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Customs is delaying overseas shipments

Just a heads up to my overseas customers regarding delivery times.  Whether it has anything to do with some of the terrorist activity or just a general slowdown in processing, I’ve seen some incredibly slow deliveries overseas.

In the last 10 days I had two customers in Germany have orders shipped on December 12 and December 19 that hadn’t received their orders as of 1/14/15.  Here’s an example of the most recent one that did arrive today.

Delivered GERMANY January 15, 2015 2:58 pm
Customs clearance processing complete GERMANY January 14, 2015 8:05 am
Customs Clearance GERMANY December 20, 2014 1:13 pm
Processed Through Sort Facility GERMANY December 20, 2014 1:13 pm
Departed Frankfurt, GERMANY December 18, 2014 7:36 am
Departed Cologne, GERMANY December 18, 2014 12:31 am
Departed Cologne, GERMANY December 17, 2014 11:36 pm
Departed Paris, FRANCE December 17, 2014 10:25 pm
Departed Paris, FRANCE December 17, 2014 8:56 pm
Departed Philadelphia, UNITED STATES December 17, 2014 7:50 am
Arrived Chicago, UNITED STATES December 16, 2014 11:09 am
Processed Through Sort Facility ISC CHICAGO IL (USPS) December 16, 2014 3:28 am
Arrived at USPS Facility CHICAGO, IL 60666 December 16, 2014 12:11 am
Arrived at Sort Facility ISC CHICAGO IL (USPS) December 16, 2014 12:11 am
Pre-Shipment Info Sent to USPS December 13, 2014

They can get the package half way around the world in 3 days only to have it sit a few miles from it’s ultimate destination for nearly a month.  And I’m not just picking on Germany as I’ve had this happen in numerous destinations.  These two stand out since both shipped about the same date.  So many times a customer will ask how long it takes to get a shipment.  My stock reply is most overseas shipments run 7-10 days depending on the destination.  That being said, I’ve have deliveries run as long as 8 weeks.

It gets really frustrating on both sides of the equation as the customer is mad their order hasn’t arrived and of course it falls back on the merchant.  The Post Offices and Customs typically get a pass.  Thank god they’ve improved the overseas tracking.    In the past, once an overseas shipment hit the sorting facility in Chicago the tracking info used to just disappear like it hit a black hole.  For the past few months it’s improved immensely.

Anyway, regardless where in the world you might be, understand the merchant doesn’t have any control of your package once it slips in the slot at the local post office.  All I can say is I hope these types of delays don’t get anymore frequent then they already are.

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Overseas Shipping Charges Explained..

It occurred to me this morning that for the benefit of my overseas buyers I should really explain my overseas shipping charges.  Let’s first establish that I’ve been told they’re some of the most reasonable overseas shipping charges offered!  I hope so anyway.

My ‘calculator’ for overseas shipping isn’t sophisticated enough to calculate individual product weights for overseas shipments while allowing some items to ship free, some discounted and take in all the different shipping classification possibilities.  So to simplify things, I assigned a shipping charge ‘per item’ to display overseas shipping charges for said item.  This causes a problem when you order multiple items as the charges are frequently too high.

A perfect example arose this morning when a valued customer in the UK ordered 5 items for the Edge Pro Sharpener.  None of the items were particularly heavy and in fact a couple of them were quite light in weight.  The total shipping charge by individual item, came up to $40+ which was WAY out of line.  The actual charge totaled $13.85 (which I discounted ).

Had John simply placed the order and paid for the full overseas shipping charges on the invoice, he knew from past experience I would automatically refund the overcharge.  In this case he gave me a list of the items he wanted to purchase and asked for the ‘actual’ overseas shipping charges he’d billed for and I went ahead and filled out the order for him with the right charges.

So for any of you living  overseas that haven’t ordered from me, rest assured the shipping charges on multiple items may be adjusted and refunded.  On multiple item orders for overseas shipments, don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions.