OT: Shipping forwarder to EU

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OT: Shipping forwarder to EU

1ironjaw
Jun 6, 8:04am

Hello, does anyone have experience while buying books from the US on ebay or other websites where an intermediary provides a US address and consolidates your order and forwarded it to Europe/UK? I'm looking for a reputable and reliable provider and was mentioned a website named stackry and am considering it. There are a number of books I would like to get as well as from Thornwillow, No Reply Press and other establishments and I would like to know if this is a viable choice.

2GusLogan
Jun 6, 8:28am

>1 ironjaw:
I’ve recently started using Stackry. So far one parcel received without issues unconsolidated (it was War and Peace so I didn’t want to take any chances), but I should receive a few consolidated parcels (mixed LECs, some more valuable than others) in the next few days, will provide a detailed take when I do! I’m a bit tense tbh.

3ironjaw
Jun 6, 9:03am

How much are you paying and to where? I used the online shipping calculator and found the estimate a bit excessive to the UK at over 230 USD for 2 kg

4RRCBS
Jun 6, 12:59pm

>2 GusLogan: Interested about this too , they seem really expensive!

5Lukas1990
Jun 6, 1:49pm

>3 ironjaw: That's not EU haha.

Interesting thread! I once found a very good copy of LEC Martian Chronicles for only 99$ but the seller refused to ship it to Lithuania so a forwarding service could have helped me get a huuuge bargain. I am following this thread very closely.

6ironjaw
Editado: Jun 6, 3:11pm

Este mensaje fue borrado por su autor.

7Django6924
Jun 6, 7:13pm

Great Britain has never forgiven the USA for 1776. I have sold books to the UK and to Australia and shipping cost are sometimes higher than the price I'm charging (not to mention occasional countries practice of customs extortions (>6 ironjaw: can quote chapter and verse on that subject).

There is a Devotee in Ontario, Canada who was interested in some of the books I am selling to downsize; the postage would have been $53.85 US, almost 50% more than the cost of the two books combined. (Later I was going to take them with me on a roadtrip to visit my stepson who is going to school in Canada, but travel restrictions wrote finis to that plan as well.

I'm beginning to wonder if governments are against readers?

8ironjaw
Jun 7, 7:17am

>7 Django6924: Robert thanks, I try to avoid thinking about Denmark. I'm left sometimes with sweat and heart pulsations when I calculate how much I've actually incurred in addition customs and shipping costs.

9ubiquitousuk
Jun 7, 9:32am

I know it's not the question, but I post here in case others are interested: I have had fairly good success buying through eBay's Global Shipping Programme when available. In that scheme, eBay functions as a larger forwarding service, aggregating a bunch of buyers' orders before shipping them elsewhere. Usually, I pay $20-$30 to ship a book from the US to UK, which I think is quite reasonable. Usually, the books arrive after about two weeks and I've had no issues with damage so far (about half a dozen orders).

The main catch is that you don't get a discount when shipping multiple items, unless they are all bought under the same eBay order.

10GusLogan
Editado: Jun 8, 9:54am

I set up the Stackry account to buy a few LECs the seller wouldn’t ship abroad - not that uncommon in my experience. Well, the service solves that issue, but having taken a closer look at the pricing I agree it’s expensive. I paid 156 USD to ship War and Peace to Sweden (usually, for good reasons, a bit more expensive a destination than the UK, I believe). Now, that’s including extra insurance (probably unnecessary, really) for 18 USD and was FedEx Int’l Priority which took three days instead of many weeks, which is what my eBay purchases usually take, but it is undoubtedly expensive compared to eBay’s Global Shipping Program or std int’l shipping: I can buy the same set (=exact same weight) from eBay right now and have it shipped here for between 52 and 84 USD. And this is after 15 USD worth of media mail! Of course the extra trip and handling means extra risk and less clarity if something goes wrong, and is bad for the planet. Still - if the seller doesn’t want to ship abroad and you want (a few days’ delay followed by) speedy, safe(?), but expensive shipping - just possibly useful. They have slightly less expensive shipping options, but none that match eBay. There’s a fancy ”dashboard” and I get sent a reasonable number of clear, appropriate emails. So that’s good.

OK, what about consolidation? Well, the consolidated parcels are heavy, and therefore similarly expensive. Are they less expensive than multiple eBay shipments? I’m not sure. Possibly not. Maybe probably not, even. If there’s a big saving here I suspect I’m not the beneficiary. But that’s not a huge problem for me - I’m primarily concerned about getting my books undamaged, since int’l returns are usually infeasible. Therefore the bigger problem for me is Stackry charges various additional fees (extra bubble wrap) but I’m not convinced I really get what I pay for - my parcels have not so far been expertly packed. They haven’t been damaged, mind you, but that could just be luck. I have complained. I’ll update this post if and when they respond.

Also, what’s annoying when consolidating parcels is that it’s really not that transparent what gets done and how. There’s an option to keep original packaging, but the examples given are shoe boxes, hangers - is there any risk a slipcase gets discarded if I don’t tick this?! Or will they put the whole parcel into a bigger one, shipping air? Adding bubble wrap costs 5 USD. If you want extra bubble wrap for extremely fragile items and ”fragile” stickers that’s listed as 15 USD. I’m pretty sure in my case they’ve just kept the bubble wrap the seller used on the books, which seems like a good deal for someone! And there were no stickers. When you’re paying to consolidate parcels you really shouldn’t feel unsure about whether the books will be kept immobile within the new parcel unless - and even when! - you pay extra for bubble wrap. And of course no matter what coverage you have from your credit card or home insurance it’s hard to skip the final offer to pay a few extra bucks to insure your shipment.

Well, that came out a bit more negative than I’d first imagined! I picked this company because they looked the most professional. They may well be. But I’d be interested in recommendations for others. I wonder if this kind of service works better for indestructible goods (sneakers, say). But even then failure to deliver near-eBay shipping costs seems like quite a central challenge.

11GusLogan
Jun 7, 9:57am

12abysswalker
Jun 7, 1:07pm

>9 ubiquitousuk: though the fees can seem superficially somewhat high on top of the shipping, I’ve also had good luck using the global shipping option (to Canada) and I greatly appreciate the guarantee of no additional duties or fees on delivery (which sometimes, when not using the global shipping option, also include courier fees to collect the duties… fees seem to breed like rabbits when let to roam unchecked).

Sometimes sellers will also agree to discounts if you contact them beforehand and make it clear you are interested in multiple items, even though the global shipping program cannot combine orders at the physical shipment level. I’ve gotten discounts in this way several times to good result.

13GusLogan
Jun 7, 2:56pm

>12 abysswalker:
Here in Sweden I’ve annoyingly had to pay duties again despite ostensibly paying them as part of the GSP charge… my mental calculation now always includes them regardless, which means only great bargains or v expensive books (where it’s only a small fraction of the cost) seem to make sense - the missing middle! : )

14ironjaw
Jun 7, 5:30pm

It’s something you will have to live with as I did when I was living in Denmark. Books are just too expensive regardless what you buy.

15RRCBS
Jun 13, 6:07pm

>10 GusLogan: I was wondering if the extra fees are only if you consolidate? I’m thinking of get a 9kg package that’s about 50x40x50 cm shipped to Canada. Their online calculator says it would cost about $120USD, which is expensive but actually cheaper than buying the books from Amazon (LOA books plus if I order from LOA I get the slipcases!). I’m just uneasy about paying for the books and having them sent to a company and then having them sent on. Also will prob end up paying customs 😔

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