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OPAS Blog: International Shipping from US Stores

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An Amazon Shopping Spree and OPAS' Oregon Advantage!

 

Despite the fact that it’s only a website with no actual salespeople, we all know Amazon has some of the best “salespeople” in the world. The company takes great pride in the prognosticative algorithms they use to predict your shopping habits; once you’ve bought one item from Amazon, they always seem to know what you’ll want to buy next. Click on one item, and it’s even more information for them to get you to the next one.

As you may have experienced, this can lead to a lot of “domino effect” shopping, where you went to Amazon’s site to buy just one thing but ended up with a whole truckload of stuff.

As a little bit of an experiment, I’ve decided to see where this phenomenon of “domino shopping” takes me, but with one specific element in mind: the OPAS Oregon Advantage!

In case you don’t know, OPAS is located in the state of Oregon. Oregon, beyond having lovely forests with wonderful big trees and mountains, also has no sales tax. Sales tax is usually between 7% and 10% for every other state in the US. So let’s see how much you’d save during a shopping spree just by sending your items to an OPAS Oregon address!

So, starting with the “recommended items” on my Amazon page, the first item I see is a “Troy and Abed in the Morning” coffee cup, merchandise from the exceptional (and sadly, recently cancelled) television show, Community. It’s a personal favorite, and buying the collected seasons from Amazon is no doubt how it ended up recommended for me:

troyandabed

Price: $21.95. Sales tax: $2.19 (I’m going with the nice, round 10% figure for hypothetical sales tax, mainly because the math is easiest, but also because some other forwarders are in 10% sales tax states, so it’s applicable for many international buyers.)

Off to a pretty slow start, but two dollars and change is still savings.

Now the Amazon associative algorithm starts to do its thing – “Customers who bought this item also bought…” Is there a deadlier phrase in internet shopping?

CARDS AGAINST HUMANITY! Great choice!

cardsagainsthumanity

Price: $25.00. Sales tax: $2.50. Total savings: $4.69.

Now the next level of connective selling kicks in – “other items to consider…” and it shows me a Braun 390cc-4 Shaving System.

shaver

I don’t know why, after being interested in Community merchandise and Cards Against Humanity, the Amazon algorithms would think that I'm a beard-wearing man in need of such a fine shaving tool… I am, but that’s beside the point… (hipster alert!)

Price: $149.99. Sales tax: $14.99. Total savings: $19.68. Now we’re starting to get somewhere.

Next it’s linked me to a Roku streaming media player. Ooh. We’ve seen a lot of customers order these, or Google Chromecast, or similar products. I’ll add this one to the spree just because it’s applicable for international buyers out there.

Roku

Price: $49.50. Sales tax: $4.95. Total savings: $24.63.

Next, they pull out the big guns. They've suggested the Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9”. Let’s just say I were to do it, and I were to get the 32 GB storage model…

kindle3

Price: $299.00. Sales tax: $29.90. Total savings: $54.53.

At this point, I think I’d have to restrain myself. Still, I’ve managed to save over $50 JUST by shipping to Oregon. If I were an OPAS member with a Package & Mail account with yearly billing of $100, I’ve saved enough to cover half of my membership fee for the whole year in just one afternoon! This doesn’t even account for the savings I’d accrue by having lower shipping costs as a result of my Package & Mail membership, or being able to consolidate the items from this spree with future orders, a service that’s available to all OPAS members!

So I think you can see the benefit of an OPAS account, and the Oregon advantage. It’s not just about paying less for shipping, it’s about paying less for the merchandise itself!

Have you tried your Japan address yet?

 

Did you know you already have a Japan address as well as a US address if you're registered with OPAS?

If you haven't tried your Japan address, now's a great time to do so!

New shipping rates for EMS service from Japan!fromJP resized 600

Our shipping rate from Japan has decreased, and it starts from 1,440 yen to Asian countries.

You can check our new shipping rate here!

