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Old 21st July 2019, 11:27 AM   #1
eftihis
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Default Shipping from Italy

I bought some items from Czerny's last auction in Italy. According to them, something has changed in Italy, and only a specialised (?) shipping company can handle antique weapons. The result is that me and fellow collectors got extremely expensive shipping quotes like 300 euro for a single flintlock pistol! Can anyone guide me to a reasonable cost shipping solution? It is from Italy to Greece so it is inside EU and there are no customs involved.
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Old 21st July 2019, 01:10 PM   #2
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I think that there is no solution for this problem and the reason why I never buy anyhing at Italian auction houses. For you it will be probably cheaper to book a flight to Verona or plan a trip by car.
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Old 21st July 2019, 02:16 PM   #3
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I think it will be tricky to try and take it out through Italian customs yourself? It took months to get my rapier sent to me and I understand it was due to Italian customs, or possibly the ”warehouse.”
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Old 21st July 2019, 02:32 PM   #4
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As you pass the Italian and Greek customs inside the EU there should be no control of the goods in your car. They may control just yourself that's all.

I do not know Italian prescriptions concerning the sending of arms by postal services. But in case these are the same idiotic prescriptions as in Great Britain, than it is absolutely impossible to send a rapier from Italy to your homeadress.
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Old 21st July 2019, 02:51 PM   #5
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Many shipping companies, almost all, will not transport weapons of any kind.
I think you will have to contact the international shipping companies working in Greece, to ask if they will do it, and what it will cost.
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Old 21st July 2019, 03:10 PM   #6
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They are thieves, they asked me 100 euros to ship 3 books.
Yes postage regulations have changed all over Europe.
But for Czernys they are just thieves and they do their money with shipping.
I will never buy or sell with them again.
This has nothing to do with your pistol... Good luck my friend
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Old 21st July 2019, 03:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corrado26
As you pass the Italian and Greek customs inside the EU there should be no control of the goods in your car. They may control just yourself that's all.

I do not know Italian prescriptions concerning the sending of arms by postal services. But in case these are the same idiotic prescriptions as in Great Britain, than it is absolutely impossible to send a rapier from Italy to your homeadress.
corrado26


Yes it may work by car. I understand the Italian authorities require permits to export antiques outside of Italy, whether it’s within the EU or not. Apparently it takes a long time acquiring these permits. But I’m no expert and not keen to become one as I will try not to repeat the experience!
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Old 21st July 2019, 06:24 PM   #8
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Not the last auction, but the previous Czerny's auction, I purchased a detached snaphaunce gun lock (lock only). A small item weighing less than 3-lbs. (1.4kg) cost nearly $100.00 USD to ship to the USA. Shipped by Air Courier - and still took 2 months to receive it.
Imagine the shipping quote I would receive to ship a complete long gun to the States !!

If the regulations have recently changed to something more similar to that of the U.K. with "specialized" licensed shippers, I think that Czerny's may loose a large amount of potential bidders going forward. They should publish the current regulations (and any changes)for shipping outside of Italy along with each auction so the bidder can make a determination whether or not to bid.

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Old 21st July 2019, 06:57 PM   #9
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This issue is not only with Czerny's.

I had to pay extortionate prices to have blades sent to the Netherlands from UK and especially from US.

For me, so far Czerny's provided quite reasonable shipping prices.
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Old 21st July 2019, 07:53 PM   #10
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My last sword cost 134£ to pack and ship from the UK to Canada.
Once I bought a small lot of 3 kukri and they wanted 150£. I told them I have shipped boxes 3x the size for 100£ and they then dropped the price to 100£, still ridiculous.
One must buy at a low price, get a item worth much more to make it worthwhile.
I also experienced most shippers will not send antique swords. DHL is now on the list with UPS for not taking them. I've had UPS twice take them in and then take over a week to return to sender. Now Parcelforce is the only one I know of who will ship and that's using a inventive description without using the word "sword"
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Old 21st July 2019, 08:49 PM   #11
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It seems that common sense is replaced with idiotic rules and regulations everywhere.

