Buying Rolls from the USA
Some time ago there was a post from someone who was not pleased that
he could not purchase rolls on an online auction site and have them
shipped to the UK. It did not matter that in the auction description
it clearly stated that no sales were made outside the United States.
The sale was cancelled and the money refunded. That seller was me!
In the course of about 20 years of producing punched paper that plays
music, I have shipped to almost every European country and especially
to Australia and New Zealand where they seem to have an inordinate
number of Aeolian Orchestrelles! I used to punch 58-note music for
them. I even sent tons of rolls to the UK to be sold by a purveyor
So, what changed? The United States Postal Service changed, that's
what! Now my little neighborhood post office could best be called
a sub-sub station. About two years ago, things changed there
drastically. The staff was cut to a single person, the hours were
slashed to a measly three: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. A lot of services just
disappeared including the "M" bag option so often used in the past to
ship music rolls.
Perhaps the most perplexing thing was the change in the USPS customs
forms. In the old days you filled one out, the clerk stamped all six
or seven copies, and that was it. You paid the postage and left.
Now, the clerk must manually enter _all_ the information on the form.
If you get a clerk whose keyboarding skills could use help then the
line behind you grows longer and longer. After I had spent time in
one of those lines I decided that I would no longer ship outside the
The on-line auction firm, in their mad rush to become another Amazon,
decided to list all auctions on their websites around the world, and
they did not give sellers a chance to say no. When the auction for
the two Ampico rolls was over, I was very surprised to see that the
shipping address was to a _number_ in Kentucky. No name, just a number.
Because I was totally ignorant of what was going on, I cancelled the
auction and refunded the money for the rolls. For this, the buyer left
me not one but two negative feedbacks, my first in over 18 years of
selling at auction.
You cannot win them all, but it does not hurt to try.
Ed Gaida - San Antonio, Texas
Preserving music by punching holes in paper with a 98% feedback rating!