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A request to portable amp builders re shipping charges

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 

Guys,

 

    I dont know about anyone else here, but there is no way that I am going to give you my payment details until I get a shipping estimate. If you are going to pay someone to set up an electronic shopping cart, please pay them to include the functionality to give people a shipping estimate based on country+postcode.

 

Thank you

 

(For those of HeadFiers who live in the CONUS, be very happy that you dont have to pay FedEX/UPS international shipping. iBasso and others can ship cheaply from Shenzhen to Sydney in less than 5 working days, and that includes a lengthy stretch in our Customs clearing centre)

 

 

post #2 of 44
Thread Starter 

I chased up each of the amp builders for US-made amps I am interested in, and it seems that I can add $50+ to the price of several sought-after amps. That works out at over 10% of the amp purchase price in most cases, and thats a bridge too far for me personally - YMMV.

 

Practical Devices, to their credit, will ship any of their amps for $9 worldwide, except Italy and Israel, where the charge is $26.

 

Looks like I have a choice - PD or stick with amps from Asia. We might have a strong dollar atm, but it just isnt that strong.

post #3 of 44

Who are you talking about?  

 

I use USPS Global Express and it is $35 for a portable amp.

 

USPS also MAY have a new flat rate priority box that could allow $14 for USPS Global Priority on any portable.  

 

I agree that shipping costs are an issue.  I could do Air Mail at about $10, but I would have to do a thorough assessment on if that is worth the liabilities that come with it.

HeadAmp Audio Electronics - home of the Pico and Gilmore amps.  Now with Audeze, Fostex, HiFiMAN, Sennheiser, and STAX.
Find us at www.HeadAmp.com

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post #4 of 44
Thread Starter 

Thanks Justin - I know that you charge $35 and I appreciate the position you are in.

 

I dont want to single out the other US-based manufacturers, but I'm sure anyone here can put something in a shopping cart and get to the point where 'Shipping' is added. RSA is the exception as you have to email Ray for an estimate, and this is the response I received from Ray:

 

$475.00 for the black Predator, $48.00 for shipping & 4.2% pay-pal fee. Total shipped is $544.97

 

Justin, I dont know about you, but paying an extra 70 USD (545-475) to ship an item much smaller than the books I get from Amazon is too much. I accept that PayPal reams you guys, and I would prefer that you simply amortize that into the asking price if that is your preferred payment method (in most cases, it is). It might be simpler for Ray to just set the price of the Predator at $500 and be done with it.

 

Please let me know if you think I'm penching pennies here, but if Leckerton can ship me the UHA-4 for $25, I'm not going to pay $70 to get my hands on a US-based amp regardless of how much better I might perceive the product to be. I doubt that the budget Leckerton is in the same class with either the Pico or the Predator, but thats a debate for another thread.

 

 

post #5 of 44

From me it is $35, not $70.  It is against PayPal's rules to charge the fee.  By the way the merchant rate depends on volume and it is more like 2.5-2.9% for international with decent sales volume.

 

I have just considered it the cost of business and assumed I would turn away more people than it would be worth in attempting to recover the fee -- just like those on For Sale forums or auction sites who are stubborn and will only accept Money Orders, I rarely will bid on one of their auctions.

 

Costs for me to ship a portable amp around the world are as follows.  You aren't going to be able to compare this with Amazon that probably ships millions of packages per day and can send an overnight package for what I pay to send a letter.

 

USPS Airmail - $10 to $15

USPS Global Priority - $25

USPS Global Express - $35

 

FedEx could be as much as $90 to some countries without volume discounts.  I do not use them.

 

I could just use airmail at $10-15, but the packages would not be trackable, and could take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to arrive.  Right now, I think most customers will pay the extra $20-25 to have a trackable package with an estimated delivery time of 3-5 days.

HeadAmp Audio Electronics - home of the Pico and Gilmore amps.  Now with Audeze, Fostex, HiFiMAN, Sennheiser, and STAX.
Find us at www.HeadAmp.com

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post #6 of 44
Thread Starter 

Thanks for that detailed breakdown, Justin - its a valuable insight, and I didnt realise the Paypal situation. Much appreciated.

post #7 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by estreeter View Post

I chased up each of the amp builders for US-made amps I am interested in, and it seems that I can add $50+ to the price of several sought-after amps. That works out at over 10% of the amp purchase price in most cases, and thats a bridge too far for me personally - YMMV.

 

Practical Devices, to their credit, will ship any of their amps for $9 worldwide, except Italy and Israel, where the charge is $26.

 

Looks like I have a choice - PD or stick with amps from Asia. We might have a strong dollar atm, but it just isnt that strong.


