View Full Version : All this talk about Bruce Wei inflated shipping costs.

04-22-2016, 06:48 AM
The thread by Martynas about eBay auctions included posts that questioned Bruce Wei shipping charges, that they could very well be inflated. I'm posting this in defense of Bruce Wei (I seem to be one of the only ones). I'm sure I'm going to get hammered by the Bruce Wei nay-sayers, but in the three years I've been dealing with him and buying his ukes, he has been completely honest, communicative and supportive. I have no vested interest in Bruce Wei or his business, I just think it's important when buying online, that information is accurate.

I emailed Bruce yesterday and asked him if he charges more than the exact price of the package. He said no, and also gave me the EMS site to calculate shipping charges. http://ems.com.vn/products/96-cc-ems-quc-t.aspx

He said EMS cost is based on measurement of the package and weight, plus 10% VAT and 13% fuel that EMS charges. He sent me an example of one of his package dimensions: ( Length 72cm x Width 26cm x Height 10cm ) / 6000 = 3.5kg (7 pounds). My calculations on the EMS site make that cost $80.92. A 5 pound package costs $65.93. He's charged me from $60 to $75 for the ukes I've bought from him, six so far. His shipping costs are obviously not inflated.

04-22-2016, 07:11 AM
Yes, shipping companies have to consider on how many cubic feet a package will consume while in transit and charge accordingly. I don't think his shipping is unreasonable at all.

Kohanmike, are you happy with your BW instruments? I'm assuming you are. Don't want to hijack this thread, so could you PM me?

I've always been intrigued by his stuff.

Inksplosive AL
04-22-2016, 07:17 AM
Honestly all this talk Mike? We have talked more in PM's about uke basses seriously. Reposted here in case you missed it.

I take umbrage with that example, don't use an actual company without having first hand experience. You could have left out a name all together. Using his name can easily be misconstrued that Bruce did charge more, but he doesn't, I've purchased a number of ukes from him, including custom made and his shipping charges are accurate. I had to send him back a uke and the Post Office charged me $65, exactly what I paid for shipping from Vietnam.

I'm retiring to the seasons thread and PMing the one member I can relate to, that will be my contribution here from this point forward. I cant tell if its lack of sleep, missing my dog, my general distaste with others or all of the above. But I'm done being misconstrued, having my intent mocked, questioned or judged by anyone other than the forum moderators. Come to pass its peoples actions that generate a reaction from me, whoda thunkit eh?

I did have first hand experience with winning a very nice tenor for $18.50 and as $60 was the most I ever paid for anything shipped from eBay my head went there. I was going to clarify what was fact and what was speculation but cleared things up in the next reply saying "Bruce will always ask you have a local luthier inspect the instrument ( I should have noted if there is an issue) and adjust accordingly before any need to send anything back." as well as "BTW my Wei Wei tenor was well worth the $18.50 plus shipping. The $99 soprano not so much but hey its the Vietnam lottery after all. Just like most things bought on eBay you win some you lose some." I never sent him anything back Ive had no need.

BW has his share of haters on this forum I assure you I have never said anything bad about him and my intent was not to name and shame him or imply any wrong doing on his part. Even my little walnut soprano being very quiet I just bought a cheap pickup and preamp from China again from eBay but having so many ukes and projects I haven't cut the hole and put it in yet. As he sells directly from eBay, my solution was also bought on eBay and I'm replying to a direct response to something said here I believe I'm still on topic. I can only hope I'm correct.

Thank you AGAIN Mike for your help in PM's and letting us all know that it is damn expensive to ship to or from Vietnam with or without eBay.


Anyone wishing to see my posts on my experience with my Wei's can search them out on the forums.

04-22-2016, 07:55 AM
Kohanmike, are you happy with your BW instruments? I'm assuming you are. Don't want to hijack this thread, so could you PM me? I've always been intrigued by his stuff.

Happy to answer that. The first uke I bought from his eBay site over three years ago turned out to be made by one of the builders he allowed to sell on his site, he stopped doing that awhile ago. That uke had a very nice design, it looked like a mandolin, was built poorly, but it only cost me $51, I gave it away to a cousins young son. I liked the design so much, I asked Bruce to make me a custom mandolele, which came out very well, but in the middle of the build I decided I wanted it finished glossy black, too late to change, so I took delivery of the solid mahogany and ordered another, solid acacia koa and glossy black. That one is a keeper and I sold the mahogany.

I then ordered a custom gypsy jazz Django style uke that came out really well, but I insisted on a solid curly maple top, which turned out to be a bad choice because it doesn't project or sustain as well as other woods (verified by Pepe Romero when I talked to him about his ukes made in Vietnam).

I then ordered a custom 21" scale fretless bass uke that is really nice, all solid acacia koa. Then a few weeks ago while scrolling his eBay auction listings, I saw a really nice looking all solid acacia koa with a brown sunburst I've never seen on uke. I bid and won it for $100. It's very nice too, doesn't have quite the projection or sustain of my Kala solid cedar top, but still pretty good. If I didn't have the Kala, for sure I would keep the brown burst, but I might very well donate it to the UCLA/Mattel Children's Wing music therapy program along with the ukes my group donated by way of The Ukulele Kids Club an organization that donates ukes to hospital music therapy programs all over the country.