Jump to content

Crud!

  • entry
    1
  • comments
    39
  • views
    362

End of sharing ink samples by post economically


A Smug Dill

3,501 views

Today is 大年初一 , and this is one way to start the Year of the Ox on the wrong note.

 

Australia Post has just, or finally, announced that international Economy Air Letters containing Merchandise service is permanently discontinued, in a very loose interpretation of what constitutes an announcement. Not as a notice, not as an entry in the list of general or notable updates, but as a new FAQ entry sandwiched between piles of older FAQ entries, on its web site where there is no dedicated FAQ page or section. Furthermore, those FAQ entries are tacked onto the end of a page of international delivery updates that is subordinate to the list of general service updates, and if you searched for “faq”, “economy air letter” or “merchandise” using the site's search bar you wouldn't find it.

 

FAQ entry announcing the permanent end of international Economy Air Letters by Merchandise service

 

Prior to April 2020, it was possible to send an up-to-50g article with thickness of 20mm all up, containing such items as a fountain pen, sample vials of ink and/or other paraphernalia, using that service, at a cost of A$2.30 to our closest neighbour internationally or A$3.20 to far-flung places including Uganda, Ukraine and the US. Considering that it'd cost me A$2.20 to send the same thing to someone in Western Australia, or even just inside the greater metropolitan Sydney area, I think the postage charges were better than fair, and the cost burden trivial to make no-obligation giveaways the default.

 

Australia Post Economy Air Letters pricing as of February 2021

 

Using a 21g cardboard mailer/‘envelope’, of which I have a big pile for the purpose, I could pack up to six 2ml ink samples (including vials with screw-caps, and absorbent void fill material between them) — or more if I'm using smaller centrifuge tubes with hinged lids, to hold the equivalent volume of ink cartridges — then slap on a CN22 customs declaration form, and squeeze in under 50g in total weight. Or send a resin-bodied pen and a converter, in a slab of polystyrene foam to protect it, with a fraction of a millimetre to spare in the allowed total thickness.

 

It wasn't just a dodgy consumer hack, either; it was how staff at the local post office advised me to send small items for which I didn't require tracking, and there was little need or point in tracking the delivery of no-strings-attached giveaways to strangers who didn't incur any costs of their own. (So far, none of the packages have failed to be delivered, anyway.)

 

But, today, that literally won't fly any more. Furthermore, notwithstanding what the FAQ entry recommends as an alternative, Economy Air parcel service to everywhere continues to be either ‘suspended’ not ‘not available’ to all countries except New Zealand and China, and the pricing of (tracked) International Standard parcel service dictates the minimum spend: A$15.20 for NZ, and A$21.00 for the US, for the lightest weight class of up-to-250g. That's roughly 6.6 times what it would have cost a year ago to share surplus inks or items with foreign hobbyists in the name of fun.

 

Australia Post attributed the change to the new Electronic Advance Data requirements for international postal traffic. However, not all countries require it (and New Zealand is conspicuously absent from the list of countries that do). Moreover, Australia Post stated, ”EAD applies to any item requiring a customs form to be completed. This means all articles and express letters sent to the destination countries above will need EAD”, so it isn't a case of letter service being infeasible in the face of the new requirements, but just the conjunction of ‘economy’ and ‘letter’ service.

 

Oh well. 😡

39 Comments


Recommended Comments



Naoki NISHIKAWA

Posted

1 hour ago, Tinjapan said:

Why does it cost ¥360 to send to the US than it does to Canada?  

 

Nishikawaさん、ありがとう。

 

The States was in Zone 2 (North America) with Oceania, Central America, Middle East, and Europe. Now, Canada stays in Zone 2 with Oceania, Central America, Middle East, and Europe. The US must have moved far away from Japan to such an extent, now the USA is even further away from Zone 3 (South America, Africa). Now the US alone is in newly created Zone 4 by itself, "including overseas territories like Guam"... Something must have happened in terms of plate tectonics. That is to say, the mantle convection must have caused the US alone (Yeah, including Gaum) to be moved to somewhere very near to the Antarctica or something. Otherwise the 60% increase in rate cannot happen to more or less only one country. 

Link to comment
Naoki NISHIKAWA

Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, Tinjapan said:

Why does it cost ¥360 to send to the US than it does to Canada?  

 

Nishikawaさん、ありがとう。

 

... or we have to ask the question to the United Nations...

 

Edited by Naoki NISHIKAWA
Link to comment
Naoki NISHIKAWA

Posted

2 hours ago, A Smug Dill said:

How interesting the specific change! Thank you very much for sharing that! :D

 

Very, very, very specific. Anyone can see the change is targeted to only one country.

