How to: Order Stuff from Overseas
It happens to everyone living overseas: You’re doing fine and well, loving life, and then it hits: a craving. A need. A necessity that your new home just can’t fulfill. Whether it be food, drink, snack, clothes, or whatever, getting that craving dealt with can be as easy as a call home and a request for a care package.
But what if that’s not always an option? What if what you’re needing is far more than you’re willing to make your friends deal with? Ordering overseas has become easier over the past few years, but a lot of those companies offer slow shipping and charge an insane amount to cover potential customs and tax fees.
If only there were a way around it.
As the seasons changed from winter to summer, I realized very quickly that my summer clothes from the year before were too big, and I essentually needed a new wardrobe. I also had no summer shoes, and have size 9.5 feet. The largest shoes get here is 250, or a size 8. I shopped around, and filled a basket with things at Old Navy, elated when I learnt they had international shipping. I found a big problem when I got to the shipping section: They wanted to charge $150 to ship 8 items, and then charge another $150 for the potential customs and taxes.
To hell with that, I wasn’t paying $300 in shipping and handling for $100 of clothes.
It took a lot of Googling to find exactly what I needed: Mail forwarding.
Enter Ship It To, an international mail forwarding service based out of the US. I’d used a service like this when I lived in Japan, through the Foreign Buyer’s Club (Madi’s Remailing Service) but they currently don’t ship to South Korea, so I needed to find another company. Ship It To seemed the most reliable, and had the best prices, so I dealt with them.
When the next big sale came up on Old Navy (Memorial Day 50% off sale! FFFYES) I went crazy, ordered 8 shirts and a pair of jeans. I’m a huge fan of Old Navy back home, so it was nice to know my exact size, without the fear of ordering the wrong size like I have when I order from G-Market. Instead of shipping overseas, I was able to get the free shipping to the Ship It To warehouse. A few days later, my parcel arrived at the Ship It To warehouse. They took photos of the parcel, and emailed me to tell me what to do next. I was able to get everything processed right away, picked my shipping method (some how managing to get a ridiculously discounted price on the FedEx InternationalPriority) and stalked my items with glee via tracking number as they crossed the ocean.
The entire process took about a week and a half, and I saved almost $200 USD by using this service.
So now that I have summer clothes, I plan to use this service more. I have my eye on Amazon.com, which sells cases of Miracle Whip (otherwise known as my one true weakness) but refuse to ship overseas. I’ll keep you all updated on my hunt for Miracle Whip this summer.
Speaking of Amazon, I have to mention them as well. I’ve ordered from Amazon before while in Korea, and so long as the parcel has a tracking number, I was able to recieve my items REALLY quickly. I found the prices not too insane, but I plan on testing them out further as well this summer. I discovered that Amazon sell clothes and shoes (!!!!!!!!!!!), and so I plan on filling my oversized shoe closet this summer so my collection matches the shelf space.
So far, my ordering overseas adventures have all ended well. Do any of you have any other experiences? Other companies you recommend? I’ll try keep a list here. Good luck with ordering!