OPAS Blog: International Shipping from US Stores

Can A US Virtual Mailbox Make Your (Mom’s) Day?

Can A US Virtual Mailbox Make Mom’s Day?As spring is rapidly turning into summer, the focus for most people turns to relaxation and enjoyment of the season.  Although the winter holidays receive much focus for shopping and gifting, spring and summer sales are also opportune times to take advantage of great deals.  With Mother’s Day approaching on the 10th of May, many of you are also beginning to think about ways to make this day special for a very loved person.

We often find that purchasing trends come in waves, although many online retailers also keep running sales between the bigger holidays.  This can also make it easier to find just the right items for mom, and shipping to a US virtual mailbox can also mean that she will be able to receive and enjoy these gifts.

The Best Gifts In A US Virtual Mailbox

One of the consistent best sellers that we see come through the US virtual mailbox here at OPAS is just about anything from Nu Skin.  These beauty products are highly touted for their anti-ageing and rejuvenating qualities, and combinations of skin care products range from washes and lotions for specific skin types to full facial spa treatments.  These items can not only delight mom when they arrive in the US virtual mailbox, but can also provide a sense of luxury right in the home.

Some favorite offerings from Nu Skin include an assortment of essential oils.  These items not only benefit skin health, but can also be used to address common complaints such as headaches exhaustion, and moods.  Creating a gift basket that includes such offerings can result in a wonderful treat for mom, and a US virtual mailbox can also ensure that the treat arrives as planned.

Shipping Considerations For A US Virtual Mailbox

While selecting gifts for mom can be part of the excitement of showing your appreciation for this special lady, you do want to make sure that your purchase will reach her.  The use of a US virtual mailbox facilitates this matter for many vendor shipping constraints, but it should still be noted that some products can be limited.  If you are considering Nu Skin for mom this year, you will also want to make sure that your US virtual mailbox is able to accept and forward the products.

Liquids that contain high concentrations of alcohol can be an issue for a US virtual mailbox and package forwarding, since there are country restrictions on shipping these substances.  To be certain that mom gets the gifts which are intended for her, we recommend that customers using a US virtual mailbox do review the limitations on specific products.  This way, you will know that she is getting the full surprise you had intended.

We also encourage shoppers to contact OPAS, whether it is to acquire a US virtual mailbox for your orders, or whether it is to engage a personal shopping assistant in making the right selections for a Mother’s Day present.

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OPAS Shipping Rates – Let’s take a look at the carrier options you have with OPAS!

OPAS Shipping Rates – Let’s take a look at the carrier options you have with OPAS!OPAS is careful to only ally with the best of the best, the companies that have displayed a long history of excellence and are at the forefront of their industry when it comes to innovation, improvement, and execution. To make sure you get the best OPAS shipping rates and quality, we work with the following carriers:

UPS:

Our primary provider for international logistics, UPS’ distinct brown vans and trucks with the recognizable yellow UPS shield are a very common site in the US. Their service is second to none, with particular detail paid to providing prompt and easy support. OPAS has negotiated a particularly strong contract with UPS, so you’ll see we can provide the best rates to you with UPS for almost all destinations we serve. Their compliance services are focused on ease of clearance, so you can be sure your packages won’t get stuck in customs, and if they do have issues with clearance their communication is prompt and clear to help resolve the issue. Ship confidently with UPS, and enjoy the savings our strong rates provide!

FedEx:

Like UPS, FedEx offers multi-tiered service (Priority and Economy) and they have a similarly strong track record. We’ve only recently begun offering service with FedEx, but our decision to pursue a contract for their service was based on frequent demands from many of our members, so let that be a rousing endorsement of their services in international package forwarding!

DHL:

A relative newcomer to international shipping service (in that they’ve only been in business for about 45 years, as opposed to 75+, like UPS) this German company has gained a reputation for strong service. Of particular note is that the parcel service OPAS uses with them, DHL Worldwide Express, has no size limit for parcels. If you’re looking to ship something particularly large and would like to avoid the long transit time and brokerage issues of freight shipping, then DHL would be the best choice for that.

Yamato:

A household name in Japan, Yamato provides premium service to that market exclusively. They have very strong brand recognition as a company with first-rate service and support. OPAS is one of the few forwarding companies to offer service with Yamato and we can do so at excellent rates, especially on smaller shipments. These rates often are less expensive than the rates offered by UPS. One note is that our contract with Yamato specifically is for personal import service – if you are ordering commercial volume quantities of goods or goods purposed for re-sale, you should select another option. Yamato is also very strict in observing the oft-complicated regulations that Japan’s government sets for import, so this has led to some very specific “best practices” for using their service easily and efficiently. You can email us at service@opas.com if you have questions about these practices.

