11 October 2013

International Shipping Tip | Package Forwarding

For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you'll know that I gripe about how certain US companies don't ship to Guam, where I'm from. Guam is a US territory. We pay US taxes, follow US laws, we have the same President, etc. Why they don't ship to Guam is beyond me. A bit frustrating, but let's move on. 

I have quite a few readers from the United Kingdom and Australia among other countries (Hi, everyone!), and since I shared this "tip" with one of my UK blogger friends, Gemma (Miss Makeup Magpie), I figured why not do more research and share my findings with you all. Beware. There is a lot of information... 

How do I get packages shipped to me from places that ONLY ship to the US mainland? Well, I use a package forwarding service. 
How it works: The basics.
  1. Sign up at the package forwarding site and receive your US mailing address c/o the forwarding company. 
  2. Go shopping!
  3. When checking out, input the forwarding address given to you by your forwarding company in the SHIPPING Address field (not the BILLING Address field). Make sure to add the address to your PayPal account as well.
  4. Place the order.
  5. Notify your forwarding company that you are expecting a package (if necessary).
  6. Your forwarding company will send you an invoice of the shipping cost and any fees. 
  7. Read it through, and pay for it.
  8. Your forwarding company should send you a confirmation of shipment when your package has been shipped and any tracking numbers (if available). 
  9. Wait for your lovely package!
When searching for a forwarding company, be sure to read the FAQs and Terms before you decide. Ensure that you understand the way it works, and what you need to do when using their services.

I found four (4) major forwarding companies to share with you all. No, they did not pay me or anything. They don't even know I'm writing this. I used the same information through all sites:
  • Package Weight: 5 pounds 0 ounces
  • Shipping from: US
  • Shipping to: United Kingdom or Australia (chosen as samples)

Shipping cost: 
US to United Kingdom - $39.59 + $5.00 per box
US to Australia - $39.67 + $5.00 per box
EU to US - $43.20 minimum + $5.00 per box. It's more sensible to purchase 10 pounds weight ($66.60) of products than 1 pound ($43.20). 

Package storage up to 21 days.
Able to consolidate packages into one (1) package. 
Can ship from EU to US.  

Shipping cost: 
US to United Kingdom - $52.52
US to Australia - $60.79 

Free repackaging service and package consolidation (set it up in your settings). 
Free storage for 5 days for Standard Members, and up to 30 days for Premium Members.
No fees stated.

Shipping cost: 
US to United Kingdom - $47.07 + $8.50 per package 
US to Australia - $58.07 + $8.50 per package

Assisted Purchasing - If a store (Sephora, Beauty.com, etc.) will not accept your "out of US" credit card/bank card, Shipito will purchase the items for you and ship them to you. Read more here
Virtual Mailbox available - $10/month or $50/year
Free storage for 90 days.
Individual Package Accounts - Free, No Consolidation Available, One Package at a time only.
Virtual Mailbox Accounts -  $10/month or $50/year, $2 Consolidation Fee/package, 18 Cubic Feet of Storage.

Aloha Forwarding
Shipping cost: 
US to United Kingdom - $66.85 + $4.00 per box + $5.95 handling fee (minimum)
US to Australia - $74.95 + $4.00 per box + $5.95 handling fee (minimum)
US to US Territories - $16.85 +$4.00 + $5.95 handling fee (minimum) (Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes are cheaper than calculated weight boxes)

Ships to US Territories, Alaska, Hawaii and APO Adresses
Repacking service $4.00 per invoice.
Forwarding request must be made prior to package arrival at Aloha Forwarding. A fee of $5.00 per package will be assessed if no forwarding request was made. 

As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider when shopping for a forwarding company, but when you find your match, it'll be such a relief, because you can now shop almost ANYWHERE in the US. Yup. I've just endangered more wallets. Sorry... lol.

Was this post helpful? Do you use a forwarding service? Would you use one? Your thoughts? 

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