International shipping on reverb

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Jim Marciano, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. TrueFifth

    TrueFifth Member

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    I am in Northern Europe, and to get a special edition guitar from a US Reverb seller that I really wanted (of course) - I ended up with a 'forward-shipping company' that specializes in shipping stuff from the US to my country. They were very expensive, but it worked out very good. In my case it was shopusa.com, but there are several companies like this, and one should of course check who operates in relevant countries, and check their prices and ratings before considering them etc.

    They give you 'your own real' local US address, so you actually don't have to tell the US seller he is shipping out of the US, since they are - after all - only shipping locally. I did in my case though, because I had asked if he would ship abroad to me himself, before coming to this, and it would have been cheaper if he had agreed.

    So the seller ships locally in the US, to 'your own personal' US address, where it even might be repacked if necessary, and the second shipping company ships abroad.
    In my case, they also handled my local customs and tax. Northern European countries are very efficient in collecting money from their inhabitants, so the forward-shipper didn't have to do this part for me, but since I paid premium for their service, it did feel natural after all that it was part of the deal.

    This kind of arrangements of course demands you trust your seller to ship what you expect, returns and refunds will be quite problematic.

    Another time, I couldn't get a guy to ship a guitar internationally from Manchester UK, and I ended up jumping on a low budget plane and picked it up in the airport. In this case, the low budget airfare was comparable to regular shipping.
    But in these climate change times, I will think twice about jumping planes again, the guitar from Manchester has been my main guitar ever since though.
     
  2. dirtytony

    dirtytony Member

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    never had a problem, USPS tracking number is used by them. My greatest problems have always been with the UK, lots of hassles.
    However I quote the following which is precious advice in my opinion:

     
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  3. DustyRhodesJr

    DustyRhodesJr Supporting Member

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    I would not do it.

    Once the item is in customs, if there is any delay at all, all the buyer has to do is
    file a "item not received" claim and PayPal will refund him.

    You are then on the hook.

    That and numerous other things that can go wrong.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019
    Jim Marciano likes this.
  4. cutlunch

    cutlunch Supporting Member

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    No better feeling then when you say to a seller, I live in Australia. I WILL pay your price and I WILL pay shipping and he says its too much effort. I tried to buy something from a guy in June, it's now August and he's still trying to sell it.
     
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  5. captaincoconut

    captaincoconut Member

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    It sucks big time. I live in Germany and customs here are super strict. I had friends, who didn't get their packages through customs, because the pedal was missing a CE label or even a German manual. It's gotten ridiculous.
     
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  6. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Thanks for the tip! I’m in Norway, and have run into problems with folks that are wary of shipping international.

    Actually it comes up less with music equipment than other stuff. I have complained to Amazon USA that very often when shopping for items there, when it isn’t actually shipped from amazon but from a store in the US, the list for the item says “eligible for shipping to Norway” and clicking on “shipping options” doesn’t tell me if it is actually so, so I “buy” the item and only on checkout does it say “this item does not ship to Norway”. Often I have to go back, choose another vendor, go through the same repeat.

    Some items none of the vendors ship internationally or only US and Canada.

    I didn’t want to bug friends in the US to be middlemen, so this sounds like a great option!

    Again, thanks!
     
    TrueFifth likes this.
  7. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Is that different than domestic shipping? They can’t get away with that inside the US?

    Not arguing the point, just curious.
     
  8. DustyRhodesJr

    DustyRhodesJr Supporting Member

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    Dont know what you mean.

    Domestic goes from point a to point b, customs is not involved.
     
  9. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    I mean items even domestic can be delayed. Or lost. Or the buyer could file “item not received”.
    It’s what happens after that that counts. An item in customs is not lost, it’s in customs. Tracking would show it is in customs.
     
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  10. secretchord53

    secretchord53 Member

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    There is a difference.

    If something is in customs, everybody knows where it is. The seller, the buyer, the freight company. And yet, the buyer can file a dispute with PayPal and get their money back (there was a thread very recently where this happened to a user here). But the Buyer gets no compensation back because the item is not technically lost.

    If the item is eventually delivered through customs, there's no recourse for the seller to get his money back. One would hope an honest buyer would work with the seller to make him whole, but there is no guarantee.

    (If an item is stuck in customs for a long while, an industrious buyer could file the claim, get his money back, then still likely find a way to get the item out of customs and essentially get the item for free. If the party on the receiving end is willing to do a little leg work, it's not that hard to get things through customs. It's just most people don't want to.)

    Since there is no customs domestically, there is no limbo for the package to sit in. It's either delivered, in transit, or lost. If the package is lost, the buyer can file a claim and get his money back, but the seller can also get his money back (assuming he insured it and sent it with a courier that actually honors insurance claims). So nobody is out any money.

    Even if the package says delivered but the buyer claims not to have received it, there are protections for the seller. (I deal with 'delivered' packages that the receiver never actually got all the time with UPS, and they open an investigation to find it; if they don't find it, it progresses to an insurance claim.)

    Basically, the difference is that domestically, the seller is better protected against loss, damage, and even fraud.
     
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  11. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Thanks, sounds nuts but you cleared it up.
     
