German Mail Forwarding: Workaround for Pinball Center

(Topic ID: 182582)

German Mail Forwarding: Workaround for Pinball Center


By nerdygrrl

1 year ago



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  • 108 posts
  • 38 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 46 days ago by Zitt
  • Topic is favorited by 40 Pinsiders

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    #1 1 year ago

    Edit: The company offers many different carriers. I would ONLY suggest using German Post (DHL). They are by far the most reliable with best customer service. Buyer beware with czech post or others.

    A few of us recently discovered that Pinball Center was no longer shipping to the United States. As many of you know Marco sells some pretty exclusive pieces and is an asset to the hobby. I was planning on placing an order and having it shipped to a friend in Canada, and then have him ship it to me here, but the costs were more than I could stomach. It then hit me to look into mail forwarding services. I run a couple of online stores here in the states and it is not uncommon for our international buyers to purchase something and then have it shipped to a mail forwarding service.

    As luck would have it there were two such services in Germany: mailboxde.com and mailbox Germany. These services essentially provide you a German address to ship your parcel to. They will receive your parcel, open it up, photo document it, combine it with other orders that you may have placed and send it on its way to you in the US for a relatively minimal handling cost.

    I decided to go with Mailboxde as they would allow me one time use and had no monthly fees unlike Mailbox Germany. Shipping from Pinball Center to MailboxDe was 4 euros and from mailbox DE to Us total charge for German Express Shipping was 37 euros (plus another 2 euros for bank transfer).

    The turnaround was pretty fast. It took one day for the parcel shipped from Pinball Center to reach Mailbox-De and Mailbox DE wrote me within a couple of hours of receiving the parcel. I paid up and got a shipping notification the next day. The parcel is currently en route as I type this.

    The registration process was fairly easy. Simply fill out the required fields and they provide you a "mailbox" number-essentially just a customer ID. Once the parcel has been received by them you can request photos, consolidation, etc. I just needed a quick turnaround, so I selected my shipping method, it gave me a quote and I went up to the tab that said "recharge" paid the shipping costs and was done.

    Below is the price list for a 2KG parcel. Not bad at all.

    Screen Shot 2017-02-28 at 8.19.59 AM (resized).png

    #2 1 year ago

    I've ordered from them as recently as last August. I see that it says on their page (at checkout) that they can't ship to my country, but to write them. Did you ask them if they could, and if so, what was the response? I'm super curious. I have stock of the Tron discs (the reason I shop there), but they won't last forever..

    Thanks!

    #3 1 year ago

    Curious as to why they will not ship to the US? Is it political? Or is Customs getting to be too much of a hassle?

    #4 1 year ago
    Quoted from CaryCarmichael:

    Did you ask them if they could, and if so, what was the response?

    It was a flat-out no, and they also said they had no future plans to ship to the US in the future.

    I was guessing they may have had problems with PPS, but I have no idea since they didn't say.

    #5 1 year ago

    I didn't feel comfortable asking him why he opted not to ship here. I don't think it's political or anything, as he was friendly as always. I have a bunch of countries that I do not ship to because of customs issues and to be honest Germany is getting up there. It could be the same for him.

    I was just glad that I could find an affordable workaround.

    1 week later
    #6 1 year ago

    Package just arrived with no issues. In total it took nine days from ship date from PBC. I will definitely use them again for parts I need from Pinball Center.

    unnamed-9 (resized).jpg

    1 month later
    #7 1 year ago

    Thanks for this information Nerdygrrl. I just put in an order today for a part that I can't find anywhere else. Hoping everything goes smoothly. I also hope my shipping isn't going to be outrageous on the one small part I bought!

    #8 1 year ago

    Thanks for the write-up on this, nerdygrrl. I purchased some hard to find parts for my Junk Yard which arrived in about 5 days without any issue.

    1 week later
    #9 1 year ago

    I just got my order from Pinball Center yesterday. I'm very pleased with it and the method Nerdygrrl outlined here worked perfectly. Highly recommend these guys for those hard to find parts.

    #10 1 year ago

    I too have used them twice in the past months. One package arrived within 10 days. The other package is approaching 21 days and still no package. I would use some caution with this until more folks have solid proof that they have consistent service. Just my 2 cents worth.