The Insurance fee structure for shipments from Japan is different than from the US. Please note below:

Claim amount under 20,000JPY is free of charge. It is possible to upgrade the claim amount of by paying 50JPY for each 20,000JPY. The upper limit on the compensation to be paid is 2,000,000JPY.

You can find out more details here.

 

New “ePacket” service added

This is also a service by Japan Post, best used for smaller parcels and more affordable than EMS service. It starts from 927 yen to Asian countries.

You can check the shippping rate here!

 

FAQ

1. Where can I shop?

Here are some popular online websites where you can shop in Japan. You can change the language setting to be in English. These are just suggestions, you can shop in any Japanese store you want!

 rakuten logo

amazoncojp logo

2. Where can I find my Japan address?

You can find your Japan address in your OPAS account profile page.

You'll see it displayed in English, as well as in Japanese text.

When you check out, use your Japan address as the shipping address and we will receive your order at our Japan branch in Osaka.

 

3. What if I have troubles to place an order because of language barrier?

You can contact OPAS customer service if you have any problem. We have customer service agents who are fluent in Japanese and English.

Also, we can assist you to purchase what you want through our Personal Shopper service just as easily from Japanese stores as we do from US ones!

 
Important!

If you wish to receive personal mail items, correspondence and letters OR parcels to your Japan address, please follow the instruction the below link.
https://www.formstack.com/forms/?1727417-wn0sooE4OA

 

 

Enjoy shopping in Japan!

 

 shopfromJP resized 600

Save $$$ by Making the Most of the Oregon Advantage - 0% Sales Tax!

 

You can shop tax-free at any US store using a your package forwarding address in Oregon. OPAS is located in the state of Oregon, the 0% sales tax state, so you will not have to worry about paying sales tax when you make your purchase.  Now you can use your OPAS address to make purchases at stores throughout the US and benefit from the Oregon advantage on your purchases. 

Getting Started Is Quick And Easy

In order to take advantage of 0% sales tax, sign up with OPAS and pay any fees that may be required.  Once you have established your account, you can purchase the products you are interested in.

When you sign up with Overseas Personal Address Service, you will get your own unique, personalized package forwarding address.   After that, you login in to your account to see your packages and then ship them to your overseas business or home.

Ship Your Order from Oregon to Your Home

You can ship your package from your Oregon address to your home address whenever you want. You can send packages one at a time, or combine more than one package into a single shipment.   Remember when you consolidate packages you may be able to save even more. You can buy from multiple locations and have them all shipped at the same time in the same package for lower costs and better convenience.

If you want to shop and enjoy savings and special offers that are only available in the US, you need to spend time making sure that you do business with the right forwarding company. We stand out for numerous reasons, and we're ready to help you.

Not convinced? Check out these examples:

opas advantage resized 600 

So if you want to benefit from 0% sales tax shopping, then pick OPAS and the Oregon advantage!

Make International Shipping Easier With A US Package Forwarding Service

 

If you’re not familiar with using a US package forwarding service, you’ve been missing out on the convenience that it provides, especially if you own and operate a home-based business. 

If you are planning on being away from home for a few months, relocating to a temporary location, or taking a vacation, there are a lot of advantages to using an American forwarding service.  The reality is that using this type of service provides a number of benefits to a wide range of users interested in beauty, fashion, and technology products.

By partnering with OPAS, you can get a US address for international shipping.  With your USA mailing address forwarding service, you will be able to purchase products from any store in the country and ship your packages overseas. Utilizing our international package forwarding service is as easy as 1, 2, 3.  All you need to do is:

1) Obtain a US address

2) Purchase your products from any store in the US

3) Start shipping your packages worldwide

easier international shipping

You can use a US international mail forwarding service if you are relocating or transferring to a new location.  This enables you to receive catalogs, magazines, packages, and even your personal mail.  With our overseas mail forwarding service, you’ll never have to worry about your mail and packages getting lost while you are away because you will be able to receive them at your new address.