Like there were so many crimes produced with antique swords, daggers or guns... There are much more crimes produced with kitchen knives, yet there are no restrictions on those.

No more common sense, no more normality, but a plethora of rules and regulations to replace any trace of rational thinking.

Humanity has entered a downwards spiral to insanity!
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Old 21st July 2019, 08:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
It seems that common sense is replaced with idiotic rules and regulations everywhere.

Like there were so many crimes produced with antique swords, daggers or guns... There are much more crimes produced with kitchen knives, yet there are no restrictions on those.

No more common sense, no more normality, but a plethora of rules and regulations to replace any trace of rational thinking.

Humanity has entered a downwards spiral to insanity!


PS: Regarding the cost of shipping, I believe in some situations can be justified. First, the shipping company has to pick up the item from the auction house. Then it has to be carefully packed and only then can it be shipped. So it is not only the cost of shipping that we are requested to pay, but also the cost of picking up the items and the cost of packing them.
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Old 21st July 2019, 09:18 PM   #13
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Ain’t no insanity. Pure psychology. They have your credit card and charge it + auction fee.

Having paid it, do you want to actually get it? Sure you do, otherwise you have lost a heap of money.

So, you grind your teeth and pay for shipping.
It is the oldest scam: in for a penny, in for a pound.
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Old 21st July 2019, 09:38 PM   #14
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It can seem as a scam when you know the actual price of shipping, a box and bubble wrap is inexpensive. You pay for the labour but they would be picking up many items in an auction making one or two trips to collect. In 3 years it's gone from 80£ to 130£. I've been tempted just to leave the item with the auctioneer and have him resell it with a proper description which would make a profit.
In the US it costs about $20 for packaging and $70 to ship, far less than UK prices, we are closer though, but half price of the UK.
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Old 21st July 2019, 09:43 PM   #15
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Marius, you are right. Most doent think of this.


Ariel, ha, ha, yes you are right - there are honest firms - but you will have to look for them.


Will, why do you bid in Europe when you know the conditions?
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Old 21st July 2019, 10:48 PM   #16
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double

Last edited by ariel : 22nd July 2019 at 01:19 AM.
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Old 21st July 2019, 11:34 PM   #17
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Default Czernys / Netherlands -US shipping

Quote:
Originally Posted by mariusgmioc
This issue is not only with Czerny's.

I had to pay extortionate prices to have blades sent to the Netherlands from UK and especially from US.

For me, so far Czerny's provided quite reasonable shipping prices.


I, too, have had generally good experiences with Czernys' shipping. If I win something, I ask them to calculate the shipping and add it to the invoice and I pay the whole thing at once. The item arrives, usually within 2-3 weeks of my payment. Hermann Historica has also been quite reliable and quick.

Between my colleague in Haarlem and myself, we have a reasonable and pretty efficient shipping arrangement. He sends blades to me for restoration via Netherlands post, they arrive via USPS San Francisco entry point in a week to 10 days. I send to him via USPS express mail or on his courier account, likewise quick. UPS still takes antique weapons between our countries. But the post is a lot less expensive; at any rate I like to do a combo shipment with multiple items so the cost is pro-rated and a lot more economical.

Last edited by Philip : 21st July 2019 at 11:34 PM. Reason: add title
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Old 21st July 2019, 11:37 PM   #18
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....and another "scam" is the Ebay Global Shipping scheme. USPS/Royal Mail/Parcelforce is about half the cost and twice as quick in my experience. I will not bid on sellers who insist on using the Ebay Global Shipping.

As far as shipping from Italy is concerned I once lost an item which was "tracked" all the way from the seller to the Italian Customs clearance and then......NOTHING. Thru the "back door" I found that the item had in fact been returned to the seller, but he denied that!!! What else can one do but not buy from him again!
Stu
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Old 22nd July 2019, 12:15 AM   #19
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Default Commercial carriers and their regulations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Will M
I also experienced most shippers will not send antique swords. DHL is now on the list with UPS for not taking them. I've had UPS twice take them in and then take over a week to return to sender. Now Parcelforce is the only one I know of who will ship and that's using a inventive description without using the word "sword"


Keep in mind that commercial carriers (courier services like UPS, FedEx, DHL, et al) set their own rules as regards to shipping "weapons" (antique or otherwise) that are independent of national laws regarding ownership or sale of same. They tend not to distinguish between antique and modern, just as
the enforcers of CITES like to turn blind to the distinction between antique ivory and new tsatshkes. Furthermore, the regs can change without notice, and different standards operate in different geographic service areas.

