This reminds be of a delightful little recent film, "The World's Fastest Indian", with Anthony Hopkins, based on a true story, in which a 62-year-old guy from New Zealand treks to Bonneville in the 60's to try to set a class Land Speed Record on his pre-WWII heavily modified Indian motorcycle.
The saga nearly ends when it is discovered two tons of manure (or some such like) was loaded on top of the bike in the ship's hold. But the bike survived this, and in the end he set the record. Indeed, in the real events, he would return several times despite his age and a heart condition to successfully better his own record.
Hate to have that Paris Galibier or Roltrax from UK barried under two tons of manure via surface mail, so maybe airmail is the better part of valour.
I have indeeed noticed that bike stuff shipped via Royal Mail/Parcelforce is almost never assesed US Customs charges, while stuff shipped UPS/ DHL, etc. seems more likely to be assessed. Maybe there is some sort of gentlemens agreement between national postal services and customs agencies to give those shipments a break.
Jerry Moos Big Spring , TX
Peter Brown <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: Andrew Conway wrote:
Mercian Cycles in Derbyshire provides this quote on their website:
*USA is currently working out at £55.00 shipping, plus £25 insurance fo r a frame, using Parcelforce International Airmail, which usually takes 5 - 10 working days from despatch to delivery. *
That's about $100 + $45.
If it's much more than that, the seller might be bumping up the shipping cost to cover his time & effort.
Because of volume, Mercian will no doubt have a contract with Parcelforce, which reduces the cost considerably. This is not available to the average private seller or small business.
The only damage I have ever experienced in over 6 years of shipping frames and parts to the US was a rim, which the buyer insisted go by surface mail. Despite wooden bracing which added to the weight and cost, it still arrived looking like a Pretzel. It was explained to me that the containers used for sea transportation are much larger than those used by air, and if your parcel happens to be at the bottom of one of those crushing is much more likely. It is probably for that reason that some carriers do not offer insurance to the US on surface mail. Frames sent via Parcel2Go are carried by Fedex, the tracking is very detailed, and you can watch it every step of the way. No one has ever informed me of any duty issues at the US end.
Peter Brown, Lincolnshire, England.