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How can companies overcharge to such an extent for international shipping?

Old 06-11-12, 07:49 PM
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How can companies overcharge to such an extent for international shipping?

I am in Japan. I ordered a camera - and had it sent to a friend in Oregon. He forwarded it on to me by USPS - cost $30! I didn't like the camera and returned it to the seller.

I ordered a different camera and had it sent direct to me by the company I bought it from. It arrived - same size box, same weight camera - cost $75!! RIP-OFF!!

Yesterday I put a bottle of Aspirin into my cart for a particular company. Went to check-out and the cost of the Aspirin was $12, shipping was $42. I closed the browser tab without completing the order.

I see this kind of stuff SO OFTEN!! Isn't there any law which prohibits a company from charging more than the actual cost of shipping? If not, then there should be! How can companies be so amazingly dishonest?
Old 06-11-12, 08:55 PM
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Re: How can companies overcharge to such an extent for international shipping?

I don't know how much dishonesty exists in shipping charges, compared to how they are affected by the size of the seller and their amount of overseas business. A larger seller that does lots of overseas business will be able to negotiate better rates with USPS, UPS, FedEx, etc. and may have internal systems to streamline shipping. A smaller seller with little international savvy will cost more nearly all the time, and might need to physically drive the package to the post office (totally guessing...).

But I have also been in this situation, buying movies recently from Australia and Italy. One thing that's confounded me is how much greater shipping charges are from mainland Europe (France and the Netherlands) compared to shipping from the UK...where in most cases, the physical distance is hardly any greater. But in that case I'm dealing with a totally different country and postal system, apparently with a totally different cost structure.

Long story short: keep comparing costs, and I feel your pain.
Old 06-11-12, 09:09 PM
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Re: How can companies overcharge to such an extent for international shipping?

You have such wildly different postal rules and rates all around the globe that it's not as simple as sending stuff within your own country. It also adds in more chances for things to go wrong in transit and if the customer wants to return something, it can start adding up to be an ordeal.

I don't normally sell international on Amazon but if someone asks me if I would, I always figure out the shipping first since, depending on the item, it can easily make it not worth it. But if you're a place that's going to offer it, they definitely aren't going to want to lowball the shipping and come out with a loss, so they have to bump it up.
Old 06-12-12, 08:54 AM
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Re: How can companies overcharge to such an extent for international shipping?

I just checked on USPS.Com under calculate a price for a 10 lb. package to Japan, I don't know how much a camera box weighs so I just put 10 lb. as an estimated weight. The lowest cost to ship with any type of delivery confirmation is Express Mail International Flat Rate Box for $75. I don't know how big the flat rate box is so it's hard to say whether a new camera in the box would fit so it might need to go Express Mail International which is $89. That sounds like a lot but it's the only way to have any type of delivery confirmation on the package, which is required if the buyer says the package never arrived and the seller doesn't want to lose the item & the money.

Now you can say you personally would never claim that something didn't arrived if it did but their are people who would have no problem putting in a claim for Item Not Received to get their money back while they keep the item, if their is no delivery confirmation on the package. The only way a seller can protect themselves is to ship with either delivery confirmation or signature confirmation and both are expensive to go anywhere overseas.

Last edited by JCWBobC; 06-21-12 at 08:34 AM.
Old 06-20-12, 12:17 PM
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Re: How can companies overcharge to such an extent for international shipping?

as JCWBobC stated, more than likely they are charging to use a service that is trackable. Registered mail is an option too if its something smaller but from the US is like $11-12 flat for the service on top of whatever it cost to ship.
Old 06-21-12, 10:29 AM
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Re: How can companies overcharge to such an extent for international shipping?

That's why I never used ChoicesUK (out of business anyway)

ChoicesUK International Delivery Charges:
Europe - delivery 30
Rest of World – delivery 50

And why Zavvi is so good (besides slow orders)

99p per delivery worldwide
Old 07-08-12, 08:45 PM
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Re: How can companies overcharge to such an extent for international shipping?

I live in Canada and I know Canada Post is much more expensive than shipping within the US.

For instance if I ship a standard DVD in a bubble wrap envelope to the US it costs me about $6.00. Someone in the US can send me the same package to me in Canada and it costs them $2.29.

I guess it's "economies of scale" so to speak. The US has 300 million people and Canada has 30 million people. The volume of mail in the US is 10 times greater making it cheaper to ship items.
Old 07-08-12, 09:33 PM
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Re: How can companies overcharge to such an extent for international shipping?

yeah or maybe some countries like canada have a lot of taxes etc. or don't have to compete with private companies like UPS and FED Ex
Old 07-08-12, 09:51 PM
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Re: How can companies overcharge to such an extent for international shipping?

I sell overseas and quote cheaply, just because I'm anxious to get the sale.

I can tell you that there's a big gap between the USPS and FedEx, when it comes to small packages. I have one of FedEx's best discounts. Off the top of my head, that Camera would be $30 to ship to Japan via USPS, and maybe $70-$90 via FedEx.

Customs taxes/fees confuse the hell out of me. It's different, and all over the place, for each country (and type of commodity in each country). Sometimes, sellers bill the taxes to themselves. And sometimes it's up to the recipient.
Old 07-08-12, 10:01 PM
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Re: How can companies overcharge to such an extent for international shipping?

Originally Posted by orangerunner
I live in Canada and I know Canada Post is much more expensive than shipping within the US.
The USPS is also losing billions quarterly. They went so long without improving their services and infrastructure, that they are ten years behind FedEx and UPS. And now they're afraid to higher their prices, because people will stop using them altogether. So they ship everything at a loss.