As someone in the biz (mainly restoration), I know firsthand what a nightmare this is. To illustrate (mind you, as examples only and not intended as guidance on your current decision-making), consider this from my experience over the past few years up til now:

1. I used to use FedEx a lot for overseas and domestic (within the US) because their service and tracking is quite good and they tend to beat up parcels less than UPS or the post). However, as of this past spring they have stopped accepting all weapons of any age, even swords and bows/arrows, for overseas transport. This, breaking just as a valuable saber was being sent to me from Europe, caused a real headache on my end.

2. A friend purchased some antique spears from a source in Thailand a couple years back and UPS refused to accept it.

3. But Czernys has used UPS to ship antique firearms outside the EU for some years until UPS backed out in 2017. I bought a fine flintlock fowler from them that year and it was a 9 month journey with fits and starts, first to Belgium and from there to the UK where a freight forwarder licensed to handle firearms sent it to me for a princely sum (fortunately I was able to combine it with another gun bought in the UK and pro-rate the costs). Last year Czernys told me that UPS was "on" again, but I have not tested it simply because nothing in the way of guns offered since has tempted me to bid.

4. UPS ships antique guns within the EU at least for now. But not from Germany overseas. In March I bought a flintlock at Hermann H, they sent it by UPS to someone in a EU country who forwarded it via post with some swords. (US postal regulations have no restrictions on entry of either flintlocks or swords), The cost of both legs of the journey was a fraction of what I paid to the UK firm (see above) and my local customs broker for their services in 2017.

5. I was told that a collector in the US recently received a matchlock musket via UPS from Europe, no problem. Customs declaration stated "matchlock, antique over 100 years old".

The point of this litany is that there is no rhyme or reason to these rules which have little or nothing to do with law, they are just policies created by the giant corporations that are increasingly dominating our lives. (maybe it could be worse, we could be hoeing and scything on manorial land owned by feudal lords).

For now, I mostly use the post for shipping out of the US*, have not had a problem TO DATE, even describing swords as decorative or ornamental, antique over 100 years old. No problem receiving stuff via post either; I'm not too concerned with the occasional Fish and Wildlife inspection for CITES material since I make it clear to customers that I won't accept it on objects for restoration. *to EU and Scandinavia, Canada, Aus/NZ. Israel, Hong Kong addresses -- I avoid having to deal with other regions for obvious reasons. Japan is a special case too since of the country's very tight restrictions on swords.
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Old 22nd July 2019, 07:11 AM   #20
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I also did experience shipping quotes from Czerny’s which seemed to be in line with other auctions. If you find a cheaper carrier, I‘d guess they would be happy to hand over your piece and even do the packing for a nominal fee.

If I understand correctly, the main issue with Italy are national legislations imposing quite a bit of rules and associated paperwork on selling and shipping hot as well as cold iron... Even traveling with a very simple pocket knife is pretty much outlawed - I’m sure this really helps with fighting the mafia...

As Philip points out, the idiosyncratic rules of the carriers are often a greater pain than national and international regulations. Even USPS is known to decline overseas shipping of items which are perfectly legal and not restricted in the destination country (as well as the US)!

And, yes, ebay’s global shipping makes things even worse and is much more expensive than any regular shipping including customs fees.

Did I mention my pet peeve - currency exchange rates and fees?

Regards,
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Old 22nd July 2019, 03:56 PM   #21
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Default foreign exchange racket

Quote:
Originally Posted by kai

Did I mention my pet peeve - currency exchange rates and fees?

