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Sales, Swaps, Auction & Approvals/Approvals Disc. : Will Have To Suspend International Shipments

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cardstamp
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27 Dec 2018
06:27:28pm

Approvals
Well "lock me up!" I guess. I was not aware until today about the new rules that went into effect in early 2018 regarding international shipments which includes sending stamps thru the mail. I read about it today by accident in another forum and I must have missed the discussion about it here earlier in the year. For years I have sold to several international buyers here on SOR and always just mailed their stamps from approval books in small envelopes with the international $1.15 stamp. I never used a custom form for any of these sales. Most of the sale totals were below $20.00 including the shipping charge. I did not know that starting earlier this year I was not suppose to do that. I have a few orders to send out in the next few days but I am afraid all I can do is STOP selling to my buyers outside of the US starting in 2019. I just am not going to get involved with parcel rates and custom forms - it is just not worth my time and effort. I will have to inform my long time buyers that they can not buy from me anymore. I guess I will have to go in and check mark every single country other than the US - to avoid someone outside of the US from selecting from my approval books. That is going to be a pain because there is no way of stopping someone outside of the US to buy any other way. Happy New Year ! Steve
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27 Dec 2018
08:14:45pm
re: Will Have To Suspend International Shipments

Actually you have always been required to attach a customs form for "other than documents" including gift items regardless of value - I found that out many years ago (long story). What has changed is that you can only attach a customs form to a parcel now - not to a first class letter. With that one change shipping one stamp to Canada legally went from $1.15 to around $10.00 if done at the post office.

It's "Globalization"

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lemaven
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27 Dec 2018
09:16:40pm
re: Will Have To Suspend International Shipments

Steve:

I HAVE REMOVED MY PREVIOUS COMMENTS, BASED ON INCORRECT INFORMATION/ASSUMPTIONS. BUT THIS ONE CAN STAY (WITH A SLIGHT EDIT).

These regulations - whoever they were conceived by, are certainly overkill and just plain stupid, especially for friendly groups sharing an innocuous pleasure. When they give someone like Steve ("cardstamp") - and others who have PM'd me separately - pause to reconsider whether I can buy stamps from them, I think the state of The World right now might truly be showing us we are in the "end times".

Sad, sad, sad...

Dave.

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cardstamp
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27 Dec 2018
09:25:27pm

Approvals
re: Will Have To Suspend International Shipments

Yes I am afraid - Canada is included. Per Carol's comment above - I never knew I needed a custom's form. I knew I needed it for bulky items - even an old magazine I sent someone once. I am not the only one here - that is only charging a relatively small amount for international shipping - so I assume I may not be alone in this. I am certainly not going to charge $10.00 to ship a 15 cent stamp to someone outside of the US. Looks like 2019 may be the time to start slowing down on putting up approval books - when I will lose a good percentage of my regulars. Too bad ! Steve

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27 Dec 2018
09:46:16pm
re: Will Have To Suspend International Shipments

Dave - this has NOTHING to do with the United States. It was enacted by the UPU (Universal Postal Union - the Worldwide governing body of all things postal and was enacted for several reasons, some of which were valid, others not so much.

Brief synopsis - "The Universal Postal Union, established by the Treaty of Bern of 1874, is a specialized agency of the United Nations that coordinates postal policies among member nations, in addition to the worldwide postal system."

Dozens of threads on dozens of stamp boards for the past year - not new news and definitely not anything to do with US politics or the USPS. Don't shoot the messengers.

Moderator Note: - Emphasis added to show the error in the political statement in a previous response. A reminder that political commentary is not permitted in the Discussion Boards, especially incorrect comments.


(Modified by Moderator on 2018-12-28 01:08:14)

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michael78651
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28 Dec 2018
01:05:42am
re: Will Have To Suspend International Shipments

The high postage rates for international mail are going to be put in place in most other countries over a period of a few years. This does not include countries that the UPU has deemed to be "developing nations" (FYI - China is considered to be a "developing nation" by the UPU, and this is why they can ship parcels at such a low price). The US and other countries tried to get the UPU to drop that classification, but the UPU refused.

If you look at ebay listings from sellers in Germany, you will see that simple parcels have shipping fees to the USA of around $40.00 USD, so they have implemented the UPU rules too. I believe that Ian stated that the international postage rates in the UK are going up in 2019, and on it shall continue until all the "rich" nations get fleeced or withdraw from the UPU.

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DaveSheridan
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28 Dec 2018
06:45:32am
re: Will Have To Suspend International Shipments

I never intentionally flaunt valid laws. I will, however, fight invalid laws.