I say jump on the small XM6 bandwagon tongue.gif

 

post #8 of 44

Personally I don't think your pinching pennies... As for the PP fee that should be not the customers fee, that's the cost of doing business. Same as any merchant that accepts Visa MC etc, they pay the fee and they include it into the cost of the product.  Plus if Justin is right, that's bad form for him going against the rules using PP like that. 

post #9 of 44

fyi usps 'priority' doesnt have tracking either and i have no idea who they take priority over, as it still takes up to 2.5 weeks, it has 'tracking' until it hits the us border and then vanishes off the radar, often even still saying its in clearance when it has already arrived in OZ 3 weeks later. its the us shipping companies that have a lot to answer for and lose you guys a lot of business. anywhere i can use bulk ups express saver i will,, but that only goes up to a certain weight and i understand you need to have a certain volume of custom, for you to be able to offer it. ems and dhl from asia is lightening quick and with tracking like no other. its such a pity nothing like that exists in the states.

 

i still do a lot of business there, but i bitch every time and i will admit to going another way most times if i have to put up with ups regular pricing, or fedex any pricing. the weight of the item doesnt seem to even come into it in many cases, and it means unless i'm making a large order, or can find someone to share with i'll just leave it.


Edited by qusp - 5/23/11 at 3:50pm
post #10 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by estreeter View Post
$475.00 for the black Predator, $48.00 for shipping & 4.2% pay-pal fee. Total shipped is $544.97

 

 

It is absolutely against PayPal's policy for a merchant to charge the customer those PayPal fees.  That is the cost of doing business and accepting credit cards, and should be built into the product price.  You are not allowed to charge the customer that extra fee, and if PayPal finds out that you are doing that they will terminate your account.
 

 


Edited by IPodPJ - 5/23/11 at 4:13pm
post #11 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by IPodPJ View Post



 

It is absolutely against PayPal's policy for a merchant to charge the customer those PayPal fees.  That is the cost of doing business and accepting credit cards, and should be built into the product price.  You are not allowed to charge the customer that extra fee, and if PayPal finds out that you are doing that they will terminate your account.
 

 


Lets be clear on this - they will terminate *Rays* merchant account ?

 

post #12 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by estreeter View Post


Lets be clear on this - they will terminate *Rays* merchant account ?


I'm not making reference to any particular merchant, I'm just saying in general it is against their policy and they can terminate the account if they find out.

 

post #13 of 44
Thread Starter 

Very diplomatic, but I did specify exactly who I got the email from.

post #14 of 44

To the OP:

 

Since I don't know where "Oz" is I can't really comment on your specific situation, but I can see how you can find US-based merchant's prices high, especially recently when carriers started imposing surcharges due to fuel costs increases in the US.

 

But, I've been just charged $17 to ship 2 SHM-SACDs from Japan in Mini-LP format (cardboard sleeves), which are lighter than traditional CDs.  And yes, I've paid PP fees on top of it.  On Ebay "SAL" shipping for the same CD costs $3 apiece.  But if it doesn't arrive for any reason, there is no liability coverage.  My luck hasn't been all that great lately.

 

Ray only uses FedEx so I have no doubt you've been charged actual cost based on your presumably OCONUS location.  I'm not even a merchant but as I upgrade my stuff I always sell something.  I can tell you that under no circumstances would I ship USPS or even UPS unless the buyer requested it for some specific reason (have an account or something).  The issue is liability and mutual assurance, or lack of it.  How would you feel if he charged $10 or $15 and if the amp doesn't arrive he would say "sorry, I've sent it such an such date and here is the record."  If I buy something from Ray, I just send him a check.  No fee, no issues.  But not everybody is willing to do that and it's fine.  

 

Mega-merchants like Amazon have done a huge disservice to small businesses, IMHO.  They have ingrained into people that shipping should be "FREE."  Nothing is free.  I sent a document to Hong Kong recently in a FedEx envelope using "Economy" International service for $35.  That's right, a document.  Even if it's a small box, there is handling, tracking and shipping involved and in the end someone needs to physically deliver it burning expensive fossil fuels in most cases.

 

It's my guess that we will see shipping price increases soon from a lot of US-based vendors and I'm sure it won't be because of greed or malicious intent.  There is only so much you can absorb on profit margin when you're not a volume seller, I'd imagine.  The MOTs here know better.  I would personally not let $20-$30 extra to drive me to a less desirable and perhaps lesser quality product just because they shipping charges are more reasonable, but that's just me.  I would drive myself nuts thinking about how much better the other amp would have performed.  But the choice is up to you, of course.

 

 

post #15 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by estreeter View Post

Very diplomatic, but I did specify exactly who I got the email from.


Yes, you did and I have no interest in getting into that because it doesn't matter.  PayPal isn't prejudicial.  They don't care who is breaking the rules.  That's my point.

 

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