Shipping Issues, Options, Ideas etc.....

JohnMarcson

Site Founder
Administrator
shues said:
John, you can make the box 13"x15"x52" and ship it for the same rate. Granted it's 52 cubic inches less than a box that is 14"x14"x52", but it's not hard to persuade a box that's 14"x14" into becoming a box that's 13"x15"

Well it sounds like it can be done if you stay within certian sizes...... good to know
 

Mrlunchbox

Premium Member
Since this seems to be the place to ask... I need help shipping a vision lightbar!! I charged the guy $100 bucks for shipping and he is in VA shipping from MA. I can't seem to find a box to fit and that god aweful UPS store says they can package it, but it will cost a MINIMUM of $200 to ship plus cost to package it. I think I am being cheated, seeing as how when I bought this bar it came UPS (I think) from CA and only cost 80$. Any help is appreciated as I need to get it out asap. Someone mentioned Fedex I think and I believe I even read that someone sent TWO vectors in one box? Thanks!!
 

JohnMarcson

Site Founder
Administrator
I use U-line, buy a box that is an inch or so larger than the item. If need be I slide 2 boxes together. I use bubble wrap and various other padding items also from u-line. Then I ship from the UPS or FED ex hub where there are no franchise/handling fees.


http://www.uline.com/
 

Mrlunchbox

Premium Member
Thank you! Only downside is I need to buy only one and they seem to have a minimum order :( is there any other place I can look? Thanks!
 

JohnMarcson

Site Founder
Administrator
Mrlunchbox said:
Thank you! Only downside is I need to buy only one and they seem to have a minimum order :( is there any other place I can look? Thanks!

I don't know of any that don't have minmum orders.... I know so Uhaul places sell boxes..
 

EVModules

Premium Verified Member
One trick I did when I moved from Calif to Washington. I had some large pictures that needed to be boxed and padded well. Of course there's no one-size-fits-all that works well and wasn't going to spend a fortune on those from U-Haul. After some thinking, I went to Costco and grabbed many of those flat pieces of cardboard that's layered between cereal boxes, paper towels, etc. I hunted for the thick ones and I even had some stocking folks who were happy to give me more that they had collected in the back. I had the picture frames packed like a vault and was very sturdy.


With a pair of those, you can use them to box up a lightbar to the right dimensions very well.
 

unlisted

Gold Supporter
Well, since so many people complain about it, I figured I would start a sticky on the subject.


Post here your tips and tricks for shipping internationally. (try to refrain from posting illegal tips) ;)


I'll start.


USA to Canada-


Ship USPS priority post- comes with tracking and insurance automatically. Do NOT ship Flat Rate Priority Post- you will lose $$$ that way. The next option if time and insurance is not a concern would be to simply have it "postal stamp" shipped- take the package into a post office and ask to have it shipped the cheapest way possible. Expect your customer to have some charges/taxes when it crosses the Border into Canada. (again, this is the buyers responsibility, not the shippers) If its a person to person transaction (not coming from a business) its also a good idea to check it off as a GIFT on the forms. (can help the buyer with some taxes on larger ticket items)


Any private carrier service (UPS, DHL, Fedex, etc) will charge brokerage fees, duties and taxes to the customer- which normally will end up costing at LEAST $20.00 on a $30.00 item. (so almost the initial purchase price)


Canada to USA-


Ship Canada Post Expedited service. Also check off the gift box- although I have NEVER heard of any person in the USA being charged taxes - ever- either way... Lucky buggers. :lol: (over 100 items shipped thus far) I have also had good experiences with Airmail service and Xpresspost. All the above mentioned options come automatically with tracking and insurance. One can also have a item "stamp" shipped- but I find the airmail service is only an extra dollar or two- and takes far less time in transit.


Private carriers- unless you have an amazing commercial account- don't bother. Also pretty sure the customer in the USA will have some nice brokerage charged in the end as well.


I've been shipping on both sides of the border- to both countries since about 2004-and these are the most economical options I have found thus far.
 