US Postal Service:

We do conduct shipping with USPS, but only by their Priority Mail International and Priority Mail Express options. Lower-grade postage services like First Class either have weight restrictions that make them unappealing to our members or simply are too unreliable for the exacting standards that OPAS requires of our logistics providers. One point to keep in mind is that USPS does not calculate dimensional weight in determining shipping cost, so if you have a lightweight, large object to ship, they may be the best choice for you as long as the goods can be packaged within their size restrictions. You can always request an estimate from OPAS to see if eliminating dimensional weight would be a profitable choice for your shipment – USPS can’t match the delivery speed or tracking accuracy of any of the private companies we’ve listed above, and their rates are higher on a per-lb. basis than our private carrier rates. Also, final delivery will be handled by the local postal authority in your country, so this is something to bear in mind for those members in countries where the postal service is less organized and less reliable.

Airmail:

There is one lower-grade postage option we will use, but only to limited markets. We offer this service to Japan and Canada only, as the reliability of this service to other countries is below OPAS’ standard. There is no tracking service available, and the delivery period can go as long as a month. The weight limit is 4 lbs. for any Airmail shipment, but this service can still fill a role for affordable shipping of items with less monetary value.

To summarize, our highest priority is ensuring that you find the best fit for your shipping needs. Our rates with UPS are the best we can offer, but it may be that you prefer FedEx based on their individual strength within your country. If you’re looking to ship very large items without the hassle of freight forwarding, then DHL would be the best choice, and if your items have considerable dimensional overage then USPS would be best, as long as they fit within the size restrictions for your country.

If you have any questions about the carriers OPAS uses or their specific regulations and details of their service, please send us an email at service@opas.com!

 

Wearables Technology – What To Look For And How To Get Apple Watch And Other Wearables From Outside The US

Wearables Technology - What To Look For And How To Get Apple Watch And Other Wearables From Outside The USEvery year there are new trends in wearables technology which are likely to influence the direction that electronics and mobile devices will go.  As new offerings are produced, consumers are often faced with a number of choices in obtaining these goods, and enthusiasm as well as research can impact the direction of decisions.

The New Trends In Wearables Technology

Wearables are being hailed as the next big thing for digital integration and lifestyle enhancement, but we have also seen that online retailers are covering a range of products and brands in this category.  The Apple Watch is the newest is a series of multifunctional technology units that serve personal needs while also connecting to a wider network for integration.  However, Android based offerings such as the Moto and Fitbit, which is compatible with several operating systems are also strong contenders on the market.

The real question is, what should you be looking for in a wearable?

  • Scalabilty – wearables that can be updated with programming patches will likely have a greater longevity, even if they are brand specific.
  • Integration – this can be related to proprietary software that may limit device capacity, but can also include the devices ability to connect a number of other electronics that operate on the same network.
  • Multi-tasking – this directly relates to what the new technology can offer the consumer.  Is the wearable specific only to certain tasks, or can it be further programmed to connect with other functions.
  • Brand history – although even solid companies have been known to produce electronics that have a limited run of popularity, it can be important to consider the longevity and stability of the brand name in considering how practical a purchase may be.

Making The Choice

Doing good research will always lead to wiser purchase decisions, but even once this choice is made, consumers can still encounter challenges with the actual purchase.  This is due to the fact that some retailers and manufacturers, especially Apple, have certain restrictions on payment options, specifically for international shoppers.  The most frustrating occurrence is when payment is declined due to the fact that the credit or debit card is not backed by a US bank.

Combining your OPAS US package forwarding address with the prepaid VISA card from  US Unlocked card, you can overcome this obstacle, and make good use of the research they have done to actually obtain their wearable.  The US Unlocked card is a virtual pre-paid VISA that is backed by a US lender, and that also gives customers the ability to easily load funds from a personal account in order to complete the purchase.  This provides a simple and secure solution to finding shopping satisfaction.

If you are all set to get the new Apple Watch or other wearable that you have looked into and are excited about, then we invite you to sign up for a US package forwarding address and the US Unlocked card today, and get ready to fill your shopping needs immediately.

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Getting Your Favorite Items Through An American Forwarding Service 

american forwarding serviceOnline retail has vastly expanded the scope of products that can be accessed by international shoppers.  The use of an American forwarding service for these shipments can further facilitate gaining ownership of items, and it also opens up a number of opportunities to take advantage of sales events and promotional lines.  At OPAS, we provide a US based mailing address and an American forwarding service for these packages, so that consumers can always get the goods they want.

