World's Smallest Post Service
Leafcutter Designs and Our Goods
Privacy / Information Sharing
When will my order ship?
Everything ships via your selected shipping service within 2-4 days, sometimes sooner.
Where will my order ship from?
Everything, including tiny letters, cards, and packages and other goods, ships from Berkeley, CA.
Do you ship internationally?
Yes! We will ship to essentially any address anywhere in the world via USPS First-Class Mail International. This service has proven to be reliable to Canada, Mexico, the UK and EU countries, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, China, South Korea, and Russia. Note that the USPS does NOT provide a tracking number with First-Class International service. If you are shipping to a foreign country with a domestic postal service not particularly known for its reliability or if you'd like to track your order, then we suggest you select "International Express, arrives in 3-7 days" at checkout. Use the following links if you'd like to read more about Priority Mail International and Express Mail International services before placing your order. Note that international shipments sent via First Class or Priority Mail are NOT trackable beyond the borders of the United States. If you want to track your order all the way to its international destination, you MUST select "International Express, arrives in 3-7 days" at checkout.
How are shipping and handling costs calculated?
Domestic shipping is usually $4.00 for the first item. If you order more than one tiny letter, card, or package, shipping will be only $3.00 each and they will ship separately to different addresses. Many of the goods available in the shop do not incur an additional shipping charge. For example, you can order 100 Trade Tokens, 20 Matchbox Theaters, and 3 sets of PhenomeNonsense puzzle cards and it will all ship for only $4.00 total. Heavier goods, like Recipe Dice and Tiny Mail Stationery Kits do incur a modest additional shipping cost per unit ordered.
International shipping is usually $9.00 for the first item. We wish it was less, but USPS doubled the minimum charge for International First Class Mail in early-2013 and there is no less expensive alternative. If you order more than one tiny letter, card, or package, shipping will be only $8.00 each and they will ship separately to different addresses. Many of the goods available in the shop do not incur an additional shipping charge, even for international orders. For example, you can order 100 Trade Tokens, 20 Matchbox Theaters, and 3 sets of PhenomeNonsense puzzle cards and it will all ship for only $9.00 total. Heavier goods, like Recipe Dice and Tiny Mail Stationery Kits do incur a modest additional shipping cost per unit ordered. Sometimes a large international order of heavy items will show a very high shipping cost at checkout. If this happens to you, you have two options: 1) go ahead and checkout and we will refund you the difference between what you paid and actual shipping costs, or 2) email us and we'll give you a revised shipping quote and an easy way to complete your order.
Why was I asked for my shipping address twice?
If you ordered a tiny letter, card or package, the custom submission form asked for a ship to address, and then the checkout system also asked for a shipping address. Not to worry - we will send your World's Smallest Post Service item to the mailing address you entered first, in the custom form. We will ignore the shipping address entered during payment. If you paid via PayPal, we will also ignore the default shipping address associated with your PayPal account. This allows you to send tiny letters, cards, or packages to multiple addresses and then only pay once. If you're ordering other goods from the shop, then we'll use the shipping address you indicate during checkout for those items.
How long will it take for my order to arrive?
All items including tiny letters, cards, and packages, as well as other goods ship within five (5) days via US Postal Service 1st class mail (we wish we could ship via hummingbird, but after looking into it, we realized it's just too complicated). Our experience has been that orders destined for US addresses arrive within an additional two (2) to five (5) days after the ship date. Delivery times for international orders are highly variable and depend in large part on the performance of the destination country's postal service. International orders, Canada excepted, may take a couple weeks or more to arrive. We've seen delivery times of up to 30 days to some foreign countries. Note that international shipments sent via First Class or Priority Mail are NOT trackable beyond the borders of the United States. If you want to track your order all the way to its international destination, you MUST select "International Express, arrives in 3-7 days" at checkout.
Has my order shipped yet?
Maybe. All tiny letters, cards, and packages, as well as other goods are made to order in our studio in Berkeley, CA and ship within three business days. We do not have warehouses full of goods or robots walking around processing orders and tracking everything. Real people are doing all of this work by hand. You will receive an automated shipping notification when your order ships, along with a tracking number. If timing is extremely important to you or you feel that your order is well past due, you can reach out to us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll figure out what's going on and get back to you.
Can I upgrade to a faster shipping speed?
Usually the answer is yes, but during peak seasons around the holidays and Valentine's Day we often cannot do rush orders. During these times, we make an extra effort to ship every order as fast as possible because we know most of these orders are time sensitive. Most items, including tiny letters, cards, and packages are made by hand and we have to batch our production and shipping in ways that makes rush requests difficult to handle. When available, upgraded shipping services will be available at checkout.
My friend's birthday is on X date - can I order now and ask you to delay shipping so that it doesn't arrive too early?
We wish we could provide this extra service but we haven't yet figured out how to do it without driving ourselves crazy. And we don't want to mess up anyone's birthday! We cannot accept delayed-ship orders but would suggest two simple workarounds: 1) use the production time and shipping info above to estimate how long it will take your tiny letter, card, or package to arrive, and then work backwards to figure out when you should place your order, or 2) type something like "DO NOT OPEN UNTIL X DATE" to instruct your recipient to wait until the right day under "Opening Instructions" on the tiny mail submittal form. If it's very important that it arrive before a particular date, please order plenty of time in advance!
