Ship Those Packages Home!

When you’re traveling, you’re going to do some shopping. Some of the things you buy will be bulky, fragile, heavy, or otherwise inconvenient to travel with. So ship it! You’ll be glad you did.

Since we’ve been home from our big honeymoon vacation, we’ve gotten several packages from Ireland, for one reason or another. Two of our favorite places to buy special gifts are Nicholas Mosse Pottery and Jerpoint Glass, and we ordered some things that were on sale for gifts, for example.

The speed with which these packages arrived, and the highly professional packaging in which they arrived—leaving nothing to chance—just reminded us of our experience at Belleek all over again.

You remember: we were staying in the area for a few days in October 2015 and decided to drive over and spend some of our wedding money. As we generally do, we asked them to ship our beautiful things to our home. And they seemed like they knew what they were doing. Asking for items to be shipped didn’t raise any eyebrows. But … they told us it would take six to eight weeks.

That certainly raised our eyebrows. We order things from Nicholas Mosse and they’re here in a week, sometimes less than a week. But … OK, whatever. We’re on vacation. We won’t be home for two more weeks.

Well, that box took fully seven weeks to arrive (we’d been home five weeks). And here’s where it gets strange. Our items arrived in a beat-up box—a reused box, as was evident from the printing on the outside of it. Now, I’m all for recycling. Recycling is a part of our daily lives. But we’re talking about very expensive fine china flying across the ocean.

That’s not all. By the time it got here, it looked like it had been around the world. It was battered and falling apart. We could hear things rattling around inside. (Miraculously, nothing broke. But it wasn’t for lack of trying on Belleek’s part.) Some of the items weren’t in their presentation boxes (they were in other boxes clearly not intended for them; they didn’t fit). It just didn’t seem right. Were the local chimpanzees running the shipping department that day? Is this standard practice?

Let’s recap. In my experience, items ordered from Nicholas Mosse, Jerpoint Glass, and the Kilkenny Design Centre (which often runs “shipping sales”: buy as much as you want and ship it—to the same address—for €29, say) …

  • come in brand-new boxes with professional-grade packing materials
  • come astonishingly fast
  • are shipped at a reasonable cost

Whereas the items from Belleek …

  • arrived in a very used box and were not well packed at all
  • took seven long weeks
  • cost more than any shipping fee we’ve ever paid

What gives?

To be perfectly frank, as pretty as our Belleek items are (I wanted some of the traditional shamrock pattern china), I don’t think I’d shop there again, because I feel like we were taken advantage of. But aside from this experience, I encourage you to ship your souvenirs home, and I can certainly encourage you to shop online with Nicholas Mosse, Jerpoint Glass, and Kilkenny Design Centre, because we have, and have been pleased in every way.

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