Shipping tea from Paris to New York

Old Apr 7th, 2024, 09:55 AM
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Shipping tea from Paris to New York

Bonjour ŗ tous,

i have been looking into international shipping options from Paris to New York and am a bit overwhelmed. Iím betting that any number of Fodorites have experience with this, so Iím hoping for some advice.

i need to ship about fifteen or twenty tins of tea altogether, too much for me to lug around, esp since Paris is just the first leg of my trip. I know that UPS, Fed Ex, etc, all have dropoff points in the city. And thereís always La Poste. My questions have more to do with packing the tea and obtaining the necessary commercial and customs forms. Will fed ex, for example, sell packing materials or pack it for me ? Do they generate the forms for me to complete?

anything else I should know ?

thanks for your help.
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Old Apr 7th, 2024, 10:43 AM
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Fed Ex has all the information you need as well as contact info on their website (as will any other shipping company)

https://www.fedex.com/en-fr/home.html
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Old Apr 7th, 2024, 11:22 AM
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Obviously I looked at the FedEx site, as well as UPS and DHL. As did my husband. And we found them all vague, confusing, and unspecific.

Between us we have three graduate degrees. But we did not find the simple information we needed. That’s why I posted in the first place, hoping to cut through the obfuscation.
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Old Apr 7th, 2024, 12:12 PM
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I would think it quite possible that the merchant from whom you’ll buy the tea can ship it for you. Or have a website on which you can place your order.

For instance Mariage Freres’ website seems to indicate shipping is free “outside Metropolitan France” on orders over €100.

https://www.mariagefreres.com/en/
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Old Apr 7th, 2024, 12:24 PM
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I have already checked with the merchant, and they do not ship to the US. If they did, I’d simply order through the website and not bother with shipping anything from Paris. However, that’s not an option.

i really did do all the obvious things before posting here.
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Old Apr 7th, 2024, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by frenchaucoeur
I have already checked with the merchant, and they do not ship to the US. If they did, Iíd simply order through the website and not bother with shipping anything from Paris. However, thatís not an option.

i really did do all the obvious things before posting here.
If I may be so bold, shooting down both of us in no uncertain terms doesn't encourage help. Next time consider just saying thank you, even if we were no help.

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Old Apr 7th, 2024, 01:09 PM
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I frankly felt condescended to by suggestion that I look at the FedEx website or the merchant’s to see if I could order directly. In my initial post I did note that I had been looking into how best to ship internationally but that for whatever reason I found the available information insufficiently clear about how exactly to proceed. That is why I posted here.

I don’t want to start a war. I know that both of you are longtime posters who offer much good advice. In this case, however, I found the tone frankly insulting. Of course I checked FedEx and the merchant’s websites, and I found the tone of the replies frankly insulting in their implication that I hadn’t.

i consider this closed.
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Old Apr 7th, 2024, 01:39 PM
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I must assume none of those degrees was in diplomacy.
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Old Apr 7th, 2024, 01:58 PM
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If you want Mariage Freres tea, it is sold in NYC -- at Bergdorf for one. Rather than ship from Paris, presume you have researched the tea brand you want and hunted for it here in the States. Also now Angelina is in NYC and their Chocolat l'Africain is available in NYC too -- (but somehow it always tastes better on Rue Rivoli!)

We're all just trying to help.
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Old Apr 7th, 2024, 03:08 PM
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For the last few years I've switched from schlepping to shipping. I do this from both Spain and Italy and it's been working perfectly. One package sent from Catania arrived marked with a strip declaring "opened by German customs," but nothing was moved and nothing was damaged (there is a direct flight to Germany from Catania). My shipped packages always have arrived within a week, sometimes less than that.

I think you have two good options:

1. Use the post office. You can either buy your packing supplies from a shop, or if you are staying in a hotel they may agree to pack your teas up for you in a carton and have it ready for you to bring to the post. I shipped packages from post offices all over the world back when I was traveling widely, and never had an issue. (I always travel with bubble wrap, heavy tape and scissors)

2. Nowadays, I forego #1 and have my hotel pack up my purchases and arrange shipping for me. Most use DHL or FedEX but this last shipment (sent last week) was from a shipper whose name I did not recognize. The bellboy came to my room,, where I had all of my purchases laid on the bed so he could see how much I needed shipped. He found an appropriate carton and did all the bubble-wrapping and taping. We did this on the night before my departure, so I left the carton at my hotel. A day or so later, the hotel sent me an e-mail with the shippers name and the price for me to ok, which I did. I expect it will arrive within a day or two.

#2 assumes that you are staying in a moderate-upscale hotel, but as long as you are in a hotel, it would not hurt to ask.

About the 20 tins..if you are really worried, you could make two packages and put half the teas in one and the other half in another, even sending one to a friend's address if you are REALLY worried, but I really don't think that that amount is going to trigger any alarms.

Promise not to laugh, but these are the items I shipped from southern Spain last year; they all made it safely, even the olive oils and vinegars, and the bottarga and smoked and cured fish, even the olive oil loaf; I brought the bear home in my checked bag.



Overview off items that I shipped.

Closeup, including sherry vinegars and olive oils

Blue boxes are the conservas of tuna (mostly the ventresca, or belly of the fish) and other fish; I brought about 20 tins in my suitcase and shipped these (on the bed in my room) home.

