A cram course in shipping. (Foreign Only)
Summary: Air Parcel post is usually the "Best Way" to ship items outside of the USA. Please contact the customs office in your country for information on import duties and fees. Don't ask us to falsify customs documents, we will not do it.
UPS and FedEx are extremely expensive.
Hopefully this sheet will help you understand how we do our shipping to destinations outside of the USA.
Based on size, weight of the package and the speed that you want it shipped to you. When you indicate in your order that you want it shipped "Best Way" we will use our own judgment to send it in a matter that will; save you money, get there with the least risk of damage and won't violate any shipping laws.
We don't give shipping quotes, only estimates. You can get a good idea of shipping charges simply by going to the websites given below. Please allow for packaging, variation in sizes of boxes, the need for more than one box, insurance, size limitations, hazardous materials, insurance, tracking or delivery confirmation, and other charges.
Weight is based on the gross amount of the package rounded up to the nearest pound. Don't think that because you have ordered a ten pound bag of plaster that the box will weigh ten pounds. Like almost everyone on the planet we package based on net weight. To the net weight you need to add the weight of the container, the box, stuffing materials and even the paperwork. It all adds up rather quickly. In most instances we are required by law to provide enough packaging to absorb leaking fluids.
About size: Depending on carrier policy we sometimes have size limits. Bulky products, such as empty containers take a lot of space and may be billed for size rather than weight in the case of an air shipment. For example a five pound box of peanuts is huge and would normally cost only a few dollars to be shipped by ground. But because the box is so large it will take up expensive space in the airplane. When we enter the dimensions of the box, we might find that we must pay as though the box weights 30 pounds. Often, size doesn't matter if shipped by ground.
About Speed: If you want it quick, be prepared to pay for it.
You can get shipping prices, delivery times and other information from the websites of the respective carriers.
U.S. Mail Service at www.usps.com
UPS at www.ups.com
FedEx at www.fedex.com
U.S. Postal Service
We usually send foreign order via Air Parcel Post or Global EMS. Their rates are the most reasonable, your parcel is insurable and the service is fast. The USPS doesn't have tracking numbers.
Surface: Some items, such as spray cans and flammables, can only be sent by surface. Transit time is 4 to 6 weeks.
United Parcel Service (U.P.S.)
Very expensive. We never ship foreign orders by UPS because it is so expensive. Not recommended.
Very, very expensive. We never ship foreign orders by Fedex because it is so expensive and the rates are undependable. We've called for shipping quotes and have received three different answers in the same day. If you are willing, we will however, ship using your Fedex number. Not recommended.
Many, but not all hazardous materials are listed on our website and in our price lists with an "S". There are simply some things we can't send by air (which includes Priority Mail.) Examples are anything with FLAMMABLE on the label, spray cans, or anything too terribly toxic.
Surface versus Air
Air is send by cargo planes or by commercial planes depending on the carrier. "Ground" means by truck. Surface means truck and boat. Air shipments have the most restrictions for obvious reasons.
Shipping and SES, joined at the hip
NOT! People without business experience often intertwine the shipper and the merchant, thinking we are one in the same. This is not true. If UPS does their job, then we look good. If they fail, then we look bad. The instant the man in brown picks up a package he accepts responsibility for it on behalf of UPS. It is out of our hands. If UPS looses a package, it is not our fault, nor is it our responsibility. We buy insurance on your behalf when we ship. The best we can do compensate for their mistakes by sending out replacement goods. If it is the fault of the carrier, we will file a claim and collect damages from them. So please report missing, delayed or damaged goods immediately!
This issue also raises the question of shipping charges. Because
we are not the freight carrier we have no control over shipping charges. We don't even get shipping charges at wholesale or discounted rates.
We must include insurance on every package we send, this fee is added to your shipping charges. Please remember that insurance doesn't cover the shipping charge on U.S. Mail. If the package is lost, we can recover the cost of the merchandise, but not the cost of the shipping.
About Handling Fees
After loosing thousands of dollars every year to miscellaneous costs such packaging materials, fuels surcharges, labor and other costs. We've finally become like everyone else and charge a handling fee of several dollars for every order (not every box) I let the shipping department determine these fees on their own (I'm too nice.) based on all the factors in getting your package ready for shipment including aggravation. If you call late in the day for a rush order, please be prepared to spend a few more dollars on handling fees.