This is a guide for people living outside the U.S. who would like to order products from U.S. based online stores (like Amazon.com or Best Buy) and get them shipped to a non-US address even if the store offers no international shipping.
Are you craving to own that latest mobile phone that just launched in the USA and may take months to reach your country. Or are you getting a great deal on some product at an online store but they won’t ship it to your country?
Well, if you have an international credit card and don’t mind paying the shipping costs, custom duties and other charges, here are some services that can help you shop at your favorite online U.S. stores from anywhere.
You normally use your country specific eBay site for shopping (like eBay.in for India) but with the same account, you can also shop on eBay.com, eBay.co.uk and all the other eBay websites.
Here’s a tip - while looking for products on eBay.com, set the “Items available to” advanced search option to your country’s name and eBay will then only show you items where the seller has indicated that they are willing to ship to your country.
Imagine having a cousin in America. You go to Amazon.com, buy some electronic gadgets and music DVDs using your own credit card but give your cousin’s address for delivery. Amazon ships the stuff to your cousin’s place who then ships it to you.
Package forwarding services like vPost or Shipito are like your ‘virtual’ cousins. They’ll provide you with a personal U.S. address that you can use as the delivery address when shopping at any of the online U.S. stores be it Amazon, Gap, Macy’s or Apple.com.
When your package arrives at their warehouse, they’ll forward them to you via DHL or FedEx just like your helpful cousin. If you choose to buy from multiple stores, like a router from eBay and a camera from Amazon, these ‘forwarding’ services will repackage everything into one parcel so as to reduce the overall shipping cost.
Even if you give them a US address, some US merchants won’t accept payments through international credit cards that don’t have a US based billing address. And then there could be some people who may not have an international credits card at all.
If you are one of those, or if you are trying to shop at a store that won’t accept your non-US credit card, you can either use the Assisted Purchase service from Shipito to make the purchase.
With Assisted Purchase, you send the payment via Wire Transfer to Shipito who will then make the purchase on your behalf. In the case of BuyForMe, you can make the payment to comGateway using PayPal or any credit card and they’ll use their own card to pay the merchant(s).