Beware the cost of shipping

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

  1. nerosmyfavorite68

    nerosmyfavorite68 Well-Known Member

    Yes, there must be business reasons why the auction places choose DHL.

    I've noticed that post is almost always available from the fixed price guys, and with the auction guys, DHL/FedEx. Since a coin is pretty much dead to me if it's not fixed price, it's not a problem which I frequently experience.

    Like I said, I can put up with the unnecessarily high postage, as long as the service is ok. For if I love the coin, who's going to remember in 10 years how it was shipped? If the service is highly inferior (dumped at the door, no signature)AND they charge way more, then we are back to the George Carlin lament, "WHYYY?!"

    If DHL meets the bare minimums of not dumping it off without a signature, then the somewhat high postage is the cost of doing business and I can deal with it. It wouldn't be a dealbreaker on most > $300 coins. Opportunity cost would be much more prevalent for sub-$300 coins.

    The post is a funny thing; the package from Numiscorner (France) arrived amazingly quickly, while the ones from London Ancients take about two weeks on the dot (it must be a UK customs thing). This is not a complaint as I'm perfectly comfortable with ordering from both firms.

    I've only had one lost USPS coin in my 30 years of buying coins, and that one was due to a sorter machine mishap.
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  3. Kaleun96

    Kaleun96 Well-Known Member

    It's worth mentioning that DHL and FedEx perform quite differently across the world so while DHL might be below average for one person, for someone in a different country receiving a coin from the same auction house via DHL, the service may be excellent.

    For me FedEx is the best by far, above UPS and DHL, as FedEx delivers to door and will call you in advance, while UPS and DHL are just OK as they only deliver to collection points but are still faster than regular post. I have no real complaints with regular post though, it's just slower.

    In an ideal world, auction houses would offer every method and company of choice when it comes to shipping but that's unlikely to be practical so I can understand why an auction house would choose the method that gives them the least amount of hassle and best results.
    panzerman likes this.
  4. Heliodromus

    Heliodromus Well-Known Member

    For me (NJ, USA), USPS registered mail, FedEx and DHL are all dumped at the door without signature... It's been that way since covid started. At least the USPS mail is put through the letter box .. the others are just left outside!

    I do wish the auction houses would offer a cheaper shipping option for inexpensive coins (under $100, say).
    Kentucky and panzerman like this.
  5. kirispupis

    kirispupis Supporter! Supporter

    For FedEx, once the package ships you can request through their website that the package be held at a FedEx facility for pickup. It sometimes means having to wait an additional day, but solves the problem of package thieves.
    panzerman likes this.
  6. ValiantKnight

    ValiantKnight I AM the Senate!

    Has anyone here ever had FedEx lose a coin and then have it show up like months (or even years) later? I’m hoping that my Justinian Carthage-mint follis might still show up eventually after it got lost late last year :(.
    DonnaML and panzerman like this.
  7. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    I do not mind auction firms using FEDEX/ UPS/ DHL if they send coins/ described as electronic documents/ no value.some do this, which is perfect.But the ones I blacklisted will only send via these couriers with full invoice/ =on a 3600 euros coin paying 13% on converted amt. $5000 Can. = $650 customs fees:yack: Coins are $$$$$ enough these days/ esp. when you live in a Country with a "peso" type currency.
  8. Nap

    Nap Well-Known Member

    Same situation, DHL package UK to US, expensive item, $106 customs merchandise processing fee :(
    panzerman likes this.
  9. Mammothtooth

    Mammothtooth Stand up Philosopher, Vodka Taster

    I had a fight with Heritage over winning one coin and bidding on 15. The one coin won was 25 dollars. Premium 29 dollars, shipping 15 dollars. I declined purchase and they terminated me, which is fine.
    I had paid hundreds in the past; they would not hold the coin to the next auction so I could add to the purchase. I know it was wrong of me to decline, but it is what it is.
    Cliff Reuter and panzerman like this.
  10. Valentinian

    Valentinian Supporter! Supporter

    Heritage is clearer than most about the premium. Before you bid the website says not only the hammer price, but also the price plus the premium. (Very few sites explicitly add in the premium like the site of Heritage does.) So, the $25+$29 = $54 price should have been abundantly clear.

    Some small dealers would charge $4 to $8 to ship such an inexpensive coin. It seems large dealers often have regular ways of shipping that are not the least expensive. "Beware the cost of shipping"!
  11. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    Heritage does offer to put orders on hold/ then you can save money by shipping multiple auction wins. I usually wait till I have 40-60 coins to ship in one go. I have these sent to my US relatives/ so they can bring them over the border. Then its Christmas time for me:D
    Cliff Reuter and Mickey in PDX like this.
  12. Mammothtooth

    Mammothtooth Stand up Philosopher, Vodka Taster

    There was no offer made to me, even after I asked about holding over.
    Cliff Reuter and panzerman like this.
  13. nerosmyfavorite68

    nerosmyfavorite68 Well-Known Member

    Since DHL hasn't arrived yet it would be irresponsible for me to speculate about its service. If DHL meets my bare minimum standards then the extra cost is slightly aggravating, nothing more.

    Even in worst case scenario (dumped off without signature), there's still a 99% chance that I'll get the coin. The test subject is an inexpensive coin, nothing to sweat bullets over.
    panzerman likes this.
  14. Mammothtooth

    Mammothtooth Stand up Philosopher, Vodka Taster

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  15. Mac McDonald

    Mac McDonald Well-Known Member

    Indeed so, but you can still and fairly easily find "free" shipping within the U.S...and in fact I look for it first and foremost as a pre-requisite for purchasing from any least in factoring the net much easier/more convenient...and those sellers...the individuals, not the mega-multiples warehouses...who ship "free" tend to be easier to work with and communicate with, more courteous, etc. Understand "free shipping" isn't free, but sure makes things easier if you can find a comparable if not better item for less net cost...and you generally can with a little time/patience.
    panzerman likes this.
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