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Sourcing books, etc., from overseas 
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Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:36 am
Posts: 9
Location: Malvern, UK
Post Sourcing books, etc., from overseas
In this internet age, I often find that books, etc., I'm interested in can best be found overseas — either because they're the only available copies, or simply that they're dramatically cheaper (it helps that books + magazines are zero-rated here in the UK, so there's no import duty to pay).

Sometimes, however, things don't work out as well as one might hope. Postage costs can sometimes make things prohibitive (especially when a seller insists on using express and/or tracked services, or for inexpensive items). More frustratingly, perhaps, some sellers choose for whatever reason not to sell/ship internationally.

Unsurprisingly, numerous companies claim to be able to help. In particular, so-called Commercial Mail Receiving Agencies (eg: reship / shipito / comgateway / viaddress / …) offer US addresses to which items can be shipped for subsequent forwarding to your overseas address, and can even consolidate multiple items into a single shipment to reduce overall costs.

My question, then, is whether any members have any
  • experience of such services?,
  • recommendations regarding the use (or avoidance!) of any particular outfits?, and/or
  • knowledge of pitfalls to be aware of (eg: the alleged need for USPS form 1583, which would seem to require witnessing by a notary public, which at least in the UK seems to be rather expensive)?

Alternatively, I suppose: are there any members who might consider receiving + forwarding such items? (Off-hand I can think of several such 'prospects' in America, and perhaps another in Belgium/the Netherlands, but they come up all the time.) I'd obviously cover postage costs. Time is rarely of the essence, so there'd be the opportunity to study items before sending them on.

Thoughts? Suggestions? — David

David Bruce

Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:25 am

Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2006 2:05 pm
Posts: 141
Location: England
Post Re: Sourcing books, etc., from overseas
I agree the principle but it would be helpful to have a 'wants list' to work from. I can offer ARROWHEAD as a vehicle to list current wanted books/manuscripts. I am in course of preparing the next edition and am open to requirements. Contact me iusing my e-mail please.

Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:54 am

Joined: Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:36 am
Posts: 9
Location: Malvern, UK
Post Re: Sourcing books, etc., from overseas

Your suggestion is a good one, except that my acqusitions are more often opportunistic than identifiable 'wants'.

Like many (most?) collectors, my interests considerably exceed my means. So, although there are several hundred archery / archery-related books I might be interested in, it's mostly a matter of being patient and vigilent until you find copies at an affordable price in decent enough condition. That's why it's so frustrating when you do find rarities and/or bargains — but the seller won't ship to your country.

Moreover, the window of opportunity is often quite fleeting: on Abe, Alibris, Amazon, etc., it lasts until somebody else buys it (or the seller puts the price up!); on eBay, it's just the 7 or 5 or 3 days the auction lasts.

That's why I was asking whether anyone had experience of any of the commercial mail forwarding services, or, alternatively, might themselves consider receiving + forwarding items. Unfortunately, the lack of responses would suggest neither.

— David

David Bruce

Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:57 pm
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