The Piggy Farm: International Deliveries - The Piggy Farm

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International Deliveries

#1 User is offline   Bryan Y B Wong Icon

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Posted 16 November 2008 - 02:20 PM

Hi all,

recently, DIsk, Sylv and I were having an email discussion about shipping books overseas, and the costs incurred with it. For some reason unknown to us, Lulu now charges some ghastly amount of US $61 just to ship one book to Singapore. So I was helping to look into alternatives. This is important to think about and keep in mind when we consider how we'll distribute comics in the future.

So to make it easy on you, DIsk, I decided to open a thread to discuss it.

I went to the USPS postage calculator for an idea of what it would cost if I were to ship books on my own; it is still expensive but a whole lot more reasonable. (I also checked UPS but they were pretty expensive)

For example, if I want to send books to Singapore, I can get it as low as a flat rate of US $37 up to 20 lbs. If I were to ship 10 books, I calculated that to be about 7 lbs. Therefore, I can ship up to 25 or so books safely for that price which brings down the bottom line..Of course, the problem is, that's only if you need 25 books.

Anyway, please play around with the calculator and you can get an idea for how much shipping on our own would cost. For you, DIsk, let me know if you would still like me to ship out the books to you.

For the future, we may consider possible options, perhaps even in Lulu, to print our books in different/multiple paper formats, because some are available for printing in Lulu's overseas presses. This may help to alleviate our problem. Otherwise, we can cross our fingers and hope Lulu solves their shipping issue fast (it was not nearly as expensive as it is now).
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#2 User is offline   DIsk Icon

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 04:34 AM

Hi Bryan,

Thanks for checking the prices for me :)
I scanned through this page: http://pe.usps.com/t...7.htm#ep1633410
It seems that the cheapest I can get is $23 (Priority Mail International, weight < 23 lbs).
That means if I were to get 5 copies of Vol 1 & 5 copies of Vol 2, I pay 5 * ($10 $12) = $110 for the books. With the shipping price, the total is USD 135. Or, using the price you mentioned, USD 150.

I%m personally willing to pay for this, but I think this is still expensive for people who want to buy just 1 copy :\
I%m not sure how to remedy this other than having a few of us as "retailers" for our region. For example, I can act as the retailer for South East Asia region (Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand). I haven%t calculated the total shipping cost that way, though. Does Lulu allow us to print the books in places other than the US?

[edit]
Bryan, could you verify if it is possible to send 10 books using the Priority Mail International, weight < 23 lbs price ($23)?
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#3 User is offline   Bryan Y B Wong Icon

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 02:40 AM

Hey DIsk,
I think you misread it..The $23 is actually listed for 1 lb... 23 lbs is $128.75 -- So I'm going to assume that my original quote is the lowest. We definitely should look into some kind of retailer for the SE Asia region. Lulu does have other printers in different countries (maybe even in SE Asia), but depending on the format (e.g. dimensions) of the book because printers only print in certain format. That's why I'm thinking that if we post another version of the book just in a different format, we might be able to overcome these issues.
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#4 User is offline   DIsk Icon

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Posted 20 November 2008 - 10:21 PM

Hi Bryan,
Yes, I did read that table wrongly. I'll send you an email to finalize my order soon. Thanks :)
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#5 User is offline   Songblade Icon

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Posted 27 November 2008 - 01:23 AM

Were books ever ordered? Were they done after 11/6/08? I'm on the horn with Lulu and there's a wierd printing error. I'm rather displeased as I haven't changed the files after they were published en masse. If there is an error on my part, anyone have PHotoshop? ^^;; I reformatted my laptop and no longer have Photoshop, though I have InDesign.
The PONJU HAMTHOLOGY is LAUNCHED!!!! Buy your copy today!!

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#6 User is offline   CassiniMayor Icon

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Posted 27 November 2008 - 11:20 AM

Only Photoshop Elements 4 here and it and Vista are not liking each other one bit :(

I was hoping to get back to you concerning possible orders for up here in Fredericton but life threw me another screwball (to wit: the building I'm currently in is now slated to be demolished. While I agree with the decision, it does mean a Very Hurried Move on my part so things have been extremely chaotic for me these past few weeks). I'm going to see if I can get some confirmed "want it's" from the people who talked to me earlier so that I'll have a handle on how many books will be needed.
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#7 User is offline   Amir Icon

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 02:13 PM

Bryan and others,

These prices seem pretty high from where I am standing. As far as my view is concerned, both the shipping prices and printing prices that LULU is offering are off-chart.

