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Sending Coins To PCGS (My Experience In Shipping And Insurance)

 
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Valued Member
Canada
257 Posts
 Posted 04/01/2016  11:14 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add GregJG to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I hope this will be informative to many people, as I found it difficult to exactly deal with the insurance limits and intricacies of shipping to PCGS from Canada.

First of all PCGS requires you ship by either:

"Registered Mail through the USPS" which means Canada Post

PCGS
PO Box 9458
Newport Beach, CA 92658

or

"Federal Express using express services only (Overnight, 2-Day)" which means FedEx International Economy

Collectors Universe
7000 Barranca Pkwy
Irvine, CA 92618
HOLD FOR PICK-UP

They will not accept FedEx Ground, or any other shipping company. (I cannot verify this as it would be too risky to try)

Further instructions for reference: http://www.PCGS.com/packageandmailcoins

Now for my story...
I had shipped coins to be graded back in 2012, but could not remember the process I had done, so it was as if it was the first time.

The easiest parts are:
-Signing up for a PCGS membership
-Filling out a online submission form
-Waiting for the discount submission vouchers in the mail (I suggest you signing up early for the membership to allow for the ~two weeks time it takes them to ship you your membership package and vouchers)
-Labelling, wrapping and packaging my shipment carefully

But when I got to the shipping stage there appeared to be no way to insure my 20 coins that totalled $14,000 CAD on their way to PCGS...

Canada post told me they can only insure up to $500 CAD maximum on collectable coins.
After a long call with FedEx (with the help of a nice owner at a FedEx shipping center) their limit on collectable coins was $1300 CAD.

I couldn't possibly live with myself if the coins were lost in the mail or stolen, so I needed to find a solution.
I had heard of "third party" shipping insurance companies such as ParcelPro... (as suggested in another thread by doubleeagle59: "It's pricey, not only because of their insurance rates, but also they insist the package must be sent Fedex Overnight, which isn't cheap.") but I wanted to do it by the book with FedEx. Maybe in the future I'll try ParcelPro and post about my experiences with them too.

I managed to get around FedEx's $1300 insurance limit by:
1. Creating a free 'Regular' or 'Individual' account by phoning into Fedex to obtain a 9 digit account number
2. Creating a shipment with 'FedEx Ship Manager Lite' - regular ship manager would not work
3. Entering all the details for the FedEx submission as outlined by PCGS (link above)
.....The most economical way to ship is 'FedEx International Economy'
4. Entering the type of shipment as "repair and return" (as it's not a commercial sale)
.....Make sure 'Hold for Pickup' option is selected
5. Indicating all duties, taxes and fees for customs would be paid by my 9 digit account number. I expect PCGS would not pay any duties or fees if they receive your package, and if they did they would either refuse the package or add the fees onto your grading invoice... so I just took care of that part myself.
6. Filling out the description of the coins to my best ability:
.....Numismatic Items sent for Appraisal - To be Returned
.....10 coins 1884-1907 (Canadian Copper Pennies) Valued $9000 CAD
.....10 coins 1925-1935 (Canadian Copper Pennies) Valued $5000 CAD
7. Since I was sending 20 coins worth $14000 CAD, I had to split the itemized list up into 20 items worth $700 each (totalling $14000) since that is the only way FedEx Ship Manager can understand it easily.
8. Attaching a Antiques declaration form as indicated by FedEx for coins 100 years or older to be exempt from duties/customs/taxes (I have uploaded it here for everyone's use http://docdro.id/XmP1ZKx) That is why I split up my description, so the 'non-antique coins' would be charged taxes/duties/customs.
9. Printing out all the documents / put in my coin voucher into the box / final packaging
10. Dropping it off at the FedEx ship center

I know this must seem extreme to some but I wanted to see what it actually took to get my package there properly.
Cost of shipping:
$565.10 fully insured two day overnight shipping + $47.36 in duties and taxes.
Cost of peace of mind: Priceless!

Currently all my coins were shipped and picked up quickly by PCGS. I have received the grades online under my order and waiting on them to ship it back to me (fully insured on the way back under PCGS's insurance).

I hope this was informative for some!
Thank you to gawd0wns & DEVLEC for motivating me to write this all out!


