Originally Posted by Teckos
So does someone living in the US know why there are such different rates?
I don't live in the US but I'd like to know the real answer to this question as well.
I have some theories, however. USPS has a system of rates for shipping various things. Aside from weight and package size (which will be a constant), I believe they have one fee structure for the private citizen who sends something internationally and another fee structure for shipments originating from businesses.
If a business really wanted to, they can send these things as private citizens by taking the package to the postal station and mailing it in person. (I have a few sellers who do this and do my best to give them as much of my business as possible.) Most businesses have such a high volume that they can't do this. In these cases, they have USPS come to their place of business to pick up the packages. All paperwork is likely done online and the packing slips are attached at the shop. The price for this would be much, much higher. How much higher would be quite interesting to know.
Another theory is that most shipping costs include "handling charges". This is a favorite scam with ebay sellers. They can sell you something at a very competitive price but then charge you outrageous "shipping and handling" fees. I don't take too much notice of this. What I'm looking at is the "bottom line". What would it cost me from some other source to get it to my door? If I can drive across town and buy it locally, what is the ultimate cost when I add in my vehicle expense and my own time? I won't buy online if the bottom line isn't to my advantage.