Can you ship different items from the same order to multiple addresses?
Yes for tiny letters, cards, and packages because the mailing addresses are entered separately for each submission. No is the answer for our other curio goods. The best way around this is to place a separate goods order for each destination address. Sorry for the extra step but we're not Amazon.com, and we never will be!
How come my curio goods arrived in a strange re-used box?
We try very hard to minimize our use of materials and our overall impact on the environment. We ship
stuff in whatever boxes we have lying around. We're always careful to make sure your items are well protected and in good shape upon arrival but if something shows up in less than perfect condition, let us know and we'll replace it right away.
Do you offer gift wrapping service?
Yes! For $5.00 per order, we'll wrap each item separately in eco-friendly brown kraft paper and tie it up with a length of our colorful poetry ribbon - see photo. We'll also include a short custom gift message. There's no limit to how many items you can have wrapped for the same flat $5.00 charge. Our wrapping materials are appropriate for all occasions - holidays, birthdays, whatever. By default we will not include an invoice with gift orders.
How do I add gift wrapping service?
Once you have added all desired items to your shopping cart, you can follow the link on the shopping cart screen to the gift wrapping page and then click "add to cart." This will add a $5.00 charge to your order and open up a text input box on the shopping cart page where you can enter a short gift message. Then you can proceed to checkout.
Where do I submit my custom gift message?
You can type your gift message into the text entry box on the shopping cart page after you've added gift wrapping to your shopping cart.
What if I only want some items in an order gift wrapped?
No problem. Just tell us which items not to wrap in the text entry box on the shopping cart page.
Is gift wrapping available for tiny letters and packages?
No, this wouldn't make much sense as the detailed packaging is already an essential part of the World's Smallest Post Service experience.
World's Smallest Post Service (non-shipping related)
Can you transcribe tiny letters in languages other than English?
Yes! Mostly! Even other alphabets like Russian and Greek! Just make sure you type it into the online form exactly how you want it to appear in your tiny letter because we will have no clue what we're transcribing. One time we transcribed a letter in Italian and the only words we could understand were "little letter" and "love." Chinese and Japanese characters do not always come through smoothly, but we'll contact you if there's an issue and ask that you confirm your message. Please note, however, that emoticons and special symbols (hearts, thumbs up, etc.) will not flow through to the text of your tiny letter.
Can I have a custom element inside or on my tiny letter, card, or package?
Yes, custom services for a single piece of tiny mail start at $20, but the additional charge could be more depending on your concept. For larger orders, email us for a quote and be sure to take a look at our Invitations & Custom page.
How come tiny letters ordered online are typed instead of hand-written?
While in-person tiny letters are transcribed by hand by Lea in her hand-sewn postal uniform, tiny letters ordered online are typed and printed in a "handwriting" font that is three times smaller than the hand-written letters! Why? This printed font is ridiculously small, which makes the magnifying glass all the more necessary and lets you write a much longer message. If you have your heart set on a handwritten letter, please email us at email@example.com and we will reply with a quote. Keep in mind that this hand-written service is significantly more expensive.
How and when did the WSPS begin?
In the summer of 2008, the idea just popped into Lea's head and it was so hilarious that she had no choice but to materialize it. For the first "performance," Lea strapped her miniature desk to her back inside her grandmother's old wicker suitcase, filled the milk crate on her bicycle with tools and supplies, and coasted down to Sweet Adeline Bakeshop in Oakland, CA, nervous as all heck. Lea was delighted to find that there are lots of people out there that are equally charmed by these little curios.
Leafcutter Designs and Our Goods
Are your goods environmentally and socially sustainable?
We try to make things as close to home as possible with the most earth-friendly and people-friendly materials and processes we can. This can be tricky as a little company without much buying power, but you can see our philosophy reflected in our organic certified fabrics, recycled papers, and reused packaging materials. With so many tiny goods in our collection, we're certainly good at the first of the 3 "R"s: Reduce! All items are made by Lea, her friends and family, and a little hired help here in California. Everyone in our workshop makes a good wage and helps herself to tea with local honey and organic milk whenever she wishes. We converse about life and love and art while we work. Our worker bees like us so much that sometimes they show up with home-baked goods for everyone.
I am a retailer interested in selling Leafcutter Designs products - how do I get started?
Our products are available in a number of lovely stores around the world. If you'd like to bring our curious items to your community, please visit our retailer page and fill out the brief form. We'll get back to you right away with more information and details!
Privacy / Information Sharing
Leafcutter Designs does not store any credit card information. This is handled through our merchant gateway or PayPal and they have taken substantial measures to protect the confidentiality of your information. Regardless, the personal information that you do share with Leafcutter Designs (name, shipping address, email, etc.) is used only for order processing and remains confidential. We will never sell, share, give, leak, or distribute your personal information in any way. Read more here...
What is your return policy?
It's simple: you can return any item for any reason for a full refund within 30 days. If your items arrive damaged (or never arrive at all) let us know and we will remedy the situation right away!