After quite a while resting on my more or less laurels (past listings) it's time to get a move on and put up some more listings. My goal is five books every day from now on. This should be achievable, but not according to my past performance.

These books get listed in three places: on Amazon, Biblio, and Half. Books without ISBNs (older books) generally will not be listed on half. My prices might vary between these three places. Amazon and Half tell me competing prices, so I peg mine on them. Thus, if the lowest price for Deadly Percheron is $98 on Amazon, I might peg mine at $95. If it weren't my only copy maybe I'd be more reasonable. In fact, I think my Biblio listing is more reasonable.

Going forward (and possibly backward), links to titles of books will send you to the main Amazon listing. My listing will be somewhere amidst the other maybe 237 listings. This is where my photo of the book can be seen, which will probably be a better one than the one Amazon features. Half doesn't let me attach my own photo—at least I don't think it does. Photos are also at biblio. Lots of older listings still don't have photos. Nor updated prices.

I've been lousy at selling direct via email. Sorry about that, if you've tried me. Listing through the major portals keeps me honest—also prompt and reliable.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

International shipping question

Email rec'd:
Hi Chris

i was thinking about doing another order but i believe the US postal have made some changes to their overseas deliveries and was wondering if this would make it a lot more expensive for you to send a parcel overseas. Therefore i was wondering if you could let me know what you currently charge for sending a parcel to the UK.

best wishes
[person in Scotland]
My labored reply:
Yes, the postal service in their Bushian obliviousness has done away with Book Rate and surface shipping, making overseas cultural exchange something only for the rich, like many other basics. Everything has to go First Class or Priority, best as I can see. This will, one should think, speed up deliveries, but it will make things cost more to send than they might actually be worth in the first place.
There are different ways to go with shipping. There are the flat rate Priority mailers that may hold one or two books. These cost $11.00 to send to the UK (and western Europe). First class mail international to the UK would be between $10 and $30 for 1 to 4 lbs (a light-weight book to three or four books depending on the weight of the books [1 pound = 453.59237 grams, rounding off to the fifth decimal place].) Larger shipments would go first-class M-bag which costs $31.35 for 11 lbs. with $2.85 per pound additional. As an example, I am sending a box to Sweden right now that contains eight heavy-ish books and 17 CDs that will cost (if my scale reads correctly, as it usually does, give or take a pound) $37.05 to send (14 lbs). The goods being sent total about $200 in value, so the postage amounts to 18 or 19% extra tacked on. I’m not sure how typical that is, but it doesn’t seem too atypical. There is a donut hole between 4 lbs and 11 lbs where it costs the same to send anything between those weights, so it is more cost-efficient to send enough to at least get the full 11-lbs worth--once you reach the 4 lb threshold. These costs do take away from the discounts I give, I know, but I should think that with the discount, if it is something you want, the increased postage cost shouldn’t be an absolute deterrant. And with the US dollar becoming increasingly worthless, maybe it isn’t such a bad deal after all, considering the supposedly expedited delivery.
(Here is where I was looking at the rates:

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