OPAS Blog: International Shipping from US Stores

Black Friday Is Kicking Of The Shopping Season

black friday is kicking of the shopping seasonWhile it may seem as though the holiday season begins earlier every year, the official start of holiday shopping is still centered around Black Friday for the majority of retailers.  Online vendors utilize this date just as much as brick and mortar stores, adding new sales in the week leading up to Black Friday and the day itself. Although online customers can certainly take advantage of shopping from the comfort of home, rather than standing in line in the cold, many of the online Black Friday sales are still a virtual first come, first serve.  Sales may update every few hours for pricing, with special coupons and discounts that pop up as the hours advance.  The result is that online shoppers are still getting the savings and the thrill of a Black Friday event, but without many of the hassles.

Getting From There To Here

While many of the trials of a real world Black Friday sale are made easier, online shopping for the event does bring about some specialized challenges for shoppers to contend with.  Shipping can be one of the more frustrating hurdles, since buyers will often get all their items selected and into their virtual carts, before discovering that the vendor does not have a shipping option for that region. Especially when it comes to excited shoppers who have spent hours online, waiting for the right items and the right sales, this eventuality can be infuriating.  At OPAS, we fully understand just what a damper lack of shipping options can put on an otherwise fruitful online shopping excursion.  The solution to overcoming this shipping issue can be as simple as package forwarding.

Even larger online vendors do not always have shipping options that will accommodate all international regions.  Getting around this can include having a US based address where all the goods can be delivered to accommodate the vendor.  From this address, packages can be forwarded, in one shipment or in several, to the actual buyers address.  The result is that Black Friday events can truly become open to everyone.

Making Life Easier

While the online option for Black Friday sales events is certainly one way of making the transactions more pleasant, we feel that package forwarding can offer customers the complete experience without the frustration.  Setting up an OPAS package forwarding account is simple, and ensuring that a valid shipping address is available before getting to the checkout can also ensure that none of the sales items get virtually put back on the shelf.  If you are planning on spending an exciting Friday of shopping the online wares, then we encourage you to start your foray prepared.  Setting up an OPAS package forwarding account can ensure that your holidays are exactly as you have planned them :-)

Best Toys For Christmas 2014

Christmas morning is fast approaching and to lend a helping hand we created a short and sweet list of the best toys for Christmas 2o14.  We hope to inspire your Christmas shopping with these items!

osmoPlay Beyond the Screen!

Osmo promotes social intelligence and creative thinking. Osmo is a unique gaming accessory for the iPad that comes with games that will change the way your child plays.

Find it here. 

Angeles Balance Bike

angeles balance bike

Kids can learn their balance and learn to ride a two wheeler on this smooth and sleek pedal free balance bike. Rugged welded steel frame with spokeless wheels on 2″ wide rubber tires. 5 year warranty, no assembly needed.

On sale from $159.00 to $119.00, get it here.

Disney Frozen Toddler Doll – Elsa

frozen doll elsa

What more can we say about the popular Elsa :-). Sure to put a smile on the little ones face.

One sale from $26.99 to $22.99, get it here.

Looking for toys that inspire your children to learn about STEM? Science, Technology, Engineering and Math?

STEM GIFTS amazon Amazon has a great selection.





GoldieBlox Spinning Machine, Parade Float and Dunk Tank Building Sets

goldie blox

How do you get girls to build and inspire the next generation of female engineers? Engage them with a story, challenge them with a problem-solving purpose, use colors, materials, and shapes that delight girls! Created by Debbie Sterling, a hip, young Stanford engineer (who always wanted a toy like this herself).

On sale from $80.00 for $69.97, get it here.








Fisher-Price Imaginext Supernova Battle Rover

Fisher-Price-Imaginext-Supernova-Battle-Rover--pTRU1-18527470dtYour little one can learn all about cause and effect play with the massive Fisher-Price Imaginext Supernova Battle Rover. By turning a disk, your child can send a small vehicle speeding down the ramp to check out a planet in space.

On sale from $119.00 for $99.99, get it here.








Happy shopping! Remember if you don’t have an OPAS account yet there is still time to set it up for Christmas and Black Friday shopping. Click here to get started! We hope  you enjoyed are list of best toys for Christmas :-)

ps, we always have different coupons to save on shopping and shipping, be sure to ask, just drop us an email via service@opas.com or find us on Twitter, Facebook or Google+.

Holiday Sales Calendar

Holiday sales seem to start popping up as soon as the fall weather beings to cool down.  Online deals, however, just seem to keep heating up, and this can make it important to know when to browse and when to buy.

