In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the entire process of using a package forwarder (or parcel forwarding company) to shop on the internet in one country and receive your goodies in another. Let’s dive in:
1. Do Your Research: Choose a Trustworthy Package Forwarder
To kick off your international shopping adventure, start by researching and comparing various package forwarders available online. Look for customer reviews and testimonials to ensure their reliability and customer satisfaction. Opt for a package forwarder that has a solid reputation and offers transparent pricing and services. Are they legit? Follow our advice to be confident that you have picked a legitimate forwarding service.
We have created a simple and easy-to-use package forwarder comparison table, where you an quickly compare services between a few different providers.
2. Create Your Account: Sign Up with the Package Forwarder
Once you’ve chosen your ideal package forwarder, visit their website and sign up for an account. The registration process typically involves providing your personal information and creating a secure login. Fill in your shipping address within the package forwarder’s country, which will be crucial for receiving your purchases.
3. Get Your Unique Forwarding Address
Upon successful registration, your package forwarder will assign you a unique forwarding address. This address is your gateway to international shopping bliss! Treat it like your personal mailbox in the package forwarder’s country – where all your overseas packages will be sent.
The address that you are allocated will be at the forwarders warehouse, if you are shopping from the US it is possible to get an address in a state that doesn’t have sales tax. This will save you money when you shop.
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4. Know the Rules: Familiarize Yourself with Shipping Restrictions
Before you start splurging on international websites, take a moment to review the parcel forwarder’s shipping restrictions. Each country may have specific regulations on items that can be shipped, so it’s essential to understand any limitations or prohibited goods to avoid disappointments.
Some forwarders will refuse to ship batteries and some electrical items, for example. Other have a list of restricted items which normally include pressurized containers, firearms or illegal items.
5. Happy Shopping: Explore and Buy from International Stores
With your account set up and forwarding address at hand, it’s time to go on a shopping spree! Browse your favourite international stores, load up your cart with must-haves, and proceed to checkout. During the checkout process, enter your unique forwarding address as the delivery address – this is the magic step that gets your packages on their way to the forwarder- who will then reship the packages to your home address.
6. Accuracy Matters: Provide Correct Shipping Information
As you wrap up your purchase, double-check that you’ve entered the correct forwarding address and shipping details. Accuracy is key to ensure your packages make their way smoothly to the package forwarder’s warehouse.
7. Smart Consolidation (Optional): Save on Shipping Costs
If you’re a shopping maestro and have multiple packages coming from different stores, consider using the package forwarder’s consolidation service. This nifty option allows you to combine your purchases into a single shipment, reducing shipping costs and potentially saving you some hard-earned cash.
You may also want to pay for photos to be taken of your items to check that they have received the shopping that you ordered before it is sent on to you.
Some forwarders will also offer a repackaging service. They will unpack your items from the sellers packaging and repackage them into smaller packages, thus saving you money o the shipping fees, as these are calculated by volumetric weight which includes the package’s dimensions.
8. Pay for Forwarding and Shipping
When your packages arrive at the package forwarder’s warehouse, you’ll be notified by email or through your account dashboard. Login to your account, review the items, and proceed to pay for the forwarding service and international shipping to your home country.
9. Choose Your Shipping Method and Delivery Time
Before finalizing your order, take a moment to select your preferred shipping method. Depending on your needs and budget, you can choose from standard, expedited, or other shipping options. Consider estimated delivery times and any additional costs to make an informed decision.
10. Sit Back and Relax: Let the Package Forwarder Work its Magic
With payment completed and shipping method chosen, it’s time for the package forwarder to do what they do best. They’ll process your shipment and arrange for its journey from their warehouse to your home address.
Some forwarders will complete any customs documentation that is necessary for import into your country. It is even possible to pay this tax in advance sometimes. Otherwise you may be asked to pay customs duty once the package enters the country of destination.
11. Happy Unboxing: Receive Your Package
Finally, the moment you’ve been waiting for! Keep an eye on your tracking number, and soon enough, your package will arrive at your doorstep. Prepare to unbox your international treasures and enjoy the fruits of your online shopping adventure!
As you venture into the world of international shopping, keep in mind that shipping times may vary, so a little patience goes a long way. Also, be aware of any import duties or taxes that might apply, depending on your country’s regulations. Happy shopping and shipping, and may your packages always arrive safe and sound!