Sunday, January 01, 2017

Why no more foreign print subscriptions?

As of yesterday, I removed the option for any print subscription outside the US.  It was a tough call, but it gives me an opportunity to give a bit of an explanation.
Let's say that the profit margin on a subscription is 50%.  Printing and mailing costs take more than half, but then with some advertising revenue, it brings us back to 50% (or $14.50).
Okay. Remember that number.

Several years ago, we stopped shipping to all countries other than the US and Canada. 
We can't ship bulk outside the US, so other countries were about $4 per issue - just to mail, and we charged the additional shipping.  I don't know how much they are now, but am certain that some of them are at least double that.
At this time, Canada is somewhere around $3.25 (but I was somehow not aware of it increasing the last buck and a half or $9/year).

Now here's the thing...
Magazine returns for any reason cost about 2.5 X the First Class rate.  US magazines FC rate is $1.57, and if returned, that fee is $3.88.

For a Canadian magazine to come back, it is close to $8.  Other countries?  I don't even want to think about it.

It takes a long time to get a return, so very often we've sent a second issue to the bad address.  Now we're deeply in the hole, and there is absolutely nothing we could do about it.

Unfortunately, being a tiny company, it happened often enough to hurt.

So PDF's will be available.  I am sorry, and know that this will disappoint some of our Canadian readers.  We just aren't big enough to absorb that kind of expense.  We'll finish out the Canadian print  subscriptions that we have, and then it will just be PDF's. 

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