The UPU is punching above its weight here. Is there a legislated definition of a "document"? Does a stamp become a document if you post it wrapped in a letter or a piece of yesterday's newspaper.

This is a blatant restriction of international trade, and nobody will tell me where I can sell to, and no entity other than the post office will tell me what to charge.


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28 Dec 2018
07:54:57am
re: Will Have To Suspend International Shipments

Dave,

I note that you are member of the IPDA. There is an excellent article on this very subject starting on Page 8 of the November newsletter. It will answer a lot of questions including the definition of "documents".

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2010ccg
28 Dec 2018
10:52:58am
re: Will Have To Suspend International Shipments

I have sent cards and letters from Canada to the US and my *sister* has sent from the US to Canada ...What has changed ???

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ikeyPikey
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28 Dec 2018
10:53:41am
re: Will Have To Suspend International Shipments

So the price of moving small tangible goods across national borders is going way, way up.

That's unexpected, but begs the question:

Q/ How soon will we be able to do decent 3-D printing of individual stamps?

The cost of moving the CAD/CAM files for an Inverted Jenny across national borders is, well, bordering on free.

Cheers,

/s/ ikeyPikey

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"I collect stamps today precisely the way I collected stamps when I was ten years old."
lemaven
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28 Dec 2018
11:50:32am
re: Will Have To Suspend International Shipments

My apologies if I incorrectly understood this to be a "made in America" policy.

And obviously from my rant I was a bit emotional about my father's situation, and what is definitely a sadly widening gap between two countries who have always stood together through good and bad times. (Please accept this as a social rather than political comment).

Fundamentally, though, I think any barriers (whether additional costs or red tape) added to friends trading stamps with each other or buying/selling between themselves on a site like Stamporama is a potentially devastating development. Totally unlike eBay which is exclusively a commercial site.

Given the circumstances I will have to accelerate Craig & I setting up a U.S. mail-drop for The Holocaust Stamps Project (Canada) so there is no additional impediment to donations from U.S. residents. Unfortunately, I don't think this will be feasible for personal use as there is a $3.00 cost per item received and it is about a 90-minute round-trip across the border.

Hopefully our cross-border activities will not be decimated.

Happy New Year to everyone: Canadians, Americans, and Citizens of the World equally!

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philb
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28 Dec 2018
02:50:15pm

Auctions
re: Will Have To Suspend International Shipments

So will Mystic and other approval dealers who send out their approvals using first class mail be lawbreakers ? Attention David Giles...if we meet halfway in Syracuse N.Y. we can exchange our stamp swaps. Since i come up in May anyway...we can meet again in Syracuse in October.

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okstamps
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19 Oct 2019
09:47:32am
re: Will Have To Suspend International Shipments

I am bumping this back up to the top because of a request I just received to explain my high postage rates to someone purchasing any stamps from among my auctions.

I charge the high postage rates and attach the required customs form, even when one stamp is purchased for $0.01. Sorry, no exceptions.

What I have done to give international buyers some help with these postage rates is to allow someone to accumulate purchases for 6 months before making payment. This will allow someone to build up the total stamp purchase cost to a high enough level to justify paying the high postage rate. A number of individuals have been taking advantage of this.

Richard Pauls (okstamps)

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michael78651
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19 Oct 2019
10:25:32pm
re: Will Have To Suspend International Shipments

I gave up explaining the postage rates. I simply say that the rates are set by the Universal Postal Union, and that they can contact the UPU and their respective postal service with any complaints about the rates. I also tell them to add up the amounts on the stamps used on their package, and they'll see for themselves. When they received the packages, I got messages back saying that I was crazy to use that much postage for a 25 cent stamp. So, not wanting to waste my time dealing with people who demand that I break the law and ship as a first class letter, I terminated al international selling on my part. My life, despite a drop off in sales, is much nicer now.

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angore
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Collector, Moderator
20 Oct 2019
06:27:38am
re: Will Have To Suspend International Shipments

Yet another barrier to collecting.

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Dorincard
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Carpe diem!
21 Oct 2019
12:03:45am
re: Will Have To Suspend International Shipments

Where can be read the (new) requirements for stamps inside (international) envelopes or packages? The website of UPU?

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okstamps
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21 Oct 2019
05:38:38am
re: Will Have To Suspend International Shipments

Being a resident of the United States, I use the United States Postal Service website to determine what mailing services and article restrictions are present for each country to which I am mailing items. I am making the assumption that all merchandise, which stamps purchased from among my auctions would be included, must be shipped with an attached customs form and be mailed with the purchased price declared. This website will then let you know the postage charges for the mailing services available and allows you to generate the customs form. The link to this website is as follows:

https://www.usps.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI0Z7ml83U3wIVy7fACh1hHQ-AEAAYASAAEgLh5_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

Just click on the "Mail & Ship" tab on the top bar and then follow through the steps to figure out your shipment requirements. You may need to click through this a few times to get the hang of it.

