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  1. #1
    Fragomeni's Avatar
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    Receiving International Shipments via USPS?

    Hi all,

    I'm looking for a little help here. I'm currently waiting on my new Leica M6TTL and lens to arrive from Portugal. Portugal's post CTT says that the package was dispatched on a flight to the US on Dec 17th. USPS says that they have been "notified that the originating post is preparing to dispatch the item" but I've spoken to USPS twice this week and they say that they have not received the package and have no record of it's entry into the United States. CTT's website says that packages sent outside of Europe can take 7-20 days to deliver so i am still inside of that window but I am concerned that CTT says the package was already dispatched on a flight (they've provided the flight number and package information) to the US but the USPS has no record of its entry 6 days later. I'm hoping some of you have some insight into the international shippment process. Is this normal? Will customs grab it without notifiying USPS of its arrival? Can it take packages a number of days to be recorded into the system? It just worries me that it supposedly flew out of Portugal on the 17th and now its the 23rd and no one seems to know where it is. Considering its a Leica and lens, I'm concerned. The sender has had excellent communication with me and is working with me to figure this out. USPS told me today that an official inquiry would need to be stared to initiate the process of locating the package and that official inquiry needs to be made by the sender and the originating post. They actually told me I can't do anything. I understand that I am still inside of the delivery window and it is the holiday season but the lack of information on the location of the package concerns me. If anyone has any insight please help me out! Thank you!
    Francesco Fragomeni
    www.FrancescoFragomeni.com

  2. #2

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    It's Christmas time. There is probably huge backlog of packages at customs. On top of that, I noticed that international shipments usually don't have very good tracking. They typically update it on the day you get the package or couple of days after you receive it . Not very useful for keeping track of the progress.

  3. #3
    Fragomeni's Avatar
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    I persoanlly hate USPS. Their domestic tracking is pretty worthless in my experience and I wouldn't expect more for international packages. My concern is based on past experiences where they have lost VERY valuable packages. If it arrived in the US wouldn't they at least be aware of it? I guess I wouldn't be too surpirsed if the answer to that was no. I'm just freaking out a bit considering it's the Leica I've been wanting basically forever with the lens I've wanted for equally as long.

    Anyone else have insight into this predicament?
    Francesco Fragomeni
    www.FrancescoFragomeni.com

  4. #4

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    I concur with Anikin's comments. I buy books from vendors in Mexico and USPS tracking isn't often very informative.

    On the other hand, last year I bought a large lens from a vendor in Germany. He shipped via DHL, which is another way of spelling Deutsch Bundespost. USPS reported that it was waiting to receive the parcel from DHL for nearly two months before he and I lit fires under DHL. Turns out they'd never put it on the plane ...

    As Anikin wrote, this is Christmas time. It is the busiest time of year for delivery services and is the time of year when parcels are most likely to go astray. In nearly forty years of buying from foreign vendors I've had one (1) parcel vanish completely and two (2) parcels go seriously astray. The one that vanished was shipped from the UK in early December. One of the parcels that went astray was also shipped in early December, from France. Both of the parcels that went astray turned up eventually. You should have asked the seller to ship your camera after 1/1/2012.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fragomeni View Post
    I persoanlly hate USPS. Their domestic tracking is pretty worthless in my experience and I wouldn't expect more for international packages. My concern is based on past experiences where they have lost VERY valuable packages. If it arrived in the US wouldn't they at least be aware of it? I guess I wouldn't be too surpirsed if the answer to that was no. I'm just freaking out a bit considering it's the Leica I've been wanting basically forever with the lens I've wanted for equally as long.

    Anyone else have insight into this predicament?
    Francesco, based on this and many of your other posts here and on other bulletin boards, you're prone to hysteria. Calm down.

    From time to time Consumer Reports does a delivery services test. USPS, UPS, FedEx, ... They're all equally good at losing parcels.

    In my limited experience, USPS is the best of the lot, but my sample is much smaller and much less well-designed than CR's. And in my experience USPS domestic tracking works very well. They've never lost anything I've sent, and neither has the foreign post office involved lost anything I've sent. What I have learned is not to use first class. Regardless of what USPS says, first class often just sits, sometimes for weeks. Priority and Express Mail have worked very well for me.

  6. #6

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    Ditto on the USPS tracking pretty worthless.
    I usually have the item by the time USPS tracking is even showing anything useful.
    When I buy small items off eBay from China via mail the tracking shows every step of the China post office then fizzles out once I gets to the USPS system.