One of our personal favorite vendors will always be Victoria’s Secret, with a great selection of lingerie, sleepwear, everyday clothing, and even beauty products.  The runway show put on by the company at the beginning of the year has apparently been inspiring to many of our customers who use our American forwarding service, as we have been processing a number of orders from this vendor.

Some Notes About An American Forwarding Service And Products

While we at OPAS love Victoria’s Secret for their selection and variety, we do also need to make sure that our clients who use our American forwarding service are aware that there can be some restrictions that are imposed by safety strictures to shipping.  For this particular company, perfumes and beauty products with high alcohol content can still be excluded from the American forwarding service.  This is due to the fact that breakage and leaks on these materials can become hazardous to handlers or could become a fire hazard.

Customers who use our American forwarding service for Victoria’s Secret and other favorite brands that include health and beauty aids are invited to look over the restrictions that do apply to certain products.  This will mostly include:

  • Some skin creams
  • Certain perfumes*
  • Nail polishes and polish removers

Our customer service department can help you to figure out which kinds of products you can ship. Get in touch via service@opas.com, our team will help you verify shipping ability.

You love it.  You want it.  You need it.  You should also make sure that you can get it.

*Please note it is possible to ship perfumes as DG (dangerous goods) but these shipments are more expensive  we do not charge anything extra for dangerous goods shipment, but we do pass along the charges that the courier applies to us.)

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How A US Mail Forwarding Service Can Make Shopping Easier

How A US Mail Forwarding ServiceAlthough nobody doubts we live in a global economy, the US is less well represented in international shipping than in other, comparable global industry.

Simply put, vendors are losing out on a larger international customer base, whilst the international customer is losing out on the ability to either order products for themselves or to ship these products to relatives that may live in other parts of the globe.  A US mail forwarding service also address the other prohibitive restrictions that could influence the choice to obtain a desired product from a specific vendor, and these include:

  • The need for a US mailing and US billing address (popular vendors such as Apple are very strict in their fraud protection policies and absolutely require a matching mailing and billing address)
  • Shipping tariffs for customers
  • International fees and foreign tax credit rules (duties can amount to very little or can take you by surprise, we help customers find out what they may expect)
  • IRS expectations faced on vendors who are able to consider an overseas mail forwarding service

Although freight tax enforcement has been a low priority for the IRS, there are regulations that require online retailers to file extensive paperwork, even if they do qualify for an exemption.  However, a US mail forwarding service, such as what we offer at OPAS, is solely devoted to staying up to date on these regulations, and covering the appropriate concerns that would be handled by vendors.

Customers benefit from a US mail forwarding service through:

  • Access to items
  • Lowered shipping restriction
  • Tax free Oregon delivery address, that means 0% US sales tax, guaranteed!
  • Package consolidation
  • Paperless overseas shipping

Vendors are also able to see better profits when customers sign up for an OPAS US based mailing address and out overseas mail forwarding service.  This is achieved through:

  • Greater customer reach
  • Better customer service through the overseas mail forwarding service
  • Greater potential for growth
  • No international fees and taxes on sales

The result is that signing up for OPAS overseas mail forwarding service and a US mailing address is part of the way that the global economy will stay running.  It is also a means to fully support commerce, by ensuring that customers and products are able to come together, no matter where they are located.  Visiting our site and signing up will get you started in playing your part to benefit a better lifestyle. 

All of the world is a shopping mall.  Do you know how to access all of its benefits?

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How To Purchase Apple Watch From The US Apple Store (And Other Products)

how to purchase apple watch from the us apple storeWe know many of you are Apple fans and we also know it can be challenging to purchase Apple products such as the new Apple Watch from outside the US. Especially when you want to get your hands on the latest releases.

Follow our tutorial on how to purchase Apple Watch from the US Apple Store.

The highly anticipated Apple Watch and the new MacBook are both going to be available very soon and to offer you the best chance of ordering these items from the US and sending them to the country you call home we urge you to follow the following steps.

The following steps on how to purchase Apple Watch from the US Apple Store were proven successful with previous product launches by Apple:

  1. Make sure your US shipping address and US billing address are the same. Apple requires these addresses are the same. To do this, register here to get your OPAS account. Use the promo code APPLE for FREE REGISTRATION.
  2. If you do not yet have one, get a prepaid VISA card from our partner US Unlocked. US Unlocked will support your OPAS US address and enables you to have your shipping address and billing address match. SIGN UP with US Unlocked for their US Unlocked Card. This pre-paid virtual debit card is issued by a US bank. Get your US Unlocked card here. 
  3. Set up a US iTunes account and link your US Unlocked Card to it while connected over VPN with a US IP address. The connection over a Virtual Private Network is an integral part of this process becoming successful so do not forget to sign up for a VPN service and make sure you are connect over VPN whilst making your order.
  4. Purchase your Apple Watch or any other Apple product (don’t forget the accessories) and use the iTunes account you set up for payment.
  5. We will ship your order to your country.

