Overseas Shopping

6 Dec

For many online shoppers, especially those based locally in Singapore, it just can’t be helped that most of the online stores do not ship internationally. It just bring back the memories of making the decision to purchase something online, going through the registration process and only to realize during checking out that the online store does not ship beyond North America. I think that is the main reason why US goods are so in demand. It is due to the simple fact that the products cannot be found in the region unless you are flying there personally.

While it is frustrating, there’s a solution actually. It comes in the form of SingPost’s vPostUSA service. In simple terms, the service provide an US address for you to ship your purchases to and shipped it back to your local address. It will take a bit longer since there’s an extra trip involved. I personally do not use vPostUSA as I am utterly turned off by their shipping rates. Although it will end up to be somewhat cheaper but if I use vPostUSA, my items will be subjected to the 7% Goods & Service Tax (GST). I will not have such an worry if the web store ships internationally. The items purchased are almost always shipped as gifts, thus, avoiding the extra 7% GST. Another alternative will be accessUSA package forwarding service. I did an estimated calculation for both service using 0.5kg as the example. Here are the results:

vPostUSA: S$17 .82 onwards for Victoria Secrets, S$22.40 for Amazon onwards
accessUSA: S$10.0 per month for membership, S$11.52 for commercial invoice

Looking at the results, I am not sure which is a better option but my gut feeling is that accessUSA is a better choice when yo are buying on a regular basis. Not to forget that there is a US$20 membership setup fee for accessUSA as a one-time payment. I feel that we consumers will be spoiled for choices once there are more such services to challenge vPostUSA and accessUSA.

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