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TRAVEL Hints and Tips Post your TIPS to travellers - all the interesting little tidbits you learned on the road about packing, where to get stuff, and how to cope with problems. Please make sure the subject describes the tip clearly!
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  #1  
Old 25 Jan 2008
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Do not ship anything to South America!

Hey guys, I am in Cuenca, Ecuador right now waiting on a package that will probably never arrive. A week after my parents shipped it US Air Mail I talked to an American woman who owns a used bookstore here. She informed me that 5 of her last 6 US Air Mail packages have not arrived since November!

Salvador warned me about shipping things to South America when I stayed with him at his house in Nicaragua. Unfortunately, I neglected his advice thinking a month would be enough time.

The postal workers are probably corrupt here! They have to open every package to evaluate the cost of the contents and than decide whether to charge you a hefty tax or sell off the contents to their friends.
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  #2  
Old 26 Jan 2008
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From what I have read on other posts, the solution is to get stuff, such as your timing chain! (reference your other thread), sent to you via a local DHL office. Or any of the other shippers, FedEx etc.
I guess they would use a tracking system and you can keep closer watch on what is happening.

Good luck, and learn some more Spanish!
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  #3  
Old 26 Jan 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkabout View Post
From what I have read on other posts, the solution is to get stuff, such as your timing chain! (reference your other thread), sent to you via a local DHL office. Or any of the other shippers, FedEx etc.
I guess they would use a tracking system and you can keep closer watch on what is happening.

Good luck, and learn some more Spanish!
Haha, I will hopefully.

You can use FedEx, DHL, and UPS but I would only do it if it is life and death. It is better to just pack that 30 lbs of extra parts.
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  #4  
Old 26 Jan 2008
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Different experience

I've had books and moto parts shipped to both Venezuela and Colombia from the UK by regular post - no problems. Now Guatemala, that's another matter...
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  #5  
Old 26 Jan 2008
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Had five packages shipped normal mail to Peru, no problems. Ditto a few things in Costa Rica. Ditto Egypt and Kenya over the course of 12 years. HOWEVER, these are books etc. NEVER would I have anything electronic shipped regular mail. Then I use DHL and cringe at the cost of duties/customs etc. But sometimes, it's unavoidable....
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  #6  
Old 26 Jan 2008
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I would never use DHL. Shipped my leathers to the US from Costa Rica for $80. After I paid DHL would not ship them, wanted more money. Fortunately for me someone at DHL goofed and sent the package anyway. When I got home, the box had written on it "Hold, do not ship".
Next time I used DHL to send motor parts from the US to Buenos Aires. Declared value of $147. Promised 2 day shipping. Indeed, the package got to Bs.As. in two days, but not to the mechanic. DHL kept blaming Aduana. For 25 days I made dozens of phone calls and emails. DHL customer service told me for $1000 USD I could have my parts back. The US office refused to give me the email address of the Bs.As. office. Finally customer service said they could not do anything and closed the case. I finally got ahold of Aduana, which said they knew nothing of the situation. Aduana was not pleased to be blamed by DHL and got in contact with the DHL Bs.As. office and made DHL deliver the parts on the 30th day.
I refused to pay for the shipping due to the "failure of sevice" (DHL quote to me) and contacted the President's office with all details. They promised to take care of it. Next contact was a debt collection agency calling, which continues to this day.
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  #7  
Old 30 Jan 2008
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A while ago I had some positive experiences with the regular postal service when getting stuff sent to Peru (clothing to Cusco, shock absorber to Lima).

DHL on the other hand... The biggest bunch of hopeless, useless muppets, bar none. Check out the story I wrote then: Chapter 17 The Big Trip

Interestingly DHL blamed Aduana as in Martin's comment. I dealt with Aduana with very little Spanish without any problems.

Good luck,
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  #8  
Old 1 Feb 2008
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only tracking sistem

Gato
I allways purchase things from ebay around the world.No problems with lost items sent to Argentina! Of course i allways pay for registered airmail.
Now when purchasing from US country you need to estimate 2-3 weeks delivery.Remember homeland security,they are scanning every thing that goes and comes to and from theyr country.
But no problems.
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Last edited by BCK_973; 1 Feb 2008 at 00:35. Reason: Ahhh grammer!
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  #9  
Old 3 Feb 2008
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After 4.5 weeks I finally received the package. My radiator springing a leak and forcing me to return to Cuenca turned out to be a good thing because my package arrived the next day.

I definitely would not do this again. I think it is only worth waiting on US air mail if it is a part that you absolutely need and is too expensive to ship with FedEx/UPS.
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  #10  
Old 3 Feb 2008
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..Use UPS/DHL/FEDEX and pay the prices... Regular courier simply not are enough reliable... ..
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