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Subject: What is this "shipping to US only" stuff? rss

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Sam H
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OK. So as I'm cruising around the BGG or CSW marketplace, I find a wargame I've been interested in for a while, long OOP, for a pretty reasonable price: Cool!

I'm happy. I'm getting ready to fire off that Email and then I see it: "Will ship to US only"

I see this pretty often. Since the buyer is paying the shipping, I don't really understand what difference it would make? I would understand not wanting to buy from somebody in Canada as our shipping is pretty expensive.

Is there something about shipping stuff outside of the US that I don't know about? Do they make you carry it to the border?

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Hi Sam.
It has been explained to me that filling out the Customs Declaration is a hassle.
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I run into this all the time. I can only assume that these people suffered traumatic childhood experiences involving paper cuts inflicted by customs forms.
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Michael Dorosh
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sxmpxr wrote:
OK. So as I'm cruising around the BGG or CSW marketplace, I find a wargame I've been interested in for a while, long OOP, for a pretty reasonable price: Cool!

I'm happy. I'm getting ready to fire off that Email and then I see it: "Will ship to US only"

I see this pretty often. Since the buyer is paying the shipping, I don't really understand what difference it would make? I would understand not wanting to buy from somebody in Canada as our shipping is pretty expensive.

Is there something about shipping stuff outside of the US that I don't know about? Do they make you carry it to the border?



Some American shippers got fed up with a handful of hosebag Canadians who whined and cried when American shippers refused to lie about the contents of what they were shipping, at least in my experience and those I had talked to. If you ask nicely, some will reverse the policy. But there were some Canadians who historically asked the U.S. shippers to mark items as "gift" or undervalue stuff to avoid paying tax and duties. Then when the Americans rightly refused to do so, they made life generally miserable for the U.S. shippers who finally decided shipping to Canada wasn't worth the hassle.

There were also some Americans who were just generally lazy and didn't want to go stand in line at the post office, or try and calculate complex shipping costs to Canada - had to deal with that, too, and had shippers state that flat out to me also. They had U.S. shipping calculated to all the 48 and could mail from home, but shipping "overseas" required more effort, so they weren't interested.
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Thomas Heaney
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I guess I'm one of those US-only-hooligans. The main issue is that shipping is just too darned expensive and complicated. I've packed up games for our fellow North Americans, weighed it, discovered the shipping, and "confirmed" the sale only to get an email asking to cancel because shipping is too expensive. That'd be fine, of course, its just trivial, but then there's the whole shipping process.

For US stuff, I just weigh the packaged game, print out the label, stick it on, and drop the box off with the outgoing mail at work. Done.

For foreign shipping, I have to drive down to the Post Office, stand in line, discover whatever form it is I'm supposed to fill out, fill it out, only be told that, "no, that was the wrong form, here, fill out the 'long form' customs form." Fill that out, including pondering whether I should write "gift" or not? (I carry a lot of guilt.) Finally, pay for the whole thing, then cross your fingers that it actually arrives at its destination. (I've had troubles with this.)

Frankly, shipping to our neighbors, north and south, would have been greatly simplified if the US had just completed the conquests in 1812 and 1847, respectively. Yes, I know . . . war, death, destruction, etc. . . . but think how smoothly math trades would go!
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Steve Vance
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I sold a fair number of games early this summer and mark my listings for shipping to the US only. I did send one game to Canada, however, since it was a big-ticket item and the buyer was an old Grog whom I was happy to see get the game. The shipping label could not be printed from PayPal, as I prefer to do, since the customs forms would have to have been filled out by hand or at least separate from the label. I went through the USPS site instead and did the label and forms in one pass. Not a huge hassle, but more than a quick print. I marked it as "gift," as requested, and did not include a receipt in the box that identified it as a sale through PayPal, as I usually do. It arrived without extra cost or hassle, and the buyer was happy, so I would ship to Canada again under similar circumstances. For small-ticket items, though, it's not worth the extra messing.

Added note: I was not entirely happy marking "gift," and would not do so for an eBay sale or if I ran a business. But in this case I justified it as an exchange of gifts between fellow game hobbyists, a game to one and cash to another -- not too unlike what happens at Xmas time among family members. In that spirit of giving, I accepted a price that was lower by the amount the increased shipping cost the buyer, which was about $25.
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K G
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I mailed a book to France once. It wasn't at all difficult, but I made certain to check whatever box it was on the form to guarantee that the recipient would pay all the taxes and fees and whatnot.

