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Thread: CONUS...

  1. #1
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    Question CONUS...

    Hello,
    This is a question specifically about Gear for sale, or want to buy.
    As a Sydney based photographer, I am often fazed by 'USA only' items. It really puzzles me.

    Why do so many sellers only sell in the USA, or Canada?

    Thanks,
    Henry

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    Senior Member Hosermage's Avatar
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    Re: CONUS...

    Personally, just ease of shipping. I usually cover the paypal and shipping in my sale price, so I have a good idea (or the max) of what shipping would cost. International shipping varies drastically especially when you want delivery confirmation.
    David Young
    My journey into Leica: LeicaLux.com

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    Re: CONUS...

    Quote Originally Posted by henryzwartz View Post
    Hello,
    This is a question specifically about Gear for sale, or want to buy.
    As a Sydney based photographer, I am often fazed by 'USA only' items. It really puzzles me.

    Why do so many sellers only sell in the USA, or Canada?

    Thanks,
    Henry
    Probably due to security, the extra expenses, and added hassle. When I do sell overseas, I find it nearly impossible to pay for a signature-confirmed overseas delivery service due to exorbitant additional costs. The signature would, to a certain extent, protect me in the event that the buyer issued a PayPal dispute claiming that the package never arrived.

    Personally, if I'm selling to buyers overseas, the buyer must either compromise on the original terms and send me a gift-payment or pay the additional shipping fees. Shipping isn't too expensive overseas, but it destroys the budget for both parties when it requires a signature and some form of insurance. The former situation requires complete trust from the buyer to the seller, and the latter from the seller to the buyer.

    In the end, for me at least, when it comes to international sells its all about where the trust lies and who's going to compromise towards an affordable solution that works for both parties.

  4. #4
    Senior Member jstaben's Avatar
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    Re: CONUS...

    Quote Originally Posted by brianb032 View Post
    Probably due to security, the extra expenses, and added hassle. When I do sell overseas, I find it nearly impossible to pay for a signature-confirmed overseas delivery service due to exorbitant additional costs. The signature would, to a certain extent, protect me in the event that the buyer issued a PayPal dispute claiming that the package never arrived.

    Personally, if I'm selling to buyers overseas, the buyer must either compromise on the original terms and send me a gift-payment or pay the additional shipping fees. Shipping isn't too expensive overseas, but it destroys the budget for both parties when it requires a signature and some form of insurance. The former situation requires complete trust from the buyer to the seller, and the latter from the seller to the buyer.

    In the end, for me at least, when it comes to international sells its all about where the trust lies and who's going to compromise towards an affordable solution that works for both parties.

    USPS priority mail or express mail international is quite inexpensive. I've sold lenses worth thousands of dollars on ebay and shipping is always under $100 US. Not sure what you are talking about there but as long as the buyer is willing to foot the bill for international shipping I don't find it to be a problem.

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    Re: CONUS...

    For me, different custom fees in different nations complicated things.

    Also now USPS prohibit the international postage of items with Lithium batteries, claiming possible fire hazard in flight.

    Last but not least, who doesn't like faster and easier transactions even like right by your door.

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2404351,00.asp

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    Re: CONUS...

    Shipping hassle. Yes, USPS shipping is fast and rates are reasonable. But it's a chunk of my life spent in line and filling out forms.

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    Senior Member darr's Avatar
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    Re: CONUS...

    Shipping International from the USA requires custom forms and this means having to stand-in-line at the Post Office for acceptance (no exceptions). At my local post office the line can go out into the lobby during lunch times and it can take close to an hour which I cannot do due to my employment. This makes it impossible for me to ship M-F and I do not want to be at the Post Office on Saturday.

    Shipping within USA is easier; pack item, weigh it, print postage from computer and drop it in a USPS box or Office Depot.
    "Creativity takes courage." ~ Henri Matisse
    Darlene Almeda, photoscapes.com

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    Re: CONUS...

    I ship international all the time, and welcome it.

    You don't have to stand in line, and the customs forms are simple: for those of you who aren't aware, usps.com will do all this for you...drop the box at the post, skip the lines, and you are done. Or schedule a pickup and you don't even have to leave your house!

    We'll see what happens when the USPS finally dies, as it's bankrupt...prices will be higher, but Fedex is faster delivery and the process is just as easy. You'll need to look up harmonized codes, but that is not difficult.
    Last edited by monza; 25th July 2012 at 07:48.
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    Re: CONUS...

    Quote Originally Posted by jstaben View Post
    USPS priority mail or express mail international is quite inexpensive. I've sold lenses worth thousands of dollars on ebay and shipping is always under $100 US. Not sure what you are talking about there but as long as the buyer is willing to foot the bill for international shipping I don't find it to be a problem.
    I only said it was expensive for signature service. Priority is always cheap, but I find a lot of intl. buyers unwilling to pay for the additional funds for express service; which comes with a signature, I believe.

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    Re: CONUS...

