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DeadAwake



Joined: 17 Feb 2007
Posts: 549
Location: Aus.
International shipping prices jacked!  Reply with quote  

So, economy shipping no loner exists from the US. This happened some time last year. If im not mistaken its across the board too, all overseas shipping has increased dramatically. Bummer. I got a single record from UK shipping for 13 pounds, whereas, if i remember correctly it used to be around 5-6. Got two books yesterday, ones quite a heavy tome (960 or so pages), both are hard cover. Still, 54US$ shipping is way too steep a climb.

Anyone ordered stuff from overseas recently in other countries (not Aus) suffering a weighty increase? Or just found postage prices in general to be hiked up?

Yes, its a first world problem i know. It will no doubt encourage people to buy things through middle men even more. What next, taxed garage sales?
Post Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:21 pm
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21497
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They just keep going up all while cutting back on staff and days of service over here. No improvements are being made anywhere from what I can tell.

I'd like to address this from SFR's standpoint as it's really frustrating for someone who runs a business that relies heavily on direct sales to fans. We do our best to keep everything as cheap as we can due to how the overall cost of things can get high when shipping is included. But it's a lose/lose most of the time because a lot of people attribute the final cost as price gouging on our part (which is ridiculous when we're selling CDs for the same price they were 20 years ago,) but we have to field tons of questions from people in regard to the shipping prices. And at the end of the day, I'm sure most people don't even bother with the emails...they just flat out give up on trying to attain the product.

Something else I've noticed recently with international shipping is how much longer it's taking for packages to reach people. It was especially bad during the holiday period, but it's not just during the holidays anymore. Fuck, I remember instances when a person in Ireland would receive their package from us within the same week it was ordered. Now it's taking about 3 weeks. And again, we end up having to field tons of questions from concerned customers in regard to their package and when/if it will arrive. This is understandable, but it takes away from a lot of the other things we need to be doing.

Oh hey, look that...a rant. haha. I guess it's fresh on my mind. Back to work.
Post Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:10 pm
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smake



Joined: 13 Apr 2006
Posts: 678
Location: The Netherlands
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I am one of the people who have questioned the shipping costs (The Netherlands). Only that I thought SFR was being ripped off by their postal service, not because I thought you guys were making money of it.

I know you guys can't do anything about it, so it is nice to read you are just as frustrated (probably even more, since it is costing you guys you're well deserved business). Just now I pre-ordered Sick to D(eat)h, which was shipped 17th of december and still isn't in.

As always, you guys quickly responded to my inquiries, and I know its on its way. Really nice you take the time to respond that quickly and check statuses and stuff.

It does make me more hesitant to buy, which I really hate. The one thing that does keep making me order is the "extras" you have: the pre-releases, the signed stuff, the SFR-extras for purchase (instrumentals). That might help convince people to still order for you when in doubt.

Anyways, appreciate the great service.
Post Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:26 am
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Mark in Minnesota



Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Posts: 1973
Location: Saint Louis Park, MN
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It's never been clear to me why online stores like SFR and Fifth Element Online aren't partnering with equivalent Internet retail boutique outfits headquartered Europe, swapping product on a consignment basis, and acting as fulfillers for the partner's product on that continent. There are still issues like VAT to deal with, but there just isn't a lot of value added by having every shipment worldwide originate at the headquarters for the retailer. I mean, other than having random memorabilia from Sage's house end up in your mailer.

(EDIT: I used a forbidden four-letter word in this post and the forum dynamically edited it to "gnarly" for me. I am now using the word 'memorabilia' instead.)


Last edited by Mark in Minnesota on Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Mon Jan 13, 2014 1:23 pm
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21497
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I've looked into it a couple of times. I feel that the overall costs and limitations make it not worth the risk to work with an outside party who sources material from other outside parties. Hell, the costs I was quoted for shirts made it look like people would end up spending almost the same amount of money for their order...and we'd be making less.

We could have certain albums available through a boutique outfit in Europe and maybe a select few shirts, but the pace at which things move here with us carrying various items from a bunch of different artists along with bonus materials (stickers, patches, 7"s, etc), many of which are limited, we've decided it's best just to keep everything in house. We *are* the boutique company and we provide a special service which, by default, offers a personal touch.
Post Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:04 pm
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Mark in Minnesota



Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Posts: 1973
Location: Saint Louis Park, MN
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Ah. Risk.

Got it.
Post Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:26 pm
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21497
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Yes, risk. And what would look to be like an overall loss of profit. But risk too.
Post Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:34 pm
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T-Wrex
p00ny tang


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 6340
Location: Detroit, Michigan
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Find a zealous fan in the UK.
Convince them to do it for free out of their basement.

Kinda like a street team; but a house team...


Problem solved.
Post Tue Jan 14, 2014 12:54 pm
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SFR announcement



Joined: 26 Jul 2004
Posts: 896
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We couldn't even find someone in our own hometown to do that for money, nevermind having someone in the UK doing it for free. haha. It's all good though.
For now we'll stick with the old system. In the meantime, I encourage the entire world to holler at the postal service and tell them to get their gatdang shit together.
Post Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:08 pm
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DeadAwake



Joined: 17 Feb 2007
Posts: 549
Location: Aus.
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Today i asked whats with the dramatic increase in international shipping prices at the post office. He didn't really seem to know why, and assumed that its the economy, fuel prices, blah blah, and that OZ followed suit from the US.

Then i remembered reading something last year about how the postal system is dwindling because of email and the internet. No doubt parcel deliveries have increased a lot though, so as that's now becoming the main means for revenue, they've decided to milk it. To compensate for losses. Something like that.
Post Thu Jan 16, 2014 6:58 am
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Mikal kHill



Joined: 29 Jun 2002
Posts: 6844
Location: http://mikalkhill.com
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I fucking hate it and it definitely means people just buy the digital stuff and don't order shirts or physical cds as much as they would. The USPS sucks on a multitude of levels.
Post Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:55 pm
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DeadAwake



Joined: 17 Feb 2007
Posts: 549
Location: Aus.
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Well i just hit the news today and they were talking about cuts to the postal service. They said now its more or less just a courier, thus there's no point in it being government owned and it will sooner or later become privatized.
Post Tue Jan 21, 2014 3:13 am
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mzehe916



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 4542
Location: Switzerland
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I don't know if you can blame the USPS as much as you can blame people for not wanting to spend the extra cash. So many of us are conditioned to think that shipping should be free if your purchase is over $20. That is great for online giants like Amazon, with their nice in-house logistic centers. And that has killed it for other online retailers who would love nothing more to please their customers, but simply can't afford to.

And it isn't like the USPS is making huge profits...or small profits.

I honestly don't mind paying shipping fees as long as they are in a very tight window with the actual shipping fees the seller pays. Nothing worse than paying $15 for shipping and then seeing the $6 stamp on the box.
Post Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:53 am
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