Regards,
Kai


Kai, this is a bugaboo that hits all of us who need to pay or receive money across borders. It can feel like highway robbery. PayPal uses a crummy rate (for us, not them). Bank rates may be better depending on where you have your account -- but wire transfer fees are a ripoff. For instance, my bank charges me a $15 flat rate fee just to receive a transfer and post it to my account balance. International wires, that involve a currency exchange en route, invariably trigger "intermediary bank fees" that leave the recipient anywhere from $15 to $20 short, depending on the size of the payment. A recent payment from a customer in Europe (outside the euro zone) left me $24 shy of the invoice amount due to these intermediary fees.

For some years now, I have been using, for international transactions, an online service called TransferWise. It uses an electronic funds transfer system that's fast, offers very competitive exchange rates, and only charges a miniscule service fee to the sender. The best thing is that the payee gets exactly the amount you send, no intermediary bank or currency-exchange fees added on. You can find out how it works from their website. It doesn't get any more painless than this.
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Old 22nd July 2019, 04:22 PM   #22
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Default another example...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kai

As Philip points out, the idiosyncratic rules of the carriers are often a greater pain than national and international regulations. Even USPS is known to decline overseas shipping of items which are perfectly legal and not restricted in the destination country (as well as the US)!



Regards,
Kai


Just got an email from a customer in Germany who wants to send some blades for polishing. Says that the Deutsche Post's parcel service is now run by DHL, and apparently swords are now on their no-take list. UPS will accept weapons so long as they are not firearms (but apparently some auctioneers can use UPS to ship guns within the EU as I pointed out previously).

Now, the kickier: UPS is saying that they will transport his swords but they don't take antiques! No kidding...

Back in the 1980s when I was living in Hawaii I had two problems with UPS and their antiques policy. One, they refused to accept a rare book that I wanted to send to a buyer in England. No artwork, unique collectibles, nor anything "irreplaceable" I was told. Two, I had to battle them tooth and nail for compensation to repair a Russian samovar that they damaged in transit. Tried to deny the claim based on it being antique. I finally convinced them that it was not old, it was "second hand merchandise", not unlike the household crap that bazillions of people ship thru UPS every day. Fortunately the idiots couldn't read the Russian inscription "Sankt Peterburg 1906" stamped on it.

Now, my colleague in the Netherlands has used his shipping consolidator account to cover the charges for the restored stuff I send back to him, invariably UPS gets the pick because of their better rates. All of the stuff is antique and described as such on the declaration form. UPS hasn't uttered a peep about that! Where is the logic?

As to your comment on USPS (US Snail Mail), occasionally a counter clerk will give you the song and dance about "swords are weapons and you can't send them". Simply take the parcel to another station. There is no rule against sending either swords or antiques -- this becomes apparent if you go through the process of preparing international shipping labels on their website since each country's import rules pop up on the screen..

I always recommend to US-based colleagues that if they use US mail, it's best to open an online account and thus prepare your shipping labels and customs dec (for overseas shipments) forms on your computer. That way you just drop off your box for scanning, with labels in the pouch. The clerks don't generally read line-by-line so that removes the temptation to act as impromptu enforcer of an imaginary regulation. If you do the forms by hand, they tend to check more closely.
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Old 22nd July 2019, 05:37 PM   #23
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Hello Eftihis,

I know your problem, look here: http://www.vikingsword.com/vb/showt...hlight=z%FCrich
But like Kai and Philip I know that Czernys' shipping isn't expensive normally! There will be a reason, ask them for the reason. Hope that you will find a solution for the problem.

Regards,
Detlef
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Old 22nd July 2019, 06:09 PM   #24
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I purchased at Czerny's March auction. The shipping price wasn't too bad. 210 euros for 2 swords and a chainmail shirt to the US.

But there were fish and wildlife holds in Italy and the US, as well as an FDA hold, and it took about a month.

