Friday, May 18, 2007

International Postage

I went to the post office today-- I had to return something that I'd bought online, and I also had to send some thank you gifts to my friends Wanda and Bud, for their hospitality in New Zealand. Of course this is a busy week at the post office, with the stamp rate having gone up on Monday. Fortunately, I'd already bought my 2 cent stamps to use with my old 39 cent ones, and buying those was actually a very pleasant experience! I went to a post office in lower Manhattan that is open on Saturday, and I was literally the only customer in there: no line.
But today, there was quite a line at a different post office. I was surprised to discover that in addition to the rate hike, there have been some changes in how the USPS ships international packages, which seemed to be confusing some customers. First of all, the old cheapo slow-boat method is no longer available. International surface mail has gone bye-bye-- and good riddance to it, as it could take months for things to arrive. Instead, I was offered 3 airmail options for my package to New Zealand-- If I'd wanted the package to arrive in 1-3 days, it would have cost over $100. A 3-5 day delivery was less, about $75, I think. Of course I took the cheapest one, which offers delivery in 6-10 days. But cheap is a relative term-- since my package was kind of heavy, it cost $58! But I could have paid a lot less if I'd been able to pack my items in one of their flat-rate envelopes or boxes-- I'll have to remember that for next time.

5 comments:

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Rich Minx said...

I just posted some stuff from the US to New Zealand too and was surprised by how much it cost. Next time I'm shopping and shipping online!

Fianna said...

Fed-Ex is going to be giving the USPS a run as well....check their rates as well!

change is a good thing said...

I love the flat rate shipping, I started doing that at work and my boss was amazed at the amount of money we were saving! Yah!

3 Things About Money said...

I always really work hard to stuff things in the flat rate box. It is a total money saver! Fed-EX sometimes has better rates than USPS.