How to arrange used parts shipping Internationally

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A friend of mine in Italy knows of a parts guy who disassembled a similar piece of equipment who would be willing to give me the disassembled parts for my use.
These are small parts, any one of which is just an ounce or two, so the entire shipment would likely be under a pound.
I can wait forever for it, but I called UPS and Fedex who said it would cost $120 (Mailbox etc) and $100 respectively for them to pick it up in Italy and ship it to me in the USA.
Plus there are customs declarations to figure out.
Just curious if you have experience in this type of shipping?
There must be more than UPS/Fedex/DHL, right?
The location is Catania but I don't know what couriers might be cheaper but is there any way to get the shipping down to a reasonable cost?
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In article

If it is as light as you say it can be shipped via the post office with a simple customs declaration. I don't know all the details. But I receive several packages a year this way. Have your friend check at the local Italian PO.
CP
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On 4/3/2014 12:22 PM, Mathis Lefebvre wrote:

I don't know about sending stuff from Europe but I've mailed stuff to the UK using simple USPS without problem. There was a toy for a coworker's son available on Amazon but he could not get it shipped to him so I bought it, repackaged it and sent it for maybe $30 and it weighed a couple of pounds.
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On Thu, 03 Apr 2014 11:22:44 -0500, Mathis Lefebvre

USPS global priority mail. You can do the whole thing at USPS.Com. I do it a lot
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I second the recommendations to check out the post office. UPS and FedEx tend to hit you with a bogus "customs brokerage" charge when you ship internationally. Based on shipping some stuff USPS from the US to Germany, the minimum you are looking at is probably $25 to $30, but it'll be hard to go over $50 for several pounds of stuff.

From US to Europe, this is a simple form that you can get at the post office, fill out, and stick on the box. You always have to say what's in the box and give an approximate value, but something like "used electronic parts, $20" or "used machine parts, $20" is sufficient. The leading dodge is to mark it "gift", which means there are no duties. Or, if the parts really aren't worth much, don't mark it "gift" and pay the few bucks duty.
Matt Roberds
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Mathis Lefebvre:
I regularily import stuff across the US/Canada border and I find that I can save a good 50% of the costs by doing the importation paperwork myself.
I'm Canadian, and in the case of Canada, all that is required is that I fill out a CBSA (Canada Border Services Agency) "B-3" form. This takes all of ten minutes because the CBSA has a Fillable and Savable PDF of the B-3 form on their web site. So, I simply fill out and save that form to my own hard disk and then edit it and print off the new version for any other imports from the USA.
What you need to do is contact the US Border Services Agency and find out what paperwork needs to be filled out to broker an import across the border yourself. You then have to contact the courier's 1-800 Customer Services phone number and let them know that you want to broker the package across the border yourself. Typically, this is known as a "Clear's Own", meaning that the recipient of the package intends to Clear His Own package across the US Customs Service. If you don't make that call, they'll fill out the paperwork for you and charge you for the cost of providing that service, and it'll be a good 50% of the value of the importation. That's how UPS, Fedex and DHL make their money; from people that are too lazy to learn how to do it themselves.
Phone UPS or Fedex back and find out: a) Whether you can broker the importation across the US border yourself, and b) what the courier charges to broker the imporation across the US border for you and that you would save that amount by filling in the paperwork to do that yourself.
- Nestor
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On 4/3/2014 12:22 PM, Mathis Lefebvre wrote:

I get parts from Italy and Austria frequently. Small packages are typically in the $50 range. But that is from a FedX or DHL regular pickup, not the Mailboxec that has to bet a commission on the deal.
I'd just go with regular mail. They probably have a simple customers form at the PO and the cost should be much less than the big carriers.
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gfretwell wrote, on Thu, 03 Apr 2014 12:53:17 -0400:

How do you ship USPS /from/ Italy?
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mroberds wrote, on Thu, 03 Apr 2014 18:06:07 +0000:

It has to go /from/ Italy to the US. I didn't realize the US Postal Service does that. Do they?
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Ed Pawlowski wrote, on Thu, 03 Apr 2014 14:36:16 -0400:

How do I set up, from the US, a courier for the regular mail in Italy to go the guy's place and then stamp and box the package in Italy, and then ship it to me in the US?
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On Thursday, April 3, 2014 3:18:36 PM UTC-4, Mathis Lefebvre wrote:

That's probably going to be difficult and very expensive. Best would be for your friend in Italy to go get the items for you and take them to a local Italian post office and ship them to you as a parcel.
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On 4/3/2014 3:31 PM, jamesgang wrote:

I think that was the rest of ours point. Regular Italian post vs the big shippers.
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On 4/3/2014 3:18 PM, Mathis Lefebvre wrote:

You don't. You can't. You send the guy some Euros and ask him to do it.
If he is willing to take it to the Post Office in Italy, it is a fairly simple transaction.
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I've only shipped things the other direction. I give it to the USPS, they fly it to Germany, and then Deutsche Post delivers it to the recipient in Germany.
I'm pretty sure that if somebody in Italy gives it to Poste Italiane, they will fly it to the US, and then the USPS will deliver it to the recipient in the US.
Poste Italiane will probably pick up the box at the person's house or work, but it will need to be already boxed up, with the customs forms on it, and have postage. If you want somebody to go to the person's house, pack loose items into a box, and take it to the post office, then the quotes of $100 and up that you were getting seem entirely reasonable.
In unrelated news, your newsreader appears to be damaging the References: line, by inserting an un-needed tab character. This breaks the threading.
    lhk7ud$ih$ snipped-for-privacy@dont-email.me>"
Matt Roberds
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If you can, get someone in Italy to ship it to you via the Italian Post Office.
Mail service between Canada and the US is far simpler and cheaper than using a courier. The Courier will charge you a $25+ fee for brokering the packages across the US border, whereas if it comes by mail, then there's a flat rate that the post office charges to broker it across the border.
In Canada, if someone in the USA sends me a parcel via the USPS, the USPS gives the parcel to the Canadian Post office, and the Canadian Post Office sticks a delivery slip onto my door saying that there's a parcel waiting for me at my local post office. I pay $8.00 plus taxes and duty on the parcel and pick it up. All I need is ID with a picture of me on it.
If it were a courier handling the package, they'd charge $25+ for brokerage fees alone, then the shipping fees also have to be paid by someone either in the USA or in Italy.
Go USPS whenever possible to save both money on shipping charges and the hassle of learning how to fill out customs forms yourself.
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On Thu, 03 Apr 2014 14:17:16 -0500, Mathis Lefebvre

No. The paperwork has to be done with the postal service of the source country.
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On Thu, 03 Apr 2014 14:18:36 -0500, Mathis Lefebvre

No, they guy in Italy puts the stuff in a box. addresses the box and takes it to the Italian post office. He fills out the proper form, pays the postage and gives it to the post office. You will receive it a month or so latter, depending on the size.
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CRNG wrote, on Fri, 04 Apr 2014 06:05:45 -0500:

The eccentric guy in Italy is unwilling to do that.
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CRNG wrote, on Fri, 04 Apr 2014 06:05:45 -0500:

As stated in the OP, he'll send me the stuff, but I have to send someone over to get it.
That's the whole problem.
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On 4/5/2014 7:35 AM, Mathis Lefebvre wrote:

Big problem. You won't find any commercial service to do that at reasonable price. Unless you have other contacts there you are stuck. Two suggestions: 1. If he has a neighbor id willing to do it for a price
2. Pick it up yourself. Spend a couple of weeks and enjoy Italy. Rent a villa before the prices go up for the summer. This is a nice time to be there. If not now, wait until the rates go down in October, another good time to be there. You can get really nice digs for about $900 a week.
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