    #11 1 year ago

    fyi your American shipito.com has a warehouse in austria as well

    #12 1 year ago

    Just received my second package today without any issues. Took about a week for delivery this time with the most basic shipping option and about half that time on my previous order via UPS. Of course the price difference is pretty drastic between the two.

    #13 1 year ago

    Received 2nd notice from Mailboxde yesterday stating that package is indeed lost and a claim would be need to be filed. Now I have to wait 4-8 weeks to get my funds back. Also will need to order again since this is the only place to order from, however, unsure if I will use this service or try another.....Again, I highly caution folks using this service until more successful mailings from customers are posted here.

    Again, first mailing attempt arrived in small packet. 2nd order, which was mid sized package never arrived and claim filed.

    Good Luck.

    1 week later
    #14 1 year ago
    Quoted from perryd:

    Received 2nd notice from Mailboxde yesterday stating that package is indeed lost and a claim would be need to be filed. Now I have to wait 4-8 weeks to get my funds back. Also will need to order again since this is the only place to order from, however, unsure if I will use this service or try another.....Again, I highly caution folks using this service until more successful mailings from customers are posted here.
    Again, first mailing attempt arrived in small packet. 2nd order, which was mid sized package never arrived and claim filed.
    Good Luck.

    Did MailboxDE lose the parcel or the mail carrier? If it was the carrier, what shipping carrier did you select. I went with German post which was more expensive, but essentially DHL. I wouldn't recommend Czech post. Point being, it may not be the service, but the carrier. As someone hat ships 10K packages I year, I am often blamed for the screwups of UPS/USPS

    As per packet, unless you paid to have them repackage they used the original packaging.

    3 months later
    #15 1 year ago

    Just tried this with Mailboxde. Seems to be moving along. Will report my results also.

    #16 1 year ago

    If anyone is ordering, I'd be interested in perhaps adding on Congo side art to your order.

    #17 1 year ago

    My shipment arrived , but damaged. Had to file claim with them and usps. It has been three months, still no refund and I still get the reply telling me to be patient..... I would very cautious again when using a 2nd party company....

    #18 1 year ago
    Quoted from lpeters82:

    If anyone is ordering, I'd be interested in perhaps adding on Congo side art to your order.

    Same here!!!

    #19 1 year ago
    Quoted from perryd:

    It has been three months, still no refund and I still get the reply telling me to be patient

    Be patient for what? Did they explain what the delay was caused by, or are they just sitting on their hands hoping it will go away?

    #20 1 year ago

    If others are interested, perhaps we could do a group order for pickup at the Chicago Expo or Midwest Gaming Classic. Pay one party in advance and pickup your products at the event.

    #21 1 year ago

    I would be interested, but do you think that the items would be shipped in time for the Chicago Expo in October?

    1 week later
    #22 1 year ago

    Nerdygrrl, Thanks for your help! We set up an account with mailbox DE - fast and easy to do, just as you described. Marco may also give free shipping from Pinball Center to Mailbox DE on large orders (over 50 euro?) works out about the same in postal charges and shipping time. Glad we can continue to purchase from Pinball Center, they have parts we couldn't find anywhere else.

    #23 1 year ago
    Quoted from perryd:

    My shipment arrived , but damaged. Had to file claim with them and usps. It has been three months, still no refund and I still get the reply telling me to be patient..... I would very cautious again when using a 2nd party company....

    Shipping claims are handled by the shipping carrier-not the mailbox company. When I file a claim with USPS over damaged goods it tends to take 4-6 weeks, sometimes more before I hear back from them. What carrier did you select? Did you post your claim with the carrier or with the mailbox company? Did you purchase insurance?

    These guys are just middlemen forwarding the parcels from Pinball Center. They are not repackaging unless asked. It's definitely something we should be aware of and honestly not something I considered. Again, I went with German mail, which has a stellar rep. I have worked with them before and their service is always pretty good.

    #24 1 year ago

    Claims were filed with USPS and with forwarding service. I had to send photos of the damages to them overseas as well as copies of paperwork filed with my US Postmaster. Both parties have to work together in order to resolve this claim I am told. Insurance was included and due to size of item, I only had one other choice for delivery except for the express version which was around $80 US. (about twice the cost of item itself).

    International claims are handled differently than reg. US claims I have been told. Still no refund and going on 4th month.

