Buying from US Stores for Mother's Day
Mother's Day is celebrated on different days around the world, but more than 80 countries celebrate it on the second Sunday of May. The US is one of those countries, so if you're preparing for the May 13th holiday this year, here are a few gift suggestions that you can buy from US stores using your package forwarding address.
Apple Products for iMoms
This year, Apple has set up its own Mother's Day gift guide. Ideas include a new iPad or iPhone, or even an Apple TV. What makes these gifts truly Mom-worthy is that Apple will engrave them with your message for free. Even gift wrap is available!
And if you're one of those who is worried about ordering from the US Apple Store with a package forwarding address, don't be! OPAS can help you get the products you want from the Apple Store. :)
Personalized Mother's Day Gifts
If the Apple Store is a little too industrial for you, try getting your mom something more personal. Many US stores offer personalized items like jewelry, glassware, or decorations that will remind your mother how much you care every day.
A few US online stores that offer such items, and have special selections set up for Mother's Day, are Personalization Mall, Red Envelope, and Uncommon Goods.
If variety and practicality are what you're after, you can't beat the Mother's Day gifts at Amazon.com. There are the typical "mom" gifts like household items, but also more creative Mother's Day categories like "Professional Mom," "Fit Mom," and "Crafty Mom."
Moms for Men
For men having a hard time deciding how to honor their mothers, AskMen.com offers 10 Mother's Day gift ideas. Some of them, like flowers and spa treatments, won't export very well but others, like candles or home decor, are perfect.
Yes, you can ship perfume internationally with your package forwarding address. And that gift card is even good for free international shipping.
This Mother's Day, What Are You Buying from the US?
What great gifts have you found using your package forwarding address? Many shoppers are still looking for ideas, so share yours in the comments section!
Buying Online in the US from the Far East
Today we had a slew of interesting purchases come in for our customers; items they had bought that had arrived for our check-in process. I thought you might like to see some of the most interesting items, where they came from and where they are going.
- One box non drowsy Claritin from amazon.com going to Japan
- 9 t-shirts from Hollister.com going to Singapore
- Hugo Boss Men’s Boxer Briefs from Amazon.com going to Kawaguchi, Saitama, Japan
- Black and white Coach handbag from Hitch N Post on eBay going to Osaka, Japan
- Yoga Clothing from Gilt going to New Taipei City, Taiwan
- Pink hard shell iPhone case from Kate Spade going to San Mateo, CA along with a red patent leather Coach wallet from amazon.com
- Size small Victoria Secret leopard print satin PJ’s going to Hong Kong
- 2 US Army Vietnam war era veteran shirts going to Tokyo
- Another black iPhone hard case from Green Valley Trading going to Tokyo with a Samsung and a Motorola phone.
- Book “The Venetian Money Market; Banks, Panics and the Public Debt. 1200 – 1500, Money & Banking in Medieval & Rennaissance Vol 1 Venice” from Better World Books in Mishawaka IN going to Sedro Wooley, Washington USA
- Book: “Understanding Health Care” by Richard Worman from Amazon.com going to Mizuho-Ku,Nagoya-Shi, Aichi, Japan
- Children’s clothing from Carter’s Osh Kosh B’gosh going to Hong Kong
- Guitar case from Amazon.com going to Nishikimachi,Iwaki-shi , Fukushima-ken, Japan
What interesting items have you bought from the US to ship overseas?
Use Your Package Forwarding Address to Buy US Sports Collectibles from Amazon's Newest Store
Did you find a place to watch the Superbowl in your country last weekend? Or maybe you're more interested in the NBA, NHL, or MLB? Whatever sport gets you excited, you can find thousands of unique items and collectibles, from cards to autographed equipment, on Amazon's new Sports Collectibles & Memorabilia Store.
The store contains over 2 million items and all come with Amazon's "A to Z guarantee," so you can be sure that you'll get what you're expecting. That can be reassuring if you're usually hesitant about buying sports collectibles on sites like eBay.
You can browse the store by sport, year, type, team, or price, so it's easy to find something that interests you.
Get NFL, NBA, and NHL Collectibles Outside the US
Amazon's new Sports Collectibles store is only available in the United States. But that doesn't mean you can shop from other countries! Just use your US package forwarding address to order your sports team merchandise from aywhere in the world.
If you don't already have one, get a US forwarding address here. Then you can enter your new US address when you check out with Amazon, and have your order forwarded to your country.
Where Else Can You Buy American Sports Items Online?
Amazon's new Sports Collectibles store is great news for international fans of US sports. But where have you bought your collectibles until now? There may not be many NFL fans in your country, but there are millions around the world. Share you tips in the comments section!
