How can I cheaply forward a package from France?
May 19, 2013 6:44 PM   Subscribe

I want to buy a book from a publisher in France, but the shipping rates they charge are astronomical. What options do I have?

The publisher is Perrotin. They're asking €33.05 to ship a single hardcover book, which is ludicrous, but I can't find it for sale anywhere else. Does anyone have any experience with freight forwarders in France (or elsewhere in Europe) who could redirect a package to the US for a more reasonable price? I don't mind waiting.
posted by Merzbau to Shopping (5 answers total)
Best answer: It's not available on or Their shipping rates to the US are more reasonable. Keep in mind, too, that you shouldn't pay VAT on goods shipped outside the EU, so even if shipping is expensive, you will get some of it back vis-a-vis the listed price.
posted by brianogilvie at 7:44 PM on May 19, 2013

Just so you know, that shipping rate seems high, but it's not much higher than the price an individual would pay.

Playing around on this page suggests one would pay at least €22 to ship a ~1 pound package to the US.
posted by Betelgeuse at 8:31 PM on May 19, 2013

What is the book? Have you tried to find it (new or used) on Amazon or or eBay or ?? If we can find it here, and buy it here -- hey, no big charges all the sudden.
posted by dancestoblue at 9:42 PM on May 19, 2013

22 is way too much for a 1-pound package; I recently sent that weight to a friend in Australia for 8 euros (well, 7.70 IIRC). That said, it wasn't sent registered mail – I'm betting the 33 euros is because it's a tracked package, which is indeed about that much to ship overseas.

Have you tried asking them if they'll send it by regular post? "Sans suivi ni AR?" (that stands for "accusé de réception")

If there really is no other way, I wouldn't mind posting it along to you from my place in Nice. Hit me up by MeMail if need be; I could forward it along by regular mail and we could work something out. I'm not really aware of any freight forwarders here.
posted by fraula at 12:41 PM on May 20, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions, everybody. The book in question is a monograph of Aya Takano's paintings, which was seemingly unavailable everywhere else- I had looked on every Amazon (US, Canada, UK, France, even Japan), ebay, abebooks, the whole lot, but somehow completely forgot about FNAC.

The €33 quote was for a ridiculously unnecessary shipping service; I forget the exact details but it was something like 3 days from France to the US, full insurance, etc, and the VAT deduction was only about €3. I'd written to Perrotin and they were very receptive to the idea of offering a wider range of shipping services but, as of six months later, they haven't actually done anything.

FNAC, on the other hand, are asking half that for both the original Takano book and and the catalog from one of her recent gallery shows. Perfect!
posted by Merzbau at 6:48 PM on May 20, 2013

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