As we head towards December, there is an understandable frenzy in retail.  Last minute gifters are searching for the ideal finds, while other shoppers are also taking advantage of the holidays, not just for gifting, but also for finding great buys at the perfect price.  Although actual vendors have observed different strategies for in store and online selling, the past several years have truly generated a holiday sales calendar of web sale events, and the savvy shopper will want to mark these dates.

Cyber Monday

This year, Cyber Monday falls on 1. December, and this is the online equivalent of in store Black Friday.  Many of these sales are centered around the newest digital and computer devices, but designer clothing, luxury make-up, and other discounted finds will also be sold through a range of retailers.  Some vendors may leak a sneak peek at offerings, but Cyber Monday has traditionally become a “be there or miss out” event.

Since Cyber Monday falls at the very beginning of December, it does allow a relatively sufficient time for shipping, and for OPAS to gather your goods for package consolidation.  While you may still shop fairly safely through almost 7 December, and trust that you deliveries will not be delayed, Cyber Monday is really the last pre-holiday sale that can ensure your packages for the holidays.

Christmas Eve And Christmas Day

Although online ordering for the 24-25 December sales may not be applicable for holiday gifting, these dates still give you an excellent chance to take advantage of lowered prices and package deals.  Some shoppers will still use these last minute sales for their holiday gifting, even the actual goods may not be there under the tree.

One creative woman gave her children catalogue pictures of the gifts they would be receiving, and wrapped these photos in a box.  The children were ecstatic at having a present to open, but also knowing that the gift was exactly what they desired.  OPAS can still comply with consolidated shipping after the holidays, and this can let you be festive all over again.

Post-Holiday Surprises

Of course, starting on 26 December, many retailers truly enter the sales phase.  This makes the use of gift cards and holiday money presents even more tantalizing, and with pre-paid VISA debit accounts, OPAS can continue to accommodate your buying needs.

Whether you are planning for packages before or after the holidays, you should get our OPAS package forwarding and other services in order as soon as possible.  This will ensure that you never miss out on a sale.

Check out our handy timeline:

holiday shopping calendar

Express Fee Change Notification

Please note that OPAS will be revising our policy regarding Express processing services. The price structure will be subject to the number of packages to be shipped, membership level of the account and the time of day, local time, that the request is submitted. These revisions will be in effect as of November 18th, 2014.

For Package Only members, if the request is submitted during the level 1 period (please see charts below), Express processing will be $10.00, plus $1.00 per package in the request over 5. If the request is submitted during the level 2 period, the Express processing will be $20.00, plus $2.00 per package in the request over 5.

For Package & Mail members, if the request is submitted during the level 1 period, Express processing will be $5.00 plus $1.00 per package in the request over 5. If the request is submitted during the level 2 period, the Express processing will be $10.00, plus $2.00 per package in the request over 5.

Shipment from US:







Shipment from Japan:





To be clearer, the increased rates will apply most directly to the shipments submitted in the time before our afternoon shipping deadlines.

For any shipment submitted during the level 2 period of increased rates, OPAS cannot guarantee that the shipment will be processed in time for the shipping deadline that day. If a request is submitted during that time and unable to be processed in time for shipping that day due to something within OPAS’ control, we will waive your Express fee. If a request is submitted during that time and is unable to be shipped in time for shipping that day due to something outside of OPAS’ control, such as failure to collect payment, or a PayPal invoice not being paid in time, or an incorrect declaration that requires us to hold processing, we will not be able to refund your Express processing fee.

We thank you for your understanding and compliance with our new regulations, and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email us at service@opas.com. We are here to help and answer any questions you may have. 


Package Forwarding Services For Online Shopping

package forwarding services for online shoppingThe holidays are a special time for celebrating family and friends.  While a large part of the festivity is the ability to get together and share, there is also a great amount of joy which is derived from both the receiving and the giving of gifts.  For so many people, much of the enjoyment comes from watching a loved one open their package, and the excitement of receiving is shared with the gifter.

This can also make the holidays an ideal time to explore shopping deals, since the appreciation comes through the process of selecting just the right items for those special people.  With internet shopping, deals abound across the globe, yet, they are not always so simple to obtain.

Many companies may claim international shipping, but this could include a limited range of countries which are covered.  This could also include exorbitant fees that are tacked on from each of the various sellers.  In the end, what may have seemed like a great deal ends up becoming a costly affair. Using package forwarding services for online shopping could be just the solution you are looking for.

Package forwarding services and package consolidation help you save money

At OPAS, we can offer you solutions that will not only let you obtain the merchandise you desire for your loved ones, but we can also make the process of getting your packages much more affordable.  As a package forwarding service, one of the primary benefits we can provide is a US based address for vendors to ship your goods.  This overcomes the first challenge of limited international shipping, but also negates those excess fees.

