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Thread: UK Mailboxes and shipping ransom charge.

  1. #1
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    Oct 2007
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    UK Mailboxes and shipping ransom charge.

    Not sure under which forum this should go but this deals with shipping of an antique British sword.
    I just received a quote from Mailboxes to ship one infantry sword, a whopping 230 gbp to Canada !!! OUCH.
    If this continues UK auction houses will lose foreign bidders.
    I believe shipping cost is around 60 gbp to Canada so the added charge to pick up and pack is outrageous. Usual cost is at most 150 gbp.
    This was an auto email from Thesaleroom using MBE. Possibly the internet saleroom is skimming heavily?
    $397 Can to ship, wow! Needless to say I refuse to be held ransom

  2. #2
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    Ouch, even 150gbp makes me wince. I would offer to pack and collect too for that sort of mark up but I'm only in collection distance of 3 or 4 auction houses myself so chances are slim it would be near me.

  3. #3
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    Guys: Lately, the US Post has gone up a bit, it is to the point now, in the US, that it is cheaper to send swords in long boxes via FedEx...USPS quoted $156.00 US, and FedEx $36.00 US---So I used FedEx...From Alabama to Oklahoma is not all that far, so I am at a loss to explain the recent increases at the PO...BTW: They now have size restrictions, so that kills it for me...

    Sorry about the other countries, but I think the auction houses are skimming too!! It has happened to me from outside the US.

    Dale

  4. #4
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    By the looks of it The saleroom and mailboxes are overcharging, not the auction house.
    The auction house ALDRIDGES OF BATH LTD Phoenix House, Lower Bristol Rd, Bath BA2 9ES does not ship unfortunately. The auction house seems professional and you get your invoice quickly.
    Is there another shipper I could contact in that area?

  5. #5
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    Mar 2016
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    Sorry, never bought from them before. And it's the wrong side of the country for me.

  6. #6
    Try https://www.packsend.co.uk/bristolcentral/ MBE are individual franchises,there is considerable variation.If they think you have another option they may requote. I agree though,it's becoming a problem when considering a bid on the-saleroom portal...it's getting a lot dearer...When they originally began to offer shipping they were very competitive.

    I could buy a return flight to Canada for less than you're being quoted.
    Niall Dignan

  7. #7
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    Some sellers want to make $$$ on shipping, too. I just won't buy from them no matter the piece. Other sellers are honest with shipping and a pleasure to work with.
    Last edited by T. Donoho; 02-26-2020 at 03:42 PM.
    Tom Donoho

  8. #8
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    The auction house lists several companies to use for shipping. I'm sure one or more have more reasonable rates. It was the automatic email of Thesaleroom with auction Logistics
    that offers a quick quote that could take advantage of someone not paying attention though the numbers did surprise me.
    I have contacted Packsend and waiting for a $ amount. I do remember using them before and should have made a list of the ones I had good service with.
    I believe auction houses could gain considerably by having their own in house packaging.

  9. #9
    even e-bay sellers here in the u.s make a good bit of change shipping stuff out to us also .bill seems like it is a separate business .shipping dept.! bill

  10. #10
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    Dec 2002
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    The same in France, as MBE is also active there and the choice of more and more auction houses. I received a sabre a few months ago that was shipped in a box 3 times its size, with double carboard. Needless to say I paid a fortune to ship it, and sent a complaint to MBE that was never answered. Other times I had good experiences, where MBE really showed an effort in bringing the price down by playing with box dimensions. Its unfortunately a hit or miss, and my best solution so far is to put certain auction houses on a black list when they deal with such shipping pirates.

  11. #11
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    Aldridges lists quite a few shippers and do not appear to have any business relationships with. They have been very good with their service.
    I was able to get a quote for 31 gbp less, I took it because I could be days waiting for other quotes that would be similar. It seems every new year prices jump for many things.
    This now has made me much more conscious of overall price an item will have. Luckily the sword sold for a fraction of its value or I'd be concerned.
    I've already researched the officer and he has a long and colourful career from Ulundi to 1903 but wrote articles about WW1 throughout the war..
    Last edited by Will Mathieson; 02-27-2020 at 08:09 AM.

  12. #12
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    Same in Sweden, it is a ripoff, auction houses charging up to like like £60 for packing and mail within Sweden. I have complained but the usual answer is "Its an antique and is expertly packed by our employees"
    (cardboard box and bubblewrap)
    You can buy a used rear axle for your car and get it packed and shipped from one end of the country to the other for the same cost.

    Bought a few swords from Germany and Denmark and the packing and postage was like half the cost.
    Another way around it is to buy more than one sword from the same place (halves the cost)

  13. #13
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    "Another way around it is to buy more than one sword from the same place (halves the cost)"
    I wish that was true. I once won a lot with four kukri and the shipping company wanted 150 gbp !!!! I complained and said a sword 4x the box length was 100 gbp.
    They lowered the price to 100 gbp. It seems they will charge you individually even if it is in the same box because each item must be packed professionally.
    All this accomplishes is lower hammer prices due to lost customers.

  14. #14
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    It truly is sometimes cheaper to just fly over and get something.

    But then again, how much would you charge someone to drive across town, pick the object up, package it properly, and take it to the post office?

    I was just quoted L325 to pack and ship a heavy and bulky auction purchase (not a sword) to the U. S. but L220 of that was postage.

    And yet one of the big firearm auction houses charges about $50 including postage to ship a rifle within the U. S. That's a bargain but they do it in house.
    hc3

  15. #15
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    The packing charges are getting ridiculous. If anyone ever wins anything at my local one (Wokingham, UK) then I'd be more than happy to help.

  16. #16
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    MBE is a franchise, so they vary hugely from branch to branch. Ignore the Saleroom MBE quote and always contact MBE directly - it is almost always cheaper then. Jentel and Pack and Send are other good options.

  17. #17
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    Hi Matt I did ignore Thesaleroom quote of 230 gbp. Pack&Send I contacted was 199 gbp. so I took it or it would be several more days looking for quotes of about the same.
    The last sword I shipped was to Australia cost $150 Can with insurance though I packaged it myself. The 199 gbp I paid is $354 Can, Too bad that I only know of one auction house that packs and ships on the UK.
    I did have a sword shipped from Scotland and it was more reasonable at about 130 gbp.
    What is the cost just to ship from the UK, about 60-80 gbp for DHL?

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