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Thread: Shipping options to Australia

  1. #1
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    Question Shipping options to Australia

    I don't have a TB bag yet but have been lusting after them for ages now. I'm close to ordering but some of the things I want are on back order and some are available now. Which brings me to my dilemma.

    I know there are some Aussies in the forums so would appreciate their advice on the best way to ship to Oz as it is quite expensive, especially if it is coming in several tranches. Is it best to use the TB UPS service, or would it be better (read cheaper!) to use a shipping company such as MyUS? This company for example opens and re-packages everything so I am wondering whether it can be cheaper.

    Will be grateful for any advice or opinions.

  2. #2
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    Hi!
    Singaporean here, had some experiences with shipping companies like the one you mentioned. There are some points you might want to take note of. (warning, long post!)

    TB offers a flat rate shipping charge, for your case, it's USD $65 for each package I believe.
    The shipping company on the other hand will measure 2 things: the weight of your package, and the volume of the package. Whichever results in a higher cost will be the charge you have to pay. this means even if the item is light, if its high volume e.g. a large teddy bear, it will cost more than a compact heavier item like a laptop. (Example given on the website you mentioned)

    I have received my orders from TB in 2 sizes of boxes so far, 1 is a 3" x 15" x 15", the other is a 4" x 21" x 17".
    Having both of these shipped to AUS in separate shipments using TB shipping results in a total charge of $65 x 2 = $130.
    I tried running the package dimensions using a weight of 1 lb in the shipping company's calculator.
    3" x 15" x 15", 1 lb ranges from $69.50 to $75.80
    4" x 21" x 17", 1 lb ranges from $79.07 to $80.85
    and this is if you are a premium member, standard costs more.

    Regarding the option of having your stuff repackaged, I've found that TB leaves some room for the bag in the box, its not a large amount of air in there, I'll say it fits the bag just nice without having to squeeze it in the box at all. Lots of members here have unboxing photos uploaded, you can take a look to get an idea. in fact, @kkintea just posted one "The EPIC Nordic Travel Tray has arrived!" (I have no idea how to link, sorry)

    What this means is, you're probably not going to save much by repacking stuff as there's not very much to compact.
    Well, you could have them vacuum pack the bags for maximum squashing, this might save you more on shipping, but I'm not too sure how they react to such compressions, or how much more you could save.

    Do you expect to have a lot of small separate shipments?
    If each package results in a volumetric and actual weight that is less than $65, you will save.
    Are you only going to use this for TB bags?
    Things might be different if you're buying stuff from other sources as well, e.g. if you're buying furniture and the bags could be repackaged within the furniture without increasing the furniture's original shipping costs.

    Edit: I forgot! You'll have to factor in shipping costs for US shipping from TB to shipping company too!
    Also, some small shipments costs less as TB can ship to you using USPS(cheaper option) instead of UPS(more expensive option). I have no idea what is considered as small though.

    It may sound torturous, but ordering now and having TB hold your shipment till they are all ready to ship will be the cheapest option. $65
    Last edited by icebeng; 04-26-2014 at 12:39 AM. Reason: misspelled a name >.<"

  3. #3
    Registered User scribe's Avatar
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    I'm in the UK, not Oz, but to get an idea of how small a "small" package is, I experimented with the online shop recently and discovered that for a Side Effect by itself I would be charged $30 instead of the usual $45. Same would probably go for a few small accessories like pouches - it depends on the overall weight.

    I second icebeng's suggestion of just waiting - back-ordered items sometimes ship before the date listed on the website, so you might not have to wait as long as you fear. For me it's only a real nail-biter when the backorder date is close to a trip I'm taking - that's when I'll split an order to get the items I actually need right away.
    Collections:
    Work EDC: SE + S19 (summer); SE + SA (winter)
    Leisure: some combination of SE/SCB/MCB/Swift/LS/FJN/DLBC/Imago/SSB
    Travel: WF + Pilot/DLBP + SE/SCB or SA + SE/SCB
    General organisation: More pouches, stuff sacks and cubes than you can shake a keystrap at!
    Favourite TB colours: aubergine, forest (sniff!), linen, wasabi, UV
    Hoping for: FJN for iPad Mini + Moleskine; a Linen Side Effect; the return of Portable Culture!

  4. #4
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    Hi Icebeng and scribe

    Thanks so much, guys, for this advice. That's really useful. From the very responsive customer service I've seen evidenced through these forums, I think you might be right Icebeng that TB will be willing to hold everything for one shipment.

    I guess there's nothing holding me back from ordering now - other than wondering whether I should wait for the Aeronaut junior . (And just how long is soon, Darcy?) But I don't want to miss any of the Nordic currently on offer for the various accessories. I'll have to see whether I am patient enough to wait for it all to arrive together ...

