Shipping and Pricing Guide for US buyers (yes, it will ship)

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Shipping and Pricing Guide for US buyers (yes, it will ship)

Unread postby TruffleExpress » Fri Oct 17, 2014 7:16 pm

I know there are a lot of American buyers on this forum who are trying to figure out if the truffles they order will arrive safely in the US. I myself was curious about this a few months ago and ordered a small package of truffles to ship to the US. I live on the East Coast near a major metropolitan center. Fortunately, not only did the truffles arrive safe and sound on my doorstep, but they also came much quicker than I expected. I anticipated waiting up to two weeks for them to arrive after my payment was received, but they showed up around five days later. Very nice!

As an American shopper who was inexperienced with doing international money transfers and shipping in truffles to the States, I wanted to put together this guide to help others import their own truffles. I use one of my own purchases for a price breakdown of exchange rate and shipping costs. It also contains some of my recommendations for purchasing and shipping.

As a disclaimer, I obviously cannot guarantee your truffles will arrive. From my own experience, and the reports of Mr. Truffles, all packages do seem to ship safely to the US. However, from my knowledge truffles reside in a legal grey area in the United States. Buy at your own risk.

The Order:

50g of Mexicana w/ vacuum pack: 35.38EUR
50g of Tampanensis w/ vacuum pack: 36.79EUR
Subtotal: 72.17EUR

I would highly recommend purchasing the vacuum pack with your order as I have done. The tiny added cost is worth the price of guaranteeing your truffles will show up fresh both during transit and storage thereafter.

Shipping to US: 20EUR
Total: 92.17 EUR

The going exchange rate from dollars to euros right now is 1 DOL: 0.78 EUR. Doing a quick calculation on Google, this comes out to be around $118 for the order.

I recommend buying your truffles in bulk if you can, for two reasons. First, the shipping rate to the US is a flat 20EUR. Therefore, it is more economical to order more truffles in a single trip. Additionally, smaller orders also get charged a "small order fee", which can really bring down the economical benefit of ordering small in the first place.

I also recommend ordering in Euros as I have done here. Although you are free to do as you like, I ordered in Euros so I wouldn't have to deal with the guesswork of having to calculate the proper amount in dollars using an exchange rate. Many money transfer services will exchange your money for you, for a small price.

Payment:

I found that an international bank transfer was both the safest and quickest way to transfer money. I used the Western Union website and found that it was extremely easy to send money to Mr. Truffles this way, although there are some fees associated with this route. Additionally, I was able to make an account on their site and then save Mr. Truffle's credentials there. After that, I could simply click his profile, enter in the requested Euros, and then send it over. No need to re-enter all those numbers and codes.

Exchange: 126.00 DOL -> 93.33EUR

You'll notice that I sent over slightly more than the requested amount, and that I also paid slightly higher than our previous estimate. This is because:

1. Western Union charges an exchange fee based on a percentage of the transfer. Therefore, the money needed to make 92 euros was a bit higher.
2. I rounded my dollar amount up to a flat amount of $126. I do this out of courtesy in case any errors occur with the exchange rate, but its probably not necessary.

Transfer method:
Credit/debit to bank account
Transfer time: 2 days (est.)
Fee: $10

I chose to pay via my debit card. Even though it had a $10 free compared to a direct bank account transfer ($5), it was also the quickest method (2 days vs. 5 days).

Grand total: $136

Now, 100g is quite a lot of truffles for a single person. I actually ordered this amount to be split between 6-7 people. Therefore, the total per person will come to about $20. Quite a reasonable price for a personal-sized amount of truffles and a nice night!

In comparison, the smaller order I made was for 15g of Mexicana. I wound up paying $70 end-to-end using the same process. In comparison, I've actually saved about $50 by buying in bulk and splitting it with others, compared to ordering a smaller amount for myself. Alternatively, you could simply order a bulk amount and preserve it properly, but I've found that preserving the truffles over longer periods of time can be quite tricky.

Legality Concerns:

Like most people I was fairly concerned with US customs intercepting my package and then busting through my door in the middle of the night. However, I took the risk, and the truffles arrived safe and sound. Obviously you should do anything at your own risk, but from what I've experienced and observed, shipping to the US seems relatively safe. Of course, I repeat my previous warning: buy at your own risk.

Hopefully this guide is useful to any Americans pondering the ordering process and wondering if they should buy. Quite frankly I loved these truffles while in Amsterdam and am looking forward to introducing some friends to them. After figuring out the ordering process, sending money to Mr. Truffles was really no different than ordering via credit through a separate site.

Cheers!
TruffleExpress
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Oct 17, 2014 2:40 pm

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