Shipping? International - I could use some input.

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Libby007, Dec 11, 2019.

  1. Libby007

    Libby007 Member

    Greetings: I'm a small ancient coin dealer in Virginia. I'm finding that I am having to ship overseas (Europe, mainly). The coins I'm sending are in the $200-$3,000 value range. I'm wanting to ship in a manner that the shipment is Insured against all losses. UPS told me that they do not ship ancient coins. USPS is a joke when it comes to a lost shipment. FedEx has not gotten back to me.

    So, ..... any suggestions and/or advise?

    Greatly appreciate your responses.
    panzerman likes this.
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  3. panzerman

    panzerman Well-Known Member

    I would send them via Registered/ priority. Just send as "neutral" letter. Marking a value/ contents invites theft. I get mine sent that way, never a MIA shipment:)
    Pellinore likes this.
  4. Libby007

    Libby007 Member

    I just sent $1300. worth to Europe. Priority, Insured cost $57.00. - I like your thought of "value/ contents invites theft". However, I did send a priority/registered in October. It made it to Frankfurt .... but after that it went MIA (out $1000.00). The Frankfurt Service won't conduct a search. The USPO conducted a search with no results. I suspect now that I'm "gun-shy" of not insuring the packages. "Once burnt - Twice shy". Fed/Ex wight still be an alternative. Thanks, John for the input - Fred
    panzerman likes this.
  5. Suarez

    Suarez Well-Known Member

    There is no registered option for international John. The only reliable way to do this is to use Fedex or DHL; at least for the >$1,000 coins. When you're sending a coin internationally make sure to put in the declaration form "ancient coin" and use the HS tariff code 97050040 (there will be a box for this).

    For coins that are not that valuable you might consider just sending them through the USPS with third party insurance. For example, I use Shipstation which offers discounted insurance and a streamlined claims process which I've already used successfully. However, there's a bunch of other companies offering similar services. Anyway, here's a list of countries that I send orders to frequently:

    Japan - has the world's most reliable delivery. I've never had one issue nor have heard of other businesses running into any problems whatsoever

    Australia - very reliable delivery but often slow through customs

    New Zealand - similar to Australia

    France/Netherlands: very, very reliable.

    Spain: very reliable as far as delivery but they're brutal when it comes to documentation and customs fees. However, this is a burden mostly on the recipient though your customers will often ask for additional invoicing to submit to their customs before release

    Sweden/Germany: also extremely reliable but hit or miss whether they get held up in customs and when they do it can be quite a hassle

    Switzerland: personally no problems but this country has a bad reputation with other dealers for nitpicky customs, high fees, etc.

    Italy: risky to send through USPS but perfectly ok through FedEx/DHL

    Eastern Europe: I would expect problems not only with delivery but also with dishonest customers where I think (hopefully not an unfair stereotype) have a culture of "it's ok if I can get away with it"

    China: abominable. Their customs is a blackhole of continuous problems but if your package manages that gauntlet internal delivery within China is very efficient and speedy. Unfortunately, there's a very high rate of fraud from customers themselves. I would simply choose to not do business here.

    South America: forget it. There's only four countries that are likely to order: Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Chile and all have high rates of theft and slow customs. Use DHL

    Middle East: very risk through USPS. In this case many of the problems seem to be related to address nomenclature being problematic for local delivery. I would only use DHL or FedEx

    South Africa (the only country in Africa except maybe Egypt that is likely to order) is on a par with South America. The likelihood of your USPS parcel reaching is close to zero unless you go with Priority Mail Express (not just plain Priority Mail)

    By the way, Priority Mail express is simply DHL/UPS/FedEx once it leaves the USA. Unless you move a lot of merchandise it's easier and cheaper to use PM Express than going through one of the other companies.

  6. Libby007

    Libby007 Member

    Rasiel - Thanks for all the information. I really appreciate you & John taking the time to inform me. I wish you both (and all of CT folks) a sweet and blessed Holiday Season) Fred
    panzerman likes this.
  7. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    Ship it USPS. Package like you do in the US only put brown tape over 100% of the outside package. Tape your shipping labels but do not cover all the seams. Take to the Post Office and ship Registeted Mail. It costs more but if you want to be covered against all losses this is the best way. It's a bit costly but the insurance is cheaper.
  8. catadc

    catadc Well-Known Member

    Worth mentioning that my local customs claimed 10% of the value of the coins you sent to me and declared this way. Not written as a complaint, but to highlight that there might be additional costs for the buyer based on how you declare the delivery.
    panzerman likes this.
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