    Again, I have used them twice with a 50/50 success rate. One parcel taking about 3 weeks to arrive, the other of course arrived damaged within same time frame. My two cents worth, just stating the facts. Just be aware that if your package is lost or damaged in anyway from international carriers, you will have to go through a similar process that I am going through in hopes of getting your money back.

    #25 1 year ago

    Thanks for the detailed info. I agree, it is something that should be stated.

    International claims are different and IIRC would be handled by contracted carrier on that end-not USPS. When we have an international parcel with issues we file though USPS b/c that is who we shipped through-we wouldn't do it through the international carrier.

    Best of luck with the process.

    1 week later
    #26 1 year ago

    Very helpful! I just placed an order and am using mailboxde.com hope it all works!!

    3 weeks later
    #27 1 year ago

    Spoke to soon. My order is now 'lost'. Filing a claim. So much for this being easy...

    #28 1 year ago
    Quoted from Time4akshun:

    Spoke to soon. My order is now 'lost'. Filing a claim. So much for this being easy...

    Tried to warn you guys! However, just two weeks ago, they refunded my full amount from 4 months earlier!! So hang in there, I believe they are a stand-up company which did the correct thing regardless of USPS dragging their feet.

    p

    1 week later
    #29 1 year ago

    Update from me. Package finally arrived. Took 2 months. USPS claim was started but now cancelling.

    1 week later
    #30 1 year ago

    I'm curious which service you guys are selecting. Are you opting for German post or the cheaper czech post. German post is DHL until it hits the states and then switches to USPS. I've rarely if ever had problems with them.

    As per the refund, that is again about the shipping service you selected and not the mail box company. I still don't know why claims were filed with USPS as that is not who you contracted.

    2 weeks later
    #31 1 year ago

    Ok read the post and am interested in ordering from this company the plastic pieces that no one here it the states has in stock. Just set up an account with mailboxde.com. Did they change their regulation on charging as it looks like I have to pay an annual fee of 12.50 EU? Or am I mis-reading this?

    #32 1 year ago

    Ok got my mailing address from mailboxde in an email as they stated but do not understand how they want me to type in the address on pinball center under the shipping address. I do not know where Aussere Weberstr. 57, 02763 Zittau goes in the form. I am assuming that the 02763 is the postal code and Zittau is the city but where would I put the Aussere Weberstr. 57 at? Would Aussere Weberstr go in the street name and 57 in the street number? And then would I put the Mailboxde.com GmbH followed by my name and ID number in the additional addresses block?

    #33 1 year ago

    Other countries can have different mailing address formats than what you may be used to seeing here in the US.

    http://www.bitboost.com/ref/international-address-formats/germany/

    #34 1 year ago

    I believe it should look like this

    Äussere Weberstr 57
    02763 Zittau
    Germany

    Äussere Weberstr is the street and 57 your number

    #35 1 year ago

    Yes I got if figured out now thanks for all your help

    4 weeks later
    #36 1 year ago

    1st post here. This thread was a great find for me in search of parts for my CFTBL pin. I wanted to share my experience with dealing through mailboxde.com of Germany. Because Marco and many other US pinsites were out of what I needed, I turned to the German Pinball center which everyone knows doesn't directly ship to US. After reading through all posts here I got my German address which I believe is the same for everyone with the addition of an ID #. MY biggest concern was the power of attorney. After making the mistake of searching the web for a form for quite awhile, I finally noticed the PDF link in registration. Filled it out and signed with my finger.....pretty easy. I decided to gamble with the Czech mail to get it here...The US...it was 1/2 the cost of German Post. Very fast to ship to the US. It took 10 days from ordering to get to New York's processing center. I was impressed and followed tracking. However, through no fault of our Euro friends, this is were problems started. After waiting another week with no tracking updates, I put in a lost mail claim. Was concerned, but maybe or maybe not because of claim my parcel arrived. The whole thing took a little over 3 weeks. I definitely would do again and want to add that I made a couple mistakes with mailboxde.com and their customer service is superior. Very fast and professional responces. Anyway, hope this helps.

    #37 1 year ago
    Quoted from silvercreetch:

    Very fast to ship to the US. It took 10 days from ordering to get to New York's processing center. I was impressed and followed tracking. However, through no fault of our Euro friends, this is were problems started. After waiting another week with no tracking updates, I put in a lost mail claim. Was concerned, but maybe or maybe not because of claim my parcel arrived. The whole thing took a little over 3 weeks. I definitely would do again and want to add that I made a couple mistakes with mailboxde.com and their customer service is superior. Very fast and professional responces. Anyway, hope this helps.