One side note: I have heard of many people talking about writing obscure descriptions on their packages such as metallic discs, or obsolete numismatic collectables... but in my experience, no one at FedEx or Customs knew what that was... and it delayed my shipment until I could clarify.
Some people are paranoid like me that writing "collectable coins worth $14000" is asking for it to be stolen, but I feel safe in FedEx's process and security.

I Would really like to hear from people who have used Canada Post with tracking or FedEx who have purchased shipping with a third party insurance company! Very curious!
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Australia
7096 Posts
 Posted 04/01/2016  11:53 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add trout1105 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I have sent hundreds of coins to PCGS to be graded just using Aussi Post international airmail.
I put "Numismatic items" on the declaration form and send them in an uninteresting padded envelope.
Never lost a coin
When PCGS send them back there is only $100 insurance cover anyway.
The most valuable submission I have sent would only be about 15K an I was a bit concerned until I got them back.
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Canada
8677 Posts
 Posted 04/02/2016  12:02 am  Show Profile   Check SPP-Ottawa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add SPP-Ottawa to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I used a PCGS Dealer Agent (Alliance Coin & Banknote) to ship all my coins (modern coins, older coins and errors) to PCGS. I have shipped individual coins worth up to $10,000 this way. The PCGS Agent handled the paperwork, shipping and paid for the grading with his VISA - The dealer provides me with an invoice, broken down with all fees, converted to Canadian dollars, with an additional fee for his time, when I got my coins back. This fee can vary greatly with different PCGS Agents.

I try to facilitate the process as much as possible, by providing the coins in the proper flips and fully describing the error coin submissions. I would provide a list of coins to the dealer, with their value, to the dealer agent, when I handed in my coins. To make their life easier, coins worth more than $5,000 are sent individually and cheaper (modern) coins are sent in batches of 20 (which is how much a PCGS box holds).

I was not overly worried, because the coin dealer above had insurance to cover against shipping loss, and I also had coverage for shipping loss with my coin insurance from Hugh Wood Canada Ltd.
"Research is what I am doing, when I don't know what I am doing" --Wernher von Braun

Content of this post is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses...0/deed.en_US

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Canada
1549 Posts
 Posted 04/02/2016  12:06 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Smallcentguy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I have shipped quite a few shipments to Heritage, PCGS and NGC--maybe 10 to 20 altogether. I have never had any issues.

I have never used insurance and have just gone with Fedex. I have used numismatic items and metal stampings as the descriptor. On the value I have always said "good for return" with a zero value. When PCGS ships back, they put a declared value of their grading costs.

BTW the PCGS Fedex address actually is the FEDEX depot in that part of California. So there is no risk of delivery at their end.

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Canada
8677 Posts
 Posted 04/02/2016  12:10 am  Show Profile   Check SPP-Ottawa's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add SPP-Ottawa to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The owner of the PCGS Perth Collection, goes to extreme measures.

He photographs the coins being graded with the front page of a Canadian newspaper. Carries them on his person to the US and hand delivers them to PCGS, usually at either the FUN or Long Beach shows for their "Same Day Walk-through" service. Not cheap by any means, but if you have seen the Perth Collection in the PCGS Registry, then you'll understand.

He then returns to Canada and proves with the photos that the coins originated in Canada (were only going to the US for "evaluation").
"Research is what I am doing, when I don't know what I am doing" --Wernher von Braun

Content of this post is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses...0/deed.en_US

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Canada
3097 Posts
 Posted 04/02/2016  01:01 am  Show Profile   Check Pacificoin's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add Pacificoin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
All I will add is it one heck of a lot easier than what was written above.........when you live near the US border. We walk the coins to the Post office and ship USPS registered mail. Done right there are NO customs problems either way and there is NO duty at all on coins of numismatic interest of any value. The customs tariff for coins is 9705.00.00.60 going into the US and 9705.00.00.90 coming back to Canada.
If Canada Border Services wants to they can charge GST / HST on the slabbing , as it would be considered a service being imported back to Canada. They cannot charge you GST HST on your own coins.
You guys make this sound way more complicated than necessary.
Bedrock of the Community
United States
30344 Posts
 Posted 04/02/2016  04:49 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add John1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
This all sounds well and good but what about if a coin gets lost? Have any of you tried to collect on that "insurance"?
I have read that it is next to impossible to get what your coin is valued at at retail so how good is the "insurance really?
John1
( I'm no pro, it's just my humble opinion )
Searched 5+ Million Cents Since 1971
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Australia
7096 Posts
 Posted 04/02/2016  08:21 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add trout1105 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
This all sounds well and good but what about if a coin gets lost? Have any of you tried to collect on that "insurance"?
I have read that it is next to impossible to get what your coin is valued at at retail so how good is the "insurance really?
John1