Our package forwarding also provides you with another positive outcome, in that we are able to consolidate all of your incoming purchases into one bulk shipment, which can further save you money.  Using our shipment calculator, you can figure out the most effective way to receive your goods, and you still have control of how your packages arrive to you.

As an example, if you are ordering from several different retailers, you will be notified through an email from us, letting you know that we have packages for you in the warehouse.  You can then make the decision as to whether you would like us to ship them right away, or hold on to them if you have other orders coming in.  You will be able to consolidate or immediately ship as much as you like, and this gives you a chance to truly take advantage of the savings on pre-holiday sales.

If you are a consummate gifter who loves seeing friends and family light up at the presents you offer them, then OPAS could be your ideal solution to getting everything you need in time for the festive occasion.  Contact us today to set up a package forwarding address, and then you can calculate the best fees, and timing, to get all your gifting needs for the holidays.

American Beauty Brands, Trends And Products

american beauty brandsWhile the face of beauty is constantly changing, american beauty brands are quick to keep up with the latest trends, and demands, that consumers have for product.  This year’s big focus has been on fresh and natural looks, as well as non-surgical answers for anti-aging solutions.  While many companies are using online retail to promote these products, there are several which stand out from the crowd.

Turning Back Time

Skin care has always been a foundation for the beauty industry, since this offers customers a clear palette to start from.  Meaningful Beauty is gaining a good reputation for its line of age defying creams and serums, as well as cleansing products.  This impressive brand relies solely on its online sales, but does have limitations for shipping and billing that can mean the products are only available to US based customers.

Soft Colors

Another rising star for make-up and beauty accessories is the US based company of Urban Decay.  This cosmetic line has gained a reputation for edgy and bold eye shadows that are both vegan and humanely made.  In keeping with the trend of fresh and natural looks, Urban Decay has recently launched its Vice and Naked lines, with more muted hues which still sparkle and have a fashion forward appeal.

In retail stores, Urban Decay can only be found through limited specialty boutiques such as Sephora, although Sephora.com also carries a range of Urban Decay products.  Many of the sales are actually conducted through the manufacturer’s online site, with specialty gifts and coupons for preferred customers, although these sites can also have limitations in shipping and billing. We suggest you shop directly through Urban Decay’s web store as we have recently had some customer feedback that Sephora was blacklisting orders made with your OPAS address. Luckily using Urban Decay’s site enables you to benefit from the many offers and coupons they have happening at all times!

Remember, you can always shop at Sephora or other companies that do not wish to ship to a package forwarder by using our personal shopper service! 

Don’t Miss Out 

If you are interested in exploring what these lines of beauty products have to offer, make sure you have your OPAS account set up, so that you can be prepared to actually make your purchase as soon as you put the items in your online cart.  Setting up an account is simple abd gives you the freedom to invest in as much of the latest skincare and make-up hotness as you desire.

Learn More About Our Mail Forwarding Service

mail forwarding serviceDid you know that OPAS also offers a Mail Forwarding Service? You can use your mail forwarding address to receive personal or business correspondence, magazines etc. We forward your  mail to any country in the world.  You simply register with OPAS and you’ll receive a unique US address as well as a unique Japanese address.

We created this service specifically for people that have lived in the US and have moved away or expats living abroad. We know your correspondence is important to you and lend a helping hand by either forwarding your mail to your current address outside the US or we scan important documents and email them to you. A combination of both of these services is also possible.

Both our package forwarding services as well as our mail forwarding services gets you the items you desire without having to inconvenience your friends or family members.  One of our team members has recently moved from the Netherlands to the United States and has many family and friends asking her to forward packages or mail to the Netherlands. She recently had a bad experience at her local post office, waiting in line for over an hour and having to fill out customs forms just for forwarding a magazine and some lapel pins. Very inconvenient and not something you want to spend your valuable time dealing with.

Our dedicated team will take care of your mail forwarding needs as well as ship to you the items you might miss living abroad. We get requests to send magazines, important documents and items not available where you are, from your favorite brand of peanut butter to specific beauty brands only available in the US.

OPAS is more than a package or mail forwarding company. We keep you connected to your correspondence and your favorite US brands. We help you shop for the live you want, almost anywhere in the world.

To get started with OPAS simply register, pay your start up fee and start shopping, shipping and saving. Make sure you are on our mailing list to stay current on all our coupons and offerings and read our handy blogposts about shopping online in the US.

