Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I get occasional inquiries, especially when I am having sales, about the cost of Shipping to our Pacific Rim friends. Sometimes when I am down at the post office I ask for the price to ship a book (in a bag or box) to Australia or New Zealand. Today it was Seirawan's
Chess Duels. At 1 pound and 14 oz, the tab was $17.64 (this didn't count the cost of the Jiffy Bag nor the time it takes to fill out customs forms let alone the gas and time to take it to the Post Office.) The book had a discounted price of $22.50!

I'm hoping customers understand I have nothing to do with this. Now everything goes by Airmail and the rates are 3 times (3X) what they used to be. In one fell swoop, most of my foreign business sales have mostly been eliminated... how's that for Exports? You have to think that people who make policy are NEVER on the business end of anything (while the US subsidizes big American corporations abroad!) Postal employees make a very good living in the USA despite "authoritarian" conditions and "big brother" surveillance.

But soon our postal "SERVICE" will ask for another 2 cent increase, per oz., and still not have enough "counter employees" to whisk us through and make our "stay" quick and fleeting. At the Davenport PO the postmaster was overheard to say, "I have to stand in lines at the grocery stores and elsewhere, why should here be any different?" Well one reason you twit is the word SERVICE in your name. This stands for good service, not POOR service. Often I am there for 10 or more minutes waiting to be waited on by two clerks instead of the used-to-be three clerks. (The PO attitude is that as long as everyone finally gets waited on, what's the problem?)

So if you hail from an international country, yes, I can look up the price of goods and possible weights online, and I have, but the FINAL inspection is the Postal Service where I still have to take the package to be shipped (no shortcuts there) and make sure the right customs labels are attached (there are two kinds). Sometimes the clerks disagree on the cost of a sending depending on who you use. Sometimes you say you want "cheapest" way and they interpret that as something else... so it is a good idea to KNOW what you think it will be. If it is over 4 pounds, then the receiver can get really hammered.

Just to let you know I am more concerned about YOUR service than my postal authorities are concerned about what you get and WHEN!


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