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Need advice on how to ship items back to USA

Need advice on how to ship items back to USA

Jan 18th, 2010, 05:37 PM
  #1  
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Need advice on how to ship items back to USA

Hello to all! We are traveling to London in August for a friend's wedding and will be going to Paris and Rome for 7 days right after the wedding. We will be flying back home out of Rome. We like to travel light and will most likely be packing the wedding clothes in our carry on luggage. My question is in regards to the wedding clothing that we will have with us in London. We really don't want to lug a man's suit and all of my wedding attire to Paris and Rome. I know that one option is to ship the clothing back to the States but I think that will be a bit pricey. Any suggestions as to what to do to lighten our load after the wedding? Thank you in advance for all of the suggestions!
normal1983 is offline  
Jan 18th, 2010, 05:44 PM
  #2  
 
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I just go into the local post office and buy a box that will hold whatever I want to ship. I've done this in Madrid; Schwäbisch Hall, Germany: and Vienna. Since what I usually ship back is books, it's always a bit expensive for me, but it's very convenient. Ship it by boat. It always takes a long time to get home, but it always gets there.
Pegontheroad is online now  
Jan 18th, 2010, 08:00 PM
  #3  
 
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Yep - just mail it back. Don't send it air mail - no need unless you're going to wear them again soon after returning.

On the customs slip - be sure to list them as used clothing. Otherwise you'll have to pay duty on them in the states.
janisj is online now  
Jan 18th, 2010, 09:07 PM
  #4  
 
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To get a sense of the cost and timings for the services available from post offices, go to the www.parcelforce.com website.

Alternative options for bulky things include www.london-baggage.com and www.excess-baggage.com
flanneruk is offline  
Jan 19th, 2010, 05:11 AM
  #5  
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Thank you for the info. It seems that it is going to be quite pricey to ship the clothing back to the States. Although I'm estimating the weight and size of the pkg I believe that it is going to cost about $164.00 using parcelforce and $80.00 using FEDEX. (That is, of course, if I've used these websites properly).

I have to now decide whether I should tote the clothing with us to Paris and Rome or spend the extra $ and ship them back home. I'm leaning towards shipping them but as I will be traveling the day after the wedding I will be short on time. Finding the FEDEX office and packaging everything up will be time consuming. So I'll have to consider this as well when deciding.

Thank you to all for the advice!
normal1983 is offline  
Jan 19th, 2010, 06:15 AM
  #6  
 
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Given your time constraints and the fact you are only traveling to two additional locations, I think you should take the wedding attire with you.

However, if you have intra-Europe flights on budget airlines, most of which have costly baggage fees, both to check bags and for overweight bags, then shipping things back to the US makes sense.

Otherwise, you are eating up valuable time in London to shed the stuff.
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Jan 19th, 2010, 11:06 AM
  #7  
 
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Since you have a short timeframe, you could take them on to Paris and then mail them home from there. Same as from the UK - just go to a PO. I wouldn't bother w/ FedEx.

Put them in smaller boxes so they are easier to pack/mail.
janisj is online now  
Jan 19th, 2010, 11:08 AM
  #8  
 
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There used to a US Post Office branch in London but I don't know if it still exists. Friends used to ship antiques back home much less expensively from there. I think it was near the US Embassy.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Jan 20th, 2010, 05:58 AM
  #9  
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Thank you for all of the suggestions! We do have a free day before the wedding when we can locate a box and throw the clothing in it after the wedding and have it ready to go.

It may be that the parents of the British bride will be able to ship the pkg from a PO for us if we have it ready to do. There will be several of us from America that will need to ship clothing so this option may work for us.

Thanks again!
normal1983 is offline  
Jan 20th, 2010, 06:34 AM
  #10  
 
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Put everything into the smaller boxes or put into the plastic bags and then wrap them into the postal paper. The key is to have a parcel less than 2 kilograms (this way it is going to be a different cheaper rate and by air). Any London or UK postal office will do.

