious that this tiny country offers cheaper shipping plus insurance, whereas the giant economic entity that is the US does not.
    You actually get a better and safer service ordering from us than we do from you. Go figure.
    Actually, countries don't get to set their own international mailing rates. I had originally written this back on January 30, 2019 in the Mystery Ink #23 thread:

    I think this post will be OT, but here goes---

    Overseas postal rates are not set by the individual country you are living in, but by an international body called the Universal Postal Union (UPU) which is part of the United Nations. The idea is that the more developed countries would pay more in international postal fees and subsidize the fees of less developed countries in order to enhance trade. And YES, there are a LOT of politics involved in how far up or down your country's grouping is. (Please note this is only for INTERNATIONAL rates, not rates within your own country.)

    "How the current UPU Convention determines terminal dues is based on a complex classification of individual countries according to their level of economic and postal development. In 2012, the Doha Congress organized its member countries into six groups, for the purpose of defining terminal dues and other charges. In general, the higher the group number of a country, the less the Post charges for the delivery of inbound international packages and the less it pays for the delivery of packages sent to countries in the categories with lower numbers.

    Group 1.1 includes the United States, Japan, Australia, and most of the world’s other developed economies, as well as most of the overseas territories belonging to Great Britain and France.

    Groups 1.2 and 2 apply the same terminal dues schedule for inbound and outbound letter post. Group 1.2 includes more recently advanced countries, such as Hong Kong and Singapore.

    Group 2 consists of countries with mid-size economies such as Cyprus, Hungary, Estonia, Poland, Slovakia, and Saudi Arabia.

    Group 3 includes still emerging economies such as Argentina, Bosnia, Brazil, Chile, Jamaica, Gabon, Cuba, Kazakhstan, as well as the People’s Republic of China.

    Groups 4 and 5 apply the same terminal dues schedule for inbound and outbound letter post. These groups generally include least developed countries, but they also include countries with substantial economic potential such as Egypt, India, Iran, Kenya, Nigeria, and Vietnam.

    The appearance of China, the world’s second-largest economy, in the Category 3 grouping highlights a fundamental flaw in the UPU ranking system for terminal dues. That ranking is defined by a “postal development index” based on the level of postal service within that country. This overlooks the fact that a country such as China may have a relatively low level of domestic postal development for historical reasons — in China’s case, its modernization came after the era of paper-based communications — but may actually be a major player in international commerce, particularly e-commerce."

    So while sending a 3 ounce packet (85 grams) of pens from China to Austria is cheap, sending the exact same packet from Austria to China is very expensive as far as international mail rates. Customs Duties are something else entirely. And insurance is an add-on that each country can charge whatever they want for.

    All the Best.
    Last edited by junglejim; December 10th, 2019 at 11:40 PM. Reason: spelling, as usual...
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  3. #22
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    Default Re: Shipping News - sorta

    That is very interesting, and something of which I was unaware.
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  4. #23
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    Default Re: Shipping News - sorta

    Slightly off-topic, but still related at least tangentially, is this cautionary tale. The US Postal Service keeps changing the services it offers and what it calls them and charges for them, but a few years ago, around this time of year, I sent a small parcel from the US to a London address in the UK by what they were calling International Express. The service was insanely expensive ("Global Express Guaranteed," today's equivalent service, would cost $134.90 for that package), but I wanted to get the package delivered within a week and a half, and the next quickest method of shipping took one to two weeks. The guarantee included the promise that if it took longer than three business days to deliver the item, the shipping charges would be fully refunded. So, I shipped it, and it took almost a month to get delivered. When I applied for my refund, they refused to pay it, saying that they'd delivered the parcel to England within three days, which was what they'd guaranteed. They indignantly pointed out that they had no control over how long it might take a foreign post office to deliver it from there. Of course, this was never mentioned on the posters offering the service, just that they guaranteed that your parcel would be delivered within three days or you'd get your money back.

    I don't know why it took more than three weeks for the parcel to make it from Heathrow or Gatwick or wherever it landed to London proper, but I would guess it was a perfect storm of a bottleneck in Customs exacerbated by Royal Mail's Christmas rush in general.
    Last edited by calamus; December 17th, 2019 at 01:18 PM.
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    Default Re: Shipping News - sorta

    There are two things I want to add here, so bear with me.

    1. I have noticed that when ordering from the US the delivery time varies by location of the seller. East Coast postal services typically take considerably longer than those on the West Coast. At first I thought this may have been due to the West Coast being closer to New Zealand, but the difference in air flight times is really negligible. The other possible reason I can think of is if the East Coast is more densely populated, leading to a greater number of postings and thus slowing the system down. Beyond that I have no idea why there is this discrepancy.


