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?
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
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.
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.
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
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,
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.
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.
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.
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
If you can, get someone in Italy to ship it to you via the Italian Post
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
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
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.
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.
Web based forums are like subscribing to 10 different newspapers
and having to visit 10 different news stands to pickup each one.
Big problem. You won't find any commercial service to do that at
reasonable price. Unless you have other contacts there you are stuck.
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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