One of the biggest complaints we receive is the cost of shipping outside of the US. It's expensive and we are always asked about different ways to make something cheaper.
A 3lb (weight) commercial merchandise package shipping from Los Angeles to the UK runs about $69.00 in shipping via Priority Mail.
Priority Mail gives insurance, tracking, etc... that our credit card processing company requires.
If we were to do it via First Class International Mail the cost would be in the $42.00 range. Insurance would only cover $400 maximum in insurance and the time it would take is anyone's guess. We know from past experiences it could take as little as 10 days to as much as 2+ months. It's not reliable, our credit card company does not want us to ship this way because a customer who is impatient could institute a chargeback on the merchandise while it's still in process of shipping so it could mean that we not only have to return a customer's full purchase price but that the product could also be eventually delivered to them.
That's the inherent reason for the William Shatner Store not offering First Class Mail.
As with anything there are ways around this.
Use a Reshipper:
One of our customers in New Zealand uses a service where we ship an item to a US address using a special name with a code and that tells the reshipper to send it abroad at whatever bulk rates they have. They purchase a lot of US goods to be shipped to them so it's a much needed service for them. I do not know the cost of such a service and whether a $15-18 domestic shipping charge on top of their service saves from a $69 Priority Mail offering but these companies do exist and you can explore those options if you do a lot of online shopping from US ecommerce stores.
Send it to a friend who lives in the US:
If you have friends or family that reside here in the US and they would be willing to reship items to you, then you can do that. Using the prices above, it would be $15 to ship it to your friend and then they would pay $42.00 to ship it to you in the UK. That's a $12 savings over Priority mail costs that would go to you direct.
A possible future solution:
Since the issue we have is one of our merchant account processor not feeling comfortable, we could possibly circumvent them and take payments through another processor such as Paypal. Paypal is more expensive to use as they take out 5% in fees.
If you sent the payment via Paypal's Friends and Family so no fees were taken out then we could send out your products any way you want. The downside of sending it that way is that if the package is lost or damaged you would have to claim the damage or loss yourselves. You would have no recourse which is the issue that the Merchant Account Services sees as an impediment.
Also shipping via First Class Mail takes longer - sometimes several weeks - to reach some destinations.
We do have a Paypal account and we could on a one off basis to try it out. So if there's something you really, really want contact us on our Products account. What we will need is
- What products you want
- Your shipping address
- Your local currency
- Your Paypal address
- Tell us if you want insurance on the package or not.
We will then tell you what the cost will be to ship these products via insured first class mail with tracking (if available.)
You can then send your payment to us via the Friends and Family.
Note: If we do not receive payment via Friends and Family we will refund your money. The entire purpose of this is to avoid fraud.
Once we receive your order we will pack up your order and send it first class mail with a tracking number if it's available. If you request we can also send it as a gift.
If you don't trust us, then order it the regular way. That's the only thing I can offer at this point.
We can try this as one offs for now. If you are absolutely desperate for one of our items, then you can try this.
We take no responsibility for sending it out First Class Mail as it could take several weeks for you to get your item.