Today I can finally announce that Go Game Guru has come to Canada!
Our new warehouse near Toronto will provide cheaper and faster local shipping options to Canadians.
This builds upon our existing services in the US, UK, Australia and Asia.
A variety of new, affordable shipping options, with Canada Post and Purolator, are available in our store right now.
How Go Game Guru saves you money
It’s taken four years of hard work, but our little Go store in one corner of the world has grown into a moyo which spans seven locations, six countries and four continents:
- US East (Philadelphia)
- US West (Los Angeles)
- Canada (Toronto)
- UK and Europe (London)
- Australia and New Zealand (Sydney)
- Asia (Seoul)
- Asia (Hong Kong – we know the SAR has its own flag).
We did all this because we’re serious about making Go equipment and books more readily available and affordable around the world.
Cheaper and faster shipping
Because we store most of our popular products as close to you as possible, we can ship to you at the lowest possible price, with the fastest possible delivery.
Cheaper overall prices
And because we use sea freight to stock local warehouses well in advance (which is cheap, but super slow), we reduce the overall cost of getting Go equipment from the factory to you.
You don’t have to wait for Go equipment to come from Asia though, because we’ve already got equipment ready and waiting for you.
These savings are reflected in lower prices in our store. Because our costs are lower, yours are too.
Of course, quality comes into the price equation too. We try to provide the best value for money of any Go store, including selling some really cheap stuff as well as some better quality stuff.
Less headaches with customs
And don’t forget that if you live in one of the countries listed above (or the EU), we’ve already done all the paperwork to import the goods and paid the taxes while doing so.
Those costs are already included in our prices, which means what you see is what you get. You won’t have to fill in forms or pay unexpected taxes when you order locally from Go Game Guru.
Canadians can say goodbye cross border brokerage fees
Something that infuriates many Canadians are the cross border ‘brokerage’ fees that couriers charge when shipping something from the US.
Look at the map above. Toronto is practically right next to Philly, but the national border makes all the difference.
Canadians are in the frustrating position of choosing between a courier (e.g. UPS, FedEx), who likes to surprise customers with an unexpected $30 brokerage fee on delivery, or USPS, who will do the GST paperwork for you, but cost almost twice as much.
We think an undisclosed $30 fee just to cross the border is a rort. That’s why we spent most of this year jumping through bureaucratic hoops, so that we can ship locally in Canada.
We’ve always done our best to help Canadians avoid brokerage fees (often by upgrading shipping at our own expense), but today we’ve solved the problem once and for all!
The not so fine print – what’s available in Canada right now
Most of our popular Go equipment (under $350) is available
As of today (December 16, 2014) most of our Go sets, and the stones and boards used in them, are available to ship immediately from Canada. In other words, almost everything in our store that’s priced under $350.
What are the exceptions?
The Cheap Go Set and Newbie Go Set aren’t available yet because we have to have these made in huge quantities to keep the costs down. We’ll stock them in Canada as soon as we’re ready to make more and restock all the other warehouses too.
The Magnetic Go Sets were supposed to be available, but they seem to have gone missing (along with a few other products) after a long ordeal at Customs. Unfortunately that happens sometimes and we’re still trying to track them down.
In addition, luxury products (over $350) aren’t stored in all locations, because they cost too much to distribute and insure (99% of customers buy the products that we do store locally).
Go books are coming soon
There are no Go books in Canada yet, but we plan to have most of the books we sell stocked in Toronto in the first quarter of 2015.
There are quite a few Go books that aren’t available in every warehouse already, either because they’re out of print or because their publisher is difficult to deal with.
Books are also relatively cheap to ship from other locations, compared to Go equipment which is big and heavy. So equipment was the first priority.
In the meantime, I recommend that Canadians choose USPS or Royal Mail if ordering books before they’re available in Toronto.
What if you’re missing out?
But what if you live in another part of the world, which is far away from all of our warehouses?
We haven’t forgotten about you! The map above makes it pretty clear to us where we still have work to do.
Seamail is still available
In the short term, we can still ship to you by seamail.
It takes longer to arrive and you have to email us to organize it, but it’s still an option which can save some customers a lot of money. We might also be able to find cheaper airmail options if you email us.
Seamail shipping is no longer an option at our online checkout, because adding too many shipping options made our store too slow and confusing, which meant hardly anyone bought anything anymore until we removed them.
So if you live in South America or Africa and you’re willing to wait, email for seamail
We’re working on it
And remember, not everything can happen at once. We can only play one move at a time.
It took four years to get things to where they are now.
We’re doing our best and it’s still early in the game.
In 2015, we want to take a short breather from the trials and tribulations of international logistics (and dealing with different governments!!!) and focus more on publishing videos, Go books and online lessons for the first half of the year.
It would also be nice to start writing articles for this website more frequently again!
However, we’ll also keep thinking about ways to make Go equipment more affordable and will be considering other countries which might make good shipping locations.
And now that we can distribute Go equipment at a low cost, it’s time to start supplying more local brick and mortar game stores. Having Go sets in actual, physical stores helps to spread Go.
If you have any requests, ideas you’d like to share, or know any game stores that we should contact, I’d love to hear from you!
You can click here to leave a comment below.
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