Help to buy+ship Pukani to Hong Kong

Reefiez

New member
Hi everyone,

I'm starting my first reef tank next month, and I'm currently gathering the equipment for the 110g tank.

I live in Hong Kong, and sadly, Pukani (or any dry rock) is not sold here. All the rocks are wet and soaking in their tanks, filled with who knows what.

I'm trying to get around 80lbs of Pukani, and have been shopping around from online retailers. The 2 shipping quotes I've gotten so far for 80lbs of Pukani is $720 and $1,200, in addition to the approx $300 for the rocks itself.

I am in no hurry to get my tank up fast, I just want to get it done right.

Does anyone know any LFS or retailers that would go through the trouble to help me ship by sea? Waiting a few weeks or even months is not a big problem.

I understand shipping 80+lbs of stuff is going to be pretty costly, I would be ecstatic if shipping can get down to around $300.

Much appreciated if anyone can help, or recommend someone / place I can contact. Thanks!!!
 

Pittsburgh

New member
There are companies specializing in buying and shipping US retail good oversees. They exist primarily because of retailers like BRS who don't otherwise ship oversees directly. Such companies basically have an address in the US which accepts domestic deliveries, then turns around and ships them oversees and handles all customs forms, etc. They charge a fee of course on top of regular shipping costs. myus.com is probably worth looking into...
 
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ReefPharmer

New member
Another option is to buy local rock / bleach it / acid soak it. I'm willing to bet it may be cheaper than shipping from US. There are numerous threads on this and it's pretty easy to do. This way you can get the rock you want and can see what you are buying.
 

Reefiez

New member
Thanks for the suggestion, I'll give it a look!

My only concern is that a lot of sellers prefer that billing address and shipping address are same, to reduce the risk of fraud.

Meanwhile, I'd personally prefer dealing directly with the seller... So, if anyone can help, I shall be eternally in your debt! (I'll buy you a drink of your choice if you're ever in HK!)
 

Pittsburgh

New member
Many US online sellers (BRS including I suspect) don't have the ability to verify international billing addresses on credit cards. So they just let them through so as to not lose the sale. And even in case they do, you can always chat with them, explain the situation and they will likely override the restriction.
 

Reefiez

New member
Another option is to buy local rock / bleach it / acid soak it. I'm willing to bet it may be cheaper than shipping from US. There are numerous threads on this and it's pretty easy to do. This way you can get the rock you want and can see what you are buying.

One reason I don't prefer local rock, is that they are aesthetically pretty ugly. They basically look like, well, a rock that came from land. They don't have the crevices and nooks that I envision for a marine rock. Visual appeal is pretty important to me. When I put the rocks in my tank, I want to be able to sigh and think to myself "man, this is just what I wanted", rather than settling for rocks that makes me go "meh".

One more reason that I'm quite sold on Pukani is it's internal porosity, which, in my mind would allow water to penetrate it easier, and allow for anoxic / anaerobic bacteria to live and complete the nitrogen cycle.

$700+ for shipping $300 of stuff just seems a little excessive to me, but I guess prices are what they are. As I've mentioned, I am not in a hurry, if I could spend a few more days to get a better shipping solution, the money saved would be going towards other gear.

My set-up has currently cost me $5,420 (tank, lights, cabinet, sump, auto topup, skimmer, powerheads, return pump, sand, salt, refractometer and RO/DI unit). I will still need to be getting heaters. My wish list is currently a remote fuge, a carbon reactor, a GFO reactor, a calcium reactor. Sadly, my pockets are not infinitely deep (if it was... HELLO 1000g tank!), and keeping costs under control is important.

But in the end, if $700 is the only option, I'd just have to convince myself that I paid a fat premium for something I truly desire.
 

Reefiez

New member
Many US online sellers (BRS including I suspect) don't have the ability to verify international billing addresses on credit cards. So they just let them through so as to not lose the sale. And even in case they do, you can always chat with them, explain the situation and they will likely override the restriction.