In my discussion with the agency official inspecting my package whom UPS connected me with, I forget whether it was US FDA or F&W, they said that both agencies randomly inspect antiques shipments valued at over $1,000 and it can take a while once they get their mitts on it.
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Old 22nd July 2019, 10:21 PM   #25
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Hi Philip.....Interesting first comment of yours regarding Deutschepost/DHL. I have just received a sword from Germany sent by this method and correctly described as a sword, so something does not ring true here.
Stu
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip
Just got an email from a customer in Germany who wants to send some blades for polishing. Says that the Deutsche Post's parcel service is now run by DHL, and apparently swords are now on their no-take list. UPS will accept weapons so long as they are not firearms (but apparently some auctioneers can use UPS to ship guns within the EU as I pointed out previously).

Now, the kickier: UPS is saying that they will transport his swords but they don't take antiques! No kidding...

Back in the 1980s when I was living in Hawaii I had two problems with UPS and their antiques policy. One, they refused to accept a rare book that I wanted to send to a buyer in England. No artwork, unique collectibles, nor anything "irreplaceable" I was told. Two, I had to battle them tooth and nail for compensation to repair a Russian samovar that they damaged in transit. Tried to deny the claim based on it being antique. I finally convinced them that it was not old, it was "second hand merchandise", not unlike the household crap that bazillions of people ship thru UPS every day. Fortunately the idiots couldn't read the Russian inscription "Sankt Peterburg 1906" stamped on it.

Now, my colleague in the Netherlands has used his shipping consolidator account to cover the charges for the restored stuff I send back to him, invariably UPS gets the pick because of their better rates. All of the stuff is antique and described as such on the declaration form. UPS hasn't uttered a peep about that! Where is the logic?

As to your comment on USPS (US Snail Mail), occasionally a counter clerk will give you the song and dance about "swords are weapons and you can't send them". Simply take the parcel to another station. There is no rule against sending either swords or antiques -- this becomes apparent if you go through the process of preparing international shipping labels on their website since each country's import rules pop up on the screen..

I always recommend to US-based colleagues that if they use US mail, it's best to open an online account and thus prepare your shipping labels and customs dec (for overseas shipments) forms on your computer. That way you just drop off your box for scanning, with labels in the pouch. The clerks don't generally read line-by-line so that removes the temptation to act as impromptu enforcer of an imaginary regulation. If you do the forms by hand, they tend to check more closely.
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Old 22nd July 2019, 10:24 PM   #26
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Default CITES- related inspections

Quote:
Originally Posted by vilhelmsson

In my discussion with the agency official inspecting my package whom UPS connected me with, I forget whether it was US FDA or F&W, they said that both agencies randomly inspect antiques shipments valued at over $1,000 and it can take a while once they get their mitts on it.


OK, so now we have to deal with CITES on top of shippers who fear that our little community of antiques buffs might be feeding arms to terrorists...

In the US, incoming shipments are subject to random inspections regardless of whether by post or commercial carrier. Officials with the Fish and Wildlife administration are in charge of it; they operate under the bureaucratic umbrella of the US Dept. of Agriculture, and they work hand in glove with Border Control and Customs.

You are correct in that customs declarations are flagged, via contents description and value, for these inspections. "Antiques" and any verbiage pertaining to the decorative arts will trigger an occasional look-see; it's ironic for the recipient because "antique" designation is pretty much a free pass as re: import duty exemption if the thing is over a century old.

In my experience, some dealers who regularly ship to the US might be "flagged" for regular monitoring, likewise for recipients in the US who have been tagged with a "problem" shipment issue before. It's happened with guys I know in the UK and here in the States. And some overseas dealers have led a charmed life, having shipped ivory hilted daggers to the US repeatedly over the last umpteen years til recently.

So it can be a crapshoot... But do you want to take a chance? I have two colleagues in the trade who had problems over FAUX tortoise shell veneered sword hilts, both confiscated by officials who insisted that they were the real thing. One dealer, Europe based, got his merch out of hock after several months of sending in documentation explaining why his hilt veneer was ersatz (it doesn't take a great deal of art expertise to tell the difference). The other fellow, based in the US, had a similar type of sword confiscated en route to an overseas buyer, seized before it left our shores and that case is still unresolved.

