I recently volunteered to be a guinea pig for science. The fact that it got me a very cool piece of swag didn’t hurt, but I honestly did it for my fellow Canadians (and only a little bit for the personal gain).
We Canadians are far too often on the receiving end of Uncle Sam’s red-hot anal stick, delivered by way of the USPS. What costs $2 to ship across those United States will often cost us $30 or more, just because we happen to be on the other side of an invisible line. Over the years, I estimate that I’ve spent hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars for the privilege of boosting the American economy, lining the already-fat pockets of UPS and USPS.
Last week, I (gently; it’s broken) put my foot down.
Nerd Merit Badges released their 7th badge, and I wanted it. I think the idea of having merit badges for being a nerd is awesome and hilarious, and I already have the others – clearly I needed to get the new one to add to my sash. I added the item to my cart and clicked the checkout button for my total: $15.94
That doesn’t sound so bad – except the badge is $3.99, and the remaining $11.95 was for shipping a 1.5″ embroidered circle to Canada.
Oh HELLS no.
I whined on Twitter used social media to share my displeasure, and was quickly contacted by the man behind the nerd badges. We got to talking via email, and he asked for suggestions on how to get the goods to Canada for a price that won’t make people cry. Since the badges are small, I suggested just sending them in an envelope – the $0.88 shipping cost would be much easier to swallow than the fancy and largely unnecessary International Air Small Package Handled by Virgin Unicorns by the Light of a Full Moon postage rate. It was all for science, see – if the badge made it to Canada in one piece and was unmolested by customs on either side of the border, John would be able to offer cheaper shipping for Canadians who want to show off their nerd pride.
The experiment was a smashing success. $0.88 and 5 days later, I had the newest Nerd Merit Badge in my slightly clammy fist and did a victory jig in our lobby. Hooray! Hooray for SCIENCE!
By way of thanks, John asked that I take a picture of myself with the badges doing something “unutterably Canadian”. I spent most of last night nude, so a picture of ME was out – but I could easily do the rest:
Here’s to you, John – your willingness to make your (awesome) products more accessible to Canadians is something that every merchant should aspire to!
I should totally get a lab coat.