Items will usually be shipped within 1-3 days of receipt of payment
Updated Jan 20th 2018.
USPS rates are constantly changing and can be maddeningly complicated. I will only charge you for what it actually costs me to ship the specimen(s). The quoted rates are estimates based on shipping a single specimen and include the cost of the box, packing, and Pay Pal fees (approx 4%).
In general, I try to use the smallest box consistent with sufficient protection for the specimen(s), but even the smallest boxes plus packing weigh close to 3 oz. (It is no longer possible to save on postage by using padded envelopes. Because of the thickness required to ship even micros, they are regarded as “packages” by the USPS. And the padded envelopes themselves cost about the same as small boxes. If you prefer padded envelopes for some other reason, you must let me know.)
A brief – partial – summary of the current rates is as follows:
Within the USA, for packet weights up to 13 oz, the USPS rate varies from $3.50 to $5.50 – regardless of destination. Including the cost of packing, etc., the quoted rate will be $4.50- $6.50.
For packets above 13 oz but <= 16 oz, I will use “own box” Priority Mail. The USPS rate varies from $6.70 to $8.45, depending on destination. Including packing, etc, the rate varies from $7.75 to $9.50. I will quote the $9.50 rate, but charge according to actual cost. For packets 16+ oz to 32 oz, the USPS rate for “nearby” destinations is $7.25, for “intermediate” destinations $7.70, and for “far” destinations $12.90. Including packing etc, the cost is $8.25 to $14.25 (e.g. for California).
For Canadian destinations, the USPS rate for packets <= 8 oz is $10. With packing, etc. I will quote $11. For packets between 8+oz and 32 oz, the USPS rate is $16. With packing, etc, the rate is $17.50.
For most other destinations, the USPS rate for packets <= 8 oz is $14. With packing, etc. I will quote $15.25. For packets between 8+oz and 32 oz, the USPS rate is $23.50. With packing, etc, this rate is $25. Some destinations (such as China and Australia) cost $0.25 more. A few other destinations cost $0.25 less.
If you have ordered large or numerous specimens, a larger box with more packing may be required. In this case, just the empty box plus packing may weigh 4-5 oz.
For large orders, I may, at my discretion, reduce or eliminate postage charges.
For customers outside the USA, it may be advantageous to keep an “open box” in order to save on postage by combining items from two or more auctions. (But you should let me know that that is your intention. I will then generate an “items only” invoice, with postage to be determined when the packet actually ships.)
If you elect to keep an “open box”, please note that I usually run auctions only once every 6-7 weeks, and that you may not find something of interest in every auction. So be prepared for a long wait. Also, I do not recommend packets with very many items or packets with weights above 32 oz (ca 950 g) (unless the weight is due to just one or two very large items).
While they last, I am currently shipping most specimens in plastic MM, TN or MIN cases. These are provided at no charge, but they are intended only for added protection and some may be previously used and not suitable for display. I do not have too many left (except MM), so this “extra” service will not last much longer. I am already running very low on TN an MIN cases. Specimens larger than MIN size do not come with cases. In some instances, cases may be omitted at my discretion in order to reduce postage charges (especially outside the USA). If you actually want the cases, and are willing to pay the extra postage, you must let me know as soon as I generate an invoice. (I will then generate another one.)
In addition to the standard terms and conditions, please note the following. Almost all IDs are visual. While in most cases the ID is obvious, there may be cases where it is not. If you are doubtful about a particular ID, please ask for more information. Or do not bid! Similarly, if you are not sure that the specimen meets your criteria, do not bid. I have tdone the best I can with the photos. Nevertheless, if you are not happy with a specimen for any reason, I will refund the bid price – but not the shipping costs (unless the fault is clearly mine) – if the specimen is returned. This policy applies even if analysis of the specimen shows that my ID was incorrect. When in doubt, ask - or don’t bid. Note that most crystals at MSH and Varennes are micros - even if on large specimens. Please pay attention to the stated sizes. Any customs duties, fees etc. are the responsibility of the buyer.