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Help with returning a coin to Switzerland

I would appreciate any suggestions for Board members about a reasonably priced and safe method of returning a coin to a dealer in Switzerland. I won the coin at auction for $1700 US. USPS will not allow me to ship the coin via Priority Mail or Global Shipping because of it being a coin. I cannot send it registered because its purchase price exceeded $400. I could just stick it in the mail, but that obviously poses risks. I could also send it registered and give its value at $400 (which perhaps isn't too far off, as our hosts determined it was cleaned, contrary to the dealer's express assurances that it wasn't). DHL, Fed Ex and UPS are all at about $100 or more for shipping.

Anybody have any thoughts? This shouldn't be so complicated/expensive!



  • JBKJBK Posts: 7,516 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If you want full insurance you may need to pay the private carriers. Registered, even if it won't insure the purchase price, should be a reliable way to get it there.

  • YQQYQQ Posts: 2,625 ✭✭✭✭

    If you purchased the coin from a legitimate professional auctioneer in Switzerland, the responsibility is his problem If you can proof that he confirmed that the coin is NOT cleaned. He must, by Swiss law, take responsibility and pay for the coins return or reach some agreement with you. It leaves the argument open as to : "who is PCGS to say so" ? You also might come across a "certain Swiss attitude" bringing forward any excuse. probably that you have no idea about cleaned coins and that it is perfectly legit to sell cleaned coins. find out if your seller is a member of the professional auctioneers organisation (or whatever it is called). If he is, he is in "hot water" if you report the facts to them.
    HOWEVER... if your seller is a private person... you may be out of luck with a return. In that case, swallow twice, have a large scotch, and send him a demand note suggesting you will go legal on him with his local police department unless he settles with you.
    BUT... check the small print you had to agree to before bidding...
    sorry about your problem,
    I had a similar problem with a well known auction house in Germany. They misrepresented the coin, but refused responsibility and blamed the co-signor of the coin. it was only 120 Euros. IMO, it does not matter if it is 10 euros or 1000...
    I called them and explained very nicely (helps to speak the lingo) that I will hold them as professionals responsible for purposely misrepresent the coin.
    Then, as he found out I speak the lingo and read his small print, the matter was settled instantly.
    sorry about the rambling here, but similar does happen toooooo often.
    Good luck to you

    Today is the first day of the rest of my life
  • gscoinsgscoins Posts: 155 ✭✭✭

    I am a little disappointed in the seller, but a return has been agreed upon, so (for good or ill) that issue has been resolved. My concern now is how to get the coin back to him without spending a fortune on shipping. I do appreciate the thoughts...

  • 291fifth291fifth Posts: 19,149 ✭✭✭✭✭

    There are going to be risks no matter what route you select. That just comes with the territory of doing international transactions. If it were me I would take my chances with Registered Mail.

    All glory is fleeting.
  • YQQYQQ Posts: 2,625 ✭✭✭✭

    Also please be aware that Swiss customs might want their cut unless you can proof it was exported from Switzerland.

    Today is the first day of the rest of my life
  • bobsrbobsr Posts: 362 ✭✭✭

    The cheapest might be to just look for the cheapest air fare and return it in person.
    My Daughter did that 2 years ago to Germany. She saved several hundred dollars and she got a good hotel rate for 3 days mid week.
    Bob Sr CEO Fieldtechs

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