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Old 23rd July 2019, 09:09 AM   #31
kahnjar1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RAMBA
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.

Hi Ramba,
I agree with the comments about NZ Post.They can be rather slack at times.

As for the spear head being held by Customs, it would have been classed by our law as a double edged knife (dagger) which DOES require a permit to import here. If it was SINGLE edged then there should be no problem, so what I am saying is that a sword or knife (single edged) are generally OK without an import permit but DOUBLE edged need a Permit to Import to NZ.
Bottom line here is that if one is buying from ANY COUNTRY, then it is the BUYERS responsibility to make sure that he or she has the right paperwork and is aware of the requirements to import an item. The Law your buyer needs to be aware of is the Customs Prohibition Import Act 2017. If he is not aware of it, then he should be IMHO.
Stu
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Old 23rd July 2019, 10:23 AM   #32
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Having just imported my whole collection into Australia from the U.S., and encountered similar laws to those in New Zealand, I can understand the frustration of being treated capriciously by the Customs people. It really depended on who I spoke to on any given day. The local police were very bureaucratic but entirely consistent in what they told me, unlike Customs. Fortunately, I got nearly all of my pieces through the bureaucratic maze, but it took almost a year and several rounds of paperwork. When dealing with the Australian Customs (and perhaps Customs Officers most places), I would advise being very, very patient and don't get upset with them--it doesn't help and they have all the power!
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Old 23rd July 2019, 04:48 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RAMBA
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..


Yes. Even an out of print book from the 1940s! I bought a copy of Malatesta's Armi ed Armaioli d'Italia last year and in the parcel was a signed and stamped certificate approving its export from Italy.

The auction house I frequently buy from in Italy handles the export paperwork, you're right about the time frame but it's not an undue burden. I have no idea what the fee is since the dispatch portion of their invoice is all rolled into one number.
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Old 23rd July 2019, 04:56 PM   #34
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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


This is exactly the case with the US Snail and judging from your experience it must be the same worldwide with any state or quasi-governmental bureaucracy. Consider the type of people working for outfits like that ...

As you say, it's the luck of the draw. With our Post Office, you can always drive a couple miles to a station in the next postal district to find a sensible employee there.
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Old 25th July 2019, 10:32 PM   #35
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I have been trying to obtain shipping quotes for a small wooden mask coming up for sale in the USA. International shipping - I think we have a new stupid quote of the year.

A USPS store.

"Hello

Can you also quote on shipping of this item below.

USPS and I have already had a quote of $120 USD.

Thanks

*****

***

What are the dimensions, weight and value of this mask?

Thanks ****


"16 x 9 x 4.5 inches. 1.3 KG approx or less. Value $150 USD approx.

Thanks"

****

"Good morning,

Pick-up, packaging, and shipment is apprx. $735.69. Please advise is you'd like us to proceed.

Thank you!

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Old 25th July 2019, 11:19 PM   #36
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I've never had any problems shipping internationally with the Post Office; UPS on the other hand...
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Old 26th July 2019, 12:57 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RAMBA
I have been trying to obtain shipping quotes for a small wooden mask coming up for sale in the USA. International shipping - I think we have a new stupid quote of the year.

A USPS store.

"Hello

Can you also quote on shipping of this item below.

USPS and I have already had a quote of $120 USD.


Hi, you have a common problem, but before i explain a possible way out, I must say that I'm a bit confused by the content of your post. You phoned a "USPS Store"? I'm sure you mean a UPS Store. The USPS (United States Postal Service aka US Snail) operates stations in each postal zone, they are not retail outlets to the extent that UPS Stores or FedEx Office locations are. Furthermore, unless you are an employee with access to secret numbers, connecting anyone at the US Snail by phone is something that requires papal intervention or an act of Congress.

OK, having said this:
1. It is an axiom that the US Snail will beat any of the commercial carriers regarding rates. That explains the differential in price mentioned in your post. In exchange for that bonus, you don't get the tracking reliability with the Snail service as the couriers offer. The exception is USPS Express Mail service, you get good performance but pay a premium for it. Still, for international shipping i find FedEx and UPS tracking to be tighter, but on the other hand FedEx no longer accepts weapons as stated in my prior posts.