All my foreign postage stamp shipments so far have used the First Class Package International Service, which although it has a very high postage rate, is still much lower than the other available international mailing options. If you are shipping items with a declared value in excess of $400, then you will have to use the other shipping options with those much higher postage costs.

I use this website to calculate the shipping price and to generate the customs form before going to the post office with the item to be mailed. My post office provided me with the clear plastic pouches in which to place the customs forms so I have those printed off and attached before going to the post office. I always use postage stamps to pay for the postage cost. I include a printed version of the StampoRama invoice with the shipment so the declared value can be confirmed. When using any of the available methods for mailing merchandise outside of the United States, you will be provided with a tracking number (when mailing to Canada, for example, this lets me know the exact minute an item is delivered).

One interesting thing is that when I started charging the much higher postage rates at the beginning of 2018, virtually all of my international business dried up. I still get customers, but primarily in Australia, Great Britain and Western Europe (Netherlands, Belgium, France, etc.). No more orders from other countries such as in Africa, the Middle East and Asia where claims that the shipment was not received and demands for refunds are most common.

One thing I noticed this morning when looking at the mailing restrictions to Great Britain (just as an example), postage stamps are listed as a prohibited item!!! That was news to me. For Canada the only restriction regarding postage stamps is that reproductions of Canadian stamps are prohibited. The list of prohibited items for each country can be rather interesting.

Richard Pauls (okstamps)

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nigelc
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21 Oct 2019
07:15:03am
re: Will Have To Suspend International Shipments

Hi Richard,

I read this UK restriction, "Counterfeit currency, bank notes, and postage stamps.", as referring to counterfeit postage stamps rather than postage stamps in general.

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okstamps
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21 Oct 2019
08:38:24am
re: Will Have To Suspend International Shipments

That would make sense.

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lemaven
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21 Oct 2019
12:40:49pm
re: Will Have To Suspend International Shipments

Quote:

"I read this UK restriction, "Counterfeit currency, bank notes, and postage stamps.", as referring to counterfeit postage stamps rather than postage stamps in general."



I heard an interesting podcast recently that the interpretation (and misinterpretation) of a very important/controversial amendment to the U.S. Constitution hinged on punctuation - specifically the inclusion/exclusion of commas/semi-colons in particular passages. (I won't say which amendment as I don't want to turn an "English lesson" into a "Political debate"...)

Nigel's interpretation of the sentence certainly makes sense, but is complicated by the assumption that the sender would know things like whether a stamp is real or counterfeit.

This reminds me of a very controversial tax case here in Canada from a few decades ago. A life insurance agent interpreted the tax rules of transferring certain amounts tax free to (and I'm paraphrasing here) "dependent children and grandchildren" as meaning:

1) Dependent children
2) Grandchildren

He made a lot of money not just selling according to his interpretation, but also selling this "tax reduction technique" to other insurance agents.

Revenue Canada (now CRA) fought this, saying they "clearly" meant:

1) Dependent children
2) Dependent grandchildren

I think the ruling went against the insurance salesman, but can't remember anything other than immediately thinking he was taking advantage of CRA being actually "less than ... clear" in their phrasing (my opinion was based on other previous (mis)interpretations from case law).

Anyway, maybe governments should hire more English majors and fewer lawyers to draft their rules. Again, I think Nigel's interpretation is sound, but if it was stated as "Counterfeit currency; bank notes; and postage stamps" apropos to the podcast mentioned, would the interpretation be different?

Aw, the trials and tribulations of the English language!
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Jansimon
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21 Oct 2019
12:54:49pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: Will Have To Suspend International Shipments

Dave, your example sounds like a case where the Oxford comma would have been useful. Happy

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lemaven
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21 Oct 2019
07:37:25pm
re: Will Have To Suspend International Shipments

Ay carumba, Jan Simon! What is an "Oxford Comma"?

If you help me out with my English maybe I can give you some tips on the Dutch language (just don't hold your breath waiting, as I'm barely unilingual!!!)


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cdj1122
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Silence in the face of adversity is the father of complicity and collusion, the first cousins of conspiracy..
21 Oct 2019
11:28:17pm
re: Will Have To Suspend International Shipments

" .... What Is the Oxford Comma ...."

Oxford Comma; " ... A comma used after the penultimate item in a list of three or more items, before ‘and’ or ‘or’ (e.g. an Italian painter, sculptor, and architect. )...."

