Sunday, 17 March 2013

The Tyranny of Distance.

I have just got back from a trip to the USA for work, and whilst there I took the opportunity to buy up on games - 24lb worth of games. Weight was the limiting factor due to the baggage limits of the airline.

I bought: Legendary, Eclipse, Mage Wars, Dominion, Fantastiqa, King of Tokyo and a bunch of expansions for those games.  In all it was just less than $400 worth of games.  It was enormously profitable - why? Because the postage on those games would have been another $400 if I had ordered them online as I normally would have.

Postage has become a major concern with games these days. This is most evident for me with Kickstarter, where postage is a big concern. I unwisely committed to one KSer that didnt advertise postage up front and ended up paying as much in postage as the item cost.  I have also seen a number of KSers saying that they are having problems coping with international postage as it is rising sharply.

And the reason - they are all using airmail and couriers. Whatever happened to surface mail?  Years ago I used to get a lot of stuff sent to me via surface mail, it took 2 months to get to me but it didnt cost much.  The usual reason I am given is speed of delivery (I want it now) and damage or loss during transit (we dont trust surface mail).  I suspect it is more of a "we can't be bothered working out" any delivery method other than the ONE method, cause it saves on handling costs.  For me speed is not a concern, COST is a concern. Damage during shipping - wrap it is a few layers of bubble wrap! Gets lost - that what insurance is for - not to mention that is 30 years of shipping I have NEVER lost an item.  I'm not sure if surface mail actually exists anymore - the web sites of the post office dont seem to mention it, so maybe its no longer an option. Ahh for the old days.

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