Whether you’re an Expat living the good life in Thailand, or a citizen of the EU or even perhaps Russia, I’ll bet there are many times you’ve looked at the websites of B&H Photo , Amazon  , Buy.com , or one of the many other major shopping sites based in the USA and wished they allowed you to order at USA prices and ship the product to you in your own country.  Or maybe there’s a product available in the USA you can’t find in your own country.  Whatever your reason, there can be many advantages to being able to access the World’s largest marketplace.

 

Introduction

 

Whether you’re an Expat living the good life in Thailand, or a citizen of the EU or even perhaps Russia, I’ll bet there are many times you’ve looked at the websites of B&H Photo , Amazon  , Buy.com , or one of the many other major shopping sites based in the USA and wished they allowed you to order at USA prices and ship the product to you in your own country.  Or maybe there’s a product available in the USA you can’t find in your own country.  Whatever your reason, there can be many advantages to being able to access the World’s largest marketplace.

 

With credit card fraud and other scams at all time highs most of these companies have either denied shipping products out of the country altogether, or severely limited what they allow.  Using your credit card from another country can become an issue, and then there’s the sticky issue of duties and customs as you import products into your country. 

 

 

Shipito has solved most of these issues for you.  They’re a mail and/or package forwarding service which at the most basic level provides you with a USA mailing address to receive and then forward your mail, magazines, and/or packages.  At more advanced levels they’ll even act as a broker to find the product you want, make the purchase, and then arrange for delivery.  Their fees and shipping rates are very reasonable.

 

 

Shipito has solved most of these issues for you.  They’re a mail and/or package forwarding service which at the most basic level provides you with a USA mailing address to receive and then forward your mail, magazines, and/or packages.  At more advanced levels they’ll even act as a broker to find the product you want, make the purchase, and then arrange for delivery.  Their fees and shipping rates are very reasonable.

 

 

Accounts and Services

 

Before writing this review I had contact with the President of the company and learned quite a bit about their services and business philosophy.  With fraud and scams at all time highs I wanted to be sure they were legit as well.  Many websites you find online offering such services are fraud/scam sites.  Shipito is the real deal.  Since my chats with the President of the company I’ve shipped roughly 35 packages from various stores such as B&H Photo, Amazon, and Buy.com, which they then consolidated into 5 packages in total and shipped them to me here in Thailand.  I’m 100% confident they’re not only legit, but a very good value with excellent service.

 

 

Before writing this review I had contact with the President of the company and learned quite a bit about their services and business philosophy.  With fraud and scams at all time highs I wanted to be sure they were legit as well.  Many websites you find online offering such services are fraud/scam sites.  Shipito is the real deal.  Since my chats with the President of the company I’ve shipped roughly 35 packages from various stores such as B&H Photo, Amazon, and Buy.com, which they then consolidated into 5 packages in total and shipped them to me here in Thailand.  I’m 100% confident they’re not only legit, but a very good value with excellent service.

 

You can choose to pay a flat rate fee of $8.50 per package plus shipping using their free account.  I upgraded to a $50 per year premium account which allowed package consolidations and I saved that much on shipping with my very first shipment.  There are several options available and I encourage you to read each one carefully before choosing the right one for your needs.

 

 

Shipping Fees

 

High volume shippers in the states receive discounted shipping rates from Fedex and the USPS (United States Postal Service) significantly cheaper than if you walked into either place as a private citizen to ship a single box.  Shipito receives and then passes on this discount to you.

 

If you’re curious use their shipping calculator to estimate shipping costs, and then go to Fedex or the USPS and use their shipping calculators to compare.  This is what their shipping calculator looks like.

 

 

Notice it lets you choose the Shipito warehouse you’re using with the address they provide, fill in your destination country and postal code, and then the box weight and size.  In this example I’m asking how much it will cost to ship a 9 pound box that measures 16x18x16 inches.

 

 

Notice it lets you choose the Shipito warehouse you’re using with the address they provide, fill in your destination country and postal code, and then the box weight and size.  In this example I’m asking how much it will cost to ship a 9 pound box that measures 16x18x16 inches.

 

 

The shipping calculator returns two Fedex rates, showing two different speeds of shipment.  I chose this weight and box size because I recently shipped such a box and selected the USPS Express option which for some reason wasn’t showing in their shipping fee calculator results.  The USPS Express rate for the same package was $90.31 fully insured with a tracking number.

 

 

The shipping calculator returns two Fedex rates, showing two different speeds of shipment.  I chose this weight and box size because I recently shipped such a box and selected the USPS Express option which for some reason wasn’t showing in their shipping fee calculator results.  The USPS Express rate for the same package was $90.31 fully insured with a tracking number.

 

I find the USPS Express service the most economical and so far 5 packages have taken between 4 and 6 days to arrive in Thailand.  When they arrive, they arrive via Thailand’s postal EMS service.  If there are duties/vat to be paid you’ll need to go into your local post office and pay the fees to pick up your package.  This is convenient for me.

 

If you pay a bit more for Fedex shipping, then the Fedex guy will deliver to your home and collect any fees at this time.

 

 

Advantages of Consolidation

 

When you place an order with an online marketplace they’ll often ship the order in multiple boxes.  As an example my last order was in five boxes.  Separate fees/shipping on the five boxes were $70.26, $52.44, $36.44, $45.30, and $38.22.  The final shipping charges and fees totaled $90.31.

 

Consolidation allows several advantages.  You’ll have the choice of placing the received boxes in a new big single box (expensive as it takes a lot of space and increases the size of your box), removing the items from the original packing boxes and placing them in a new single bigger box in their original packaging (a good option if you think the items need the protection of their original packaging), or they can strip all the original boxes and packaging and then wrap them in one single box (the most economical). 