  7. #7
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    I just sent a package to China from the US. I used Global Express USPS with tracking and confirmation and insurance. Once the package entered China the tracking completely stopped. I went to the US post office 10 days later and they were able to research it and found it was sitting unclaimed in Chinese Customs. For what that is worth to you it at least tells you that customs departments aren't too quick to communicate with USPS. My story ended good and the Chinese buyer got his 2000 dollar Rolleiflex, though I went through some nervous time.
    Dennis

  8. #8
    Fragomeni's Avatar
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    Francesco, based on this and many of your other posts here and on other bulletin boards, you're prone to hysteria. Calm down.
    Dan, I'm not sure where you've come up with that from but I'll just leave it alone. I suppose you might be refering to my reactions to Light Impressions fraud or the discontinuation of various films given that those are pretty much the only things I've voiced any level of concern about in the forums. I wouldn't call an emotional investment in my money and in discontinuation of products that I use every day as a working artist "hysteria". Perhaps I'm more reactionary then you but I take what I do, my money, and my materials seriously. I work hard for my money and I use my cameras every day of my life so I think a little concern is more then acceptable when I've just spent a large sum of money (large in my terms) on a camera that I need and will use everyday which is floating somewhere in package limbo and no one can tell me where it is. Either way, I digress.

    From time to time Consumer Reports does a delivery services test. USPS, UPS, FedEx, ... They're all equally good at losing parcels.
    Consumer Reports can say what it wants but it doesn't change the fact that an overwhelming porportion of those who use the service regularly are dissatisfied with it's performance. My comment was also focused toward USPS's lack of tracking which I don't think anyone denies, including USPS. The tracking service is sub-par and the lowest ranked of all the big four carriers. It is also not true movement-by-movement tracking that tells you the lasts stop, movement, and location of your package. USPS has lost packages of mine, UPS and FEDEX have not. Thats my experience which is different then yours. They're both valid experiences. Simply watching the news over the last couple of days makes it clear that they all have their flaws an inefficiencies. No one is arguing that.

    Ditto on the USPS tracking pretty worthless.
    I usually have the item by the time USPS tracking is even showing anything useful.
    When I buy small items off eBay from China via mail the tracking shows every step of the China post office then fizzles out once I gets to the USPS system.
    I just sent a package to China from the US. I used Global Express USPS with tracking and confirmation and insurance. Once the package entered China the tracking completely stopped. I went to the US post office 10 days later and they were able to research it and found it was sitting unclaimed in Chinese Customs. For what that is worth to you it at least tells you that customs departments aren't too quick to communicate with USPS. My story ended good and the Chinese buyer got his 2000 dollar Rolleiflex, though I went through some nervous time.
    Dennis
    mwdake and dpurdy, I've had similar experiences which is why I have a level of concern. I think there is always some level of concern involved when shipping or receiving high vaule items (at least high value in personal terms). This is the root of why I posted my inquiry i.e. to get people's insight based on their experiences in these kinds of situations. My hope is that its just slowly making its way to me and is caught up in the holiday chaos. It still concerns me that CTT records show that the package was shipped on a flight to the US (with flight and reference numbers) but it has not been scanned in somewhere in the US so that someone would know where it is. But as dpurdy mentioned above, for all I know customs could have it and they may not have the best lines of communication with USPS. At this point I'll have to wait and hope that it surfaces within the delivery window.
    Last edited by Fragomeni; 12-23-2011 at 07:49 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    Francesco Fragomeni
    www.FrancescoFragomeni.com

  9. #9

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    This is a brutal time of year for anything being shipped. Imagine all the people sending things to relatives overseas and imagine the massive pileups in all of the customs around the world. I feel sorry for those guys. I am afraid that you will be waiting a while on your camera but it will surely eventually show up. In the future whenever you get something expensive like that it pays to have it shipped Express even though it is more expensive. I personally have never had any problems with the USPS. I actually prefer them over the alternatives.

  10. #10
    Fragomeni's Avatar
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    Yep, I agree. Talk about an increased work load. Also, I though it was being shipped EMS. My understanding was that CTT is just the name of Portugal's post and that the package would be sent EMS through them. Lots of lessons being learned. Definitely wont be having stuff shipped around the holidays next year.
    Francesco Fragomeni
    www.FrancescoFragomeni.com

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