Digital Tools Make Online Shopping Easier for Package Forwarders
Amazon.com is one the most popular online shopping sites for package forwarders. Even though there are different Amazon sites for many countries, the US site usually has the best prices, and even some products that aren't available in other countries and can't be shipped outside the US.
Sometimes, there are so many great deals on the Amazon US site that it's hard to navigate and keep track of them all. Here are three tools for your web browser or desktop that make shopping on Amazon a little easier.
3 Tools to Make Package Forwarding from Amazon.com Easier
PictureFox is an add-on for the FireFox web browser that makes it easier for you to view and compare images of different products.
When you search for a product on Amazon, you get a list of search results, with a small image of each product. If you want to see a larger image of the product, you have to click through to the individual product page, then click again on the product's individual image gallery.
With PictureFox, you don't have to leave the search results page to see a larger image. Just move your mouse over the thumbnail, and images from the product's gallery will be displayed automatically and added to the PictureFox gallery.
How PictureFox makes package forwarding easier: When shopping across borders, the ability to compare prices is essential. With PictureFox, you can even compare photos from Amazon's US site with photos from your local Amazon site, side by side in the PictureFox gallery.
- Amazon Deals!
Amazon Deals! is another browser add-on, this time for the Google Chrome browser. Amazon Deals! puts a small button on your browser's toolbar that simply lists all the up-to-the-minute deals and discounts available on Amazon.com's US site.
Even though there are other ways to get access to these deals (for example, by following @amazondeals on Twitter), the Amazon Deals! add-on is much more convenient, since it shows the deals in the same window you shop through.
How Amazon Deals! makes package forwarding easier: One of the greatest features of package forwarding is consolidation. The Amazon Deals! add-on puts your bargain hunting and your shopping in the same place, so you can find great deals more easily.
PriceWatcher is a downloadable application for both Windows and Mac that lets you track the price of specific products on Amazon. As soon as the price drops on a product you want, PriceWatcher will alert you.
In addition to the Amazon US site, PriceWatcher also works with the Amazon UK, Germany, France, Canada, Japan, Italy, Spain and China sites, so you can compare prices across countries.
How PriceWatcher makes package forwarding easier: If you want to buy from the Amazon US site but don't live in the US, you might miss a deal if the product you want goes on sale while your time zone is asleep. You can set PriceWatvcher to automatically add the item you want to your shopping cart once it hits a certain price, even if you're away from your computer.
Best Online Tools for Package Forwarding?
What other tools do you use to make buying from US stores easier? Do you prefer browser add-ons or desktop applications (or mobile apps)? Join us on Facebook to take our poll and join the conversation.
Want International Shipping on Amazon's Kindle Fire? Here's How.
Last week Amazon finally unveiled its Kindle Fire, a new tablet computer that runs on the Android operating system. Some experts have suggested that this may be the first tablet to truly disrupt the iPad's dominance, mostly because of it's unbeatable price: $199.
But for those keeping an eye on the tablet market from outside the US, the Kindle Fire might seem a bit out of reach: so far, Amazon has only announced plans for US sales, and has not set any international release dates.
Amazon won't offer international shipping, but you don't necessarily have to live in the US if you want to preorder the device (which goes on sale November 15th). You just need a US address.
Get a US Address to Preorder the Kindle Fire Outside the US
Luckily, if you really want to buy a Kindle Fire outside the US, there's an easy way to get around Amazon's "US Only" policy. Here's how to do it, in three easy steps:
- Get a US address from a package forwarding company
In just a few minutes, you can register for a package forwarding account and have your very own US address.
- Use your new address to preorder the Kindle Fire
Your US package forwarding address is a standard street address, so you can use it to buy "US only" items from Amazon.com, or any other US store.
- Ship your Kindle Fire internationally
Amazon will send your Kindle Fire to your new US address. Once it arrives, you can login to your package forwarding account to ship your package anywhere in the world.
While You're At It...
Now that you've got a package forwarding account, you can also combine your Kindle Fire with other purchases, even ones from different stores, to save on the international shipping cost. If you need some shopping ideas, check out our free US Shopping Guide.
Tax-Free Shopping at Amazon?
As reported today in the LA Times, starting Friday (tomorrow), all retailers based outside of California will have to collect sales tax on sales made to California customers. In this case, "all retailers" includes online-only stores like Amazon.com and Overstock.com, and "California customers" includes YOU, if you currently use a package forwarding company with a California (CA) address.
Both Amazon and Overstock reacted to the new law by immediately terminating affiliate relationships in California as a way to bully the state into a repeal. (Their logic is that California will lose jobs and income tax revenue as a result of the canceled affiliateships.) There's a lot of discussion online today about what this means for small businesses that depend on their relationships with Amazon, but what does internet sales tax mean for consumers?
