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International Shipping Charges, outrageous?(4 posts)

International Shipping Charges, outrageous?zeke
Aug 5, 2002 5:51 AM
I have just come off a book search at ALBRIS and found that they charge $9.95 (USD) for each book shipped to Japan from USA. And on top of this outrageous price, they seem to ship via surface since the book would take about 4 weeks to arrive according to their shipping tables. It would cost an individual sending a book from USA to Japan, an average of $1.50 to send a book via surface (I have done so many times).
This is absolutely outrageous and I wonder if there are enough of us out there to complain, maybe something could be done about it.
I do and have complained to companies, eg AMAZON (one of the worst, maybe more than ALBRIS), but to no avail. I have done so for bike parts also. For example I wanted to order a helmet mirror, a 'take-a-look' mirror, which could have been sent for $2.56 (I had my friend send it to me), but the company wanted to charge $20!!!!!
Has anyone else had this experience, or should I say, is anyone upset about these shipping rates, basically exthorting (legally) from interational customers.
Any reply would be helpful.
Best.
By definition, no...TJeanloz
Aug 5, 2002 7:03 AM
Who are you to determine what a fair shipping rate is? The company is offering you a product and telling you how much it will cost to deliver it to your door, and you have the option of saying yes or no to the purchase. It's not uncommon for companies to offer free shipping, and build the shipping cost into the price; or conversely to slash the product price and raise the shipping cost. It's not unfair or extortion, it's business. Do you believe that the company you're buying said item from is not trying to make money on the transaction?

With international shipping in particular, vendors need to build in extra padding for the fraud that is committed by international buyers (vendors have practically no recourse when an international buyer charge-backs a credit card). So yes, international customers have to pay more for shipping, because the whole cost of doing business internationally is higher.
By definition, no...zeke
Aug 5, 2002 9:32 AM
I determine what fair is by first being a consumer, and also comparing the shipping price to what other companies charge for the same service (about half), and what the same company charges for that same service to ship to the usa. For example that same company ships to the usa for the postage charge plus a per book charge. That is fair in principle (I forget what the prices are at the moment). But for the int'l customers the shipping charge is incomparable.
'Fraud committed by int'l buyers', this is higher than any fraud committed by Americans? I wasnt aware of any stats. Also, I would guess that fraud here, ie in Japan, is less than that of the USA, so maybe a reduction for Japan is in order?
Next, the companies I buy from accept Visa and Amex, and I think they do have recourse through those credit card companies. If not, I cannot understand why not.
Finally, of course companies are trying to make money on each transaction, but this relates back to what I wrote earlier, it is not fair based on what other companies charge, and its not a difference of 10 or 20%, but rather 75, 100, 120%.
By definition, no...TJeanloz
Aug 5, 2002 9:54 AM
What if the company just charged 20% more for the product and lowered its shipping to industry standards? It doesn't really matter how they get your money does it?

You don't have recourse through credit cards internationally. If a buyer in Japan disputes a charge, the vendor has no opportunity to refute the claim- the vendor automatically loses on an international transaction. This is the same for all major cards (Visa/Amex/Mcard/Disc). Why is it set up like this? I have no idea.

Other companies could be falsely deflating their shipping charges. PC Connection used to overnight all their orders for $3; but it almost certainly cost them more than that, the remainder being built into the product price. Or furniture stores that offer free delivery- you don't really think it's 'free' do you; as Jake Jabbs would say "I can't find a driver who will work for free"?

You just need to look at the total cost of a purchase when you buy something, including what it will cost to get it to your door.