Got tips for cheapest ways to send mail art internationally?

Hey, Y'all~

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

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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.

btw, there is also something called a large envelope, which can be 3/4” here is the info: https://postcalc.usps.com

a scale at USPO is 35.00 it’s an invesrment, but i have had mine for 20 years and it’s great.

https://store.usps.com/store/results?_dyncharset=UTF-8&Dy=1&...

i weigh the piece, check the cost and use stamps. everything you needto learn can be found at 

https://www.usps.com

good luck!

Glad you posed this..I too would love a few tips. I think the letter size is a great idea, keeping it thin and flat. Here in Canada..the post office has a sizing board. If the envelope can pass through the slot then it is considered regular postage..otherwise, the measuring tape comes out and WHOA...$$$$ start escalating..International rates are insane..Happy New Year..<')))>/p>

Glad you posed this..I too would love a few tips. I think the letter size is a great idea, keeping it thin and flat. Here in Canada..the post office has a sizing board. If the envelope can pass through the slot then it is considered regular postage..otherwise, the measuring tape comes out and WHOA...$$$$ start escalating..International rates are insane..Happy New Year..<')))>/p>

Late to this discussion but our friend Dean, Artist in Seine, in Paris would send all sorts of things through the mail and NEVER, EVER put a return address on them. I once got a postcard cover in fluffy green feathers. Made it to the US just fine. His idea was that once it's in the mail, the postal service has to deliver it. Not sure about that, but I did get lots of interesting mail from him - broken cell phone bits, part of a land line phone, things he's pick up on the street that had been crushed. A lot of fun. For awhile, I'd send collaged CDs out within the US (and global, with one global stamp) and they seemed to get there okay. YOu can do a test run with some piece of mail.

In the UK, we have different rates for letter postage according to size - and the large (A4) size is a lot more than the one half that size. So mostly, I make work that's no larger than A5, and only what will go anywhere in the first (cheapest) weight banding. I use my electronic kitchen scales for checking weight. 

hello!  if your package cannot be bent,(I have had a postal worker try to bend my envie and tell me this) that sometimes signals a package.  if there are bumps that can be felt through the envie, that signals a package.  never, ever, use bubble wrap or it signals a package!  these are the tips i have learned from my local post office in nevada, usa.  they apply to domestic and overseas mail..  good luck!    marlies

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