TheGatekeeper

Veteran Member
There are 3 options possible for US retailers willing to ship international:


- USPS : The US Post Office works with destination countries postal networks.


Pros: The cheapest way to ship your stuff, and most times the goods just sail thru Customs and your recipient skips on the D&T.


Downside: the destination postal service usually does not bother with signature upon receipt. Worse, USPS Tracking bar codes might not be compatible with the local post office own barcodes. And a cross-reference number is not always achievable.


- Integrators (UPS, FedEx, DHL) : The safest bet, although much more expensive than any other option. Now if you become a regular exporter, keep in mind you can negotiate the list price. Competition is fierce among those and a decent 10 shipment a week can become a good bargaining start.


Pro: Proof Of Delivery is standard, there is a money back guaranteed program, stuff is tracked and traced all the way. Guaranteed delivery.


Cons: Not cheap.


- Freight Forwarders : the good old Customs Broker network, in the likes of Panalpina, UTI etc... You get to choose the service delay, whether you want your stuff to travel by air or sea, with a matching rate of course. The Freight Forwarder will set up the plan of transport all the way to your recipient.


Pros : if you pay for the transportation charges (depending on the INCOTERM or you pick), you decide at what point ownership of your goods is transferred. Should a payment being refused for instance, you can always stop the shipment and have it returned to you.


Much less expensive than Express Integrators, with still acceptable delays from a few days to a couple weeks.


Cons : Your stuff moves between several networks and transport companies (pre-trip, international segment, post-trip are usually done by three different companies at least, even if the Freight Forwarder acts as the organizer). Delays can sound a bit long if your customer is impatient.


Hoping this helps.


Sam
 

JohnMarcson

Site Founder
Administrator
You can save a lot of money by going to a hub vs a store. Shipping from a retail location adds fees. When ever I get a shipping quote that is way too high it is always because the person went to a retail store .... and often let them pack it. Between the fees and packing material it almost doubles the cost.
 

JohnMarcson

Site Founder
Administrator
Just a FYI guys.... I recently sent a small-ish item to France USPS, I was given some incorrect info at the post office about what types of international shipping can be tracked. I suggest that anyone shipping internationally make sure they know exactly what USPS products/services they want before they go in.


Also, as stated before, just a tiny difference in size of box can make a huge difference. I would do some playing around on the online rate calculator first too.
 

Tom

Premium Member
What about international shipping? I have a customer who would like for me to ship to the UK. Anyone know the cheapest/best way to go?
 

ryan

Premium Member
Gold Supporter
twinsonic shipping,


2 of these,


12 x 12 x 40" Tall Corrugated Boxes S-4618 - Uline


with a big wad of this on each end and between the box and bar. Make sure to use a stick to really pack that paper from one end to another.


PADPAK CUSHIONING SYSTEM PAPER ROLL Packing Shipping | eBay


Tape the shit out of the ends and also a 10" band were both the boxes come together with this,


2 ROLLS 3M Packing Tape + TAPE Dispenser Gun | eBay


Then go to paypal, use the multiship program. enter in usps and use priority. I can ship most twinsonics for under $35 to this side of Mississippi river, $50 to west coast. i put $200 insurance for $2.65 and del conf is free.


so far 40 plus lightbars shipped and only 3 claims.


I also only use usps priority international for over seas stuff.
 

Tom

Premium Member
What kind of forms would I need for international shipping if I did USPS priority? What are the chances of my package being held or opened at customs?
 

ryan

Premium Member
Gold Supporter
if you use usps.com with an account it prints off all the papers you need. just check the correct boxes, list the proper contents and make sure to include a invoice in the packing slip.
 

Tom

Premium Member
ryan said:
if you use usps.com with an account it prints off all the papers you need. just check the correct boxes, list the proper contents and make sure to include a invoice in the packing slip.
Just like a packing slip with the item/description/price type of thing?
 

