The Most You Have Paid For Shipping

A co-worker of mine frequently sells items on Ebay. He told me that he has recently been getting frequent inquiries as to whether he is willing to ship overseas. I was surprised when he told me that the cost to ship a single shirt overseas is about forty dollars. Wow! I immediately thought of the heavy audio equipment that many of you here on audiogon have shipped great distances. What is the most you have ever paid for shipping? Where did you ship from and to?
I shipped an old Counterpoint DAC to Japan last year (USPS)...I don't recall it being all that expensive? ($50-$60).

Your friend is probably making good money on the shipping, which seems very typical of Ebay sellers.
A bone of contention for me and probably others also.
I sent a handbag to the EU for $7.
I recently sent a 21 lb. package to Cape Town, SA via UPS Worldwide Saver (Express). It arrived in 4 days in perfect shape, but, and this is a huge but, at a cost of $331.50. This, believe it or not, included a significant discount which I receive from UPS for shipping about 900 packages a month. How's that for being stupid? BTW, this was with no additional insurance purchased.
Shipping has sky rocketed so high there should be a congressional investigation. I shipped a phono pre, 19 wide, to tiawan @ $100 a few months ago. A 100 pk. of cdr blanks is $9.39 to ship, two price hikes for shipping this year, use to be under $4 if I remember.
Shipped a Pass X-150 amp ( 59 lbs) to Croatia USPS Priority Mail $275.00 USPS charge!
Most expensive shipping I pay is for the tea I buy from China! Shipping a kilo of the good stuff from Yunnan runs about $40 for registered airmail.
Shipping anything more than an envelope from China through FedEX (the outfit I use) and the others is $100, minimum. So, you can imagine how much audio components like CD players, integrated amplifiers, and large tube monoblocks cost. Don't forget about the customs, duties, and other ancillaries that go on top of this.

I don't hold any particular wrath towards FedEX and these other companies, the price of oil has a lot to do with it. In fact, these companies are increasingly feeling the pinch, and I get a lot of attention from my sales rep who does all he can to work with me to find any and all creative ways possible to reduce my costs, as the more I ship, the more FedEX makes. These guys have been given a lot of leeway this year, which makes me think the company is feeling the pain in some major way.

The feature article of the June 13th edition of the Wall Street Journal dealt with the cost explosion in shipping goods from China. In 2000, it cost less than $3000 to ship a container from China to Long Beach, CA, today that cost has risen over $16K. We must accept this as the new reality, and adjust accordingly.

In my opinion, shipping is one of the biggest reasons that Chinese audio components no longer hold a price advantage whatsoever in comparison to their North American counterparts. Time on a CNC mill, as opposed to human assembly, is another reason. On top of that, the prices of commodities (steel, copper, plastic) and labor are all skyrocketing there.
I recently sold a very expensive power cord on AudiogoN. One potential buyer asked for a shipping quote to South America. The shipping cost was around $350 but the transaction still made sense for him due to the high cost of the cable, good price and low dollar exchange rate.

Problem was, on this shippment, like most overseas ones, you cannot get delivery confirmation. I told him that without some type of delivery confirmation, I was unwilling to do the transaction. He then got angry and rude, telling me that he had done many transaction and never had a problem. I told him there was no way I was proceeding.

Anyway, if you want to ship something like an amp overseas, the cost will be astronomical.
Try shipping 2,000lb pair of speakers to Australia. Now THAT was expensive, about $4,900 - discounted!
1,200lbs pair of speakers to Russia, $6,800 (didn't happen - too pricy).
Triad Platinums to the North Pole - $4,100. Told him to wait for Santa to bring them back with him.
REALLY like the Santa crack!
Large amps coast to coast in the US have been between $190 and $275 (Plinius SA 250, Levinson ML336).

My Martin Logan ReQuests came from LA -> Phila, 235$.

....and that was at least 4 years ago.

Shipping ain't cheap.
Shipped a crate with Avalon speakers to Italy from Oregon- $450!
Shipped a box of LPs (50) to Thailand- $150!

Felt bad in both instances, so I sent them a couple of their favorite LPs as a surprise. Now I have open invitations to visit both places.
Could be a trap though???
I shipped a speaker from Canada to Greece
Total cost $535.00
Oregon, You're right. The trap is that the cost of flying to Thailand (even getting tickets through a bucketshop) has skyrocketed.
I had a set of Piega C-40 speakers. The crossover circuits failed. My dealer charged me $6,000 to ship them to Europe and back to be fixed.

I was very happy when that dealer went out of business!
I shipped a McCormack amp to Taiwan, via DHL. Cost the buyer about $325.
$500 to ship my humane society dog from the UK to here (BA the best)! $3000 to ship her back to the UK by 'CON'tinental (crap).