On occasion, you may receive an error email that states that Apple doesn’t ship to package forwarding services, but this is no reason to panic. In these cases, it often means that their stock has run into short supply, and this is an automated message which may disappear in a few days’ time. Should you receive this error message, we suggest waiting a couple of days and trying your order again, which often works for many of you.

If you still find this method does not succeed, please contact OPAS and use our personal shopper program, which has a very high success rate. Please note our personal shopper service can only process limited quantities per account.

 

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Purchasing The Right Gift For Mom Using Your US Package Forwarding Address

Purchasing The Right Gift For Mom Using Your US Package Forwarding AddressMother’s Day is on the horizon, every second Sunday of the month of May many young Americans honor their mother’s with home made crafts and treats while the slightly older generation likes to shine a light on mom with a store bought but thoughtful gift. Many of your favorite retailers will jump on the Mother’s day band wagon while also offering Easter and Father’s Day deals, all holidays that follow each other in fairly rapid succesion. To make sure you don’t miss out any deals that could work for you, make sure you start browsing the offerings early, and of course ensure you have your US package forwarding address in place.

Whilst some Mom’s might enjoy a nice bottle of perfume other Mom’s may prefer the latest (gold!) MacBook!  As you know many online retailers who are headquartered in the US will only ship to a limited amount of places and even addresses.  This can apply as much to international orders as it can to US residents who have P.O. boxes.  The need for a physical US package forwarding address can be integral to making sure that gifts will actually be available for intended recipients. Adding a US billing address to your ordering process can facilitate a successful purchase, but make sure your US billing address and US package forwarding address match each other! We recommend taking a look at our partner US Unlocked. US Unlocked offers a prepaid VISA card that enables you to make purchases on virtually every US web store.

Greater Gifts With A US Package Forwarding Address

At OPAS, we can facilitate the shopping process through a physical US package forwarding address for both national and international clients.  While this can eliminate checkout hassles, it also means that you can make even more of the money you are spending.  Since your OPAS US package forwarding address is located in Oregon, it also means that you will not have to pay sales tax on your purchase.  For big ticket items, this can translate into a significant savings. We guarantee your purchases will have 0% US Sales Tax!

This also means that a greater generosity in gifting can be shown to parents and other loved ones, since more purchase power has been opened up with your US package forwarding address.  Further, the sales tax savings can also mean that you are able to reward yourself with a special treat, and this continues the sentiment of renewal and appreciation during the spring holidays.

The Ease Of A US Package Forwarding Address

Online retailers will also tend to extend sales when there are several holidays that come in succession.  This can also be a good reason to secure your OPAS address in advance, so that there is no loss of deals when trying to complete online shopping.  This preparation can serve you well, especially with favorite vendors that can allow for one-stop online shopping.

Signing up with OPAS for a US package forwarding address is simple, and can facilitate international shipping as well as package consolidation for shoppers based on the continent.  Since online sales events are constantly changing with the time of year, it can be wise to have a solid foundation for receiving goods, regardless of the vendor.

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Get A US Address For International Shipping

get a us address from international shippingOver the past few decades, it has become increasingly more common for families to relocate for work or even quality of life.  This can mean that extended families are often spread around the world, and remaining in contact can become an important time of sharing and reconnecting, even if an actual visit is not an option.

Keeping in touch with each other over email, and Skype is one thing but sending the occosaional or regular care package can be another way of keeping in touch and showing appreciation even though there may be physical distance between you and your family, there is still an emotional closeness.  If you can relate to this situation, then it may also be a wise idea to find out about how to get a US address for international shipping.

  • Do you send a lot of packages overseas?
  • Do you like to place gift orders through online retailers?
  • Do you order a number of parcels from different vendors?
  • Do you get frustrated by the hassle of international shipping?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you are certainly a candidate to get a US address for international shipping.

Get A US Address For International Shipping?

The simple answer to why you should get a US address for international shipping

is that it makes commerce easier and hassle free.  However, this can be due to a number of factors.

  • If you get a US address for international shipping, you are not limited by vendor shipping restrictions.
  • You can avoid having to consolidate and ship packages on your own, which saves time.
  • If you get a US address for international shipping through OPAS, you can also save on sales tax with an Oregon address. We guarantee you pay 0% US sales tax. 

