A lot of people disparage the US Postal Service; I’m not one of them. They provide a remarkably dependable service in a remarkably hassle-free manner at a remarkably low price.
But once in a while, inevitably, those prices go up. The latest postal rate took effect January 24, 2012. Happily for our U.S, customers, we find we can absorb the increase and continue charging the same flat rate shipping fee we’ve been charging on orders shipped within the U.S. But with reluctance we are rasing the shipping rate on international orders. The flat rate for standard orders will now be US$12.50 for orders shipped to Canada and Mexico, and $16.50 for those shipped anywhere beyond.
We ship most overseas orders by Priority Mail International. Of all available overseas shipping options, this service is by far the best blend of dependability and price, with the emphasis on price. The new US Postal Service cost for shipping their small flat rate boxes to Canada is $12.95, and overseas is $16.95. Just to be nice, we’ve set our new shipping fees a little below that. Thus, you get a fair price for shipping on small orders. Meanwhile, on bulkier orders you get a great price, as we still charge you the same flat rate despite the larger shipping cost we pay.
A moment ago I said that priority mail gives us the best blend of dependability and price for overseas delivery. Now a word is in order about the other half of that equation, dependability. With Prioity Mail and most other services, the US Postal Services delivers packages to the local postal service in the recipient country. The dependability of the delivery then depends on the quality of service there. The results vary widely from one country to another. With most overseas destinations, we’re able to ship with a high degree of confidence. For a others, it sometimes feels like a bit of a gamble. To reduce the risk of a missed delivery, we could use one of the private delivery services such as FEDEX or UPS. These services bypass local postal services, managing the delivery from our door to yours; they provide far better tracking and are generally more timely and dependable. But they cost much more than USPS, and I know from experience that customers definitely balk at those prices. However, for those occasions when our overseas customers seriously need guaranteed prompt and dependable delivery and are willing to pay for it, we use a service offered jointly by the US Postal Service and FEDEX. In this service, overseas postal services are bypassed as FEDEX manages the overseas end of the delivery. The service is dependable, prompt, and includes good tracking (and, of course, it’s quite a bit more costly). This website is not set up to offer this option, but if you want it we can easily arrange it by phone or email.