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Shipping to Mexico

Shipping to Mexico

Gusano Rojo Mezcal

Gusano Rojo Mezcal

Shipping items back and forth to Mexico is not as convenient as it could be.  Here are some ideas.

September 11, 2007

I’m with the folks in Upstate New York, and every day we wait for the mail.

It’s not like we stand at the front window.  But mail is an important part of the day, and we notice if the mailperson is late.  We always get at least 10 pieces of mail, and five pounds worth is nothing out of the ordinary (the folks like catalogues).  Mail is punctual and secure in our part of the world—a good thing because our movie paper business Mexican Memorabilia depends on it.

Mail in Mexico is something else.  We have 3 or 4 neighbors who are mailmen, and with all due respect, the service is terrible.  Letters may arrive from New York in a week or ten days, or they may take three months.  If there was money in that birthday card, chances are it will be gone by the time it gets to you.  I once had a magazine subscription, and nothing would arrive for two or three months—and then three issues would come together on the same day.  Few people in Mexico actually use the mail to send letters.  We used to get mail once a month or so—the phone bill.  Now that we have cable, phone, and Internet all together and pay at the mall, the postman isn’t stopping at all.

Many houses don’t have mailboxes (we don’t) so sometimes the mail is left behind the bars in the window or on top the car.   Most of our mail we discover in the front lawn.

Thank goodness for Internet-instant communication with everybody.  I do have to say I miss a hefty, hand-written letter from home, though, especially if it has a pretty stamp on it.

We sell posters and magazines at www.mexicanmemorabilia.com, and when we find we want to ship them within Mexico it is often most convenient to use the bus lines.  All of them will ship cargo, at pretty good rates.

If I want to send a box of magazines to Mom, I ship them by DHL.  Their service is just wonderful—the box always arrives the next day, in great shape.  Unfortunately, like everything else their service has really gone up.  I used to send a 50-pound box for $70, book rate.  The last time I shipped it was $200.  I still can’t believe they didn’t make a mistake—check them out to be sure.  A letter under a half-pound is about $25.  Expensive, but there are times when you forgot your passport at home or you need papers for your visa, and just can’t wait.

Some items can’t be sent over the border, of course, without extra paperwork.  Food and plants come to mind.  And other items may be taxed.  If you send a digital camera to your friend in Mexico, he will be charged tax.  Sometimes it is the 15% IVA tax, but sometimes it is much more.

I once splurged on an incredible Bela Lugosi pressbook at one of Bruce Hershenson’s auctions (if you are interested in Movie Memorabilia, Bruce is just wonderful—he’s at www.emovieposter.com).  It went for $200, and is worth every penny.

Now, I could have had Bruce send it to Ma in New York, which would have solved lots of problems.   But no.  “I want Bela Lugosi, and I want him NOW!”  So I asked Bruce to FedEx the item to me—who knows if it would ever arrive in the mail.  Bruce kindly FedExed, as per my instructions.

Yikes.  FedEx charged $60 shipping.  Then at the border customs slapped on 50% tax—one hundred dollars.  I moaned and groaned, but there was nothing to do but pay up.  Instead of $200, my pressbook cost me $360.

We’ve also been charged tax on sweatshirts, but not on other clothes.  You never know.

I’m up to visit the folks once or twice a year, so now we don’t try to ship anything to or from Mexico.   I carry it instead.

A tip:  If you are shipping handicrafts from Mexico, if they have a Made in Mexico sticker they can be shipped without paying tax.  They have the stickers at the desk in DHL.

Dan and Omar

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A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.