2. You can get accurate rate quotes from the US Snail on their website calculator, at www.usps.com. You pay the same rate for all services whether you book online or do it over-the-counter.

3. You can likewise calculate rates for commercial carriers on their websites, www.FedEx.com or www.UPS.com. But be aware that these outfits quote different prices depending on your business status with them, and on what platform you are making your inquiry from. You'll get a certain rate as a private retail customer from the website calculator. If you have a business account and are a "volume shipper", you get a discount off the standard rate, how much depends on how much you ship per year. This amount is automatically calculated when you log in to your account before making an inquiry or purchasing service.. The WORST quotes are the ones you get on the phone or at the counter of the UPS Stores, or FedEx Offices. Those will induce real stickier shock, just as you experienced.

I guess we can chalk it up to capitalism at work. Your experience can be likened to currency exchange when traveling -- do it at the airport and you're subjecting yourself to highway robbery. Using a no-fee or low-fee credit card geared for international business travelers will save you a bundle. In other words know the market and how the players operate to choose the best, or the least painful, option for yourself. Good luck, man!

3.
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Old 26th July 2019, 09:00 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip
Hi, you have a common problem, but before i explain a possible way out, I must say that I'm a bit confused by the content of your post. You phoned a "USPS Store"? I'm sure you mean a UPS Store. The USPS (United States Postal Service aka US Snail) operates stations in each postal zone, they are not retail outlets to the extent that UPS Stores or FedEx Office locations are. Furthermore, unless you are an employee with access to secret numbers, connecting anyone at the US Snail by phone is something that requires papal intervention or an act of Congress.

OK, having said this:
1. It is an axiom that the US Snail will beat any of the commercial carriers regarding rates. That explains the differential in price mentioned in your post. In exchange for that bonus, you don't get the tracking reliability with the Snail service as the couriers offer. The exception is USPS Express Mail service, you get good performance but pay a premium for it. Still, for international shipping i find FedEx and UPS tracking to be tighter, but on the other hand FedEx no longer accepts weapons as stated in my prior posts.

2. You can get accurate rate quotes from the US Snail on their website calculator, at www.usps.com. You pay the same rate for all services whether you book online or do it over-the-counter.

3. You can likewise calculate rates for commercial carriers on their websites, www.FedEx.com or www.UPS.com. But be aware that these outfits quote different prices depending on your business status with them, and on what platform you are making your inquiry from. You'll get a certain rate as a private retail customer from the website calculator. If you have a business account and are a "volume shipper", you get a discount off the standard rate, how much depends on how much you ship per year. This amount is automatically calculated when you log in to your account before making an inquiry or purchasing service.. The WORST quotes are the ones you get on the phone or at the counter of the UPS Stores, or FedEx Offices. Those will induce real stickier shock, just as you experienced.

I guess we can chalk it up to capitalism at work. Your experience can be likened to currency exchange when traveling -- do it at the airport and you're subjecting yourself to highway robbery. Using a no-fee or low-fee credit card geared for international business travelers will save you a bundle. In other words know the market and how the players operate to choose the best, or the least painful, option for yourself. Good luck, man!

3.


Yes sorry a UPS store - I have been in email contact. It is a real pain.
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Old 26th July 2019, 10:27 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will M
My last sword cost 134£ to pack and ship from the UK to Canada.


Was it a larger item than usual? I've sent many swords from the UK to Canada and the US and the average cost for, say, an 1845 Pattern is £40. Parcelforce have been excellent for me and I describe the item accurately without problem. I usually use the normal Parcelforce website BUT if you book international carriages through the Parcel2Go website it often works out to be considerably cheaper - I hope that helps!
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Old 27th July 2019, 06:05 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MForde
I've sent many swords from the UK to Canada and the US and the average cost for, say, an 1845 Pattern is £40. Parcelforce have been excellent for me and I describe the item accurately without problem.


