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Post office: "What does the shipment contain?"

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alenirsic
Joined: 1-Jan-2019
Posts: 5
Hi to all!

I have been asked this question many times at the post offices.

What do you think is the best thing to say?
Being honest or not?

And do they even check with x-ray if the descriptions are true...

Thanks

Regards
luca biondi
Joined: 23-Sep-2017
Posts: 232
Put "collectibles" or "coins for collection"...but only out of EU zone on the CN22 module.
greatone76
Joined: 7-Nov-2018
Posts: 18
I got a shipment from Canada that said "Used Medallion".

I very much liked that term I feel it is a fair comment as to what the item is particularly when dealing with world coins. And that is exactly what any demonized coin could be considered. It accounts for any metal in the package.
ngdawa
Joined: 18-Oct-2011
Posts: 2551
I usually use "metal samples". Cuz it is metal, and "sample" could be whatever. B)
My goal is to have at least 1 coin from each modern country.
Countries left: 17
BramVB
Joined: 17-Jul-2016
Posts: 410
That's all true for shipments with custom forms. But when you want to send cheap, like me, you send as a letter (a normal envelope). Those are normally only allowed to contain paper, with maximum 5mm thickness. Even with well concealed coins, the clerks can notice there is something non-papery and as such should be sent as a parcel (much more expensive!). These last few months there seems to be an international crackdown on non-paper stuff in envelopes, judging from comments on the forum and personal experience in Belgium and Estonia.
So yes, a little lie might be necessary. If they insist, you can always say it's one of those cards with an annoying song inside. Or just buy stamps and drop it in the mailbox yourself. Never yet did I have a letter returned ... fingers crossed.

Bram
Just call me Bram
Back in Belgium, with lost of coins to swap ... but with high postal costs :(
Napoleon1
Joined: 18-Jul-2018
Posts: 61
Quote: "alenirsic"​Hi to all!

​I have been asked this question many times at the post offices.

​What do you think is the best thing to say?
​Being honest or not?

​And do they even check with x-ray if the descriptions are true...

​Thanks

​Regards
​Best not to list anything with the word coins or numismatic items, as this can lead to items being stolen in shipment. Maybe just use ‘collectible’- a lot of items i have received the sender put this on the form. Anything that can give a clue that coins or currency are actually inside is just not a good idea, when you hear a lot about items being ‘lost’ in transit, due to dishonest postal employees.
Also, I don’t think they check with x-ray, as it seems like items just get dropped into a basket ready to be picked up by the the postal vehicle.
halfdisme
Joined: 6-Oct-2017
Posts: 714
I have used "Numismatic item, including shipping" and have had few losses. I have been selling on eBay since September 1997.

However, this does mean that I have to send the item via First Class Mail International parcel (like any other merchandise).
kommodore
Joined: 5-Nov-2009
Posts: 2805
I think tokens is also a good term
CassTaylor
Joined: 30-May-2014
Posts: 7416
I usually get French packages from both Ebay and Numista swaps with the declaration being "objets numismatiques" (numismatic items). The term leaves space for the contents to be coin flips, magnifiers, catalogues, or other hobby supplies.

It probably depends by country but I've also received packages from the UK and other countries where they simply wrote "coins" and nothing happened. :°
une Franglaise; ♪ je brosse ma chevelure ♫
Coinman48
Joined: 16-Sep-2015
Posts: 390
Reading the post from Cass, I think "Hobby supplies" would be both honest and correct if declaring for customs. If just being asked about a letter that the clerk can tell includes something other than paper, you will have to either send as a parcel or take back the letter and try again later or elsewhere.

Will
COINMAN1
Joined: 8-Jun-2013
Posts: 1615
I have always used 'collectables' on the custom form which is attached to the envelope when sending outside of Europe from the UK.
The staff at my local post office know exactly what's in there as I tell them it's coins, but they never change the form.
When I send within Europe, I do not need this form, so tell the post office staff it's coins, although, they already know that, as I go there so often.
I have not lost any packages yet.
I'm just a collector of coins, not a slave to it, unless I am in a coin shop.
johnspa
Joined: 27-Jun-2013
Posts: 593
"Hobby Supplies" works for me.
Never had any problems using it.
worth
Joined: 2-Oct-2016
Posts: 441
I also use "hobby supplies" and haven't had any problems. The clerks at the Post Office know I am mailing coins but agree it would invite theft if I put that on the form.
Napoleon1
Joined: 18-Jul-2018
Posts: 61
Quote: "worth"​I also use "hobby supplies" and haven't had any problems. The clerks at the Post Office know I am mailing coins but agree it would invite theft if I put that on the form.
​“Hobby supplies”, is a good one, I think. I would rather leave little chance for anyone to have a clue as to what is in the package~even if you have never had an issue with something getting ‘lost’, it could still happen, and is best not to take the chance if there is something that you can do to help prevent it. :)
CassTaylor
Joined: 30-May-2014
Posts: 7416
Quote: "ngdawa"​I usually use "metal samples". Cuz it is metal, and "sample" could be whatever. B)
​Just a thought- if I were an overzealous customs officer that would sound a little suspicious... 8~

Is theft by dishonest postal workers really that big of a problem? I imagined that it existed, but it seems to be far more widespread going by all your posts here. Is it a local thing (e.g. even the senders who simply put "coins" on the customs declaration form got all their packages to me safely, so perhaps it is less of a problem in the EU?).
une Franglaise; ♪ je brosse ma chevelure ♫
alenirsic
Joined: 1-Jan-2019
Posts: 5
Thank you for all of the comments.
Kurt53
Joined: 19-Jul-2015
Posts: 157
When sending an inexpensive coin from US to Germany, I carefully protected it in a 2x2, wrapped it in a letter, put it in an envelope. It was less than 1/4" thick and weighed less than 1 oz.
I told the post master it was a letter and that it needed a 21 cent surcharge as it was non machinable.
After arguing back and forth, he conceded (like he was working on commission.)
I don't know if that was correct or not, but until they print clear and understandable guidelines, I'll prefer to do it my way.
A smart man learns from his mistakes.  A smarter man learns from someone else's.
aephi
Joined: 21-Dec-2018
Posts: 5
it is a good question but--
if you send by letter, there is no need to fill CN22 form.
If you send by parcel, the post officer would examine the item.
halfdisme
Joined: 6-Oct-2017
Posts: 714
Quote: "aephi"​it is a good question but--
​if you send by letter, there is no need to fill CN22 form.
​If you send by parcel, the post officer would examine the item.
​The local postal supervisor has told me that the post office is cracking down on merchandise shipped without Customs forms (especially since they collect $12 + more in postage for merchandise). They have been returning merchandise, with a warning that Customs forms are required, and the local post office has received notices that certain shippers have been banned from using the U. S. Postal System for international shipping.
martins.lv
Joined: 17-Nov-2013
Posts: 324
I always send technical drawings in bubbled envelopes and do not indicate the content in any way. Technical drawings can be thick and weighty, right? In the same time they are still the paper only. This explanation works very well. Of course letter shall be packaged properly, shall not make a sound or be that you can feel something else than a paper inside. It works well already for years.
didi83
Joined: 28-Jan-2011
Posts: 89
Hobby items for collector / tokens

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