Sunday, September 27, 2009

Is Alaska in the United States?

There are many times that living in Alaska makes you think you are on some far away island - totally isolated from the lower 48; almost as if it is another country. Today is one of those days...

I found the cutest blouse to go with a new skirt that I ordered (e-bay designer clothing), and placed a bid on the blouse. Well, today I looked at the blouse again and noticed at the bottom of the page (in the fine print) that the seller only ships to the contiguous US. I, unfortunately, did not notice that fact before placing my bid. This brought back a frustration that we who live in this far off land often feel... We are part of the United States. The United States Post Office delivers our mail (just like in the contiguous U.S.). The shipping rates and the process to mail a package is the same as in the contiguous U.S. Why do companies and e-bay sellers have these odd rules?

Well, I wrote to the seller and asked if I were to win the auction, if she would ship to me here in the wilderness of Alaska. The good news is that she will. She said that she usually just ships to the lower 48 however, but will make an exception this time and ship to me at the same shipping rate. (I had pointed out in my e-mail that the shipping process and shipping rates using USPS are the same for us here in Alaska as they are for any other state.) Strange huh!