    Express is pretty cheap, actually, far cheaper than Fedex or UPS. Never had anyone complain about the cost...

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    Re: CONUS...

    I ship a fair amount internationally, and it is more of a pain, but the Asian market is so worth it (for higher-end glass)

    You do have to physically go to the PO to drop off the package, but that's it. You don't have to wait in line if you have the envelope and forms already put together.

    Express Mail is the only way I ship internationally. No tracking or confirmation with Priority, and Express Mail is incredibly fast.

    I shipped a rather heavy Leica 90/2 Summicron-R to Hong Kong, insured for $700 for a measly $48 total. The buyer got it in 3 days flat.

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    Re: CONUS...

    One can also schedule a pickup online if you don't want to drive to the post; they will come by the next business day.
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    Re: CONUS...

    I'd like to add that it's just as hard for Canadian buyers to buy gear from our neighbours just south of the border as many are unwilling to ship to Canada.

    I have a hard enough time finding used Leica gear, but have an even harder time finding used Leica gear that sellers are willing to ship to Canada so I am with the OP on this one.

    It is disheartening but I supposed it's no different than my avoiding buying from sellers from Europe or Australia due to the lengthy wait times and let's no get started about batteries from there or Japan...

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    Re: CONUS...

    The odd thing about Canada: shipments from the US can take a lot longer going there, sometimes twice as long as to Australia or Hong Kong...

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    Re: CONUS...

    monza I agree. Actually shipping from here is faster to the US than it is to go within Canada. I run an online store where items shipped the same day get to Florida faster than they do to Toronto!

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    Senior Member jstaben's Avatar
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    Re: CONUS...

    Quote Originally Posted by xtianyves View Post
    monza I agree. Actually shipping from here is faster to the US than it is to go within Canada. I run an online store where items shipped the same day get to Florida faster than they do to Toronto!

    I've had problems with crazy Canadian customs...lots of hold ups there when shipping to Canada. Not sure why that would deter someone from shipping to Canada from USA though as the wait on the buyer's part due to their country's customs isn't something I can control.

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    Re: CONUS...

    All I have to say is Canadian customs is a pain for anyone who is selling to Canada.

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    Re: CONUS...

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    I ship international all the time, and welcome it.

    You don't have to stand in line, and the customs forms are simple: for those of you who aren't aware, usps.com will do all this for you...drop the box at the post, skip the lines, and you are done. Or schedule a pickup and you don't even have to leave your house!

    We'll see what happens when the USPS finally dies, as it's bankrupt...prices will be higher, but Fedex is faster delivery and the process is just as easy. You'll need to look up harmonized codes, but that is not difficult.
    I assume it becomes an easy routine when one does this frequently. For the once a year sale, it is a long, time consuming affair whether one goes to the post office or tries to learn all the things to get done on line. I agree I would welcome overseas sales if that was something I was doing on a regular basis.

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    Re: CONUS...

    Tom, it's actually no more difficult that placing an online order on a shopping cart. Pick the method (express mail) enter the weight, enter the description and value, and your credit card...
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    Re: CONUS...

    I think a point that the OP may have been unconsciously thinking about is that the-rest-of-the-world seems to have less of a problem with international shipping. [generalisation]

    Some of the replies/justifications here do sound like rather like laziness and/or centre-of-the-universe exceptionalism to this antipodean correspondent.

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    Re: CONUS...

    Quote Originally Posted by lattiboy View Post
    You do have to physically go to the PO to drop off the package, but that's it.
    How else do you get there?

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    Re: CONUS...

    the other way around..

    I have had so much issues with US Post. Getting stuff from overseas.

    It takes few days to get to US and takes about 1-2 months sitting around in their facility.

    I recall a lens I bought from europe was in New York for a month (I am in NYC) and suddenly moved to Kentucky for another month. No reason or rational what so ever.

    You can't track or do anything with it. Just hope that it will show up at your door. When things go 'missing', you are pretty much out of luck and people there don't care or willing to help.
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    Re: CONUS...

    Quote Originally Posted by mediumcool View Post
    I think a point that the OP may have been unconsciously thinking about is that the-rest-of-the-world seems to have less of a problem with international shipping. [generalisation]

    Some of the replies/justifications here do sound like rather like laziness and/or centre-of-the-universe exceptionalism to this antipodean correspondent.
    There is some of that I'm sure, but I think it's more the laziness part. It's easier for USA sellers to be lazy, because the USA is one of the largest markets for buyers.

    Inevitably though, the closer the buyer, the easier it can be for the seller regardless of the scale. The ideal situation being selling gear to your next-door neighbor for example (who may be from another country! )

    We've heard enough stories about Nigerian nightmares and fraud in other countries, that one might decide to just generally not to bother with overseas buyers out of fear.

    I personally have had great transactions with overseas buyers and sellers myself. A little caution and care (and good communication with your partner regardless of where they are) go a long way to making all transactions successful.
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    Senior Member darr's Avatar
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    Re: CONUS...

