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International Shipping - Pin Trading

cometplutocometpluto Washington Registered User regular
So I'm new to this whole pin trading thing. I signed up over at pinnypals but I noticed a lot of people are outside of the US. I've never actually shipped something internationally before. Anything I've sold on eBay, Amazon marketplace, or sent to a giftee in a reddit gifts exchange has been to people in the US. Anyone have suggestions on methods to ship things internationally relatively cheaply yet ensure things arrive undamaged?


  • purevalpureval Somersworth, NH Registered User regular
    I used USPS to ship to Australia and had no issues. I spent about $10 including getting a padded envelope. The only problem is they don't do international tracking so you are gambling a little bit. I wrapped my pins in plastic wrap before putting them in the envelope.

  • aleph0aleph0 Registered User regular
    I've shipped to Australia using USPS First Class mail and haven't had much trouble so far. Make sure you use a padded envelope. I also like to wrap standalone pins with additional bubble wrap to ensure they go through the sorting machine unscathed.

  • dmosineedmosinee Davenport, IARegistered User regular
    I had previously posted this except from the guide I got halfway through writing, but this thread seems like an appropriate place for a repost:

    I see people wasting hours of their time and overpaying by as much as $20 in some cases just to ship a couple pins, and I has a sad because those people will probably walk away thinking that online trading sucks and isn’t worth it.

    I (and you if you follow my guide) can safely mail 1 or 2 pins from my home to anywhere in Australia for $6.16 and 10 minutes of work. I can safely mail 3 or 4 pins anywhere inside the US for $1.93 with even less work. Best of all, no waiting in line at the damn post office!
    Section #3A – Shipping from USA to Australia (or Canada):
    Bonza! (or… poutine?) Point your webs to and click “Print a Label with postage” under the Ship a Package menu. You’ll need an account here if you don’t have one, but it’s not too invasive and they don’t spam you. Register if needed, and sign in. The top part should auto-fill so go down to “Where are you sending to?” and drop in all of your trading partners info, noting that there is a separate dropdown for the Country. For our shipping method PO boxes will still work. Set the shipping date to either today or tomorrow depending on when your mail carrier comes around next. This setting is kind of important, because you only get a one day grace period from that day to get your package out.

    Next enter the weight. If you followed my process above, your package should be 2 ounces or less, which will keep things cheap.
    Package Value at this stage doesn’t really matter as long as it’s under $400. After that the options start to change.

    For the service type, we’re going to be shipping First Class Package International Service, which should be $6.16 from anywhere in the continental US to anywhere in Australia for a 2 ounce package. Even one more ounce jacks up the price about $2.50, so that’s why I was so specific earlier about how to package it safely but lightly.

    Don’t freak out because it says you cannot insure first class international, we’ll cover insurance later in this guide. Just hit continue to go to the customs form section.

    The correct designation for our shipment is Merchandise (it’s not a gift if you’re trading). For the description boxes I keep it basic, “Collectible Pin”. Australians don’t have to pay import duties on shipments valued under $1000, so there isn’t really any reason to lie with respect to value. I just use the closest I can get to “retail” price: $30 for a set, $15 for a LE pin, $6 for something trade only (cost of lookouts).
    Below you will have to select a thing asserting that the package is worth less than $2500, and scroll past a bunch of scary text till you can click continue.

    [Canada import duties info goes here]

    Now it’s time to actually pay for it. The paypal integration here is smooth and I've never had a single issue with it. Eventually after paying, you will get to a screen where you can click print, and a complicated ass looking label will spit out of your printer. Ignore anything on this screen about a SCAN form, we don’t need that.

    ***READ THIS!*** You have to sign and date the bottom of the label. Do this now so you don’t forget – if you don’t realize it till the end you’ll have to repackage everything because you can’t get the label back off without destroying the mailer. Ask me how I know.
    Now you’re all set! Just put that baby right in the mailbox, raise the little flag if you have one, message your trading partner the Tracking/DC number, and relax.

    Digital Lanyard, I love trades - - Two pins enter, one pins leaves... then the other pin leaves with a lower Elo rating
  • dmosineedmosinee Davenport, IARegistered User regular
    Also note that you do get tracking with first-class international package (through the E-DELCON program), if you purchase/print the label online (which is cheaper than going into the post office anyway).

    Digital Lanyard, I love trades - - Two pins enter, one pins leaves... then the other pin leaves with a lower Elo rating
  • brettness37brettness37 Vancouver, BCRegistered User regular

    Please don't ever use a courier company to ship to Canada. They charge us all kinds of gouging import fees. Stick to USPS.

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