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This post relates to the readers who are living outside of the US, most likely in Australia or New Zealand. It can get frustrating when shopping online and after much digging around on Amazon.com and in the product pages, you get a message embedded in the sales advertisement that the product cannot be shipped outside the US. Yes, that’s correct, there are some goods for sale on Amazon that need to go to a US address and get paid for by a US card for some online sellers.
Don’t despair; there’s a way you can get around this problem of buying goods on, e.g., Amazon and shipping them to your country outside the US. I have done this using various freight forwarding companies. There are many freight forwarding business, and some will even buy the product for you using a US persona and then what happens is you ship the goods to their US warehouse address and the products are sent to you say in Australia for collection at the freight forwarders depot or sent to your home address in Australia. Shipping when there’s a country restriction isn’t that hard once you have done it a couple of times and built up a good relationship/working knowledge of how the freight forwarder works. There’s no repacking involved; the parcel is already packed from AMZ warehouses after your payment is made online and the article is simply sent via a US warehousing address.
Let me tell you the wait which can be, e.g., 10-12 days is usually worth it, and the savings can be phenomenal. In a lot of cases, you can save 40% buying goods online vs. going to a retail bricks and mortar store locally and buying the products. I guess if you wanted to hop in the car now and get your hands on the products, and back to your home by this afternoon then that’s the price of shopping and instant gratification. If you wait, you save.
Shipping from the US to Asia – Johnny Air Plus.
Johnny Air whom I have used in the past took 12 days from the time of online purchase on Amazon to collection at the JA store, and that was during Christmas when I was traveling overseas. If you are prepared to wait for that period, then the savings will be worth it. In my case, the saving came in at nearly 40% for a Panasonic Lumix camera that I bought.
Some companies only specialize in individual countries and Johnny Airplus whom I used only ships to Asia from the US.
Shipping US to AU when Amazon.com says cannot send.
Australian’s have their national postage company called Australia Post to use as a freight forwarding service buying online from the US. The service is called Australia Post shop mate. Shopmate charges no service or monthly fees and allows all you need for Amazon.com and US purchases online. They also claim to deliver goods in 5 to 8 days (Christmas I am sure you would have to be a bit more patient) from the US supplier. All can be tracked and Australia post I would feel happier sending as they have a reasonably good level of service. ShopMate charges a fixed price of $24.95 per 500-gram parcel plus an additional $5.95 for every extra 500 grams.
Second is Australian Freight Forwarder. No address said to be based in Sydney, Australia. Only phone numbers are listed so, please do more “due diligence” on this company. They have some shipping rates listed here.
Remember, each company has a different shipping rate, and this will vary depending if you have on order a small shim for your trailer bike, a tandem bicycle trailer on order or a helmet. Check out and compare all the forwarding companies of freight carefully.
Discussion Forums – These are an excellent source of information, especially Facebook forums.
Whirlpool, a well known Australian discussion forum which has some discussion threads on the topic of freight forwarders and sending goods from the US to AU. Best Mail Parcel Forwarding US to AUS or here.
Shipping varies with each freight forwarding company – As a comparison, some charge on a cost of the item which can be up to 5%, instead of a fixed price (with a minimum fee that varies depending on which shipping service is cheapest). Some charge also to make online purchases on your behalf which can be as little as USD$3 or a cost for in-store pickups. There are also other expenses for delivery insurance, shipping costs, handling, return insurance, etc. So you need to find out what all the costs are before you make the online purchase.
Another method to do some research about the different freight companies is – complaints boards. Yes, strangely there’s some reasonably good reviews to be found, damaged goods, delayed service, calls not being answered as well. Complaints board
The example image below show an item that is listed on Amazon.com at substantially lower price than what you can buy for in Australia, yet the item cannot be shipped to an address in Australia. In this example, a buyer will have to use a freight forwarding company to get around the US postal address restrictions.