Re: QSL bureau

Steve W3HF

I was the "other member" talking to Jerry over the past weekend, so let me summarize my position with respect to Bill's comments.

> I think we have concluded the ARRL Bureau is still the way to go as they are about the only game

> in town to batch send cards to most places on the planet.  

I agree that's true for small quantities of cards to individual countries. But ARRL's prices now are higher than direct mail to incoming bureaus (which was Jerry's initial question). ARRL's base charge is $1.15 per ounce, which is exactly what it costs to mail a one-ounce envelope overseas. So if you have 6 or 8 or 10 (depending on weight) cards to send to a single country, you will absolutely save money sending direct to that country's incoming bureau (as you won't have to also pay for the postage to Newington). You'll also save processing time, as your cards will go direct to the bureau, instead of going to Newington to be re-sorted. That's going to be my plan going forward.

But if you only have small quantities of cards for each country--much less than one ounce's worth--but a reasonable-sized total package (like more than a half pound) then the ARRL's outgoing bureau may be a reasonable choice. This is driven by the $7 per order service charge that ARRL now imposes.  

> I now only use the outgoing bureau to respond to QSL requests of other stations.

That's pretty much where I am now, too. I used to routinely send a smattering of random cards, but now it's really only for those who request it.

>  With the ARRL price increase, I'm now sending a much larger batch of cards less frequently.  

I think that's the right approach, and probably the intent of the ARRL changes.



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