You may have noticed... Some shipment companies are not as good as others.
When sending packages from outside Europe, it has to pass the official government customs office. However by law, these people may not charge "fees" for themself. So the big couriers have found out this gap, and charge the receiver for their "service". Which is nothing else than passing it for free, through German customs office. I am not talking about customs charges, we need to pay this anyway. I am talking about the customs office doing this at no "fees" and the couriers charging random "fees" for this. The problem seems, some couriers want signed contracts before they do anything. And these contracts only mean, we give away our rights, we are burdened with their obligations. All of this is fully unneeded, because some of the good and reasonable companies are still there..
For this reason, we recommend in the first place FEDERAL EXPRESS. We have our own import agent with them, they do not fool us, they do not over charge us, and in case there is a problem (it happens) we can call them, they answer the phone, clearify it and call back.
For lower cost parcels, we recommend plain post office, and make sure you ship it insured.
For the same reason, we do NOT recommend UPS and the EXPRESS SERVICE of DHL.