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Thread: shipping fabric

  1. #1
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    does anyone know what it costs to ship overseas? a flat box? a squishy? priority? slow boat to china?

    i know the post office is the really cheapest of all, but how? please p.m.

  2. #2
    Senior Member sewaholic's Avatar
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    Just check with the rules and regulations. Over here in Aus if the post office can make a cube out of your parcel it costs more than if it has round corners or is a weird shape.

  3. #3
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
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    To china, I have no clue, but it costs me about $40 to ship a Flat Rate to Spain, if that's any help to you. If you use any other box than the flat rate, it will cost a TON more.

    Izy might be able to give you the exact price if she still has the box I sent to her.

    I just did a search...go here http://ircalc.usps.gov/
    You can calculate the price.

  4. #4
    Super Member MollieSue's Avatar
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    I use http://postcalc.usps.gov/ when shipping things I sold on Ebay. Just put in the country, weight of item, etc. Usually you can also purchase the label online.

  5. #5

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    I have bought 3.5yard of flannel from USA with priority mail international flat rate. It was USD12 to come to Japan. The man in the shop told it was all they could fit in the flat rate envelope.

  6. #6
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    Definetly use the Flat Rate envelopes or boxes. I ship to the UK for the International Round Robins...be very sure that you fill out the Customs Forms correctly...it could cost big on the "other" end for they to get the package if you don't. :cry:

  7. #7
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    sanpat, when you say 'flat rate box' do you mean the one that's about 3" - 4" high? does it matter where it goes, like australia or new zealand? and can you squeeze in as much as you can load?

  8. #8
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    With the flat rate box its doesn't go by weight , so you stuff the box supposedly. A little known fact is that if the box weighs less then 4 lbs you can ship it out as a letter which saves a ton even if it is a box. Also when we ship out international we have found that to ship out priority without regard to box size is cheaper then if we put a box size in our manifest. The company I work for ships worldwide and we have never had a box returned for more postage
    Sharon

  9. #9
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Here's the website for U.S. Post Office international flat rate information:

    http://www.usps.com/international/pr...ernational.htm

    I have not shipped internationally this way. I clicked on "rates" at this website and see that there are weight limitations on each size of box. If you click on "supplies" you will see what the different flat rate containers look like and what the dimensions are.

    For flat rate shipping within the U.S., I do not think there are any weight limitations; it's just whatever you can stuff inside the envelope or box. The boxes are free; you can pick them up at the post office. You are not charged the flat rate until you bring the box to the post office to mail.

    I think that the problem with shipping fabric from the U.S. to other countries is not so much in the price of the shipping, as that tends to be fairly reasonable, but more in the tax the receiving country charges. To ship internationally, you have to fill out a customs form. If you are shipping fabric to Canada or the U.K., for example, the person receiving the shipment may be required to pay fairly high taxes on it (VAT?). I have shipped a few packages abroad that were gifts, and don't think anyone was charged tax on them because they were labeled as gifts, but you have to be careful about the amount. The only thing I shipped that was worth more than $80 or so were family photos.

  10. #10
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    thanks. that is very helpful info. i have now bookmarked it. can you claim that fabric is a gift if it is? how do you prove that? by enclosing a gift card?
    do they take your word for it? huh?

  11. #11
    BlueChicken's Avatar
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    That's a good point, about the gift thing.

    When I sent my star blocks over I had to fill out the customs form and just ticked "gift". Never realised that the reason was for tax purposes.

    A friend of mine went to Australia last year and bought so much fabric that she had to post it home, it was cheaper than paying excess baggage. I don't think she got charged tax for it.

  12. #12
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by butterflywing
    sanpat, when you say 'flat rate box' do you mean the one that's about 3" - 4" high? does it matter where it goes, like australia or new zealand? and can you squeeze in as much as you can load?
    I used a smaller one for the IRR centers and it has a 4 lb. limit for international. The best source for information on this is the USPS web site. You can really figure out what is the best for your particular situation. I finally learned to google VAT and UK (since that is where my shipments were going) and learned the limits for the customs forms. I would suggest that you do a little research on that aspect prior to sending your package out.

  13. #13
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by butterflywing
    you claim that fabric is a gift if it is? how do you prove that? by enclosing a gift card?
    do they take your word for it? huh?
    I think they just take your word for it. Except for the photos, we wrapped our gifts in wrapping paper and ribbon. Might help? :D

    However, I would do as sandpat recommends and Google VAT/country to find out what the legal limitations are for taxable value.

    If I am remembering correctly, when I was overseas and shipped stuff I bought home to myself, there was either a value limit per box or a value limit per day I could send. It was quite generous. But, that was shipping to the U.S.; other countries may be much more interested in collecting tax on things coming into their territory.

