tommo: (Default)
[personal profile] tommo
Can someone confirm for me what sort of difference there should be between the cost of posting a package within your own country compared to sending it overseas? By my understanding, all the packaging would probably be the same, which just means a few dollars extra to cover the additional postage costs. Is this right? Or are there further costs of which I'm not aware?

Yep, this is an ebay thing. If it only costs US$5 to post a small graphic novel within the US, I don't see how it costs US$21 to post it internationally.

Date: 2009-04-20 05:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
plus fees and charges the come with customs and crossing postal systems, and also it depends of what mode you're using (all domestic is airmail now in Aus, iirc, right you can get different levels of intl postage)

its not exactly a linear progression, trust me

Date: 2009-04-20 06:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It just seems so inconsistent. I recently bought a graphic novel off Ebay from the US, and the shipping ended up being about $10. This time it's more than double that. Same goes for all the CDs I've bought or enquired about - I've been quoted shipping rates from $3 to $25, and every step in between.

Date: 2009-04-20 05:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Freight channels are skinnier internationally than they are domestically. So space costs more.

Date: 2009-04-20 06:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Also it probably switches from road freight to air freight.

Even within Australia, next day parcel delivery in Australia costs about 1.5x the cost of 5-day delivery (although maybe all domestic parcel mail to Perth is now by air... I don't know).

Date: 2009-04-20 06:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I understand the extra cost, even a significant increase, but an extra US$16 just seems like too much. It's particularly frustrating given the inconsistency between one order and the next (see my reply to aki's comment above).

Date: 2009-04-20 07:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The package still weighs the same and has the same volume, and probably goes five times as far when it travels internationally, through a tighter freight market with fewer players, various regulatory boundaries and administrative systems, etc.. I don't find it surprising (however like you I don't enjoy footing the bill).

Date: 2009-04-20 05:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
And it's a US thing. No good reason. Shipping from the UK is way cheaper than from the US.

Date: 2009-04-20 05:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I send and receive packages overseas all the time - the costs vary wildly but generally you'lll be paying annoyingly steep prices for any kind of international shipping.

Last small costume items I sent off, both about the same weight, one to Melbourne and one to the UK. Melbourne one cost me $15 to send priority, UK one cost $28 to send economy air. Would have been about $35 for priority.

The 'that seems kinda reasonable' method is still my most reliable guide as to whether or not they're gouging ;)

Date: 2009-04-20 06:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Check if the graphic novel is available from, they have free shipping worldwide (although they save costs by using padded postbags rather than solid boxes - I've had a couple of thin Marvel and DC trades come through the mail with cracked spines).

Date: 2009-04-20 06:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I once received a book bent in half (they'd snapped clean through the CD inside it).

Date: 2009-04-20 06:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Cripes!! Was this from bookdepository or someone else?

Date: 2009-04-20 08:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It was a review copy from a publisher.

Date: 2009-04-20 06:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
They do have it, and it's pretty reasonably priced. However, this is an old Aeon Flux companion guide, and the dude on Ebay had the original one with the proper cartoon cover. The reprint (which is all they have on bookdepository) has freaking Charlize Theron on it. It's still good enough, but I was hoping to get a copy with the proper cover...

Date: 2009-04-20 07:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, that worked out well - bookdepository linked to abe books, which had a secondhand copy of the original print in good condition for $20 (including shipping). Which is about $10 or so cheaper than what the ebay guy would've charged. Yay :)

Date: 2009-04-20 07:12 am (UTC)

Date: 2009-04-20 06:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Probably worth checking how they are sending it to you - different methods cost different rates?

Date: 2009-04-20 06:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I have found this to be true. For US postage they just use the USPS or maybe UPS, both of which are pretty cheap. For international, I think many people are nervous about the perceived difficulty of shipping something out of the US. So instead of going through the hassle of workiong out how to ship to different countries they fall back on the flat-rate of a courier company. I find it very hard to by something worth $5, with $1.50 shipping in the US, which would have a flat-rate of $35-$40 shipping to Australia in a Fedex bag! If they walked to the post-office and put stamps on the envelope it might cost $5 to post.

Date: 2009-04-20 06:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's bloody annoying that. :(

Date: 2009-04-20 07:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
US postage just seems to very often be unbearably
Fucked. No good reason why. No useful cure except don't by from US vendors

Date: 2009-04-20 08:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I trust you've remembered that an Ebay vendor can put a markup on the postage costs. I don't think Ebay actually polices the degree of said markup at all, and it's up to the buyers to refuse items with overpriced postage.

Date: 2009-04-20 10:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm afraid for standard US Postal Service parcel post, "USPS Global Express Mail" to be specific, USD$21 is not unusual. A nice thin graphic novel might fit into a letter category, which makes it a bit better, but really you're at the mercy of the person making the shipment to choose what's convenient for them.

If the novel, including packaging adds up to a bit under 1 pound in weight, that'd make it USD$32.50:

That should include tracking though, so you can tell where it went missing after it fails to arrive after a couple of months.

Even for occasional purchases, it makes it nearly worthwhile to sign up for a US mail forwarding service, of which there are dozens.

Date: 2009-04-23 08:19 am (UTC)
ext_54529: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
I nearly bought some boots from a US mail order company. Then I discovered that though the boots would have been ~$50US (or $40US a pair if I acquired three pairs to qualify for a discount coupon), they were going to charge $113US shipping - which would take me back up to Perth bricks and mortar retail pricing. Shipping within the US was under $20.
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