    2. On a more ominous tone, I just bought a pen on eBay this morning (NZ local time) and was slapped witha $22 tax (Goods and Services Tax, GST). The law here has changed recently and the two most important changes from my perspective are that sellers who have sales in NZ that exceed $60,000 per annum have to be GST registered (and thus the customer has to pay GST), and that where before the customs and excise duty was not payable for goods valued at under NZD$400, this is now raised to NZD$1,000, which is an upside to all this.

    Anyway, I have written to eBay as I believe the seller certainly does not sell in excess of $60,000 and therefore I don't believe that GST applies. However, I now wonder if the tax office here is viewing eBay itself as the vendor/supplier and therefore will apply GST to all transactions conducted through it.

    In my opinion, while the intention of the new tax law seems reasonable, I don't believe it will lead to significant increases in spending in the local economy.

    Scary stuff.
    Last edited by Empty_of_Clouds; December 17th, 2019 at 08:42 PM.

  6. #25
    Senior Member Jon Szanto's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shipping News - sorta

    As to #1, I would hazard to guess that anything going out to the Pacific from the US East coast first flies across the country, goes to an overseas sorting facility on the West coast, and then eventually leaves and goes on it's way over the ocean. I doubt that flights carrying mail go to AU/NZ directly from the East coast.

    As to whether that makes any sense, I don't know, but please remember we aren't always happy with the P.O. within our own country. And yet, today I took two packages to my favored local office, everyone was pleasant and helpful during the busiest time of year, and my package to Ireland was only $14.50, of which I am thankful since it's already a gift!
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    Default Re: Shipping News - sorta

    I don't think anyone is always happy with their own pot offices.

    Flight time across the US is, what, about 6 or 7 hours? That might explain a delay of one day, but not of one week or more.

    It's just an observation, not something I would seek to try and change (as if, heh).
    Last edited by Empty_of_Clouds; December 17th, 2019 at 05:23 PM.

  8. #27
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    Default Re: Shipping News - sorta

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    Flight time across the US is, what, about 6 or 7 hours? That might explain a delay of one day, but not of one week or more.
    Don't apply logic. The big issue is that it flies across country to another distribution center where it can sit for a long time for unknown reasons. I've had packages from Northern California come to me, should be a simple overnight event but they go through this dreaded facility in Bell Gardens (Los Angeles area) that must be a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Bermuda Triangle. Truly, the package can languish for ridiculous amonts of time before getting on another truck and coming to my town. It's nuts, and no one can explain it.
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    and that when Truth and Error have fair Play, the former is always an overmatch for the latter."

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    Default Re: Shipping News - sorta

    Terry Pratchett could probably explain it, but alas that he is no longer with us.

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    Default Re: Shipping News - sorta

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Szanto View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    Flight time across the US is, what, about 6 or 7 hours? That might explain a delay of one day, but not of one week or more.
    Don't apply logic. The big issue is that it flies across country to another distribution center where it can sit for a long time for unknown reasons. I've had packages from Northern California come to me, should be a simple overnight event but they go through this dreaded facility in Bell Gardens (Los Angeles area) that must be a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Bermuda Triangle. Truly, the package can languish for ridiculous amonts of time before getting on another truck and coming to my town. It's nuts, and no one can explain it.
    Plus depending on the rate/price of the parcel, not everything flies.

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    Default Re: Shipping News - sorta

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_of_Clouds View Post
    I don't think anyone is always happy with their own pot offices.

    Flight time across the US is, what, about 6 or 7 hours? That might explain a delay of one day, but not of one week or more.

    It's just an observation, not something I would seek to try and change (as if, heh).
    I have also seen a shipment that took 10 days to get to Australia and nearly three weeks to get to the recipient via Australian post.

    You just never know.

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    Default Re: Shipping News - sorta

    Quote Originally Posted by AzJon View Post
    I have also seen a shipment that took 10 days to get to Australia and nearly three weeks to get to the recipient via Australian post.

    It's a big country and traversing those distances by parcel wallaby is hard yakka.
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    Default Re: Shipping News - sorta

    To the asshole who added "mail fraud" and "scam alert" to the tags for this thread: I'll have you know that I am scrupulously honest in business (as in all other areas of my life). Ask anyone I've bought from, or has bought from me. Never would I suggest anything that seeks to defraud the mail system (of any country), and neither would I ever try to scam anyone out of anything. In this thread my suggestion was to send money to a third party in the US who would then purchase a pen I was interested in and forward it to me. This would have saved me money on shipping. Nothing there is illegal, or even unethical. And the risks are entirely mine, as I would be giving money to someone I have never met and trusting them to make the purchase.

    So, get your facts right before tagging with inappropriate and highly offensive labels, bud.

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