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Equipment Transport Requests and Arrangements For discussions about the 'forum courier service' and other arrangements to get sets and parts from one forum member to another. For non-commercial transactions only.

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Old 30th Jun 2022, 1:45 am   #1
JimFromSurrey
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Default Long Shot - anyone going to Canada or the US ?

This is a very long shot, i realise, but is anyone going to Canada or the USA this summer/autumn?

I have a small (30cm wide, ca. 2.5kg) hifi tuner reserved with a seller in Canada and need to get it back here somehow!

If anyone can help, please get in touch

Many thanks!
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Old 30th Jun 2022, 2:46 pm   #2
GrimJosef
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Default Re: Long Shot - anyone going to Canada or the US ?

I'm afraid you may find that isn't trivial. I have a friend who has occasionally brought bits of hi-fi across. The airlines were uncomfortable, to say the least, about electronics in checked baggage so he carried the kit as hand baggage. Airport security (JFK) made him open the bag and explain what the item was and why he needed to transport it. I imagine they also asked "Are you carrying anything for another person ?". He would have been able to answer "No", but if he'd answered "Yes" I fear that would have made things even trickier.

When he touched down here (LHR) he had to convince customs that the thing wasn't liable for import taxes, duty etc.

I'm not saying it can't be done. It can (and he did). But I fear the days when you could pack a Quad II amp in your carry-on bag and breeze through the airports, as I once did back in the 1980's, are long gone.

Cheers,

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Old 30th Jun 2022, 6:54 pm   #3
roadster541
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Default Re: Long Shot - anyone going to Canada or the US ?

This is a coincidence; immediately before looking at this forum, I had been checking prices to ship a bit of vintage electronic kit from Canada to Britain, as I have been offered a Hallicrafters morse keyer, which seem to be hard to find on this side of the pond. I nearly fell off my chair at the cost; the cheapest quote so far, well over 100! The bit that grates with me is the possibility of having to pay VAT on arrival on the shipping costs, although I don't mind paying it on the value of the item.

Jim, if all else fails, it may be feasible for both of our items to be shipped in one package as total weight including packaging should be well under 10kg.
I am going to ask for advice on a North American antique wireless group, where I occasionally post.
Rod

Last edited by roadster541; 30th Jun 2022 at 6:55 pm. Reason: typo
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Old 30th Jun 2022, 7:52 pm   #4
Keith956
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Default Re: Long Shot - anyone going to Canada or the US ?

There's always a chance that they will open either checked in or hand luggage, especially if it's something electronic. And carrying something for someone else is a real no-no.

Shipping stuff from the US is ridiculously expensive, and there seems to be no logic in the price charged. Often USPS is much more than a courier like UPS. And, as Roadster says, you have to pay VAT on top of the carriage charges, even if the item is used. It's not uncommon for the postage and import charges on an item bought with eBay in the US can add up to as much as the item itself.

And yet I can order components from Digi-Key in the US, like I did on Tuesday this week, and have it delivered this morning, postage free!
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Old 1st Jul 2022, 6:01 pm   #5
duncanlowe
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Default Re: Long Shot - anyone going to Canada or the US ?

Transporting things via air has been a challenge for years now. I guess with good reason. For many years, it was important that you made sure laptops or similar had enough juice so you could boot them at security to prove they were working devices. Then again the one that got me closest to trouble was a box of AA rechargeable batteries in checked luggage. TBF when the security guy showed me the xray and said 'what's that' they did look an awful lot like a nice package of gun ammunition.
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Old 1st Jul 2022, 6:56 pm   #6
GrimJosef
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Default Re: Long Shot - anyone going to Canada or the US ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith956 View Post
Shipping stuff from the US is ridiculously expensive ... And yet I can order components from Digi-Key in the US, like I did on Tuesday this week, and have it delivered this morning, postage free!
I think the difference is entirely in the cost of the administration.

If I want a single item shipped individually from the US then someone has to fill out and present the associated paperwork and deal with any queries that might be raised at the borders (and they really are raised - things do get 'stuck' at customs). If a courier has to employ someone to interpret my description and explain it to customs, just for my single package, then the cost is going to end up being high.

Digi-Key, on the other hand (or Mouser, or the US tee-shirt company I just ordered from) send a shipment across the Atlantic essentially every single night. It will contain just one type of item - 'electronic components' or 'clothing'. It may well all go to a single recipient (the company's UK subsidiary). There will be no queries at the border because several years ago these companies sorted things out with UK customs and now any required payments will be automated. The shipment will go through on the nod. The cost will be spread over all the items in it and it will be tiny anyway.

What I really need is two mates - one working in Digi-Key's US shipping dept and one working in their UK goods inward operation.

Cheers,

GJ
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Last edited by GrimJosef; 1st Jul 2022 at 7:02 pm.
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Old 1st Jul 2022, 9:37 pm   #7
Keith956
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Default Re: Long Shot - anyone going to Canada or the US ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrimJosef View Post
I think the difference is entirely in the cost of the administration.
Indeed, and the DigiKey example is obviously different, and has to be for them to compete with local suppliers.

But if you look at shipping costs on the same type of item on eBay it can vary widely - often someone quotes shipping at half or double someone else.

For example (and I won't go into any details but these are the same type of test equipment on eBay, weighing about 15Kg, a bit of a 'boat anchor'):
item1 575.41 (!!!)
item2 138.78
item3 95.15
item4 163.42
The first mentions USPS, the last 3 eBay global shipping program (no idea who that uses).

When I used to live in the US (a long time ago), it was a major hassle sending even a letter to the UK. You had to go to a post office, but they were really only to be found in cities. We are very fortunate in that it's quite easy sending something abroad from a local post office in the UK, and it's not that expensive.
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Old 1st Jul 2022, 10:11 pm   #8
GrimJosef
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Default Re: Long Shot - anyone going to Canada or the US ?

I fear eBay shipping 'costs' include an element which stays with the seller - they certainly used to. So they're not a very good guide to the actual cost of shipping (except none of them will be below the actual cost).

When I lived in the US (late 80's) international shipping wasn't too difficult. The university campus that I worked on had at least one post-box on the pavement (sidewalk) which was run by UPS rather than the USPS. I could drop pre-paid UPS shipping boxes into it.

My much younger brother still lives in the US, so until a few years ago I was familiar with the cost of sending his children 'British' Christmas presents. It wasn't exactly cheap.

Cheers,

GJ
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Old 2nd Jul 2022, 5:25 am   #9
winston_1
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Default Re: Long Shot - anyone going to Canada or the US ?

I have twice brought an Aurora home in hand luggage with no problems. Ordered in advance to be delivered to my relatives in NY and picked up from them by myself.
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