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Post by hayseed on Fri Dec 16, 2011 5:47 pm

I have done a lot of trollfairying, swapping, and buying with overseas Trollies. From a purely business standpoint, the sender/seller is responsible for getting an item to the receiver/purchaser (e.g., on ebay). From an ethical standpoint, I have always been lucky to deal with good-faith Trollies (no scammers). On expensive beads, I personally always opt for registered mail because of its safety; also when I send a gift to someone.

But sometimes, because of the higher cost of registered mailing, I have had people request regular first class mail from me. This method appears to be reliable 99% of the time. But I still feel the burden of safe delivery is on me, so recently I have started photographing the package as proof of mailing. I take it to my post office, have the clerk put on the requred postage stamps and customs forms, and when the package is ready to go, I take a photograph of it on my phone camera, showing the amount of postage paid, date, and customs form. I have not had any packages go missing (knock on wood), but with photographic proof of my proper mailing of the package, I no longer feel obligated to replace or pay for a bead(s) thus sent if the package never arrives at its destination. There is no guarantee of postal delivery without a registered mail tracking number; but if someone does not want to pay for registered mail, at least now I can show that I fulfilled my responsibility of sending it as requested, and whether it arrives or not is the responsibility of the postal service.

I thought this was worth mentioning because I know a lot of swapping of single beads goes on between forum members, and it doesn't seem worth the cost of registered mailing for just 1 or 2 beads: so a photograph of the mailed package might prevent some misunderstandings and bad feelings when and IF a package does go missing. Cheers!!! Cool
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Post by soxfan on Fri Dec 16, 2011 5:59 pm

I save my stamped customs forms and receipt from the post office.
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Post by soxfan on Fri Dec 16, 2011 5:59 pm

as a matter of fact, it's the reason I can't fit anything else in my wallet right now. Laughing
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Post by casarobi on Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:04 pm

Good tip! Thank you for posting this information!
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Post by Bsktbabe on Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:12 pm

I also will always save the Customs receipt with the clear stamp of the date. International shipping can be very expensive, and insuring for a certain amout that causes more customs duties for the recipient is a tough call too. I have never sent insured for international packets. I have never have any packets go missing (except for the worry about this current S/S package) and have always received what I have swapped or bought from forum friends. I think 99% of our forum friends are very honest, and as long as they can prove they mailed it, I have to bear the responsibility if I haven't opted for paying extra insurance. I have had problems with receiving packages of beads from US stores. I have tracked 2 of the 5 packages that are MIA and they haven't moved in the postal system for over a week. One that was sent 5 weeks ago from D4E is also MIA, so I am having alot of anxiety over worrying that they will arrive in time for Christmas, or if they will arrive at all. I think I am really finished with all of it. too much stress.

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Post by Bluesybeads on Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:16 pm

I do the same and take a photo of the letter with postage. I have not had to use it yet, but if a letter goes missing, I can mail the photo to the receiver, so that the receiver can register a claim/report too.

Several of my letters, which I should have received, have not arrived, and I am planning to report it, but I have no evidence of the letters sent, and this makes it a bit difficult, as my postal services require a full description of the envelope, address, postage, the colour, etc.

I think that taking a photo of the letter is a good idea!
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Post by beadiack on Fri Dec 16, 2011 6:52 pm

What an interesting discussion!

I've only trollfairied internationally once. And it seemed to me the options (from the US end) were very limited: pay the minimal (but still stiff) fee for regular first class and lose the options for insurance and/or tracking or pay for those services at a much higher fee. Meanwhile, apart from the expense, using the more explicit customs form required for anything but the bare bones delivery seems to me to require that you publicly divulge the full cost of the item/s. That exposes the recipient to import duties.

How have other US trollfairies handled this? How do you overseas recipients prefer to have it done? I'd love to be sure I'm aware of all the possibilities and cautions to be more prepared for the future.

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Post by retiredk9racer on Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:11 pm

When I have trollfaired overseas, I have left it up to the recipient to decide how they want me to send the items and how much risk they want to take. You are correct in that we do not have very many choices here on how to mail out these packages. Up until the Anniversary Bracelet beads, all of my recipients have selected the most economical shipping method and none of the packages have gone lost Cross fingers . When mailing out this way, I also ask them how much they want me to declare on the customs form and I usually described the contents as a gift of metal and/or glass craft beads. I also write over the faint carbon that shows up on the bottom copy (the one that gets stuck on the package) so the writing is clear for the customs inspectors.

I have only mailed out one international package with Anniversary Bracelet beads and we did the flat rate package with insurance (and the amount on the customs form had to match the insured amount), a bit costly but trackable. In this case, should the package go missing, the price will be reimbursed via insurance, but finding a replacement will be difficult.
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Post by beadiack on Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:44 pm

Thanks for confirming what I've discovered, retiredk9racer. I hope someone else will chime in if they've found options not so obvious.

