OTTI Think Tank III: Shipping

"Official Tea Tasting Initiative" Teas shared & discussed.

Jul 22nd, '13, 21:08
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Re: OTTI Think Tank III: Shipping

by genushumanusalice » Jul 22nd, '13, 21:08

I am very interested in this discussion as I have been following the OTTIs for a while and would love to participate in the future. I live in Australia though so would be one of the most expensive places to ship to.

From my perspective $7 shipping to Australia as you had in OTTI #19 seems quite low. I would expect to pay about that in shipping costs from a local vendor here (AU$8.95 to post 50g from one vendor and AU$10 from another!). I agree though that doubling that to $14 for a few 10g samples makes participating in an OTTI less appealing from a monetary point of view but if I were participating I'd certainly be happy to pay a little more than $7.

Of course I have never participated to this date so maybe don't read too closely into my opinions.

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Jul 22nd, '13, 21:37
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Re: OTTI Think Tank III: Shipping

by etorix » Jul 22nd, '13, 21:37

erm, basically u must amortise yer costs, if not yer time

no reason why this OTTI stuff should be paid for out of a personal pocket

ok, suppliers could contribute, maybe, do sales increase from an OTTI? .. dunno

its pretty much all a hassle, end-to-end, so

charge properly for shipping

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Jul 22nd, '13, 21:43
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Re: OTTI Think Tank III: Shipping

by AdamMY » Jul 22nd, '13, 21:43

I haven't weighed in, and I think I will try and do so in as unbiased of a fashion as possible. I just want to throw out a few points to think about.

1.) There was some suggestion about having a few intermediaries in different parts of the world hoping that could reduce shipping.
a) In my understanding most OTTI's so far have not been prepackaged by the vendors, and are actually all separated and weighed out, and packaged by Chip. There would likely need to be a more critical mass in any one given area than we are likely to get unless the OTTI program vastly increases in size for this to seem reasonable. As it is often hard to ship a majority of orders "twice" and come out ahead of just shipping them once from the main location. Not to mention even in Europe which I think is best represented behind North America in OTTI participation, I am not sure they have gotten a critical mass on most ( if any) otti's to even account for the ability for the vendor to send straight to a designated person in Europe to repackage themselves.
b) Also when I was newer on the forum, box passes were all the rage. In which a group of people would all sign up, a shipping order would be established, and a box would make its rounds in which each person could drink some tea in the box, but before they shipped it on, they needed to add some items to the box. Well there is a reason why you do not see any of those any more. So many of them went "missing." Which gets to the point that sometimes life happens, whether unintentionally or maliciously, things happen.

2) While I am all for affordability for all, is not geography dependent on so many factors in life? I am willing to bet a lot more people would be willing to live in the Wilderness for the beauty, if they still had all the amenities, services, and access that a city or suburbs provide. I guess that is a little tangential to what I am actually trying to say, but on a certain level very few to no vendors, especially "not for profit" ones can really afford to subsidize shipping by disregarding in some sense where each customer is from. I should look this up before I say it, but I am pretty sure even the USPS "Flat rate boxes" are only flat rate to the continuous 48 states, and they are the U.S. Postal Service I mean last time I checked Hawaii and Alaska are in the U.S.A. I don't think Chip wants to be viewed this way, but the whole shipping issue seems to be magically resolved if Chip is willing to consider himself a vendor.

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Jul 22nd, '13, 23:10
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Re: OTTI Think Tank III: Shipping

by JRS22 » Jul 22nd, '13, 23:10

I'm pretty sure the flat rate boxes cost the same amount to all 50 states, but there's a huge jump for international mail. The small box is $5.60 for domestic mail, but $23.95 for international use.

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Jul 29th, '13, 14:47
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Re: OTTI Think Tank III: Shipping

by IzzieBot » Jul 29th, '13, 14:47

I like the idea of averaging it out so everybody pays the same shipping. I wouldn't mind, personally, and I would love to participate in the next OTTI.

That REALLY sucks on the international shipping bit :(

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Jul 30th, '13, 16:47
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Re: OTTI Think Tank III: Shipping

by jayinhk » Jul 30th, '13, 16:47

Chip, have you looked into using DHL? They offer very good deals for those with accounts with them. I buy supplements on and they can ship me 4 lbs for $4!

Alternatively, a third party overseas might be able to help since USPS is very expensive nowadays. Shipping is a lot cheaper from here in HK, but I definitely have my hands full right now. There are, however, companies in HK that could handle the international side of things for you if you were to send prepackaged (and labeled) tea to them in bulk...eBay sellers in China use these services to get their items out to buyers worldwide.

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Jul 30th, '13, 19:27
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Re: OTTI Think Tank III: Shipping

by Joel Byron » Jul 30th, '13, 19:27

Just curious Chip, what is the average percentage of international participants vs. stateside participants in the OTTI's?

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Jul 31st, '13, 08:45
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Re: OTTI Think Tank III: Shipping

by Chip » Jul 31st, '13, 08:45

Thank you everyone for your thoughts, etc. I will answer more fully asap.

However ... this one is easy to answer ...

Joel Byron wrote:Just curious Chip, what is the average percentage of international participants vs. stateside participants in the OTTI's?

I recall rounds of as low as 20ish% to as high as 40ish%. So a quick average guestimate would be 30ish%.

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Aug 5th, '13, 18:03
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Re: OTTI Think Tank III: Shipping

by Chip » Aug 5th, '13, 18:03

Thank you everyone for your thoughts on this subject!

I think ... after much thought that there will be a shift in order to maintain OTTI, and hopefully keep it sustainable without major shifts in shipping costs charged to participants.

I will throw this out there for comment.

I believe with the next NOTTI round that I will begin using any NOTTI profit to help OTTI. This seems like a reasonable possible solution. I do not see any downsides to this, unless nobody does NOTTI or I fail to put NOTTIs together.


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