Doesn't ParcelForce have a length limit of 36 inches or 100 cm as the case may be? When I ship via post from the US to the UK, I'm subject to a 36-inch limit for International Priority Express which is a service on a comparable level to your PF. Anything longer has to go via the non-express service which takes a few days longer.
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Old 27th July 2019, 10:20 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip
Doesn't ParcelForce have a length limit of 36 inches or 100 cm as the case may be? When I ship via post from the US to the UK, I'm subject to a 36-inch limit for International Priority Express which is a service on a comparable level to your PF. Anything longer has to go via the non-express service which takes a few days longer.


Hi Philip, I'm not sure but it's certainly possible. I generally use the same cardboard box to ship swords and it's 125cm long.
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Old 28th July 2019, 07:41 AM   #42
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Further to #25 above regarding the sword sent to New Zealand by DHL Deutschepost, I should perhaps have added that the cost was 47Euro and the parcel weighed 1.78kg. Length was 1m. For the size and distance I would have thought that this cost was very reasonable. It would appear that from the comments posted, that the major part of shipping cost could well be the charge for packing etc.
Stu
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Old 29th July 2019, 11:12 PM   #43
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Default FYI --deliveryby DHL

DHL just delivered an Indian dagger sent by a customer in Europe for blade polish. Described "Art metalwork, jammadar kattari, Indian >100 years old". Package not opened en route, no stickers or tape from CITES inspection. Took less than a week including a Sat./Sun. to get here.

My colleague in the Netherlands still uses UPS as well as Netherlands Post to send swords to the US. So that leaves FedEx as the absolute no-go for all weapons, antique or otherwise, between countries. (TNT has been bought out by them so it doesn't operate on its own anymore.)
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Old 31st July 2019, 09:59 PM   #44
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i received a dagger by fedex today

but i had to wait for 4 weeks so i also cant recommend them.
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Old 1st August 2019, 06:27 AM   #45
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Hello Udo,

Quote:
Originally Posted by silberschatzimsee
i had to wait for 4 weeks so i also cant recommend them.

I’m not sure who you mean by “them” - if the Italian government decides to actually enforce standards on culturally important artifacts that are pretty much agreed on globally, I suppose we can’t really blame the government much less any company operating there.

As collectors we also have to bear with idiosyncratic national regulations that surpass global standards like Italy on “weapons” even if antique/obsolete, the US and UK on antique ivory, and the list goes on and on...

BTW, Czerny’s mentions the imposed regulatory processes and timeframe on the website if I remember correctly.

Regards,
Kai
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Old 1st August 2019, 06:39 AM   #46
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Quote:
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.

P.S.: Small inoffensive pocket knives get regularly confiscated by the Italian customs (even when exciting Italy!) - better not try the ferries from IT to GR...
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Old 1st August 2019, 07:54 AM   #47
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My entry has nothing to do with italy or czernys

I was talking about fedex being the worst shipping experience.
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Old 1st August 2019, 07:45 PM   #48
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Thanks for your explanation! From the other comments in this thread it seems that you got really lucky to receive it at all and the parcel not getting returned to the sender...
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Old 4th August 2019, 09:55 AM   #49
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Just my personal experience with Czerny's and shipping from Italy to France:
I am regularly buying krisses and kris hilts from them, their shipping service is slow but it is partly justified because they have to go through the very bureaucratic Italian Customs regulations (export permit).
Their shipping rates are quite high but no exorbitant (45 USD for shipping a balinese kris for instance, I always insist to get the best rate) and up to now I received the items safely.
The direct consequence of the shipping problems to some destinations is that there are very few bidders as compared to other international auction houses and you can achieve excellent deals in some cases.
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Old 11th October 2019, 11:51 PM   #50
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Ok so try this out: got a beja dagger at auction from Italy and paid around $240 in shipping alone! We'll see how it turns out when it comes in.
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Old 12th October 2019, 12:39 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
Ok so try this out: got a beja dagger at auction from Italy and paid around $240 in shipping alone! We'll see how it turns out when it comes in.

