View Full Version : Shipping from UK questions

10-25-2001, 09:18 AM
Inspired by the postings here, I am girding myself in preparation for my first plunge into ebay. I am trying to get my head around all the things I need to think about and how much it's all going to cost. This is quite a steep learning curve - LOL!

Anyway, I was wondering how folks ship internationally from the UK. I'm trying to get an idea of who to use and how much it's going to cost. I feel it would be good to have a reasonably fast delivery time and not have it cost way more than the price of the painting.

Also, I read in a little booklet from the post office that items valued at over 100 exported to non-EU destinations must carry a VAT 444 label. Anyone know what this is?


10-25-2001, 11:34 AM
Originally posted by sandrafletcher
Also, I read in a little booklet from the post office that items valued at over 100 exported to non-EU destinations must carry a VAT 444 label. Anyone know what this is?


VAT 444 is a Customs and Excise label for 'goods' exported by post. VAT may be zero-rated if they are direct exports and you hold the necessary evidence of posting to an address outside the EC. You must fix an adhesive label, Form VAT 444, to the outside of any package exceeding 100 in value unless you are using one of Royal Mail's International Services in which case you must use the Despatch Packs provided. You will need to get one from a VAT or Collector's Office.


10-25-2001, 01:49 PM
I know there are a lot of sellers from the UK at ebay. Check out some of their auctions and email them privately about their shipping process. A lot of information about shipping is usually provided in the auction description...this will give you ideas.

But I find that other sellers are really nice about answering questions when I've emailed them privately.

10-25-2001, 02:34 PM
Okay, I have NEVER heard of that VAT form. If you are not VAT registered I wouldn't think you need it. I have shipped items worth more than 100 out of the country (the most of 600), using Fedex, UPS and Royal Mail, declaring them as merchandise and no one has ever mentioned that to me.

Here's my methods:

If it can be rolled: I ship it normal airmail in a mailing tube. Remember, there is no way to track anything or get a signature to the US - this is due to a difference in UK and US barcode systems, apparently. You get the little green customs form, put the item and amount, tick "merchandise" and sign. It's very easy and they'll give this to you at the counter. I will shipped framed items occassionally but would take out the glass so it doesn't break and potentially damage the artwork.

If it's too large for an airmail small package: I never use Parcelforce because they suck - most packages arrive late, battered, and you can't track it anyway. I take it to Mailboxes Etc and ship it UPS Expedited usually. Or you can arrange collection from Fedex or UPS if you are packing yourself.

RoyalMail will not insure anything on canvas or paper. Mailboxes has a 3rd party insurance that will, but they have just added on a 50 deductable (their insurance company's choice, not theirs). If you can find another insurer please let me know. :) There is a company called Delivery Networks but I haven't checked them out yet, they may have their own insurance. Basically we are liable for any losses under 50 no matter what because no one insures anything for under that (the 27 amount covered by the post office isn't applicable if you are shipping paper or canvas). Mind you, if you ship a whole framed item you may be able to get around the Post Office's rules.


Hmm... I'm sure i'll think of something else...

10-25-2001, 06:24 PM
Thanks Nik, Carly and Tina for your help (although, to be honest, I still can't get my head round the VAT thing :rolleyes: ).

Tina, I was looking at delivery networks website earlier today. I filled out an online form, giving a kinda generous guestimate to the weight and value. I gave it roughly A4 size, a weight of .5kg and a value of 70. A couple of hours later someone rang me and quoted 14 plus 1 for insurance but I didn't think to ask whether the insurance would cover the whole value.

I'm starting with small watercolours and etchings so I think I will follow your example and just try normal airmail.

Oh, I think I need to just do it and figure it out as I go. I just can't keep all the bits in my head at one time. And I still have to take a look at paypal or billpoint or some such.

Thanks again.