Help support TMP

"UK Shipping Losses; 2 questions" Topic

14 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Shipping and Customs Message Board

Areas of Interest


1,317 hits since 6 May 2013
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Augustus06 May 2013 1:19 p.m. PST

Hopefully this will not sound like a rant. I have my questions below seperate, so if you want to skip the story, you can. I live in Texas and we are not known for having the best postal service – it is better, but still leaves a lot to be desired.

I am beginning to have serious doubts about ordering anything from Great Britain.

I have just lost yet another package worth over $75.00 USD. While I might get a refund, the stress surrounding this is becoming a problem.

After this happened, I took stock by looking at my records. It appears I have, no joke, lost 9 (!) orders in the last year. All were refunded either in full or reworked by the shipper actually reshipping another pack (in one case, it took 4 ships to get here). So the damage has not been extreme.

However, the stress caused to me and to the shipper is simply too high. I asked in just about all cases to send via a private service (FedEx, etc.) but almost always been poltitely rebuffed. I would have no trouble covering the extra cost.

In going through records, I have noticed I do not seem to lose packs of small size – I do not have weight figures, but the cost of the items was very small (~$35). I find that interesting. Theft could be an issue, but I doubt it – Texas has post that may not be bright, but they try and I don't lose anything expensive from anywhere else.

Still, checking with the USPS on the receiving end is just about hopeless and they have been next to no help at all.

Shipments from Taiwan, China, South Korea, Malaysia, Russia, Japan, Canada, Brazil are no sweat and generally reach me in fantastic times. Curious as they seem to be all routing through Los Angeles/Houston/etc. in those cases so maybe it is New York that is the problem. Dunno. I'm no expert. But if it comes from the UK, I might as well not even order.

So after this long-winded story, is there something going on with the UK postal service I should know about?

Why are UK sellers against DHL/UPS/FedEx if I am willing to cover ship cost via these methods?

Leon Pendraken Sponsoring Member of TMP06 May 2013 1:39 p.m. PST

Nothing going on that I know about? We've got nothing against couriers either, if you asked for it to be sent by Fedex, no problem at all.

I don't know how much your packages weigh, but for shipments over 2kg, it's actually cheaper to send by courier anyway.

I hope you get the recent package sorted out.

religon06 May 2013 1:51 p.m. PST

With that many lost packages, the problem is most likely local.

napthyme06 May 2013 1:59 p.m. PST

USPS doesn't ship anything there selves anymore since they don't have planes so others are carrying the stuff across the country. who that is is anyone's guess could be fedX, DHL, speedy, ect.

Might not have anything to do with USPS at all.

Personal logo BrigadeGames Sponsoring Member of TMP06 May 2013 2:07 p.m. PST

FedEx does a lot of the air transport for the USPS.

I haven't had anything lost for a while coming into the country.

I have had shipments – even registered mail shipments – go missing for a short while until they come back to me. In most cases it appears that the customer either doesn't get or ignores/forgets about the call tag left by the post.

What I have been doing for the past 6 months is also writing the phone number on the parcel and that seems to have made this issue pretty much go away.

streetline06 May 2013 3:34 p.m. PST

Put your parcel size and weight in here and see what extra cost you're looking at…

Playing with that, it costs £35.95 GBP to send a sugar cube to the USA by DHL…

Personal logo Doms Decals Sponsoring Member of TMP06 May 2013 4:10 p.m. PST

I have the *very* occasional missing item posting from the UK to the US, but it's extremely rare – Italy and South Africa are my "problem" destinations…. I can't see why a company would refuse to use a courier if you're willing to pony up for it, but many firms do avoid them in general – for smaller packets they're stratospherically expensive this side of the pond; several times the price of Royal Mail. As Leon says, over 2kg it becomes a viable option, but for small items, it's really not a practical alternative.

GarrisonMiniatures06 May 2013 4:34 p.m. PST

Personally never had a record of a parcel to the US going missing…Europe now….

Reason I don't use other carriers is simple. I live too far away from any of their depots. Post Office I pass within a couple of miles of a main office, anyone else it's nearer 50.

altfritz06 May 2013 5:59 p.m. PST

It's the U-boats!

Mako1106 May 2013 8:59 p.m. PST

0.5% – 3% is, or was the industry standard for missing, and/or misdelivered items.

I suspect that may still apply today.

I had one a number of years back from the UK, that never left the country. Took a few months to sort out.

Not sure why, but it didn't, and I eventually got a refund from the seller, who was finally able to track it down.

Jerrod07 May 2013 3:04 a.m. PST

Missing parcels are rare with either courier or royal mail recorded.

"Missing" package numbers when not using a recorded service can escalate dramatically.

This is, as religion points out, invariably down to "Local conditions".

Why are UK sellers against DHL/UPS/FedEx if I am willing to cover ship cost via these methods?

Other than bad personal experiences I cant see why they would be, however, bear in mind that some couriers require company-accounts with minimum-use levels before you can send directly through them – so if that company does not have a contract with that specific courier they may not be able to specify that individual courier….

When I say "specify": a common way to ship is to use an intermediary company that has contracts with "all" the couriers.

We, f.ex, would contact that intermediary asking for a quote and they will reply with available options from which we will pick the most suitable for us/the customer.

You cant "know" that they will use a specific service (DHL/UPS/Whatever)… we are just paying them X amount and it is they who chose who it gets sent by.

So whilst we could say it is "being sent by courier" it often isnt possible to specify the individual courier.


If you are wondering why go through an "Intermediary":
1) they qualify for all the minimum-use levels set by any courier – thereby having all options available to them.
2) they get cheaper rates, some of the savings of which are passed on to us and thence the customer.

We, f.ex, only have a single 'directly' contracted courier, everything else goes via an intermediary.

Hope that helps.


EagleSixFive07 May 2013 4:31 a.m. PST

I rarely have anything go "missing" when ordering from the UK but have had numerous Foundry Regiments fail to arrive. Two just recently from Foundry sales on Ebay, which Matt is kindly resending, thank you.

The funny thing is every blister of mediaeval arrived bar the two Napoleonic Regiments. As ALL prior missing figures were French Napoleonic too! It must be theft, almost impossible to catch the bastards though.

GarrisonMiniatures07 May 2013 10:03 a.m. PST

I have a very low loss rate as Garrison sent from direct orders, but on the few times I sold via ebay the 'loss' rate went up massively.

John Thomas8 Supporting Member of TMP19 Jun 2013 4:46 p.m. PST

Shipping costs to the UK are stunningly. It tacks on about double the cost of the item when you throw duty and VAT in with it. Makes selling from the US to the UK fairly out of the question.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.