International shipping methods, prices for smart cards including adult cards.

The notes below are based on a great deal of experience. Please read the whole page.

The problems - normal post.

We cannot just send goods by normal post as they would not be insured. If they were lost the customer
would not just accept the loss, they would come back to us and expect a replacement.
We would lose the value of the goods and so shipping without insurance is not an option.

Shipping by post - Royal Mail with insurance.

This is the system we have used for some time. It is called "International Signed For".
The customer signs for the goods and they are insured.
However, there are major problems.
Delivery times are 7 to 21 working days depending on the country.
The item is not track able once it leaves the UK so we cannot help the customer
with progress details.
If it is lost, since it can take up to 28 days to get there, Royal Mail will not let
us put in a claim until one month has expired. By then the customer is shouting for a replacement.
(But it could still get there and if another is sent we don't get paid for the first one.)
The insurance claim system is poor and slow.

Using a courier.

Cards are very small and go in a padded envelope. Total weight even with a cam is only 75g
so this is a small item for a courier to take. Couriers tend to have a minimum delivery
weight charge of 500g
Therefore couriers are more expensive as you are paying for a faster service and more weight
than the item is.

There are 3 types of courier

1. Cheap. Here the goods are track-able and with good insurance cover
But tracking is poor and the delivery is slow.
If tracking on-line is not working well, you talk to UK call centers and "search teams"
But it is not possible to talk to or e-mail depots directly or get the call center
to do it for you and report back.
This is because with this type of courier, the goods are passed on to other companies
once the goods reach the country of destination. Couriers in that country take over
often on a new tracking number which makes tracking even more difficult.
Sometimes it is even passed on to the postal service in the destination country
for the last part of it's journey.

2 Medium pricing. Companies like TNT international. Here the goods are mostly kept "in-house"
In many countries TNT have their own depots. If they don't, they will have their own office
in another companies depot. TNT is in 220 countries and it is very unlikely to be an
office in other delivery company. TNT is in almost all middle eastern counties.
There are English speaking people who can say exactly were the goods are on their
journey and you talk, at each stage, to real people. Not machines that eventually put
you through to call centers.
Companies like TNT use an express service. This service tends to be quite quick at 2 to 5 days.
Web tracking is also good.

3. Expensive. Like UPS or DHL. Everything is in house and fast but too expensive
for items in this price range. Customers will not buy goods if the delivery price
is a high proportion of the price of the goods.

Our choice then is on option 2. - TNT express courier service.

The price of 75g is the same as 500g and varies with country.
Here are the rates,

We would send you an e-mail quotation for you to confirm before processing your order.
The quotation would be based on the rates below. If you want to save time, send us an e-mail
immediately after making your order, quoting your order number and agreeing to the rate below
for your country. We will attach the agreement to your order and process it straight away.

If your country is not listed below, don't worry, the actual list is longer,
we will e-mail the shipping price. It will be in one of these zones. The following list is a guide.

Zone 1 -15.00

Zone 2 -25.00

Belgium Andora
Czech Rep

Zone 3 -25.00

Bosnia & Herzogovina
Canary Islands
Faroe Islands
Russian Federation
San Marino
Union of Serbia and Montenegro

Zone 4 -38.00

All Middle East

Due to problems with customs in some middle eastern countries,
cards will be described on the invoice as "shop rewards points card" and cams as "computer interface"

(Smart cards to the USA is not an option as they would not work there.)

These prices are the best we have been able to find based on a good reliable
service that is not too expensive.
We think this is the best balance between price and reliability.

We have a 38 courier shipping charge on our site that is mainly for EU countries but
this option can be used for sending cards by fast courier to zone 4