Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Block arrives in New Zealand

My center block arrived today - hand delivered to the door by my friendly courier. There's been a lot of talk about the expense of sending internationally, but since I have to send everything internationally, I thought I'd offer everyone some advice.

First - never go into the post office. Never, never, never.

Second - make what you are sending look like a 'letter'. This will work for everything except the final finished round. Flat is good, iron well and wrap it in Glad Press 'n' Seal because it makes a flat crisp rectangle - ziplocks are thick and the zip part creates bulk. Fold a piece of paper around it so it's really letter-like. The US typically limits letters to 1/4" thick.

Third - look up on the internet how much a letter that size costs. The one Julie sent me weighed less then 2 oz. A 'letter' up to 11-1/2" x 6-1/8" x 1/4" costs $1.98 to New Zealand by air mail. Julie paid $6.55 because the post office considered it a 'package'. The post office always wants to make everything a 'package' and you have to fill in a customs form and the price just goes up. There is no tax or duty on anything coming into this country that is valued at under $400. As beautiful as our quilts are, they are not worth that much.

Four - stick on stamps and drop into the mailbox. Be sure to write AIR MAIL on it front and back (if you're a bit fancy, you can write PAR AVION as well).

Five - smile.

I send everything this way - round robins, block lotto, block swaps. I usually pay $2.50-$3.00 for each one if it fits in a business or 1/2 letter size envelope (that's NZ dollars, so more like $1.90-$2.25 US).

If you check the USPS web site, even a big envelope from the US to NZ that weighs a whole pound is only $12 if it's less than 15" x 12" x 3/4" and is a 'letter'. If you plug the exact same information in but call it a 'package' it's more than $16.

Even at $6.55, it's 6,523 miles from Oakland to New Zealand - that's not so bad, really.


Kate North said...

Laurina, I'm not saying people shouldn't follow your advice - and yes, it's much cheaper to send a letter than a package - from the UK as well - but technically, if your item contains anything other than paper, I think it's illegal to send it as a letter. Might be worth looking into...

Maree said...

I am still sending my block lotto packages as letters and have never had a problem although went to a different post office a couple of years ago and they tried to charge me parcel rate.

sophie said...

One reason to go INTO the post office (and argue with the clerk if necessary) is that the letter/parcel is less likely to arrive postage due when it it processed by a postal worker and they decide it needs more postage for one reason or another.

Like you, I use the laargest envelope allowed for normal "letters", avoid zip lock bags, wrap a sheet of paper around everything and use a iron to press it all flat.