I've checked BRS and they don't do international shipping, and I THINK they don't even do Canada shipping for dry rock.

I'm not sure if I can mention online retailers by name on this forum, but from reading MD's international shipping conditions, they require a copy of your credit card, front and back, and a photo ID showing your shipping and billing address. If shipping and billing are different, they require you go to to your bank and do something (forgot the wording). I'm guessing that they are pretty wary on fraudulent international transactions.

But the consolidated shipping seems like a really good idea to cut costs, and I will definitely be looking into that as an option.
 

Pittsburgh

New member
I've checked BRS and they don't do international shipping, and I THINK they don't even do Canada shipping for dry rock.

I'm not sure if I can mention online retailers by name on this forum, but from reading MD's international shipping conditions, they require a copy of your credit card, front and back, and a photo ID showing your shipping and billing address. If shipping and billing are different, they require you go to to your bank and do something (forgot the wording). I'm guessing that they are pretty wary on fraudulent international transactions.

But the consolidated shipping seems like a really good idea to cut costs, and I will definitely be looking into that as an option.

Do not confuse international shipping and international billing. Two very different things. MD goes into trouble of verifying international shipping because they ship internationally. BRS doesn't ship internationally, but they are quite happy to accept international billing for domestic shipments.
 

Reefiez

New member
OMG, I have found a shipper by sea, it is called Seven Seas. I've used them to send boxes of stuff from Southern California back to Hong Kong after graduating from college. I just made a test quote from Illinois to Hong Kong for 2 large boxes (24 inches x 20 x 16) weighing no more than 30kg each, with the cost coming to $244. It will take 65-79 days to arrive, but hey, the anticipation makes receiving it all the more exciting!

They will send you the box, you pack it, and they will come collect it and ship it to my doorstep.

Not sure if any large retailers will be willing to go through this complicated process for me... If any LFS are willing (even if you have to charge more for the rocks), let me know!
 

liverock

RC Sponsor
Danger Will Robinson!

Danger Will Robinson!

Be very careful. Pukani is a CITES covered coral. Requires a CITES permit to be shipped outside the USA...if it is being shipped from the USA. Even if you get it directly from Walt Smith in Fiji, it still requires a CITES permit and inspection by the US Fish and Wildlife service or appropriate similar agency in your country.

Just because somebody says they can ship you pukani from the US, they are either not aware of the laws or are trying to circumvent the laws. It is YOUR responsibility to make sure all the laws are followed, as there are severe repercussions in not doing so. There are a few folks in Federal prison for not following the laws right now.

The shipper if in the US they must also obtain and submit a Port Exemption document and other licenses required by US Fish and Wildlife and a CITES permit to ship out of the US..

That is why you see disclaimers from folks that supply pukani in the US, that it cannot be shipped internationally.

Your best bet is to contact Walt directly in Fiji plead your case and see if he would make an exception on not selling to individuals, as he can obtain all the permits needed to ship to you, lawfully.

Richard TBS
www.tbsaltwater.com
 

Reefiez

New member
Oh wow, thanks for the warning.

To me, Pukani just seems to be a dead, dry, decorative rock, can't believe that they group that stuff under dead corals and subject it to permits.

In my opinion, based on what little I've read, Pukani has been sourced sustainably under regular monitoring by CITES. If it has been monitored at the source, further monitoring down the supply chain is just a waste of effort and time. But I guess I understand that the "net" has to be cast far and wide to target unscrupulous businesses that profit off unsustainable practices.

Man, this is so frustrating, I just want some Pukani for my tank!!!!! A cliche quote comes to mind that represents what I feel now. I don't think I should type it out, but it involves part of the male anatomy, what the intake of a pump does, to get my Pukani.
 

Elricsfate

New member
Try Reef Saver. It looks good (better than Pukani IMHO) and it's mined out of the ground. So there shouldn't be any international treaties to worry about.
 

Reefiez

New member
I got some good news to report! I will be getting Pukani!!! (in a few weeks)

I got to thank Liverock, and also Walt from Walt Smith for helping to make this happen.

But first, here was the actual shipping quote I got from a US retailer in USD
110 lbs 1345.10
100 lbs 1313.80
90 lbs 1313.80
80 lbs 900.80
70 lbs 714.94

I was considering the 70lb order, as it was the best value per weight, but I felt I wanted MORE rocks. Luckily, the price was still pretty high (and I don't know if they got CITES permit) and gave me a chance to pause and consider my last option, contacting Walt directly.

So today, after seeing the insane shipping costs, I decided to send Walt an e-mail explaining my situation. Although I was discouraged by their website saying "sell to distributors and wholesalers only", I felt that I didn't have anything to lose to try contacting him.

Incredibly, within 20 minutes, Walt replied and gave me a Hong Kong contact that receives regular shipments from them. I managed to make contact, and have added my order to his air freight shipment due to arrive in HK on Jan 7 2017.

The orders only come in 30kg boxes, so I placed an order for 2 boxes for a total of 60kg, or 132lbs. The price I paid was around $770, delivery to doorstep included. The cost comes to around $5.8 per lb, though not as cheap as the US, but still much cheaper than the more than $15 per lb if shipping from the US I almost paid.

I am glad I took my time and not rush into anything, and ended up really really satisfied by how it all turned out.

Oh, even after I got the contact, and googled their store name + pukani, there were 0 results. I visited their shop today, and it was located upstairs in a dodgy building that I haven't gotten the courage to visit before. In fact, there was no Pukani in his shop (he stocks fiji live rock though, as it's the most popular in Hong Kong), and even if I were to have wandered in, I wouldn't know he worked with Walt directly without asking him specifically.

Once again, thank you Walt and Liverock! I will be starting my reefer tank journal in a month or so, stay tuned! =)
 

madreefer2013

New member
I got some good news to report! I will be getting Pukani!!! (in a few weeks)

I got to thank Liverock, and also Walt from Walt Smith for helping to make this happen.

But first, here was the actual shipping quote I got from a US retailer in USD
110 lbs 1345.10
100 lbs 1313.80
90 lbs 1313.80
80 lbs 900.80
70 lbs 714.94

I was considering the 70lb order, as it was the best value per weight, but I felt I wanted MORE rocks. Luckily, the price was still pretty high (and I don't know if they got CITES permit) and gave me a chance to pause and consider my last option, contacting Walt directly.

So today, after seeing the insane shipping costs, I decided to send Walt an e-mail explaining my situation. Although I was discouraged by their website saying "sell to distributors and wholesalers only", I felt that I didn't have anything to lose to try contacting him.

Incredibly, within 20 minutes, Walt replied and gave me a Hong Kong contact that receives regular shipments from them. I managed to make contact, and have added my order to his air freight shipment due to arrive in HK on Jan 7 2017.

The orders only come in 30kg boxes, so I placed an order for 2 boxes for a total of 60kg, or 132lbs. The price I paid was around $770, delivery to doorstep included. The cost comes to around $5.8 per lb, though not as cheap as the US, but still much cheaper than the more than $15 per lb if shipping from the US I almost paid.

I am glad I took my time and not rush into anything, and ended up really really satisfied by how it all turned out.

Oh, even after I got the contact, and googled their store name + pukani, there were 0 results. I visited their shop today, and it was located upstairs in a dodgy building that I haven't gotten the courage to visit before. In fact, there was no Pukani in his shop (he stocks fiji live rock though, as it's the most popular in Hong Kong), and even if I were to have wandered in, I wouldn't know he worked with Walt directly without asking him specifically.

Once again, thank you Walt and Liverock! I will be starting my reefer tank journal in a month or so, stay tuned! =)

Wow, I think might tag along also, although I have Caribsea South Sea dead rock at the moment.
 
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