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JCO737

Coin shipping from the US

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JCO737

Has anyone recently received coins shipped from the U.S.? Are import duties payable and how long would it take to clear customs?

 

Above all, is it safe? I would use Fedex priority shipping but it doesn't appear that insurance is available.

 

Thanks in advance.

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jwither

I live in the United States and have sold many coins to buyers in SA. Most of the time, I have used USPS registered first class mail and I consider it by far the safest and most reliable method. I have had buyers request FedEx but when I have used them directly, not only will they not insure coins, they will also refuse to accept them if they know it is in the package.

 

I have sold coins and had a dealer I use deliver them for me and to my knowledge, they do use FedEx. I am not sure what arrangement they have with FedEx because they have also shipped bullion to me this way and FedEx must know (in general) the package contents.

 

As for customs duties, those in your country would know better than I do. To my knowledge, the answer is yes which is I why I have had many requests to understate the package contents value. If you elect this, just be aware that the chances of the seller claiming insurance will be nil and probably for any amount. It certainly will not be for full value and it is likely that the claim will be rejected altogether if the carrier wises up to what happened. In some instances, I know that buyers have wanted me to save them the customs duties but expect me to ship the contents at my own risk. I know this because I have no doubt that they would file a Paypal claim against me if never received. There is no free lunch in life and if you want to save on customs duties, the shipping is almost certainly going to be at your risk.

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Not1CentMore

USPS 1st Class International is a good option for parcels weighing under 4-lbs with a declared value under $400.00USD. Registered is an additional $12.50USD. If parcel is registered, signatures are required by all who 'touch' the parcel (Postal Employees, Airline Personnel, Customs Officials) and time in transit can be between 4 - 8 weeks to SA.

 

USPS Priority Mail Express International is more costly, but parcels are shipped USPS/FedEx and are 'normally' delivered in 10-20 days if there isn't a delay in SA Customs or SAPO (parcels are 'handed off' from USPS/FedEx to SAPO for delivery). Parcels can be insured up to $2499.00USD. Proof of delivery is also available upon request at the time parcel is posted.

 

Ruthie

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geejay50
I have sold coins and had a dealer I use deliver them for me and to my knowledge, they do use FedEx. I am not sure what arrangement they have with FedEx because they have also shipped bullion to me this way and FedEx must know (in general) the package contents.

 

As for customs duties, those in your country would know better than I do. To my knowledge, the answer is yes which is I why I have had many requests to understate the package contents value.

 

Good comment Ernesto,

 

All buyers at Heritage Auction Galleries that live in South Africa must realise that the value of the shipment is declared at FULL value by Heritage and they ship with Fedex. SA Customs will not release the parcel until 14% VAT is paid by the receiver.

So when you see a coin that was bought at Heritage shown on www.CoinguideSA.co.za you must add 14% to it to get to the real buyers price.

 

Geejay

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alloway65

I prefer UPS and never had any problems with them.......depending on the Customs Official on duty depends on any Duties/Surcharges you might be asked to pay.

 

I have found FedEx a bit of a pain.

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JCO737

Thank you all for taking the time to reply. I am a bit concerned that the seller specifies only Fedex and from the comments here they may not insure. Hopefully I can request USPS.

 

Why is it that all the best SA coins are for sale in the US??

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alloway65

It is such a large and competitive market that is why the prices and selection of coins is so good.

 

It could be that your supplier only has an account with FedEx and he might get special rates.

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jwither
Why is it that all the best SA coins are for sale in the US??

 

I am not sure where you are looking because I do not agree with this comment. It varies over time but if you are referring to what is available through dealers or on Ebay/BoB, I think the selection in SA is usually better. It will just depend where and when you are looking. Recently, the selection on BoB has not been as good as it was earlier in the year. As for Ebay, the selection there is substantially worse than what is was all the way up to about 2008. I do see graded coins occasionally for sale that are worth buying but most of it is ungraded (and certainly impaired) material and frequently at absurd prices.

 

If you are looking at Heritage, many of the coins (if not most of them) probably come from SA. There are no traditional floor auctions of any size in your country (I am aware of none period) and just as with your question about the shipping risks to SA, those of us who do not live there have an even greater concern about the safety of coins leaving. I suspect that most coins on Heritage are shipped by a SA buyer to the US and then shipped back to SA after the sale is over. It is a rational attempt by the seller to get more exposure for their coins. This may be somewhat less true for ZAR because they are more popular internationally but I expect is the lopsided outcome for Union. I myself have seen quite a few coins this year on Bob that I would have bought (or at least bid on) if it wasn't the for the hassle you describe.

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JCO737

Thanks jwither. My comment was somewhat tongue in cheek, but I agree that the wider selection is naturally in SA. The specific coins I can't seem to find in SA at the moment are high grade circulation Union sovereigns and half sovereigns. I think there is one on bidorbuy at the moment but the starting price is a bit outlandish. Both Heritage and Ebay have/had a number of them for sale.

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jwither

I made the mistake of selling my half sovereigns a few years ago and it is unlikely I will be able to buy them back for the same price. They are not scarce at all going by the census populations but I almost never see them for sale.

 

The sovereigns are common, except for the 1923 and 1924. But I do not recall seeing the 1931 or 1932 that often either but these two are not scarce according to the census. Sometimes it is just a matter of waiting. I would not pay any significant premium for the grade for any of these coins at all. It is not deserved.

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JCO737
They are not scarce at all going by the census populations but I almost never see them for sale.

 

That is the frustrating bit. By all indications they are not as rare as they are to find on BoB. Could it be that they are more collectable, being gold coins and collectors are less likely to let them go?

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jwither
That is the frustrating bit. By all indications they are not as rare as they are to find on BoB. Could it be that they are more collectable, being gold coins and collectors are less likely to let them go?

 

I believe the census populations for both the 1925 and 1926 half sovereign are over 100 each or near it. I would have to check to confirm. And there are likely many more out there, somewhere.

 

I cannot explain why they appear so infrequently for sale, though they are both probably somewhat more available than what I actually see. It is also possible that a large percentage are owned by collectors who compile sovereign sets from all mints and are not Union collectors at all. However, I have no evidence of this and even among these collectors, SA issues seem to be the least popular except maybe for the few dates I have seen from India. Additionally, if this is true, I wouldn't expect these collectors to prefer graded specimens because most of them are likely from the UK, Canada and Australia and there isn't really any compelling reason for these collectors who generally prefer ungraded coins to buy either of these graded.

 

I also doubt that there are any significant number of duplicates in the census. My opinion is none because their low value makes it pointless.

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