Shipping Update

Last Friday, June 11, I went to a business lunch with associates. When I returned, 1400 pounds of books were sitting on my loading dock. I didn’t run to tell any of you because Customs included a note: I was not to sell or ship them until they were properly marked. (!!!???)

Apparently, the fellow who inspected one of the books missed the legend “Printed and Bound in Milan”. My printer offered to send me a letter stating that Milan was in Italy, but that wasn’t needed: they knew where it was, they just didn’t see the notice. They wanted me to send a copy of the book with a label stuck in to indicate country of origin. Yea. Right. Open each box, put in a sticker, close each box. Oh, and lose the volume I send them for proof. Sure. Right. Ah ha….

I realized that if I simply hung myself that you’d never get the books, so I called Customs, and got a pleasant surprise. They were perfectly happy to hear the books were marked, they just wanted to see a photo of the imprint, and they took care of the paperwork instantly. Hmm…

So, I am ready to start shipping books.

For those of you in the States, they will come via the USPS. You will get an e-mail message giving you a tracking number of some sort. Don’t start going out to your mailbox until you get the notice. As an estimate of the shipping cost, each pair of books within the States will cost about $25. This will be a box-in-box packaging, USPS Priority Mail.

For the rest of the work, the folks at the USPS have shown me how to get two volumes into an International Priority Flat Rate Box. The cost isn’t so bad. Each pair of books will cost you about $65 US. This is an improvement on my first estimate of $40 each. Those rates are to Perth, Australia, and I think they are the maximum anyone will pay. Others will pay less.

For everyone, I have absorbed the cost of shipping to the US. This was cheaper than sending the books from Italy, since the printer will not send books via the Italian Post Office, only the commercial guys like DHL.

So,when will you get your books? I will start shipping Thursday. US shipments need very little processing. Outside the US, I must re-pack your books, which at least gives me a chance to add packaging material.

But I have to tell you, that I can’t spend all day shipping: I have a day job. It’s killing me, but I cannot take time off from work this week. Next week, yes, I will take days off and ship like mad. This week, no time off. But I will make a start this week, and I hope every one receives their books before July 1. The international folks are getting theirs priority, so they will get there at about the same rate as the domestic crew.

Trust me, I wish I could ship them all today. Why? I have to pay for the next pair of books this week…

When you receive the books, page through each volume to make sure there are no obvious problems with binding and so on. I have some books kept aside for the inevitable loss in shipping or mis-binding, but luckily, my experience says that this is rare. In 22,000 volumes, I think I had a total of 25 problems related to binding. Maybe less.

Also when you receive your books, if you are not satisfied, then please contact me to return them. I will refund your money for any reason you see fit, as long as I get the books back in new condition, and you pay for return postage and insurance. I’ll eat the cost of sending the books to anyone who decides they don’t want them.

Lastly, when you accept your books, a payment of $600 is due.

Now, last but not least, about shipping addresses.

If you suspect that I may not have your correct address, please send it to me again, along with a phone number. And please send this to “aftonhousebooks@earthlink.net”. Include any special requests or issues that you think I should know about.

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2 Comments

  1. töff said,

    June 15, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    * Snoopy dance! *

  2. Kurt said,

    June 16, 2010 at 12:50 am

    With you on that one. My heart skipped a beat when I opened the Blog and saw something other than “Picture of one of the Volumes”. On May 19th Bob posted an estimate of 3 weeks shipping, 4 days customs, 2 days to Virginia which works out to… today! Huzzah!


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