The Oxford comma, is sometimes called the "serial" (not cereal) comma and is placed before the connecting word where there are of three or more items used. It is not always needed if the meaning is clear to the reader. However, the writer often does not realise that the reader may be befuddled.

An example;
John as an avid fan of baseball, martial arts, and skiing.
(0r)
John as an avid fan of baseball, martial arts and skiing.
Could someone be be confused ?

Skiing may just not be exciting enough for everyone.


I owe much of my success to my parents, Geometry teacher Sister M. Augustine, and coach John Doe. (No problem here.)
(or)
I owe much of my success to my parents, Geometry teacher Sister M. Augustine and coach John Doe. (Ooops, aren't there enough scandals ?)
Look it over and see the difference.

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".... You may think you understood what you thought I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you think you heard is not what I thought I meant. .... "
nlroberts1961
12,8 cm Kanone 43 L/55 in blueprints only
22 Oct 2019
07:51:11am
re: Will Have To Suspend International Shipments

In tax matters its the legislation you generally have to look at. CRA guidelines are not reliable. They might help you avoid a fine, but the revenue lawyers will go back to the Act to determine the law. Hence when you do those exciting courses in taxation you get a nice thick copy of the legislation with bible size text and paper to give you a new way to quote chapter and verse. I Don't Want To See

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virgilp
02 Sep 2020
07:04:01am
re: Will Have To Suspend International Shipments

I hope that somebody is still reading this thread. I have following questions:
1. What is the custom form to fill when I ship internationally an envelope of stamps?
2. Let's say that the sale is $70 and with the with packing material the letter may weigh 2 oz.
3. What would be the safest way and the total cost to ship it internationally?
Thank you.

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Calstamp
02 Sep 2020
09:34:03am
re: Will Have To Suspend International Shipments


cdj1122...

Given your grammatical interest, recommend “Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation”. Author: Lynne Truss.

Well-written. Humorous. Instructive.

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virgilp
02 Sep 2020
11:27:13am
re: Will Have To Suspend International Shipments

I agree, my English is not the best! But I am still interested that somebody may answer my questions.

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sheepshanks
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02 Sep 2020
11:33:27am
re: Will Have To Suspend International Shipments

Virgilp, as you are a US resident follow the link OKStamps gave 0n 21st. Oct 2019 in this thread. You can download the customs form and print it off and also check on postage rates for the size/weight of package.

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michael78651
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02 Sep 2020
11:57:03am
re: Will Have To Suspend International Shipments

USPS no longer accepts the small, short customs form. You have to use Form 2976-R. You have to use at least a 6" x 9" envelope as this form goes into a clear bag and is attached to the envelope. It is too large for letter envelopes.

Personally, I got tired of all the abuse and crap I got from people (not on this site) outside the US regarding US postal rates, so I have permanently terminated all sales to people who live outside the US.

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michael78651
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02 Sep 2020
12:01:27pm
re: Will Have To Suspend International Shipments

Virgil, to answer your question regarding how much it costs:

First Class Parcel up to 8 ounces:

Canada = $12.25
Rest of World from $12.50 to $15.25 depending on the country

Over 8 ounces up to 32 ounces:

Canada = $20.75
rest of World from $21.75 to $25.50 depending on the country

Rates in effect as of January 26, 2020.

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virgilp
02 Sep 2020
12:29:22pm
re: Will Have To Suspend International Shipments

Thanks, now next questions:
1. How safe is a package sent to Russia? Does anybody know?
2. If it is lost, can I get reimbursed for the content?
3. If not, is some insurance I need to buy from Post Office?
Thanks, Virgil

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michael78651
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02 Sep 2020
02:40:04pm
re: Will Have To Suspend International Shipments

I have sent alot of packages to Russia through the years. From my experience, packages can get lost using first class international parcel, and Priority Mail International. Sending the parcels via Priority Mail Express I never lost a shipment. It will be VERY expensive to do so, but if you have to resend a package, that won't be cheap either when you add the costs.

Whether you can get coverage to insure parcels to other countries depends on the stability of the country. The USPS Web Site contains information on it, or you could go to your post office and ask a clerk.

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virgilp
03 Sep 2020
10:12:40am
re: Will Have To Suspend International Shipments

Thanks. Virgil

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londonbus1
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03 Sep 2020
11:43:23am
re: Will Have To Suspend International Shipments

Interesting thread.
I have been buying from sellers in the USA for many years, up to and including the last few weeks, and only once did I have a Customs form attached to a mailing. That was for a large envelope.
So reading the comments here seems a bit odd to me.

