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Thread: All I want is a table saw. Here's what that is like when you live outside the 48

  1. #1
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    All I want is a table saw. Here's what that is like when you live outside the 48

    I just want a tablesaw. That's a simple thing, right? So I went to my local Home Depot, and they didn't have one. I went back every week for months and months before I said, "Okay, they aren't getting any tablesaws." I tried to order it to ship to the store. Nope, can't do that where I live. I tried to order it to ship to my house. Nope, can't do that either. I physically went to HD and asked to special order it. Sorry, we don't do that here. We only do that in every single other location, but not here.

    So, I went online to Lowe's. Nope.
    So, I went online to Wal-Mart Nope.
    ....Amazon- Nope
    ....CPO Outlets- Nope
    KMart, Sears, Northern Tool, eBay, Menard's... Nope, Nope, Nope, Nope, Nope. Literally probably 10 other websites- Nope x 10

    Mind you, now, for each of these I have to go to their site, add it to my cart, go to Paypal, log in, get back to the merchant site, click "Buy the darned thing" (okay, so maybe it doesn't say that, but it should) only to get the big red box "I'm sorry we ship everywhere except where you live. Please disregard our banner that says we ship internationally because you, my friend, are neither US or international. You live in limbo." (again, maybe I'm ad-libbing a bit, but you get the point.) Seriously, folks, I found one place that ships to countries that I had to look up on the map to see if they were even real countries, but nope- not to me.

    You see, folks, I live in the US Virgin Islands. We are kind of a US territory, and kind of not. Sometimes we show up under "United States" and sometimes "Virgin Islands, US" and sometimes "US Virgin Islands." Sometimes we show as a state, sometimes a country, and sometimes there is no option at all- we just plain do not exist.

    FINALLY, I went to (vendor name witheld for their protection), and OMG!!!! They have US Virgin Islands!!!! But wait- this sometimes happens and at the end they say, "Sorry, but we don't ship to your area- should you want it shipped to the moon, however, we can do that." Not this time- this time it let me check out!!!! I even got an email confirmation!!!! HOORAY!!!! ... and then it happened. (checks email) "Hi, this is _____, and we are sorry, but we don't ship to you, so we have issued you a refund. Should you ever move somewhere like the US, Canada, the Moon, etc., we would be happy to ship to you." UGH!!!

    So I went to another vendor, name also witheld for their protection, and agian- checked out, ordered, got confirmation. YES!!!! They ship here!!!! Then the wait began. It showed as order processing for 6 days. Finally I contacted them. "Oh, I see the problem, you don't live in the US, Canada, Mexico, Uzbekistan, Takministan, or the 200 other countries we do ship to.... Nope, you live in a vacuum, neither state nor country, so we can't ship to you." So they were supposed to refund me.

    Here's where it gets fun. I never got my $490 refund. I contacted them- "Sir, we refunded you last week." It turns out that they operate under multiple names. The first vendor that refunded me is the same company under another name. Now they show a refund, but I can't convince them that I ordered twice- once from each of their two companies, and they still owe me $490.

    I would like to thank CPO outlets for at least working with me and TRYING to ship here, but in the end, they won't take a non-US credit card. At least they had an awesome customer service and tried. (This is not the one above that still owes me money- just an honorable mention.) By the way, a non-US PayPal is the same thing as a non-US credit card apparently.

    I'm done. Thank you for letting me vent. If you need me, I'm going to be over here in the corner sobbing. I fly to the states in another week and I'm going to buy one and ship it to myself. I hope it finds me. If any of you amateur astronomers are looking at the moon through your telescope, and happen to see a Skilsaw worm drive tablesaw up there, it's probably mine.

  2. #2
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    I'm glad to see you doing better Malcolm. That sense of humor of yours is coming back on line.

    Maybe buy a saw from a creeker. Probably my favorite way to buy tools. Get a good enough saw maybe it would be worth the trip (and the shipping) to ship it to yourself.

    PHM

  3. #3
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    I'm in Canada. You remember us. We are not in the US, either and I get this all the time from US vendors.

    An option, as Paul said, would be to have someone in Canada or the US buy it and ship it to you. I'll volunteer to at the very least see what can be done from here. It may well be easier and cheaper for someone in the US 48 to do this, since shipping from Canada to pretty much anywhere is generally much more expensive than shipping from the US, but I'm willing to check it out if you like.
    Grant
    Ottawa ON

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grant Wilkinson View Post
    I'm in Canada. You remember us. We are not in the US, either and I get this all the time from US vendors.

    An option, as Paul said, would be to have someone in Canada or the US buy it and ship it to you. I'll volunteer to at the very least see what can be done from here. It may well be easier and cheaper for someone in the US 48 to do this, since shipping from Canada to pretty much anywhere is generally much more expensive than shipping from the US, but I'm willing to check it out if you like.
    Thanks. This is why I love Canadians. It’s all good- I am going to buy it myself in the states while vacationing. It’s just that I needed it this week. I am borrowing one until then.

  5. #5
    Just curious if you went to BVI and were able to find one there would it be a pain in the derrière to get it back home?

