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Old 12-21-2011, 05:36 PM
hydroguy2's Avatar
hydroguy2 hydroguy2 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Townsend, Montana
Posts: 3,179

You could use FEDEX
Retired Dam guy. Life is good.
Brian, N155BKsold but bought back.
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Old 12-21-2011, 06:01 PM
David Paule David Paule is offline
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 4,654

I've had such bad service from Fed-Ex that I often will not order from a company that insists on using them. USPS is excellent here, and routinely leaves boxes on my front steps.

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Old 12-22-2011, 11:42 AM
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vfrazier vfrazier is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Mount Vernon, IN
Posts: 1,311

I later went out and found a "pink slip" in the box - they didn't even knock on the door to see if I was there
I hate this too, but there's often more to it than just the delivery person (USPS, UPS, or Fedex... doesn't matter) not wanting to leave a package. However, not knocking on the door is inexcusable. I'd want to talk to the postmaster about that.

What Paul's comment reminded me of is another thing that many customers might not know. Leaving a package, any package, at the door without getting a signature exposes the vendor to a false chargeback.

What this means is that if no signature is obtained, an unscrupulous customer can falsely claim that their shipment never arrived. Then they file a claim with their credit card company. The credit card company asks the vendor to prove that a delivery was made. Without a signature confirmation to prove the delivery, the credit card company then refunds the customer's money and charges the vendor. This is a chargeback and it is just another way that the credit card companies $crew the businessman.

Fortunately, we've never had one happen to us (yet). The RV crowd is extremely trustworthy. We typically ship with no signature required, hoping that the RVers will always be trustworthy. Of course, a thief could steal the shipment from their porch and that would ruin everyone's day.

If we're shipping items that are expensive to someone that I don't recognize as a pilot, we use signature confirmation. Not everyone out there is as nice as 99.99% of the pilots out there.

These is just another thing that I never knew before I (foolishly?) decided to sell stuff online. No wonder my hair is turning gray.

One more thought: I'd never post this comment on most forums because it might give someone an idea they hadn't thought of before... stealing the delivery! Like I said above, the RV crowd is a step above the rest and I hope it stays that way.
Vince Frazier
F1 Rocket and F4 Raider components
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Last edited by vfrazier : 12-22-2011 at 11:44 AM.
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Old 12-22-2011, 11:45 AM
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Mark12A Mark12A is offline
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Huntsville, AL
Posts: 89
Default No Signature Required

A "Signature Required" shipment to me from UPS means a very long drive (to Decatur, AL, if it matters) to retrieve my stuff. USPS and FedEx are relatively close. I can understand Vince's comments about false chargebacks, though. It helps to have a dialog with your supplier about shipping. Though it's not always possible, it generally helps take care of misunderstandings before they turn into really big deals.
Jay Staub
Lt. Col., USAF, Ret.
N6565S Reserved
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Old 12-22-2011, 12:00 PM
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DCat22 DCat22 is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 531

Originally Posted by vfrazier View Post
I hate this too, but there's often more to it than just the delivery person (USPS, UPS, or Fedex... doesn't matter) not wanting to leave a package. However, not knocking on the door is inexcusable. I'd want to talk to the postmaster about that.
One reason (other than having a stable address) that I've had a UPS Store box for more than a decade now.

About $15 bucks a month and I get all my packages signed for, no need to be at the house for signature required, never miss a package, all accounted for, kept dry out of the weather, held for as long as I need...and if for some reason it's needed, they will reship to another address for me. I get notices of delivered packages with their tracking number via email the moment they arrive, and I just pick them up on the drive home from work when I pass by. Packages seem to get treated better too, on a "bulk" route (I'm guessing) vs. all the home drops...and many shipping prices are cheaper to a business address as well.

Plus, you don't have to give out where you actually live to all the databases and such...

It's wonderful.
-Rick Greer, VAF #2492
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Old 12-22-2011, 01:03 PM
TS Flightlines TS Flightlines is offline
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Ridgeland, SC
Posts: 2,716
Talking I agree with

