So it's no secret that not only have costs gone up but that for international customers to be covered in the event of faulty stock, they must go with DHL.
To put this in perspective for those of us in Australia for example, this means individual figures go up from $30 to $65 a figure. Now while it's true that costs have gone up and that the price rises are out of control; the notion that there's nothing you can do to alleviate costs for international customers is a blatant lie, and no that does not mean Mattel taking subsidising shipping costs.
In fact the solution is something that Mattel already IS doing with those who have both Club Eternia and 30th Anniversary subs, namely bulk shipping of several months' worth of items in a single shipment.
I'll refer you to the following breakdown a he-man.org board member raised comparing International Post with DHL shipping:
01: 13.75/01: 30.60
02: 21.70/02: 35.50
03: 30.15/03: 40.45
04: 38.25/04: 45.25
05: 46.60/05: 49.40
06: 60.25/06: 58.50
07: 69.70/07: 63.05
08: 78.60/08: 67.65
09: 87.55/09: 72.25
10: 96.15/10: 76.85
As you can see, the moment you hit 5 std items or their equivalent, there's less than $3 difference in shipping costs. When you hit 6 std items or their equivalent, DHL is actually cheaper than International Post.
Therefore, if you implement a bulk shipping approach to international customers, you actually completely remove one of the price increase hurdles for international customers with the current changes to the shipping costs and policy. Furthermore, there's more than 5 months to adapt the bulk shipping systems which have already been employed this year in Masters Subscriptions to the Club Eternia 2013 Subscription.
I'm not the only person wondering about this. There's been a fair bit of chatter on the .org for example about this, yet there's a resentment to what people rightly see as scare tactics. Now I understand that what you say about the viability of the line is merely stating economic realities. However the first rule of any sales and marketing project, as you would no doubt be aware is that the key to closing sales is effectively handling objections.
What you have recently said about importing toys being expensive is correct; however it's hardly anything remotely close to effective objection handling when there is a solution to minimise costs that is within Mattel's power here - namely to allow international customers the option of combining shipping on several months' worth of figures in one lot.
International fans like myself want to support the line and subscribe, however we feel like Mattel is refusing to meet us halfway here, when as the shipping arrangements for those who have both 30th Anniversary and Club Eternia this year prove; they're able to do so.
So with that said, will you and DR look at adapting the bulk shipping options used for combining 30th Anniversary and Club Eternia Subscriptions this year for international Club Eternia subscribers next year and in doing so, completely remove that objection? Because I can tell you, that it would remove a major stumbling block for international fans who do want to subscribe for next year.