TritonBoulder47

Site Guru
I'm toying with the idea of selling my lightbar... But the shipping is whats scaring me... LOL
 

Grotonems5

Super Trooper Meow
I have received and shipped two vectors/visions in the past... Yes, pick up is easiest, but that is true with any full size light. It doesn't cost that much more to ship a v-bar, so that voids all the false claims about shipping not available due to cost. It comes down to the seller not wanting to take 15 minutes to make a box. Both vectors I purchased that were shipped to me cost ME $75 the first time, and $55 this last time. When I shipped them it cost about $65 USPS priority with confirmation. Now I will say this, both v-bars I recieved were damaged, it is hard to keep the front center pod from breaking no matter how much packing material you put in there. The one I just shipped I dissasembled and shipped all the pods, controller, brain and feet in one box, and made a custom box for the frame/TA.


If you really wanna sell your V-bars fast and make money, rather than hope someone is nearby and come get it, offer shipping, it isn't that hard. How many lightbars would actually sell here if shipping was not a commonly offered service? V-bars are popular and people want them, it is too bad more people aren't willing to take the time to ship and chock it up to cost.
 

TheGatekeeper

Veteran Member
tom said:
What about international shipping? I have a customer who would like for me to ship to the UK. Anyone know the cheapest/best way to go?
Roll back a couple of post, I went to the bother of explaining how to do it. Bother read it.
 

TheGatekeeper

Veteran Member
tom said:
What kind of forms would I need for international shipping if I did USPS priority? What are the chances of my package being held or opened at customs?
You need at least an invoice.


Depending on the destination country, a Certificate of Origin might be required. USPS should be able to tell you precisely.


Any item valued over 250€ holds a strong chance of being held and checked. French Customs might be interested in checking the declared value vs the actual goods, or in knowing why someone would order an all-blue lightbar and for which purpose... ;)


Keep in mind your recipient will also have to pay for duties and taxes.
 
shipped a twinsonic from ohio to WI. $56.00 for ups. Never will ship a full size bar again, local pickup only. Was a hassle trying to find a box.
 

USO131

Junior Member
I've read your posts and agree the end caps get smashed allot from the dock gorilla's.


What I do is wrap the bar in tough garbage bags. Tape it closed good.


I then use a small plastic bag and put it around the ends of the bar and into the box.


I then shoot that expanding foam you get at a hardware store like Home depot into that little


bag and it expands around the end of the bar; don't use too much or your gonna have fun when it blows up the box.
 

waldalm

Suspended
I agree that you definately have to play with the size of the box, an inch or two can add twenty or thirty bucks. A good relationship with your shipper also helps alot.


My local P.O. will run the different rates to see which is cheaper depending on where it's going.


I love the spray foam idea! The ends are my biggest problem receiving (broken :mad: ) and fear shipping. That sounds like a great way to make sure at least when I ship I can know my customer is getting taken care of. Thanks!!
 

NCICUSA

Member
thefiredogg said:
shipped a twinsonic from ohio to WI. $56.00 for ups. Never will ship a full size bar again, local pickup only. Was a hassle trying to find a box.
FD,


Where did you finally get the box at?


I sure didn't see any that big at Giant Eagle. or Marcs ;)
 

Hoser

Passed Away
NCICUSA said:
FD,

Where did you finally get the box at?


I sure didn't see any that big at Giant Eagle. or Marcs ;)
Check around, If you can get a Bicycle box and cut it down they work great. Ive slid to long boxes together before, and even had to put 3 together before to ship a Jetsonic with speaker. Also check out the box company Uline that John Marcson posted on the previous page.
 
