I have 35 squares, a toy and 3 skeins of wool to send. I packaged according to the instructions. I took the package to the post office. I put the package slip inside the package. I also put the address on the outside. I was told I need a customs slip. I have no idea where that is. I was also told my 4 lb package would cost $69. I feel like I've done all of this for nothing and that it would be better to keep the squares, etc. and donate money. Do these blankets really cost close to $200, given the cost of yarn and mailing? What am I missing? Thank you.
I know that in the US you only have airmail for parcels, unlike here in Australia. I will ask one of our members from the US to answer this query for you.
Hi, Bettie-- I'm just another member who happened to come across your post, so I'm not writing this in any "official" capacity. It seems no one got back to you on this, so I will share what I do about shipping. IT IS very expensive to mail from the U.S., and some members have chosen to send monetary donations instead. However, I love to crochet the squares for the children, so I continue to mail packages. You didn't do anything wrong, but what I do is try to keep my packages under 3 lbs. and it usually comes out to around $37 to mail First Class International. I am able to send 35-40 squares at a time that way, keeping the packaging as lightweight as possible. That makes it a bit more manageable for me. It's still a lot of money, but I am fortunate to have several neighbors (who don't crochet but want to support) and a daughter who have offered to help me with postage costs, so I sort of rotate them so I'm not asking all of them every time I have to mail. Once while my husband was in surgery, I was in a waiting room in a medical office crocheting, and several people asked me what I was doing, so I told them about Knit-a-Square. To my surprise, three people got up and started handing me money for postage!!! Where there's a will, there's a way!
Customs slips are available in the post office. They're pretty simple to fill out...names, addresses, etc. and then I put "35 yarn squares" with a total value of "0" or "1." I used to put "0" but then once an experienced postal clerk changed it to "1" so there wouldn't be any question. Of course, always mark the package "Bona Fide Gift for Charity."
First Class International packages to South Africa (Price Group 7) require a maximum length of 24", and the combined Length + Height + Depth of maximum 36". The weight limit is 4 lbs, but I find it better to keep it under 3 lbs. because you will notice that while the difference in price between 2 lbs and 3 lbs, increases $15, the price increases nearly $25 between 3 lbs and 4 lbs.!!! I used to send between 3 and 4 lbs, but I was taken by surprise about a couple years ago with a $65 price when it seemed the postal rates changed, so I went home and repackaged to a lesser weight. A 2 lb.11oz. package has cost me around $37.
1-8 oz. (1/2 lb.) $15.25
9-32 oz. (2 lbs.) $ 25.50
33-48 oz. (3 lbs.) $ 40.50
49-64 oz. (4 lbs.) $ 63.25
Hope this is helpful. There may be better, more economical ways to mail packages if you have very large quantities, but this is what works for me. Good luck!