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mzuch
07-01-2014, 06:09 AM
I have an order for a tenor uke from Australia and I'm looking for the best and most economical shipping method. So far FedEx wants $580 and USPS wants $270 to deliver a 7.5lb package. Does anyone know of a better/cheaper method? Also, what are the requirements for customs forms, CITES paperwork, etc? Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

Doc_J
07-01-2014, 06:30 AM
Last time I shipped a uke to Australia (2013?) USPS was the best rate. I think it was around $100-130 for Priority (5-10 days?). Sorry, I didn't fill in any Cites paperwork. Didn't have any problems. $270 seems outrageous. FedEx and UPS are always more for international parcels.

hawaii 50
07-01-2014, 06:59 AM
who are you ordering from and what type of wood is your uke....if Brazilian Rosewood there are new regulations that took affect in June....be careful...companies like HMS have contract rates with FEDEX and if you spend over $800.00 shipping is free

mzuch
07-01-2014, 07:10 AM
who are you ordering from and what type of wood is your uke...

To be clear, I am the builder trying to ship a custom tenor from the U.S. to a customer in Australia. The uke is koa T/B/S with maple and East Indian rosewood appointments. No shell, bone or other animal products.

hawaii 50
07-01-2014, 07:16 AM
To be clear, I am the builder trying to ship a custom tenor from the U.S. to a customer in Australia. The uke is koa T/B/S with maple and East Indian rosewood appointments. No shell, bone or other animal products.

the US Post Office your best bet price wise....
some builders do not ship out of US to be safe....contact US Customs to get more info....

I am guessing on customs but hopefully you will get some help from other builders here

RichM
07-01-2014, 07:26 AM
Agree that USPS is the best pricing for international shipping, by far. I shipped a uke to Australia last year for about $100, compared to three times that much for UPS and FedEx.

Bruce Sexauer
07-01-2014, 07:57 AM
I just call FedEx Customer service and ask for a "Great Rates" rep. You have to have an account to get this little known service, but it knocks over 70% of the counter rate. I know it sounds like BS, but this is a real thing and I've used it several times. I sent a guitar to New Zealand recently for $238. It costs more to get one across the US using 2nd day.

hawaii 50
07-01-2014, 08:02 AM
I just call FedEx Customer service and ask for a "Great Rates" rep. You have to have an account to get this little known service, but it knocks over 70% of the counter rate. I know it sounds like BS, but this is a real thing and I've used it several times. I sent a guitar to New Zealand recently for $238. It costs more to get one across the US using 2nd day.

Hey Bruce...what is your take on the new regs. in regards to Brazilian Rosewood...legal if you have correct paperwork?..who gets in trouble if no paperwork..the buyer or the seller?

maybe not a big thing but very confusing...

Bruce Sexauer
07-01-2014, 08:55 AM
Sadly, a few people are making a lot of noise about this issue. There is the possibility of panic in the market place, and this could have devastating effects on the retirement plans of a number of my friends. No one I know has the kind of documentation that is being called for as the supply side has been sporadic and largely casual, not from the major supply houses, and cash or trade. This has been the nature of my entire life, by and large, and that is by design. I personally am quite resistant to jumping through bureaucratic hoops at this point, and prefer to keep things as they have been if I can. I don't have that many years left to go. I am no expert on the legalities of this issue.

Beau Hannam Ukuleles
07-01-2014, 09:26 AM
www.ship2anywhere.com.au

Should be around $130 with DLH (through ship2anywhere)

Ive used them heaps

katysax
07-01-2014, 10:39 AM
International shipping is also affected dramatically by size of packaging. I have learned (the hard way) that by far the best thing to do when shipping internationally is to find a way to ship in the smallest possible box for the item.

Pete Howlett
07-01-2014, 01:17 PM
It's not about the shipping - it;s whether or not you can insure the package sufficiently to cover any loss. I believe (as far as the UK goes) that UPS is the only service insuring musical instruments. Check on line - there must be 'brokers' in the US that buy and then resell the services of the standard carriers. You get the service of the chosen outfit at bulk rates without opening an account.

resoman
07-01-2014, 01:45 PM
An insurance broker that we use for our "real" business and one that I use to ship instruments is U-PIC. We've had to file a few claims in the past and U-PIC was always easy to deal with and did what they said.

Michael N.
07-01-2014, 09:05 PM
International shipping is also affected dramatically by size of packaging. I have learned (the hard way) that by far the best thing to do when shipping internationally is to find a way to ship in the smallest possible box for the item.

But make sure you leave enough room for the polystyrene/bubble wrap. You can literally wrap just cardboard around the Uke to minimize postage costs but you are taking a huge risk. I always use a minimum of 2" packaging between the outer cardboard box and the instruments hard case. Of course that increases the dimensional weight by a significant amount but I'd rather it got there safe than trying to save a little on postage costs.
UPS require that the instrument is shipped in a hard case. Take a few photo's when the instrument is being packed. You never know when you might need the evidence.

anthonyg
07-01-2014, 09:50 PM
Yes you need to keep the packaging size to a minimum. The best packaging I've seen for ukuleles has been when its shipped in a case. A single thin layer of bubble wrap around the instrument, into the case. One inch polystyrene foam covering the outside of the case and into a box that has been cut down to just fit.

Anthony

Allen
07-02-2014, 10:00 AM
In my experience, the best way for a uke to ship to the USA has been with the postal service. I always ship in a hard shell case. Weight on a tenor in all it's packaging is about 3.5 - 4.0 kilo's and will cost around $100. With the Australian Post they don't worry about the size of the package as long as it's within the guidelines, and only go on weight.

I would presume that would be the same the other way around as well.

I make sure that anything I purchase from the USA is sent via the postal system as it's been the least expensive option and never had an issue with them to date. And I get stuff shipped here about 4 times a month. When using some couriers they will add an HUGE brokerage or some other fee on at this end.

mzuch
07-02-2014, 10:06 AM
Thanks to all for your advice, especially those who suggested reducing the size of the box. In doing so, the postage fell to around US$100, which I think the customer can live with.

The USPS site led me to a customs form, which I filled out without a problem. Is any other paperwork required?

hoosierhiver
07-02-2014, 10:12 AM
Thanks to all for your advice, especially those who suggested reducing the size of the box. In doing so, the postage fell to around US$100, which I think the customer can live with.

The USPS site led me to a customs form, which I filled out without a problem. Is any other paperwork required?

Just the white customs form which also serves as a tracking number.
You should also be able to insure it with USPS.

Allen
07-03-2014, 12:43 AM
There is not much required to get into Australia other than your declaration of what's in the package. Anything made with organic materials may be opened and inspected by AQUIS (Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service) but as long as it's clean, dry and not likely to have pests, then it's sealed back up and it's passed along. This will happen to about 20% of the packages that I have shipped to me that contain wood or other organic materials.

You, as well as your client should be aware that any package that comes into the country with a declared value including shipping of more than $1,000 AUD will be charged taxes (GST) and brokerage and handling fees. That can be a substantial amount as well.

thistle3585
07-07-2014, 04:33 AM
I include a bill of sale with an itemized list of materials used on the instrument and make sure to use common lumber names so that everyone understands that they aren't on the CITES list. I have found this helps my customers in other countries, especially Europe, as they travel across borders.

mzuch
07-08-2014, 05:00 AM
The instrument was shipped from New York on Thursday, July 3 and arrived at its destination in Australia on Tuesday, July 7. Not bad, USPS!