Fine Games' International Shipping
 Rates & Practices
 

International ShipmentsThis page details Fine Games shipping methods and charges for all international shipments to addresses outside the United States and its colonial possessions. The general procedure we use to arrive at projected and actual shipping charges is described. (APO/FPO shipments are considered domestic shipments.)

 

International services and rates were increased in January 2017 by our beloved postal service. Fine Games' own rates were last revised to reflect those rates on January 2017 .

 

 

Shipment Method Options & Delivery Lead Times

Fine Games ships most international orders via our postal services. All international shipments are charged according to actual shipping weight.

 

Our rates for these routine services are summarized in our International Shipping Rate Chart.

 

The primary choice you must make with each shipment is simply whether to ship via PRIORITY MAIL INTERNATIONAL (the default), or via either FIRST CLASS International (up to 4 lbs.) or EXPRESS INTERNATIONAL. Priority mail replaced both the previous Air & Surface mail services in 2007, and offers swift delivery to nearly all nations in 6-10 days (approximately). Express mail offers the quickest possible delivery internationally, in 3-5 days (approximately). First Class mail offers less costly shipment of small packages weighing less than 4 lbs. See our rates page for more details.

 

Aside from the far more expensive, expedited services described below, lighter shipments may be eligible for two other shipment methods that may be both less expensive and faster. See our rates page for details.

  • As many flat, unboxed items as can fit in a flat rate Priority International mailing envelope can be shipped  insured for a fixed price ( $34 - $37 depending upon your country, or $28.20 to Canada), with delivery generally within one week. (Note that such flat rate shipments are insured by default.)

  • Lighter shipments of up to four (4) pounds may be sent uninsured at First Class Mail Rate. Doing so may reduce shipping rates (at least for the lightest packages), but such packages are sent uninsured, & you assume all risk of shipment from time of mailing.  Generally, it is cost-effective only up to 2 pounds weight. Please inquire if you are interested in this option.

 

Estimated v. Actual Shipping Weight

You are charged shipping based on actual shipping weight. Because orders are assembled and packaged only after all items as well as payment are on hand, actual shipping weight is known for certain only after your order ships -- and after payment has been rendered.

 

This chicken-and-the-egg problem is dealt with in this simple manner. Shipping weight is estimated at the time you place your order, and you are charged based on that total. After your order has actually shipped, your account is adjusted to reflect actual shipping weight in cases where our estimate is different from actual weight. We credit or debit you as needed so that what you pay in the end reflects actual shipping weight.

 

For instance, we may estimate shipping weight at 9# when you place your order, and charges are based on this. Actual weigh turns out to be 10# when the order shipped. So, shortly after shipment, an adjusting charge for the difference in cost between 9 and 10# weight is posted to your account. An identical process is followed if actual weight is less than expected.  This is necessary for about one-third of all international orders, and adjustments generally represent a change of 1 or 2 #s.

 

Lastly, our postal service has followed UPS in using "dimensional weight" as a means of garnering additional revenue. This means that a package that is light but large may be assessed a shipping charge based on volume rather than its true weight. In such cases, you are charged based on the calculated dimensional weight. We are very conscious of this, and do everything we can to minimize the size of outgoing packages.

 

Expedited Delivery Options

For those wishing faster delivery, and who have money to burn, we offer several expedited delivery options using UPS Worldwide Expedited (~3-4 days; see rates page), or USPS Global Express Mail (~2-4 days). Note that such services are rather expensive, and UPS in particular puts you at risk of addition customs charges.

 

Because there is such a wide variation in rates among countries and weights, each possible shipment is calculated individually. Please contact us by email or phone with your delivery needs so that we can recommend the most cost effective option for you. In most cases, orders must be placed by about 1pm our time to ship that day.

 

Currently, we do not offer any other courier service, nor will we do 3rd party billing for shipping services.

 

How to Calculate International Shipping Costs

We follow the following procedure to estimate shipping costs for international orders. You can do the same without too much difficulty. Simply refer to our
Fine Games International Shipping Rate Chart
together with this procedure.

  1. Determine the total estimated weight of the items you wish to purchase. The weight in pounds of most items is given as part of the item's catalog listing. This is the merchandise weight.

