I went to the post office to mail some Amazon treats and cereal to an ex-military relative in Germany, and the post office no longer accepts packages other than airmail, which was over 30 bucks to mail about $6 worth of Lucky Charms cereal! Any one else have this happen and did you find a cheaper way to go?
That bites. They stopped sea shipping last summer. I had to ship a car seat to my sister. Took it to the post office on Saturday and they told me that sea shipping was being stopped the following Monday so they could only accept airmail. $50 to ship that thing but that was still much cheaper than buying one in the UK.
You could take the bags out the boxes, make the package a bit smaller. I know you can sometimes find Lucky Charms on eBay in Europe but the prices can go over $30 a box easy so that's not going to help.
I have a suspicion the USPS might have shot itself in the foot here -- there's clearly a demand for "cheap albeit slow" overseas shipping, but I suspect that since the USPS never provided a means of tracking such packages they ended up with enough complaints ("where's my package!?") that they decided it wasn't worth the hassle (and it was probably a pretty small part of their revenue stream anyway).
Even with the "tracking" services you get with priority mail, usually the only notifications you get are "sender has informed the post office this item will be shipped on xx/xx/xx" and "package was delivered on yy/yy/yy" -- no intermediate status such as "accepted at post office xxxx," "arrived at hub xxxx," etc. like UPS/FedEx provide.
Technologically none of these problems are hard to fix, but being a huge government institution the USPS of course is rather glacial to change! (And to give them credit where credit is due, I don't think FedEx or UPS would even *want* the regular "$0.42 1-oz. letter" delivery routes the post office provides...)
I don't think there really is that much demand for it. I've been living here for over 6 years and I only used it once, would have been twice if I'd sent that car seat a couple of days sooner. It didn't save much on smaller packages and there are things you just don't want sitting in a box for 6 weeks. I sent my sister a long leather coat for her b'day one year which would have been about $15 cheaper to send surface but I really didn't want the coat in a box for that long.
If you have smaller items to ship, try the Priority Flat-rate boxes. They have two sizes now that ship for about $9 regardless of what is in them, up to a 20lb weight limit. They also have a third size, larger, coming out at the beginning of March-it will ship for around $12, with a discounted rate to APO addresses. Living in AK, shipping things anywhere is really expensive--these boxes are fantastic deals.
get a flat-rate shipping box at the post office. it doesnt matter what you get in there, no matter how much it weighs, its just a flat-rate. i think its about $8 right now. theres two different shaped boxes, and they're pretty good size. my boyfriends deployed right now, and thats the only way i go. it always gets there in a week. hope this helps!
flat-rate global is the best way to go, although you could put the cereal box in a large brown envelope rather than a box and cut down on the weight. I send stuff to Croatia all the time for between $3 and $8 this way. The biggest item I sent was $12 for about 3 lbs.
Also, they do have cereal with nasty dried marshmallows in them in Germany. They also have Amazon in Germany. Send a giftcard for 90 cents or a giftcode for free.
There is a new company called surehip that not only makes it easy to print overseas DHL or Fedex labels, it also saves you nearly half on the shipping rate! There is no cost to join. They get a super high volume rate and you get to participate in the savings. You need to be spending about $500 per month minumum on domestic and international shipping to join. If you want to learn more call Paul at 888-559-8820 - tell him JoJo sent you.To join go to this link: http://www.sureship.com/register.aspsb=1&plev=0&pt=af&ht=114&s=JO&i=http://www.sureship.com/Images/shipandfreight.gif&im=http://www.sureship.com&clr=FEA515&btp=0&bht=10&top=0&lft=0&ttl=Register
The 2 smaller sizes of the Priority Flat rate boxes will cost you $37.00 to ship international. The $8.95 rate is ONLY for domestic or APO. The 20 pound weight limit is for international. However, if you purchase the postage online, the USPS will give you a 5% discount. I shipped a package overseas two weeks ago, cost me $35.15 online for 9 pounds 8 oz. Would have cost me $49.50 had I not used a Flat Rate box.