How to choose the best international package forwarding company.
Many shoppers from all over the world when shopping from the USA, Europe or other countries need to, or wish to, use a package forwarder. There are many advantages for doing so. But how should you choose the best package forwarder for international shopping, which one is right for you, and what are the alternatives to MyUS.com, or USGoBuy.com and others.
There are many factors to consider when choosing a package forwarder. Here we look at the main considerations. The first thing to check is that they offer collection in the country you wish to buy from, and they will deliver to the country where you live or where your address is. You can use our tool to get a quick comparison of many package forwarders.
Membership and on going fees.
Many package forwarding companies charge a set up fee to open your account. Some of the companies have tiered accounts and offer more services the more you pay. Monthly fees are also a consideration. Your choice would depend upon how often you will use the service, if it is rarely then paying a larger monthly fee may not offset the savings you can make on the other services such as package consolidation or reduced shipping fees.
Try and work out how shipments you would need to make in order to justify paying an ongoing or monthly account fee.
Repackaging and Package consolidation.
If you are buying multiple packages from many different shops then these will all be sent to the forwarder separately. It makes sense therefore when being reshipped on to you, to have these packages repackaged and consolidated into one package. This can have a large impact on the shipping cost as you are only paying to ship one package rather than many. A good forwarder will offer this service for free or a small fee.
You can wait until all your packages are received then have them consolidated to take advantage of lower shipping fees. Likewise, some shops will send packages i large boxes or parcels which can be made smaller by a competent forwarder, this too will reduce your spend.
It is worth checking if the company charges a storage fee while you packages wait in their warehouse too. Many offer free storage for, say, 30 days.
Compare consolidation fees and services if you are going to buy multiple packages.
Cheap shipping rates.
Shipping rates vary between companies. Look for a forwarder than uses many different shipping companies, this increased choice will mean you can find a shipping service to suit your budget. Also bear in mind the monthly fees as this can often mean you can get a discount on your shipping fees. Popular shipping companies that the forwarder use include FedEx, DHL, and TNT.
Standard and express levels of shipping are often offered and costs vary accordingly
Some shoppers in some countries find it difficult to pay for shopping in other countries, especially if they don't have a credit card. Many forwarders will offer a concierge or personal shopper services, where they buy your shopping for you and you then pay them from your account. If this is something you would like to take advantage of, look out for the fees, normally a percentage fee is charged to your shopping.
Make sure you read reviews about other people's experiences of shopping cross border using a package forwarder.
Other general factors to consider are that not all goods can be shipped, there are some restrictions, so please remember to check that what you wish to buy can be shipped to your country.