A long time in customs

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Valentinian, Sep 12, 2018.

  1. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    I bought one coin in a Swiss auction that closed June 30. It arrived yesterday after over two months in customs. July 6 Post Office tracking had:

    Screen Shot 2018-09-12 at 7.36.34 AM.png

    Then nothing happened for two months. Finally I initiated a postal search here and the firm did in Switzerland. A week ago I got a form to fill out and sign confirming (to the Swiss Post) that the coin had not arrived.

    Then Sept. 10 the firm notified me that it had popped up on tracking (and so had five other parcels of theirs that went missing in our system for two months). It arrived the next day.

    I find it interesting that when I use the tracking website site begins at Sept. 8 as if it "Arrived at NY Distribution Center" Sept. 8, with no earlier record. If I hadn't taken screen shots to show the firm, I could not now document the two month delay in the US system.

    The coin that finally arrived is a rare denarius of Aurelian:


    Note: It is not a radiate. It is smaller and laureate.
    19 mm. 2.28 grams
    RIC 67. RIC online 2639. "Very rare, only the 4th or 5th example available."

    I wonder if customs is now overwhelmed because of new import regulations or new tariffs? Does anyone know what might have caused a two month delay?

    Would you like to tell us another slow-mail story?
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  3. Gil-galad

    Gil-galad I AM SPARTACUS

    I've had a similar problem as the coins were held up in customs and the tracking frozen like yours. I tried to recover the coins and filled out the forms and told the dealer about it as well. Never did manage to recover one package with eight coins. I bet it's a good feeling to finally receive.
  4. IanC

    IanC Numismatist

    International shipping = Wait a long time shipping; I once ordered a coin within the US, which had 2-day shipping. I waited...and waited. After about two weeks, I contacted the seller because it hadn't arrived yet (it didn't have a tracking number). The seller apologized and refunded my money. About two or three weeks later, it showed up at my door. I contacted the seller again and the seller told me not to pay him back for the coin due to the extreme shipping delay. I have no idea where they package was, but it was damaged and looked like it had been across the world and back. Luckily, the coin was unharmed :)
    Pellinore likes this.
  5. Paddy54

    Paddy54 Variety Collector

    Not unusual for Swiss mail....sold a gold coin years ago on ebay....it took 3.5 months to arrive!
    Thats when I decieded never again to ship out of the U.S.
    Never found out what the issues was.... but 3.5 months.
    I shipped two 2'x2' boxes to The west side of Australia in 10 days.
    A .25 oz gold coin to a Swiss address took over 10 times that unbelievable.
    IanC likes this.
  6. IanC

    IanC Numismatist

    Wow! That is insane. The buyer was probably relieved when they finally got their deliveries.
  7. Paddy54

    Paddy54 Variety Collector

    The buyer was cool..which makes me believe they were acustom to this sort of wait time....on the other hand I was pissed! Unbelievable I did have 3 more in inventory in case I needed to replace it...and was going to post another to them to make good and eat the loss.
  8. HAB Peace 28 2.0

    HAB Peace 28 2.0 Well-Known Member

    Doesn't surprise me. I'm actually laughing right now. Not at you though. You're honestly like the hundredth person, I've heard about having issues with (la Suisse) :happy:. I know a lot of people who live in France, who avoid buying things from (la Suisse). Nothing against (la Suisse), but moral of the story is BEWARE OF (la Suisse). I always call Switzerland (la Suisse) too. Inside joke.
  9. britannia40

    britannia40 Well-Known Member

    well don't send anything to Canada. Their customs is one of the worst I have ever come across and have similar wait times frequently. Many times I have seen postal notices concerning Canada. I don't even like selling to their with Ebay because of this. I had a guy get a refund and the coins because of the long period it took to arrive.
  10. David Atherton

    David Atherton Flavian Fanatic

    @Valentinian, did your package arrive with the tell-tale custom's green tape on it? The only time it took a coin that long to get to me (from The Netherlands) was when customs had opened and inspected the package.

    Lately, I've had packages from Europe take anywhere from 2-10 days to pop up in the domestic USPS mail system after arriving at ISC NY or Chicago.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
  11. TTerrier

    TTerrier Well-Known Member

    I live in Canada and customs can be really slow. The longest I have ever had to wait was for a Mughal rupee I won in an auction from an Indian auction house and the delay had nothing to do with Canada customs.

    After two months of nothing I finally got a response that since I was not shipping to an Indian address they could not legally send me the coin. They offered a refund which I accepted - only problem was l never got the refund. I sent a few more emails but just gave up since it was only about $60 usd.

    1 full year later I got an envelope in the mail from some person in the UK I didn't know and inside was the coin. 16 months total travel time!
    TypeCoin971793 likes this.
  12. Agricantus

    Agricantus Allium aflatunense

    Same story here. Swiss auction house, item got stuck in NY "inbound out of customs" on July 6th. I waited for 6 weeks then asked the auction house to initiate an inquiry. I do not know what they did, but the letter got unstuck a couple of days later. Fwiw, the attached import paperwork had been removed.
  13. daveydempsey

    daveydempsey Well-Known Member

    Not a Swiss problem more like an US problem.
    The Swiss have no control over US customs.

    For the record my problems occur with Canada customs, so much so I have ceased shipping there.
  14. Paddy54

    Paddy54 Variety Collector

    No it was the Swiss it cleared customs here in no time, the buyer even e mailed me after the fact that the Swiss mail system was much to be desired.
  15. tenbobbit

    tenbobbit Well-Known Member

    I have never had any problems with importing to the UK, once it goes through the sorting part it is with me within a couple of days.
    Also never had any problems with sending to the US, sent & received within 10 days.
    My only drama occurred when I sent some coins to Slovakia, after going missing for a week the package turned up in DELHI - INDIA, it spent 5 weeks there ( fully expecting it to disappear ) before finally being rerouted to its proper destination.

    Pleased the package finally arrived for you @Valentinian, that is a very nice coin you have there.
  16. chrisild

    chrisild Coin Collector Supporter

    Guess that @daveydempsey 's comment was about the issue described in the initial post. And that coin apparently spent two months with US customs, not in Switzerland ...

    daveydempsey likes this.
  17. daveydempsey

    daveydempsey Well-Known Member

    Correct Christian:D
  18. Pellinore

    Pellinore Supporter! Supporter

    I never had real problems with Switzerland, apart from a little slowness now and then, but that happens Everywhere. I’m apprehensive only when I receive orders from Spain, from Paris and from Southern America, where parcels disappear or are being returned for no reason.
  19. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    I had one package from the UK that was fun once. Apparently arrived in NY after about a week but then decided to "go walkabout" inside the USPS apparently. Showed up on my doorstep 3 months later with 2 Guam postmarks, Hawaii, US VI, and about 4 other states. This was for a book properly addressed to Iowa. :(
  20. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter Cogito Ergo Sum

    I bought a Nero billon tetradrachm of Alexandria - took 11 days to make it through customs, I guess. Shipped to me by Zurqieh in the U.A.E. To make matters worse nobody tracked it through the system - it just showed up in the mailbox. Even my postman forgot to scan it.
  21. Dafydd

    Dafydd Well-Known Member

    Well I once had a coin shipped from North Oregon on a Thursday that arrived in the UK on the following Monday. It must have slipped through when the Customs were having their coffee break...…..
    I have had my share of both UK and USPS grief over the years however.
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