Tax-Free Shopping Online vs. Big Box Stores
Since online-only retailers didn't have to collect sales tax, they had a very strong advantage over traditional big-box retailers like Walmart, Target and Best Buy. The president of the California Retailers Association is quoted in the Times article as saying on behalf of these stores, "You can't give one segment of retail a 10% discount every day. It's just not fair."
The great thing about package forwarding is that you, the shopper, CAN get a 10% discount every day, even from stores like Walmart and Best Buy. Using a tax-free address in Oregon effectively gives you a coupon for 10% off when you shop at US stores.
Shopping Tax-Free in the US and Shipping Internationally
Most of the discussion online is focused on how the new law affects US shoppers. But international shoppers have just as much cause to pay attention.
First of all, it's not just California that's demanding sales tax for online sales. If you have an address in Connecticut (CT, where the sales tax will soon increase) or Florida (FL, where local business are pushing for online sales tax) you'll probably have to pay sales tax on purchases made from Amazon and other online stores very soon.
But since Oregon has no states sales tax, your Oregon package forwarding address will let you shop tax-free forever. :)
Tax-Free Shopping for US Residents
Again, it's not just California that's moving in this direction. New York already passed a similar law last year, and Texas is still fighting with Amazon over whether or not it will demand sales taxes.
It seems more and more likely that eventually Amazon will have to cave to the states and start collecting taxes. And when that happens, the only way to save the 6% - 10% you used to save online will be to shop tax-free using your Oregon package forwarding address.
From Internet Deals to Dealing With Internet Sales Tax
How does the thought of having to pay sales tax affect your buying habits? If you're an international shopper, will you switch from a package forwarding address in a taxed state to one in Oregon? If you're a US resident, on what kinds of purchases can you save the most by shopping tax-free? Leave comments below!
Amazon "Subscribe & Save" Automates Purchases, Saves Money
What do you buy over and over again? Cleaning supplies? Bath products? Snack foods? Amazon.com Subscribe & Save is a way to automatically get a new shipment of these products as often as you'd like. Instead of buying these products again and again, Amazon will send them to you on a regular schedule (every month, two months, three months, or six months).
In addition to the convenience of getting a consistent supply of items you need, if you use Subscribe & Save, you also get a discount on each item your subscribe to, plus free shipping to your US address.
That's Free Shipping... To Your US Address :)
Amazon's Subscribe & Save program does not ship outside the US, so you'll need a package forwarding address if you live in another country and want to get international shipping.
Since regular products like coffee, vitamins, and household products are usually less expensive in the US to begin with, by using Amazon's discount subscription service you can save a lot of money. And since you can always consolidate packages, it makes sense to ship subscription items along with purchases from other USA stores.
For example, let's say you use Subscribe & Save to have your favorite coffee pods, bath products, and a box of cookies shipped to you every two months. You can use the same schedule to shop for things you buy less often. Maybe one month you want a new pair of shoes, the next month a sweater, and the month after that a new laptop computer. You can use your subscription schedule as an opportunity to shop for other items and save money on international shipping!
How Does Subscribe & Save Work?
It's easy to get started. Just shop for anything in Amazon's Subscribe & Save store. You'll be asked to choose the delivery schedule (1, 2, 3, or 6 months), and the quantity of the item you want delivered each month. Enter your package forwarding address at checkout, and you're signed up.
You'll automatically receive your items according to the schedule you selected, and you'll be notified by e-mail each time a new item arrives for you at OPAS. You can then choose to ship your subscription items, hold them, or combine them with other purchases.
What Do You Subscribe To?
Is it coffee and tea? Baby and childcare items? Office supplies? Pet products? Snack foods? (You can even subscribe to US-brand snack foods that you won't find in other countries!) Tell us what you subscribe to in the comments section, or leave a note on our Facebook wall.
No International Shipping? No Problem!
Most smaller US online stores don't offer international shipping because of the cost in time and resources it requires. But even some of the largest online stores in the USA have "no international shipping" policies. This means that international shoppers are left out of some of the largest selections of products and lowest prices online. Here are ten of the BIGGEST online stores that don't ship overseas.
"We Only Ship to a US Address..."
- Converse. You can spend hours on the Converse website to design your own sneaker, but you won't be able to ship internationally when you're done. We've read so many disappointed Tweets about this one!
- Ralph Lauren. Another icon of American style that's popular around the world but only ships to a US address. Guess how you can get a US address of your own?
- Best Buy. The very definition of a BIG box store, Best Buy has some of the best deals on the newest consumer electronics, but only for those with a US shipping address. (They reject most forwarders, too, but OPAS can still provide package forwarding from Best Buy!)
- HP. One of the world's largest computer companies will only ship to US addresses. This summer they'll release the new TouchPad. Will it beat the iPad? You'll need package forwarding to find out!