Uhaul sells a box that is 12" X 12" X 40", also one that is 15" X 15" X 48". I've used these regularly to ship light bars. It takes 2 of each slid together to ship a bar . I've used all sorts of padding, even something as simple as crumpled newspaper and haven't had a broken bar. I usually have about 5" of padding at each end to make sure they're well protected. Shipping full size bars is expensive especially if you"re using $10 to $12 worth of boxes to do it but if the buyer really wants the bar the cost gets passed along to them anyway. Odd shaped bars like a Vista or a Jetsonic with its long speaker housing are much harder to ship and require a lot of creativity to piece multiple boxes together.
 

toon80

Veteran Member
wfdstation42 said:
I've used all sorts of padding, even something as simple as crumpled newspaper and haven't had a broken bar. I usually have about 5" of padding at each end to make sure they're well protected.
I had an Aerodynic, 40lbs, shipped from California to eastern Canada by Fedex, and it was simply protected with 5 or 6 inches of crumpled paper all around the bar. (not newspaper, though rather heavy brown paper)


I saw the delivery guy literally throw the box around in front of my place and when I opened it, everything was safe and sound. I then received another Aerodynic (UPS) with foam pads on the endcaps, and they were cracked.


I think the crumpled paper offers suspension, thus providing a packing material that retain its shape and bounciness, so to speak, all along the trip. Cheap and efficient method, imho.
 

tsquale

Site Minion
Platinum Supporter
NCICUSA said:
FD,

Where did you finally get the box at?


I sure didn't see any that big at Giant Eagle. or Marcs ;)
I have had good luck with the UPS Store, granted you have to purchase the box. They have a 48x20x20 which has worked well for me.
 

BigWil

Veteran
NotNormalEnterprisesLLC said:
Whats the cheapest way to ship outside the us? I havent done it before but want to offer it.
Use USPS. It saves on brokerage and duty. To ship a package with UPS/Fed Ex the out of country guy will be paying some serious duty. Flat rate boxes seem to work well.
 

BigWil

Veteran

BigWil

Veteran
NotNormalEnterprisesLLC said:
ya I read that thats why I asked lol my ups quote was high
For my package, definitely try to go USPS. I'd greatly appreciate it. They will give you a tracking number that will work until it gets to Canada. The only time I had issues getting packages into Canada was some Chinese knockoffs that violated a patent.
 

Jamey@NNE

Silver Supporter
BigWil said:
For my package, definitely try to go USPS. I'd greatly appreciate it. They will give you a tracking number that will work until it gets to Canada. The only time I had issues getting packages into Canada was some Chinese knockoffs that violated a patent.
oh ya, I am for yours. I got to ship something half way across the world though :duh:
 

Hoser

Passed Away
I use USPS never had a issue. But its my understanding that now the forms got to be typed out. Make sure you fill out all paperwork as much as possible wrap item in plastic bag and then box with lots of packing noodles or wrap. Tape the heck out of it and tape over address labels. Good Luck, I havent really had any problems.
 

LLS

Member
dcfrmp255 said:
Does anyone know why UPS will not let me pick up my package until the next business day if I tell them to hold it at their location?
Because UPS caught the USPS bug.


Someone some where thought.


"Lets screw with the public for as long as we can, maybe no one will realize"
 

OSP959(R)

Member
I'm getting some blue lights that I won from an auction. I get firefighters (blue lighters) from PA looking for them. A couple I won have arrowsticks in the back, and PA firefighters can't have anything but blue. I might be better off listing them where I can ship them. Does anyone have any advice on shipping lightbars? Would my local UPS store be able to provide a box that they would fit in?? My wife and I are taking a road trip to North Carolina on Monday to pick them up.


Sorry if this is the wrong forum.

blue_lights.JPG
 

RecElect

Member
OSP959® said:
I'm getting some blue lights that I won from an auction. I get firefighters (blue lighters) from PA looking for them. A couple I won have arrowsticks in the back, and PA firefighters can't have anything but blue. I might be better off listing them where I can ship them. Does anyone have any advice on shipping lightbars? Would my local UPS store be able to provide a box that they would fit in?? My wife and I are taking a road trip to North Carolina on Monday to pick them up.

Sorry if this is the wrong forum.


No problem shipping them UPS, the UPS store should have a box that they will fit in. Just wrap the ends with bubble wrap. UPS doesn't care about the corners of packages and the corners are ALWAYS damaged when I get new light bars in. Fortunately all of the bars had enough padding around the ends to protect them.
 

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