I DID discover, however, that books in French can be mailed to France ONLY if from a French publisher. Michael, you're Canadian and perhaps even a French speaker; am I imagining that?
 
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sxmpxr wrote:
OK. So as I'm cruising around the BGG or CSW marketplace, I find a wargame I've been interested in for a while, long OOP, for a pretty reasonable price: Cool!

I'm happy. I'm getting ready to fire off that Email and then I see it: "Will ship to US only"

I see this pretty often. Since the buyer is paying the shipping, I don't really understand what difference it would make? I would understand not wanting to buy from somebody in Canada as our shipping is pretty expensive.

Is there something about shipping stuff outside of the US that I don't know about? Do they make you carry it to the border?



Sam, if the additional price doesn't put you off, have the game sent to me; I'll put it in the mail to you the same day. I live in Wisconsin.
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Michael Dorosh
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Kluvon wrote:
Michael, you're Canadian and perhaps even a French speaker; am I imagining that?


I know enough to get my face slapped, but who hasn't seen Red Buttons in The Longest Day?
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Michael Dorosh wrote:
sxmpxr wrote:
"Will ship to US only"


Some American shippers got fed up with a handful of hosebag Canadians who whined and cried when American shippers refused to lie about the contents of what they were shipping, at least in my experience and those I had talked to.


So a few hosebag Canadians ruined it for everyone outside the US? Not only here and at CSW, but on eBay as well, where a large percentage of sellers list shipping to the US only? Not only for buyers in Canada, but everywhere else outside the US?

I guess that handful of hosebag Canadians really got around.
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Bartow Riggs
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Bottom line is it is more difficult. On E-bay I have offered to ship internationally for a surcharge for the extra hassle but I stopped doing that when I got bad ratings for shipping charges. Plus it's just easier to ship to the USA.
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Michael Dorosh
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zuludawn wrote:
Michael Dorosh wrote:
sxmpxr wrote:
"Will ship to US only"


Some American shippers got fed up with a handful of hosebag Canadians who whined and cried when American shippers refused to lie about the contents of what they were shipping, at least in my experience and those I had talked to.


So a few hosebag Canadians ruined it for everyone outside the US? Not only here and at CSW, but on eBay as well, where a large percentage of sellers list shipping to the US only? Not only for buyers in Canada, but everywhere else outside the US?

I guess that handful of hosebag Canadians really got around.


What part of "some" and "those I had talked to" did you not understand?

Just curious why you would directly quote something, then confess to not having read it.
 
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Brian Morris
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I ship internationally as part of my business but the boxes I use for my business aren't game sized. Now if I ship US I can get a free game size priority mail box in the post office lobby (I pick up about 5 at a time for game trades), print out the label at home and literally hand it to the postman. If it's international I have to go out and hunt down a proper sized box. Now since I have my own business I can print out the customs form at home but I still have to make special trip to the post office because you can't drop internationals in the night drop. You have to go to the post office during the day to do it.

As for customs fees, I do grow tired of people asking me to lie on customs forms for them. I have a business. I lie on a customs form and it's me not the receiver who gets in trouble. In short you ask someone who runs a small business to lie on a customs form and you are asking them to risk their business.

Shipping to Canada is a hassle. I ship stuff for a living and it's still a hassle compared to domestic. It's even worse for someone who is just doing a game trade or selling a few games from their collection. It shouldn't be and I wish it wasn't. However that's the reality.

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Michael Dorosh
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BartowWing wrote:
Bottom line is it is more difficult. On E-bay I have offered to ship internationally for a surcharge for the extra hassle but I stopped doing that when I got bad ratings for shipping charges. Plus it's just easier to ship to the USA.


It was an interesting time when sellers lost the ability to give retaliatory feedback in return, wasn't it...

Not an accusation against you; I actually welcomed the change; as an honest seller, it didn't realy affect me, though the danger of dealing with psycho buyers was always present, and reduced the ability to warn others.
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Lance Runolfsson
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Here I sit feeling guilty about being to lazy to ship outside of U.S.. FWIW I'm too lazy even to figure out shipping in the U.S.. If it won't fit in one of the standard Flat rate boxes it ain't going.
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Gregory Smith
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Quote:
some Americans who were just generally lazy and didn't want to go stand in line at the post office


It isn't lazyness to decide the extra work and time isn't worth it.

