best ways to send letters to/from the U.S.

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thisisreallycomplicated
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best ways to send letters to/from the U.S.

Postby thisisreallycomplicated » Tue Sep 27, 2011 5:23 pm

I need to send 2 letters to the US from Coquimbo. And I need to send return postage (or prepaid shipping label) with one of them, so they can return it to me.

The first one is a check to my landlord in the US, and it needs to get to him in less than 2 weeks. If it gets lost in the mail, I can always send him another one, so cost is more important than reliability.

The other is about 4 pieces of paper. This one isn't as time-critical, but getting it there reliably is really important. If it gets lost, it will be difficult or impossible to replace. And I also need to send return postage to have them return it to me in Coquimbo.

Does anyone have advice on the best ways to send these (considering cost and reliability)? Or is there a recent thread that discusses this? I called FedEx, and they quoted me $80 US for each envelope. So that would cost me a total of about $240 US. Is FedEx reliable here? And is there a cheaper option, that's reliable? Thanks!
“Now it’s conspiracy – they’ve made that something that should not even be entertained for a minute, that powerful people might get together and have a plan. Doesn’t happen, you’re a kook, you’re a conspiracy buff!” – George Carlin

Andres
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Re: best ways to send letters to/from the U.S.

Postby Andres » Tue Sep 27, 2011 7:20 pm

thisisreallycomplicated wrote:And I need to send return postage (or prepaid shipping label) with one of them, so they can return it to me.

My solution ignores the issue of whether or not the Chilean postal system can be relied upon to deliver a letter sent via regular mail:

There is a 'certificate' one can purchase from most countries' post offices which is the value of airmail postage to anywhere in the world of a letter up to 50g.

The idea is that you buy the certificate in one country, send the certificate to someone in a second country and the person in that second country can turn the certificate in for enough postage to send a letter anywhere. I do not recall what they are called. I have some at home so if you need the specific name, PM me and I will tell you when I am home.

I have purchased these in several countries (UK, US, Oz, PNG) so I know they are widespread.
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gato
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Re: best ways to send letters to/from the U.S.

Postby gato » Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:21 pm

In the process of legalization of one paper issued in the U.S. I had to provide return postage twice (sec. of state, and a Chilean consulate).

In case of the sec. of state we agreed on a personal check for $0.98 USD (the cost of 1st class postage to Chile).

The consulate, though they agreed to take cash in the mail for the service (its legal to send cash to the US in the mail), they couldn't buy/place stamps on envelopes, so I used a friend's FedEx account number to give them, and who consequently forwarded the docs to me in Chile.

With regard to the two weeks, "registered" mail (correos Chile) may arrive (or it may not) in two weeks in the U.S.. The first stop in the U.S. would be Miami sort facility. I had delays up to 10 days from that Miami facility to the destination(s) in the U.S. This "registered" mail from Chile is really cheap.

They (correos) also have Express. I think this would be the best option.

If some other people have time to respond -- they would give better advice than me.
The time that you spend reading this sentence could be employed to better advantage in almost any other way.

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FrankPintor
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Re: best ways to send letters to/from the U.S.

Postby FrankPintor » Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:46 pm

My son gets magazines once a month delivered by post from Europe to Chile... as far as I know they always get there, in good condition, maybe not very quickly but delivery seems to be reliable enough. Even birthday cards with money enclosed haven't been a problem. Any problems we've experienced have probably been at the other end; if anyone is sending post to Chile from the UK, that seems to be a particular blackspot. The only time I recall there were problems at the Chilean end was around the time of the postal strike several months ago, that caused a backlog with regular post that took some time to clear as well.

I've also sent stuff to Chile with FedEx several times, for example from Mexico it took 4-5 working days, and it was perfectly reliable. Expensive, though, as you noted... I'm glad I don't have to do that particular operation anymore.

Can't the landlord be dealt with via a wire transfer?
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mlightheart
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Re: best ways to send letters to/from the U.S.

Postby mlightheart » Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:43 pm

thisisreallycomplicated wrote:I need to send 2 letters to the US from Coquimbo. And I need to send return postage (or prepaid shipping label) with one of them, so they can return it to me.

The first one is a check to my landlord in the US, and it needs to get to him in less than 2 weeks. If it gets lost in the mail, I can always send him another one, so cost is more important than reliability.