If you own and operate a home-based business, you can benefit from our US parcel forwarding service as well.  When your business is operated from home, maintaining your privacy would normally be difficult.  Our international mail forwarding services enable you to shop tax free at stores throughout the US and ship anywhere in the world.  You’ll be able to ship internationally from any store as well, even companies that will only ship to a US location.  

With our US parcel forwarding service you can ship your packages internationally or supply your overseas business with products from the US.  OPAS protects against fraud so you don’t have to worry about payments from overseas as all international customers are screened before they are given a US address for international shipping.  Most importantly, our service will help you reduce the costs of shipping and save you a lot of time in the process.

Package Forwarding Tips: Consolidate to Maximize Savings!

 

We have a saying at OPAS: “the most expensive lb. of any shipment is the first one.” What that means is, if you’re able to send a combined shipment of items, it’s almost always preferable to sending multiple smaller shipments. That way, you’re only paying the additional “first lb.” of shipping rate once. It’s much less costly, overall, to send one 10 lb. shipment than it is to send five 2 lb. shipments. Depending on the destination, it may even be less expensive to send a single 15 lb. or 20 lb. shipment than it is to send five 2 lb. shipments!

That’s where consolidation comes in, and if you’re going to be a savvy online shopper and international shipper and maximize your savings, you’ll want to keep some things in mind:

-  OPAS allows 30 days of free storage for all packages. In the course of this month, you’ll want to plan your shopping in bunches. Domestic shipping is much less expensive than international shipping, so even if it takes more than one order from a given merchant, you’ll want to make sure you have everything you want before committing to international shipment.

-  For OPAS’ premium Package & Mail level customers, consolidation is a free service! So if you plan on consolidating large quantities of packages, you’ll really want to look into upgrading to Package & Mail membership level. It’s $15/month or $100/year, and you’ll find the savings on lower shipping rates and free consolidation easily exceed this membership fee. Send us an email at service@opas.com to upgrade or if you have more questions.

-  Any package sent to OPAS is automatically set to consolidate in your mailbox – to ship any item you’ll have to submit a shipping request in our system. This is how important consolidation is for the shipper’s bottom line. It’d be much easier for us as a company to simply receive a package in and turn it back around and send it out the door – with some other forwarders out there, that’s what they do. At OPAS, we think our members deserve better treatment than that, so we hold on to your package until you’re absolutely sure you’re ready to go. We want you to save money, and we want to help you save!

-  Consolidation is a great way to equalize dimensional weight. If you’ve got a package of big, bulky sweaters you ordered as well as some hardcover books, shipping them individually is going to get you overcharged twice. The dimensional weight on the sweaters is much higher than the scale weight, and the scale weight on the books is much higher than the dimensional weight. We can put them together, though, and have a net result that will hopefully be much closer to dimensionally equal, and therefore your best shipping value!

By the same token, there are a few instances where you might NOT want to consolidate. For example, if you’ve got a couple of very valuable shipments you might want to send them individually to minimize the import tax and duty you’ll owe. You’ll have to familiarize yourself with the regulations governing import tax for your country, but many times you’ll find tax is assessed at a higher rate above a certain declare value, and sometimes tax isn’t assessed at all for shipments of lower value.

All in all, though, it’s generally a much better idea for you to consolidate packages with OPAS! Coordinate your shopping and combine packages, you’ll quickly see how much you can save!

Important Considerations When Using International Mail Forwarding Services

 

Whether your business is located in the US or overseas, there are a number of reasons to consider using an international package forwarding service or US package forwarding service.  Some companies will not ship overseas, but this problem is easy to overcome when you use a US international mail forwarding service to ship your products internationally.  Additionally, if your business is located overseas, you can supply your business with products from the US by getting a US virtual mailbox.

How Does Package Forwarding Work?

Start by setting up your account with Overseas Personal Address Service and getting a package forwarding US address.  Once you have done this, you can start purchasing your products and shipping them to over 90 different countries worldwide.  Consider the following:

If your business is located in the US – international customers can purchase their products from a US address.  You have the benefit of being able to ship parcels internationally as well as domestically.  Most importantly, you’ll be protected against fraud, reduce the cost of shipping, and save a lot of time in the process.