    If you ship internationally and need to show proof of USPS system acceptance, you need to have your receipt stamped with the official USPS date stamp. You can only get that by going to the counter, giving the shipment to a USPS employee, and then they will stamp your receipt and scan your shipment into the system. Just dropping it in the post office box is not always proof if it does not get scanned into the system.

    Anyone ever have to do an insurance or PayPal claim for "lost" or never received by buyer when they did not have their receipt stamped?
    "Creativity takes courage." ~ Henri Matisse
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    Re: CONUS...

    Tracking reason. Once the item goes out of the country, it's hard to track where it will end up at.

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    Senior Member mediumcool's Avatar
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    Re: CONUS...

    Quote Originally Posted by madmaxmedia View Post
    The ideal situation being selling gear to your next-door neighbor for example (who may be from another country! )
    A friend of mine says he prefers selling interstate or overseas (eBay) because a local buyer would be on his doorstep or on the phone with any problems!

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    Re: CONUS...

    Incoming
    My worst experience has been with Poland, with China pretty shambolic, but cheap.

    Canadian Post has been expensive, and very slow. [but my sample size is not large]

    USPS or private US services are all similar in my experience, good to excellent.

    Outgoing
    Australia Post is being gradually privatised, and getting worse—more expensive, damage in transit (fragile stickers not used any more), outright disappearances aka theft, and unreliable tracking [I sent $3K worth of medium format camera, lens and accessories to India with paid tracking, which didn’t work, but it showed up in Chennai a few weeks later in good condition—the buyer had to bribe a customs officer to avoid paying monstrous fees because they had decided that the camera was new.

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    Re: CONUS...

    Quote Originally Posted by darr View Post
    Anyone ever have to do an insurance or PayPal claim for "lost" or never received by buyer when they did not have their receipt stamped?
    I've never had a box not be received into their system after a drop off, and in fact, have never had a box lost since I started using USPS about 5 years ago. Probably 2000+ shipments. Knocking wood.

    Also, to get around corrupt customs I usually mark the value low. There is nothing to grab attention like a high valuation on the outside of the box. $3k could be several years wages in some countries...

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    Re: CONUS...

    I've no real problems shipping overseas just so long as I can have some sort of tracking information. I feel tracking and insurance protects both the buyer and seller. Often I'll include shipping/insurance if sent in the US or Canada however it's up to the buyer to pick it up if outside.

    Shipping international isn't the easiest to do since there's much more paperwork involved. Also I normally like to ship UPS as there's an office nearby however I have started shipping postal; just need to drive further.

    One thing I've learned is that shipping international can be more expensive than what was led to be believed.

    Bottom line is good communication.

    Don

    This question pops up every once in a while and it's good to keep it fresh.
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    Senior Member mediumcool's Avatar
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    Re: CONUS...

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    Also, to get around corrupt customs I usually mark the value low. There is nothing to grab attention like a high valuation on the outside of the box. $3k could be several years wages in some countries...
    Problem with that approach, and I do understand the reasoning behind it, is that you then cannot insure to the true value (what the recipient paid).

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    Re: CONUS...

    I have had problems with Global Express mail to some countries where the service is contracted out. I sent a used camera out at no charge, no cost- for inspection for a possible trade. Customs official decided to charge for the no cost item, was refused on the receiving end- so came back to me. Another lens, the recipient also refused the customs charge on their end- came back to me. I've found that First Class International to many countries is the safest way to go. Of course this means knowing the person on the receiving end. On a forum like this, the member's regular posts are their reference. No problem shipping overseas when you converse with someone.

    I have a small post office at work, so the line is short. If I had to deal with the wait at the regular post office, I would probably think twice about it. An hour of time on the weekend at the Post Office- not worth it for most items.

    Deliveries to Canada are slow, I had two shipments to Indonesia that went much more quickly.

  32. #32
    devildog
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    Re: CONUS...

    I opened a thread in "For Sale" titled "CONUS" hoping to pick-up Vermont, New Hampshire, Montana and Washington at fire-sale prices. Even though I live in Canada, shipping wouldn't have been a problem.

    - N.

    ps. Just use Fedex. Not UPS, not Puralator. Just Fed Ex. Everytime. They never miss, the brokerage gets done and it gets anywhere in the world in 48 hours. Life is too short for the mail.

  33. #33
    Senior Member darr's Avatar
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    Re: CONUS...

    Quote Originally Posted by devildog View Post
    I opened a thread in "For Sale" titled "CONUS" hoping to pick-up Vermont, New Hampshire, Montana and Washington at fire-sale prices. Even though I live in Canada, shipping wouldn't have been a problem.

    - N.

    ps. Just use Fedex. Not UPS, not Puralator. Just Fed Ex. Everytime. They never miss, the brokerage gets done and it gets anywhere in the world in 48 hours. Life is too short for the mail.
    Aren't the custom fees high? This is the reason USPS is popular for some.
    "Creativity takes courage." ~ Henri Matisse
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