Link to comment
RoyalBlueNotebooks

Posted

11 hours ago, Naoki NISHIKAWA said:

 

 The US must have moved far away from Japan to such an extent, now the USA is even further away from Zone 3 (South America, Africa). Now the US alone is in newly created Zone 4 by itself, "including overseas territories like Guam"... Something must have happened in terms of plate tectonics. That is to say, the mantle convection must have caused the US alone (Yeah, including Gaum) to be moved to somewhere very near to the Antarctica or something. 

Very plausible hypothesis, thank you! 😸

Link to comment
14 hours ago, Tinjapan said:

Why does it cost ¥360 to send to the US than it does to Canada?  

 

Nishikawaさん、ありがとう。

I'm going to reply with what I heard on some news show several years ago, but I can't remember the exact source, and I'm too lazy to try to go verify it, so take this for what it's worth...

 

The price is not about the actual costs of shipping ((originally?) incurred presumably by the country of origin), nor the actual costs of delivery ((originally?) incurred by the receiving country).  Rather, there is some sort of international postal organization where representatives from participating countries meet and negotiate prices.  Obviously, if the average citizen of DirtPoorCountry had to pay the actual costs of both shipping to and deliver within AbsurdlyWealthyCountry, said citizen could not afford it.  Thus, the folks in wealthier countries pay more to cover the costs of poorer countries.  I'm not sure whether funds are exchanged or if everyone just keeps the funds they collect or what, but this is the basic idea that I remember.  Things could have changed since then, but I doubt it's changed that much in principal, even if details have changed.

 

And for all I know, what I heard was nonsense, but it seemed credible at the time.

Link to comment
5 minutes ago, silverlifter said:

Universal!  Sweet!  Does this mean I can send mail to Vulcan? :D :P

 

Thanks for finding this and posting the link! :)

Link to comment
I-am-not-really-here

Posted

Mexico seems to have fallen into an abyss.  Or has Japan Post reclassified them as a member of Central America now? 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Naoki NISHIKAWA

Posted

7 hours ago, LizEF said:

I'm going to reply with what I heard on some news show several years ago, but I can't remember the exact source, and I'm too lazy to try to go verify it, so take this for what it's worth...

 

The price is not about the actual costs of shipping

 

The Universal Postal Union

Link to comment
Naoki NISHIKAWA

Posted (edited)

7 hours ago, LizEF said:

Universal!  Sweet!  Does this mean I can send mail to Vulcan? :D :P

 

I guess you CAN, but they are not saying "the Federation." With the lack of a subspace communication (a.k.a. subspace radio or the hyperchannel) device, by the time, a response comes back, we are all d..... 

 

Oh, in order for us to send ink samples to our friends on Vulcan, you may want to choose to pack them very carefully (because they are shipped at slower than light speed). 

Edited by Naoki NISHIKAWA
Link to comment
Tinjapan

Posted

21 hours ago, Naoki NISHIKAWA said:

 

The States was in Zone 2 (North America) with Oceania, Central America, Middle East, and Europe. Now, Canada stays in Zone 2 with Oceania, Central America, Middle East, and Europe. The US must have moved far away from Japan to such an extent, now the USA is even further away from Zone 3 (South America, Africa). Now the US alone is in newly created Zone 4 by itself, "including overseas territories like Guam"... Something must have happened in terms of plate tectonics. That is to say, the mantle convection must have caused the US alone (Yeah, including Gaum) to be moved to somewhere very near to the Antarctica or something. Otherwise the 60% increase in rate cannot happen to more or less only one country. 

This answer needs to be pinned!  Thanks for comic relief. It was much needed.

Link to comment
Naoki NISHIKAWA

Posted

18 hours ago, Tinjapan said:

This answer needs to be pinned!  Thanks for comic relief. It was much needed.

 

Oh, thank YOU!

Link to comment
A Smug Dill

Posted

I wonder when Australia Post is going to make further changes that stop me from sending ≥50ml of ink to a fellow hobbyist in Australia for A$2.20, the way I did just now — squeezing twenty-six 2ml samples into an untracked ‘large letter’, and getting within 1g of the 1–125g weight class' upper limit — and completely shut the door on sending ink samples for less than the price/value of the package's contents.

Link to comment
Tinjapan

Posted

While I of course do not know, I feel that your question of “when” is correct.  It seems that it is not a question of “if” but one of “when”.

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now





×
×
  • Create New...