I've done my share of sending gifts all over the world from UK until some nice postal clerk gave me this advise.
Matroskin is offline  
Jan 20th, 2010, 08:03 AM
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It would be worth $80 to me to get rid of them, if that is for all the clothes. I'd gladly pay that. I wouldn't suggest you take them to Paris, I wouldn't expect it to be cheaper there. I've shipped things frm the Paris post office and it's not cheap. I doubt if it would be less than US$80, which is only around 60 euro. It might be a bit less, but it depends how much space that all takes up. They have boxes of a certain size with a flat rate, which is 41 euro for the XL size (7 kg max weight, the box is about 15 inches by 10 inches by 8 inches). If you don't buy the flat rate boxes, it is much more expensive, like 57 euro for 5 kg to the US.
Christina is online now  
Jan 20th, 2010, 09:45 AM
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We've got a man's suit, shirt, belt, tie, socks, and dress shoes. Woman's dress and shoes as well. My things do not weigh much but my husbands things alone may exceed 7 kg. I think I'll weigh all of it to see where I stand with all of the clothing. Christina, that box may fit all of it. I'll start some measuring as well to see if it will fit.

Thank you
normal1983 is offline  
Jan 20th, 2010, 10:10 AM
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"I wouldn't suggest you take them to Paris, I wouldn't expect it to be cheaper there."

My suggestion to take them to Paris was not to save money. I merely mentioned that option because the OP said they only had one day after the wedding before they left for Paris. I'd rather spend one day seeing London then putzing around w/ packages.

normal1983: If the bride's mother will do it - that is by far your best option. Just give her £20 and she can deal w/ it after the wedding festivities die down. Even if it means splitting your husband's shoes into two different packages, it may make sense to keep each packet under 2kilo/4.4lbs
janisj is online now  
Jan 20th, 2010, 10:31 AM
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As it's your husband's things that are heavy, have you thought about hiring instead?
Nonconformist is offline  
Jan 20th, 2010, 10:51 AM
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"Just give her £20"

Is (sorry janisj) truly awful advice.

Possibly the crassest ever given here.

FWIW, the Parcelforce site says 7 kg to the US, cheapest deal, is £65.

Manipulating the bride's mother into sending it for you is probably legitimate in today's ill-mannered world - though frankly, I'd say it stinks. Hoping she'll do it at her cost, while even worse-mannered, is at least consistent with the suggestion she should sort out your problems.

But then giving her a derisory sum for her troubles?

I'm simply speechless. Do you wonder how all this Ugly American stuff about parody-defying insensitivity starts?
flanneruk is offline  
Jan 20th, 2010, 10:55 AM
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Incidentally. a 2 kg box, sent as a small packet, is £13.

7 kg, sent as 4 boxes, is £45.
flanneruk is offline  
Jan 20th, 2010, 11:15 AM
  #17  
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Ummm...excuse me flanneruk. I am neither manipulating the bride's mother nor am I an ugly American. I am merely repeating the groom's mother's suggestion. I am merely asking for advice and janisj was only trying to help. Good grief!
normal1983 is offline  
Jan 20th, 2010, 11:16 AM
  #18  
 
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The £20 was just a number - w/o knowing how much weight is involved no one knows. I didn't mean it literally amount-wise. A dress could weigh next to nothing. If the only heavy thing they have is the husband's shoes, there might not be much weight at all.

Perhaps I should have just said "Give her some ££ . . ."

And of course it does depend on how close the OP is to the bride's mother. Close friends/relatives - one thing. Total strangers - probably not . . . .
janisj is online now  
Jan 20th, 2010, 12:35 PM
  #19  
 
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I've been astonished recently by postal rates--this month my sister sent a very flimsy calendar to me from the States (the kind that's one photo and page per month) at cost of $9.80.

I just posted two very lightweight size 18 mon. baby outfits from France to UK, 18+ euro (in a single envelope). I almost grabbed it back from the postal clerk but was late with a birthday gift, as usual.

Why not take the clothes on with you if you are only going to two additional cities and presumably only two more hotels or flats? Is it to avoid checking bags? If so, I guess it's worth it, just.
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Jan 20th, 2010, 12:55 PM
  #20  
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We will be taking the EuroStar to Paris so I don't believe luggage will be an issue insofar as weight is concerned. But we are going to be flying from Paris into Rome and that may cause some difficulty. Also, because my husband's clothing is so bulky it will limit the clothing he can take with him. So it will be easier to send the clothing back home if at all possible.
normal1983 is offline  
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