Postal shipping option, please !

Discussion in 'Bug Reporting' started by fx2, Oct 21, 2010.

  1. fx2
    fx2 New Member
    I think a postal shipping option (priority package) could only be beneficial for Shapeways. :) In fact, I'm quite sure the unique available shipping option is refraining a lot of people from ordering on your website.If you offer two shipping options, the buyer can choose which option is less likely to him to create a surprise fee.

    I have been hit by an UPS well-known "surprise" (+50 CHF on a $37 USD Shapeways order), I contacted the support and unfortunately the Shapeways team cannot do a lot to avoid this. I have to deal myself with local UPS, and this is not a pleasure. :( Because of the problematic shipping company Shapeways unfortunately isn't an option for me anymore, at least for little orders. This kind of surprise never happens with postal shipping.

    I would prefer to wait longer for my order to arrive, but be sure that I will not be hit by a big extra !
  2. fx2
    fx2 New Member
    I would like to know: Is a postal shipping option something that is likely to happen in the next months (first quarter 2011), or is it something that you not even consider ?

    I think you could gain market share by offering more shipping options, like you probably gained market shares by offering bank transfer as payment option... :)
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2010
  3. Luukw
    Luukw New Member
    Hi fx2

    I am sorry that you did not had a good experience with our shipping services. We are always looking for thinks to improve our services and offering more than one possibility to ship orders to our customers is definitely one of them. I can not tell you when this will be available, but it is on our wish list.

    Hope this answers help a bit and hopefully your next orders will not have these problems

    Kindly luuk
  4. Arnaud Couturier
    Arnaud Couturier New Member
    I second fx2, see this thread.

    I won't buy anything new from Shapeways from now on, because of UPS.
    I'm very disappointed. :cry:

    Furthermore, what about if I decide to send a gift through Shapeways?
    I was planning to send a golden or silver ring to a lady, what will I look like if she's charged $100 again on delivery
    .... "thank you for the so-called gift" ..... :confused
  5. virtox
    virtox Active Member Moderator
    I understand your predicament, but both Shapeways and UPS work according to you applicable laws.

    Is there are import duties on items, all shipping companies have to take care of this.

    There might be tricks through which shapeways could reduce these amounts, but this is usually illegal, and would lead to Shapeways getting fines.

    And the fact that other postal services are negligent with proper customs declaration, is no guarantee that this would not happen with DHL or others.
    Fedex and DHL have surprised me plenty of times with unintelligible tax notices. (even fully specified on request, they make no sense)

    Depending on local law, gift are usually tax free, but might also depend on value, purpose and material.

    I know it's a pain to find, but most details on all these rules can be found on local government info websites.


  6. Arnaud Couturier
    Arnaud Couturier New Member
    Yes, I agree with you, the law is the law.


    here, postal services sometimes do apply taxes, at most 20%.
    And they surely aren't "negligent with proper customs declaration", since they are a public service.

    On the other hand you have UPS, a private company, charging 95%+ fees upon reception.
    Plus I did pay for the shipping when I ordered, right?

    So, in my case I've paid a total amount of $56 to SHapeways, shipping included, + $31 of taxes, +$17 file creation fee, and other "just-for-the-pleasure" fees.

    I'm fine with taxes.
    But Im' not fine with private companies taking advantage of the situation.

    I went and asked them what the minimum amount I'm allowed before I get charged.
    They said about $30.
  7. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    I wonder what would happen if you changed your name on your account to the name of a charity, or even the name of a Church. Would that still be taxed?
  8. dizingof
    dizingof New Member
    why not change to U.N ? diplomatic package - no one will touch it

    I too was disappointed with UPS flat chargers that amounted to more then double the package value - they claim it's a flat charge no matter the package value - and then there is the duty tax + VAT.

    I'm beginning to think i am "lucky" after all that the limit of no tax and no UPS fees is $50

    Unless there is a local shapeways in your country split your orders. very simple.

    Last edited: Nov 4, 2010
  9. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    Another idea, I have yet to be charged anything from UPS in the US. I wonder if it would be less to ship to a taxless zone, then send via postal service to UPS taxed zones?
  10. gibell
    gibell Well-Known Member
    Taxless zone? I thought the whole problem was import duties? If so, there is no easy way around them.