The other is about 4 pieces of paper. This one isn't as time-critical, but getting it there reliably is really important. If it gets lost, it will be difficult or impossible to replace. And I also need to send return postage to have them return it to me in Coquimbo.

Does anyone have advice on the best ways to send these (considering cost and reliability)? Or is there a recent thread that discusses this? I called FedEx, and they quoted me $80 US for each envelope. So that would cost me a total of about $240 US. Is FedEx reliable here? And is there a cheaper option, that's reliable? Thanks!


If your bank has Bill-Pay and you can access your account online, then you add your landlord as an account. But you probably don't have it.

I think that DHL would be better. The admin could weigh in on that.

Couldn't you send the papers to someone in the US and have them send out the 4 individual envelopes?

thisisreallycomplicated
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Re: best ways to send letters to/from the U.S.

Postby thisisreallycomplicated » Wed Sep 28, 2011 4:38 am

Andres wrote:
thisisreallycomplicated wrote:And I need to send return postage (or prepaid shipping label) with one of them, so they can return it to me.

My solution ignores the issue of whether or not the Chilean postal system can be relied upon to deliver a letter sent via regular mail:

There is a 'certificate' one can purchase from most countries' post offices which is the value of airmail postage to anywhere in the world of a letter up to 50g.

The idea is that you buy the certificate in one country, send the certificate to someone in a second country and the person in that second country can turn the certificate in for enough postage to send a letter anywhere. I do not recall what they are called. I have some at home so if you need the specific name, PM me and I will tell you when I am home.

I have purchased these in several countries (UK, US, Oz, PNG) so I know they are widespread.

I don't think I could use these certificates for what I'm doing, since the company I'm sending the papers to would probably charge me extra if they have to do any extra work. Like exchanging the certificate for the actual postage. But thanks for the idea, I may be able to use it some other time.
“Now it’s conspiracy – they’ve made that something that should not even be entertained for a minute, that powerful people might get together and have a plan. Doesn’t happen, you’re a kook, you’re a conspiracy buff!” – George Carlin

thisisreallycomplicated
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Re: best ways to send letters to/from the U.S.

Postby thisisreallycomplicated » Wed Sep 28, 2011 4:55 am

Thanks for all the responses. I think I'm going to try a different option to pay my landlord. Maybe just PayPal, since I think it's free. I'll just tell him what the other slow, expensive options are, and he'll probably be ok with it. I mentioned trying it last month, but he said just to send it regular mail. Then it took 2 weeks, and was late, and I don't think he was happy about it. And I'm still considering my options for the other one I need to send. I might try Correos express mail, since it sounds like it would probably get there ok. But it was recommended to me to use FedEx for that one (and avoid the US postal service), so I'm still thinking about it. And I might have them return it to a US address, and have it consolidated with some other stuff to get it to Chile, to save some money.
“Now it’s conspiracy – they’ve made that something that should not even be entertained for a minute, that powerful people might get together and have a plan. Doesn’t happen, you’re a kook, you’re a conspiracy buff!” – George Carlin

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zer0nz
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Re: best ways to send letters to/from the U.S.

Postby zer0nz » Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:37 am

thisisreallycomplicated wrote:Thanks for all the responses. I think I'm going to try a different option to pay my landlord. Maybe just PayPal, since I think it's free. I'll just tell him what the other slow, expensive options are, and he'll probably be ok with it. I mentioned trying it last month, but he said just to send it regular mail. Then it took 2 weeks, and was late, and I don't think he was happy about it. And I'm still considering my options for the other one I need to send. I might try Correos express mail, since it sounds like it would probably get there ok. But it was recommended to me to use FedEx for that one (and avoid the US postal service), so I'm still thinking about it. And I might have them return it to a US address, and have it consolidated with some other stuff to get it to Chile, to save some money.


DHL Express (Chile) Ltda.
Arturo Prat 540
Tel 56-51-220510
La Serena
Arturo Prat 540, al llegar a calle Balmaceda, entre Cienfuegos y Balmaceda.

Horas de Apertura
Lunes a Viernes 10:00 a 14:00 y 15:00 a 18:00
Sábado y Domingo Cerrado
Feriados Cerrad

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gato
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Re: best ways to send letters to/from the U.S.