  2. Add an appropriate amount of weight for the shipping container and packaging materials given the number, size & weight of the game items you've chosen. Typically, this will be 0.5# (minimum) for small bundles, 2# for a bundle of several bookcase game, etc. This is the estimated shipping weight, and is used for all further calculations.

  3. Determine your desired shipping method. This will generally be PRIORITY INTL  mail, but you may use Express Intl, or UPS where appropriate. 

  4. Cross reference the country you live in, the estimated shipping weight of your order, and your desired shipment method (Priority, Express or First Class) on the Fine Games International Shipping Rate Chart. This will give you a specific $ amount representing the shipping charge under those circumstances.

For all expedited shipments, those using Global Express or UPS shipping, you will need to contact us for projected shipping costs. In general, these will be two to four times those of standard Priority Intl shipping. (No kidding!)

 

Please be aware that we do charge shipping costs beyond those for postage itself. Packaging, packaging materials, local transportation as well as processing time are are relatively small cost components included in what we charge to you. See International Shipping Cost Components for a detailed explanation.

Size, Weight & Destination Country Restrictions

Each shipping carrier has its own restrictions on the size and weight of packages. These may vary widely by destination country and by carrier. Further, the risk of damage to items in your order increases as more games and weight are packed into a single box. For all these reasons, there are practical limits to what we can put into a single shipment. We will generally send two or more boxes when we approach any limit noted here. Each box is treated as a shipment, and the rate for each is found as in the procedure above. The total rate for an order is the sum of all such shipments.

 

Occasionally, the United States elects to beat up one nation or another to preserve its hegemony in the economic pecking order. One unfortunate result is that it becomes difficult or impossible to ship to specific countries for some period of time. Iraq and Serbia were most recently in this category (but can now be shipped to). Northern Korea and Cuba are still in this purgatory.

 

Lastly, a very few nations are regarded as high risk by our postal services.  In these cases, some or all classes of mail cannot be insured or even mailed due to prevalence of mail pilferage in the destination country (Bolivia & Priority Mail being an example). If an order is shipped uninsured (as all first class shipments are), and is damaged or lost, you accept all risk of shipment from the time your order is mailed.

Customs Declarations, Duties & Taxes

Every international shipment has an appropriate customs form securely attached to the exterior of the package. This form declares the value and contents of the package. As this is a legal document to which we affix our signature, we do not falsify customs documents. Please do not ask us to do so.

 

If you are purchasing new games and wish to minimize the risk of import duties, please contact us. We may be able to offer suggestions.

 

We do not routinely include an invoice in your package. If you would like an invoice, we can send you one by email with your order confirmation. We can also include an invoice in the order IF you request one at the time you place the order. 

 

All import duties & taxes are your responsibility. The import procedures, duties and taxes your country imposes is a function of your country's customs service. We have no information about it, and direct you back to them to secure answers to any questions you may have about import duties and how you may avoid or minimize them.

 

We do strive to help you minimize duties by describing used items as such, by excluding the cost of shipping, and by estimating value conservatively where there is uncertainty. But since we are selling items to you, the goods are declared as merchandise and not gifts; this is not negotiable. 

Tracking or Tracing of International Shipments

With the sole exception of Flat Rate Priority envelopes, all Priority Intl and Express Intl ships will have some degree of tracking tho often sadly lacking in meaningful detail. If you have provided us with an email address, you will receive notice from our postal service when your package ships. If your package has not been delivered in 14 days after shipment, we will manually forward tracking info at that time. You will need to use the package ID number to contact your customs office and postal service to try to find the package's whereabouts.

 

FYI, most delays and problems with international shipments appear to occur in either the customs office and/or the local post office in the destination country. Most of the variability in shipment duration is due to the time spent in customs, or awaiting pickup by the recipient at your post office . If you feel your package is late, please first check with your local post office and customs office as that is the most likely source of delay. Lastly, while our postal service claims "tracking" info, its system is laughable as it provides absolutely no ability to trace missing packages or redirect packages sent to an improper address. For that reason, please be sure you provide accurate & current contact info when you place your order.

 

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