  12. LikeAMotherF

    LikeAMotherF Supporting Member

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    The other thing with that is this- PayPal will usually have you wait two weeks after the shipping info has been entered into the system before they'll process a claim. (Meaning the seller says they never received an item.) When shipping domestic, it very very rarely every goes for two weeks between a package being sent and then being delivered in the system. Even in those instances, if the tracking info says that the item is still en route, PayPal may have the buyer wait. But when something goes through customs, it's not uncommon for 3-6 weeks to pass without any indication where it is in the tracking systems. In those cases, PayPal will automatically side with the buyer and force a refund. Which is why one has to be mindful of the folks they're dealing with when shipping international.

    I had an occasion where I bought something from an international seller, and it got tied up in customs. I was very wary, and didn't know how to proceed, but I got in touch with the seller and he stayed in contact and asked me to cool my jets, haha. I was worried that if I waited too long to file a claim I could miss the window of opportunity and be out $2k+. I was patient, and the package (guitar) finally made it through. But I can see how someone else may not be as patient and understanding as me and file the claim, then win. A month and a half later the guitar lands in their lap and they're looking at that $2k+ in their bank account and they start wondering if anyone will ever know......
     
  13. valvestate

    valvestate Member

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    Strange... I've had quite a few transactions and correspondence with sellers from Europe and U.S. with shipping here in Asia and it seems they are totally fine with it.

    I pay the shipping, I receive the pedal with a week or two, hassle free
    :cool:
     
  14. TrueFifth

    TrueFifth Member

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    This problem really sounds weird as it must happen everyday with thousands of shipments. Why would PayPal not be aware of this kind of situation?

    If buyer gets both a refund and the package, something is totaly going wrong. And in this case, why is this not solved simply by looking at tracking evidence?

    Incredible that this would not be dealt with by all the big companies involved in a Reverb / eBay transaction...

    But there must be ways to make an agreement between international buyers and sellers to pre grasp this situation...?

    Because it’s really a very annoying thing when you can’t get someone to ship... And the forward-shippers are as well a very annoying extra expense...
     
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  15. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Yeah I agree. Living in Norway when I first started buying form say the US, I was impatient myself. I’d be tracking the damned thing, often in those days the terminology of tracking wasn’t really clear, I’d be stressing, etc. bothering the seller, or company, etc.

    After a few times I started learning. It was a turning point when I would think “damn, it OUGHT to be here by now..I should <initiate some action, something is WRONG,> and then I’d rethink and tell myself “just wait. It’s most likely coming”. A couple of rounds like that, and viola, got the pedal and all is well.

    Nowadays I check tracking a few times, and just assume it will get here. And it always has. Sometimes it can vary by weeks as to how long it is in customs. But haven’t ever not gotten it.

    It’s a lot easier on my sellers, as long as I can see a package on its way, I assume they did all correctly.
    And I don’t bug them. It’s a lot easier on me, have anticipation, but not stress anymore. It’s a lot better now.
     
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  16. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    That was the “nuts” part I meant. Seems totally crazy but I believe the folks that mentioned it is that way. I don’t get it. If an item is in customs It’s still on its way, and it seems nuts to me that the buyer can pretend it hasn’t been received. I mean it hasn’t YET, but it is not lost, and is still on its way.

    I’ve never, ever had a claim against any seller, and yes sometimes the package took LONG time to get to me, but usually not...seems like it would be good for business in general (mentioned many private sellers on amazon won’t ship Int’l) if they added a grace period when an item is stuck in customs.
     
  17. TheoDog

    TheoDog Silver Supporting Member

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    The biggest headaches I have had with international shipping from the US are the size of the item and the buyer requesting inaccurate declarations to save customs fees. I typically expect shipping to be double USPS Priority price and specific it as an as-is sale with no returns. I keep things at least within the PayPal system to automate the forms and eliminate the discussion of declaration manipulation.
     
  18. zztomato

    zztomato Supporting Member

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    Just make sure you understand your own postal system. I just bought a pickup off a guy here on TGP who said ok to mail to me in Canada. I paid him extra to cover the added cost. When he sent tracking he said it was $27 to mail the pickup. Unfortunately he used probably the most expensive method to ship when he could've just used 1st class mail for probably under $10.

    I felt bad of course but it's not really on me to know your country's postal service- even though it seems I do.
     
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  19. inquintessence

    inquintessence Gold Supporting Member

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    I’ve done it a bunch; from US to AUS, EU, MEX, CA. It’s easy to use reverb’s shipping label generator (I stick with USPS), pack it up, and drop it off at the post office.
     
  20. Vaibhav Joshi

    Vaibhav Joshi Member

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    Until the pedal is in the US, it's not a problem.
    Beyond that the local postal or some other service takes over if USPS is not located there (Italy).
    Our local post & customs usually delay it so much, one is unsure if it's ever going to be delivered. I'm currently waiting for an EHX Freeze to be delivered (bought from the US/ eBay), it's been 3 months.
    In this situation, the seller is bound to refund the seller, so you should check that you don't lose money on it and/or it's insured.
    I've told my seller that I'd like to wait some more; a refund is anyway a loss for eveyone.
     

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