I have done some homework regarding the new USPS rates and how I might be able to lower the international shipping charges for CD's. I checked out a lot of retailers, Amazon, ebay and a bunch of small music online retailers to see how everyone was handling the new USPS mega rate increase for international shipping. Well they are all hurting from this and there are a lot of different approaches. I learned a lot about all the first class mail rates. Letter, flat, machinable, non-machinable and a truly mind numbing situation where a certain post office will treat mail one way and another completely differently. I have been shipping first class package rate. I do that to prevent damage and because the weight of a typical CD forces you into that category. That rate jumped over 60 percent and is just ridiculous.
An interesting read about a lawsuit resulting from Netflix being treated differently then anyone else caused a new rule for sending DVD and CDs as first class letters not packages.
So what some retailers are doing is shipping CDs that were originally in jewel cases with out the case like Netflix. Just the disc and the art. There is some danger of more damage but they have been having good luck with it and it does save on shipping. With a little better packaging and paying a higher non-machine rate risk of damage is reduced.
What a lot of retailers are doing is just that. Your CD is sent without a case. A CD in a wallet or digipak if the packaging is light enough will just make the weight if marked non-machinable as well.
So. I'm going to try this. The post office may shoot me down as well but I want to try.
From now on, if you order a CD internationally that came in a jewel case I'm going to remove the case and send the disc with just the art and CD. I've run numbers and as always it an average price that has to work for a lot of different situations. You may pay more for actual shipping to supplement those that pay less than actual shipping. But overall it will be a big savings from the rate we did have.
For international orders of one CD it's $8.00, order two it's $14.00 and $4.00 for every CD after till you reach 17 and then it's a flat rate after that ( not that thats much of a concern for most). Check out the complete details at the shipping FAQ here:
Domestic order charges are remaining the same.
International shipping has never been more than 15 percent of what we sell. So my incentive is not really to increase sales, I don't think thats going to happen. I really just want the option to be as affordable as it can be to those that want to buy CDs.
Now, I'm aware that we just sold the Thanatopsis CD to several folks that could have saved some money had this been implemented sooner. Unfortunately, that money went to the USPS for services rendered. What I would like to do though is compensate those international buyers with a coupon to be used on any order they might make next. About 20 international sales of Requiem where made. I have set up a coupon in the shopping cart for those that purchased one.
In the shopping card there is a button to add a coupon. If you enter the invoice number for your Requiem order you will get $8.00 off any order. Your invoice numbers "ship to" address has to match the one your using for you new order. If anyone has difficulty using it, let me know.
Sorry, but thats the best I can do to try to even things out. I'm still looking into other shopping carts and ways to make ordering and shipping more flexible. I am somewhat limited in my incentive as CD sale are really coming to a close but I'll keep after it.
Always the people's champion Travis. Huzzah!
Wow, thanks Travis! Requiem has arrived here in the UK and can't wait to hear it. Will definitely be ordering a couple of CD's soon so thanks for the coupon.
Though it's quite an honour to be one of only around 20 international buyers of Requiem, it is also a real shame. I hope more people will catch onto this and help an Axiology release on vinyl.