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2,055 Views 7 Replies Last post: Mar 9, 2018 1:14 PM by JohnFar RSS
Level 0 8 posts since
Dec 30, 2016
Currently Being Moderated

Jan 20, 2018 8:29 AM

Shipping to South America, anyone else?

I am publishing books in Spanish, so the main market for these books is Latin America. But now I found that it is almost impossible for customers to receive these books. I keep getting requests from people who say that buying from Amazon is too complicated for them and they want to buy books from me directly. But the crazy thing is that not even I can receive my own books!!


This whole problem is due to Createspace's shipping policy which does not allow customers to specify the carrier for shipping of their orders. And additionally, that Createspace seems to have a predilection for UPS. My last larger order was shipped by UPS although I had chosen "Standard" shipping and the destination address was a post office !


Now, here in South America of all carriers UPS has absolutely the worst reputation. This company is known for not delivering parcels, for not attending customers' complaints, and for charging abusive fees from recipients for fetching parcels whose shipping is already paid, fees which exceed the value of the goods plus shipping costs together. For receiving that shipment which was worth 100 dollars, I would have had to pay UPS about 200 dollars or more, and I might even have had to travel 700 miles to Lima, so I had to abandon it. Ordinary mail service does not charge any of these fees, I can just fetch my parcels at the post office and normally there is not even a customs tax. So receiving my books by UPS would cost me twice or three times as much as receiving them by ordinary mail, which means that receiving them would ruin me financially.


I am in contact with customer support since three weeks ago about this issue, but until now they were not able to offer a satisfactory solution. Up to now I cannot even safely apply for a refund, since they cannot guarantee me that a replacement would be sent by ordinary mail as requested, and therefore the same problem may happen again and the refund would be lost as well. Additionally I have requests pending for about fifty more books which I cannot order because of this issue.


I do not understand why Createspace cannot solve an issue which would be in their own interest, as I suppose, they are themselves also paying more for shipping with UPS instead of ordinary mail. It would be so simple: If shipping option is "Standard" and destination is a post office, ship by ordinary mail. But Createspace seems unable to do that.

Currently the issue is pending at Amazon's shipping department. So it looks like it must be resolved at the level of the whole of Amazon before Createspace can do anything about it ... if this is true, it might become complicated.


Has someone in this community successfully shipped books to South America and can point me a way out?

Level 5 3,881 posts since
Feb 1, 2011
Currently Being Moderated
1. Jan 20, 2018 5:25 PM in response to: JohnFar
Re: Shipping to South America, anyone else?

I believe that you're stuck.  They are totally and ridiculously dumb about shipping.  When I was living in Japan I had the exact same problem.  They would either ship to Japan through UPS, which was fine, or by FedEx, which was like your experiences there.  Fed Ex would "lose" the packages about 90% of the time, I would have to email CS after the required waiting time and say that I did not receive the books, and explain that they should not ship to Japan via FedEx.  They would reprint and ship again.  They generally shipped by UPS the second time,  but not always, and I'd have to report a lost package again.  No matter how many times I phoned or emailed, they would always say "we do not have a choice about who we select for shipping".  Maybe they just leave all of the packages out on a loading dock, and whichever shipper comes and picks them up first is how they select the shipper, I have no idea, but, it's totally ridiculous.


I am feeling your pain  but can do nothing about it.



Level 5 3,881 posts since
Feb 1, 2011
Currently Being Moderated
3. Jan 23, 2018 1:48 PM in response to: JohnFar
Re: Shipping to South America, anyone else?
I got a confirmation mail from an Amazon address, but did not hear anything more from them since then. That's why I am guessing Createspace may not even be able to make an autonomous decision about a shipping issue.

That is VERY interesting.  Thank you for letting us know that.



Level 2 137 posts since
Sep 19, 2017
Currently Being Moderated
6. Mar 9, 2018 12:10 PM in response to: JohnFar
Re: Shipping to South America, anyone else?

I've just checked my I-S account, when I go to the section for an individual title and go to the pricing section for various markets, there is a "Brazil partner network" listed at which I had set the price for copies in Brazil.  I don't know how you would order author copies though unless you set yourself up with a bookstore account (maybe you can find a friendly bookseller to order from you at the wholesale price from Brazil?  I also don't know whether shipping from Brazil to Peru is better than from the US to Peru.

One possibility would be double-shipping, i.e. get a US mailing address from a private company (such as the UPS store) and pay them to receive the books in the US and mail them to Peru (you could buy them from either Amazon or I-S in the US.)

Just some thoughts, I can't really think of how to help.


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