Adventures in Shipping

Shipping is expensive.  And a lot more complicated than one would first imagine.  Put something in a box, throw in some bubble wrap, tape it up nice and tight and send it on it's way, right?  Kinda. But when you are paying for a quite large package to go to the other side of the planet?  Ughhh.

First, we had it all pretty in a nice box.

But then we decided we should probably check the Canada Post website to see how much it would cost before we took it down there, just so we wouldn't be all surprised.  We used my scale to weigh it and took some dimensions and plugged it into the little calculator and... it was going to cost about three times as much as we had estimated.  Considering our estimate was pretty generous it was quite a big blow.

We checked other shipping options to see if a private company would be better but no.  They were much, much worse.

We tried to see if we could get the package into something smaller.  Vacuum Packing it seemed like a good option.

Not a good option.  The "Tidy Up" bags I found in some cupboard in my house were useless.  They didn't even fit half of the order into one of them, and the seal wouldn't stay shut no matter how hard I tried.

Then I remembered, I used to work with a woman who had a company on eBay that sold t-shirts.  She told me that since we live to close to the border it was a lot cheaper for her to just fill out some form, jump across the border and use the United Stated Postal Service to ship instead of Canada Post.  So we checked it out and it was a ridiculously less amount of money.  We decided to give it a shot.

We called USPS fist to make sure that was all in the up and up, and then we called the border people to check as well and they both said it was perfectly OK.  We may have to pay a $10 fee at the border to bring it across but other than that, we're golden.

So we drove the five minutes to the border with the package (placed back into it's pretty little box) and walked into the office where we were told that no, we couldn't bring it in to ship because it was considered textiles.  We needed a broker for... something.  And some forms.  And it would cost a lot of money.  And we could only do it once unless we got some commercial shipping number, which would cost more money.  So we walked back across the border, into Canada, to reassess.

We decided to just go to the post office, maybe there was some way they could help.  The lady there said it might be a little more cost effective to squish them all into one of those padded shipping bags, but it usually goes by weight so it might not even make a difference.  We decided to just have her weigh the box and calculate it like that, just to see if the website was wrong.  And... the website wasn't wrong, but my scale certainly was!  We had thought the box was 10lbs (which did seem a bit high, but I can never tell how much something weighs) but really it was around 5lbs!  So our original estimate was pretty much dead on.

Finally, after probably three hours of trying to figure this out, we were able to send it away happily.  Horray!

It was very strange to come home after that and have no more hats in my house.  We did have a nice little mess though...

Ahhh... shipping how I love you.