Monday, July 23, 2012

A new tale from the e-commerce learning curve

That international object of desire, the Epiphone Tom Delonge Signature ES-333
Until now, I have dreaded the thought of someone overseas wanting to buy a guitar. International rates for large packages are prohibitively expensive, to the point where the shipping costs more than the guitar itself. Moreover, it's easy to get burned. I learned this the hard way seven or eight years ago when I sold a Fender P-bass to a guy in Italy, shipped it to him and then got slapped a few weeks later with a claim that it hadn't been delivered.

So you can imagine my reticence last week when I got an inquiry through our Amazon store ( from Levi, a gentleman in Tamworth, Australia, asking about a guitar that has been hanging on the Piano Gallery Music Superstore's wall since October 2010, an Epiphone Tom Delonge ES-333. (Let me say right now, I get a kick being addressed as "Mate.")

Everybody knows I want to get every guitar in the store into the hands of people who will love and appreciate them. It's kind of like a pet adoption agency, and the Tom Delonge guitar is one of my favorites. But shipping it to Australia ourselves -- USPS, UPS, Fed Ex or DHL -- would be somewhere in the neighborhood of $700, which obviously will not do.

All seemed bleak until Levi mentioned, in Sarasota, Fla., apparently an alternative used by a lot of people Down Under. Here's how it works: For $10, Levi can set up a U.S. address, which is where I ship the guitar he's bought on Amazon.

Veteran digger that I am, this is what I learned from Hiram Pedraza, an account rep for MyUs. The company ships 12,000 to 15,000 parcels a day. Between 30 and 35 percent of their business via  Amazon sales. Their biggest markets are the United Kingdom and Australia, where guitars apparently cost three times what they do here.

I thought this would be of interest to anyone with an interest in e-commerce. Here's a useful link if you want to know more:


  1. Before signing up with make sure to compare their services and rates with the other well-known forwarding services in the usa at:

  2. I like to get up early to go out and breathe fresh air. I feel that it is good for health and a good habit

  3. have you thought about using one of those mail and package forwarding addresses? I might be trying to tell you how to suck eggs here, but if you don't know about them, you just use their USA address, have the stuff sent there and they forward it to you for a free. helps if a particular place won't send to places outside the US. Obviously, they have legal restrictions, but if it's legal to send to your country, there should be no problems with the freight forwarder. You can google it, or here is a few examples for anybody interested