/ Posting an ice axe. Locally and internationally.

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Dell 27 Mar 2019

Went to the post office today to send an ice axe to the Scottish Highlands.  The woman wasn't happy about it and said there's a risk it could be binned for being a weapon if it gets picked up on an x-ray. 

Do they x-ray parcels sent within the UK? Was she talking out of her whatsit!?I

I have another ice axe to send to New Zealand. She said that's definitely a no no as it's a prohibited item.  

So what's the best way to get an ice axe posted to New Zealand?!? 

Gwilymstarks 27 Mar 2019
In reply to Dell:

Well I have bought axes by Mail Order with no issues. I think they came as DPD rather than Parcel Force so maybe try a courier rather than Royal Mail

Doug 27 Mar 2019
In reply to Dell:

plenty of on line shops both in the UK & elsewhere sell ice axes so must be possible to ship them

Fruitbat 27 Mar 2019
In reply to Dell:

Sent an axe to NZ the other year. Packed between heavy-duty cardboard, made a kind of box out of it, you couldn't tell what was in it. Sent by Parcelforce, just said it was "climbing equipment" or something similarly vague.

The buyer said the NZ government has some arrangement whereby NZ nationals can get things sent from the UK fairly easily - he had a personal reference number and I just put this on the address, together with his name and just the address of a cargo agent,  I can't remember which airport it went to, maybe Luton, so you just need postage to there. I could track it to the airport then it got to the guy in NZ quite quickly, less than a week I think. 

Stuart the postie 27 Mar 2019
In reply to Dell:

I have posted axes before, no problem. I want to know where these X Ray machines are, I'm now worried about exposure to radiation, over past 29 years!!


teh_mark 27 Mar 2019
In reply to Dell:

In fairness to the OP, I sold my old axes just after Christmas and looked at a few couriers for posting them. An overwhelming number prohibit 'sharp items' (however it's worded) in their terms and conditions. In the end it wasn't a problem as I dropped them off in person, but I was sceptical about posting them for that reason.

frazzy4 27 Mar 2019
In reply to Dell:

I sent a pair to the States a few months ago with Royal Mail. Guy at post office initially questioned them, but took my word that these get sent regularly through the mail. He even marked them as Ice Axes 

Graham 28 Mar 2019
In reply to Dell:

I've had my parents send me ice axes to NZ many many times (I buy a lot of ice tools). Zero issues.  

nufkin 28 Mar 2019
In reply to Dell:

The Post Office seem to be more inquisitive about parcels' contents in recent years, presumably to get insurance levels right with the service they suggest, but it always makes me a bit defensive. I usually try to be as vague as possible in case they object (or judge!) - 'tools' would probably be my choice in this situation

pec 28 Mar 2019
In reply to Dell:

I was questioned about this at a post office when I sent some ice axes via royal mail but managed to pursuade them as as they were wrapped up in a box and nobody could see what was in it they weren't a risk to anyone but I can imagine a more jobsworth cashier might be unpersuadable.

If I had to send them again I'd remove the picks and tape them to the shaft so they could be packed smaller and just lie about what was in it, just tell them it's some tent poles or a folding stool or whatever.

SteveD 28 Mar 2019
In reply to pec:

Sounds like rubbish to me, I make knives and post them all over the world.  I also recently received a pair of quarks through the post with no issues.

Steve D

didntcomelast 28 Mar 2019
In reply to Dell:

Sold a couple of ice axes last year and the staff at my local post office were so helpful they told me to pack them separately and send them as together they went over the cheaper parcel rate. Strangely two separate lighter parcels cost less to send than one heavier parcel?.

also post office sorting offices do have X-ray machines in situ. They are used regularly for parcels. I used to be a police officer and have been called a few times to deal with decommissioned ordnance sent through the post to collectors of military memorabilia. Hand grenades were common !! 

All we did was contact the recipient and do a number of checks to establish their integrity before they received, or not, their purchases. 

Larefia 28 Mar 2019
In reply to Dell:

According to the Royal Mail website

Sharp objects (including scissors and kitchen knives or utensils and gardening tools)

Are allowed in the mail both for International & UK destinations

With restrictions and packaging guidelines below:

Wrap heavy cardboard around sharp edges and points, strong enough to ensure that the contents do not pierce the outer packaging.
Wrap each item with cushioning material.
Place in a suitable outer container such as a padded envelope.
The sender's name and return address must be clearly visible on the outer packaging.

I have recieved and shipped a number of Ice Axes over the last two years with no issue

My advice would be to go to another postoffice or use AN Other courier

jay lafferty 28 Mar 2019
In reply to Dell:

I sold an ice via UKC last year and took it to the post office. I was asked at the counter what it was and  was told i couldnt post it because it was a dangerous weapon, after half an hour of me trying to explain that it was actually sports equiptment i decided to walk out axe in hand. Next day i went back in and there was a different person serving who posted it no problem. 

Dell 28 Mar 2019
In reply to Dell:

Thanks for replies, sounds like I had a right jobsworth serving me. I even suggested removing the head and posting it separately, she said "no, even a broken down axe would still be classed as a weapon" 

 She made it sound as though all the mail goes in the cabin with the passengers. 

People like this annoy me, don't know what they're talking about so they make stuff up. 

jaggy bunnet 28 Mar 2019
In reply to SteveD:

Do you have a link ?

matthew 29 Mar 2019
In reply to Dell:

There is an issue for longer axes

Royal Mail International Size limits state amongst other things that parcels must have no single side longer than 60cm.

If it is only a bit over you can put it diagonally in an oversized box & stay within the limits but you might have to make the box yourself.

Bellie 29 Mar 2019
In reply to Dell:

In a previous job I used to send out geological picks out everyday - nice sharp Estwing ones, no problem through Royal Mail.  Packed correctly in a box with point bits wrapped in card.

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