How much does a beja dagger weigh? I just got a sizeable book from the big auction house in Italy, package weight a little over 2 lb, was charged 80 euro for FedEx international economy. Got It within 2 weeks of wiring the payment and it would probably have been faster if FedEx didn’t call me from their hub in TN asking me to translate the title for them and tell them what it was about and how old it is. (My replies to them included the jibes “hey don’t youse guys read Italian?” and “whadidya expect, the Gutenberg Bible?” - luckily the rep has a sense of humor)
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Old 12th October 2019, 01:54 AM   #52
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about a month ago i won a bid for a pair of kerisses of not v good quality but one had an ivory handle (which is the reason i bid for). I did not worry about this because ihave received quite a few keris from UK with ivory grip previously. but this time, the auction house declined to post to me. I then requested mailbox etc (which only a few months before sent a keris with ivory handle to me without any problem) but this time they refused. I found another one that is willing to apply for CITES certificate for my item and their initial quote for post + cites certificate process is around 235 pounds. The process is till ongoing and not completed yet. My winning bid was only 60 pounds. In conclusion i am basically screwed.
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Old 12th October 2019, 04:45 AM   #53
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Ouch! Just curious, did the shipping firm itemize their price quote - CITES certificate fee, packing, shipping, insurance, their markup, etc? Once the paperwork is completed, what carrier will do the transport? ParcelForce, ccommercial courier, etc? I hope that with the certificate it can be delivered to you directly and not involve the services of a customs broker on your end to clear the importation which would result in additional fees.

I’ve had that experience when I bought an antique pistol from a London saleroom last year. Auction houses operate in a legal fishbowl and need to cross all their T’s and play by the rules all the way. My purchase had to go through a licensed freight forwarder ( and yes they had to show diligence re CITES to rule out ivory inlays) and because of the valuation on the invoice I needed a customs broker that cost me another $350 on my end plus the 400 quid that the UK shipper charged. Ridiculous, I thought, because all antiques enter the US duty free and there are no restrictions on flintlocks. But there was no way around this racket so just had to pay up and shuddup. Every country has different rules and though you said the value of your purchase was not that expensive, be sure that you check with your country’s customs office to verify what the formalities are for CITES affected material.

The only point I’m trying to make to all is that in this day and age of myriad rules governing arms and animal species, it helps to be fully cognizant if all the issues and costs connected with getting something from A to B before you bid in an overseas auction.

Last edited by Philip : 13th October 2019 at 02:41 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 12th October 2019, 12:01 PM   #54
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As a note for members, if anyone wins anything at auction near me (Wokingham, Berkshire, UK) I'd be happy to send it overseas to you. It's a long shot but thought I'd offer!
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Old 12th October 2019, 02:17 PM   #55
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Phillip;

The quotation given was an estimate by them and not itemized. But they did inform that for getting the CITES certificate alone, the cost is 90 pounds. I am waiting for the CITES process to be completed and wait for the actual invoice from them. To be fair, the auction house did offer to resell my won item in their future auction but I decided to apply for CITES certificate and keep my won item.

I am not exactly sure what the custom officers at my end will do, as I no experience receiving shipment with CITES certificate before although I have received numerous ivory hilted items in the past several years without any problem from them.

MForde:

Thank you very much, that is very kind of you to help us with shipment. I'll keep this in mind if I have problems . For sure we'll not request you to ship ivory materials unless we have proper documentation.
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Old 12th October 2019, 02:34 PM   #56
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Are there paints easily reversible?
To paint flintlock rifles with ivory inlay decoration or sheaths with some small, ivory-decorated parts?

For handles ivory in revenche I do not see how to hide them discreetly.
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Old 12th October 2019, 08:02 PM   #57
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Hey guys, Not to gloat (too much), but I just had a box of swords arrive in California from Italy. It shipped FedEx International Economy on Wednesday, 10/9, and was delivered in California on Friday, 10/11, before 10 am.

