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Shipping price (of books) to different countries

Crumbly Writer

I'd asked Ernest, quite a while ago, how much it would cost to ship a 6x10 paperback from the U.S. to Australia (figuring he occasionally ordered things from Amazon or elsewhere).

Not having gotten an answer, I finally bit the bullet. During a 'book giveaway' contest, I included Australia, which I'd never done before because I never knew what it would cost me. Here are the results (note, the figures are only for comparison purposes):

US: $3.60
CA: $7.00
AUS: $8.00

I didn't ship any to Europe this time, but generally, it's significantly lower than it is to ship it over the border to Canada, I'm guessing in the $5.00 range in this example.

I don't know if anyone cares, one way or another, but if anyone ever needs to know how much offering books in other countries is, here's a comparison.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

I'd asked Ernest, quite a while ago, how much it would cost to ship a 6x10 paperback from the U.S. to Australia (figuring he occasionally ordered things from Amazon or elsewhere).


Sorry CW,

Either I did answer that back then or it's amongst the many unanswered emails sitting on a computer hard-drive no longer in my personal possession.

First: I don't buy from Amazon any products.

Second: The books I buy over the Internet are usually e-pubs and are downloaded.

Third: The few print books I buy over the Internet are from Lulu and they print them at my closest Australian printer they have under contract and they come via Australia Post for a few bucks - depends on size and weight.

The one time I did order something to be mailed to me from the US it was about the size and weight of a normal postal article letter with a set of keyboard stickers and cost me US$7.50 postage - their system indicated a higher quantity would make it a parcel and cost over US$10.00. Don't know how much a book would cost.

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin

@Ernest Bywater

Book rates are usually less than parcel post. I think it is an intentional subsidy to promote book use.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@richardshagrin

Book rates are usually less than parcel post.


Not here in Australia, it isn't. But I don't buy print books from the US so I don't know about their system.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Crumbly Writer

Ernest, for the prices I quoted, the price I paid for the book (the 'author's price', which only includes actual printing costs) was slightly less than $4. That means books ship to Australia for substantially less than $10!

By the way, in case everyone didn't notice, doing "free book giveaways" can prove costly!

Dominions Son

@Ernest Bywater

But I don't buy print books from the US so I don't know about their system.


As far as I know, most booksellers that sell online ship books either UPS or FedEx rather than the USPS. But in any case UPS, FedEx and USPS all charge mostly by weight or weight and dimensions.

There are no special rates for dead tree books.

Replies:   ustourist
ustourist

@Dominions Son

There are no special rates for dead tree books.

Try USPS media mail
Media Mail®

2-8 Business Days
Media Mail is a cost-effective way to send educational materials. This service has restrictions on the type of media that can be sent. From $2.72 at a Post Office.
about Media Mail®
Notes
Perfect for sending books and educational materials.

Dominions Son

@ustourist

edia Mail is a cost-effective way to send educational materials. This service has restrictions on the type of media that can be sent. From $2.72 at a Post Office.
about Media Mail®


I think the USPS would frown on people trying to use an educational media rate (which isn't book specific by the way) to ship fictional novels to non-student buyers.

Replies:   ustourist
Crumbly Writer

@ustourist

Perfect for sending books and educational materials.

I always understood that the USPS "book rate" only applied to standard shipping (i.e. it'll take weeks to get there). If you want faster service, you pay full price. (But then, I'd never even heard of "Media Mail", so what the hell do I know?)

Replies:   ustourist
ustourist

@Dominions Son

Only these items may be mailed at the Media Mail prices:
a. Books, including books issued to supplement other books, of at least eight printed pages, consisting wholly of reading matter or scholarly bibliography,.....
According to their own information page http://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/173.htm#1113500
it is clearly NOT restricted to purely educational material and many booksellers use it.

ustourist

@Crumbly Writer

It is the same delivery time as standard post, but 1/2 the price.
I think the 8 days is a bit hopeful for the much larger boxes I sometimes get, but generally it is pretty good.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@ustourist

Thanks, USTourist, I'll use that in the future. But, in most cases, I ship directly from CreateSpace (who prints my print books for me). I'll have to double check to see which service they use, but they ship internationally (again, see my original post).

Ernest Bywater

@ustourist

Try USPS media mail


Good idea IF you live where you have access to it - I don't get to choose USPS for anything I send anywhere.

Replies:   ustourist
ustourist

@Ernest Bywater

That wasn't aimed at you, it was a direct response to the statement there weren't special rates from someone living in the USPS territory.
I also receive books from a UK retailer and they actually send bulk to a NY distributor who uses media mail (the UK does have a 'printed matter' rate for overseas still as far as I know, but not good for multiple books). Sending them from the UK by surface mail rather than airmail is cheaper, but takes a couple of months longer.
While you may like the thought of bulk US purchases for your books, I doubt that is regular enough for you to employ a distributor - yet!
I would be surprised if Amazon doesn't contract to print in each continent (and know that wouldn't help you either because of who it is) so that sort of service may eventually be available to you through an enterprising business, but at present it does seem that 'down under' is getting a bit of a raw deal there.

As a side point, the UK Inland Revenue sends its overseas mail through Malta Post, as that is cheaper than the UK postal service even after flying them there first. Are there any offshore islands (other than Tasmania) where cheaper rates would apply for a forwarding service? -- something for a budding Oz entrepreneur to look into for you.

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