- Dell. Another great source for laptops, desktops, and all-in-one computers that only ships to the US.
- Target. They sell everything from clothing to kitchen goods to electronics, but they don't ship outside the US.With one of the largest selections and some of the best prices, international shoppers are missing a lot!
How to Get International Shipping from Any US Online Store
Good news! You can get international shipping from any US online store, even if they don't ship internationally. Just get a US address from OPAS and start shopping today.
What other stores do you like that don't ship overseas? Make a list in the comments section to help other international shoppers!
The latest item to enter the discussion of internet sales tax is the news that Connecticut is about to put an end to tax free shopping by requiring Amazon to collect online sales tax for purchases shipped to Connecticut addresses. Recently, Illinois started charging Illinois sales tax on purchases shipped to their state, and other states such as New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island have passed similar legislature.
The Differences Between Sales and Use Tax
Currently, sales tax is collected by the seller and paid to the state only on goods sold within the seller's state. Sellers do not collect sales tax on goods shipped outside the state, but buyers are technically required to pay use tax to the state in which the good is purchased. For example, if a buyer in California wants to buy from a seller in Illinois, the seller does not have to collect an Illinois sales tax, but the buyer is required to pay a use tax at the California sales tax rate. However, since the use tax is difficult to enforce, many states now want to make sellers collect internet sales tax on goods purchased out of state.
This new online sales tax legislature will affect both international shopping and US online shopping.
How Internet Sales Tax Affects US Online Shopping
Let's say you live in California and want to buy an iPad 2 from Amazon in order to avoid sales tax. Under the new legislation, Amazon will have to charge you the California internet sales tax rate, because you'll presumably be shipping your iPad 2 to your address in California.
States With No Sales Tax
Now, let's say you have an address in a state with no sales tax, like Oregon. You can still enjoy tax-free shopping, since Amazon will only be required to charge sales tax online if they ship to a state that collects sales tax.
Of course, residents of tax collecting states can take advantage of "no sales tax states" like Oregon by using a package forwarding service when they shop online.
How Internet Sales Tax Affects International Shopping & Package Forwarding
One reason international shoppers love using package forwarding services to shop online in the US is that they can typically find lower prices than in other countries. But if your forwarding service offers a US address in a state that collects internet sales tax, your savings get reduced dramatically. For example, Bongo US provides a US address in Connecticut, where the new legislation was just passed.
However, using a US address in Oregon allows international shoppers to shop tax-free at any US online store. If you have a US address in Connecticut, New York, or Florida, you can avoid internet sales tax and maximize your savings by switching to an Oregon US address today.
What to Know About Internet Sales Tax
If you're used to shopping tax-free online in the US, you might be surprised the next time you hit the checkout button. US residents can download a free tax-free shopping guide to stay ahead of the new laws.
International shoppers can get a US address in Oregon today to keep saving by shopping online tax-free in the US.
How much do you expect to save with tax-free shopping from Oregon? Tell us in the comments section!
Almost every day there is a new item in the news about escalating state sales taxes. Today, for example there was a piece about a new bill in the senate that will require shoppers to pay states sales tax on purchases made from online retailers like Amazon.com and Overstock.com. Accoding to the Chicago Tribune, Indiana's retail lobby is pushing for the same thing. And it was just last month that Illinois passed a law requiring online retailers to collect sales tax in their state.
But clever shoppers have a way to avoid sales tax altogether, no matter what state they live in.
Believe it or not, a few states have no sales tax at all, and no plans to change. Oregon, for example, has zero sales tax. By using a package forwarding service in Oregon, savvy shoppers can purchase their items tax-free, then forward them to their home states, avoiding sales tax completely (and completly legally).
Two Strategies to Avoid Sales Tax:
- Purchase High-Value Items. The quickest and easiest way to save money by avoiding sales tax is to purchase high-value items. Computers, mobile phones, & electronics; clothing, shoes, & jewelry; home furnishings & minor appliances are some of the items most likely to make your tax-free savings add up quickly.
- Consolidate Multiple Items. Even if you’re not planning any large purchases, you can still use package forwarding to save money by avoiding sales tax. Most people make hundreds of dollars in purchases each month, and thousands each year. Items that may cost only $20 or $30 quickly add up. Think about items you buy regularly, like household, bath, & kitchen products. You can buy these items one at a time, store them at the forwarding address, and then forward them to your state when you’re ready. Or, try buying in bulk from warehouse stores!
Who saves the most?
The states with the highest sales taxes are:
- Illinois (11.5%)
- California (10.75%)
- Arizona (10.6%)
No matter what state you live in, you can avoid sales tax and save money when you shop online. What state do you live in and how much could you save using package forwarding from Oregon?