If your business is located overseas – supplying your business with US products is no problem.  Simply sign up for a virtual mailbox USA address, start ordering from any supplier throughout the country, and save money on your shipping costs in the process.  It’s easy when you have a US package forwarding service account.

internatonal shipping blogpost 29 4 resized 600

Important Notes Regarding International Shipping

There are a number of items that the US Government considers unacceptable for international shipping when using an international package forwarding service.  As with other international mail forwarding services, OPAS cannot export the following items:

  • Ammunition And Firearms
  • Bullion
  • Controlled Narcotics Or Substances
  • Currency
  • Furs
  • Industrial Diamonds
  • Items Conflicting With Any Us Laws
  • Items Requiring Refrigerated Storage
  • Ivory
  • Live Animals
  • Postage Stamps
  • Securities
  • Unprocessed Animal Products

Basically, any other items that OPAS deems as being unacceptable cannot be exported or imported by a US package forwarding service.

Additionally, there are certain restricted items that you need to be aware of.  Overseas Personal Address Service ships internationally to hundreds of countries and each one has a list of restricted commodities and local regulations that you should research.  

Contact your local authorities to ensure that the items you want to ship internationally are not restricted.  Hazardous materials, high-value items, pornography, and prescription medications are the most commonly restricted items.  Just make sure that you are aware of what you can and cannot ship.

International Shipping For US Based Businesses

 

International shipping can be a pain no matter where your business is based, and it's especially hard for US based businesses. If you're a US based business, there are a few things you should consider before you ship internationally. These things will help you be prepared for different shipping rules, rates, and time frames.

  • US Shipping Regulations - You need to understand US shipping regulations so that you know what you can send out of the country, and what other people, suppliers, or businesses can send into the country. Live animal shipments are widely prohibited for US companies, for instance, as are firearms and other items.
  • Destination Shipping Regulations - Just like the US, other destinations have shipping regulations and restrictions as well. Make sure you're not sending anything that's illegal in that country. A few sensitive or prohibited items may be currency, furs, ivory, bullion, and items that require refrigeration.
  • Shipping Company Policies - Not only do you need to contend with the two countries you'll be shipping two and from, you also need to deal with the shipping company's policies. You won't be able to ship any items that are against their rules. Make sure you company is reliable as well, you wouldn't want your packages getting lost.
  • Packaging - Packaging is an incredibly important aspect of sending international packages. You need to ensure that the packaging is secure, and that it will keep the material safe.
  • Labels - International shipping labels and address requirements vary by country, so make sure you get this right. Do a little research, or ask for a very specific address from your clients or customers overseas so that you can create the correct label for your international package.
international shipping with OPAS

All of these are rules, regulations, or aspects of shipping that US based businesses should pay extra attention to when shipping international merchandise. For help with international shipping, you can also speak with some experts. We are an expert in package forwarding and shipping and we help overseas clients get US addresses. We offer a range of other services as well, so check out our website to learn more and see if we can help with your international shipping concerns.

Package Forwarding Haiku!

 

imagesis... Poetry.

 

They call us OPAS

Some ask what it is we do

We always reply

 

Open your life up

International shipping

For items you want

 

We provide mailbox

You buy your favorite things

We send them to you

 

Dimensional weight

Constant fear for a large box

We repackage best

 

Consolidate things

Many into just one box

Shipping cost is saved

 

Perfume can fly too

Dangerous goods go abroad

But more must be paid

 

OPAS is for you

An oasis in the states

Where packages go

 

OPAS is and was

Original forwarder

Working many years

 

OPAS and Kaizen

Synonymous in meaning

Constant improvement

 

Free registration

You can receive with a like

On book of faces

 

(Please consider this only as an attempt to enlighten you about our services in an entertaining method. Seek actual artistic fulfillment elsewhere.)

