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shipping ink exchange vials within Canada

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3 replies to this topic

#1 dimeotane



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Posted 24 January 2009 - 03:31

Is it possible to send the ink exchange vials by Canadapost lettermail (the standard 7ml ones from dillo)? It would cost far less, but the max width requirement for lettermail is 20mm, and the vial caps are 20mm. The packaging makes it too big to qualify I think. Nonstandard letter mail under 100g is only $1.18. Has anyone here from Canada done it successfully? I was thinking of slapping the stamps on a 21mm envelope full of vials and giving it a try anyways. Anyone from Canada want to exchange some ink vials?

If us Canadians want to trade inks with each other, the minimum price for shipping a small light package across Canada is $11. It's crazy because I can send the same package across the globe for $6. Crazy but true.

I was thinking it might be worth trying some leakproof vials similar to the dillo ones, but slightly less wide: like these 18mm ones

With needing to order 1000 vials at a time, it begs the question... how many other Canadian ink traders are there who would want some of these?

Edited by dimeotane, 24 January 2009 - 03:37.

my top picks:
favourite writers: Hero 100 & 200a, Sheaffer Imperial 444, Rotring 600
favourite inks: Noodler's Baystate Blue, Noodlers Violet Vote, Lamy Blue

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#2 goldkiwi


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Posted 24 January 2009 - 05:40

Hmm, I'm intrigued by this idea, although I'm a bit concerned that a) the smaller vials might not be big enough to dip all of your pens into and cool.gif ensuring the package is narrow enough to meet the standards would mean compromising the safety/leakproofness of the vials. But I definitely agree that sending small packages across Canada is very pricey- a fellow FPNer sent me one of the standard exchange vials and it did end up costing $11 or $12! I don't have any of the standard vials at the moment but I would be interested in experimenting...

Posted Image Currently out of vials.my ink list

Ink of the moment: mix of Noodler's Lermontov, Britannia's Blue Waves, and Whiteness of the Whale

#3 Strang



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Posted 24 January 2009 - 12:13

I would be interested in playing along.
Yes, yes I do owe you a letter.

#4 dimeotane



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Posted 24 February 2009 - 02:34

We are pleased to announce that our little experiment has successfully concluded. Nonstandard / oversize lettermail in Canada has worked well for ink exchanges with the standard Kcat/ Dillo vials mailed in a standard size envelope with adequate postage ($1.18)

I sent two vials (one full and one empty) to each both Goldwiki and Strang, who received the vials intact in different areas of the country. They filled the other vial with some ink in exchange and sent it back to me the same way. All four mailings made it to their destination. We also exchanged some writing samples along with the inks.

We sealed the vials with tape around the cap and put it into a ziplock baggie to prevent leaks. Then it was taped tight between two pieces of cerial box. It weighted less than 100g, so I stuck three old 48c stamps on top because I didn't have any $1.18 stamps. Strang and goldwiki used the $1.60 international stamp.

Because Canada Post specifications are that Nonstandard Oversize envelopes can be at max 38 wide x 27 long x 2cm thick, I initially intended to try the full size 8.5x11 envelope. But unfortunately it wouldn't fit in the 15cm wide slot at the top of our neighborhood locked mailboxes made for the regular lettermail envelope. I'm sure it would be possible to mail more vials this way at once than I tried but I only had four to spare for these tests. 5 full vials only weigh 50g and should still only cost $1.18 (but if for whatever reason it weighs over 100g, it will cost $1.96 for up to 200g) Maybe once I get more vials I'll try doing a bigger Canadian lettermail ink exchange with 5+ vials at once. I'm also thinking more now about paper exchanges.
Now that I know this, it appears a cross border ink exchange could be done with Nonstandard & oversize Letterpost up to 100g, sent to the USA for $1.96 worth of stamps.

Thanks again to Strang and Goldwiki for taking the time to give this a try.

Edited by dimeotane, 24 February 2009 - 02:57.

my top picks:
favourite writers: Hero 100 & 200a, Sheaffer Imperial 444, Rotring 600
favourite inks: Noodler's Baystate Blue, Noodlers Violet Vote, Lamy Blue

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