Beware the cost of shipping

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Valentinian, Feb 3, 2022.

  1. DonnaML

    DonnaML Well-Known Member

    Fine; I have no problem with that. But then the USPS shouldn't keep up the pretense that they're doing something else and routinely claim, in their boilerplate notifications, that they delivered the package to an unidentified "individual" who presumably signed for it, when all they actually did was put it in my mailbox with everything else, and with no indication of any signature. Plus, I shouldn't have to pay extra for registered mail service.
    Marsden, PeteB and TIF like this.
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  3. Mat

    Mat Ancient Coincoholic

  4. Limes

    Limes Well-Known Member

    Late to the 'party', but recently I've delved into the wonderful world of costs for importing goods from non-EU countries, since I'm interested in a coin offered by a non-EU based company. And as of July last year, some change have been made in EU law, which resulted in e.g. VAT being applicable to all purchases, including purchases below EUR 22. The following is written from the perspective of a collector based on the old continent.

    When importing goods to the EU from a non-EU country, the buyer has to take into account additional costs. These include VAT, import duties and handling costs by the carrier. These costs exclude the costs for shipment, and e.g. storage.
    • The VAT is 21% or 9%, depending on the goods one is importing. The applicable tarrif for coins, is 9%, as coins fall under the categorie 'collectibles' (NB. my translation)
    • import duties are applicable above EUR 150. Depending on the good, the tarrif can be anything between 0% and 12%. The EU Commission maintains a database, also used by the custom authorities of the EU members, where one can use the relevant HS-code to find the applicable tarrif. For ancient coins, I've used code 970531: 'collectibles of numismatic interest, older then 100 years' (NB, my translation). The tarrif is 0%.
    • As of July last year, customs clearance fees are always applicable, including for goods below 22 EUR. The costs vary depending on the shipping company. E.g., for our national postal service it's 13 EUR, for DHL it's 10 EUR. Overviews of the costs per shipping complany can be found online.
    An example: purchasing a coin of over 2.400 EUR from a non-EU based company, can result in the following fees (many of the fees may vary, depending on the service used or company involved):
    • 20% auction fee (excluding fees for, e.g., bidding by phone): 480 EUR
    • wire transfer costs of 12 EUR
    • shipping fee of 75 EUR (no joke, I found this tarrif on one site for higher value shipments)
    • 9% VAT (216 EUR)
    • Import duty: 0 EUR
    • Customs clearance fee: 10 EUR
    Total: 793 EUR, which is about 33% of the costs of the coin.

    I wont judge these costs, it's up to every to do so themselves. The lesson I take from this, is to take these costs into consideration when thinking about placing a bid.
  5. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    I was reading one of my older, "Coin News" magazines dated from 2007-2010. In their auction reporting/ prices/ comm. fees.....most fees where at 10 percent/ while auction prices realized where 50 % compared with 2021 prices. So, a coin that sells for 5000 euros today add 20%=1000Euros=6000 euros. Back in 2008 same coin sold for 2500+ 10%= 2750euros. Pity us poor collectors in Canada:( For us its MUCH worse We pay extra 50% to exchange our worthless Loonies into Euros, so that 6000 euros becomes $9000 Can. $. Then we get dinged another 13% customs/ if coins are sent via FEDEX/ UPS/ DHLexpress :banghead: It a lose/lose/lose scenario.....
  6. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    I started this thread Feb. 3 about a Feb. 1 Spanish auction because I thought that 40 euros for shipping a 100-euro-hammer-price coin was too high. I didn't manage to argue them down in cost, so I paid. Now, Feb. 20, I find out it has not even been shipped yet! "We would like to inform you that Ministry of Culture is already approving export licenses, so hopefully we will send your purchases shortly."

    In contrast, I won coins last Sunday in a German auction (20.25 euros shipping) and they arrived to me, FedEx, in Oregon Friday morning, less than 5 days after the hammer fell. Usually with that firm it has been Thursday (4 days) and once Wednesday!
  7. TypeCoin971793

    TypeCoin971793 Just a random guy on the internet

    As Henry Ford (allegedly) once said:

    “You choose your shipping carrier, any carrier, as long as it’s DHL.”
    panzerman and robinjojo like this.
  8. robinjojo

    robinjojo Well-Known Member

    Coins going through export approval by cultural or antiquities authorities can be extremely slow. Part of the reason, I think, is due to staffing issues due to the pandemic, plus a large inflow of antiquities and coins requiring export approval.

    I had a shipment from Israel that was in the queue with the Antiquities Authority for nearly two months last year.
    DonnaML and panzerman like this.
  9. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    Yeah, I have been burned so much by exorbitant shipping I simply do not bid on most auctions. I try to bunch up and choose one auction out of many to bid on and try to get my shipment prices per lot down to reasonable levels. I hope the auction firms realize they are turning off bidders that may have bid, (at least drove up realized prices), on a couple of lots. Due to shipping prices, I simply do not bother on most auctions.
    Mat, Clavdivs and panzerman like this.
  10. Factor

    Factor Well-Known Member

    Same here, and their shipping charge was $65 for EMS, which is pretty much a glorified registered mail. No other shipping options, they say these are export regulations, which is boolshit. Overall, with 20% and extra for CC payment, I ended up paying way over $300 for my $200 win.
  11. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    Back in 2005/the good ole days:)

    Comm. fees 15%
    Cost of shipping/ insurance via Swiss Post= 22 Swiss Francs
    For this coin....
    Sent (no value)=no customs;) hassles/ taxes IMG_0072.JPG IMG_0073.JPG
  12. aleppo

    aleppo Member

    oof yea i just won a coin from tauler y fau and shipping is more than the hammer price of the coin. i prolly shoulda read the shipping costs before, but ive bought from other spanish auction houses and they have reasonable shipping costs
    panzerman likes this.
  13. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    I wrote the OP post about the high cost of shipping to the US in a Tauler & Fau auction (39.99 euros for a 100-euro-hammer coin). Now I see they also charged me 5 euros for an "export license". That may be part of the Spanish requirements, but they sure were not up front about that additional fee. I wonder if that is per coin? My inclination to bid with them again is not high.
  14. Kaleun96

    Kaleun96 Well-Known Member

    They do seem to mention such a fee in their auction terms but they don't specify what the fee would be, instead putting the onus on the buyer to find that out themselves. It's not the best in terms of "customer service" but I can see why they do that - if they take responsibility for staying up to date with the export fee they have to make sure they check it regularly and update their terms.

    Same with this, they put the onus on the buyer to know the Spanish export laws. Perhaps it would be nice if they provide more communication around it like Naumann does but, again, it could back-fire on them if something out of their control (Spanish customs) suddenly changes procedure or is backed up with many applications and suddenly Tauler can't meet the timeframe they communicated to buyers.
    panzerman likes this.
  15. Curtis

    Curtis Supporter! Supporter

    No it's much WORSE than 5Euro per coin. It's 5% of the hammer. (Not just Tauler y Fau, everywhere I think.)

    So I paid 18E for the last (360E hammer) coin at Tauler y Fau (after fees I paid 477.80, about 33% over hammer, plus my bank's wire & currency conversion fees).

    I've usually paid the same at Vico (whether it was a 20E coin or 500E) and a couple others, so I wonder if 5% is what the ministry of export charges or just their local industry standard.

    The first time I didn't realize it but now I expect to pay about 40% in fees for certain auctions and adjust my bidding accordingly (incl. wire / conversion / bank fees). Note that specific lots from Spain may have notices that the export license is NOT required (perhaps they are from overseas consignors or otherwise exempt).

    Personally, I actually love my export licenses and any other paperwork (when they actually send the paper copy -- always ask for it!) so I consider it a benefit of bidding in Spanish auctions and accept the fee/delay. Then again, I'm a tremendous "papyrophile" (if I'm using the word correctly) and enjoy associating my coins with as many documents from as many institutions as possible. I can definitely see why that would be a downside from many perspectives.

    From one Vico shipment (1 Roman AE3 & 3 Islamic AR Dirhams):
  16. nerosmyfavorite68

    nerosmyfavorite68 Well-Known Member

    I don't get why Post isn't also an option for almost ALL of the EU countries. I still haven't tried Spain yet.

    What's so hard about going to the local post office?

    I noticed places which sell expensive coins usually go for DHL. Is there some insurance advantage? Or, is it because the buyers demand the item to get to them tomorrow? I could care less if it takes two weeks, as long as it arrives safely and isn't dumped outside my door.
    panzerman and Valentinian like this.
  17. Rich Beale

    Rich Beale Well-Known Member

    The thing about post is:
    a) it is often much more time consuming, requiring a staff member to physically go to the post office and lose 2 hours of their day, vs courier firms, who come and collect (no time lost) - the staff can get a lot more done and reply to many more customer inquiries if they don't have to waste time queuing and waiting;
    b) in the UK at least, even with a 'drop and go' service, you save a little time but can't control when the packages are processed by the post office - it's whenever they get around to it, and on top of that they might change the tracking numbers, causing confusion for clients;
    c) some/most(/all?) insurance firms won't cover high value items sent by post, which has a much high loss rate than courier services. Given that most insurance policies have an excess, it's then often the auction house accepting full liability for loss on low value shipments, even if the high value ones are mostly covered.

    FedEx/DHL are by far preferred for high value shipments because they are tracked, (supposed to be) signed for by the recipient, and far less likely to be lost or stolen than regular post.
  18. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    I have in past ten years NEVER lost a shipment via post. Plus its more secure/ the mailman delivers it right to your door/ you have to sign for ir.
    DHL/ FEDEX just drop it off at your front door/ sometimes don't even ring doorbell+ you end up having to clear customs + pay 13 percent customs fees:(
    I learned not to do business with auctions that insist on sending via DHL/ FEDEX/ UPS (Naumann/ Gorny&Mosch/ Hirschnachfolger/ MDC Monaco)
    There are enough firms that will send material via reg. mail.
  19. Ocatarinetabellatchitchix

    Ocatarinetabellatchitchix Well-Known Member

    You can take the risk because you only buy low grade junk bronze coins. But one day maybe you’ll decide to spend more than 15 CAD $ on a coin and upgrade to silver or even gold and then I’m sure you’ll use DHL/FEDEX/UPS.
    Magnus87, red_spork and panzerman like this.
  20. nerosmyfavorite68

    nerosmyfavorite68 Well-Known Member

    Yes, exactly, panzerman!

    Plus, I usually have some kind of understanding with the postman. I.e. some packages can get delivered on special days/when I'm home, etc. The worst-case scenario with post is that the item ends up in the mailbox.

    There's always registered mail. Slow, but effective.

    I'm currently going through a DHL test run. There's this semi-expensive coin which I really want, but I'm really nervous about DHL. The folks there went out of their way in virtually all areas to be nice to me. We decided upon flipping the order of my purchases, and using an inexpensive coin as a test. I really want to be a repeat customer. Let's hope that DHL is semi-ok.

    Or, I'm wondering if perhaps they could send it to a dealer in France,who could then send it via post? I'd be willing to pay an extra fee.

    If DHL isn't a disaster, delivers on Saturday and requires a signature, then we'll have no problems.

    After the debacle with my turntable (ended up here safely, just was a 10/10 nightmare to pick up), FedEx and I are as Beethoven was to A Clockwork Orange. Why does anyone use them, and how do they stay in business? In the case of my coin, FedEx would have been 80 Euros and would have offered no guarantees. Thanks, FedEx!

    In DHL's case, it's not so much the cost; it's the uncertainty. The post is the one case in life where I strongly prefer the government entity/quasi-government entity to private firms.
  21. Rich Beale

    Rich Beale Well-Known Member

    Sure, but bear in mind you are looking at the matter only from your own personal point of view - at one address in one single area at any one point in time. If you look at a much larger dataset, i.e. the tens of thousands of packages that a company ships to countries all over the world over the course of any given year, certain trends become clear. Mailmen are not uniformly honest or reliable everywhere. Over the last twenty years we've lost far more by post than any other method. Insurance companies look at even larger datasets, and make their underwriting decisions accordingly.

    At the end of the day, nobody is going to say you're wrong to have a preference. But if you want your irreplaceable coin insured while it's in transit, sometimes there are limitations to the service that can be used.
    Kaleun96 likes this.
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