02-02-2013, 09:04 AM #31
I also agree with our traders to the south, the price for sending to Canada is now riduculous and I would avoid it if I were in their shoes. In fact I only do trades to Europe that are in excess of $50 for that very reason. I hope to continue small one and two card trades to the USA with those who are willing to go the PWE route.
02-02-2013, 11:29 AM #32
Ship costs have gone up on both sides of the border, with the US rates having been artificially low for many many years (resulting in USPS losses) so there's recently been a huge correction in the States.
I've got a business in Canada and notice the ever increasing use of communication via email every year, so the trend of less people using the postal system (worldwide) will cause postal systems to continue their belt tightening. Yes the economy has had an effect however I think the bigger factor is the internet, so future postal rate increases or less postal staff/services (or both) will likely continue.
None of this is good news for the hobby, where we rely so much on the postal system. It's funny when you step back and look at the "big picture": in the past (yes I'm giving away my age) card collectors relied on their local card stores and flea market card sellers or card shows, to hunt down cards. The hunt was really time consuming and it was SUPER HARD to complete large sets or find low numbered inserts. Then the internet blossomed and ebay made it SUPER EASY to find cards. The world became your market place and I found that even cards numbered out of 10 readily showed up on ebay or collecting boards, so completing those previously impossible insert sets became much more routine.
But with the internet, came change: first the prices started to tumble. I might have snapped up a rare insert long ago at a card show for (say) $500 and been HAPPY TO PAY THAT HIGH PRICE (because it was like I'd discovered buried treasure at the end of a long search)...but after seeing two on the internet sell for $75, the next one I saw at a card show went untouched for anything more than $75. Next, card shows became less and less as sellers saw their profits decrease and they stopped setting up their tables. Collectors stopped meeting each other as much. So the third consequence was that less face to face communication (in my opinion) resulted in the hobby becoming more "what's in it for ME?" as opposed to "how can I work together with my fellow collector?". Fourthly, people started losing $$$ when opening wax, because their return became a small percentage of what it cost to open a box. Less people open wax now and those that don't, often sit back and wonder why sellers complain about the low return they get for their initial outlay ("no problem with you losing $$$; it's your penalty for the thrill of opening"). Less people opening wax resulted in card manufacturers producing more insert-heavy wax and rarer cards, to try and attract the box openers...but of course the box prices zoomed up. So wax openers spent even more $$$ on boxes/cases...and lost even more $$$ in return (sigh).
With the internet making the world smaller for collectors and consequently easier for collectors to source out cards, it also made communication much more instantaneous/cheap...and now the postal systems are reacting to their reduced physical mail volume...and we come to where we are today with escalating postal rates. The problems sellers have paying more $$$ to mail out, become a problem for buyers trying to track down cards...since those cards will dry up when sellers can't afford to mail them out. So realize this is a two way street: it doesn't matter which side of the border you're on...nor where you are in the world: postal prices will continue to rise and we need to work together constuctively to find a solution. If someone wants a card bad enough, that person will have to pay.
Time will tell if new trends will emerge. For example, maybe over time card shows will make a comeback: once again collectors will have to hunt things down locally or go to the big card show that's a 4 hour drive away...to find (for example) the less expensive singles that no one can afford to mail through the postal system. Perhaps people will start paying more for those "common cards" that were previously so cheap and readily traded. I hope so. Keep in mind that paying more will encourage wax openers...and encourage people to offer them up. If buyers (in my opinion rather spoiled now) keep insisting on low low prices, then they'll "pay" the price of not being able to find their cards. Everyone will suffer. Wouldn't it be ironic if the internet which spawned so many changes will bring things around full circle and cause collectors (because of the postal rates) to once again start frequenting their local card stores and shows and physically meeting with each other...
Sorry for this longwinded reply to the thread. My point of view spans many years of collecting and looking at the changes to the hobby. I only wish that everyone within the hobby would work together to find a solution and take less of a "me versus they" approach to find a solution to any change, which right now is the spike in postal rates in the States. Tomorrow it'll be something else. Everyone needs each other to find their cards or try and recoup some funds. Compromise is the best solution. If we don't work together, the hobby brings less joy to everyone. If we don't work together, the hobby will die.
02-02-2013, 01:25 PM #33
Netsinah....really enjoyed reading your point of view. I agree that everyone needs to work together to keep this hobby going.
02-03-2013, 04:16 AM #34
It's unfortunate that postal rates have increased and will hinder small trades. Although the postal service is just one of the governments fiscal policies to help reduce your tremendous debt. The US debt is greater than the whole Euro zone! The minimum wage may be lower but your cost of living is still relative to Canada. If the debt isn't lowered and the government gets a wiff of hyper inflation, interest rates will increase. I'd hate to see the balance sheet on over 17 trillion of debt with a 2% increase.
Anyways the point is, buying hockey cards is a luxury and if you truly can't afford them STOP! It can be an addiction. Save that money in a bank account, pay down high interest debt, or make extra mortgage payments.
There was a very good comment about ethical relativism. The "me generation" that maximizes the individual rather than group. It would make sense for all border transactions to split the total shipping costs in a trade. For purchases and sales there has already been some great comments.
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02-25-2013, 05:34 PM #35
I for one will continue to trade to canada. 6.55 or whatever sucks, but pouting isn't going to make it any cheaper - it is what it is. At least now I get tracking so when Canadian Customs wants to take my envelope and let it rot on a desk somewhere, I'm not the one getting complained at. And PWE / rigid item is 2.10 or whatever, so there's that route too.Bucket Hidden Content
02-25-2013, 11:13 PM #36
I am being charged $2.25 maximum for 10 cards inside two top-loaders Non-Machinable, and that is the proper charge. Fight like hell for it.
They have a Non-Machinable button on their screen, tell the clerk to use it. Half or more of the USPS outlets are allowing us to ship correctly, the other half won't listen and try to hose you for $6.55 - $7.00 for the same thing, and it's not correct.
A bubble envelope is still an envelope. Non-Machinable is used when the mailer won't fit through the smallest mails slot. It DOES NOT auto-default to International Package.
Remember - DO NOT use a Customs Form. Using a Customs Form makes it an International Package immediately. You have to fight like hell for them to listen.
I have sent well over 350 of them now, and not one has been returned for insufficient postage. They also arrive 7-9 days earlier.