    Cheers, Shellfx

  5. #5
    Registered User Historymeg's Avatar
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    Hi Shellfx,
    I'm in Melbourne, and yes the shipping costs have factored in for me too (though not enough to prevent me from actually buying two bags). There are some items (mostly accessories) that will ship in smaller boxes (=smaller flat rate). When I emailed the Tom Bihn customer service they were very nice about checking for me what would constitute a smaller box and what wouldn't, so that may be a conversation you want to have with them.
    Cheers
    Meg
    Nordic/Solar Co-Pilot, Steel/UV Tri-Star, Nordic/Solar Side Effect, Plum3-D Organizer

  6. #6
    Registered User daisy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shellfx View Post
    I know there are some Aussies in the forums so would appreciate their advice on the best way to ship to Oz as it is quite expensive, especially if it is coming in several tranches. Is it best to use the TB UPS service, or would it be better (read cheaper!) to use a shipping company such as MyUS? This company for example opens and re-packages everything so I am wondering whether it can be cheaper.

    Will be grateful for any advice or opinions.
    I have used both shipping mechanisms... If I have a TB order more than say $300 (not hard) then I don't feel the $65 is too much and the delivery is fast. If I only want a couple of things then $65 becomes a lot and I prefer to consolidate with other things.

    If you use a shipping company there are various charges - eg consolidation charge, special request charges for photos of contents etc which all add up.

    I have found that there is quite a bit of space in a TB box for some small purchases from other stores - my shipments have usually arrived with the other things inside the TB box. A variety of shipping methods are offered and the current most economical with speedy delivery is with TNT.
    List under construction ....

  7. #7
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    The option to ship all items together is part of the ordering process, you can choose "Ship Order Complete (hold order for back ordered items)" or "Ship Back Ordered Items Later (additional shipping charges will apply)" at checkout. So no special request needed for holding your shipment.

    Another awesome thing which the crew is willing to do is that as long as your order has not been processed and shipped, they can help make any changes to your order you like.
    So if the Aeronaut Junior debuts before your order ships, my guess is, they can probably add it to your order for you.

  8. #8
    Registered User scribe's Avatar
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    I second icebeng's suggestion - I think pretty much every order I've placed has ended up being modified in some way! Either I place a second order and ask for it to be consolidated with the first (e.g. when the black/iberian SE backorder date was brought forward by a whole month), or I just email and ask the guys to add a couple of extra items. TB are happy because I'm buying more stuff, and I'm happy because I save on shipping

    So yeah - place your whole order now, tick the "Ship Order Complete" box, and keep your fingers crossed that the mini Aeronaut debuts before your order ships. And if it doesn't, you'll have had time to think of a few other items that would round out your second order - once you start using the organiser pouches, you can always think of more uses for them!
    Collections:
    Work EDC: SE + S19 (summer); SE + SA (winter)
    Leisure: some combination of SE/SCB/MCB/Swift/LS/FJN/DLBC/Imago/SSB
    Travel: WF + Pilot/DLBP + SE/SCB or SA + SE/SCB
    General organisation: More pouches, stuff sacks and cubes than you can shake a keystrap at!
    Favourite TB colours: aubergine, forest (sniff!), linen, wasabi, UV
    Hoping for: FJN for iPad Mini + Moleskine; a Linen Side Effect; the return of Portable Culture!

  9. #9
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    Hampshire, UK
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    I'm a UK customer but have had these same dilemma's running through my mind. I've made two international orders with TB using their UPS service and have a 3rd in process. Both have had an import charge from UPS on arrival equivalent to 30% of the total value of the order. At first I tried to think through every way to reduce this burden but there is no really obvious way without huge logistics activities to organise all sorts of third parties.

    I've basically stopped thinking about it now and have "made peace" with the total cost of buying TB product internationally. Why?

    A colleague once told me that you buy a quality (re. expensive) product and cry once; you buy a compromise (re. cheaper) and you cry every time you use it.

    Thats why I have made peace, because I know TB stuff is the best for me and anything else will disappoint me. That's not to say that each and every order doesn't shoot a massive hole in my bank account, but I plan accordingly and budget to be able to afford them. I also know that selling on my 'second hand' TB stuff internationally commands a premium for exactly the same reason that its expensive to buy them internationally in the first place.

    My advice: select exactly what you want; budget accordingly; mentally accept the total cost (inc shipping and tax) as more than worth it; Enjoy the bag every day you use it.

    A big smile on your face has to be worth it.

  10. #10
    Registered User scribe's Avatar
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    @Perseffect I know exactly what you mean. I took a big financial hit returning my unused TriStar, but reselling it in the UK might not have realised its full value and keeping a huge bag like that "just in case" wouldn't be helping my decluttering efforts!

    I love all my remaining TB bags, though - they satisfy my control-freak desire for organisation whilst being both stylish and well-made
    Collections:
    Work EDC: SE + S19 (summer); SE + SA (winter)
    Leisure: some combination of SE/SCB/MCB/Swift/LS/FJN/DLBC/Imago/SSB
    Travel: WF + Pilot/DLBP + SE/SCB or SA + SE/SCB
    General organisation: More pouches, stuff sacks and cubes than you can shake a keystrap at!
    Favourite TB colours: aubergine, forest (sniff!), linen, wasabi, UV
    Hoping for: FJN for iPad Mini + Moleskine; a Linen Side Effect; the return of Portable Culture!

  11. #11
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    Just in case anyone doesn't know where all the extra cash is going on orders to the UK: the Royal Mail (and UPS goes via them) charge a "handling fee" of 8, and then add 20% VAT on top of the total. So the best way to reduce costs is to place larger orders :-).
    moriond likes this.


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