    This could have been two things, the parcel was waiting to clear US customs or USPS misplaced the parcel. I see this a lot with our stores here in the US, parcel goes MIA in USPS system and as soon as I file a claim/investigation it "mysteriously" turns up.

    #38 1 year ago

    Yea, tracking had it clearing customs before the delay....so you're probably right about the "mysterious show up. Things here for USPS have gone kinda crazy. Many parcels delivered daily but some show up at neighbors, cross town , in the yard also with multiple USPS (private mail contracters) per day.....as many as three different contracted carriers. Crazy, but most shows up.

    #39 1 year ago

    Thanks for this info, I just placed an order with pinball center for some stuff I cant find anywhere else...fingers crossed.

    #40 1 year ago
    Quoted from silvercreetch:

    Yea, tracking had it clearing customs before the delay....so you're probably right about the "mysterious show up. Things here for USPS have gone kinda crazy. Many parcels delivered daily but some show up at neighbors, cross town , in the yard also with multiple USPS (private mail contracters) per day.....as many as three different contracted carriers. Crazy, but most shows up.

    Yeah, we are starting to see crazy stuff happening with our shipments here. That being said UPS is far worse this holiday season, major delays and just all around missing parcels. *sigh*

    #41 1 year ago
    Quoted from cosmokramer:

    Thanks for this info, I just placed an order with pinball center for some stuff I cant find anywhere else...fingers crossed.

    Got notification today that package arrived at mailboxde, sent payment and it should ship to the US tomorrow.

    #42 1 year ago
    Quoted from cosmokramer:

    Got notification today that package arrived at mailboxde, sent payment and it should ship to the US tomorrow.

    I highly recommend going German post over other options. It costs a bit more, but they are far more reliable.

    #43 1 year ago
    Quoted from nerdygrrl:

    I highly recommend going German post over other options. It costs a bit more, but they are far more reliable.

    Hmmmm...too late, I already chose Czech post
    ..but I did pay a bit extra for priority over standard...I guess we will see what happens, I will report back

    #44 1 year ago

    I received a traking number from Czech post late last night...it wasnt coming up at first but now it shows parcel picked up and on its way to the US...
    Added 12 months ago: Dec. 18- package arrived in the US.

    Added 12 months ago: No tracking info since package supposedly arrived in the US...

    1 week later
    #45 11 months ago

    No US tracking info was ever given to me but it showed up today... not too bad, 10 days from order placed with Marco until delivered to So Cal...during X-mas

    Thanks for this thread

    20171222_155544 (resized).jpg

    #46 11 months ago

    I'm glad it worked out. Like I have said the company itself does its job well, the issues seem to stem from the carriers.

    #47 11 months ago

    If people are looking for an alternative or even simpler method, just ask!

    I would be more than happy to order stuff for people and ship it over to the US and Canada, no trouble at all.

    #48 11 months ago

    Awesome! I dont understand why they did this. I used to order from them all the time, no problems at all. Why stop shipping to u.s.? Dont they want the buttload of business?

    #49 11 months ago
    Quoted from ccbiggsoo7:

    Awesome! I dont understand why they did this. I used to order from them all the time, no problems at all. Why stop shipping to u.s.? Dont they want the buttload of business?

    Perhaps a licensing snafu or something. They never really stated. I'm just happy that with minimal effort it can be worked around. Setting up a mailboxde account is not much different than setting up a mailboxes, etc. That's all it really is.

    #50 11 months ago

    Hello Pinsiders... Can anyone help me?

    I tried to order 3 flat plastics, for approx $40, from Marco (Pinballcenter) in Germany. Went to check out and shipping was quoted at 430 Euro ($511). See my email to him this morning below.

    I'm very gun shy; as I purchased 2 expensive bottles of wine and shipped them (approx $100 to ship), to friend in Ireland, nearly 6 weeks ago. They still haven't rec'vd them.

    Marco… from your website, I tried to order these 2 items;

    Congo lane plastics set #43611 & Congo 2 plastic #43597.

    The total was approx. 33 Euro. I went to check out and it added over 430 Euro to ship these (3) light / flat plastics. I stopped the order due to shipping cost.

    Please help me

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