Mamma Mia, Here I Go Again…

I had a day of decorating planned and actually have weeks of decorating planned, but got a message mid-morning on Etsy asking if I shipped to Germany. Maybe this little story will help some other Etsy sellers and maybe I’m just the only dolt who was uninformed about this. I messaged the person back immediately saying that I hadn’t shipped to Germany but that I would and asked where in Germany specifically the package was destined. I received this information and thought… who ships to Europe, surely not the USPS, I’ll call Fedex and DHL. I do this and estimated size and weight of the package for both and was told that it would be between 135 and 155… dollars. I immediately messaged the prospective customer back and told what I thought was the bad news and said if this wasn’t prohibitive to let me know. Later I called Jeff Campana to congratulate him on getting a picture of one his very nice gravy boats in Ceramics Monthly and mentioned my international shipping woes and he said… USPS will go to Germany and it will be a lot cheaper. So I figured I had better stop screwing around with estimates and just went ahead and packaged the bowl up and made a trip to the post office… 29.00 it costs. Happily I went home and messaged again (I hadn’t gotten a reply on the other two messages yet) and told my sad little tale and the new price for shipping. Later that afternoon, I received a message that although I was the first choice for a gift that there was a time constraint and they had gone ahead and purchased something else. So if you’re looking to ship to Europe, USPS is the most inexpensive by a factor of 5. Of course the person at the UPS Store that I also went to on my travels yesterday said… sure it’s cheaper but we will actually get it there. Of course what would they say? Regardless to whether there’s some mysterious truth about what they said, I don’t think many people are gonna pay more for shipping than the actual piece. And as the title says… Mamma mia, here I go again…

greenware

greenware

After dinner, a salad with some unusually smokin’ jalapenos, I took my vino into to do a little late night painting. Actually I just took this picture because I liked the way it looked… the only clean thing in the studio being the glass.

vino

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12 Responses to “Mamma Mia, Here I Go Again…”

  1. Miri Says:

    Love the photo of the glass in the studio. Those bowls are looking mighty fine! Thanks for your comments today. Yes, JP is an awesome glaze. Rich color, lovely satin finish. I think I would complement your design work well! šŸ™‚ I fired a few test tiles with glazes over JP and that shows great promise too.

  2. Miri Says:

    Meant to say “IT would complement your design work well” of course. And no, I’ve not been hitting the Vino yet…just typing too quickly.

  3. zygote Says:

    USPS for international shipping seems the best way to go. But apparently there are “nogo” countries for shipping. Rumor has it Italy, and Spain are 2 European countries that are black holes for work. I’ve got an experimental package in route to China, it’s a week and a half into the trip sofar….

  4. cindy shake Says:

    Shipping can always be a drama. We have used DHL to Europe, Hong Kong, and China affordably and with success as well.

  5. meredith Says:

    WE have used the flat rate post office for shipping- it is cheaper and yes UPS does the shipping.
    Good info- nice lloking red.
    Call me WHEN you come to NC I have a place for you to stay.
    BUt call so I can clean!

  6. Keith Says:

    Hey jim,

    Just to re-iterate, USPS is the way to go however be careful…

    You can ship any packages under 12″x12″x12″ and under 4lb can go 1st class international which is waaaay cheaper than Priority Mail or anything else. The catch? You cannot purchase insurance for 1st class intl AT ALL. You can only purchase it for priority mail. So just be careful if it’s an expensive item.

    Once you get into Priority Mail Intl rates, then UPS/FedEx might “look” cheaper, however I’ve shipped these carriers before and even though the rate I paid was less than USPS, the customer gets slapped with some sort of import charge from the 3rd party doing the importing (not a tariff or taxes, something different) and it can be as much as the original shipping cost. Believe me, you do not want to get the email from the customer that got slapped with this. I am still going back and forth with my fedex rep about why this gets charge and how to get around it.

    Black holes? never had a problem with spain, italy, germany or any other european country. My black hole is Canada of all places! I cringe until any of my Canadian orders make it safely. I’ve had packages opened at the border and then they don’t put all the peanuts back, grrr… like pottery is going to make it safely tumbling around in a card board box???

    You’re gonna be in NC??

  7. soubriquet Says:

    The Red Dirt Mule posted me a package several weeks back……… Somewhere beween Texas and England it is straying, dawdling, or gone forever.
    I sent one to Texas via UPS, it was about 48 hours door to door. I sent it through a friend’s firm who ship truckloads via ups, so I got a good rate.
    USPS? Well, maybe it’ll turn up.

  8. jim Says:

    thanks everyone for the shipping information, i guess i was the only dolt that hadn’t looked into this.
    hi keith, not going to NC right away… had commented on her blog about how much i’d like to visit penland and michael kline.

  9. gary Says:

    Actually, US post office is quick to Europe but Canada is always amazingly slow…

  10. ang Says:

    nice vino shot jim…what a way to spend an evening, lovely…

  11. Mary Starosta Says:

    Hummmm well I’m thinking the vino wasn’t CLEAN for very long LOL especially after you began working again heheheh. Thanks for the tips about shipping to Europe…good to know. And JP is awesome with alittle cream on top or might even try refiring to cone 04….test first but hummmmm šŸ™‚

  12. Patricia Griffin Says:

    Hey Jim- I wouldn’t have known about international shipping either. Thanks for giving us the run-down.

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