Choosing The Right Christmas Gift

The holidays can be one of the greatest times of year for the consummate shopper.  Not only are there sales and deals to fit any person’s tastes, but there are also options for capitalizing on special treats for yourself.  Yet, with all the choices that online retailers offer, it can be hard to come up with a comprehensive list to still make sure that everyone is covered.

Getting Organized

One of the easiest ways to approach this time of year, may be to consider the vendors and what they offer.  From this standpoint, you can start making categories for products and cross-referencing this with the interests of the people you are shopping for.

  • Beauty.com – some of the best deals on everything from perfume to cosmetics.  This online retailer has a vast selection of products that span every category of health and beauty products and accessories.  Their site is well organized for searching by keywords, specific brands, and general categories.
  • Newegg.com – fun and practical electronics for the person who likes to play and upgrade with their computers of digital devices.  Offerings range from the latest releases for computers and gaming systems, to components that can be used to turn a regular PC into multi-player war machine.
  • Williams-Sonoma – cooking supplies to delight and inspire.  Items from this company can be practical or extravagant, but they will be sure to be a hit with any aspiring chef or foodie.  The expanded offerings from this company also include outdoor cooking services, time saving devices for the kitchen and classic cutlery.  Easy category searches on their site can also inspire gift givers to find the perfect items through a simple browse.

choosing the right christmas gifts

Choosing The Right Christmas Gift

Exploring the online retailers will give holiday shoppers a better sense of where to find what they are looking for as well as what to be searching for.  With OPAS package forwarding, we further simplify the process, allowing you to have your goods shipped from a variety of vendors to one US based address.  We can send you your items as they arrive, but we can also consolidate your goods to save on international shipping.

It never hurts to start shopping the deals early, and we recommend that you set up your OPAS account soon, so that we will be ready to forward as soon as goods come in.  Remember, the holidays are fast approaching, and if you want to play it safe, have your items ship to OPAS before the end of November.  While waiting until 7. December could be cutting it close, 12 December is the latest receipt date that we can still accommodate for holiday delivery.

Shopping For Christmas Early – Forward Thinking Can Save You From Last Minute Woes

shopping for christmas earlyOnline shopping really should make getting through the holidays an easier endeavor.  However, many people find that even while they are paying attention to the passage of time, December just seems to sneak right up on them.  Suddenly, shipping concerns become just as much of a stressor as what to get in order to have the perfect gifts.

Start shopping for christmas early and let package forwarding and package consolidation through OPAS eliminate at least part of this worry!    While you will still need to decide if the newest electronics or designer clothing will be more suitable for your friends and family, you can rest assured that all the products you want will still get to you in time.  For the most beneficial results, you will really only need to remember two dates, and the rest of the choices will be up to you.

Getting Here

Online retailers will provide projected delivery dates to your OPAS package forwarding address.  While these vendors are doing their best to stay within the date range that they promise, you will also need to remember that different mail carriers are facing their own onslaught of items to deliver.  This will make it better if you look at the far end of the date range that a vendor provides for delivery, since it is probably more accurate.

Another word of advice is to think about other shoppers who are faced with the realization of noting that it is almost December.  As a good rule of thumb, placing holiday orders before the end of November is your best bet, since mail carriers and retailers are just beginning to cope with the glut of gifts.

Getting There

In terms of having packages arrive at OPAS, so that we may swiftly send them to your destination, 12. December is the latest that you can hope to place orders that will still get to you in time.  Since our customer oriented and caring warehouse staff wants to ensure that you have a wonderful holiday, we can make sure that your consolidated orders ship to you no later than 15. December.  However, we cannot ship your items if we have not received them yet.

Your best bet for taking advantage of online deals and ensuring that your gifts arrive on time is really to start browsing deals as soon as possible.  If you can place your order in November, that is ideal, as it gives them enough time to arrive at OPAS, and allows us to carefully consolidate them to get them to you. Of course, you will need to get you OPAS package forwarding address established before any of this can happen.  We urge you to visit our site and get started, so you can ultimately shop in luxury, and know that we will make receiving your goods as simple and efficient as possible.

Check out this handy timeline we have created to ensure you receive your items on time!

holiday shopping timeline

Wearable Technology Gifts – Our Favourites

Wearables, what are they according to WIKI?  Clothing and accessories incorporating computer and advanced electronic technologies. These wearables consist mostly of smart watches and bracelets but recently we have also seen an uptake in smart rings. This technology is weaving it’s way into our every day lives, to enhance our experiences, help us find the way, and keep track of our fitness levels.

Let’s look into on a few of our favorites:

The Pebble Watch

pebble watch

What if a watch could pair with your phone and run apps right from your wrist? The new Pebble app store promises just this. New types of apps make this a very useful device.

