Chris, as a Canadian I understand that it is more expensive to ship internationaly then domestically. However I feel that the real costs are not as high as BPL or some other stores would have you belive. Shipping is not that expensive. If they need a person at the post office to fill out customs forms shipments, then is that not a job already filled in the form of the shipper?
Besides the parcels could be saved up and sent weekly to save man hours, this policy could be then made clear on the website.
Alternatively BPL could easily - as they used to do - take my order and then get back to me regarding actual shipping costs. Backcountry.com has an interesting system where actual international shipping costs are calculated at check-out and through them, for less money, I get faster service, insurance and my customs fees are already prepaid in my shipping. I would welcome BPL adopting this model.
Furthermore if it say costs BPL 5 dollars on average to ship domestically and they are willing to waive this to members for a time in the form of free US shipping - then why are us international members refused similar savings on our higher shipping? I payed for my membership like you did, why am I not getting similar value out of it?
I think that my objection stems form the fact that a large (3lb) order costs the same (17.50 for USPS) to ship to Canada as would a 3 oz. PRO 90 balaclava. For the 3lb order I think the cost was reasonable - albeit maybe a little high. But what about the 3 oz order that fits in a mailing sleeve? To me for that order the 17.50 flat fee is exorbitant.
Interestingly enough the actual shipping cost to BPL for the 3 lb order was only 10-11 dollars, I would wonder about the actual cost to ship the balaclava. I think we know where the rest goes.
The reality is that the amount charged for international shipping does not IMO reflect the actual costs of the service. And if it does then BPL suffers a image problem regarding its international members.
What I think is unfortunate is that in these tough economic times BPL is failing to exploit its international market in such a way as to maximize orders and thus profits.