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Tony Brass





Joined: 15 Oct 2006

Posts: 115

PostPosted: Thu 15 Nov, 2007 9:57 pm    Post subject: How much is shipping?         Reply with quote

I have been charged unbelievably large sums to ship swords, for exchanges, repairs, and now a sword that I have sold. I see that sword makers charge about $28 to $30 for shipping, but I am getting chagrd twice that. Any advice on how to keep shipping costs down?

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Gabriel Lebec
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Nov, 2007 11:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have moved this topic to the Off-topic Talk forum. Please note the description for this forum: "Discussions of general history and other miscellaneous topics relating to arms and armour that do not specifically fit our other forums." Thank you.

I'm afraid I'm not much help with shipping costs, but I'll be watching this thread with interest.

"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science." - Albert Einstein
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Jeff Larsen




Location: Austin, TX
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PostPosted: Fri 16 Nov, 2007 5:57 am    Post subject: Re: How much is shipping?         Reply with quote

Tony Brass wrote:
I have been charged unbelievably large sums to ship swords, for exchanges, repairs, and now a sword that I have sold. I see that sword makers charge about $28 to $30 for shipping, but I am getting chagrd twice that. Any advice on how to keep shipping costs down?

Who do you use?


Hi Tony,

There are many variables.

Weight
Length
Distance
Carrier
Box
Etc.

You can use www.usps.com website to determine shipping costs, either domestic or international shipping.

Your profile doesn't suggest where you live, so I can't offer more advice.

Jeff

"It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience." Julius Caesar
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Addison C. de Lisle




Location: South Carolina
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PostPosted: Fri 16 Nov, 2007 6:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

When I sold my Gallowglass, a 48" (ish) long sword, I shipped it to Canada (the part that's on the opposite side of the continent from me, in Maine) for around $20.00 . This was through my local post office, and I packaged it before bringing it to them, and declared it as "handmade decorative metalwork". I also did not insure it. I was quoted around $150.00 to ship it by FedEx or UPS (I don't recall which), but this may have been because I didn't package it before bringing it to them and they declared it as a weapon or something.
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K.L. Clausen




Location: Illinois
Joined: 19 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Fri 16 Nov, 2007 3:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yeah, I've considered selling a couple of my swords but I always hesitated because I didn't know if it was best to buy a box and package it myself and then bring it in or just bring the sword in. That'd certainly raise some eyebrows, right? Eek! Also, I had no idea what the rates were betweeen UPS, going to the post office, etc. I always wonder what others do. Question Good topic!
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Allan Senefelder
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Location: Upstate NY
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PostPosted: Fri 16 Nov, 2007 6:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you want to ship USPS internationally and get a tracking number you will have to ship it Global Express Mail, this comes with tracking. It is expensive but still cheaper than UPS or Fed EX, it is the only way we ship internationally. The first $100 of insurance comes with it, additional insurance is extra.
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Ed Toton




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PostPosted: Sat 17 Nov, 2007 10:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

K.L. Clausen wrote:
Yeah, I've considered selling a couple of my swords but I always hesitated because I didn't know if it was best to buy a box and package it myself and then bring it in or just bring the sword in. That'd certainly raise some eyebrows, right? Eek! Also, I had no idea what the rates were betweeen UPS, going to the post office, etc. I always wonder what others do. Question Good topic!


I've had mixed results. One of the swords that someone shipped to me this year was packaged up by UPS (or an authorized store, I'm not sure which), and they did nothing to protect the tip. Just stuck in in a box with packing peanuts. The tip apparently stabbed out the end of the box several times in transit, probably up to a 6" protrusion. Luckily the only damage to the sword was about the last 0.5 to 1 millimeter being bent over, which I can file out. No idea if anyone was injured or any other packages were damaged by it.

I've shipped many swords myself, but nearly always used boxes that they or other swords came in. But then, I usually dealt with CAS-Iberia and the like, where most of them had a scabbard of some kind. This is easy, since you can bubble-wrap it and pack it with crumpled newspapers and it'll be fine.

In terms of the cost, USPS Priority Mail is cheaper than UPS in my experience, even with "delivery confirmation" and so forth tacked on. Unless it's a longsword or rapier with a rather large box, I was able to ship most swords all around the country for approximately $20... usually in the range of about $16 - $24, if I recall correctly.

UPS measures the box by adding the length to the circumference of the width and height (L + 2W +2H), and if it's over a threshold, it's charged as though it weighs at least 30 pounds. Many of the swords I was shipping were starting to break past this limit before I switched back to using USPS. USPS does also use a similar method but I don't think it's as strict. The key is to keep the box as small as possible and still have some padding around the sword, so that may mean carving up some cardboard yourself in extreme cases. What I do is save several of the boxes I receive swords in so I have some on hand when necessary.

