The Background:

We hear from a lot of our international (outside of the US) customers that our shipping rates can be high. That is true, compared to domestic rates. But we’ve researched all of the shipping carriers and for the size business that we are, USPS has long been hands-down the cheapest way to ship internationally, especially smaller items like pens and bottles of ink. Around this time every year, we hear of price increases from USPS, which is currently the Goulet Pen Company‘s sole shipping carrier. Domestic rates are going up a bit, as we knew in advance, but we aren’t making any drastic changes with those rates right now. We’re absorbing them for the time being. But international rates are a different story.

What’s Changing:

We were told about a week ago to expect “significant increases” from USPS, regarding international shipping rates. We just found out what the new rates will be, and they were right, they are rather dramatic. First-Class mail is the most dramatic, particularly for low-weight packages. We had to raise the price of our international Ink Drop from $12.50 to $15.00 (for all countries), because we saw an increase of about $3 of shipping on these small packages (notice, even with our price increase, we’re still absorbing some of that cost!). For Canada, the increase was even higher for these small lightweight parcels.

Prices for Priority Mail and Express Mail will also go up, in varying degrees based on weight. The changes in rates will vary by shipping class, weight, and country location, so we can’t give you a detailed breakdown here. Everything will be calculated real-time on our site as you add items to your cart. Just understand that international shipping prices for anyone shipping USPS are going to increase by a noticeable amount, starting this weekend. So if you’re outside of the US and had your eye on some products from or any other US retailer that ships by USPS, you will probably want to go ahead and move on it in the next few days to avoid these price increases.  I expect most packages will see an increase anywhere from $3-15 based on the shipping class, per package shipped. It will likely be around a 20% increase on average, but for some situations, it could go as high as a 50-70% increase. It just depends on what you’re ordering and where it’s going.

How to Maximize Your Shipping Savings:

The best way to save money on shipping is to consolidate your purchases into larger orders. The bulk of the shipping cost is in that first pound. Once you get over a pound of weight, the incremental cost to add more items drops dramatically. So, hypothetically, it might cost $30 for that first pound of products, but then only cost $2-4 more for each additional pound. You would end up spending $60 in shipping if you did two small orders, but only $34 if you combined them. If you don’t have enough items you want to order at once, consider a group buy with a friend who lives near you and sharing the costs of shipping.

Also, Express Mail is only slightly more expensive than Priority Mail, but offers the benefits of faster delivery, including an expedited track through customs. First-Class is by far the cheapest (and only available for total order weight under 4 lbs including packaging), but can take several weeks.

In Conclusion:

We don’t like to be the bearer of bad news, but that’s pretty much what we
are here. There’s no sugar-coating it, prices will just be high for
shipping anything outside of the US. Fedex and UPS aren’t any better (in
terms of price), and we’re not even set up with them to be able to make
a transition right now if we wanted to. We fully recognize that the new
shipping prices will make it much harder for some of our international customers
to shop with us, and for that, we’re really sorry.  We’ll continue to
offer the best prices that we can, and to pack as well as we possibly
can. But with increases like these, we have no choice but to raise international shipping prices.

Thanks so much for continuing to support and the various things we do (like Ink Nouveau, our YouTube channel, Facebook, Twitter, FPN, Reddit, Pinterest, etc), we hope that you will continue to remain active and engaged in the writing community even if the higher shipping prices mean that you will shop with us less often.

Write On,
Brian & Rachel Goulet