Don't bother with Priority Mail International. This is a small item. Don't you guys know how to ship cheap in a situation like this: Let's try $6.12 : http://ircalc.usps.com/MailServices.asp ... =6&p=0&o=5
Yes, First Class Mail International will require you to turn off the television, get up off the couch, and make a trip to your local post office. You cannot print a postage label online like you can with Priority Mail International.
First, put the hard drive in an anti-static bag. Next, take a 12" by 24" rectangular piece of fat
bubble wrap (which most people have lying around)- or else use several pieces of thin bubble wrap. Wrap it around and around the hard drive. Scotch-tape it securely. Trim the ends a little bit- leave about 1 inch on each side. Find an 8" x 10" padded envelope (most of you older guys have one lying around from that hair tonic you ordered online). Get Johan's complete mailing address via PM. Use MS Word or send yourself an email and print out his address with DENMARK in CAPS along with your return address. Make sure the word "DENMARK" is the very last part of the address, following any postal codes, etc. Trim the excess off the paper. A rectangle about 4" x 6" is a good size. Affix the address to the package with glue (so it cannot be easily removed), and also waterproof by covering with clear tape. The package will look and feel like a miniature collectible pillow. It will be nice to the touch, and people will want to be gentle with it. It is also big and puffy enough so it is hard for them to lose
The hard drive will be well protected from shocks, vibrations, drops, rolls, and tumbles during the long air mail trip to Denmark. The only thing that can damage this package is being sit on by a fat Danish customs officer (who got fat eating Danish pastry, wienerbrød (Danish pronunciation: [ˈʋiːˀnɔˌbʁœːˀð], lit. "Viennese bread", corresponding to the French Viennoiserie).... and that probably won't happen, or so we hope. As a precaution, write or stamp the word "Fragile" in large letters on the Front and Back of the package.
Next, take a black or blue pen (very important, as any pen on a chain at the Post Office usually doesn't work, and some post offices are generous with lending out pens while others will lend you one only after a mean postal clerk looks at you as if you are a student driver asking to borrow his brand new BMW
). Now, armed with your pen!, go to your local post office. Find customs short
form "CN22" aka "PS Form 2976" in one of the little trays. Fill it out, pressing hard to make 3 copies. Top of form, check "Gift" as this really is
a gift. Country of Origin, put "USA." Detailed description, put "Used laptop hard drive." Quantity put "1". Weight, leave blank, doesn't matter. Value, put "$5". "HS tariff" leave blank. "Total" put "$5". Sign and put date on bottom, copy your address and Johan's address in the "From" and "To" boxes just as you printed them on the label... BTW, you can also fill in and then print out the form Online by selecting First Class Mail, then clicking "Customs Forms and extra services" on the same Postage Price calculator link I gave you above: https://webapps.usps.com/customsforms/s ... ipient.jsp
Now get in line. Be friendly with the people in line. Get to know your neighbors! When you get to the window, smile at the clerk, even if he or she doesn't smile back. Request to ship the little pillow package "First Class Mail International." Say "no" to Express Mail or Priority Mail or extra services such as registered mail. The clerk will put your padded pillow package on the scale, see that it is 5 ounces, and request payment of $6.12 (This is a great chance to use out the spare change in your pocket). The clerk will then give you a receipt and and also return the stub on page 3 of the customs form. Keep these items safely.Total cost
: $6.12, and a nice trip to your local post office to say hi to your neighbors and cheer up your local postal clerks. Total time
: Probably 7-10 days, about the same as Priority Mail International Flat Rate, although they claim Priority Mail International Small Flat Rate Box or envelope should arrive faster. I have found that only Priority Mail large packages
, medium or large flat rate boxes truly arrive faster than First Class Mail International, and of course also include more extensive Tracking. First Class Mail International has limited Tracking available, but so does Priority Mail Small Flat Rate Box or Flat Rate envelopes, unless you send any of these items registered, which costs about $12 extra. It doesn't make sense to register a small item like this, which you are shipping to someone you know and trust
And I'm sure Johan will not forget to send Ron a quick "Thank you" message upon receiving his item. Total Savings
: $10.83, which, after receiving his hard drive safely, Johan can spend on a celebration with friends and family, full of Danish pastry and herbal tea. As we all know, "Real men drink tea
P.S. Don't mind my overly detailed steps. They are meant to add more humor to an already humorous post. Shipping First Class mail International is really simple and can save a bit of money in a situation such as this (with a small, inexpensive item). Priority Mail, Express Mail or Registered Mail are best reserved for more expensive online purchases.