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Effective Monday May 14th.

I was just down at the post office mailing a game to Australia. They let me know that starting next week surface mail will no longer be an option for international delivery. In effect they are getting rid of their boats. In their words, "Our International products have been streamlined...

I would assume that this also applies to Canada and Mexico, but am not certain. This information is available in Publication 620 (PSN 7610-10-000-0493) and does not talk about any exceptions.

This definitely impacts me as I have often used surface mail as a less expensive option when there has not been a hurry to deliver the games. Even though it would take 8 weeks it was always considerably cheaper.

So if you are US based and have a game that you have sold or traded and have been meaning to get out the door where the person on the other end is in no hurry, get it in the mail today or this weekend.





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Richard Pakpreo
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What ways can a game be shipped internationally again?
 
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Rappak wrote:
What ways can a game be shipped internationally again?


Starting next week the following 4 methods via the US Postal service are:

1) Global Express Guaranteed (1-3 days)
2) Express Mail International - formerly Global Express Mail (3-5 days)
3) Priority Mail Internationl - formerly Global Priority + Aimail Parcel Post + Economy Parcel Post (6-10 days)
4) First Class Mail Internationl - formerly Airmail Letter-Post + Economy Letter Post (time varies by destination)

So it looks like they collapsed 7 delivery systems down to 4.

I'm not as familiar with shipping a game via Fed-Ex or UPS, so I can't speak to them. However I have received International UPS packages and that has worked well.
 
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Mark Crane
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Re: USPS Mail Changes - International Surface Mail Going Awa
Other rate changes based on package sizes:

The Postal Service says the new shape-based structure, similar in concept to what’s used by UPS and Federal Express, better reflects its costs. The rates benefit consumers and businesses who mail pieces that are most compatible with its automation systems and that can be shipped most efficiently.

That means small and thin are in. Letter-size pieces will be cheapest, followed by flats (large envelopes) and finally parcels. Large, bulky items will face higher rates because they’re harder to process and ship.

That’s just the start of hundreds of changes. A mail piece’s flexibility also will determine its rate. One benefit: The cost of each additional ounce will be less than it used to be, but undeliverable mail will face higher fees.

International-bound mail will be consolidated from eight products to four. Ocean-going cargo ships no longer will be used for individual consumers.

“It’s going to be hairy,” said Steve Crutcher at Mailwright Corp. in Kansas City. Like other local mail houses, Mailwright suspects its time spent validating addresses will soar from minutes to hours for each client’s mailing project. Clients will pay more if they don’t clean up their mailing lists.
 
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Susie Rogers
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Re: USPS Mail Changes - International Surface Mail Going Awa
Oh wow, this is horrible for my husband and I. We are moving home from Japan and were planning on shipping out a 50 lb box via surface mail. Do you think we will still be able to ship things from foreign countries via surface mail? Because that's going to double our shipping expenses (which are already pretty high). >.<
 
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Re: USPS Mail Changes - International Surface Mail Going Awa
I don't think it will affect mail going from Japan to the US, unless customs rates have changed.
 
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Susie Rogers
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Re: USPS Mail Changes - International Surface Mail Going Awa
sbszine wrote:
I don't think it will affect mail going from Japan to the US, unless customs rates have changed.


Ok, thanks. I am utterly clueless when it comes to these things. I guess this is good impetus for me to go ahead and ship our stuff now before anything else changes.

Stupid Post Office.
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I agree with sbszine. I only think this affects outbound mail from the US to other countries. This should not affect the mail services that the Japanese Postal system offers.
 
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Damn! I get my comics from midtowncomics via usps
 
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Shawn Low
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This is bad new because I get most of my games from the US shipped via surface. Sure it takes 8-10 times longer than Airmail but it's often a third of the cost!

I'm quite disappointed. I hear they are making changes to several products too?

Australia used to have Economy Airmail (takes 1-2 weeks longer than Airmail) but it was half to two thirds the cost of air. Now they took that away too. : (

Think I'll stick with Germany for my game orders!
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Quote:
This is bad new because I get most of my games from the US shipped via surface. Sure it takes 8-10 times longer than Airmail but it's often a third of the cost!