Vince-and Paul. Being a small business, both inbound and outbound shipping cost are things we have to consider. I've shipped with UPS, and found that their rates were higher, and took longer, than a similar sized package from USPS. But--the UPS depot here locally is VERY convient--up until 7:00 PM--enought time to build stuff and have it go same day. BUT---the extra several dollars that our customers pay ( I dont mark up the shipping rates) is sometimes crazy. I use USPS also because they supply the boxes. Go to WalMart, or Staples and start figuring the costs of boxes, and it can get out of hand in a big hurry.
Paul brings up a point that i wasnt aware of---the fact that USPS may not leave a package, just a pink slip. That can get pretty inconvienent if your post office isnt near your residence, or business. Mine is across town, and I take my packages there during lunch. I have had UPS not leave packages, but I attributed that to a new route driver.
I don know the answer to the shipping questions. For the builders overseas, man, you are really hurting. I thought Spruce had warehouses in most major countries?
IF we all had our way, we could all have a division in UK, greater Europe, Asia, Austraila, Brazil, and really help our customer. Not only with shipping lead times, but reduced costs as well. Someone smarter than me would have figure it out though!
Tom Swearengen, TS Flightlines LLC, AS Flightlines
Joint Venture with Aircraft Specialty
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Ridgeland, SC,
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Old 12-22-2011, 03:19 PM
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clevtool clevtool is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Boone, Iowa
Posts: 342

Now, if you want to get a real conversation started, let's discuss how every vendor on this forum gets completely $crewed by the credit card companies who take about 3% of every sale just so they can market the "cash back" ponzi scheme to the consumers. There ought to be a law....

3% doesn't sound like much until you realize that profit on any given item might only be 10%. Do the math, 10% - 3% = 7%. The credit card companies eat 1/3 of your profit. All in all, I'd rather own a credit card company! They are the real thieves. 'nuf said.
Good point Vince, add up what we have paid in those fees over the last 20 years and it far more than I have been able to put in a 401k. Infuriating.

Mike Lauritsen
Cleaveland Aircraft Tool
mike.toolman (at)

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Old 12-22-2011, 04:41 PM
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DCat22 DCat22 is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 531

Originally Posted by clevtool View Post
Good point Vince, add up what we have paid in those fees over the last 20 years and it far more than I have been able to put in a 401k. Infuriating.

Side note...we can help!

When I had a merchant account it was 2.25% + $0.30 per transaction. But, Rewards or Corporate cards added an additional 1.50% on top!

So, don't use a rewards card with a merchant you like. Those rewards (plus some...) are coming out of the vendor's pocket not the credit card companies.

Or, don't use a credit card for big ticket items. Granted, I'd always use one when dealing with someone who wasn't a "platinum" vendor, so I have the chargeback option for dealing with a deadbeat or scammer.
-Rick Greer, VAF #2492
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Old 12-23-2011, 10:37 AM
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Jimboscr Jimboscr is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Adelaide South Australia, Australia
Posts: 193
Default The cost adds up

This thread started with the cost to overseas customers of shipping. I thought I might add to it with my experience. I think it reflects what others are saying.

1/ UPS- It would cost less to fly to the U.S. and get it myself. (Perhaps a little exaggerated but boy they are expensive!

2/ FEDEX - Quick and reliable but also very costly (but less than UPS)

3/ USPS- Very reasonable, compared to the other two. So far I have never had anything go astray, (touch wood) and no damage, even when I had to ship a unit back to Dynon. (touch more wood)

I have also found that FEDEX and UPS charge GST (Australia?s goods and services tax) on everything. Australia Post doesn?t start charging the tax until you get something with a value over $1000.

I have regularly had postage charges that were higher than the cost of the goods inside the package. That is the price you pay if you are building outside the U.S.A. Builders here don't like it but that, as they say, is the way the cookie crumbles! If possible you try to find out if one of your builder mates is in need of something from the same supplier, and you order together to try and minimise the transport costs by sharing them.

However I have to say that my dealings with the various companies in the U.S. have been excellent. I am struggling to think of one supplier that has been problematic. This forum has helped a lot, by reading the comments and experiences of other builders it has been possible to avoid potential problems.

Years of deliveries has had one interesting side effect. The "Postie" and I are on a first name basis. When I am not home he brings them to me at work! (My work place is only 5 min away)


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Old 12-24-2011, 11:07 AM
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Snowflake Snowflake is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Sidney, BC, Canada
Posts: 4,083

For a data point not from the aviation world, I ordered a Drift Stealth HD camera from BHPhoto in New York a month ago. They had an option for "prepaid brokerage shipping" through Purolator. They charged the HST, and a USPS-sized amount for shipping, up front. The package arrived on my doorstep 5 business day later. No surprise fees, no high shipping costs.

And in the end, after paying shipping and taxes, the Drift was still cheaper than the before tax prices locally. The Internet will be the end of storefronts, I tell you.
Rob Prior
1996 RV-6 "Tweety" C-FRBP (formerly N196RV)
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