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Cheap International Shipping of Skis

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Anyone know of a way to inexpensively ship skis from France or Germany to the States?

Thanks,
Matt
post #2 of 23
Not with the Deutsche Post or DHL (same company). Sorry I can't help beyond that, but they will charge you your first born for anything larger than a standard letter.
post #3 of 23
To be honest, I think that you'll be lucky to find anything "inexpensive" but my first call would be to FedEx.

I've used them to ship books/papers/clothes backwards and forwards from the U.S. to Europe and they've been pretty good. (OK, this time, they lost some paperwork and, as a result, the stuff was held up in customs for an extra few days. It probably helps that my employer has a FedEx account and that may give a better rate. The good thing is that they will provide waybills and customs forms and talk you through filling them out (can be a bit scary the first time) over the phone.

Let me know how you get on -- I'm planning on shipping skis to Val d'I this winter.
post #4 of 23
An account sometimes helps but not in general. My researches in the past brought up that for any reason it's about 50% pricier to ship west by air than vice versa. With the fading Greenback that is likely to be almost twice as much now.

Still shipment by vessel is the cheapest by far but it takes forever, i.e. several weeks.
post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by PowHog View Post
An account sometimes helps but not in general. My researches in the past brought up that for any reason it's about 50% pricier to ship west by air than vice versa. With the fading Greenback that is likely to be almost twice as much now.

Still shipment by vessel is the cheapest by far but it takes forever, i.e. several weeks.
When I looked into it that wasn't at all true for relatively small items (a couple of pairs of skis or a few boxes of books). The companies I spoke to told me that shipping was by container and the administration costs for breaking that down made it uneconomic. Perhaps you have information that I don't, though.
post #6 of 23
Matt, try with Swiss Post if you are near the border, that it. Otherwise the commute to/from will make it anti-economical.
Don't go to a local Swiss Post office (if available in France) I say this because Deutsche Post and Swiss Post have opened offices in Italy too. Alas they are more or less aligned with the market. Likewise all other private carriers...
Go to a Switzerland located Swiss Post office.
I had once to ship something from Italy to the USA, the cost of shipment from Italy (using the Italian mail system) was more than the actual goods value.
From Switzerland (I had to drive there, but from my home it's only 40-50ish km to the border and the nearest Swiss mail office) it was considerably cheaper, I think in the order of 1/4th or even less of the price asked in Italy.
post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by hitherandthither View Post
When I looked into it that wasn't at all true for relatively small items (a couple of pairs of skis or a few boxes of books). The companies I spoke to told me that shipping was by container and the administration costs for breaking that down made it uneconomic. Perhaps you have information that I don't, though.
About 1.5 yrs ago the vessel was about 2/3 of the price by air - at least that's what I got back then. The way it usually works is that loose items are collected/stored in one (or more, depending on total quantities) containers. That's why it takes ages to get stuff delivered since they normally only ship when containers are full, else they tend to sit it out. Not to mention clearing customs ect. since containers loaded with specific items are served first.

However haven't inquired since then so that may have shifted somewhat.
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by PowHog View Post
The way it usually works is that loose items are collected/stored in one (or more, depending on total quantities) containers. That's why it takes ages to get stuff delivered since they normally only ship when containers are full, else they tend to sit it out. Not to mention clearing customs ect. since containers loaded with specific items are served first.
I used to work for a logistics firm that served Alaska from the lower 48. That's exactly how it worked. Loose goods were put on when there was space; dedicated truck/container loads went straight away. Not sure of the price difference, as I wasn't in the sales or billing departments. Loose goods never had to wait more than one boat, but again, that has nothing to do with the present question.
post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hitherandthither View Post
Let me know how you get on -- I'm planning on shipping skis to Val d'I this winter.
What type of skis were you planning on shipping? Unless you take the helicopter in, you have to pass through Bourg St. Maurice to get to Val and I have a friend who I could leave my skis with and am considering lower and lower prices as I look into the shipping costs...new Troublemakers (still in wrapper), Salomon Scream Hot 10 P and my wife's almost new Roxy's (skied two days). bindings for all optional.

I now understand why so many people rent here...
post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nobody View Post
Matt, try with Swiss Post if you are near the border, that it. Otherwise the commute to/from will make it anti-economical.
Don't go to a local Swiss Post office (if available in France) I say this because Deutsche Post and Swiss Post have opened offices in Italy too. Alas they are more or less aligned with the market. Likewise all other private carriers...
Go to a Switzerland located Swiss Post office.
I had once to ship something from Italy to the USA, the cost of shipment from Italy (using the Italian mail system) was more than the actual goods value.
From Switzerland (I had to drive there, but from my home it's only 40-50ish km to the border and the nearest Swiss mail office) it was considerably cheaper, I think in the order of 1/4th or even less of the price asked in Italy.
Thanks to nobody and everyone else who responded

I will be passing through Switzerland next Saturday...do you think they are open? Does anyone have an idea how they would compare to German post for a medium sized box?
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree30 View Post
What type of skis were you planning on shipping? Unless you take the helicopter in, you have to pass through Bourg St. Maurice to get to Val and I have a friend who I could leave my skis with and am considering lower and lower prices as I look into the shipping costs...new Troublemakers (still in wrapper), Salomon Scream Hot 10 P and my wife's almost new Roxy's (skied two days). bindings for all optional.

