Shipping packages to the U.S.

Oct 10th, 2000, 09:12 AM
  #1  
Ryan
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Shipping packages to the U.S.

I Would like to know what experiences others have had in shipping packages from Italy. Who should I ship through, what are approximate costs, do I need to do anything to clear customs? Do you have to be in a large city to find a place to ship from?

Thanks!
 
Oct 10th, 2000, 01:28 PM
  #2  
richardab
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I have found good prices shipping items home from Amsterdam and the UK. The boxes take a week or two but if you are a big shopper its worth it.

Be sure to check customs regulations first because you may not just ship freely. I believe that you can mail 'gifts' to friends as long as the value does not exceed $100.

Check out the US Customs websight for details!

http://www.customs.treas.gov/travel/travel.htm
 
Oct 10th, 2000, 04:26 PM
  #3  
Sylvia
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i've had things shipped home from italy three different ways; post office, mailboxes etc. and through a store where i purchased ceramics. i have found that in general it is expensive to ship anything home from italy, unless it is under 2 kilos (four pounds i think) and you can wait a month or two for it to arrive.
-sylvie
 
Oct 10th, 2000, 08:50 PM
  #4  
gb
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We waited about 6 weeks for our packages, and even postacards. Only one week from France. It is expensive. But the pricing is complicated. You need a native to figure it out. A small package is not bad. And then, after sending several boxes of different sizes, the price seems to be the same $25 to$35 , no matter what weight the mid sized box is. (size about the same as four liter bottles in a box). Oddly, depending on who the mail clerk is (even at the same post office), some will make you wrap your box in brown paper and others do not. I suggest bring your own boxes-the kind you can buy at KMART etc. and that lie flat. And bring your own packaging tape. It is much easier than searching for the materials. We had no problems with anything at customs. Just fill out a form that is in Italian. I do not know about large city as opposed to small city. It took more than 6 weeks to get a post card from the Vatican to the US. We sent two packages from Pompei-one took 6 weeks and one took 8 weeks. I don't think there is any way to predict the Italian mail.
 
Oct 11th, 2000, 07:18 AM
  #5  
Paulo
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Things may have changed since I last shipped packages (to Brazil) from Italy (1997).

We went to Italy several times for a month long visits. Since till recently we had luggage weight restrictions in flights between Brazil and Europe (20kg/pax + 5kg carry on) shipping packages was always a must. I always used the strategy of carrying more valuable stuff with me and shipping heavy and "cheap" stuff. This consisted invariably in printed material (I guess I collect every bit of printed info I foind on my way and buy quite a few art books in my rips) and non needed clothing (specially the heavier stuff like shoes/boots, etc).

I must have used the postal parcel service at a 1/2 dozen times. One has to accomodate the stuff in boxes up to 20 kg weight and the last time I paid Lit 65,000 per box (slightly under 20kg, via surface). One may ship it from the smallest town that has a Poste Italiane office.

All what was needed was a quick description of the box content (like printed matter + used clothing). The boxes were invariably delivered at home, from 2 to 3 months after shipping. Usually the boxes arrive with no signs of opening/tampering. A couple times it was visible that the boxes have been opened (probably by customs to check if content and content declaration matched). I would guess that thing shouldn't be that different if the destination is the US (there may be a change in price and the shipping time may possibly be somewhat lower).

Paulo
 
Oct 11th, 2000, 08:02 AM
  #6  
richardab
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If you are shipping from Rome, use the Vatican post office and mail system. Its seperate from the Italian postal service and very efficient.

The Italian Postal Service is horrible and slow.
 
Oct 11th, 2000, 06:26 PM
  #7  
Vern
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Hi Ryan-
Just returned from Italy and while I was in Florence I went to a Mail Boxes Etc. to check on the price of shipping a box weighing approx. 5 lbs. to Florida. Was told the cost would be about $100.00. I decided NOT.
 
Oct 11th, 2000, 10:07 PM
  #8  
scigirl
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On a recent trip my husband and I mailed packages home from France, Spain, and Italy. In general, international package mail is not terribly cheap. We figured it was better than hauling around our loot for 6 weeks. In all countries the post offices sell boxes and packing material - and the clerks were always nice enough to tape up the package for us. We opted for airmail since the packages had to make it all the way back to HI. We had one package sent from a store that went "land" (Uh, sea?) - and it took about 2 or 3 months to arrive. The airmail packages took only 2 or 3 weeks - they all made it home before we did. I think a typical package for us was about 12x8x16 inches, stuffed with books and such - which ran us around 30-40 USD to ship by airmail. You do have to fill our a customs form for international mail and indicate the value and contents of your package (forms are confusing and not in English - so it takes some figuring and looking at other's forms and such.) The rules regarding what you can send back are the same for what you can carry back, in terms of how much you can spend before paying additional taxes, etc. (from what I recall, at least). Post offices in any city should be able to handle international mail (just like in the states - any town's post office has the same services as any other. However, I think in one place we had to go to a specific post office - can't recall where though.) Enjoy your trip.
 
Oct 13th, 2000, 06:35 AM
  #9  
Ryan
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Thanks to all for the advice. Based on what you all said, i will probably be hauling my souveneirs on the plane with me.
 

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