USPS International Shipping issues?

Discussion in 'Trade Talk' started by MarkLaFay, Jun 18, 2014.

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  1. MarkLaFay

    MarkLaFay Initiate (25) Nov 25, 2010 Indiana

    Looking for some insights here. In the middle of an international trade. Shipped my package a while ago to Netherlands. The USPS site says it is in transit but it has been "in transit" for 8 business days now. Sent Priority International (not priority express). They say 6-10 business days but the first package my trade partner sent got to me almost a week ago!

    I filed a search request with the USPS to see whats up. I'm wondering, does anyone here have any experience with international trades taking longer than maybe what is normal?

  2. evilcatfish

    evilcatfish Defender (619) May 11, 2012 Missouri

    usps sucks. dont use them
  3. HighLowJack

    HighLowJack Disciple (373) Jun 5, 2013 Massachusetts

    probably stuck in customs, I would imagine it ends up being around 10 business days.

    note that I just did an intl trade and the package from the UK got here in like 4 business days, mine will take a good bit more going over there.
  4. Sarge3130

    Sarge3130 Initiate (0) May 13, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Every USPS package I've received took at least 10 days to arrive.
  5. treznor

    treznor Zealot (592) Dec 20, 2006 North Carolina

    The other option is paying double for UPS or Fedex. Is that your suggestion? Shipping domestically, yeah, stick with UPS and Fedex, but when the difference in shipping costs internationally is $40, $50, $60, I'm going to go ahead and use USPS.
    JavaNoire and TheEpeeist like this.
  6. evilcatfish

    evilcatfish Defender (619) May 11, 2012 Missouri

    i have no problem paying extra if it gives me peace of mind. you get what you pay for
  7. MarkLaFay

    MarkLaFay Initiate (25) Nov 25, 2010 Indiana

    Thanks yall
  8. HighLowJack

    HighLowJack Disciple (373) Jun 5, 2013 Massachusetts

    FWIW I think USPS is pretty reliable internationally. I wouldn't gain any peace of mind with a different carrier.

    domestically, I just find Fedex easier so I go with that
    mkurylko and treznor like this.
  9. kermis

    kermis Initiate (0) Dec 2, 2012 Netherlands

    The box in question has since arrived in The Netherlands, just took longer than usual at around 13 days. I've done loads of trades with guys in the US now with almost every box sent USPS. :slight_smile:

    I consider them reliable and it's not worth paying double for the other carriers.
    sunnrider, MarkLaFay and jshusc like this.
  10. tommyguz

    tommyguz Meyvn (1,019) May 14, 2008 Pennsylvania

    Yeah I felt the same way with my international box. seems they always usually take longer. USPS is the way to go international and two day flat rate across states (if you have stuff that fits in the flat rate box)
  11. HighLowJack

    HighLowJack Disciple (373) Jun 5, 2013 Massachusetts

    my current box to the UK has been somewhere in UK (customs I guess) for 12 days now. I'm not particualry worried, I think sometimes it just takes a while
  12. Jeffo

    Jeffo Poo-Bah (3,755) Sep 7, 2008 Netherlands
    Society Trader

    USPS is the only way to go when shipping internationally. The 6-10 day thing is just an estimate. Sometimes it can take much longer, so just sit tight.

    Always use USPS when shipping overseas, unless you have money to burn.

  13. sunnrider

    sunnrider Initiate (199) Jul 4, 2013 Spain

    USPS is fine for shipping into Europe. There´s no problem with boxes containing beers, it´s legal here. You may find a box held up while value is determined for import duties. Ususally they just pass through.

    My last box was held for a few days and they asked for an itemised account with prices. Since I knew more or less what was in it, I just sent a list of prices along with an explanation that it was a trade between friends. They ended up charging me about 20$ import duty to release it, took a few days.
  14. CarlisleWineBin

    CarlisleWineBin Initiate (0) Jul 8, 2008 Australia

    Has anyone shipped to Australia using USPS, and if so, any problems?? Just starting international trade so would be nice to be aware of these things...
  15. Padraig

    Padraig Initiate (81) Jan 14, 2013 New York

    Stick the tracking number into the Parcelforce site (the UK carrier). You should get more detailed info.

    If it's been 12 days quite likely there's a customs charge to pay.
  16. HighLowJack

    HighLowJack Disciple (373) Jun 5, 2013 Massachusetts

    thanks. all it says there is

    Service Express 48
    Status Advised

  17. Padraig

    Padraig Initiate (81) Jan 14, 2013 New York

  18. HighLowJack

    HighLowJack Disciple (373) Jun 5, 2013 Massachusetts

    my package only has the bottom 3 rows that yours shows
  19. Padraig

    Padraig Initiate (81) Jan 14, 2013 New York

    I've had parcels take up to a week between being dropped off at the post office in the States and reaching Parcelforce's international hub in Coventry but two weeks doesn't sound right.
  20. worldofberpcraft

    worldofberpcraft Initiate (0) Apr 10, 2014 California

    When shipping via USPS to Europe, is it best to declare a small $$ amount so as not to raise suspicion? Also, should the same efforts be taken to cover up sloshing sounds? Lastly, can someone from Holland advise whom they use for shipping to the US and what they declare on customs form? I have my first trade to Holland ready to ship and we both are apprehensive.