However, a shipment earlier in the year from the same place with UPS had a 30 day FDA and Fish & Wildlife hold, and nothing biological inside.

So I think luck is a factor.

Also, please don't circumvent CITES. It invalidates provenance and encourages fakes.
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Old 13th October 2019, 02:20 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vilhelmsson

However, a shipment earlier in the year from the same place with UPS had a 30 day FDA and Fish & Wildlife hold, and nothing biological inside.

So I think luck is a factor.

Also, please don't circumvent CITES. It invalidates provenance and encourages fakes.


Yep, the feds can't inspect every parcel. But recent experiences show that the gamble isn't worth it. Call me paranoid, but it seems to me that offenders whose shipments get snagged are put on some short of S-list. A couple years ago, a dealer in the UK used to send me items for restoration, and every single shipment of his was received with Fish and Wildlife inspection tape. Fortunately I had informed him in advance of all this that I would not work on any item affected by CITES, permits or no. He must have landed on somebody/s radar screen because several packages in a row, containing all-metal Indian ethnographic weapons, was flagged and checked.

Getting caught trying to circumvent CITES, either on purpose or inadvertently, can have consequences beyond invalidation of provenance. Like confiscation and destruction. In the recent past, the Richard Wagner Jr collection in the US was liquidated, and a noted UK-based auctioneer was selected to handle disposal of this estate. The CITES-affected pieces were to be sold out of their San Francisco saleroom, the rest sent to London. About a dozen ivory hilted daggers were mistakenly shipped in the group destined for the UK. These were seized, the handles removed and destroyed, and the blades returned to the auctioneers for sale.

Last edited by Philip : 13th October 2019 at 02:40 AM.
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Old 13th October 2019, 02:38 AM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Athanase
Are there paints easily reversible?
To paint flintlock rifles with ivory inlay decoration or sheaths with some small, ivory-decorated parts?

For handles ivory in revenche I do not see how to hide them discreetly.


Back in the 1990s, when CITES enforcement was not what it is now, some dealer colleagues from the UK used to come to US antique arms fairs to buy. As a favor I would handle shipping for them, and on ivory hilts we agreed on the use of automotive spray enamel in gloss or matte black, applied without a primer. It masked the color perfectly and was safely removable with mineral spirits --without a primer it did not adhere all that well, which of course made it vulnerable to a customs inspector with sharp fingernails. But the ruse worked.

I wouldn't have tried it on any surface that included wood, however. And now I wouldn't do it at all, because enforcement is tighter and the penalty, besides a fine, includes confiscation and destruction of the item (see the post I wrote above for a nasty example). The last time I did this was for an English gent who bought a nice ivory horse head shamshir at auction in the US and the seller refused to ship overseas. The blade was a piece of crap so my customer just said to yank and toss it, the hilt was what he was after. I stress the word LAST, I no longer accept any items for restoration that contain any CITES-affected material, not just ivory. It's just not worth it.

Please, fellas -- don't cheat. And keep up on the CITES regs, as re the scope of species involved. It isn't about just ivory, tortoise, rhino and beagle feathers anymore. A friend just reported that a shipment of Oriental weapons sent to him from overseas had one item yanked -- a sword with ray skin covered handle. The inspector demanded that he prove that the species of ray fish that the hilt was covered with was not one of the endangered ones! And keeping in mind that most Japanese swords have ray skin of one species or another under the silk wrapping, you can see where this could possibly lead. And it wasn't too long ago that the Gibson guitar factory was shut down for awhile until the feds verified the source of one lot of African ebony that luthiers use for fingerboards on the necks of instruments.
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Old 13th October 2019, 02:40 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kahnjar1
....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


I recently bought a Co Jang from the US on ebay, which was shipped on the expensive eBay global shipping scheme. Before it left the States it was declared "undeliverable" because it was a weapon. I got my money back but it grieves me that it didn't even go back to the seller, eBay saying they'll dispose of it as they see fit. What is the logic of allowing an item to be sold internationally on your website and then refusing to ship it?
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