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Shipping fee changes to Oceania

One of my favourite things in this job is to take books from our bookcases in the office, pack them up and send them off to another bookcase all over of the world. It is just so nice for me to have this reminder that there is still a huge world out there, daydreaming about traveling with the books to Brazil, Australia, Kenya, Hong Kong, Vladivostok, Dubai, Indonesia or some lovely Mediterranean village. I look forward to the day that an order for Antarctica will pop up. Or a photo of Quality Chess books in Antarctica. That would be so cool, on so many levels!

Anyway, after I am done daydreaming about travelling again, the books are packed up nice and tight, all the labels are in place, Claire and I look out to find the best way to ship them. It’s not the lowest offer we are going for, but the one that makes more sense to us. For example, delivering two books in 3 days to the USA for £30/€34/$50 is better for the buyer than have it delivered for €23 in 10 days. So we choose the option we would like to receive as customers. €34 and 2 working days delivery. And that is how we operate here at Quality Chess.

In the last 18 months though shipping cost and shipping times have skyrocketed. All those of you that you are shipping goods worldwide, understand what I am talking about. We had to increase the shipping fee after 10 years of keeping the same price and it worked. The costs are now covered and that is what our goal is; to offer the books to everyone who cannot get the books from a chess shop, while being able to cover the expenses.

But the prices for Oceania keep going up. It used to be £19.20 to send a book to Oceania with Royal Mail and it would take at least 4 weeks. It was manageable. But a little after we increased the shipping cost to €10 per book and we promised to keep it there for a year, Royal Mail increased their prices and nowadays it is £26 and it takes 8 weeks minimum. It is just unacceptable, so we went for courier services. With the average price cover for a book being €25 plus €10 shipping, and just the shipping cost for Oceania for a single book being €45, without taking into consideration any other cost, we have two options. Either stop shipping there, which would violate the principle of offering the books to everyone worldwide, or come up with a solution that will be better for everyone. You know us, we went for option number two.

Effective immediately, orders for Oceania will have a €45 flat shipping rate with UPS and the delivery will be fast! We understand people that only want to buy one book will be disappointed and we are very sorry, but there is nothing else we can do. Talk to a friend and order books together; it’s cheaper for you and better for the environment.

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  1. April 20th, 2021 at 17:17 | #1

    I’m guessing New Zealand is included in Oceania….?

    It is a shame really but certainly the Post Office in our part of the world has done little to encourage the use of their services but rather, continually pumped up the price driving people to digital platforms. Sounds like your Royal Mail is heading down the same path.

    Never thought the day would come that I would prefer some online book/publishing format to holding a printed book, but it seems that time is fast approaching. Whether one can afford it or not, the thought of paying nearly twice the cost of the book for postage doesn’t sit comfortably with me anyway. Guess it’s just an age thing, harking back to the days when postal services where just that, a service, rather than the profit making business it seems to be nowadays.

    I certainly understand the difficult position the rising cost of postage must be causing Quality and I thank you for all your efforts to minimize the impacts of this cost over the years. This has I’m sure been appreciated by all chess book lovers living in the far flung corners of the earth.

    • Jacob Aagaard
      April 23rd, 2021 at 12:18 | #2

      It is a tragedy. But it is also a flat rate. I would think it would make sense for chess players in Australia to team up to get books sent in one shipment once in a while. Or a vendor could appear, once tournament resumes!

  2. April 21st, 2021 at 10:56 | #3

    @Michael
    Yes, Michael, I am afraid New Zealand is included in Oceania.

    It appears that US Mail and the Greek post office are following the same path. Increasing prices but not improving services.
    And it’s a shame because it takes away the choice from people; we would have continued sending books to your part of the world for €22 and charging you €10 for that, and your book would arrive in 4 weeks and if you need it faster we would ask for a bit extra to cover the shipping cost with UPS. Now, there is no choice; the book is more expensive to you if you buy it directly from us.
    That is why we encourage you to talk to your chess friends and order 2-3 books, or buy from another shop that sells worldwide as well, but they might be able to offer you a better deal. In the end of the day, our job is to publish the books and send them to the shops.

    Personally, I love reading a hardcover book, so I empathise with you having to turn to the digital version. I want to keep being optimistic that something might change soon and we will lower the shipping fees.

    Thank you for your heartworming message 🙂

  3. Rob W
    April 24th, 2021 at 03:31 | #4

    In Oz here. Unfortunately, I ordered a book from y’all on the 15th. Sorry about that; If I’d known this new policy was incoming I’d have waited and bought 4 or 5 together. But I’ve seen no indication that you’ll be shipping my order (it’s been 9 days so far) so I’m hoping you’ll be honouring already-in-process orders nonetheless?

    Would it be possible to make your lovely hardcovers more available through other channels? They’re a bit difficult to find/buy anywhere except direct from QC, it seems.

    • Jacob Aagaard
      April 28th, 2021 at 09:40 | #5

      Yes, we will honour it. This is a long term policy. Sadly, we do not have any easy solutions. We are not going to try to set up a network of chess sales in Australia. Although, if someone did, they would get a good deal from us!

  4. An Ordinary Chessplayer
    April 25th, 2021 at 23:13 | #6

    Maybe post offices in different parts of the world have different reasons for raising prices. Here in the USA the service became dramatically worse in December 2020, at the same time the USPS was making news for dismantling automatic sorting machines and removing curbside boxes. The used chess books I order from a shop in Illinois used to go to Columbus, then to me. Now they go to Pittsburgh (passing less than a kilometer from me as they go by), thence to Cincinnati (passing about 10 kilometers from me), then to Columbus (finally!), then to me. At least the tracking tells me why it is taking so long. Given this, it stands to reason postage rates will increase rapidly while the service worsens. I sincerely hope other countries have better management than us…

  5. Lundi
    May 12th, 2021 at 05:23 | #7

    Will the chess shops in Europe and North America both receive Marin’s Dutch books at around the same time, i.e. around Wednesday, 9th June?

    • Jacob Aagaard
      May 12th, 2021 at 21:07 | #8

      Yes, the specialists that order them will.

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