Choosing The Best Nu Skin Product For You

 

Nu Skin products are some of the most popular skin care products in the world. That popularity comes from the wide variety of products that Nu Skin offers, as well as their effectiveness. Nu Skin offers products that will help exfoliate skin, clear up blemishes, moisturizers, and a huge range of different anti-aging products. To decide which of these products are right for you, you will need to make a few decisions regarding your skin care needs.

First, decide which area of your skin needs the most care. Usually the face is the biggest focus for skin care, but you could also have dry skin on your arms or legs, or you may want to address skin care issues in other areas.

Once you've determined what you need to focus on, you can consider your specific skin care issues. These issues could be dryness, excess oil, blemishes, or a range of other problems. Determining the issues you need to focus on will help you choose the right type of Nu Skin product. If you need to deal with acne, for instance, then you should a product from Nu Skin's Clear Action collection, which will help clear up blemishes and breakouts. Clear Action is a popular collection, as is Nu Skin's ageLOC collection, which targets the causes of aging to help produce youthful looking skin.

After determining your skin care issue and the Nu Skin collection that will target it, you can decide what kinds of products you would like to try using. The most commonly used skin care products are cleansers, toners, and moisturizers. If you're interested in these types of products, you can choose specific options from the collection you're interested in. You can also branch out and choose exfoliating scrubs, moisturizing masks, or targeted anti-wrinkle or anti-aging products.  In this stage, simply choose products that you feel comfortable using, and will use regularly.

Choosing you area of focus, the skin care issues you have, and the types of products that you like to use are three simple, easy steps that will help you choose the product that's right for you. Better yet, choose a few products, and develop a complete skin care regimen that you can use daily or weekly. A regimen with a few key products will likely be the most effective way to care for your skin. 

By following these steps you'll be well on your way to choosing the perfect skin care regimen or product from among the world's leading anti-aging skin care products. The only problem with choosing a Nu Skin product in this way is that you may not be able to order and have the product shipped directly to you in every country.

Nu Skin products via OPAS

 

To get around this, you can use package forwarding service like OPAS, which will allow you to receive Nu Skin products to most places in the world. Make sure your country of residence does not require a import license for the items you choose before you order by asking us for help! If you've followed these steps and found a Nu Skin product that is right for you, don't let your location stop you from trying it out. Visit OPAS's website for more information. 

Heartbleed: a Courtesy Message from OPAS

 

heartbleed2

If you’re not aware, the wide world of the internet and E-commerce was recently rocked by the revelation of the Heartbleed bug, which was an error in the code of OpenSSL, the secure socket layer encryption software used by many major websites.

This bug may have exposed millions of users’ sensitive information to data thieves; passwords, credit card details, etc. According to analysis, up to 17.3% of the 1 million top ranked websites use OpenSSL software which may have been vulnerable to the Heartbleed bug, including many of our members’ favorite sites for shopping.

At this point, there’s no need to panic. The best course of action is just to change your passwords for any site you think may be compromised. All of the largest online companies such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, banks and mega-merchants and the like are all aware of the problem and have been working to fix it with patches in their security code.

If your information on these sites was exposed to Heartbleed, then replacing the vulnerable password will serve to re-secure your information. Once all websites have been patched and all passwords have been reset, then this bug, which has been out “in the wild” for about two years, will be extinct.

For smaller sites, there are ways to check if they’ve been fixed to remove Heartbleed vulnerability, like the following tools:

-          http://filippo.io/Heartbleed/

-          https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/

If a website has not yet remedied the problem, then changing the password will not help, as the new password will still be exposed to the bug. Once they’ve patched, you’ll want to make the change to ensure security.

In case you’re wondering, OPAS Servers were NOT exposed to the Heartbleed bug – the security software we use is not one of the kinds affected.

We wanted to be certain we addressed this serious but controllable issue. So many of our customers conduct online purchasing from so many different merchants, and we want to make sure you’re all aware of the best methods for remaining safe in doing so.

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