Australia Post Alternatives?
September 28, 2009 6:27 AM   Subscribe

Small business looking for Alternative to Australia Post for international shipping. Does one exist?

What started as a simple side-project for two geeks has spun into a bit of a runaway phenomenon which leaves us in a peculiar financial situation relating to fulfilling our product.

We always knew Australia Post's fees for international postage were high, but were happy to eat the cost. But now we are dealing with a very large quantity, and the cost of postage pretty much eats all our profit, in some cases, costing more than the manufacturing itself!

We understand Australia Post offer discounts on contract, but you have to sign off on a large annual spend, and they don't even consider it until you have shown consistent spend for a few months.

We have considered:

-Drop-shipping (simply too many countries to do it effectively.)
-Printing and fulfilling overseas (a possibility in the near future)
-Borrowing a friends Australia post account (most likely solution)
-Finding some sort of mail house (discounts are pretty slim if any, and they have semi-dodgy ways of getting the post there to begin with)

Has anyone else in Australia been in this boat before? Are we missing something? Does anyone have specific referrals? Does Australia Post simply hate Small Business? Are we simply too far away?
posted by LongDrive to Work & Money (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
We've been unable to find an alternative. My company imports via postal service large lightweight items (the boxes are 1m cubes and weigh around 10 kilos) from Australia into the US. The only choice we've been able to find is to hire a shipping container, but that's an awful lot of 1m cubes.

In case you're wondering, the items in question are oversized plastic motorcycle fuel tanks from R&V Aqualine.
posted by workerant at 2:16 PM on September 28, 2009

Best answer: If you think Australia Post is expensive, you're gonna be pretty horrified by any courier options available. We found aus post a lot cheaper than any other courier options. The real expense here is air mail. Are you air-mailing? Cause that's the biggest expense, and if you're not already, you can save a lot of dosh (roughly 50%) by using shipping instead, but it takes _months_.
posted by smoke at 4:08 PM on September 28, 2009

I'm aware that there are companies in the USA that will repost items to Australia/NZ from US retailers who won't send goods outside of the USA.

I know some of these companies are quite small operations. I just wondered if you could negotiate to use one of these companies 'in reverse' ! I realise this is somewhere between your drop-shipping and the mail house except that if 80% of your Ex-Australia is going to Country A you might find you could send a weekly shipment to A and then get it broken down on arrival ?

Just a thought.

I've also got a question for you - Would you check your me-fi mail ?
posted by southof40 at 6:26 PM on September 28, 2009

Best answer: Without knowing details of your business, can I suggest you look into fulfillment from Hong Kong or China? The postal rates are cheap to everywhere. I was looking at printing large numbers of photos to be sent all over, and the rates were the best of the options I looked at.
posted by bystander at 5:17 AM on September 29, 2009

« Older significantly negative about the education I got...   |   Help me fight Italian car rental scammery! Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.