I now understand why so many people rent here...
Oh yes, I know Bourg (spent too many hours of my life waiting for the bus/train there)!

Well, it looks like a pair of Legend 8000s and a pair of 1080 Guns with AT bindings. I have a friend with space in his cave, so, after last winter -- not getting to rent the skis I wanted in the length I wanted with AT bindings -- I decided to bite the bullet. Kind of ties me to Val d'Isere. But there are worse places to be tied to!

What did FedEx quote you?
post #12 of 23
Here is a price list from Deutche Post:
http://www.dhl.de/dhl?tab=1&skin=hi&...File=300 1057

You exceed the maximum dimensions, though (assuming your skis are longer than 120 cm), and according to the site would therefore be classified as "Bulky Goods". I cannot find a price list for Bulky Goods, but be sure that it will be more than the prices quoted here.

Customer Service in Germany is here:
http://www.dhl.de/dhl?tab=1&skin=hi&...File=300 4518

I purchased skis (three sets: one alpine, two cross country) in the US last summer and brought them back to Europe with me on the plane. It cost me nothing. Is this not an option?
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by ami in berlin View Post
I purchased skis (three sets: one alpine, two cross country) in the US last summer and brought them back to Europe with me on the plane. It cost me nothing. Is this not an option?
Same worked for me too so far when entering Europe although I guess the chance of getting caught is somewhat higher upon entering the US. At least they tend to look closer at your luggage than they do here.
post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PowHog View Post
Same worked for me too so far when entering Europe although I guess the chance of getting caught is somewhat higher upon entering the US. At least they tend to look closer at your luggage than they do here.
Not worried about customs (although 1 pair is still in wrapper, but I am leaning towards leaving them to be sold next year)...problem is that we are not just going from point A to B as we will be scouting places to live this summer, otherwise I would take them on the plane. As it stands, I may risk dropping them with my sister when we visit her in NJ and hope she ships them to me when I get settled...

Thanks for the German post info as another option is to have sister in law (who we visit first) ship from Luneburg after we get settled (assuming I can get all our stuff in the car to drive there).
post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ami in berlin View Post
Here is a price list from Deutche Post:
http://www.dhl.de/dhl?tab=1&skin=hi&...File=300 1057

You exceed the maximum dimensions, though (assuming your skis are longer than 120 cm), and according to the site would therefore be classified as "Bulky Goods". I cannot find a price list for Bulky Goods, but be sure that it will be more than the prices quoted here.

Customer Service in Germany is here:
http://www.dhl.de/dhl?tab=1&skin=hi&...File=300 4518
Thanks Am Berlin...the first link you gave says it is an extra 20 euro for sizes up to 200 cm, but only shows this after you click on "bulky goods" towards the bottom. That would make it 62/82 euro for up to 10/20 kilos to the US...better than the luggage shipping cos I looked at BUT it says that bulky service is not available for all countries and that your local outlet should be consulted for details (with a link to a German webpage where I wasn't sure where to put the town name http://www.yellowmap.de/Partners/Deu...earchform.aspx
I am also not sure if the free pick-up that applies for letters also goes for boxes?
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hitherandthither View Post
Oh yes, I know Bourg (spent too many hours of my life waiting for the bus/train there)!

Well, it looks like a pair of Legend 8000s and a pair of 1080 Guns with AT bindings. I have a friend with space in his cave, so, after last winter -- not getting to rent the skis I wanted in the length I wanted with AT bindings -- I decided to bite the bullet. Kind of ties me to Val d'Isere. But there are worse places to be tied to!

What did FedEx quote you?
Definitely worse places than Val...I would look into purchasing from one of the German online retailers or Eko sports (Chambery) off of ebay.de or ebay.fr if you haven't purchased yet and have them shipped directly to your friend (or just take them on the plane/bus if you are coming straight here.) Better service from Eko Sports than the two German outfits I bought from, but maybe that was luck of the draw...probably have more availability in the fall than now.
post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nobody View Post
Matt, try with Swiss Post if you are near the border, that it. Otherwise the commute to/from will make it anti-economical.
Don't go to a local Swiss Post office (if available in France) I say this because Deutsche Post and Swiss Post have opened offices in Italy too. Alas they are more or less aligned with the market. Likewise all other private carriers...
Go to a Switzerland located Swiss Post office.
I had once to ship something from Italy to the USA, the cost of shipment from Italy (using the Italian mail system) was more than the actual goods value.
From Switzerland (I had to drive there, but from my home it's only 40-50ish km to the border and the nearest Swiss mail office) it was considerably cheaper, I think in the order of 1/4th or even less of the price asked in Italy.
Prices for Swiss Post International shown online from Sw to US seem about the same as the German DHL prices (estimating conversion from S Fr to Euro)

http://www.post.ch/en/index/uk-priva..._economy-paket

and seem to allow up to 30 kilo, but package size may max out to US at 150 cm...

