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peppermint

Shipping A Potter's Wheel Overseas

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Hello everyone, I started taking pottery classes a few months ago and I wanted to buy a wheel as soon as possible, but have found the process really frustrating and complicated. I hope that there is at least one person that can help me out.
I'm from Puerto Rico so the free shipping that almost every online store offers doesn't apply.

* So my first question is if any of you know about good shipping options to US territories.

 

* I called UPS and FedEx and they gave me quotes of $400 to $600!!! (For a TS Prodigy... 94 lb). Is this NORMAL??? (PR is a US territory, not international shipping)

 

* Since I'm traveling to Florida in March, I had the idea of calling the airline to see if I could bring it as overweight baggage in the same flight with me. If I buy a model under 100lbs (Brent IE, TS Prodigy) I could totally do that and just pay a fee of $75-$100, BUT I know that they would NOT handle it with care.

 

* The only local shop that sells wheels, just sell Speedballs...

 

* I have asked around for a used wheel, and nothing...  :mellow:

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If you could easily resale a used speedball wheel I would start out with that.   You are a beginner and it will take a couple of years before you need a better wheel.  If you have to get a different wheel perhaps the store you buy it from could build a wooden 2x4 frame around it.  My son lives in a US territory and the cheapest way to ship to him is the US mail, but he lives on  a remote island.   Denice

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Any of the big wheel makers and sellers will be able to ship it for you with better shipping prices than you got from UPS or FedEx. UPS and FedEx really don't give good pricing to the average person. Business accounts get much better pricing. I just shipped something for one of my students yesterday for $80, but the UPS store quoted her $110. Start calling around. They may also have freight carrier options that are cheaper. Moving a 75-100 pound wheel through the airport will not be a simple thing, and like you said they'll beat the crap out of it. The Artista is a nice little wheel that will work well for a long time. I've thrown 10 pound pots on that wheel- it's stronger than it looks.

 

Ideally, you need to make friends with someone who owns a yacht and is planning a trip to Miami soon. :D

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Neil is correct on the shipping cost from a big wheel maker should be cheaper.  My husband works at a company that make amusement rides, they ship replacement parts all over the world.  They get a unbelievable discount from shipping companies because of the number and size of the shipments.  The bigger the company the better the shipping cost should be.   Denice

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UPS or FedEx unless you're a business will usually charge you a lot for personal shipping of items that are heavy (above 50lbs or so) And it goes off a per pound set $ amount if I'm correct.

 

You're  better off doing what Neil has stated and find a better deal elsewhere :)

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Thanks for all the answers! No friends with a yacht for now...  :lol: I do know a pilot... :rolleyes: 

Denise: I know that the Speedballs are not bad, but I already bought a Shimpo Aspire from Clay King thinking that it was a "better" brand. I knew that the wheel head was really a plastic bat, but when I saw it in person it was way crappier than what I was expecting. The design of the bats where also different from the pictures. Clay King's response was basically to "deal with it" and I didn't have the energy to argue. So I'm planning on re selling that one totally unused, because sending it back would cost the $72 shipping price for the second time... So because of that little experience I decided to just buy THE wheel now, instead of going through all of this a year or two from now. (Same thing with the Arista).

 

Neil: I wrote to Big Ceramic Store and they told me that they would ship it for free anywhere inside the continental US but I would need my own freight forwarder and customs broker (which is incorrect because the shipment is between two US ports). I can ask around other online stores, but I really don't know which other shipping companies to call. The stores should, at least, provide that information or make the arrangements themselves. 

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If you are a Potters Council member, there are shipping benefits available. Check out the members benefits. 

 

"save 75% shipping with UPS for shipments over 150 pounds"

http://ceramicartsdaily.org/potters-council/shipping-discount/

 

Marcia

 

I checked YRC Freight from the link you gave me and the initial quote is $220. At least it's way less that UPS and FedEx. I'll check the membership or ask for members in the island.

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How about heading down to the port in PR and check around with the shipper who brings supplies in from the mainland?? Ask about getting your wheel on the boat/barge? dig around for the best deal on your end.Then have your new wheel shipped to shipper on mainland /dock and them bring it to PR with the rest of standard commodities shipped there all the time.

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I recently got a Brent CXC from theceramicshop.com and they shipped it for me to Dubai, UAE. Long way from them :) They used UPS but handled everything for me. I didn't have to get involved with the freight companies and struggle to get quotes etc. It cost me quite a bit for shipping to Dubai but PR shouldn't be too much. Email maggie at maggie@theceramicshop.com and she will arrange a quote for you in a few days. 

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Since Brent CXC's are being mentioned, I want to suggest that you double check to make sure that the wheel you want doesn't have to be re-wired to meet your local electrical code. A Brent C wheel for instance, can be imported to Canada, which has different electrical code requirements without issue, but a CXC needs to be altered before anyone will let it across the border. You don't want to get stopped at the border crossing, searching for an electrician who knows how to re-wire a potter's wheel so you can bring your new baby home.

Definitely talk to someone who has importing knowledge before attempting to do this yourself.

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