 

So far I’ve tried the last two options, but am the most comfortable with them leaving the item in its original packaging and then consolidating the items in a single box.  Either way the items came professionally packed with no small items lost.  There is even an option for removing the original invoices which would have obviously advantages.

 

 

Custom Forms and Declarations

 

I would never recommend anyone cheat their government, but sometimes an item is a returned item you’ve already paid duties and taxes on, or perhaps it’s a repaired item from a factory service center.  Either way, you MUST fill out the customs information online.  There is no one checking the accuracy of what you fill out.  I believe it might be best to avoid keywords that someone using English as a second language might cue on as something of high value or requiring duty vs. just the VAT.  Perhaps be a bit vague, but accurate.  Below is an example customs form I filled out as an example for this article.  It does not represent a real shipment but I’ll explain to you how it could.

 

 

 

The first box is a cell phone battery.  The straight price and quantity is entered.  The second box is two computer keyboards, one wireless and one illuminated, but in this sample I kept them more generic sounding.  As few words as possible to be accurate.  The third item was a fogless shower mirror and pretty straightforward.  The fourth box a bottle of Eclipse Sensor cleaner.  Anything marked “cleaner” might flag your shipment for special handling which could include surface (read by slow boat) shipment due to  its chemical properties.  The last item was a mini-dp to HDMI active adapter.  I kept it generic.  Five received boxes to my shipping address, consolidated into one larger box.  Customs will get a copy showing what’s on the form above. 

 

 

The first box is a cell phone battery.  The straight price and quantity is entered.  The second box is two computer keyboards, one wireless and one illuminated, but in this sample I kept them more generic sounding.  As few words as possible to be accurate.  The third item was a fogless shower mirror and pretty straightforward.  The fourth box a bottle of Eclipse Sensor cleaner.  Anything marked “cleaner” might flag your shipment for special handling which could include surface (read by slow boat) shipment due to  its chemical properties.  The last item was a mini-dp to HDMI active adapter.  I kept it generic.  Five received boxes to my shipping address, consolidated into one larger box.  Customs will get a copy showing what’s on the form above.

 

So far with five separate shipments customs didn’t once question the items or open a box.  Three boxes required me to go to the local post office and pay fees to pick it up, two were delivered with no fees.  The contents or value were all about the same.  I noticed when a package arrived near the weekend or a holiday they pushed it out for delivery with no charges.  It appears Thai customs has a great amount of leeway.

 

You can also claim the item as either merchandise or a gift.  I’m not sure what difference it makes to Thai customs.

 

 

Tracking Your Package

 

Fedex, UPS, and DHL have some of the best tracking services available, showing the package at each place on its journey as it stops at each airport and handling center.  If  you require this sort of tracking they’re the services to use. 

 

The USPS provides somewhat less information but I find it entirely useful.  It shows when it leaves the Shipito warehouse, when it leaves the country, when it arrives in Thailand, and when it’s available for pickup or out for delivery.

 

 

As you can see from this real example my package left the Shipito warehouse on August 4th, and arrived in Thailand and was delivered with fee/charges five days later on August 9th.  I think this is a very reasonable shipping speed and overall I’m very impressed.

 

As you can see from this real example my package left the Shipito warehouse on August 4th, and arrived in Thailand and was delivered with fee/charges five days later on August 9th.  I think this is a very reasonable shipping speed and overall I’m very impressed. 

 

 

Problems?

 

Initially I had a few moments of confusion and some issues with a less than helpful accounts clerk that took some clearing up.  You see, you’ll need to verify your account.  Until you do there are limits places on how much of their service  you can use each month.  The automatically generated notifications kept telling me my account was fine, then being verified, then being investigated, and back again several times.  It was unnecessarily confusing and I had to be quite harsh with the accounts clerk to get her to notice just what was going on.  They don’t see their website from your ‘angle’, so she had to quit assuming the customer was a moron and start assuming there was a real issue.  She didn’t, so a quick email to the company President rectified that little problem.

 

There are different ways to “verify” your account including sending in copies of your identification cards, passport, or signing and notarizing some forms.  I found this scrutiny understandable, but at the same time I felt uneasy providing this type of  information to a company not verified by someone I trust.  Hopefully this review will help alleviate some of the concerns I had.

 

 

Payment Method(s)

 

Another country’s credit card can often be a problem.   Shipito will accept any credit card with an account properly verified, but you might still have a problem with the original marketplace such as Amazon or B&H Photo. 

 

In such cases and with Shipito I used Paypal to pay for my products and shipping fees and authorization was immediate.   Setting up your Paypal account is easy and a great way to make payments, but know you lose the protections a credit card company may offer and it’s extremely important you safeguard your Paypal account information.  Otherwise someone armed with your information can max out whatever account you’ve signed up to use.  Be very careful with phishing scams and to safeguard your login information.

 

 

Summary

 

This part is easy.  I love this service!   Once set up its fast, easy, and very economical.  As someone who orders a lot of high-tech devices for their work and enjoyment it’s fast become an essential service.

 

I don’t think I’ll often have need for their brokerage services, but perhaps for some special items.  With their brokerage services they do the buying and paying in your name, with you paying them through an established account, and this may very well save some major complications.

 

The site can be used in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Polish, Chinese, Dutch, and other languages, but the customs forms must always be in the international language.  English.

 

I hope this review helped alleviate most of your questions and any fears  you have that Shipito may not be legit.  They are legitimate and I think you’ll quickly find their services indispensible.  I would guess I’ll be using them for one or two consolidated shipments per month.

 

I’ve always been blessed with good friends in the states willing to receive and forward my packages, but I’ve always hesitated to impose.  Now I don’t need to.