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Topic: Canada Expansion?

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Subject: Canada Expansion?
Date Posted: 5/20/2010 10:32 AM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2005
Posts: 4
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Excuse me for my curiosity but I wonder when an expansion of the PBS to include Canadian members occurs? I have a friend up in Newfoundland and I showed him this and he's interested but I found a help doc which said that PBS is a U.S. members only club for now. Since PBS is almost 6 years old, what is the timetable for the expansion to Canada?

Date Posted: 5/20/2010 10:49 AM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 3,044
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I think it would be difficult to do since not everyone (me included) would want to deal with the customs forms every time they sent a book. They would have to figure out a way to give us the option, like an RC, whether we wanted to or not so we didn't have a bunch of cancellations on our account.

I would assume since it hasn't happened that they're either working on the programming or it's just not possible since the site mainly operates through FIFO. It works on a site like Bookmooch because it's a free for all, but here is a lot different.

Date Posted: 5/20/2010 11:01 AM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2005
Posts: 4
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What about maybe establish an affiliate site for the Canadian members? PBS have CD/DVD swap sites so why not PaperbackSwap Canada? Just a suggestion. If Canadian members want to trade with American members, Canadian can ask an American for permission to get the book before going ahead with ordering the book. Just an another suggestion cool

Date Posted: 5/20/2010 11:10 AM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 3,044
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I think a PBS Canada would work. Just not sure about a merge of the two is all.

Date Posted: 5/20/2010 11:11 AM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2005
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I think something like when a request comes from an Canadian member to the American member, why not include a warning about the customs stuff to let the American know before mailing a book out to Canadian?

Date Posted: 5/20/2010 11:40 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,194
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It has said it is in the works in the HC since I joined. If you wanted a time table, you'd have to send in Feedback and ask the Team.

To make it work, I would suspect a mandatory RC just like the one for APOs we have now.

Date Posted: 5/20/2010 11:45 AM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2005
Posts: 4
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Forgive me, but what does HC and RC mean??

Date Posted: 5/20/2010 11:53 AM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2008
Posts: 15,690
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HC = Help Center

RC = Requestor Conditions

I think the problem (at least what they mention in the Help Docs) has to do with the postage rates for the Canadian mail. PBS is possible because of Media Mail and at this point, you can't mail to Canada using Media Mail.

Date Posted: 5/20/2010 1:25 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I do another site that's international and many of the Canadian members will have a notice up that they will not send to Canada but will send to the US.  So I think there is a postal issue there.  Whether it's the postage rate being too high or what I don't know.  That site lets you put up in your set up if you will accept internation or not. But it's not a FIFO system so when you order a book you get a list of the people who have it and it'll say "will not send to your country" or some variation depending on what that person selected.  They also charge extra credits for international to cover the postage. 

I don't know if that would work with PBS. PBS is a 1 credit=1 book FIFO set up.  So while they could implement the RC thing-I know I personally could not send books Internationally on 1 credit.  I would only do it if I got a multi book order (3+) or extra credits.  I also wouldn't request any international books because I wouldn't want to pay extra credits for them.  If a book is going to cost me 3 credits than I'll just find the book elsewhere.

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 5/20/2010 1:41 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,135
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I'm pretty sure there's no Media Mail option in Canada. I just entered the info for a MMPB sized package into the Canada Post website, and got a cheapest rate of CAN$11.86 to send it from Vancouver to Toronto. At current exchange rates, that's US$11.36. I can't see that expansion to Canada would be practical.

Date Posted: 5/20/2010 3:30 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,336
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Wouldn't it be great, though, to have some kind of international media mail rate?  I've talked to plenty of people from Canada who would like to participate, but also from Guatamala, Israel, a couple of European countries, and Russia.  I realize the transit time would put some people off, but I would definitely opt in to mailing abroad.  I'd love to think of one of my books being read by a child in Leningrad.

Just dreaming...