Additionally, their employees generally have a dispicable asshole complex and only keep their jobs because it's impossible for the USPS to fire incompetent works, because of the strong union and weak management.
Old 07-09-12, 11:06 AM
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Re: How can companies overcharge to such an extent for international shipping?

USPS raises prices every time they're allowed to.
Old 07-10-12, 08:00 PM
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Re: How can companies overcharge to such an extent for international shipping?

Japan is an island, having stuff shipped to an island is expensive.

Also you are in Japan why are you buying a camera in America? Go to Yodobashi.
Old 07-10-12, 09:16 PM
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Re: How can companies overcharge to such an extent for international shipping?

Originally Posted by Mister Peepers
USPS raises prices every time they're allowed to.
Exactly. Priority Mail service is informally equivalent to UPS and FedEx 2-day. And USPS charges 20-60% of what UPS and FedEx charges.

Plus, the USPS STILL has not mastered package tracking nor delivery confirmation. Packages are rarely scanned until someone at the PO "feels like" scanning the packages at their location. And for deliveries, it's a "yes" or "no" - whereas UPS and FedEx can type in if they left a package at a side gate, with a nieghbor, etc.

Plus, USPS just can't get past the grumpy, irritated demeanor of their employees. My FedEx and UPS guys NEVER treat me like shit. I've only ever had one jolly go-to guy at the PO. The other twenty I've known act like they're going on a Falling Down type killing spree after work. Or they're fine one day, and are pissed the next day because I have ten or twenty little packages for them.

That said, I still use them. Till the shit hits the fan and the USPS goes under. Then I'll decide if I'm going to use them, or switch to UPS.
Old 07-11-12, 10:49 AM
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Re: How can companies overcharge to such an extent for international shipping?

Originally Posted by SterlingBen
Japan is an island, having stuff shipped to an island is expensive.

Also you are in Japan why are you buying a camera in America? Go to Yodobashi.
Some things end up being cheaper to buy from the US and ship to Japan. My wife has to do this for her brother sometimes but having lived there, cameras should be cheaper to get over there.
Old 07-12-12, 08:50 AM
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Re: How can companies overcharge to such an extent for international shipping?

Yeah, that's absolutely right Mister Peepers, a lot of things are cheaper to buy from Amazon in the USA and have shipped here to Japan rather than buying them here. The case in point - the camera - it was $100 cheaper (including the overcharge on the postage) to have it shipped rather than buy it at Yodobashi. I'll give you another example - take a look at this link
http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-SRG06FG-3-3-Cup-Uncooked-Automatic/dp/B0009E3F68/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pdT1_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=KO85R4RP305E&coliid=I1OEWRVJIVR3ZU - note that it's about $30 at Amazon in the USA. Can you even imagine how much this might cost to buy at Yodobashi??? It's 18,900 YEN!!! That's over $200 at today's exchange rate. WHY??? I have no idea at all. Unfortunately, when I look at this product the Amazon.com page says it cannot be shipped to Japan, so I'll have to have it shipped to my friend in the USA who takes care of me. My presently owned rice cooker - the same basic model as the one the link goes to is on it's last legs!
Old 07-13-12, 12:22 PM
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Re: How can companies overcharge to such an extent for international shipping?

I really hope you are not cooking rice in something like that, thats despicable, especially in Japan.

You might as well come back to the US if you are not even going to try.
Old 07-13-12, 08:26 PM
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Re: How can companies overcharge to such an extent for international shipping?

May I ask what you suggest Sterling Ben?! One of those ridiculous things which has a timer to start cooking at 5:00 PM - a keep warm mode and so on?! Why do you need all the bells and whistles?! They don't make any better tasting rice! I have one of that style and they are a pain in the butt to clean. The one I love and use every day is the one like I referenced. The one I hate and use only when I need the rice to be ready when I get up at 5:00 AM is the one with the timer and warmer and the like.

And what do you mean by "may as well come back to the US if you're not even going to try"? Shit, I've been here 11 years!!! Can you say the same?
Old 07-14-12, 08:08 PM
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Re: How can companies overcharge to such an extent for international shipping?

Originally Posted by danwiz
May I ask what you suggest Sterling Ben?! One of those ridiculous things which has a timer to start cooking at 5:00 PM - a keep warm mode and so on?! Why do you need all the bells and whistles?! They don't make any better tasting rice! I have one of that style and they are a pain in the butt to clean. The one I love and use every day is the one like I referenced. The one I hate and use only when I need the rice to be ready when I get up at 5:00 AM is the one with the timer and warmer and the like.

And what do you mean by "may as well come back to the US if you're not even going to try"? Shit, I've been here 11 years!!! Can you say the same?
I was only there a year and if you haven't figured out in 11 what it took me 1 then yeah might as well head back, you are doing it wrong.

Some decent and not so decent rice cookers discussed in this thread over here.

http://forum.dvdtalk.com/other-talk/...-cooker-2.html

I am really only calling you out because your are currently residing in the country that makes the best cameras and rice cookers, importing to Japan maybe a good idea for somethings but yeah not for any of the things you are apparently importing.
Old 07-14-12, 08:15 PM
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Re: How can companies overcharge to such an extent for international shipping?

You do your price researching and I'll do mine and let's agree to disagree!
Old 07-14-12, 11:19 PM
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Re: How can companies overcharge to such an extent for international shipping?

You are the one who threw your hat into the peanut gallery.

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