  14. #14
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
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    I'm not sure about the envelops (flat rate), but I know that the boxes, you can send up to 20 pounds for the flat rate internationally at one price. I'm still trying to get 20 pounds into one. Have gotten up to I think 13 pounds at the most. lol

    Customs forms can be a pain in the arse, but yes, make sure you read the fine print about them. The forms have changed too. It used to be this nice form where you could write in big letters, now it's smaller blocks (I don't like that).
    And yes....I have to fill them out from here (Guam) going to the US even tho Guam is a territory of the US. Go figure.

  15. #15
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I got curious about how much fabric weighs, so I pulled out my postal scale and some one-yard pieces of batik I bought the other day. Four yards of batik weighed about 1 lb.

    The $12.95 flat rate international priority box has a limit of 4 lbs on it. I'm not sure how much the box weighs, but theoretically it would be possible to ship about 15 yards of fabric that way. I'm just not sure that 15 yards of fabric would fit into the box.

    If I think of it, next time I'm at the post office I'll see if I can pick up one of those boxes to see how much fabric will fit inside.

    Edit: I just realized the same flat rate boxes are used for both domestic and international use, and I have one of the boxes here. I'm going to see how much yardage can be packed into it and post later!

  16. #16
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    when i shipped to france, i shipped a squishy - that is i took a heavyweight plastic bag and put it into another heavyweight plastic bag (the kind you get when you order clothes through a catalog) i thought it would weigh less that way. i stuffed just under 4 lbs in it and off it went. it cost around $20. so guess what wins. it's almost cheaper to send TWO flat rate boxes.

  17. #17
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Realized the flat rate box I have here is the bigger one. I will stop at the post office on Monday and pick up a small one, though. Still want to find out if 15 yards of fabric will fit!

  18. #18
    Izy
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    The box that Terri sent which is about 12" square [ish!!] by about 5" deep cost $41.95 to send to Spain. I have never had any issues of tax to pay :D

  19. #19
    Moderator tlrnhi's Avatar
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    When you fill out the customs form, there is a box to check on it. I always check GIFT.

  20. #20
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    you are all being so helpful. there are issues that i never would have
    thought to bring up at the post office.

    on the flat rate boxes is there ANY limit on weight? can you stuff in whatever you can?

  21. #21
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by butterflywing
    on the flat rate boxes is there ANY limit on weight? can you stuff in whatever you can?
    There is no limit on weight if the box is being shipped within the U.S. When used internationally, the small box has a limit of 4 lbs ($12.95 postage) and the bigger box has a limit of 20 lbs ($41.95 postage).

    If you scroll back a little in this thread, you will find a link to the post office website with information about international mailings.

  22. #22
    BlueChicken's Avatar
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    Another question that's kind of linked, do you guys use paypal?

    Is it the easiest way to send and collect money around the world?

  23. #23
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    another, other question: how do you guys deal with international monetary rates? if you send a check (cheque :lol: ) and deposit it, does the bank automatically make the rate change or what?

    i know you need to have a seller's acc't with ebay for any one to deposit money into it for you. and then they take a cut. :hunf: :hunf:

  24. #24
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I have used PayPal for smaller amounts. I don't know about the eBay seller account. When I bought some CDs from Australia through eBay, I just sent the money in $ through PayPal to the seller's PayPal account. I'm not sure how many Australian $s the seller got; PayPal would have done the currency conversion.

    It does seem as if PayPal would be the easiest way to transfer money internationally. Here is their page with currency conversion information:
    https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/we...c_send-outside . (If this isn't clickable, just go to http://www.paypal.com and search for currency conversion.)

    For large amounts of money, I have always used a bank wire transfer for safety. There are also services online you can use, which are supposed to give you better currency exchange rates, but the one time I tried I found it much more complicated than just taking all the information down to my bank.

    If you deposit a check in foreign currency, I think the bank will convert it into dollars for you. However, bank currency exchange rates are usually less favorable than others, I think. (Although I found them okay for the last wire transfer I made.)

  25. #25
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    i have a paypal account that i use to purchase stuff (my last purchase was also australia). if you notice the small print in there, neither ebay nor paypal wants it's sellers to sell directly or for it's buyers to buy directly because - guess why - they are inter-related. that is, ebay OWNS paypal, and when a customer pays into a seller's account, ebay takes a bite as it's.....let's call it a commission. or a fee. which means that the seller has to raise his prices enough to cover that bit of overhead. which mens that even though it's cheap for you, the buyer, it could be cheaper still if ebay wasn't grabbing some of it. don't get me wrong ---i love ebay and i love paypal. but i don't think that's the best way for individuals to work with each other. i don't think there has to be a middle man who charges for services.

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