Smoked, tinned, and tinned tuna

Olive oil (I usually buy them in metal tins)
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Old Apr 7th, 2024, 04:34 PM
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Sorry -- I wasn't trying to be rude, honest.
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Old Apr 7th, 2024, 04:37 PM
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Alice, yes, I’ve checked around. I can get it over the internet from US sources, but at grossly inflated prices. One question I need to resolve is whether in the end it’s worth it to pay those ridiculous prices and avoid the cost of international shipping. Still to be determined.

EK, thanks for making me laugh. I imagine you’re now ready for the apocalypse. I will absolutely check with the hotel and find out what if anything they can do. I’ve located a post office a few blocks away and suspect that will be my fallback position.
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Old Apr 7th, 2024, 04:41 PM
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Thank you for this, Janis. I probably was pricklier than I should have been, but after spending over an hour being frustrated on the UPS and FedEx websites I was pretty grouchy.
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Old Apr 8th, 2024, 04:57 AM
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Tripadvisor's forum, and even Reddit, can be very useful so you may find different answers there.
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Old Apr 8th, 2024, 08:04 AM
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Thanks for the suggestion. My husband is addicted to Mariage FrŤres Princeton Darjeeling, and I actually get it from a shop in San Francisco. My favorite, alas, isn’t so easy to find.
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Old Apr 8th, 2024, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by ekscrunchy
For the last few years I've switched from schlepping to shipping. I do this from both Spain and Italy and it's been working perfectly. One package sent from Catania arrived marked with a strip declaring "opened by German customs," but nothing was moved and nothing was damaged (there is a direct flight to Germany from Catania). My shipped packages always have arrived within a week, sometimes less than that.

I think you have two good options:

1. Use the post office. You can either buy your packing supplies from a shop, or if you are staying in a hotel they may agree to pack your teas up for you in a carton and have it ready for you to bring to the post. I shipped packages from post offices all over the world back when I was traveling widely, and never had an issue. (I always travel with bubble wrap, heavy tape and scissors)

2. Nowadays, I forego #1 and have my hotel pack up my purchases and arrange shipping for me. Most use DHL or FedEX but this last shipment (sent last week) was from a shipper whose name I did not recognize. The bellboy came to my room,, where I had all of my purchases laid on the bed so he could see how much I needed shipped. He found an appropriate carton and did all the bubble-wrapping and taping. We did this on the night before my departure, so I left the carton at my hotel. A day or so later, the hotel sent me an e-mail with the shippers name and the price for me to ok, which I did. I expect it will arrive within a day or two.

#2 assumes that you are staying in a moderate-upscale hotel, but as long as you are in a hotel, it would not hurt to ask.

About the 20 tins..if you are really worried, you could make two packages and put half the teas in one and the other half in another, even sending one to a friend's address if you are REALLY worried, but I really don't think that that amount is going to trigger any alarms.

Promise not to laugh, but these are the items I shipped from southern Spain last year; they all made it safely, even the olive oils and vinegars, and the bottarga and smoked and cured fish, even the olive oil loaf; I brought the bear home in my checked bag.



Overview off items that I shipped.

Closeup, including sherry vinegars and olive oils

Blue boxes are the conservas of tuna (mostly the ventresca, or belly of the fish) and other fish; I brought about 20 tins in my suitcase and shipped these (on the bed in my room) home.

Smoked, tinned, and tinned tuna

Olive oil (I usually buy them in metal tins)
Fuenroble is my favorite olive oil! Wish I could get it in the US, used to be able to order it on Amazon.
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Old Apr 8th, 2024, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by frenchaucoeur
Iíve checked around. I can get it over the internet from US sources, but at grossly inflated prices.
If all you are looking for is how to ship a package, you've already gotten advice on that, and you can ignore what's below.

If your goal is to find a way to get the tea you want, and you are open to getting help, then read on.

Some of us may have non-obvious ways to finding info, and are willing to help you if you want it. The only merchant mentioned by name is MF, so that's all we have to go on to help you.

On MARIAGE FR»RES - French tea since 1854 I see free shipping to the US for orders over $100 - UPS delivery in 2-5 business days.
A tin of Darjeeling Princeton lists for 22 euro. I see that same tin available for $26 from other US sellers online, also with free shipping.


Last edited by J62; Apr 8th, 2024 at 08:57 AM.
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Old Apr 8th, 2024, 09:39 AM
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Free shipping to the US for orders of 100euro and more? That sounds like a great option for the Op..that's. only about 5 teas! I might do that myself.,
How long does tea last if its loose?
How long does it last in bags?
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Old Apr 9th, 2024, 06:40 PM
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May I suggest trying mail boxes etc? They have locations in Paris and I did mail a package with them to my home from there. I normally look for them when abroad and need to mail boxes home. They have everything and will box it for you.

I don’t recall if mailing tea is a problem but in the UK it sort of was. I don’t recall the details on why and it could have just been there.
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Old Apr 10th, 2024, 01:16 AM
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We like MF and have several of their teas at home (both loose and bags). However, I actually prefer Dammann FrŤres, have you tried them? https://www.dammann.fr/en/
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