Date Posted: 5/20/2010 5:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2008
Posts: 8,555
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Using another site, I recently received 2 books from a member in Australia - very cool!  It took two months for them to arrive.  I've hung onto the shipping label because it has some great stickers and notations on it.  Received some other books from the Netherlands ... pretty amazing when you think about it.

As others have said, international postage is a budget buster, even when the sender receives 3 credits per book.

Ronda (RONDA) - ,
Date Posted: 5/20/2010 8:27 PM ET
Member Since: 3/3/2009
Posts: 415
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the canadian postal rates issue is discussed on bookmooch discussion group on librarything.  they allow canadian members to require multiple book orders to help with the cost.  the cost to send to canada from US is not much more than for within the US, but within canada the rates to send a book are high.  The extra points for international swaps is an incentive to send internationally & I think it often keeps the shipping cost per credit reasonable.  Bookmooch also has angel network, so if someone wont send to your country someone in that country will volunteer to get the book from that person then send it to you.

Date Posted: 5/21/2010 8:52 AM ET
Member Since: 4/22/2005
Posts: 5,527
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I belonged to another site that traded all over the world. It's often extremely expensive to send overseas and takes a long time in some instances to receive. I finally stopped participating because people ignored my notice that I couldn't afford to mail out of the U.S. I would hope that if they did start something like that here that we would be given an option to mail in the U.S. only.

Date Posted: 5/21/2010 9:34 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I did ship international when I first joined bookmooch.  Actually all of the books I sent arrived pretty quickly. I sent books to France, Cypress, Romania, Greece, Germany and the Netherlands and they all arrived within a week.  But the postage wasn't cheap and while I did get 3 bookmooch credits per book-it's hard to use up that many credits on bookmooch.  They never seem to have the books I want and I rarely get a WL book there.  So I stopped International when I had like 30 credits built up and couldn't find many books I wanted to mooch.  It just wasn't worth the trouble of doing the custom's form.  Now I would love to have extra PBS credits but I don't see how it would work with PBS.  They'd have to do a special like spin-off site for international or revamp the FIFO system. And I think a lot of people would be angry if they did away with FIFO.  Especially people with books they've had on their shelves for a couple of years.

Date Posted: 5/21/2010 11:15 AM ET
Member Since: 4/21/2007
Posts: 304
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Wouldn't it be great, though, to have some kind of international media mail rate?  I've talked to plenty of people from Canada who would like to participate, but also from Guatamala, Israel, a couple of European countries, and Russia.  I realize the transit time would put some people off, but I would definitely opt in to mailing abroad.  I'd love to think of one of my books being read by a child in Leningrad.

 

I belong to another site where I have shipped internationally. Using air mail has been pretty inexpensive for me when shipping to Canada. However; the majority of what I have sent there is video games. Much lighter than a book. The postage issue really isn't a big thing as far as I am concerned. (To Canada) The biggest problems I, and many other traders have faced, is the lack of or the prohibitively expensive tracking for items sent out of the US. On occasion, items can be tracked using the number on the customs form but that isn't a guaranteed. It may track it. It may not. Paying for tracking is out of the question it is so expensive. UPS isn't an option because they charge the recipient enormous brokerage fees. The biggest issues I have had in shipping to Canada is the tracking problem and people asking me to lie on customs forms stating the item is a gift and has a monetary value of under $10.00. They request this so they can avoid paying any duties customs may apply to their packages. I simply will not lie.

Custom's forms can be printed online and my PO lets me mail them right from my box along with all my other printable postage items. It really is very simple. There is no cost to print the from the site.

US - Canada shipping is far more expensive for Canadians. They have very strict rules. They can be bumped from a regular moderate postage rate to very high rate in an instant if a package does not fit perfectly through the postal rate slots they have. Customs can hold their items (coming into Canada) for weeks if they want.

Overall  the majority of my transactions with Canada have gone smoothly. They have more issues with international trading than US residents do.