The inspections are conducted in varying degrees. Often a simple X-ray scan is enough to clear a shipment, I sometimes receive a parcel with the F&W inspection sticker or tape on the outside, but with the original sealing undisturbed. A few times, the box looked opened and resealed. No problems with undue delays resulting from this, however. I have had far greater issues with carriers erroneously routing the parcel through their hub to another state, and it falling off the tracking net for awhile. Or for postal shipments of all kinds (not just antique weapons) held up for weeks at the USPS' New York international processing center for reasons unrelated to CITES.
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Old 22nd July 2019, 10:56 PM   #27
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Default from the horse's mouth?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
Hi Philip.....Interesting first comment of yours regarding Deutschepost/DHL. I have just received a sword from Germany sent by this method and correctly described as a sword, so something does not ring true here.
Stu


Stu, I was simply passing along some info given to me by a customer residing in Germany, who was told this by a DP/DHL guy just a couple days ago when he called them about sending his swords to me in the US.

Like you, I received a sword from Germany some months ago, accepted by DHL for overseas transport and in my case, transferred to the USPS system for delivery to me in California. No problems at least in that case.

Have policies suddenly changed, like the situation with FedEx which I had earlier just as a sword was being shipped (which I alluded to in a prior post)?
Or has my customer just been given a bum steer by the organization in response to his inquiry?

At any rate, thanks for posting this, will contact him via email to advise him of your experience, maybe he can inquire further and get a resolution to his situation.
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Old 22nd July 2019, 11:34 PM   #28
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Hi Philip,
I think that it depends on who you get at the receiving counter. In my experience here in NZ if you happen to be "served" by an over diligent person then you get the third degree. If you are lucky, then the parcel is accepted without any problem.
Luck of the draw.............
Stu
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Old 23rd July 2019, 08:35 AM   #29
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I have had an item shipped from Italy - all antique items need clearance papers from the Italian Government for export from Italy - this can take a couple of weeks but the auction house should arrange for a small fee.To make sure Italian heritage is not being shipped out. Unfortunately a over efficacious official opened the package and the hilt was damaged.

I have just had a aboriginal spear thrower damaged (12 inch gash) with a box cutter again by someone opening the package - box arrived with half the things sticking out.

Just had two items from Germany sent at a reasonable price by the Auction house. 75 Euro shipped international -not cheap but i got both items at a very good price.

International shipping for even small kukri or a hand shield can range wildly from the UK. Ranging from 35 pounds to 150 or more. I have had stupid quotes for a single item. Most UK auction houses will not ship international so the options for international shipped items are limited. I recently asked for a shipping quote for 4 kukri/Bhutanese dagger sized items and I go the following prices.

Our estimate to collect, pack and ship the above mentioned Lots to Australia is :

£229.75 via Parcelforce

Or

£193.00 via DHL Express

Or

£188.00 via UPS Express


Alternatively, our estimate to collect, pack and ship the above mentioned Lots to a UK address is :

£50.90 via Parcelforce 24

Or

£46.40 via Parcelforce 48

Shipping costs for antique swords and weapons is a real issue. I have to really want the piece for my collection to pay some of the shipping quotes. And hope on the day i get it at a good price.

I recently sold a 19th C spear head to a chap in NZ and their customs seized it and he had to get police clearance to take possession of a prohibited weapon. After 6 weeks it was cleared only to be delivered to the wrong address and sit in the rain for 9 days!!!!!!!!!!!! Good one NZ Post.

Generally private sales international go much better and have less issues.

The whole international shipping issue - cost, paranoia and carelessness is a real issue for any collector or trader.
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Old 23rd July 2019, 08:41 AM   #30
RAMBA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
Hi Philip,
I think that it depends on who you get at the receiving counter. In my experience here in NZ if you happen to be "served" by an over diligent person then you get the third degree. If you are lucky, then the parcel is accepted without any problem.
Luck of the draw.............
Stu


I recently old a 19th C spear head to a chap in NZ and their customs seized it and he had to get police clearance to take possession of a prohibited weapon. After 6 weeks it was cleared only to be delivered to the wrong address and sit in the rain for 9 days!!!!!!!!!!!! Good one NZ Post.
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