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Topic: Mentalism props in the mail from the UK
Message: Posted by: George Hunter (Feb 6, 2015 12:44PM)
Has anyone else had problems getting stuff in the mail from the UK?

In December, from Five of Hearts Magic, I ordered the "Bish, Bash, Bosh" effect. It is a Smash and Stab type of effect, but the object under one cup is (say) an egg or a watch, rather than a spike. It arrived in the mail to my Kentucky address almost six weeks after I placed the order. Five of Hearts' people did not respond to my inquiries, except for two generic automated emails saying "shipped" and "completed""-yep, in that order. I reasoned that maybe the shop does not keep a supply, that Colin Rose makes a set of the canisters in response to purchase orders. They finally came, and are very nice--complete with a mallet for bashing styrofoam cups.

More recently, another experience shed some possible light. I ordered, through Vanishing, Inc., a Supalok from Mike Hanzlik in the UK; this time, I received a tracking number. On January 30, the package arrived at Chicago O'Hare. Today (February 6) when I entered the tracking number on the usps.com website, it shows that the package is STILL stuck in Chicago. I called the local post office, and the fellow told me that Customs can now take as long as two months to process and release an international package for USA mailing.

I am asking if anyone else is now experiencing similar issues. From my experience, the British have created and marketed some lovely effects for our art. But now, when I order something, I won't really expect to receive it in measurable time!

Message: Posted by: Tom Jorgenson (Feb 6, 2015 02:11PM)
It sounds like Customs's budget has been gutted and they're extending processing time to make up for the lack of personnel.
Message: Posted by: Tony Iacoviello (Feb 6, 2015 02:40PM)

Yes, I had a problem just like this. I ordered a package from the UK, it got stuck in customs for a month, then vanished.

After a replacement was sent and eventually received I discovered the sell did not have a there Zip code on the address.

I asked the seller about this and he said that Paypal (UK) did not display the zip code. (My address in Paypal when I look at it is complete and correct.)

So I assume there is an issue/bug with displaying addresses in other countries in the Paypal software.

With incomplete addresses, packages sometimes get held up in customs or not processed at all.

Message: Posted by: george1953 (Feb 6, 2015 03:32PM)
It works the other way round too. If I order something from the US it ALWAYS gets held by customs here in Spain. They seem to please themselves as to when they will release it.
Did you know its actually ILLEGAL to send playing cards to Spain from the US ! Its true, when I order playing cards from the US I have to ask the seller to put gift on the declaration form. I once bought a set of marked tarot cards from a US dealer and had to pay 75 Euros before they would let me collect them !
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Feb 6, 2015 03:57PM)
You should look at the UK prices too... even though for every dollar, its supposed to be about one pound fifty at the moment, we still pay the same as you guys do...25 = $25..

and anything imported into the UK over 16 has to pay customs charges and handling...and even international first class shipping can take anything up to three weeks to get here, and that's before the whole customs thing...which can add another week easily...and even if you're tracking it all and paid extra, it still takes about a week or so...
Message: Posted by: cheesewrestler (Feb 6, 2015 09:13PM)
You'd think that by the year 2015 humans would have figured out a way to make international shipping fast & efficient, but no. Sometimes stuff comes straight through, other times it sits in the airport for weeks with no updates or further info.

As far as I know, once something arrives in the US from the UK (for example) the UK seller has zero control over when (or if!) it will get to you.
Message: Posted by: caigy (Feb 8, 2015 08:00AM)
[quote]On Feb 6, 2015, cheesewrestler wrote:

As far as I know, once something arrives in the US from the UK (for example) the UK seller has zero control over when (or if!) it will get to you. [/quote]

Cheesewrestler is absolutely correct!

The only saving grace is that 99.9% of the time, the items do arrive safely and within a reasonable period of time to Customers in the U.S.A.

...Italy however is a different story...!!

Apologies to my Italian friends but they must have the worst postal service on the planet!! :(

Paul Mc.
Message: Posted by: George Hunter (Feb 10, 2015 02:02PM)

I have good news to report! The Supalok arrived from the UK today, and checked out just fine. It was stuck in the facilities of our underfunded Customs people for more than a week. When Customs finally released it to the USPS, it finished its itinerary to Kentucky without additional delays or hassles.

From this experience, I will still order things from the UK as I need them, but I will no longer depend on them arriving without delay. I will allow a month; then maybe I will be PLEASANTLY surprised!