So, is it impossible to send jewelry to Australia for less than $13.45?
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I really want to open up my shop for international selling, but I have to do research country by country to find out what is legal to sell where. I found this on the usps site on what can be sent to Australia ...
"Jewelry is permitted only when sent as an insured parcel using Priority Mail International service." - pe.usps.com/text/imm/ab_012.htm
And I looked up the small Priority International flat rate box/envelop and the shipping cost was $13.45. The "less than a pound" regular rate was even high! Is there no cheaper way to send priority international than the flat rate? Or am I just stuck with having to charge $13.45 for shipping jewelry to Australia because of the restriction?
Posted at 1:27pm Jul 29, 2010 EDT
Hmm, here is something interesting I just found someone had posted on a different shipping issue, but it might shed some light on this topic ... apparently the usps's definition of 'jewelry" is fairly specific:
"Note: The term “jewelry” is generally understood to denote articles of more than nominal value. Inexpensive jewelry, watches, such as tie clasps and costume jewelry, containing little or no precious metal, is not considered to be jewelry within the meaning of this section and is accepted under the same conditions as other mailable merchandise to any country. Inexpensive jewelry is accepted to countries that prohibit jewelry, but only at the sender’s risk."
So, this restriction is on how to send "jewelry", which apparently is not what I sell since my work would certainly fall under the "containing little or no precious metal", I don't have to send it priority? I know it would be MUCh cheaper to send it first class, I just want to make sure its legal, but I think maybe it looks ok? Argh, technical issues. :)
Posted at 1:47pm Jul 29, 2010 EDT
I have first class international prices added to my items, and I've read that you should put something like "handmade bracelet" rather than "jewelry" on the customs form to avoid problems. I haven't actually shipped anything there yet though. as far as I know it's only illegal if you actually misrepresent it on the customs form or if you mark it as "gift" when it's not a gift.
Posted at 1:55pm Jul 29, 2010 EDT
Yes you can send your jewelry to Australia via International first class. You might consider insuring it for your own protection though. Unless it's something you can afford to replace/refund. Just in case since there's no tracking with first class :)
Posted at 1:57pm Jul 29, 2010 EDT
I've shipped costume jewelry and many other types of items to Australia (and elsewhere) always by First Class International, which is much cheaper than Priority Mail. It is o.k. to use that rate for less expensive items. The jewelry "exclusion" applies only to fine, expensive gold, silver etc. Note that the First Class rate can not be insured. I had to do some research once to ship an expensive silver item internationally and the issue of jewlery came up and all of the carriers I contacted (USPS, UPS, DHL, etc.) all treated expensive fine gold and silver jewelry (not to mention diamonds, etc.) with different shipping requirements. In checking the various country restrictions I did encounter the various exclusions by gold content, value, etc. so First Class International is fine. Be sure to put "costume" or something descriptive like that on the customs form. If you feel you need to insure it does have to go Priority.
I've had no problems! Hope this helps. Cheers, Ivy
Posted at 1:58pm Jul 29, 2010 EDT
Thanks everyone! I'm so excited to be able to start selling internationally - now I that I know this about what they mean by jewelry in so many country's restrictions, it makes everything SO much easier!
A little disconcerting to know that you can't insure it on first class though - ick! I usually trust the mail system, though, and nothing in my shop is crazy expensive like hundreds of dollars or anything, so I think I'll be ok. :)
Posted at 2:02pm Jul 29, 2010 EDT