http://www.post.ch/sgo/pdfDownload.d...&countryIso=US

Germany is better for me than Swiss, so I will follow up this week with the DHL customer service to see if they accept 200 cm to US.
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree30 View Post
Definitely worse places than Val...I would look into purchasing from one of the German online retailers or Eko sports (Chambery) off of ebay.de or ebay.fr if you haven't purchased yet and have them shipped directly to your friend (or just take them on the plane/bus if you are coming straight here.) Better service from Eko Sports than the two German outfits I bought from, but maybe that was luck of the draw...probably have more availability in the fall than now.
I looked around for half the season and, finally, figured that the price differential between U.S. and Europe was too great -- I could get exactly what I wanted in the U.S. (with excellent advice and service) and, provided that the shipping isn't over $500, I'll still be in pocket. Plus, if I can get away for a weekend in December, I can try them out in New England's famous early season powder (and make sure that no customs officer thinks I'm smuggling new goods). I didn't see Eko Sports, but I had a good long look at outdoordiscounter.de and a couple of others.
post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 
In general, Europe is probably more expensive, but it depends on models...also, if you are willing to scout out some auctions and be patient, I think there are some very good deals to be had at times.

It looks like Eko Sport is on vacation now-
http://stores.ebay.fr/EKOSPORT-SKI-SNOWBOARD-VTT-TENNIS
post #20 of 23
http://www.sport-conrad.com/index.asp?lang_id=ENG can have some excellent deals. I haven't seen anything better in Europe.

That said, when I was buying last year REI was still far cheaper (which is why I was carrying three ski sets on the plane with me).

The dollar is just so weak I really don't see how buying in Europe can compete on price at the moment.

As for customs, entering Europe by plane is never an issue. Shipping goods is another thing entirely, though.
post #21 of 23
Thread Starter 

International Shipping

Quote:
Originally Posted by ami in berlin View Post
http://www.sport-conrad.com/index.asp?lang_id=ENG can have some excellent deals. I haven't seen anything better in Europe.

That said, when I was buying last year REI was still far cheaper (which is why I was carrying three ski sets on the plane with me).

The dollar is just so weak I really don't see how buying in Europe can compete on price at the moment.

As for customs, entering Europe by plane is never an issue. Shipping goods is another thing entirely, though.
Shipping good is definitely another story...I got a 150 euro bill in the mail based on the $500 value my dad declared for the used ski clothing I left with my dad to me (which he paid something like $252 to ship with Fed Ex when the USPS would have probably been less than $50). Replied by telling them that it was used personal clothing with a resale value much less than the $500 my dad declared and they eventually stopped sending notices when I didn't pay. Wife paid 50 euro customs to the delivery guy for 2 turtlenecks with a $80 retail sent to me as a birthday present from the States.

FWIW, I got 3 pairs here:
Roxy Wista Teen w/ binding mounted for 147 euro including shipping before start of season
Troublemakers & PX12 for 185 euro including shipping
Fischer Atua & X14 for 230 pounds plus 27 euro shipping plus a 4%paypal surcharge from ski belik (who has spotty communications and makes you pay shipping for warranty issues)

The Atuas were a "best offer" while the other two I was pretty patient and looked for deals on auctions (although I was offered a "second chance" on the Wista auction when someone outbid me by a euro with the $US a bit stronger in Oct/Nov than it is now). The Troubles were the only current year model, but all were new and under warranty (and I had to send back the first pair of Troubles I got because they came with a gap on one of the edges and 3 spots on the sidewall).
post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 

120 cm max German Post to US

Quote:
Originally Posted by MEfree30 View Post
Germany is better for me than Swiss, so I will follow up this week with the DHL customer service to see if they accept 200 cm to US.
Sister in law went to the local post in Luneburg who told her that 120 cm is max they accept to US. They said there are other services who will take larger sizes, but would not tell her who. Said price for under 120 cm/under 20 kilo would be 62 euro.

She is going to try to check around and I am waiting to hear back from ski belik about who they would use to send to the US, but I am leaning towards just shipping a box (or 2 depending on weight) of gear (including bindings which I have taken off all skis) and taking 3 pair with us on the plane to Newark (along with golf clubs and our other luggage) and hope: my sister will be responsible enough to ship them on to us when we get settled down.
post #23 of 23
^^^^^^^

This is strange, when I inquired they quoted shipping overseas. But as said it was too pricey.

Post office guys are a bunch of stupids sometimes who don't know their job.
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