Roberto Silva
Italy
CARPI (MO)
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I can't understand why the following USPS International form of shipment is never offered by the stores or the individual people (with only one exception until now):

USPS INTERNATIONAL SURFACE AIR LIFT

Every time I ask someone for shipment costs from USA to EUROPE for many games (I mean normal games not big, heavy ones), I receive ALWAYS only 2 prices ... the first for USPS PRIORITY MAIL INTERNATIONAL and the second one for USPS FIRST-CLASS MAIL INTERNATIONAL.
Nobody offers to me the third method of shipment ... USPS INTERNATIONAL SURFACE AIR LIFT.

With one exception ... NOBLE KNIGHT GAMES (my preferred store, great customer service) always offers USPS INTERNATIONAL SURFACE AIR LIFT automatically (if applicable of course) and I have bought from them many games using this one so saving A LOT OF MONEY!

I give you an example ... shipment costs for CRUSADER REX (COLUMBIA GAMES):

USPS EXPRESS MAIL INTERNATIONAL (EMS) $44.50

USPS PRIORITY MAIL INTERNATIONAL $36.10

USPS FIRST-CLASS MAIL INTERNATIONAL $24.80

USPS INTERNATIONAL SURFACE AIR LIFT $15.07

Other stores owners told me that this method is only for bulk mail ... but, for example, few weeks ago I bought from NKG the PROPHECY - DRAGON REALM EXPANSION and my choice was USPS INTERNATIONAL SURFACE AIR LIFT: because NKG offers ALWAYS this service (if within the limits stated below) this means that they don't have big amount of mail to send EVERY TIME so I don't think the "bulk mail only" concept is true!
BTW they ship the game immediately ... so they don't wait for a big amount of mail!
So ... why other people (including private people like EBAY or BGG users) never offered me the USPS INTERNATIONAL SURFACE AIR LIFT?

For the ones who don't know the shipment forms:

USPS EXPRESS MAIL INTERNATIONAL (EMS)
Airmail delivery in 3-5 business days. The fastest international option also includes free insurance and tracking. Rate is based on weight and location.

USPS PRIORITY MAIL INTERNATIONAL
Airmail delivery in 6-10 business days. Rate is based on weight and location.

USPS PRIORITY MAIL INTERNATIONAL FLAT-RATE ENVELOPE (6-10 DAYS)
Airmail delivery in 6-10 business days. Envelopes are a flat fee of $13.95 per envelope ($11.95 to Canada or Mexico). Available to most locations.

USPS FIRST-CLASS MAIL INTERNATIONAL
Airmail delivery in 6-14 business days. Rate is based on weight, however this option is only available for packages under 4 pounds. A very economical method.

USPS FIRST-CLASS MAIL INTERNATIONAL SMALL PACKAGE
Delivery in 6-14 business days for a flat rate of only $8.95. Please note that in order to send orders via this method they must be very light weight (under 12 ounces with packaging). Your order will be put in a bubble envelope or a very small box with minimal packaging. If the item is valuable or very important that it arrive in perfect condition, we do not recommend this method. Magic Cards are small enough that they will be surrounded by cardboard for full protection.

USPS INTERNATIONAL SURFACE AIR LIFT
A hybrid of Surface and Airmail delivery in 14-60 business days. Rate is based on weight, however this option is only available for packages under 4 pounds. A very economical method. This shipment method frequently arrives in 14-21 days however in rare cases it can take up to 90 days to arrive. Rate is based on weight and location. Please note this method is only available for packages under 4 pounds.

USPS INTERNATIONAL SURFACE AIR LIFT - PRINTED MATTER
A hybrid of Surface and Airmail delivery in 14-60 business days. This shipment method frequently arrives in 14-21 days however in rare cases it can take up to 90 days to arrive. Rate is based on weight and location. Please note this method is only for shipments comprised of printed matter - hardcovers, softcovers, modules, comics, magazines or novels. Other items will not be allowed to travel via this method and the rate will not show for selection at checkout if other items are included. If you are ordering these type of items, this is the most cost effective method for international delivery.

Roberto

UPDATE: I asked to the NKG owner to read this thread and confirming me that they don't have always 50lbs or more of games to ship and I obtained this answer (and the permission to post it here):

"You are correct. The reason probably why no other dealers offer it is it is very difficult and time consuming to do. Plus there is no tracking, no insurance and lots of complaints as those packages can easily take 60 days to arrive. So most places don't like to have to deal with all that, but we at NKG, at least for now, are offering it."

