Since opening up the MMD pop-up shop, we have gotten a lot of questions about if we ship internationally and why we don’t. After I replied to my first email about this, it seemed simpler to share the reasons here. Basically, I’ve shipped internationally in the past and it was significantly more frustrating than I ever realized and it’s not something we have the bandwidth to take on at this point.
Here’s a longer answer:
We did think very, very hard about offering international shipments, because we LOVE that readers around the world come together in our community, and shouldn’t that apply to our products, too? I feel like I’m living in the global era, and that transporting goods (especially goods like reading journals!) across borders shouldn’t be too difficult.
But this decision was rooted in experience. Last summer we sold reading journals as an experiment during Summer Reading season, and I was SHOCKED to find out how complicated shipping internationally was, and that was when we were using a fulfillment service (whose job it is to know the international shipping rules and follow through on them).
Even through this shipping provider, we had journals get held up for months (seriously) in customs. We had several orders we tried to ship THREE different times that never went through. I spent hours at the post office trying to ship journals internationally, filling out customs forms by hand, hoping that would make a difference. Sometimes it did, but not always, and golly, was it ever expensive—in time, money, and pure frustration.
All of this is to say while I dearly wish shipping internationally was just a matter of paying a little extra postage, it’s not that easy, especially when you’re a small operation. In the future, I hope to find a provider that is able to make international shipping a bit easier. In the very near future, I’m wondering if shipping something tiny and lightweight like stickers—that fit in a letter-sized envelope and don’t require a customs declaration—would work. (You may know more about this than I do, and I would love to hear about your experience if that is the case!)
To wrap up my novel, I do want you to know that this decision wasn’t made arbitrarily, and while we’re not thrilled with it, we don’t see a good alternative at this time.
I so appreciate your enthusiasm for reading journals and other bookish goodness, and wish you very happy reading!