How To Get A US Address For International Shipping

The solution to shipping packages to loved ones around the world can be an easy process.  To get a US address for international shipping, you simply need to visit us at the OPAS website and fill out the application form.  We can process the information with speed and get you started with a valid physical address, but can also offer you other benefits such as:

  • Package forwarding
  • Parcel consolidation
  • Special attention and care to all of your orders and requests
  • Related services such as personal shopping assistance

While it may feel like enough of a positive aspect to get a US address for international shipping to all your loved ones, the further value that we add is a strong point with all of our new and existing clients.  In this way, we pass along a little more care with the parcels you send to your loved ones.

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US Package Forwarding Service For Zappos – Getting Ready For Spring

US Package Forwarding ServiceAs the harsher months of the winter begin to pass, and days start to stay light for longer, many people begin to focus on outdoor recreations and other enjoyment that comes from the start of spring.  At OPAS, Zappos.com is a big favorite for this time of year, with clothing, shoes, accessories, and even gear that is great for the outdoors.

With Zappos.com, a US package forwarding service can be helpful even for national shoppers.  While we certainly love all of the products that are available from this retailer, their shipping protocols can put some restrictions on who can actually receive products.  While international deliveries are certainly limited, shipping to P.O. Boxes is also not a viable practice.  This makes the use of a US package forwarding service vital for getting ready to enjoy the outdoors.

Access To The Outdoors With US Package Forwarding Service

One of the wonderful things about Zappos.com, especially when paired with a US package forwarding service, is that full outfits and supplies for different activities can all be purchased from the same vendor.  Along with this, the site also gives customers the ability to easily compare prices on different brands, and look at user reviews.  This can certainly heighten the shopping experience, and lead to more instant gratification.

With a US package forwarding service and Zappos, multiple orders may also be consolidated.  This can be ideal when several family members are shopping for a soon to be graduate, or just want to chip in on a larger gift for mom or dad on their special days.  At OPAS, our US package forwarding service can also include package consolidation, for convenience and for saving money on international shipping costs.

Signing Up For US Package Forwarding Service And Savings

If you are excited about the coming spring and want to get yourself or loved ones ready to enjoy the outdoors again, then we encourage you to visit the OPAS site and register for a US package forwarding service.  The online application is simple to fill out, and the address can be used directly after approval, so you can be ready just as soon as the warmer weather hits.

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Online Shopping For Home Decor – Trends

Spring is a great time to shop for new items for your home. Many retailers are launching new home decor lines.  Start with a literal clean slate, and update your home with fresh new home decor. Spring cleaning has never been this fun!

Online Shopping for Home Decor starts here.

One of the designer / retailer  collaborations we love is Nate Berkus for Target. Nate has worked with Target for a while now and comes out with a new line of products each spring. If you like the Mid Century trend you will love his new line. The sleek, vintage inspired items are super affordable, and one sale if you act quickly with their President’s Day Discount (10% off with code LINCOLN).

Let’s take a look at a few trends for 2015.

Metallics

nate berkus table target

 

This lovely accent table is ticking all current trends boxes with the wire legs and metallic look.  Add a little sheen to your room! $59.99 Target.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mid Centurystring wall art nate berkus target

Add an interesting feature to a blank wall and tick both the Mid Century box as well as the Metallic trend box! $34.99 Target. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wallpaper

graham brown ikat wallpaper

 

 

Add texture and colour to your home or office  instantly with this new take on the popular Ikat. This geometric version designed by Kelly Hoppen adds colour, texture and shimmer. $85.00 a roll.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blue accents Nate Berkus Arrowhead Stripe Accent Rug

This rustic meets contemporary teal rug would be a perfect addition to your kitchen, entryway or bathroom. $24.99 Target. 
 

 

Online shopping home decor items can be fun and affordable if you find the right deals! 

Getting the items you want is easy:

You can get a US address, buy from any US store, and have your packages shipped to you in any country by using package forwarding. Here’s how package forwarding works.

Step 1: Get a US Address

Register for a US address and you’ll get a unique, personalized US package forwarding address. Because OPAS US address is in the state of Oregon, one of the few US states without a sales tax, you’ll never have to pay sales tax when you use your US package forwarding address to buy from US stores.

Step 2: Buy from US Stores

Use your new US package forwarding address to buy from any US store.

Just enter your new US address as the shipping address when you checkout on a store’s website. Your order will be shipped to your US package forwarding address and stored in your mailbox.

Step 3: Ship Your Packages Anywhere in the World!

Log in to your OPAS account to see the packages in your account and choose when to ship them to your home in any country around the world. You can forward packages one at a time, or combine them into one large box to save on international shipping costs.

Let’s find out if OPAS is right for you. Click here! 

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