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  Voyagers Mail Forwarding Service

Frequently Asked Questions

Every year we have a few customers who are caught completely unaware when they learn that the cost of getting their mail can be very expensive, especially when outside the US. If you get a lot of mail, it can be quite a shock when you call us from Bimini, only 50 miles away in the Bahamas, and learn that it is going to cost you about $40 for international air mail, and that you will probably have to wait up to 3 weeks for it to arrive. 

Need it to arrive quicker, and be confident that your mail will really get there? FedEx, UPS & DHL might be closer to $100. Ouch! What happened to sipping rum drinks and living on the cheap in tropical paradise? We recall a recent 62 pound FedEx shipment to Grenada that was over $300. Double ouch! That shipment was 5 weeks worth of mail, including several boxes of goodies. Yes, cruising can be fun, but taking your present lifestyle with you can be expensive.

While our free toss the junk plan might cut those prices in half, we have a few customers that have well over 20 pounds of mail every month after we have tossed the junk. Our toss the junk plan is only effective to a certain point. We do not throw away magazines, trade journals, newspapers, and the large boating catalogs for example. Most of our customers still want these items. A lot of junk mail comes disguised as important looking first class mail that we might be hesitant to toss.

Monitor your mail closely for the next few months and identify every piece of mail that you don't want to receive. Call the senders and tell them to take you off of their mailing list. Everyone will be happier as a result of the time & effort you put into doing this. Reducing the amount of junk means that the senders save on the cost of printing & mailing, our postal carriers don't have to lug it around, our workload sorting the mail is reduced, our local landfill is happier, and you save money on the cost of postage to forward your mail.

If the thought of making all of those phone calls has sent you into a state of deep depression, here is another, perhaps better option. Consider not doing a permanent (12 month) change of address with your old post office. Instead, do a temporary (6 month) change (or better yet, none at all) and inform only those that you want to have your new address. If you do a permanent change of address, the junk will follow you. Ever wonder why the junkmail seems to follow you after you move? When your post office gets junkmail that says "address correction requested" on the envelope, they tell the sender what your new address is. They don't do that when you do a temporary change of address. If you are worried that you may forget to notify someone who sends you a bill once a year, like your insurance company, take a look through your check register for the last year and make sure you've caught those odd payments. Need a more compelling reason not to do a permanent change of address? When you do a permanent change of address, your new address information is now being sold to mailing list companies by the Postal Service! That's right. They've started doing that just within the last year. They are in it for the money!

Here are a few more general tips:

Every time you order from a catalog, enter a sweepstakes, subscribe to a magazine, get a new credit card, or join an organization of some sort (except ours!), it's quite likely that your name and address are on the way to being sold or rented to someone else's mailing list unless you tell them otherwise. Tell everybody not to sell, or rent, your information. Remember, YOU are going to pay the forwarding postage now.

American Express cardholders have the opportunity, once a year, to respond to a questionnaire on whether you want to receive their extra solicitation mailings or not. Keep your eyes open for that, or just give them a call and ask to be removed from their mailing list.

Important: Tell your friends and family not to send you packages of Christmas goodies. The cost of duty can be more than the value of the presents. Anything dutiable (basically anything that is not paper) included with your shipment also increases the chances for delay or loss. This is especially true with international shipments sent via the US postal service. They wash their hands of any responsibility (and so do we) once they tender the package to another country.

That just about covers it.  If you have managed to stay interested enough to read this far, you must be getting very close to casting off the lines and going cruising. We wish you the best, regardless of who you choose to take care of your mail.

Why use a professional?

Here are some typical scenarios:

Sure, you can ask your sister take care of your mail for you. You arrive in Nassau, and since you are only planning to stay there for two days, you ask her to Fed Ex your 4 lbs. of mail (it adds up quickly) to you. The next day after work she runs down to the corner Mail Boxes Etc. and unknowingly pays a marked up price of $125.90 (the actual cost charged by Fed Ex is $63.20).


You are in George Town, Exumas and your heat exchanger decides to die. After six static filled (very expensive) phone calls, you find a company that will ship you a new one. Unfortunately they don't know that they should ask you to fax them a copy of your cruising permit. If it does not accompany the package, you will probably be paying some high duty charges when it arrives. Another $100 down the drain! I hope they also understand the ins and outs of international shipping so you will actually get it. They will also charge whatever mark up they want to on the shipping. Contact us via e-mail, phone or fax to have started your part on its way to you with the proper documentation attached.


You've learned your lesson and tell your sister to send the next 4 lbs. of mail to the Turks & Caicos as cheaply as possible. She dutifully stands in line for 20 minutes at the local post office and they tell her that cheapest rate is only $9.97. You have about a 50/50 chance of ever seeing that package again, and make plans to sit tight for about 2 months! Even if she had sent it airmail, you would probably still be waiting for the package over a month later. As a result, you miss making your credit card payment and it stays on your record for seven years. You become sooooo bored waiting for your mail that you'll probably rent a car to tour the island for $55.00 a day.

We speak from experience (I recall sending an airmail letter to the CSY boat owners association in the US from Provodenciales. They later published that the letter was dated in April, postmarked in May, and received in June).



Your sister sends your next batch of mail, including that raw water pump you so desperately need for your engine, to you at Spice Island Marine in Grenada. Unfortunately, she doesn't know that, while the boat is entitled to duty free status for these types of goodies, you the person have to pay import duty. She addressed the package to you, instead of the boat, and now you are probably going to have to grease somebody's palm (pay duty) before you ever see that water pump. Don't expect that package to be delivered either. It's time to rent a taxi and spend the day tracking it down at the customs office in St. Georges, or at the airport, or.... God help you if she didn't declare the pump at the correct value and attach the proper paperwork (or worse yet, didn't declare it at all and just tried to sneak it through).


A full year has now passed under your keel and the mail problems seem to be finally under control. You receive your mail in Trinidad and enclosed is a two week old letter from your sister. She writes: "Dear Jack & Jill, I'm going to be moving next week�". Bummer! You'll be changing your address anyway, why not consider hiring a professional? You'll probably save more money than our annual fees cost, not to mention the frustrations. :-)

 

mailboat@vmfs.com


Voyagers Mail , Inc  �
31 Ocean Reef Dr.C101
Key Largo, FL Keys USA 33037