Ever felt the pain of not being able to splash the cash on those amazing Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals? That’s because you haven’t read this yet.
Soon you'll be by the door, waiting for the postman to knock with your purchases.
Mail forwarding… what?
Basically, you’re engaging a middleman to help you in places you don’t have friends. This one won’t do you any favours though, and you’ll have to pay. While paying for friends might sound appealing, this one just helps you with shopping. There are two main ones to use - Hopshopgo for the US, and Singapore Post’s vPost service that covers the US, Europe, Japan, and China.
I like friends. How can I use them?
That phrasing worries us. For some reason, certain sites only accept credit cards from the countries they’re based in, stopping you from giving them your money. For these weirdos, just provide the forwarding service with the item name and URL, sizing information, and any discount codes you might have, and they’ll buy it for you.
The package will then be sent to their US address, identified by a code unique to you. This is the same code and address that you’ll use for all the other items you can buy, but can’t ship to Singapore. Simply have all your loot delivered to the forwarding centre for consolidation, wait for an email to say they’ve arrived, and have them couriered to a location of your choosing.
How much would it cost?
To buy the item for you, Hopshopgo has a straight-up 5% surcharge on top of local delivery charges, while vPost’s vShop4U service provides you with a comprehensive quote after you make a request.
Shipping charges are a more complicated affair. Each vendor has a base fee (from US$11 (S$13.60) for Hopshopgo and S$13.40 for vPost) accompanied by charges for weight, insurance and fuel, and delivery. You'll also be able to pay more and get your stuff faster. The bulk of the cost is made up of the item’s volumetric weight, though – If it’s a small item in a big box, it's more costly.
From our experience, for items from the US both sites will come up to around the same cost. It’s best to get quotes from both for the best price, of course.