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Friday, 19 February 2016


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I have had a reply from the museum and given a price of $57.40 for shipping one copy to Toronto Canada

[That's right in line with our estimates. Ctein has shipped many thousands of packages for us and off the top of his head he estimated $60 to Canada, $80 to Europe. Costs the Museum extra labor, too.

Really no cheap way to do this unless you ship a lot. That's why I originally said USA only. But that makes people unhappy. --Mike]

$57.40 (USD) to ship to Canada...

"...you can go to the Museum Store at the Nelson-Atkins Museum in person and ask for a discount by mentioning The Online Photographer and using the coupon code 19333."

I love it. So speakeasy-ish! "Psst, Mike sent me. Yeah, you know, THAT 19333 MIKE.

[I like it. Next time we should make the code "PssstMikesentme." --Mike]

I'm not international, but I did just order the book. I got a tip from TOP on "Here Far Away" and that book was stellar. We'll see if this book is *that* good - it'll be hard to "TOP"

Did I just say that? :)

I don't really understand this business of being coy about international shipments because it might be too expensive. Just get quotes up front and let people decide for themselves. I ship eBay purchases all the time and international customers (I'm UK based) are quite aware of costs and make decisions accordingly

Thank you for that. It is good to give the choice. Yes, shipping is expensive but the alternative of not being able to get it at all is not nice. Everybody can then make the calculation to decide whether they want it or not, or how badly they want it. One should not look a the shipping cost and complain. One should look at the total landed cost. Is this book worth it for me at this price? It either is or isn't, simple as that. I can tell you that many thick large photo books are damned expensive in book shops in Tokyo or Hong Kong. So $100+ shipping might well still be worth it and especially for someone who just desperately wants this particular book that is surely not available on the shelf. It sure as hell is cheaper than flying to Missouri to pick one up.

Dear international readers,

For those of you who don't know this, I want to give you a heads-up on just how expensive international shipping is. Having run an awful lot of print and book sales over the past dozen years, I can likely do this more efficiently and less expensively than anyone whose primary business doesn't incorporate international shipping. If these were my books and I was trying to sell them to those of you outside the US, shipping and handling to Canada would be at least $60 and shipping and handling to the rest of the world would be at least $80. For a book that sells for $32.

Many of you are not going to be okay with that. But there's no fix. These rates are not a profit center. That's just the direct costs and modest charges for the extra labor, and it really does take extra labor.

It's not jingoism, it's not America-centrism. It's just expensive. So expensive that many times international shipping is impossible... or at least obviously unreasonable (which may be the case when it's $80 on a $32 book. In which case, for every reader who will be grateful to be able to buy the book under those conditions, there will be someone else will feel that they're being neglected/mistreated/discriminated against/ripped off/whatever. For each of you for whom it generates goodwill, there will be someone else for whom it generates ill. I really can't blame them because shipping and handling costs that are 2-3 times greater than the price of the product really are absurd. But it does mean that sometimes the seller just decides it isn't worth the trouble.

This is the reality of it, people. I'm sorry the economics of international shipping don't work better for all of us. Really I am. But, it is not a problem of our making nor one that is under our control. If it were, we'd fix it.

(And, yes, sometimes there are creative cost-effective work-arounds to it, as in my $19.95 Print Sale. But more often than not, there aren't.)

pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com

As an International customer, who has been eaten by the proverbial book-bug a few Years ago (Thanks to Mike Johnson, I and my family consider you responsible) I wonder if the following idea could make sense, and can maybe be done:
Let me order this book, let's wait a few more month until all other books from the Museum's Vault will see the light of the day, let me maybe order another one or two or six (There's going to be 7 in total, right?) and then maybe the Museum could send me a shipping price for all, upon which I will pay for the consolidated shipping, and, Eastward Ho, all the way to Bangkok.
I would of course pay for each book when ordered, and gladly wait the 4 or 6 Month it will take for all offers to be published.
On a side note: I have understanding for the high prices for shipping, as the Museum does not have the Infrastructure and bargaining power of Amazon.
Still amazing what the latter can do, Alvin Langdon Coburn was delivered by Amazon for 11$, and a heavy Order of 4 Books totaling about 12 Kg did cost 70$ shipping via UPS (Took 3 Days).

Sometimes it's worth it, sometimes it's not. My brother (in Canada) just spent $14 to have a $4 connector shipped to him. Couldn't find one where he lives, and couldn't get one made. And he needed it, so he spent the money.

@Manfred Winter I think that is what forwarding services offer. They will hold packages and combine them into one larger packet according to your instructions.

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