January 2012 Archive

Updated Order Form and Shipping Calculator

January 23rd, 2012

I have updated my website over the weekend to improve the way it works and hopefully make it easier to use. The big change is the way emails are checked to be correct. I am using some ¬†special magic that my husband wrote to do this. This ‘magic’ checks in real time if your email address has been typed in correctly and will give you a warning if it thinks your email is incorrect. While it can sometimes be wrong, if you get a warning that your email might be wrong please be sure to check it very carefully.

The other big change is the shipping calculator. This has been updated to provide you with more feedback on how the shipping weight and cost is determined and give you an idea of the  shipping times of the various shipping options. I would certainly welcome feedback on both these changes.

Simplified International Shipping Options

January 13th, 2012

I have taken the opportunity with the recent USPS price rises to simplify the way the international shipping options are presented on the order form. There are now three shipping options:

  • economy
    • This option is shipped the cheapest method (first class mail), but is limited to under 4 lbs and $250 in value. This option is slow (average 16 days to Australia) and does not have tracking.
  • economy + tracking
    • This option is shipped USPS Priority Mail and is intermediate in time (10 to 12 days) and has tracking. This can be used for small packages over $250 where the cheapest shipping is required.
  • express + tracking
    • This option is shipped either USPS Express mail (under 2 lbs) or UPS (courier) and is fast (5 to 6 days) with tracking.

All these options will be updated to a specific shipping method once I send you a quote. If you wish to choose a particular shipping methods (eg USPS express mail) then just add this to the extra details section. Hopefully these changes will make it easier for most customers who really don’t know much about the various shipping methods and just want their items shipped quickly or cheaply.

Now Offering Fixed Price Quotes

January 9th, 2012

We have now started to offer fixed price quote on orders where we know the actually shipping costs. Unfortunately we can only offer fixed price quotes on all orders where we have had previous orders for the same item that have shipped. To select this option just chose the “fixed price quote” checkbox on the order form and if we able to provide you with a fixed quote we will. This should make ordering a little more certain. This option also has the advantage that you will only need to make one payment.

UPS & USPS Mail Price Rises

January 3rd, 2012

As of the 2nd of January 2012 UPS and USPS mail prices will rise by 5% to 13%! The actual rise is a little complex and will vary a bit depending on the exact rate and value. I will be updating all the UPS price today, but as it takes some time to do you might catch some prices in mid change. I will update the USPS Mail Prices once I have them (USPS has not yet updated their website with the new prices).

Update. The First class mail price rise is going to be 9%, but it won’t start until the 17th January.

Update 2. I have the new rate for first class mail so I have updated the first class mail prices. If your order is lucky enough to arrive at my US partners before the price rise then you will be charged the lower price.

Update 3. I have been able to find what i think is the new USPS prices from the 22nd Jan and have updated the prices on the order form. There are massive rises for express mail international and on low weight packages (under 6 lbs). In many case it will be cheaper to ship UPS courier because of these rises. The biggest rise is for express mail international 1/2 lb which goes has gone up 26%!

Update 4. The new USPS prices are now in place. I have updated the shipping calculator function to include the new price. Now for most items it is cheaper to ship UPS than USPS.

Update 5. Another huge rise in shipping from USPS from the 27th Jan 2013.