Shipping to Canada = trip to the post office, and standing in line for 1/2 hour. Add travel time to the post office and boxing and addressing; maybe 20 minutes more. Total time = 50 minutes.

Shipping to the US = drop the game in a flat fee box, address it, and hand it to the mailman. 10 minutes tops for everything.

That leaves an extra 40 minutes to spend with family, or gaming. This is a no brainer.

If you want to go drive to the post office and stand in line for 1/2 hour then send me the finished paperwork, I'd be happy to ship a game to you.

What... you don't think you should have to waste time standing in line? Me either.
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Bill Lawson
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usrlocal wrote:
We really need to get moving on that underground pneumatic tube delivery system.


Or use the transporter room for mailing packages. Mr Scott beam this Eurofront to.........................whistle
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Lance Runolfsson
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[q="JaggedTech"]
Quote:

Shipping to the US = drop the game in a flat fee box, address it, and hand it to the mailman. 10 minutes tops for everything.


I'm to lazy to hunt down a Postman. I never see the guys, they are like Elves, stealthy. The post office I use is so dead that I feel put out if there is more than one person in front of me in the line. One of the many advantages to living in a smallish town.
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JaggedTech wrote:

Shipping to Canada = trip to the post office, and standing in line for 1/2 hour. Add travel time to the post office and boxing and addressing; maybe 20 minutes more. Total time = 50 minutes.

Shipping to the US = drop the game in a flat fee box, address it, and hand it to the mailman. 10 minutes tops for everything.


OK, that make sense to me. I live in a country where all packages, domestic or foreign, have to be mailed from the local post office. So the difference between mailing something locally and mailing something abroad is minimal.
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It is pure economics. It isn't personal. I will ship to Canada and all points outside CONUS if people approach me directly and want a game bad enough, but my preference is to sell it to someone that will make my life as easy as possible. This is doubly true on Math Trades and big auctions where, if the stars align, I may be shipping eight to ten packages outside the country and have to figure out postage costs and fill out paperwork for each. It might be a tiny bit of laziness, but I promise it isn't a case of American exceptionalism making us cling to our games rather than sell them to furreners.
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usrlocal wrote:
We really need to get moving on that underground pneumatic tube delivery system.
It's done all the time with oil. (Well, depending on which party is in office...)
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LanceRunolfsson wrote:
[q="JaggedTech"]
Quote:

Shipping to the US = drop the game in a flat fee box, address it, and hand it to the mailman. 10 minutes tops for everything.


I'm to lazy to hunt down a Postman. I never see the guys, they are like Elves, stealthy. The post office I use is so dead that I feel put out if there is more than one person in front of me in the line. One of the many advantages to living in a smallish town.


My city is so small that our postal employees know me by name.

(And it's NOT because of all the plain, brown envelopes I receive!)

(Good Lord, I'm kidding about the envelopes!)
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moly19 wrote:
Hi Sam.
It has been explained to me that filling out the Customs Declaration is a hassle.

I live in a very small town, so it actually isn't a hassle for me. But I can see how the process of international shipping could be, almost anywhere else.
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I think the other issue is tracking a package to a foreign country. My experience has been that it pretty much can't be done. shake
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Isaac Citrom
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I just listed an item and I listed as shipping to Canada, U.S., U.K. and Australia only. My chief problem is that when I ship outside of Canada, I lose any recourse to fix a problem; it's just my tough luck.

I shipped to Mexico once and even before I mailed it I knew the package would likely disappear, as it did. Then I had to wait 6 months for Canada Post to complete their investigation with the Mexican postal srvice. I could have told them in advance that there would be no response over the six months.

Shipping to Beligium, the buyer cancelled the bank draft which is legal to do in Belgium. Who would have thought that was possible.

I completely understand Americans not wanting to deal with all these question marks when they simply don't have to, as their market is sufficiently large enough to sell whatever at top dollar.

So, I ship only to places I feel I can cope with as an individual seller, and these are Canada, the U.S., the U.K. and Australia. I would have added in all of Europe, but they have their own peculiar anti-evil-business laws, such as unguaranteeing a guaranteed form of payment. It's just not worth the trouble when I have 300 million customers next door.
.
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