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twina49 Mar 24th, 2008 10:01 AM

Shipping furniture overseas from U.S. to U.K.
I have a friend in Kent who loved the hickory rockers at an Amish store we went to while she was here in western Pennsylvania. She said they "fit her bottom" better than any other rocker. I just found out she's expecting a baby in September and I would love to send her a rocker as a gift, but everything I've checked into (DHL/UPS/etc) seems horribly expensive. The rocker costs $150 but the shipping looks like it will be somewhere in the $200+ range. I don't care if they send it on the slowest boat they have as long as it gets there before September. Any suggestions?

pittpurple Mar 24th, 2008 10:19 AM

What a lovely gift!

My husband and I moved from the US to the UK two years ago and ended up not bringing any furniture with us as it was really expensive. I suggest referring to the forums at - this was an invaluable resource when we were planning our move and they might have another suggestion. $200 actually sounds about right to me for shipping such a large item - what we found was it's really expensive to ship just a couple things, while if you were planning on shipping tons of stuff, you could get a crate on a boat, etc. Good luck!

twina49 Mar 24th, 2008 10:48 AM

Pittpurple, Thanks for the suggestion! I checked out the web site and USPS was mentioned so I tried there, and it looks as if they are not too outrageous. I'll probably go talk to the local postmaster/mistress and find out.

dfr4848 Mar 24th, 2008 11:07 AM

I'd also check cargo rates with various airlines. When my SIL lived in England for several years, she found those rates were often much better for smaller items.

W9London Mar 25th, 2008 11:44 AM

Another thing you may want to consider is how much UK Customs is going to charge. It can be anywhere from 3.5% to 7% of the value of the item. DHL/UPS/FedEx etc won't release the item till this is paid by the recipient.

flanneruk Mar 25th, 2008 01:19 PM

There's no UK import duty on most furniture.

BUT the recipient must pay VAT (17.5% of the sum of the chair's declared value, shipping and insurance) and a fee to the shipping agency for managing the VAT payment (varies by shipper).

So on a $150 chair costing $200 to ship, your friend will have to pay at least £30.

twina49 Mar 25th, 2008 05:34 PM

I guess my next question would be - are there any Amish hickory rocker retailers in the U.K.? I did several searches but couldn't seem to find any. Although with the rate of exchange right now, I'm not sure this is such a good idea, either.

Hmmmmm - wonder if it could count as checked luggage? Might even be worth that additional fee USAir is charging..... ;)

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