3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dom L
United States
Maine
flag msg tools
badge
READ A BOOK!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
According to the USPS website, it has a minimum shipment size of 50lbs. That is probably why.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Roberto Silva
Italy
CARPI (MO)
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
rocketkiwi wrote:
According to the USPS website, it has a minimum shipment size of 50lbs. That is probably why.

Yes ... but I have received many games using it and every time I don't think NKS has 50lbs of games to ship in Europe (they don't wait ... they ship immediately).
Maybe I'm wrong and they have always 50lbs of games to ship but there is a logical doubt ...

Roberto
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
CLS Games -- Atlanta's Board Game Warehouse
United States
Kennesaw
Georgia
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Economy (Surface -- i.e., on a boat) Parcel Post was available for international shipments up until May 2007, when the U.S. Postal Service eliminated it.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Roberto Silva
Italy
CARPI (MO)
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
rsolow wrote:
Economy (Surface -- i.e., on a boat) Parcel Post was available for international shipments up until May 2007, when the U.S. Postal Service eliminated it.

Yes ... you are right ... economy (full surface it is not offered since 2007) but the INTERNATIONAL AIR LIFT is available (it use AIR until EUROPE and SURFACE inside EUROPE).

I have just received a game and it took about 1 month.

Roberto

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Roberto Silva
Italy
CARPI (MO)
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
UPDATE: I asked to the NKG owner to read this thread and confirming me that they don't have always 50lbs or more of games to ship and I obtained this answer (and the permission to post it here):

"You are correct. The reason probably why no other dealers offer it is it is very difficult and time consuming to do. Plus there is no tracking, no insurance and lots of complaints as those packages can easily take 60 days to arrive. So most places don't like to have to deal with all that, but we at NKG, at least for now, are offering it."

Roberto
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Wilhelm
United States
Sandy Springs
Georgia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I've done a lot of shipping to Europe and had never even heard of this before. I suspect the primary reason being that the USPS website doesn't even offer this as an option when calculating a shipping quote. This suggests to me that they are trying to discourage people from using it. Additionally, the fact that you can't track or insure the package is a big deterrent in and of itself.

Especially for eBay sellers, if you can't track the package, you run the risk of basically being robbed. It's clear that the people in certain places in Europe (SPAIN!) have figured out that if there's no tracking number, you simply tell PayPal you never received your package. Then, not only do you get what you bought, but you get it for free when PayPal returns your money to you, which they of course take out of the seller's account.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Roberto Silva
Italy
CARPI (MO)
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hastur13 wrote:
I've done a lot of shipping to Europe and had never even heard of this before. I suspect the primary reason being that the USPS website doesn't even offer this as an option when calculating a shipping quote. This suggests to me that they are trying to discourage people from using it. Additionally, the fact that you can't track or insure the package is a big deterrent in and of itself.

Especially for eBay sellers, if you can't track the package, you run the risk of basically being robbed. It's clear that the people in certain places in Europe (SPAIN!) have figured out that if there's no tracking number, you simply tell PayPal you never received your package. Then, not only do you get what you bought, but you get it for free when PayPal returns your money to you, which they of course take out of the seller's account.


The dishonest people live everywhere and I agree with you that, for a seller, there is a risk in a shipping a package without tracking.

Speaking for me I have ALWAYS received all my games from USA and no one was never lost in transit.

I'm Italian and some seller don't ship here anymore because they had in the past the same problems you are referring; as always it depend on the single person.
Sometime it is the local post office ... one time I was waiting since a couple of months for about 25 games from USA (all of them from different people e/o sellers) so I was sure that was impossible that all these games were lost in transit!
So I tried ... I phoned to the post office stating that 20 minutes later I was going to the police because they were hidden my packages for sure (of course I have no evedence of that ... only a sensation); about 10 minutes later the post office delivered ALL my games at my home!
I asked WHY YOU WERE TAKING MY GAMES? the answer was because the postman can't load them on the bicycle!!
So I asked why they never gave me an advice and the answer was that they have the intention to deliver the packages "tomorrow" so many days
passed.

Roberto
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Erik Tietz
United States
Bloomington
Minnesota
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
rsitaly wrote:


"You are correct. The reason probably why no other dealers offer it is it is very difficult and time consuming to do. Plus there is no tracking, no insurance and lots of complaints as those packages can easily take 60 days to arrive. So most places don't like to have to deal with all that, but we at NKG, at least for now, are offering it."

Roberto

Sounds like many good reasons to not ship internationally.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls