Why use a USA package forwarding service?

Do you want to buy from US online sites, but are often frustrated by the fact that some sites don't ship to your country, don't do worlwide shipping, or have prohibitively expensive international shipping rates? What if you want to buy items from multiple sites and the shipping costs just add up? The solutions is to use a US package forwarding company.

What is package forwarding?

Package forwarding or parcel forwarding is a where you get an address in the USA assigned to you (this is usually a real US street address, not a PO BOX). When you shop from US websites you will use this address to ship your items. You will get charged cheap domestic shipping rates or even free shipping. Once the goods arrive, the parcel forwarding company will then store your purchases until they are ready to be shipped to your international address.

Benefits of package forwarding

You can purchase from shops that only ship in the US, don't ship worldwide, or don't ship to your country - this means that you have a much wider range of stores to choose from. Many smaller operations, including many eBay US sellers don't offer worldwide shipping or have very high rates for international shipping because of the extra time, effort and cost required to prepare international deliveries.
Sometimes, a store or eBay seller will ship internationally, but will refuse to ship to certain countries. With a local US address, you can circumvent this problem - package forwarding services will ship to nearly any country in the world.

Save up to 80% with package consolidation - International shipping can be very expensive - this is especially so if you
buy goods from multiple sites and ship them to your international address one by one - the already expensive shipping costs will add up to a massive amount. Package forwarding companies offer a service called package consolidation. With consolidation, you can buy your goods from multiple USA shops, ship them to your US forwarding address, and the package
forwarding company will repack your packages and bundle them all into one package before forwarding them to you. You will save money on shipping because it is cheaper to ship one big package rather than many small packages. This is especially cost-effective if you buy lots of small, light items from multiple sites.

Free storage for your packages - You will be able to store or hold your purchases at the parcel forwarding company's warehouse for up to 45 days free (the duration of free storage depends on the company and your membership plan). This means that you can purchase
goods over a number of days and ship them to your international address when you're done.

Save on international shipping costs - Most stores charge high international shipping rates because of their low international shipping volume and because of the extra time and effort required to prepare international orders for shipment. Because the package forwarding companies handle high shipment volumes, they are able to offer cheaper shipping rates. Most of them will also prepare customs invoices and documents for you.

You can choose your preferred courier service - With a parcel forwarder, you can choose which courier you want to ship your packages. Most offer a choise of DHL, Fedex and UPS and some even offer USPS (United States Postal Service). All of them are trackable so you can keep up to date with the progress of your goods at all times.

Faster delivery - especially if you use a major courier like DHL or Fedex. For example, it will take less than 5 days for most packages to get to most international destinations from the US.

Some sites will not accept non US-issued credit cards - Some sites will not accept credit cards from outside the US. For a fee, package forwarding companies will buy your goods for you using their US credit cards. This is called a 'personal shopper' service.

How to choose a package forwarding company

Here are some things to consider when choosing a package forwarder:

Does the parcel forwarding company ship to your country?
This is a very important consideration otherwise there is no point in signing up for the service! Parcel forwarders ship to almost every country in the world so chances are your country will be covered. Check their websites and they will list all the countries they cover.
Click here for a list of countries covered by most package forwarders

Fees
Most package forwarders offer both a one-off 'Pay as you ship' plan or a monthly membership plan. Each plan comes with
different extras. Most will offer cheaper shipping rates for monthly plans when compared to one-off ones. Another important consideration is that most companies will only offer consolidation services if you go for a monthly plan. If you plan on using the service often and want to use consolidation, then go for monthly plans. The one-off pay as you go plans work out cheaper if you don't use the service often and don't plan to consolidate your packages.
Some companies do consolidation for free and some charge per package.
Next, you should check the shipping rates to see how much you would pay for forwarding goods to your country. Some companies have lower shipping rates than others but this is sometimes offset by their higher monthly or setup fees.
Be aware that shipping rates here mean door-to-door prices - you are still responsible for paying any customs tax or duties when your parcel arrives.

Storage space and duration
Do they allow you to receive unlimited incoming packages? This is important if you plan to purchase a lot of goods. Make sure the number of packages/space you are allowed is not too limited. Storage duration is also an important factor. Most offer up to 45 days free storage but always check the company website.

What forwarding address will you get?
You need to make sure that you are allocated a real US street address and NOT a US PO Box address as most US sellers will not ship to PO Box addresses.

Which couriers do they offer for your outgoing shipments?
Package forwarding companies usually offer DHL, Fedex and UPS express services for outgoing shipments. A few companies also offer USPS (United States Postal Service) which is cheaper.

Do they provide consolidation services?
If you would like to consolidate your packages, make sure this is included in your membership plan. If it is, check if it is free or check the fee charged per package.

Do they provide personal shopper services?
Some sites will not accept credit cards not issued in the US, and some sites will not allow it if your billing address (an address in your country) does not match the shipping address (your USA forwarding address). This can usually be resolved
by contacting the merchant in advance of ordering or filling out a credit card authorization form. If this cannot be resolved then you can use the package forwarding company's personal shopper service. For a fee (usually a flat rate / percentage / flat rate + percentage), they will buy your goods for you using their credit card. They will then charge you for the goods including the fee.

How many names do they allow on your account?
You are usually allocated a forwarding address like this:
Mr John Smith
Suite 5
...
California

what if you want to add an extra name to your forwarding address, or even a business name?

For example:

Mrs Jane Smith
Suite 5
Forwarding Address St
California

or

Smith Widgets Company
Suite 5
Forwarding Address St
California

Some companies allow you to have 2 or 3 additional names. This can be free or you are charged a fee for each
additional name.

How many outgoing addresses do they allow on your account?
Most forwarding services allow you to ship to an unlimited number of international addresses. So you can be anywhere in the world (even in a hotel!) and have your goods shipped to you. You can also ship your goods to any recipient in the world.

How long has the company been in business? Are they reputable?
It is worth checking on the background of the company and online reviews.

Can you track incoming and outgoing packages online?
This is a useful feature to have. You should be able to see on your account when packages arrive in your 'inbox' and which packages they are. The forwarding company will document the items when they arrive based on the shipping invoice and you will see all the details online. Some companies even offer imaging services where they take digital pictures of incoming packages.

Insurance
Is it included in the shipping fees? If your goods are worth a lot of money then it is worth purchasing extra insurance for your packages.

Customs paperwork
Some companies will prepare the Customs paperwork for you (based on the shipping invoices of the goods you bought) and some require you to prepare it yourself before shipping out your items.

Payment methods allowed
How will you pay the fees and charges? Credit cards are the most commonly accepted form of payment - some companies also
accept PayPal and international wire transfers.

Parcel Forwarding Company Reviews and Comparison

Reviews are coming soon - meanwhile here are a list of USA package forwarders:

BongoUS.com
MyUS.com (Access USA)
Usamail1.com
Shipito.com
usa2me.com
bonvu.com


List of countries covered by most package forwarding services:

Anguilla
Antigua & Barbuda
Argentina
Aruba
Australia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Bahamas
Bahrain
Bangladesh
Barbados
Belarus
Belgium
Bermuda
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Brazil
Brunei Darussalam
Bulgaria
Canada
Cayman Islands
Chile
China
Congo Democratic Republic of Zaire
Cook Islands
Costa Rica
Croatia
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Egypt
Estonia
Finland
France
French Guiana
Georgia
Germany
Gibraltar
Greece
Greenland
Grenada
Guadeloupe
Hong Kong
Hungary
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Ivory Coast
Jamaica
Japan
Kazakhstan
Kenya
Kuwait
Kyrgyzstan
Latvia
Lebanon
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Macedonia
Malaysia
Maldives
Mali
Malta
Martinique
Mauritania
Mauritius
Mexico
Moldova
Monaco
Montenegro
Morocco
Mozambique
Nepal
Netherlands
Netherlands Antilles
New Zealand
Norway
Oman
Pakistan
Palestine
Peru
Philippines
Poland
Portugal
Puerto Rico
Qatar
Romania
Russia
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Saudi Arabia
Serbia
Seychelles
Singapore
Slovakia
Slovenia
South Africa
Spain
Sri Lanka
Suriname
Sweden
Switzerland
Taiwan
Tanzania
Thailand
Trinidad and Tobago
Tunisia
Turkey
Turkmenistan
Turks and Caicos Islands
Ukraine
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom
Uzbekistan
Vatican City State
Venezuela
Vietnam
Virgin Island, British
Virgin Islands, USA


This article is copyright of AnotherWayto.com.