-Ed T. Toton III
ed.toton.org | ModernChivalry.org
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Sat 17 Nov, 2007 10:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I once tried to ship a sword at USPS, and they were going to charge me around $150. When I asked why it was so much, they told me it was because of how I put the shipping information on. Apparently, if your shipping information is put on so that it implies that the box is to stand tall, the shipping is vastly more expensive than if the writing is put on to imply that the box is to lay horizontal.
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Allen Andrews




Location: Maine USA
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PostPosted: Sat 17 Nov, 2007 11:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I just shipped a sword from Maine to Wisconsin using USPS Priority mail. Cost me $22.50. It was ain a heavy wooden packing crate covered with carboard. Because it was a single hander it did not go over their standard size limit.
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Tony Brass





Joined: 15 Oct 2006

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PostPosted: Sun 18 Nov, 2007 11:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for all the help. I just shipped a CS Grosse Messer for about $30.00. I used USPS, and made the package as compact as possible. Fedex, and UPS were a lot more expensive. Just be efficient in your packing is my advice.
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Tony Brass





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PostPosted: Sun 18 Nov, 2007 11:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have heard that DHL is trying to compete with fedex and UPS and has more reasonable rates.
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Thom R.




Location: Tucson
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PostPosted: Mon 19 Nov, 2007 12:34 pm    Post subject: just one more tidbit         Reply with quote

as much as we like mr brown around here, I have to say this past year three different swords have been damaged shipping with UPS. the first was one I shipped out that arrived to a customer with a bashed in box and a break in a scabbard. box looked like something heavy was dropped on it. second one was shipped to me from NY, antique arrived with a cracked ivory handle and again box looked like it had been in a NHL game. and then to top it off last week, a sword arrived here from texas with a cracked saya. meanwhile I have had zero problems with the USPS.

Unfortunately its not a statistical fluke.........we ship sensitve electronic equipment out of here and have had to stop using UPS for the same reasons.

I am not sure what is going on exactly, but I am concerned with UPS ground logistics that as a package moves from one sorting center to another stuff is getting really thrown around. Interestingly, we have not had as many problems with UPS second day air.

just my $0.02
tr
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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Tue 20 Nov, 2007 9:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I ship swords often and I've discovered:

If it is is domestic shipping within the United States, you should be able to ship pretty much anywhere with insurance for around 30 dollars. I typically use Fedex because they have better tracking then USPS and don't typically employ the winged monkeys that UPS does.

If it is international shipping the shipping is often 5 times that cost using Fedex.

Assuming that you are talking about domestically within the United States your shipper may be charging you 30 dollars in actual shipping charges and another 30 dollars for the shipping container. Depending upon what that container is, that may be entirely reasonable. I typically ship back in the box that the sword was shipped to me in so I do not incur that charge. If someone wants a new case there is an additional 25 dollar charge.

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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Tue 20 Nov, 2007 9:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Russ Ellis wrote:
If it is international shipping the shipping is often 5 times that cost using Fedex.


$150 for shipping?! That is quite high. I have not sent anything internationally, but it has never cost me more than $50 to have something shipped to me from Europe (no taxes since the items have been antiques).

Jonathan
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R D Moore




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PostPosted: Tue 20 Nov, 2007 12:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I just picked up my package from Albion today and their shipping cost was $17.84 plus insurance via USPS. It was taken to the post office in New Glarus on 30 Oct and it arrived here in Portland, OR on 19 Nov. Not bad at all!
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R D Moore




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PostPosted: Tue 20 Nov, 2007 12:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bill Grandy wrote:
I once tried to ship a sword at USPS, and they were going to charge me around $150. When I asked why it was so much, they told me it was because of how I put the shipping information on. Apparently, if your shipping information is put on so that it implies that the box is to stand tall, the shipping is vastly more expensive than if the writing is put on to imply that the box is to lay horizontal.


Packaging and shipping instructions must be the key.
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Russ Ellis
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PostPosted: Tue 20 Nov, 2007 2:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jonathan Hopkins wrote:


$150 for shipping?! That is quite high. I have not sent anything internationally, but it has never cost me more than $50 to have something shipped to me from Europe (no taxes since the items have been antiques).

Jonathan


I've always thought so too, but unfortunately that's what I've been billed in the past. If there are alternative methods that provide the same level of service as far as tracking goes as Fedex, I'm all about it someone just tell me about it! Happy

I've also noted that shipping to Canada via Fedex is about double domestic shipping within the United States.

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