    Recently I have shipped a lot of packages internationally using the US Postal Service. "First Class International" is entirely based on weight and has no tracking. But if your item is only a few ounces, the cost is quite reasonable (under $10 pretty much any place in the world). If Shapeways starts printing in NY, this could be a good shipping option.

    But if you require tracking, even a tiny 200gm Shapeways package will cost you upwards of $40 to ship internationally ... and this is before all the import fees kick in. This is one-time shipping as a private individual, companies like Shapeways can arrange special deals if they do a lot of shipping.

    FYI, I've received probably 40 UPS packages from Shapeways in the past year, and only got dinged once by import duties when my order was over $300.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2010
  11. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    Taxless would be an incorrect term, a fee free zone? Does postal shipping from US to say Canada get import fees?
  12. gibell
    gibell Well-Known Member
    Any package that goes from one country to another has to go through customs, so what happens depends entirely on the country it is going to. If you ship from the US to Canada (or any other country) you have to fill out a "Customs Declaration Form" about what is in the box, and how much it is worth. Here is where as a private individual you have some leeway ("Plastic puzzle, worth $1"), but I imagine Shapeways cannot "fudge the numbers".
  13. stannum
    stannum Well-Known Member
    Food for thought: You are supposed to write the value of the item alone, right? But Shapeways orders have two problems with that: first is cancelled items not being removed from invoices (solved or still happening?) and second is that price always includes shipping as item price, increasing artificially the value custom officiers will see.
  14. virtox
    virtox Active Member Moderator
    Duties and taxes are generally calculated based on the total cost to get the object. So this includes shipping costs.
    But then again, depending on local regulations this might differ.

  15. fx2
    fx2 New Member
    Little follow-up after my first post:

    I wrote the local UPS a registered letter (I know they received it the 27. october) asking to issue me either a refund or write me a letter with a detailed cost breakdown (especially how they calculate VAT value) of the amount they charged. Still got no answer nor refund.

    Guess it tells what I need to know about UPS...
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2010
  16. fx2
    fx2 New Member
    Follow-up :

    I finally received a letter from UPS...

    Shapeways writes 0$ shipping on the incoterm invoice, which is correct but unusual.
    Unfortunately, when UPS sees "0" for shipping, they think the sender "forgot" to declare shipping cost. So they add an amount...

    UPS wrote 52 CHF shipping for every package on the customs declaration. This automatically raised the total value above the VAT threshold. I tried to explain to the local UPS that shipping cost is included in merchandise value, but they obviously didn't get it... :mad:

    I will write a new letter to UPS.

    Last edited: Nov 19, 2010
  17. fx2
    fx2 New Member
    Unbelievable ! I had to look twice, but yes, two months and three letters to UPS later, I got refunded ! They transferred the amount back to my account without notice. Great ! :)

    To avoid problems like this one in the future, Shapeways should split the total amount between "merchandise" and "shipping/freight". The idea is to avoid to have 0.00 shipping on the invoice, which seems to be an impossible/wrong value to some UPS employees doing the customs clearance.
    For instance:

    Shapeways order $25.00
    My proposal:
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2011
  18. Klink
    Klink New Member
    Any updates on this ?
  19. aleakybos
    aleakybos New Member
    Living in Switzerland, I experience the same problems as fx2: UPS charges me a fee of at least 30USD for each parcel!
    Most of it is not due to VAT or import duty but plainly a handling fee due to an incorrect statement on the invoice. This could be avoided easily if the correct Incoterms were stated on Shapeways' invoice.

    The line "Terms of Sale (Incoterm)" appears in the top right corner of the invoice, but it is empty. Why don't Shapeways state the correct Incoterms?

    According to Swiss tax authorities, another alternative would be to clearly print the following text on the invoice:


    I contacted the Shapeways Customer Service Agents several times since Dec 2010, and I was told that they would forward this information to their supply chain manager. This week I again received a parcel with an empty Incoterm statement on the invoice, wasted another 30USD...