From the Pebble website: “Pebble puts critical apps and notifications on your wrist, giving you immediate access to what’s most important. “

Tech specs that impress us the most:

•          5-7 days between charges

•          5 ATM water resistance

•          Optical hard coating for scratch resistance

At $99.00 it’s priced competitively. If you are looking for a more luxurious look and feel make sure you check out the new Pebble Steel at $199, see the image.

For more information and to purchase the Pebble Watch visit their website.



The Withings Pulse

The Withings Pulse packs a pedometer, heart rate monitor, and sleep tracker. “A “wear it your way” tracker to monitor your activity and sleep, read vital signs and improve your overall health.” This device is more well known for its connection with a scale and its focus on a sound sleep routine.  It enables you to learn from your data and improve on your general well being and overall health.

425998-withings-pulse-o2Tech specs that impress us the most:

  • Touch screen for history browsing
  • Weight: 8 g (0.28 oz., 0.018 lb)
  • Sensor: heart rate & SpO2 measurement







A line of 18k gold rings with precious and semi-precious stones. The ring syncs with your phone and apps. According to how you set it up it will alert, by vibrating, to calendar events, important messages and other notifications that you have set up to suit your personal needs. The rings are attractive and you wouldn’t know all this technology is lurking beneath the surface of the precious stones.   Choose one of the 5 different precious stones, emerald, pink sapphire, rainbow moonstone, black onyx or tourmalated quartz, the latter being a limited addition.


Prices range from $ 195 to $260. Even though the Ringly will start shipping early 2015 we think it would still make a good Christmas gift for the women in your life that appreciate a lovely piece of jewelry as well as sophisticated technology. She’ll just have to wait for it a little bit!







The best known wearable camera on the market today. This is the first GoPro with built in touch-display convenience that will enable you to control the camera, frame shots and play back content. The camera boasts even better image quality than any of the other best selling GoPro cameras that came before. Pro-quality capture. Touch-display convenience.

GoPro HERO4 SILVERTech specs that impress us the most:

  • Built-In WiFi + Bluetooth: Delivers enhanced connectivity to the GoPro App, Smart Remote
  • Durable + Waterproof to 131′ (40m): Designed to withstand extreme environments and conditions
  • High-Performance Audio: New Audio System captures clean, high fidelity sound and nearly 2x the dynamic range.

Get it at Best Buy.







Apple Watch

apple watch roseAll watches tell time. This one helps you make the most of it or so boasts Apple. This watch will be able to make card payments, nudge you to turn a corner on your way to your destination and its even able to share your heartbeat with whom you choose.  The Apple Watch will run on its own operating system and has its own apps. However, you can easily switch from Watch to your iPhone. Read new mail on Apple Watch, then respond on iPhone. See a sports score or news update on Apple Watch, and read more about it on iPhone

Expected to be available by spring 2015. The price for a basic model has been announced as $349. Visit Apple’s website to stay in the know! 









MOTO 360

moto 360Stay connected with the Motorola Moto 360 00418NARTL smart watch, which features a 1.56″ LCD touch screen that displays alerts from your compatible Android device. A Bluetooth 4.0 interface helps simplify wireless pairing.

Tech specs that impress us the most:

  • Wireless charging
  • Scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla glass
  • Responds to your voice


$249.99 available at Best Buy.

To shop these wearables please make sure you follow these guidelines:

How To Shop US-Only Retailers

To see the US version of any website, and the US-only merchandise and sales they offer, you’ll need to trick the online store into thinking you’re visiting their website from the US. You can use Proxify to hide your location from US websites, and view the sales that they’re hiding from you. Just enter the URL of the store you want to visit into Proxify, and choose a US location from the Proxify Satellite drop down menu. Voilà! You’re now shopping online from the US.

International Shipping from US-Only Retailers

Now that you have access to the US-Only merchandise and sales, there is still the matter of international shipping. Even though you can now see all the great deals, if you try to check out using an international shipping address, you’ll find that store will not ship clearance items internationally.

You know the answer to this one… just use your tax-free package forwarding address, and you can get international shipping on all the clearance items you want.

Get a US credit Card

OPAS has teamed up with US Unlocked to offer you their US Unlocked Card. The US Unlocked Card is a debit card with your own US billing address. This address allows you to shop mostly anywhere. You can also purchase downloads from iTunes, Amazon Kindle, B&N Nook and many more sites. As an OPAS user you benefit from a $5 discount on the application fee!

Find more wearables for you or your gift list.

One of our favorite online retailers Amazon has an extensive collection of wearable technology, from wearable cameras to smart sport accessories they will have what you are looking for.