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Author Topic: cheapest shipping from US to UK?  (Read 47424 times)
mommy_grrl
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« on: August 27, 2009, 09:53:23 AM »

We have been here a mere three weeks now, and already my mother is beginning to fuss/fret over shipping rates and what she'll do about Christmas gifts!!!!!

 Dizzy Dizzy Dizzy

Tell me, please, what is the absolute cheapest way to ship from the US to UK, be it air freight, sea freight, or courier. Its certainly not the USPS (unless you are sending an M bag).

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ChillyWilly
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« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2009, 01:03:18 PM »

mommy_grrl!
So glad you posted this!  I ship USPS and it cost me over $30 for less then 2 pounds in there box.  The last thing I shipped was August 5th from Austin - it sat in New Jersey till August 12th and didn't arrive at the BF house till August 18th  - seriously I think I donkey swan to get it there and it cost over $30!

Now the BF mailed me my birthday present registered mail and it was 10.50 pounds so like under $15 US dollars and I got it in 5 days!

I have been wondering what better way to ship

I wonder if DHL, FEDEX or one of those company's are less expensive and FASTER but I have not had time to research.

I can't wait to hear what other have experienced ;-)
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Lady RebeccaJaneStClair
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« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2009, 02:07:09 PM »

We have been here a mere three weeks now, and already my mother is beginning to fuss/fret over shipping rates and what she'll do about Christmas gifts!!!!!



I'm not even there yet, and my mom and aunt are freaking out about this, because when I was there last christmas, it cost $40 to send a package to me.  I've politely pointed them to websites like Amazon.co.uk where you can pay with a US credit card and send things t a UK shipping address. I know it's not the same as going out and picking out the gifts personally, but she could go to a store to look at things, then go online to find them at websites that ship to the UK. 

The $40 package was sent via global priority and when she asked at UPS, they told her it would have been over $100.

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mirrajay
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« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2009, 07:58:00 PM »

Sadly, my experience has been that for small shipments (ie gifts and such) the USPS is indeed the cheapest way since they have introduced the flat rate boxes.  It still isnt cheap by any means, but its the best I have found.  If you use priority mail, you should still expect 7-10 days. You will pay MUCH more for anything faster than that.
DHL and FexEd are definetely not cheaper.
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karin
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« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2009, 08:36:03 PM »

When I was in the US in June, I was informed that there is no longer the "Slow Boat" or sea-freight shipping method for international parcels.  They got rid of it earlier this year.

So the cheapest way to send things is via normal Priority mail.  The flat rate boxes works out well if you are mailing heavier things, but if you are mailing cotton-balls, not so economical.  Does that make sense?

I agree with amazon.co.uk.  That is pretty much my family's standard practice these days.  With the exchange rate being more in their favor than a year ago, it's not that painful paying UK prices, if you factor in savings on shipping.

I would tell her to go talk to the post office.  They will have tips for how to ship things as cheaply as possible.  i.e., the thresholds for when the packages jump up in price.  I think My mom was once told that is you keep it under 2 lbs, it's not too bad.  But best to go in and ask a professional Smiley
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Lady RebeccaJaneStClair
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« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2009, 01:46:46 PM »

Sadly, my experience has been that for small shipments (ie gifts and such) the USPS is indeed the cheapest way since they have introduced the flat rate boxes.  It still isnt cheap by any means, but its the best I have found.  If you use priority mail, you should still expect 7-10 days. You will pay MUCH more for anything faster than that.
DHL and FexEd are definetely not cheaper.

When I was in the US in June, I was informed that there is no longer the "Slow Boat" or sea-freight shipping method for international parcels.  They got rid of it earlier this year.

So the cheapest way to send things is via normal Priority mail.  The flat rate boxes works out well if you are mailing heavier things, but if you are mailing cotton-balls, not so economical.  Does that make sense?


Interestingly enough, the $40 package from my mom showed up in a flat rate box, and her PO charged $40 for it, which seemed a little on the high side to me.
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« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2009, 03:02:47 PM »

Interestingly enough, the $40 package from my mom showed up in a flat rate box, and her PO charged $40 for it, which seemed a little on the high side to me.

I needed to mail some pill pockets (to bribe my cat to take his pills) to myself when I was home last.  They're really light.  I had a flat rate box and packed everything up and brought it to the post office and the woman at the counter nicely stopped me, saying if it's in a flat rate box, they'll charge the flat rate.  Period.  So she gave me a plain box, I re-loaded and paid $15 to ship the stuff.  She saved me $25!

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AngelaK.
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« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2009, 08:29:09 PM »

Re: shipping directly from places... Just remember that you'll likely have to pay VAT on incoming things. Let me tell you the short story of the $100 umbrella!

Last year my bro and SIL were late with my birthday gift so they found me this gorgeous umbrella from the NYC MOMA and had it shipped to me directly from there via UPS Expedited (or something like that). I had the courier show up at the door and demand cash from me so that I could get my birthday gift.  Shocked  It turns out I had to pay 17.5% VAT on my $49.99 umbrella PLUS VAT on the shipping charges (which were expedited). Add to that the £11.00 convenience charge from UPS for graciously paying the VAT when it came through customs... factor in the exchange rate and VOILA! My birthday umbrella would up costing about $100.  LOL  I immediately sent a mail to my whole family explaining that I'd much rather receive a gift late than have to go through that again. (My brother was sweet and paid all the extra costs, but still...)
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Lady RebeccaJaneStClair
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« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2009, 09:48:20 PM »

As long as people order from UK companies, you should be able to avoid that issue, I would think.
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