And I've love to hear from overseas recipients, if they've chosen the fully disclosed and insured option, what they've encountered in the way of customs and duties on their end.

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Post by soxfan on Fri Dec 16, 2011 7:48 pm

I sent something insured to the UK. BUT on the package I wrote $60 craft beads. My post office said it was insured either way for the $250 insurance policy the recipient paid for.
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Post by snowy on Fri Dec 16, 2011 8:54 pm

Yes, same here Soxfan. The moment you pay for insurance, it doesn´t matter what your write on the customs forms.

I´v send a lot of beads and received a lot of bead. Usually I always send registered as that´s only € 2 extra . And with expensive beads I sometimes pay for insurance...just to be sure myself, even if the recipient agreed on only registered mail. My last beads from the US and Canada were always normal mail and I had never problems with that.
If you send with regular mail, try to use an office address. Those envelopes get rarely lost Wink Over here even registered mail is sometimes torn as we seem to have a lot of thieves at the mail companies. The better you pack the beads ( maybe put them in an extra envelope or wrap them up with cardbord) the safer they arrive. And PLEASE write your address on the envelope as a sender !! If the mail is lost somewhere or the postie is too stupid to find the right postbox, you will usually get the envelope back !! If you don´t have the sender´s address on it, the mail will go up for auction at the mail companies Mad
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Post by spiderpixie on Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:15 pm

When selling on ebay I only send tracked now which is limiting....I don't mind sending untracked BUT the buyer has to agree it is at their risk.
I always take photo's and get a receipt proof of postage from the post office. I don't know if they do that anywhere else but in the UK you can request a receipt which they print off the date & time sent, address the package is going to & they sign it too. I think you are insured for around £36 (?) if it goes missing anyway on standard post over here.

As a fairy however it is totally up to the receiver....I like to think I can trust fellow trollies (ebay is another story for me lol) but I still get proof of postage. If they choose to send uninsured then it's at their risk IMO, and I accept the risk if I have a package sent to me. Of course I try to fix it where I can but if I have proof of sending then I have fulfilled my agreed end & I like to think there would be no bad feelings.....sometimes things can't be fixed unfortunatley Sad

I have only ever insured a package to another trollie once, & that was because it went AWOL the first time I sent it & it got returned to me (thankfully). Second time round I sent it signed for lol but at my expense, for my own peace of mind!

Equally I only have packages sent to me insured if it's something special, like my amethyst FN was & my fab Troll lock thats on its way (thank you!)...
As for customs, I haven't been stung yet. The lock has just cleared UK customs but not sure if I'll get a bill yet Please That was two days ago now though so getting panicky lmao!
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Post by Bluesybeads on Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:28 pm

It has been a while since I bought something from the US, as customs took 4 packages out of 5. The fees are through the roof, so I have been a little apprehensive about buying from the US.

I hope that the present fairy situation goes well through customs Shipping Safety Tip 349117
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Post by soxfan on Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:33 pm

@Bluesybeads wrote:It has been a while since I bought something from the US, as customs took 4 packages out of 5. The fees are through the roof, so I have been a little apprehensive about buying from the US.

I hope that the present fairy situation goes well through customs Shipping Safety Tip 349117

yikes!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Post by soxfan on Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:33 pm

I wonder why we in the US don't pay customs?
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Post by speedy on Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:30 pm

In the UK we have 20% vat that is added, as well as the 'handling fee' of about £10 that the post office charges , and I think there is another charge for extra post or something. If you are shipping anything valuable to the UK and the full value is declared then it is quite likely to be stopped and charged accordingly. I am so thankful that there are genuine Trollfairys who will send beautiful beads to us here, I am prepared to accept the risk if an uninsured package was to go missing, but as Beadiack Like a Star @ heaven says, there is a lot of worry for the person who sent the parcel.
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Post by spiderpixie on Sat Dec 17, 2011 12:13 am

@speedy wrote:If you are shipping anything valuable to the UK and the full value is declared then it is quite likely to be stopped and charged accordingly.


Sad nooooooooo! don't say that lol. It WILL arrive with no extra charges lol


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Post by snowy on Sat Dec 17, 2011 8:05 pm

@soxfan wrote:I wonder why we in the US don't pay customs?

They probably only do random checks in the US ? They used to do here but now they are checking everything. If the full value is in the customs forms it goes right to the customs office . With lesser value some are randomly chosen to be opened at the customs office.
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Post by beadiack on Sat Dec 17, 2011 8:31 pm

I'm so glad for this thread. It's very informative.

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Post by Brightonbelle on Sat Dec 17, 2011 8:45 pm

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