For instance, prices for a 1-kilo package (Air-mail, registered) to Singapore is approx. 4 USD.
10 kilo package - approx 30 USD
Printing costs vary but are also considerabely lower. Indie comic-book creators who've produced material comparable to ours have managed to print in under 2 USD per book (ofcourse they did place a 500 USD order).
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#8 User is offline   Bryan Y B Wong Icon

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 11:11 PM

Sylv,
I still have the books I printed from the original run sitting around and these are the ones I am sending to DIsk. I don't recall anything grossly wrong with them. Let me know what the trouble is..I have photoshop so I can fix if need be.
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#9 User is offline   Songblade Icon

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 04:15 AM

Thanks, Bryan. The tech assured me a detailed email will be shooting my way of what EXACTLY is wrong with the files, but I guess everyone's off for the holidays or something. I hope InDesign will still take PSD files even if I can't actually open them. I hope and pray it's simply an output PDF problem I can just re-ouput all files and it'll be fine :/
The PONJU HAMTHOLOGY is LAUNCHED!!!! Buy your copy today!!

Oh yeah, I do Wish3.

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#10 User is offline   Bryan Y B Wong Icon

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 11:55 AM

Speaking of Lulu, Sylv, when you get the chance would you be able to normalize the costs of Vol.1 and Vol.2? Right now they're set at 9.99 and 11.99 respectively; In retrospect, I think it probably would've been better if they were both set to 10.99 ... Especially since Vol.2's the smaller book.
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#11 User is offline   DIsk Icon

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 09:58 PM

Amir> Yes, I agree that the shipping price is high for a retail purchase of 1 book. I think the editors are finding ways to fix this now :)

Bryan> Apologies for being a pusher, have you sent my order yet? It'd be great if I got them on time for Christmas :) Thanks.
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#12 User is offline   Bryan Y B Wong Icon

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 12:05 AM

Hey DIsk, sorry for the delay, but no worries I haven`t forgotten. What happened is that I had the box all packaged up and it turns out that for the flat rate shipping, you need to use a special USPS box..I don`t know what the dimensions of it are. Tomorrow, when the mail places are open I`m going to look into it and purchase the box..Hopefully it is big enough. Sorry for taking so long but mailing stuff overseas is turning out to be more complicated than I already thought it was.
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#13 User is offline   DIsk Icon

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 10:27 AM

QUOTE (Bryan Y B Wong @ Dec 1 2008, 12:05 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hey DIsk, sorry for the delay, but no worries I haven`t forgotten. What happened is that I had the box all packaged up and it turns out that for the flat rate shipping, you need to use a special USPS box..I don`t know what the dimensions of it are. Tomorrow, when the mail places are open I`m going to look into it and purchase the box..Hopefully it is big enough. Sorry for taking so long but mailing stuff overseas is turning out to be more complicated than I already thought it was.

No worries, Bryan. I just want to get an update. Thanks for taking care of my order :)
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#14 User is offline   Bryan Y B Wong Icon

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 02:32 AM

Hey DIsk, sending out your second (correct sweatdrop.gif ) shipment tomorrow. By the way, it seems that Lulu has fixed their international shipping costs..somewhat. They now offer this "economy" shipping which is about $10 for a book..Still steep, but certainly not as ludicrous as $85. On the site it says that the shipping option is "not recommended." That's just plain totally whacked. What a weird company.

In order to solve bulk shipments in the future, we may be able to do what we did with regular shipping; however, if possible I would like to move away from this single-point of distribution method (i.e. me rolleyes.gif). What I think would be most ideal is if there was some different print-on-demand publisher in Asia which could be used for selling books on the other side of the globe, which possibly could bring down shipping costs..

..maybe I should just bring up Change #4..
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#15 User is offline   CassiniMayor Icon

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 08:56 PM

At my end the demand for Hamthology was a lot drier than I'd thought - I have only two people who said, "I'd pay money for this". Bah.

I'm thinking the simplest method for me would be to order the books myself, though that $10 per book shipping charge has me wondering: for those of us who are re-distributing, are we passing that cost on or keeping it "invisible" to the end-customer? I'll follow your lead whichever way we go.
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#16 User is offline   DIsk Icon

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 09:36 PM

Thanks for your second delivery, Bryan. I will email you when I receive it (it will take a month to reach me).

As for absorbing the price or not, I think it's up to the individual. I personally am comparing prices against other book products sold in anime/manga-related events in Singapore. Most of the books are artbooks and doujins. For a book at Hamthology size & thickness, they usually sell around SGD 15 - 20. My plan is to start at the price SGD 19.90; but I will have to look at the reception sometime mid 2009.
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#17 User is offline   ignace Icon

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 06:01 AM

I still have the books I printed from the original run sitting around & these are the ones I am sending to Disk. I don't recall anything grossly wrong with them. Let me know what the trouble is. I have photoshop so I can fix if need be.
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