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KursadA

International shipping changes

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There has been a major  change that will impact direct international orders.

 

In their infinite wisdom, the US Postal Service has decided to stop allowing the use of "flat" envelopes for shipping international merchandise. Basically, anything that is commercial merchandise needs to be sent as a "package", and not a "flat". 

 

http://blog.stamps.com/2017/12/26/important-usps-making-changes-first-class-mail-international-flats/

 

I am not sure how to handle this change - a simple 1-2 sheet order to UK will now cost me $10 as opposed to $4, and I need to reflect this cost increase somehow. I will try to look into alternative shipping methods and find a reasonably priced option. My shipping provider started offering some kind of mail forwarding service  that might work. But if it does not work out, I will have to increase international shipping to something like $8-9 from its current level. This will probably make it impractical to order only 1 sheet if you are outside the US.

 

If you recently placed a preorder, this will not impact you - but it is highly likely that I will have to increase international shipping next week. 

 

 

 

Edited by KursadA

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Yes Kursad. I have found that ordering from US is more expensive than ordering from Japan or Hong Kong. This is extremely silly. Not just that the shipping charges are crazy, the USPS service is pathetic. Its like some Third World postal service, or even worse. 

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Looks like the USPS just doesn't want people to buy American so I guess we'll go elsewhere. Sorry for you guys trying to run a business while they limit your market....Most of Canada is closer than Alaska but the USPS think it is some sort of massive sea voyage or airflight to get there despite all the trucks that cross the border every day..

Edited by RCAFFAN

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The more I look into this, the more serious it looks :  I do not have any numbers showing how many of my international orders are for only 1-2 sheets, but I would guess that it is a significant percentage. Hopefully many of you will respond by waiting until you have multiple sheets to order; and not by giving up directly ordering from me.

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Sorry to hear about this Kursad. Boy oh boy it sure is getting harder each day to run a business in the US where a lot of your product does not need to be shipped in big boxes.I cringe every time I go on ebay and see something I like and the seller is in the US. Then I check the shipping and it is priced out or my budget. For example, $26 shipping for one kit? Can't do that. Even Squadron was crazy with their $42 shipping for one kit.

 

As others have said it looks like I have to do much of my shopping from the far east. I know I have normally waited to buy in batches from you so I can continue in that manner I guess.

 

 

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Effective immediately, international shipping is now $5.50 for a single order, up from the old value of $3 I have been charging since I started Caracal Models in 2011. I hope you understand that this was completely outside my control.

 

It will take me a while to edit and replace all product pages which currently state "$3 international shipping". Please do not bother sending me an e-mail to complain about this; I am working as fast as I can.

 

Just to clarify, the USPS rule change will impact  *all* US decal sellers who ship using USPS - the new rule basically makes it impossible to ship decals (or any merchandise) using a flat envelope. It looks like USPS wants to limit the use of International First Class Mail flats to documents and personal communication only, forcing commercial users to use the higher package rate.

 

 

Edited by KursadA

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I really don't know if this is feasible since I don't do much (any) shipping BUT; Sprue Bros have an option to ship to Canada by UPS with a big difference, they stop at the border and turn the package over to Canada Post/Customs!! It only applies to small packages (weight threshold) and I have been very happy with this system.

Something to look at.....

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I feel for you, and I sincerely hope that the higher rate doesn't affect your sales. Personally, I'd gladly pay a few dollars more to continue to buy a quality product. I hope your customers feel the same way.

 

Steven Brown

Scale Model Soup

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Kursad, could your decals be considered "documents" or "media", and shipped via the "media" rate?  It is slower, but much cheaper.  Not sure of the legalities here.  R/ Dutch

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Sorry to read what is happening, but I would always rather give my money to the decal maker knowing that 100% of this will go back into developing and producing more decals.

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Thanks for your insights and messages of support. Caracal Models is an important part of my life and I plan to continue doing it as long as I am physically able; but having all of my international customers on board would make it a lot easier to carry on the business while maintaining the current subject mix of US + international subjects. 

 

I am going to explain the situation in the next mass e-mail I will be sending, probably when the March releases are ready to ship. My shipping provider came up with a solution that involves shipping the envelopes to a postal facility in the US, and then re-labeling and forwarding them outside the US; at an additional expense of $2.50 (hence the increase from $3 to $5.50) I just sent a first batch of shipments this way. I am not sure whether this service will prove to be satisfactory, but hopefully it will work well.

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Utter craziness from USPS, can't believe how pathetic and dated their service is. Hopefully this won't affect your business, as your products are second to none and in my opinion the increase in postage which is obviously outwith your control is still worthwhile.

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That sounds like a positive solution for the shipping Kursad. The $2.50 does not sound too much and as I normally do I will just have to buy your stuff in bundles. The only issue is that I hope I don't miss out on some of your sheets prepping my bundles and then they go OOP like I just did with your Neptune sheet. Will have to pick it up from SB I guess.

 

 

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Hi Kursad,

 

I don't think it's just the USPS - we're (in the UK) increasingly getting caught by our Customs for decals. Unfortunately, they are classed as "decalomanias" rather than "printed papers", which means they attract VAT

 

So now if we buy a single sheet for $14 and then pay $5.50 for shipping, we might be lucky as it's borderline, but if we buy TWO, the order definitely comes in over the threshhold for VAT - so we get charged $11 (handling fee!!) + 20% of the total (including shipping!).