  21. MrKennedy

    MrKennedy Savant (901) Dec 29, 2006 Australia

    Generally, yes. The recipient may have to pay tax on the declared value. But don't want to be too low to raise suspicion why you might be spending $100 for instance to send $5 worth of goods.

    What size box (no & size bottles are you sending?

    Some worry, some don't. I've seen things like bottle caps, half full Tic-Tac containers, uncooked pasta etc used as noisemakers
  22. worldofberpcraft

    worldofberpcraft Initiate (0) Apr 10, 2014 California

    I've been reading the forums and a few folks have said that declaring around $30 is safe so I'll go with that.

    I'm sending 6 bombers and 6 12oz bottles. I have a 12 bottle shipper that measures 20x10x20. I could probably pack into a smaller box, but I trust the foam.
  23. MrKennedy

    MrKennedy Savant (901) Dec 29, 2006 Australia

    That should be fine with the value etc. Safer with the shipper too.
  24. HighLowJack

    HighLowJack Disciple (373) Jun 5, 2013 Massachusetts

    as a follow up, my package was declared lost by USPS. UK says they don't have it, USPS says they have no idea what it is.

    I may or may not be refunded for the shipping cost and/or the value of the contents. they are asking for the original shipping receipt - not even a photocopy or a reprint will do. well, I don't have that. I can see in my USPS account the history of the shipment, and USPS knows how much I paid to ship (they pre-filled the claim form with the amount). not sure if my missing the receipt will be a deal breaker or not.

    to be refunded on the value of the contents - I need to provide a receipt of whatever I shipped. of course was beer, and since I shouldn't be shipping that I either need to provide a false receipt (which I wouldn't do) or just eat the cost of the beer. sort of sucks there. either way if you put a low amount on you receipt, you are probably limited to that amount of compensation should your box get lost. this may be why they require the original receipt with the declared value on it - without that I could probably say that I had $400 worth of stuff in there.

    so, sucks either way. dealing with USPS customer service is awful, nobody has any clue and they can't answer anything. it took 2 months for my box to be declared lost.
    Drift likes this.
  25. Padraig

    Padraig Initiate (81) Jan 14, 2013 New York

    That's a pain. Sorry to hear it didn't turn up.
  26. worldofberpcraft

    worldofberpcraft Initiate (0) Apr 10, 2014 California

    My box made it to Holland safely and passed customs! This morning I received a USPS text saying it was delivered. My trader does not have it though. Does USPS consider packages "delivered" once they are in the hands of local post?
  27. shadetree67

    shadetree67 Disciple (307) Sep 11, 2013 Minnesota

    is it illegal to ship beer using usps internationally?
  28. Drift

    Drift Disciple (395) Mar 26, 2014 California

    My package to NL or Belgium takes 7-8 days.

    The package from them usually takes 2 weeks to 3 weeks.

    this is experience from 10-12 trades internationally
  29. Bimmers

    Bimmers Initiate (151) Sep 6, 2014 Texas

    I've had a package take over a month to get to an APO. I've also had a package get lost as well. I refuse to use it ever again.
  30. youbrewidrink

    youbrewidrink Initiate (0) Apr 9, 2009 Vermont

    I have had great success with USPS to The Netherlands, Sewden, Spain & The UK, Belguim was my only trouble spot and to be fair it was during the busy Christmas season when shipping domestically SUCKS.

    If you get an account with, you can do your customs declaration and shipping all in one and drop it of with a pre-paid label. Whenever I used to go to the P.O., the clerk would just roll her eyes when she had to do a label and screw around with the customs stuff.

    Since I have been using the option the shipping time has been almost half. I shipped a box to The Netherlands late in the day Monday, it's already in Amsterdam ready to head to a smaller town, I would guess on Monday. That's pretty good service.

    If I am shipping cans, I list them as energy drinks, other liquids are list as sauces or specialty sodas. Don't try to hard to cover the slosh, just write contains liquid on the box, once they see that they assume that you also knew that and probably packaged it correctly.

    Price wise I have normally kept the weight around 22 lbs to be safe, sometimes if you go over 10kg there will be an adder from some European countries.
  31. CTFalcon

    CTFalcon Aspirant (269) Nov 9, 2014 Connecticut

    I just shipped to the Netherlands using usps and the only hiccup was severely screwed up tracking. I dropped the box off on a Monday and didn't recieve any tracking data until the box got to the outbound international facility on that Friday. No acceptance scans or progress along the way, so I was a little nervous. It arrived the following Wednesday, so only eight business days from connecticut to the Netherlands. Overall the service was quick, the lack of tracking was troubling though.
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