I would honestly consider that the "Insurance" you pay for isn't worth the paper it is printed on.
Sending coins to a TPG is just another of the risks involved in getting them graded, This is probably why PCGS slabbed coins carry a premium over Raw coins.
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3321 Posts
 Posted 04/02/2016  09:34 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add BStrauss3 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
7. Since I was sending 20 coins worth $14000 CAD, I had to split the itemized list up into 20 items worth $700 each (totalling $14000) since that is the only way FedEx Ship Manager can understand it easily.


I think you could have caused yourself serious problems here if the package was lost as they would have paid you the actual value up to the declared value of $700 per item.

But thanks for the info.
-----Burton
45 year / Life ANA member (joined 12/1/1973)
Life member: Numismatics International, CONECA
Member: TNA, FtWCC, NETCC
Owned by four cats and a wife of 35 years (joined 1983)
Pillar of the Community
Canada
2232 Posts
 Posted 04/02/2016  11:21 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add doubleeagle59 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Honestly, after paying $565 for insurance and who knows how much for the PCGS grading fees and their high return shipping fees and then you have to deal with their 'screwy' grading that leaves you scratching your head wondering "how in blazes did they get that grade?", PLUS the 33% extra cost you have to pay for our Canadian Peso, you feel like it was a huge expense for nothing.

Sorry for being so 'negative' about your venture, but I have experienced this scenario a few times and personally, I'm very disappointed with PCGS's grading and their pricing structure.

I feel for what you get in return from PCGS, the cost is definitely not worth it.

I'll stick with ICCS (yes, with their many problems, I'll admit, but at least they're 'inexpensive' problems)

Oh, one last thing, for the few times I've sent coins from Canada to PCGS, I've just sent them uninsured Expresspost. I've taken my chances but everything has arrived safely (knock on wood).

And also, I too have heard horror stories about collectors who have lost insured shipments and who have had an extremely difficult time collecting on their insured value.
Edited by doubleeagle59
04/02/2016 11:23 am
Pillar of the Community
Canada
3234 Posts
 Posted 04/02/2016  12:16 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add DEVLEC to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
...Carries them on his person to the US and hand delivers them to PCGS,


I'll also probably do this on a holiday trip but travel around and pick them up on the swing back up. I'll take the photos with the Canadian papers as an added....

..but I'm in no rush .....as this great discussion shows how complicated and costly any PCGS scenario is going to be.

I'm glad that I never get migraines,..as this could surely bring one on...
Pillar of the Community
Canada
680 Posts
 Posted 04/02/2016  12:29 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add tripoli to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
So I never buy the UPS/FEDEX/CDA POst insurance because they specifically exclude monetary or numismatic items for coverage, don't they?
Is this not true?
Pillar of the Community
United States
689 Posts
 Posted 04/02/2016  12:31 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add BuckeyeCoinGuy to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I'm just laughing here at the Canadian Peso comment two three comments up.

Never mind me.

Move along.
Edited by BuckeyeCoinGuy
04/02/2016 12:32 pm
Valued Member
Canada
495 Posts
 Posted 04/02/2016  5:41 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add macdon to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Ive sent to PCGS a half dozen times with FedEx never had a problem , send coins as "metal planchets" its always on a wing and prayer. I'm not that active any longer so kinda think the next batch I send soon will be my last.
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Canada
3234 Posts
 Posted 04/02/2016  8:13 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add DEVLEC to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
...its always on a wing and prayer


I like sleeping at night...
Pillar of the Community
Canada
1414 Posts
 Posted 04/03/2016  6:37 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add canadian-varieties to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I once sent a shipment that may have been valued at $300,000 or $400,000. Fedex overnight, cost: $90.

I agree with the poster who said: "the insurance is not worth the paper it's printed on"...

Is there 1 successful high value numismatic insurance claim that was successfully cashed out?

No one has ever posted about any.

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