Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Canada Post " Helps " Small Business ???

Yet again, an arm of Canadian Government, in its blind attempt to 'help' small business, screws us!

I've been talking the last two weeks with a re-enactor from California in the USA. The fellow wants to improve the quality of his Viking Age camp. Now, his choices are not quite the ones I would make, but here is what he is interested in:

These are all pieces by 'Torvald Sorenson' of Weland Smithy. I'm pretty sure that is is an operation catering to the whims of the SCA.

On the pieces themselves:
- I certainly do not normally make up the extremely modern bowl brazier. There is nothing (I'm aware of) in the archaeological record that looks like that - certainly NOT in the Viking Age.
- Same goes for the Cresset. Although the concept of a basket to hold wood pieces (normally pine knots) for lighting is seen historically, again its not Norse.
- The version of the cauldron actually looks fairly good. I have started to use thicker (1/8 thick) sheet for my own replicas and reproductions. The thicker material is more difficult to work, but does give a better working quality to the finished pot.
- The tripod seen uses too light a metal stock, and as well is significantly 'stretched' in its proportions. This is a typical re-enactor's modification to transform something intended to be a 'ritual object' into a working system.

Ok - back to the point of this - Shipping to the USA

Canada Post, in its infinite wisdom, has decided to upgrade all the speed packages. The old 'Regular Parcel' speed of 6 - 9 business days is gone. Now there is 'Expedited Parcel', quoted at a speed of 4 business days. (You might be able to go to the service rates, here for shipping a cauldron from Wareham Ontario to California)

Now, what Canada Post has done is to bump up all the speeds for the available choices. And of course vastly increase the prices for that 'service'. What if you are NOT in a rush? Too Bad! Pay more anyway, there is no longer an economical choice.

I figure the cost increase from the old Regular Parcel, at 6 - 9 business days, to this new 'super fast 'Expedited Parcel' is about plus 35%.

To add insult to the injury:
1) This is just the shipping time. It does not include any time in Customs. Worse, since now US Customs is combined directly with Homeland Security (read 'Paranoia', anything made of METAL has typically been held 2 - 3 weeks for 'inspection'.
2) That time of 'four days' is only from MAJOR to MAJOR centre. Say Toronto to LA. From Wareham, add on an extra two days. If the town in California (in this case) is a small place, again add on two days.

So what is happening is that I actually am being forced to pay considerably more - for a level of 'service' which I am not actually able to be given!

Just for comparison:

Item / Price / Shipping
Brazier / $250 / $100
Cresset / $250 / $100
Tripod / $500 / $50
Cauldron / $250 / $40

So you can see what is most likely to happen here. With the cost of the shipping now increased by about 35%, that cost starts to become a significant fraction of the cost of the item itself. I expect to loose the order.

Gee, THANKS Canada Post, this was SO helpful....

1 comment:

Lara said...

In many areas here in the states, there are rules where only off-the-ground fires are allowed, if they are allowed at all. I believe the brazier is a compromise to allow use of the tripods without having to result to a propane cook stove for a hot meal.


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