German Record Stores Launch Petition to Fight DHL Against Rising Vinyl Shipping Fees
Record stores in Germany are battling the German Post and DHL, after the organizations detailed price changes that will heavily affect the cost of international shipping.
As of July 1, the dimensional requirements for packages shipped under the “Warenpost International” category – the standard for shipping vinyl records overseas – will be reduced. Once the change is enacted, packages will need to arrive less than 25cm wide. Since 12-inch records measure approximately 31cm even before packaging is considered, record stores can no longer rely on Warenpost International for orders shipped to or from Germany.
At the moment, shipping a disc via DHL or German Post will cost between €5 and €10 (£4.29-8.58). When the changes go into effect on July 1, however, sellers will have to start shipping inventory in the “Päckchen M International” category, which can cost up to four times as much.
Vas told the publication that international markets — the United States in particular — are crucial to the longevity of German record labels and stores. He continued, “I’ve been doing this since 1998, and the United States is our strongest market to sell records. No record store will survive without it, because we cannot survive on walk-in customers alone.
Before the changes were made at Warenpost International, Dirk Borrmann – owner of Cologne store Drake Records – started a Change.org petition to protest them. In a statement, he wrote: “Many record sellers and record store owners in Germany fear that the number of our foreigners [orders] will decline, which could be a fatal blow for many retailers who have already struggled to stay afloat during the pandemic. »
As of this writing, the petition has received just under 11,300 signatures, with a current goal of 15,000. You can support the petition by signing it here.
Late last year, UK artists and labels spoke of the “outrageous” impact and “spiraling costs” of sending music and goods to Europe as a result of Brexit. Alcopop! Records’ Jack Clothier, for example, said it was “difficult to fully separate Brexit from COVID issues” in terms of the factors that impacted international shipping, but pricing issues “outrageous” postage and delays were “end-to-end Brexit”. .
“Postage prices have skyrocketed,” Clothier said last November. “Two years ago we could ship vinyl to Germany for around £6, but now it’s double that or more. The couriers in the Czech Republic (where the majority of indie vinyl is pressed) are just going around in circles. Brexit. COVID. Both? All of this sends him through the roof.
“A vinyl manufacturer is even now telling customers that they need to leave room for increased production costs over the next six months, because we don’t know how screwed up the world will be by then. Imagine this email: ‘Sorry Jack, that vinyl you ordered six months ago is going up £400 because Boris destroyed our only remaining link to Europe’. You can cancel it and go somewhere else, but that will add another six months to your album campaign.” You’re stuck aren’t you?
“When you’re working extremely thin margins at an indie label anyway, you start adding all these expenses and suddenly you go from an extremely thin profit to a pretty big loss.”