  6. #6
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    It truly bothers me when US Territories are not considered "part of the US" by any business...or even government officials who have no clue. Even that much larger US Territory to your north west gets treated that way a lot and it's shameful. I hope you are able to find a suitable saw when you are traveling on the mainland and get it back home without too much effort and expense.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  7. #7
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    You do not NEED a table saw in the Virgin Islands. The weather is beautiful. Life is good. Ever notice? A lot of guys do not do woodworking when the weather is nice? If you want to be a wood worker you need to move where it is cold and wet a good part of the year. That way you have a reason to stay inside and make love to a table saw.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Christensen View Post
    Just curious if you went to BVI and were able to find one there would it be a pain in the derrière to get it back home?
    They come here to buy stuff. No, it would not be hard to get back, but it would be non-existent over there.

  9. #9
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    As someone who has to deal with weeks at a time of the weather never getting above zero I'm thinking that when I retire I can learn to make love to my table saw outdoors in the warmer weather. All kidding aside you didn't say what size table saw you are looking for, I'm assuming a contractor type saw. I'm surprised that you couldn't find someone who wouldn't ship USPS. You must have a zip code, right? Why are they saying your credit card is "non-US". Do you use a bank in the British VI?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Zeller View Post
    As someone who has to deal with weeks at a time of the weather never getting above zero I'm thinking that when I retire I can learn to make love to my table saw outdoors in the warmer weather. All kidding aside you didn't say what size table saw you are looking for, I'm assuming a contractor type saw. I'm surprised that you couldn't find someone who wouldn't ship USPS. You must have a zip code, right? Why are they saying your credit card is "non-US". Do you use a bank in the British VI?
    No, it's a bank in the US, but my BILLING address is USVI. The larger version of this saw is beyond the USPS limit, but I was ordering the smaller one, which is within limits. Folks just don't understand where we are, and that we have the same USPS as the states. I do have a zip code, and our Post Office says United Postal Service.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    It truly bothers me when US Territories are not considered "part of the US" by any business...or even government officials who have no clue. Even that much larger US Territory to your north west gets treated that way a lot and it's shameful. I hope you are able to find a suitable saw when you are traveling on the mainland and get it back home without too much effort and expense.
    We can be friends!!!! Actually, in regards to the shipping complications, that does have a reason. When the US bought the USVI in 1917, the USVI wanted to keep the ability to charge import tariffs, and therefore they wanted to remain under Danish Customs Rules. In what is now known as the Revised Organic Act of 1954, the USVI officially remains separate from the US for Customs purposes. That is why most carriers have to consider us international and clear customs. The USPS, however, hides under the umbrella of The Privacy of Information Act, which ONLY applies to the USPS, and says that they do not have to disclose anything about what is in the mail. The act was made to protect the USPS from allowing the government to rifle through your mail looking for dirt on you. It also has a side effect of allowing them not to have to clear customs in the USVI. So when my packages come USPS, it's just like yours- I pick it up and go. With any other carrier I have to go to excise tax, pay tax, go to customs, clear the import, then go back with the stamped paperwork and get my shipment.

    We also can't vote for the president. John Oliver did an excellent piece about that. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CesHr99ezWE

  12. #12
    Malcolm,

    My guess is not that you are running into "We can't find a shipper" problem... But rather that you are running into issues with Product Liability and Warranty.... Or some issue with the island's politics requiring some sort of local 3rd party distributor or some such....

    So for example - if you ship the unit to the USVI yourself - they are not necessarily liable for sorting out all of that political/legal mess or jumping through whatever hurdles are required... You are a citizen/resident and you are then responsible for sorting out whatever is required to make it happen....

    I mean seriously... If you can ship a table saw to Uzbekistan, Iran, or North Korea - but not USVI.. It's not because no shipper goes there.... It's some other legal/regulatory issue...

  13. #13
    "When the US bought the USVI in 1917, the USVI wanted to keep the ability to charge import tariffs, and therefore they wanted to remain under Danish Customs Rules."

    That was a history lesson.

    Ok 1917. What needs to be done to bring USVI up to date with the rest of the country? Or VI residents do not want to get "updated" at all because of some tax or other benefits?

    Simon

  14. #14
    Could you fly to San Juan, buy there, check it as luggage?

  15. #15
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    I think, by law, the USPS has to deliver to every postal location that is part of the US. I've mailed a letter from the top of Mt Washington in NH because they have a person paid to sit up there. UPS and FedEx can make the business decision that it's not worth their time or the expense to serve the few people who live there. The USPS may not like the expense but they can't complain. The USPS is an odd duck. They were created as a way for congress to make money. But over the years congressmen have used it to score political points back home. I have 3 offices within 5 minutes and another 5 more that are within 10 minutes of my house. I get my mail from one that's not actually in my town because they have too few people and had some added. When I go there the woman behind the counter is usually just waiting for someone to come in (think Maytag repair man). The mailman doesn't leave the PO until about 11:30 because it takes about 2 hours to deliver all the mail. By waiting he can see if something shows up.

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