Who isn't aware of ridiculously high postage rates no matter which country you might live in. This quite often, and understandably, translates into giveaways only being open in certain areas, eg US only. With all the giveaways I had on my blog so far, I had prizes which I sent out personally. The rates were expensive, but more or less affordable. But these times are over now, because the Austrian Postal Service did not only raise national and international postage rates, they did so in a devious way which almost made me fly into a homicidal rage when I sent of a letter this week.
Devious? Well, on first glance things look deceivingly comprehensible with only five different types of rates for letters up to 2kg (anything above will be parcel mail due to the weight). Things do get a bit complicated though, because you need to be very careful about the measurements of the letter you want to send.
Homicidal? If you had to suddenly pay €3,80 instead of €2,50 you wouldn't be amused either.
To give you a better idea of just how bad it is, let's assume I'd want to send a paperback to the US. Let's say the book weighs about 300g or 10,5 oz ... let's also say the book itself is about 2,5cm or 1in thick and with a padded envelope it'd be maybe 3cm or 1,5in thick.
Sending such a book by economy mail would have cost me €5,45 last week (that would be about $7,60 with the current exchange rate). This week such an economy letter would cost - and you should seriously sit down now - €21,80 (which would be $30,50).
I am so NOT making this up!!!
And admittedly you could pack a whole lot more into that letter for the same price (up to the aforementioned 2kg), but the point is that if you only wanted to send this one book, you'd still pay as much.
This big jump in rates doesn't make sense to you? To me neither. Basically you have to pay the Maxi-Letter rate for everything that's thicker than 2,5cm, which equals an inch. So while it used to be a matter of how heavy something was, it's now a matter of ... well, I don't know ... insanity?
With postage rates like that it would, quite frankly, be crazy to even think about sending things overseas. So thank you for all the other wonderful options for giveaways, such as Amazon GCs or The Book Depository.