Is anyone out there willing to share your wisdom about sending mail art internationally? I went to the post office yesterday with 9 pieces to send, and came back home with 2 that I hoped to send to Germany & Brazil.
Combined they would have cost about $50 !! YIKES!
One mistake I made was that they were too "packagey"
instead of "lettery". I am eager to learn about this!
Please Advise. Blessings, nonimouse
My mail person has a piece of cardboard he carries with a 1/4" wide slot cut into it that is the length of a business envelope. He made it himself (probably with a craft knife and a ruler.) If a letter does not fit through the 1/4" slot, it costs more than one stamp to mail. This is in the U.S.
In Canada the largest "standard envelope" is half sheet size (about 9 inches by 6 inches) and the standard weight is 30 grams. If you are overweight the postage goes up. However the heaviest deco I have mailed internationally only cost just over $3. $3.20 I think. The same one mailed to the US would be just $1.80.
For anyone here in the U.S. that could use one, I have a simple rate chart that I've been sending out to customers and friends for years. Updated each time there's a postal increase. It covers all the basic First Class rates domestically, including packages and, all three of the International Price Groups. Which can save folks money on the international sendings. This rate chart is for U.S. mailers only. Send mail art along with your request if you'd like one. ~ Bill @ The Olathe Poste.
When I started out I was facing similar situations. From anyone starting out I suggest
1. Get information from your post office or online, about the cost of mail, nationally and internationally, in terms of size, weight and price.
2. Get one of the small scales, well worth the money.
That way you can, already at home adjust your mailing according to the specifications. There are many times when I have shaved off something, to make a letter a few gram lighter.
3. I try to max out the allowance. When I started off, I sent out small postcards, because I thought they were cheaper. But it turned out that I can send A5 letters up to 20 grams for the same price. Quadruple the mail art reals estate! So that is what I send mostly. The next threshold is 75 grams, and I use that sometimes, if I want to include something extra, because the price increase is not so much. However, to send anything bigger than A5, even if it is just an A4 envelope of only 20 grams, would be more than 10 Euros per piece, so I avoid that.
4. There are also better prices for "mass mailings" with particular conditions, which could be interesting, but I have never used that. It might be worth a try, say, if you want to introduce yourself to a whole bunch of people at the same time.
5. These rules are different in different countries, and in some counties postage is much cheaper than in others. It is also fun to go to a different county and use their - different - system. I once sent a bunch of mail art from India, with a very different format.