I need to ship an item from the Russian Federation to the UK...
June 17, 2015 4:38 AM   Subscribe

Some months ago, I lost my iPod in Moscow whilst out there doing festival biz (I'm a Brit by residence). Incredibly, someone found it, the Apple security held, and I got an email from someone telling me they'd be happy to meet up and give it back. As the air fare is higher than the device cost, I thought going postal would be the best option, but I've drawn a blank - most of the delivery companies either want me to pay cash on the Russian side, or expect me to have a corporate account.

What I want to do is (1) not burden the kind-hearted Russian who contacted me and (2) arrange the shipping and pay for it all from the UK. The finder has provided me with their address in Moscow, so I'm all set - apart from the whole delivery step.

Does anyone know the magic words needed to use for enhanced duckduckgo success on hunting this kind of service, or can anyone point me to a company that can help me arrange this (i.e., pick up an item in another country and deliver it to ... well, the non-another country?) Time is not of the essence, however there is not an infinite budget to cover the costs.
posted by davemee to Grab Bag (7 answers total)
I dunno about Russia, but in North America, with the carriers I've used, a "corporate account" is just an account, and anybody can open one. I have a FedEx account that I use once every couple of years. It costs nothing to have the account, although I vaguely remember that you have to visit one of their offices to open one. I opened my account when I lived in the US, and I've used it in Canada. FedEx operates in Russia, and their Web site seems to be offering to let me schedule a pickup in Russia.
posted by Hizonner at 4:53 AM on June 17, 2015

Best answer: How about you Western Union them the cash for the shipping and have them ship it back?
posted by pravit at 4:57 AM on June 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

Have you checked DHL? I believe quite a few of the courier companies are no longer doing business in Russia, but they might be. As I recall, they allow the recipient to prepay the shipment if you call to arrange it separately.

(Beware of customs coming back into the UK from the Russian Federation, by the way.)
posted by frumiousb at 5:43 AM on June 17, 2015

Best answer: If they have been a kind and trustworthy enough stranger to contact you so you can recover your property, go the rest of the way in trusting them, and just directly transfer them the postage money.

The sort of person who would stiff you for postage money is not generally the sort of person who would contract you like this.
posted by Elysum at 6:40 AM on June 17, 2015 [5 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks everyone!

I started the corporate account balls rolling to be hit by a wall of bafflingly-named shipping products, multi-day waits, and people insisting I be telephoned and ship 6 items per year.

I think Elysium and pravit are right - they seem a very straight-up person and I'm trying to engineer a double-foolproof solution requiring no trust from either party. I've just mailed them and proposed this as a solution - though of course, it means there's a certain amount of legwork required on their part. And if they stiff me (which I'm sure they won't), then they don't get the bonus pack of brinjal pickles and sauces for their trouble.

Thanks for the suggestions everyone, and reminding me of faith in fellow humans.
posted by davemee at 7:24 AM on June 17, 2015

Just open a FedEx account (takes 5 mins online) and you can put in your cc info. It'll give you an account number. When you give them the account number, they can ship and have it charged to the account. When it ships, it'll charge you directly. Done.
posted by Georgia Is All Out Of Smokes at 6:27 PM on June 17, 2015

Possibly relevant: a friend forgot their cell phone in Russia during a visit with her family. The family mailed just the chip back to her, but it was intercepted at the post office and stolen. She checked around, and apparently this kind of "corruption" is not uncommon when electronics are mailed out of Russia.
posted by eisforcool at 6:28 PM on June 17, 2015

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