 

Must already cause you enough problems - I can see why some US sellers won't ship overseas!

 

Madness....

 

Chris

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More recently, I have been slapped with an import duty on model kits I have bought from US. This adds to the pain of ever increasing shipping charges and then waiting forever for the kit to arrive from across the border with import bill attached on the parcel :(

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1 hour ago, stalal said:

More recently, I have been slapped with an import duty on model kits I have bought from US. This adds to the pain of ever increasing shipping charges and then waiting forever for the kit to arrive from across the border with import bill attached on the parcel :(

There is no duty on Model kits in Canada so what are you being charged for? Inspection? Courier ripoff?Sales tax?

Edited by RCAFFAN

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I have been charged a couple times. But I think its customs. Also it was always e-bay sales. One of the reasons I do not use them anymore.

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3 hours ago, phantom said:

I have been charged a couple times. But I think its customs. Also it was always e-bay sales. One of the reasons I do not use them anymore.

That sounds like E-bay seller's not putting proper customs declarations on the packages (I've only ever bought off Chinese E-bay and seller knew what to do so no problem) and thus costing you needless fees. I wonder if you could claim from e-bay for the seller's error?   

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Oh, its far too late now. Been YEARS.

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21 hours ago, RCAFFAN said:

There is no duty on Model kits in Canada so what are you being charged for? Inspection? Courier ripoff?Sales tax?

It's not duty. Its GST on anythng over $20 that gets imprted...plus a handling fee. adds up pretty fast on some orders. 

 

 Sean

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On 2/12/2018 at 2:07 PM, RCAFFAN said:

There is no duty on Model kits in Canada so what are you being charged for? Inspection? Courier ripoff?Sales tax?

 

This is the second time I have been charged a sales tax. Earlier, the ebay item had the price wrong so I claimed and got the full refund. This time, the ebay price is the same as one declared on the package. So I dont think I can claim it. 

 

Deleted. Dont want to derail the thread. 

Edited by stalal

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On 2/12/2018 at 11:07 AM, RCAFFAN said:

There is no duty on Model kits in Canada so what are you being charged for? Inspection? Courier ripoff?Sales tax?

I have been charged a fee several times for models bought outside of Canada. And this goes back at least ten years when I bought the Airfix Nimrod when it was first released in 2008. Customs can charge taxes on anything they feel like.  It's very frusturating when you buy a model overseas because it's much cheaper and then they blindside you with the customs tax and usually then ends up costing more. I guess it's a gamble one must take because more often than not it ends up in my favour of not paying any taxes. Especially when the guy I bought my 1/72 Anigrand C-5 put on the customs receipt that it was a model kit worth $30. I've always wondered how much in taxes I would have paid on that kit had he put on the actual cost of $400

 

Edited by cf18hornet

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2 hours ago, cf18hornet said:

I have been charged a fee several times for models bought outside of Canada. And this goes back at least ten years when I bought the Airfix Nimrod when it was first released in 2008. Customs can charge taxes on anything they feel like.  It's very frusturating when you buy a model overseas because it's much cheaper and then they blindside you with the customs tax and usually then ends up costing more. I guess it's a gamble one must take because more often than not it ends up in my favour of not paying any taxes. Especially when the guy I bought my 1/72 Anigrand C-5 put on the customs receipt that it was a model kit worth $30. I've always wondered how much in taxes I would have paid on that kit had he put on the actual cost of $400

 

Taxes are another thing but legally models are exempt from import duties in Canada and there is a specific listing of that in the regulations. When I worked in a Hobby shop the manager had a copy of the reg and we often had to pull it out and show it to the agents as most are fairly ignorant of their jobs and often make mistakes. They always had to apologize and take off the duty they had originally charged. I guess they don't really care one way or the other and will try to get what they can so you have to specifically complain but they can't legally charge import duty.  This was a while ago when you often had to act as your own customs broker and most companies use a broker now but a good broker will make sure you don't pay import duties. This is why you don't let courier companies act as  your broker as I have seen them not care or maybe even charge you but not pass it on to the government that doesn't expect them to collect it.

They can collect taxes such as GST etc.

Edited by RCAFFAN

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On 2018-02-05 at 1:09 PM, stalal said:

Yes Kursad. I have found that ordering from US is more expensive than ordering from Japan or Hong Kong. This is extremely silly. Not just that the shipping charges are crazy, the USPS service is pathetic. Its like some Third World postal service, or even worse. 

 

I can ship from the furthest location from my home on the other side of the globe for far cheaper than I can from just a few miles across the US/Canada border.

 

USPS has killed all my dealings with everyone except the decal manufacturers.

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On 2018-02-10 at 8:12 AM, UKPonchoMan said:

Hi Kursad,

 

I don't think it's just the USPS - we're (in the UK) increasingly getting caught by our Customs for decals. Unfortunately, they are classed as "decalomanias" rather than "printed papers", which means they attract VAT

 

So now if we buy a single sheet for $14 and then pay $5.50 for shipping, we might be lucky as it's borderline, but if we buy TWO, the order definitely comes in over the threshhold for VAT - so we get charged $11 (handling fee!!) + 20% of the total (including shipping!).

 

Must already cause you enough problems - I can see why some US sellers won't ship overseas!

 

Madness....

 

Chris

 

I just mailed some decals to the UK, will the person getting them get nailed for additional charges? I shipped them regular mail in a photo mailer. No declaration on the outside. Canada Post just calculated the shipping rate and asked for noth8ng more.

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