You might check the USPS web site before being so hasty. The local postmaster here explained to me that many of the changes would mean an actual reduction in cost. If not a reduction the increase might be very slight in exchange for much, much faster delivery.

In addition, since anything over 4 pounds must now be air parcel it means automatic free insurance of around $80 on all the products you order.

The primary reason these changes have been made is eBay. I was told that internal newsletters detailed a huge loss for the USPS in the failed delivery of packages sent from the USA via surface. Since the USPS cannot dictate how scores of different countries handle surface mail and since it's agreements required the USPS to "take back" undeliverable parcels, the losses were mounting.

The solution? Eliminate surface altogether. Now the non-USA recepient countries are bound by the contracts extant for an entirely different class of mail... and much more favorable terms for the USPS.

The other good news is that US shippers can now use the free Priority boxes that the USPS provides. And I think we'll even be able to do the click-N-ship which means we'll have an online record of shipping data.
 
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Hi Shawn,

The specific game I was mailing was an Avalon Hill Bookshelf "Roads to Gettysburg" booshelf game and I was surprised that airmailing it only cost $18 whereas surface mail was $10.50. This was under the old pricing. If this results in a reduced air mail rate moving forward, then maybe it isn't so bad.
 
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Jim C
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Re: USPS Mail Changes - International Surface Mail Going Awa
I just got nailed on this yesterday. I was going to send a 25 lb. box domestically via parcel post or media mail and my only options were 2-day priority or next day at a huge cost. I wish they would've updated their website prior to making the changes.
 
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Re: USPS Mail Changes - International Surface Mail Going Awa
Considering the only time I used International Surface the package vanished into the aether, I won't miss it.
 
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DWTripp wrote:
You might check the USPS web site before being so hasty. The local postmaster here explained to me that many of the changes would mean an actual reduction in cost.


I tested this by making up a dummy order with GameSurplus for 6 games I purchased from them late last year. Thor from GameSurplus is usually very good at calculating the cheapest method of shipping through USPS. By the way, I've had nothing but excellent service from Thor.

I think that the Priority Mail International Flat Rate Box option won't work for large orders to Australia, and it may not even work for delivering single games with larger boxes (eg Shogun). Therefore, Priority Mail International is the only real option.

In my example, I ordered 6 games from GameSurplus of varying sizes for about $150USD, which attracted new postage costs of around $85USD. At the current exchange rate of around 1.00USD = 0.80AUD, this works out to a total cost of around $290AUD. Ordering these games directly from the cheapest Australian online retailer I could find would cost me around $390 (including postage).

The old postage cost for the same order from GameSurpls was $56AUD ($45USD) via surface mail, so the total increase in postage costs per game was about $10AUD, or 80%.

Despite USPS' service and price restructurings, buying from GameSurplus using the new Priority Mail Internation appears to remain the cheapest method I can find for buying games in Australia. The cost of international shipping through USPS may have increased but at least I won't have to wait for 10-12 weeks for the games to travel via surface shipping to reach my front door.
 
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On May 14, 2007, the USPS dropped the international surface mail and all economy mail services as well as other mailing services. This elimination has affected millions already and we are taking action.

A petition has been created, please visit:
http://www.petitiononline.com/USPSISM/petition.html to sign it. I am the petition owner.

This elimination is severely going to and has already hurt humanitarian aid groups such as the Peace Corps, charities, religious groups, book companies that donate books to poorer countries, expatriates, students, especially those living overseas or foreign students living in the US, small businesses, Christmas shoppers, etc. This elimination is also going to have an environmental impact. For those who do choose to pay more for shipping everything will be going by air now instead of by sea.

Please support us by signing the petition and passing it to everyone in your group, organization, company or church who you think benefits from this service or who would like to see the service return.

We hope to raise awareness about this issue and force the US Postal Service to reverse their decision. We will also bring the US Congress into the picture.

Please spread the word!

Thank you in advance for your support.
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I'll sign the petetion for the hell of it, (and just for giggles given the fact I'm a USPS union rep.) I agree with DWTripp it may save money in the long run.

The thing that gets me is the elimination of International Surface Mail to Canada. THAT I would have kept.
 
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