An Important Part of a Tarot Conference – Getting Your New Goodies Home!

Filed Under Events | Comments Off on An Important Part of a Tarot Conference – Getting Your New Goodies Home!

Last week on the Reader Studio conference call, one of things that came up was traveling with Tarot cards, books, etc., specifically focusing on returning home with all the goodies acquired from the vendors at a conference. At Ruth Ann’s request, I’ve distilled the conversation and suggestions offered. I’ve also posted this on the Readers Studio NING.

1. Extra packing capacity: If you know you’re going to acquire more objects than will fit in the one suitcase you’ve packed, bring a second bag for the new acquisitions. Be sure to check with your airline about size and weight limits (both carry on and checked bags) and checked bag fees.

2. Carry on valuables: Try to fit your decks and books in your carry on bag. Unless you have packed them with sufficient padding (dirty laundry suddenly has a use) so that they cannot move around in the suitcase, and unless you have a hard-sided container for them inside the suitcase, they will sustain some damage (bent corners, crushed boxes, etc.) when traveling in a checked bag. A hard-sided heavy plastic or metal box (such as a sturdy lunch box) will absorb the travel trauma and help preserve the physical integrity of your goods. Proper packing is key; the items cannot have any room to move around inside the box, and the box cannot have any room to move around inside your suitcase. If you have more than you can carry on, carry on the precious items (impossible to replace, out of print, extraordinarily expensive, and so forth), and put the easily replaced items in your checked bag.

3. The vendor ships: Ask the vendor if they can ship for you. Yes, you might pay a bit more for the service, but a responsible vendor is experienced at shipping their wares and can pack properly for safe shipping. It also saves you the hassle of packaging and arranging for a pick up by the carrier. And, if the carrier does do something creative with your package, the vendor often has an account rep who can help them sort out the issue, instead of you having to call an 800 number to deal with with someone who hasn’t the slightest idea of or interest in what happened to your box.

4. Use shipping services: Check out shipping options. UPS, FedEx, and DHL will allow individuals to open personal shipping accounts. You give them your credit card number, they give you a shipper account number, and every time you ship, they charge it to your card.

The advantage to having your own shipper number is that you can send a package from anywhere without having to go to the post office, UPS office, etc. You can drop the package in any collection box, or arrange a pick up from your hotel (if the hotel doesn’t have a regular pick up by that carrier). You can check with the hotel ahead of time to find out if they have a regular pick up, and whether they offer shipping services in their business center. If they do offer service, you really, really want your own shipper account – much like the mark ups on phone calls made from your hotel room, the mark ups to ship packages on their shipper account are breathtaking.

You can also ship via regular mail in whatever country you’re in, but check carefully for export costs, fuel surcharges, trackability, and insurability. You’ll also pay import duty and taxes on those items once they enter your home country. (See #6 for more detail.)

5. What to ship if you are doing the shipping: If you decide to ship items home from the conference, I recommend shipping your clothes and non-essential items, and carry / check in the items you want to keep track of. This alleviates concerns about packing the box correctly – clothes are pretty hard to damage in transit (unless the delivery truck explodes, which is uncommon). Since you’re going home anyway, you probably have other clothes to wear, another toothbrush to use, and so forth, until the box arrives from the conference.

6. Consider import duty and taxes: If you are traveling internationally, you definitely want to ship your clothes and carry home your new goodies because of import taxes. Hand-carried purchases up to your country’s personal exemption amount are free of import duty and tax. Be sure you know what that amount is; keep your purchase receipts available in your carry on bag in case the Customs officer wants to see them; and always, always be honest on your customs form about the total number and value of items purchased abroad.
Items purchased and shipped are subject to duty and tax, regardless of the amount, which will be clearly listed on the shipping paperwork seen by the Customs agent. Your clothes and other items which you owned prior to the trip are personal property being returned home and are not subject to duty and tax. Be sure the shipping documents clearly state that the box does not contain any new, untaxed purchases..

7. Make friends with people who travel: The first component of this is traveling with a friend who doesn’t shop as much as you – they might have room in their carry on bag or suitcase for some of your purchases.
The second component covers those items you want which are available only in another country. Make friends with someone who is scheduled to visit that country or who lives there and is planning a trip to your country. Once they’ve safely arrived, order your object of desire to be shipped to them at their hotel (or wherever they are staying). Or, if it’s someone who lives there, order the item and have it shipped to them to arrive at least a week prior to their departure for your country. They can then put the item in their checked bag for safe transport, since it’s already packaged for shipping! If they’re not visiting your city on their trip, you can give them your shipper account number (see #4 above) and ship it to you from whatever part of your country they’re visiting. Again, the item is already packaged for shipping, so all they need to do is put a new label on the box and either drop it at the carrier or arrange for a pick up from where they’re staying.

If you have other suggestions, please chime in!

Comments are closed.