Where trading gets really expensive is when you are shipping to Japan, Ireland, Israel, etc. The only way I will trade with people there, is on a site where their reputation/feedback is stellar. (not ebay. ebay feedback is worthless) There is no cost effective tracking and no recourse if you get ripped off. Shipping is getting insanely expensive. I haven't shipped overseas in the last 2 years primarily because of cost. I shipped one video game to Panama. The cost to ship a $10.00 used video game was $9.27. Nope. Never again. It's not worth it. 

However; it has been very cool trading overseas. On many occasions I have had people send me little trinkets that are relevant to their country and their culture. I have done the same for others. That can be very fun. It just costs to darn much.

 



Last Edited on: 5/21/10 12:26 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/21/2010 1:10 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Getting an international media mail rate would mean getting other countries to agree on what is being charged.  From what I understand its not the US saying hey $5 for that heavy 3 lb package to Romania. The Romanian Postal service also gets a cut of that money too. 

I think PBS could set up a set that is JUST for people willing to do internation swaps and keep this one just for US swaps. That way you know what you are in for when someone requests a book. credits could be worth more their too.

Subject: Who knows how to set up this system in Canada?
Date Posted: 7/1/2012 10:20 PM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2012
Posts: 1
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Date Posted: 7/2/2012 1:09 AM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2007
Posts: 17,154
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Per Richard yesterday during a Q&A at the Atlanta Data Center - there are no plans to expand PBS to Canada.  The cost of international postage and the incompatibilities with the USPS just don't make it viable.

Subject: International Media Mail
Date Posted: 7/2/2012 9:44 AM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2009
Posts: 332
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Up to about six years ago, there were several varieties of international media mail, but they were all cancelled about then, presumably by some international postal commission rather than by the US unilaterally. My favorite was a kind where you could send a fairly large weight of books (I think it had to be over four pounds and less than fourteen) for less than US Media Mail would have cost; it would go all the way to its destination in one of those crinkly USPS plastic-fiber sacks, with a customs tag attached. That one was great for donating books to schools. There was at least one other kind of media mail rate, for sending just one or two books. All gone, alas. I wonder where one would start asking to bring back international media mail, on the grounds of  fomenting international friendship and literacy?:

Date Posted: 7/4/2012 12:22 PM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2008
Posts: 23,333
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Margaret - you are talking about the M-bag rate.  The PO used to be able to offer M-bag at the ground shipping rate (by boat, instead of by air), but when ground shipping was abolished, the M-Bag rate was too.  M-Bag rates are still available, but they are air mail rates and much more expensive.  IIRC the package has to be over 7 or 8 pounds to get any savings at all.

Subject: Thanks
Date Posted: 7/4/2012 12:47 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2009
Posts: 332
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Thanks, Cindy - I knew it had a specific name, which I'd forgotten. In 2005, I sent a big M-bag of children's books to a school in Guyana for a friend, and it cost less than $10. I guess the answer is: Bring back ground/sea shipping!  After all, waiting for our PBS books to appear has made us patient - somewhat. sort-of, part of the time.

Date Posted: 7/9/2012 5:23 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 9,657
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when did surface shipping go away? We lived in Germany for 4 years and returned to US in AUG of '09 and USPS still had a surface option then, it just could take a month or more for packages to arrive!
Date Posted: 7/9/2012 5:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,600
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I think surface mail went away about 2 years ago. I used to have a small business selling handmade soap and have several friends in the UK who would buy from me. I always sent it by surface mail and it wasn't too expensive. The last time I went to send a box, I discovered it wasn't an option anymore and had to send airmail. So most of those people don't order anymore but my one friend orders a couple dozen bars at a time and I send it in an international flat rate box--still expensive, but ordering lots of bars at once makes it more cost effective because they are heavy! LOL

Cheryl

Date Posted: 7/9/2012 7:42 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Some countries still have by boat type shipping that can go TO the USA but we cannot send to them via that method.. My mum can send me a book via surface(boat) for cheap but I cannot send her things by that method. I've an 8oz package to send my niece, its gonna cost me $8.50 )plus tax.