Is it difficult for US residents to ship international packages? - RC Groups
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Jun 18, 2012, 12:55 AM
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Is it difficult for US residents to ship international packages?

I'm just wondering if the US government makes it difficult for residents to ship international packages.
It seems like most US members here will not ship anywhere but the US.
Is it just personal preference or is it just a huge undertaking?
I send packages to the US with no problems thus far.
If the buyer pays the shipping, why the big deal with shipping outside the US?
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Jun 18, 2012, 01:05 AM
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beercandan11's Avatar
I personally ship in usps flat rate packages. for International shipping they want as cheap as possible and I have to find a box or buy one usually, get customs form and fill out. I'm so busy with work and one year old I can't do that. That's just me though
Jun 18, 2012, 01:38 AM
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midnightsabotage's Avatar
We're lazy. Filling out forms is no fun.
Seems we have enough US buyers where most sellers don't need to go international & bother with the small added hassle. If you can complete the transaction faster and with less risk within the US (and you're not going to make any extra money) then why go international?

I'm not speaking that from my own experience, as I barely do any selling whatsoever, but that's what I'd wager. Seems it's riskier and the likelihood of issues with a shipment increase when you post it out of the US too.
I dunno!
Jun 18, 2012, 02:53 AM
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jgalexander's Avatar
Ditto to both above. One other tricky spot is paypal - can't get seller protection without delivery confirmation, and that costs a TON internationally. I usually ask for a USD money order from international buyers and then ship first class - sometimes if I trust that they won't file a 'package not delivered' claim I'll take a regular PP payment. Depends.
The form is really a non-issue - the seller just has to write the delivery address and declared value. And first class shipping to Oh, Canada is only about $4-6.
Oh, and if the package is more than 4lbs, forget about it. Price goes waaaaaay up.
All that said, it's really easy to ship up north, provided the package is under 4lbs, and isn't too bulky

More info here:
Jun 18, 2012, 03:11 AM
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vpresley's Avatar

Radio To England

I shipped a Futaba Radio to England. $55 and change to ship. I sold the Radio for $95.00. Wont do it again. I took a picture of the customs form and of the receipt from the post office and sent it to him to show that it had been sent.

Last edited by vpresley; Jun 19, 2012 at 10:18 AM. Reason: addition
Jun 18, 2012, 03:14 AM
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jgalexander's Avatar
I shipped a 1lb package first class usps to the Netherlands (had a Castle 85HV esc in it). Cost $7 - took 4 days.
Jun 18, 2012, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by jgalexander
I shipped a 1lb package first class usps to the Netherlands (had a Castle 85HV esc in it). Cost $7 - took 4 days.
So what would have happened to you had he claimed he never got the package ? (assuming you used paypal)
Jun 18, 2012, 07:46 AM
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Hemikiller's Avatar
Originally Posted by pach
So what would have happened to you had he claimed he never got the package ? (assuming you used paypal)
He could have filed a Paypal claim. Without tracking and delivery confirmation, the seller is SOL.

FWIW, Paypal has made international shipping incredibly easy, but only for Priority or Express Mail packages. You still have to go to the PO for First Class Int'l (the cheapest way) for some stupid reason.

It's more the USPS's fault than anything. They have made this big online shipping push, but they want you to spend the bucks on Priority Mail. The USPS website won't let you do a First Class Mail parcel, either Domestic or International. You still have to haul your stuff to the PO and pay at the counter. I do this on a fairly regular basis, so I know the ropes and have the forms and envelopes on hand, but most people don't and aren't willing to take the time. I list most of my stuff as $XX shiped in the USA, other locations at actual cost".

My beef is the guys that list things as "lower 48 only"....
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Jun 18, 2012, 07:47 AM
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epoxyearl's Avatar
We all know it costs more to ship internationally...Even the buyer in a foreign country is aware....Knowing that,the prohibitive costs must be paid by the buyer.
I have mixed feelings about international deliveries,although I won't do it....I hate to think I have something a modeler needs that's unavailable to him,and that may cost as much to ship as to purchase !
I do Canadian shipping,but my first conversation carries the disclaimer-"I'll get it to the border,but don't ask me about it,after that" I'm not cold,or hard,just realistic.
It's just more realistic to ship in the States,costwise.
And I have no problem filling out one more form.(customs)
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Jun 18, 2012, 09:10 AM
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SRM's Avatar
I'll share my buying and selling experiences from a Canadian perspective. I've sold many items to buyers in the USA, Australia, UK, Brasil, Japan, etc and the effort involved is the same as if I sold and shipped within Canada. Yes, I need to find boxes but that's not really all that difficult. I very rarely buy a box to ship anything and more often than not I'm able to scavage work or a local store for free boxes. Staples has been great for bigger boxes and they are happy to let me have any box I want.

If using PayPal to receive payment, it is extremely easy to create and pay for shipping through PayPal. The system lets me print the shipping label and almost always provides some form of package tracking or at least delivery confirmation. The buyer gets an immediate email with the proper notification and there's no guessing involved. This system works great.

I've run into many US sellers who refuse to sell outside of the USA and that's a shame. The reasons all seem lame to me and I think it boils down to being lazy. Some will say they've had a bad experience selling outside of the US and that is unfortunate for sure. I too have had some deals go bad and it's always been with a US buyer or seller. That's the risk we take when dealing through forums like this one. In the end, the seller can choose to sell to whoever they please.

The USPS mail system is a great service and from what I understand they will even pickup parcels from your home residence and they deliver weekends. This isn't the case here in Canada and you guys in the US have it pretty good. Postage here in Canada is taxed and that makes costs a bit high at times.

In all, my shipping experiences have mostly been positive. I've had a great time buying and selling things and have met a lot of really great people along the way.
Last edited by SRM; Jun 19, 2012 at 02:01 PM.
Jun 18, 2012, 09:14 AM
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FlyBillyFly's Avatar
I stopped shipping to Europe...Last fishin reel i sent over to Germany....17 days......the guy filed a dispute....big mess.....customs held it up...No More for me....I'll ship to Japan....but that's bout it......Billy
Jun 18, 2012, 01:28 PM
Trader Rating: 39
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Steve_A_Reno's Avatar
If I remember correctly you need to fill out the customs form in person at the USPS. Any time I need to stand in line at the post offfice is worth avoiding. 5 people ahead of me with 2 staff - 1/2 hour or more wait without fail . Who's paying me for that time? I prefer to just print the paypal lable for my us sales and drop off and go. I do not have the time for any extra hassles/wait.
Jun 18, 2012, 01:38 PM
Trader Rating: 128
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Depending on what you are selling, and how much you are making, it's a toss up. When I opened my Ebay sales to international my sales went up about 30 even 40 percent. I was burned a few times on shipping time and did not receive complaints but it was well below what I expected. As someone said above....ANYTHING other than standing in lines a the P.O. is the best way to go. I know the causes for their perpetual decline are many (my dad was a letter carrier for 15 years), but my god it's close to impossible to find a helpful, and god forbid "friendly" sales person. For the most part there are two people working where 4 or 5 should be, and they are just horrible in terms of customer service/experience.
Jun 18, 2012, 01:39 PM
Trader Rating: 128
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oh...and shipping to the U.K....WOW, it's expensive!
Jun 18, 2012, 01:51 PM
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jgalexander's Avatar
Originally Posted by pach
So what would have happened to you had he claimed he never got the package ? (assuming you used paypal)
Probably screwed. However, i did take a few pics of it getting boxed up, of the address on the box, and of the receipt the post office gave me. Would make a fairly strong case.

Hey Hemi, not sure if this is a typo, but you can print domestic first class shipping labels online. Agreed though that not being able to do it for international shipments sucks. Why they have all other intl shipping options, other than first class, available online is beyond me.

SRM, did you read the previous posts? International buyers 100% want to use PayPal, and PayPal offers 0 protection without tracking. I don't know many buyers who would want to pay $30-40 for shipping, just to get tracking. For me, my hesitancy isnt due to laziness (I go to the PO around 10am or 2pm, when it isn't busy) - its financial. I don't want to get screwed!

Steve, you don't have to fill it out in person, and unless you're shipping first class international, you don't have to stand in line. You can print all other labels at home, and stick the customs form on their yourself. You just hafta snag one from the rack at the PO.


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