Sunday, 13 January 2013

How to Shop and Ship from the US

If you reside outside the US

Most of the sites in the US provide 0 or very expensive direct international shipping, so if you like to shop and ship from the US like me, the following steps will help you:

1. Register a US address.

You will ship all your packages to this address, and the warehouse will consolidate your packages and ship them together to you.

Singapore has several providers of such service, including vPost, Comgateway, Borderlinx, Borderlessbuys, and more smaller providers.

If you reside outside US or Singapore, besides any local providers you might found, such services are provided by the US forwarding companies as well, e.g. myus.com, shipito.com, bongous.com, and more.

I tend to use the big ones as they are more reliable in terms of package handling, charging and customer service. But each of the big service providers have their own advantages, so here I'll do a comparison to let you decide yourself. (The comparison only includes the sites based in Singapore and base on my personal experience. Things might have changed over time.)

vPost ComgatewayBorderlinxBorderlessbuys
Payment Method Accepted any local Visa/Mastercard/AMEX credit/debit card, eNETS debit card, paypal, or GIROVisa/JCB/AMEX credit/debit card, paypalCitibank credit/debit cardAmerican express credit/charge card
Ship viaSingapore Post, 5-8 working daysDHL/Fedex, 3 working days for express serviceDHL, 3 working days for express serviceDHL, 3 working days for express service
Packages holding period21 days30 days30 days30 days
US Address Location and state taxOR, tax freeOR, tax freeOH, 7% taxOR, tax free
Singapore GSTGST free if individual package values <400SGDGST free only if total packages' value add up <400SGDGST free only if total packages' value add up <400SGDGST free only if total packages' value add up <400SGD

2. Shop at the US shopping websites.

Now you can shop the steals and deals I post or any site you'd like to. Just use the US address you got from step 1 as your shipping address and that's it.

If you happen to have a US-issued credit card, that would be great. If not, you will need to use 'Buy for Me' service at the websites who don't accept non-US-issued credit cards. Just login to your service provider website and fill in a form, the site will help you to buy anything you need in 24-48 hours.

vPost ComgatewayBorderlinxBorderlessbuys
Buy for Me service fee5%000
Registration in Buy for Me serviceYes, couldn't buy from Ninewest.com, coach.com, etcYes, couldn't buy from Ninewest.com, coach.com, etcYes, couldn't buy from Ninewest.com, coach.com, etcNo

3. Ship over to Singapore or your local address

Once the packages reach your US address, you will first need to declare them. Some service providers will do it automatically for you, some don't. For those who declare for you, the effort is saved but any prohibited items hidden in the package will be found and thrown away. For those who don't declare for you, you will need to login to their website to fill in the declaration form about order #, content, value etc but you get a chance of sneak in a perfume sample your merchant sent you without your knowledge...

Then you can choose to hold them there and wait for your other packages to arrive, as consolidating the packages will always save you some extra bucks. Or choose to repack the oversized packages and all shipping services will charge volumetric weight if the package if too large. Of course a repacking fee will be charged so you need to do the calculation if repacking is worthy.

You will always receive alerts when your packages arrive at the US address and when the holding period is drawing near. Just remember to ship them before the holding period ends to avoid paying for holding fee.

vPost ComgatewayBorderlinxBorderlessbuys
DeclarationChoice of auto or selfautoautoauto
RepackAuto, 12SGDauto, 7USDauto, freeauto, 7USD
Shipping ratemediummedium - highmedium - highmedium-high
Calculating UnitBase on individual package size, minimum 0.5kg each package, incremental 0.1kgBase on individual package size, minimum 0.5kg each package, incremental 0.5kgBase on consolidated packages' size, minimum 0.5kg for consolidated packages, incremental 0.5kgBase on individual package size, minimum 0.5kg each package, incremental 0.5kg
Delivery8am-7pm Mon-Friday,
or 8am-12pm Sat,
or self collect at any post office
8am-9pm Mon-Sat,
or call for delivery arrangement in Sundays, or self collect at DHL/Fedex warehouse
8am-9pm Mon-Sat,
or call for delivery arrangement in Sundays, or self collect at DHL warehouse
8am-9pm Mon-Sat,
or call for delivery arrangement in Sundays, or self collect at DHL warehouse


Then that's it! Just relax at home and wait for your package! Happy hauling!

3 comments:

  1. I'm trying to buy from Crabtree & Evelyn US but they dont ship to forwarder. I tried using vPost but my order was cancelled.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used Comgateway for C&E before. you may want to try =)

      Delete

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