Londonbus1

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angore
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Collector, Moderator
03 Sep 2020
12:37:19pm
re: Will Have To Suspend International Shipments

Most US mailers will not likely get a customs card or use first class package mailing unless the content is special or does not fit in a standard envelope (1 to 2 oz). You can get a lot of stamps in a 1 oz envelope.


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Brechinite
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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
03 Sep 2020
01:03:12pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: Will Have To Suspend International Shipments

Royal Mails new customs form is that large that it is too large for a large letter up to 250 grammes never mind a 2 oz letter.

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michael78651
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03 Sep 2020
01:22:37pm
re: Will Have To Suspend International Shipments

Many US mailers are not following the law as regards to shipping merchandise internationally. Yes, one 5 cent stamp is merchandise per the rules.

I have heard complaints here and on another site where sellers are complaining that buyers are claiming to have not received their shipments that were not sent via international parcel. Well, if a seller doesn't follow the rules for mailing, then the other country can intercept the mailing as contraband. The seller then is stuck with refunding the buyer.

As a few sellers here have found, a complaint from a buyer regarding non-receipt of a purchase that was not shipped according to the UPU and USPS rules, will be upheld in the buyer's favor if the seller cannot prove that the mailing was done as required.

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rrraphy
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Retired Ap. Book Mod, Pres Golden Gate Stamp Club, Hi Tech Consultant
03 Sep 2020
01:53:47pm
re: Will Have To Suspend International Shipments

I have started to split all my heavier shipments so that they fit the 2 oz standard size envelope size. Saves a trip to the post office (anyone has lately?!!!), adds very little to the cost of shipping and reduces the chance that a bulky envelope will attract attention and "get lost".
Of couse, it means that I will be putting less souvenir sheets/covers up for sale! But for regular stamps or sets, works like a charm.
rrr...

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Brechinite
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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
03 Sep 2020
07:09:20pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: Will Have To Suspend International Shipments

A problem that may arise is that most buyers here want the seller to wait for payment until the buyer has bought sufficient items to make all their purchases "economical viable" to them. (to some its $10 others its $50 and all values inbetween)
This results in larger and larger packages being shipped by the seller resulting in more and more packages "disappearing" in transit and losses to the seller. The buyer also loses out as they do not get the stamps that they wanted.

Some buyers do not realise that the more stamps they purchase the more the shipping charges will be and complain to the seller that you can get X number of stamps in an envelope of z size. (Yes that is right you can get x stamps in the envelope if you just throw the stamps into an envelope without proper protection.) Sellers want the stamps to arrive in good condition and dry so protect the items as best they can. The protection adds to the weight so adds to the postage costs.

I know I am stating the bloomin' obvious above.

Some buyers put sellers in some awkward positions. Positions that they should not be put in.

The mantra here is "communication" but what happens is that if a seller suggests to a buyer that they are uncomfortable with a situation the buyer grudgingly pays their bill and then goes off in a huff never to purchase from the seller again.

Our rules suggest invoices to be sent within 5 days of purchase and paid within 5 days of receipt of invoice unless there is agreement between buyer and seller.
At present only about 5% of purchases are paid within the rules with 95% of buyers having "special agreements". It is not good enough.

It is time that ALL purchases here MUST be paid within 21 days whether it is one stamp at 5 cents or $50 worth of stamps.


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Harvey
I think, therefore I am - I think!
03 Sep 2020
07:25:47pm
re: Will Have To Suspend International Shipments

I must be the odd person here. I leave it all up to the seller, whenever he/she sends the invoice I pay. The sales might be $0.05 or $100, whenever I get the invoice I pay immediately, no complaints. I figure that the seller knows what they are doing - weird or what!!!

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Brechinite
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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
03 Sep 2020
07:38:26pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: Will Have To Suspend International Shipments

Harvey:- You are one of the few in the 5% bracket!!

Some buyers take 3 months+ to work their way to their "economical level" and get cheesed off when they get the postage costs and wonder why their package "disappears" in transit. Its that thick its ripe for the taking.

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cardstamp
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04 Sep 2020
06:15:02pm

Approvals
re: Will Have To Suspend International Shipments

I was surprised to see this thread which I started almost 2 years ago come back to life !! I have cut back on my international shipments (mostly Canada now). I plead guilty I am still sending them in a small envelope with one stamp. I guess it is like playing Russian Roulette. Steve

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Brechinite
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Neddie Seagoon from The Telegoons
04 Sep 2020
08:25:16pm

Auctions - Approvals
re: Will Have To Suspend International Shipments

Quote:

" I guess it is like playing Russian Roulette"



Aye it sure is but with two loaded chambers!
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