Postby gato » Wed Sep 28, 2011 1:28 pm

thisisreallycomplicated wrote:I might try Correos express mail, since it sounds like it would probably get there ok. But it was recommended to me to use FedEx for that one (and avoid the US postal service), so I'm still thinking about it.


Avoiding the US postal service could make sense, for the majority of the delays I experienced in the past occurred on the US side. Nonetheless, I had one terrible delay here in Chile, when "registered" mail traveled from a village in the 9th reg. to Santiago during three weeks, due to some unexpected hold at an intermediary sort facility on its way. Yet, should you send mail from a relatively big city, and not from a rural area as myself, I doubt that there would be delays in Chile. There are 4 parts of the route: from the place of origin to Stgo, then to Miami, then [sometimes long] hold/sorting in Miami, then from there to the destination. As soon as the letter hits Stgo. it is really quick for it to go to Miami, usually 24-48 hours or so. And the "Express" could go from the 4th region to Stgo in one day. The remaining two parts of the route, both in the US, are questionable, however.
The time that you spend reading this sentence could be employed to better advantage in almost any other way.

thisisreallycomplicated
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Re: best ways to send letters to/from the U.S.

Postby thisisreallycomplicated » Wed Sep 28, 2011 4:19 pm

gato wrote:
thisisreallycomplicated wrote:I might try Correos express mail, since it sounds like it would probably get there ok. But it was recommended to me to use FedEx for that one (and avoid the US postal service), so I'm still thinking about it.


Avoiding the US postal service could make sense, for the majority of the delays I experienced in the past occurred on the US side. Nonetheless, I had one terrible delay here in Chile, when "registered" mail traveled from a village in the 9th reg. to Santiago during three weeks, due to some unexpected hold at an intermediary sort facility on its way. Yet, should you send mail from a relatively big city, and not from a rural area as myself, I doubt that there would be delays in Chile. There are 4 parts of the route: from the place of origin to Stgo, then to Miami, then [sometimes long] hold/sorting in Miami, then from there to the destination. As soon as the letter hits Stgo. it is really quick for it to go to Miami, usually 24-48 hours or so. And the "Express" could go from the 4th region to Stgo in one day. The remaining two parts of the route, both in the US, are questionable, however.

That makes sense. It always helps me to know where the actual problems occur, so I can try to avoid them. Thanks!
“Now it’s conspiracy – they’ve made that something that should not even be entertained for a minute, that powerful people might get together and have a plan. Doesn’t happen, you’re a kook, you’re a conspiracy buff!” – George Carlin

thisisreallycomplicated
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 1573
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 6:25 pm
Location: Coquimbo

Re: best ways to send letters to/from the U.S.

Postby thisisreallycomplicated » Wed Sep 28, 2011 4:22 pm

zer0nz wrote:
thisisreallycomplicated wrote:Thanks for all the responses. I think I'm going to try a different option to pay my landlord. Maybe just PayPal, since I think it's free. I'll just tell him what the other slow, expensive options are, and he'll probably be ok with it. I mentioned trying it last month, but he said just to send it regular mail. Then it took 2 weeks, and was late, and I don't think he was happy about it. And I'm still considering my options for the other one I need to send. I might try Correos express mail, since it sounds like it would probably get there ok. But it was recommended to me to use FedEx for that one (and avoid the US postal service), so I'm still thinking about it. And I might have them return it to a US address, and have it consolidated with some other stuff to get it to Chile, to save some money.


DHL Express (Chile) Ltda.
Arturo Prat 540
Tel 56-51-220510
La Serena
Arturo Prat 540, al llegar a calle Balmaceda, entre Cienfuegos y Balmaceda.

Horas de Apertura
Lunes a Viernes 10:00 a 14:00 y 15:00 a 18:00
Sábado y Domingo Cerrado
Feriados Cerrad

I thought about DHL, but I'm not sure how good they are in the US. But I'll reconsider them. I have a lot to learn about mailing stuff in Chile:) Thanks!
“Now it’s conspiracy – they’ve made that something that should not even be entertained for a minute, that powerful people might get together and have a plan. Doesn’t happen, you’re a kook, you’re a conspiracy buff!” – George Carlin


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