How NOT to Enjoy USA Online Shopping & International Shipping
Package forwarding makes it easy and fun to shop online in the USA and get international shipping to anywhere in the world. We’re always amazed at the creative ways our members come up with use your US address and ship packages! But here are some things NOT to do when shopping online and shipping internationally.
7 Ways NOT to Use Package Forwarding Services 🙁
- Committing Mail Fraud
Some people are tempted to use a US forwarding address to commit fraud. Usually, this means using a stolen credit card to buy from US stores, and then using a legitimate card to pay for the international shipping. This is illegal and wrong! Don’t do it! (Note: OPAS uses a verfication process to screen all new members to protect stores and sellers against fraud.)
- Trying to Send Restricted Items
You can ship almost anything using package forwarding. Almost! But there are some things you can’t ship. Most things are obvious, like weapons or hazardous materials, but every once in a while someone tries anyway! Make sure to check the restricted commodities list for your country before requesting a shipment!
- Not Anticipating an Import Duty
Depending on what you purchase with your US address, your country may ask for an import tax, duty, or VAT when your package enters your country. It can be a bit of a surprise if you aren’t expecting this, so be sure to check your country’s import regulations before your package arrives.
- Lying on Your Declaration Form to Avoid Import Duties
Although it is possible to reduce import duties and avoid unnecessary taxes when using package forwarding, claiming an unreasonably low value on your declaration form may backfire on you if your country’s customs authorities don’t believe your claim. Be careful!
- Shipping Without Insurance
Of course, shipping insurance is optional, but do you really want to risk your package’s safety just to save a few dollars? It’s tempting to skip the insurance, but probably much safer (for your package and your peace of mind!) if you include insurance with every international shipment.
- Shipping Without a Tracking Service
If you look around, you’ll probably find a few package forwarding services that use carriers who don’t offer tracking services. It may save a little money, but it will end up costing you much, much more if your package accidentally ends up in Timbuktu when you sent it to Australia. Plus, how will you know when your package is scheduled to arrive if you don’t use a carrier that offers tracking?
- USING A USA ADDRESS IN A STATE WITH SALES TAX!
Why pay up to 10% more in sales tax when you don’t have to? Using a US address in a state with sales tax will end up costing you much more money each time you shop in the USA. You can save money every time you shop online in the US by using a tax-free address in Oregon.
What’s Your Experience Shopping in the USA and Shipping Internationally?
Are you a veteran package forwarding shopper? Just shipped your first package last week? What are you tips, suggestions, or questions for other members? Leave comments below and discuss!