At Lulu, we strive to listen to our customers and respond to their issues. One of the things we have consistently been hearing from our users are concerns about the cost of shipping internationally. As such, I wanted to address some of these concerns, and assure you that we’re doing our best to resolve them in the best possible way.
Unfortunately, the situation with international shipping prices being as high as they are is the result of several known issues. One of these issues is that, in October, we switched mail providers and in that transition lost some of our lower cost international shipping choices. In addition, we had been absorbing a lot of cost in international shipping and had to increase our charges to match. The combination of these two events resulted in some of the prices users are currently seeing. To resolve the situation, we rolled out an economy shipping option for international users that, while a little more expensive than the previous cost users may have been seeing, was much more reasonable. Unfortunately, this option does not have tracking associated with it, which we know has caused issues for some of our customers.
We’ve also seen confusion regarding where the book is shipping from. In most cases, the higher shipping prices are only occurring in situations where an item is being shipped from the US to another country. At this time we have printers in 4 countries and some of them have limitations on the binding types, trim sizes, and types of products they can print. As such, there are cases where an order can only be shipped from a printer in the US, resulting in higher prices. We are actively working to reduce the number of products that have to be shipped overseas.
Finally, there are also situations where our system stores the shipping preferences chosen from your last order, resulting in a situation where the default shipping method is not the least expensive option. This can be corrected by changing the shipping method before ordering, but it is not always obvious that this is an option.
We apologize for any inconvenience these issues have caused, and we are striving to improve your purchase experience and provide you with affordable and effective global shipping. We are currently looking at rolling out solutions over the next several months and we will keep you updated with information as we finalize the details. In the meantime, we recommend that you follow Wil Wheaton’s advice, and offer both an electronic version and create a “World Edition” of your book. The World Edition should be softcover and should be in one of our International sizes (6×9, 6.625×10.25, 4.25X6.875, 9×7, Royal, Crown Quatro, or A4) to ensure that it won’t be shipped from the US.