1. How much value should I place on my goods?
There are several theories about this, and different individuals have different ideas about appropriate coverage. Basically, you are free to decide what your goods are worth. However, you may not insure your goods for more than you actually paid for them. It is also helpful if you have purchase receipts for expensive items you would value at 300,000 yen or more. We recommend that you insure your goods for the replacement value. For items of extremely high value, including works of art, please consult our staff.
2. Can I use suitcases, duffel bags, or plastic storage bins as containers?
Yes, however, we recommend that you place these items inside large plastic bags, similar to those used for trash disposal. The plastic bag will provide more protection, and also give you a surface for a label. You should also use bubble wrap for plastic bins, and do not pack fragile items in these as they are frequently cracked during shipment.
3. Where can I get cardboard boxes?
You may order boxes through our home page for a separate fee. Please click on "Ordering Boxes" and choose the size and enter all required information. Please allow three to four days for delivery. We will have to ask you to make a bank transfer (or furikomi) for this service in advance.
You may also buy boxes from stores such as Daiei, Seiyu, Office Depot, or from the post office. It is also possible to get cardboard boxes free of charge from supermarkets or liquor shops. However, these boxes should be chosen carefully. Do not use boxes that have contained very light items such as tissue. If you are shipping goods to Australia, do not use boxes that have contained vegetables or fruits.
4. Can I send food, liquor, or other beverages?
NO! Due to increased security concerns throughout most of the world, these items can no longer be included in a shipment. Those trying to do so may also be held liable for various inspection charges. Under no circumstances should you try to ship food, liquor, or beverages, not even bottled water. A small amount of medicine, cosmetics, or toiletries may be included for personal consumption.
5. I want to send five computers. Is this possible?
No. Since you are shipping your personal goods there are rather strict limits concerning the amount of particular items that may be shipped. In deciding how many computers or refrigerators or televisions to allow, a rather common-sense approach is usually taken. For example, for a married couple with one teenage child, up to three computers might be possible: one for the husband, one for the wife, and one for the child. However, three computers would usually not be allowed for a single individual, as it would be considered a commercial shipment.
6. Does my 32" TV need special packaging?
Yes, we generally recommend that flat screen televisions and similar items be shipped in a Tri-wall box. We can also arrange to have a Tri-wall box built for you. For an estimate, please go to "Ordering Boxes" and fill out the required information. We will give you an estimate within two or three business days. Tri-wall and similar type boxes are as strong as wooden crates but much cheaper. However, depending on the size of the TV, a Tri-wall box will usually be 8,000 to 16,000 yen.
7. Can I send a bicycle?
Yes, but it has to be boxed. Bike shops usually have boxes available and they can also help disassemble your bike. They usually charge 2,000 to 3,000 yen for this service. Soft cases are not acceptable. If you are shipping a bicycle to Australia, be sure the bike is cleaned well, and make sure the tires are free from dirt or soil.
8. I want to send a guitar. Do I need a hard case?
Yes, a hard case is a necessity for shipment of a guitar. We also recommend that the guitar case be placed inside a large plastic bag as described above in #2.
9. What happens if some of my shipment arrives broken or damaged?
If you have purchased insurance, the insurance company will reimburse you for your losses to the declared amount on your packing list. You will need to contact the insurance agent listed on the insurance policy we send to customers who purchase insurance. We mail this policy with the Bill of Lading. If you do not purchase insurance, there is no reimbursement for damage.
10. Can I send my cat?
No, you will need to carry "tama-chan" with you on your flight. Contact your airline for information on rates and restrictions.
11. I will be traveling to other countries before reaching my final destination. Can someone else clear customs and pick up the shipment for me?
Yes, for most countries. (Please check with the embassy or customs in your destination country to make sure.) However, if you are going to appoint someone to claim the goods and clear customs for you, you will need to fill out a declaration for unaccompanied goods. Please ask for this form when contacting econoship. In the case of Canada, the actual shipper has to clear customs, and you cannot appoint a friend, family member, or even a customs broker to do this for you.
12. How detailed should the packing list be?
Goods such as clothing, dishes, and books do not need to be identified individually. Simply stating "used clothing" or "used books" is fine. Items of greater value, such as, computers, televisions, and other such items should be listed separately and given a specific value for insurance purposes.