Australian Postal Costs AKA Why I Don’t Do A Lot of Mail Art

Wise Blood Mail Art 1

I think it was the envelope from Fishspit that made me realise that I was missing out on some big mail art fun.

That’s not to say that I hadn’t received beautifully drawn upon, stamped, embossed, coloured, washi taped, etc envelopes before, but his envelopes made me realise that cut and paste is alive and well in envelopes as well as zines. And, well, I really wish I could up my game.

The obvious point of the matter is that I could up my game if I had more artistic skills when it comes to drawing. The not-so-obvious point of the matter that when it comes to adding so much as a sticker to international mail from Australia, it gets… annoying.

The thing about Australian mail sent internationally is that it’s $2.45 up until you hit the 50 grams mark. After that? It jumps to $7.40

I’m not here to talk about how utterly ridiculous the price difference is (grr) but rather to talk about 50 grams.

50 grams is not that much. Not by a long shot. When you’re sending paper and maybe tucking a few stickers in there, it’s more than enough. But when it comes to a zine – especially a zine with cardstock covers – adding in a halfway decent envelope can quickly and easily send it right over the mark.

I try to keep my zines at 24 pages or less because, after you put a cover on them, they are skirting that 50g line pretty closely. Add in the envelope and you’re screwed over in a hurry. I would love to send out my zines with sturdier envelopes for protection, but the sturdier envelopes would take up so much of the weight that I’d be lucky to put a mini-zine inside.

I wish there was a middle ground between 50g and 250g that would let me make bigger zines and/or have fun with mail art. Alas…

I don’t know if anyone had even ever wondered about Australian postage costs, but there you go. My ‘info rant’ for the day.

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