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OPAS Blog: International Shipping from US Stores

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Back To School Sales, What You Need to Know


Back To School Sale image resized 600

We’ve written updates about the amazing US (summer) sales but we think it bears repeating. One of the most interesting tech sales is happening right now!

The yearly Back To School Sale. Did you know many if not all popular tech retailers are  participating? Of course you don’t have to be going back to school to enjoy this sale. There are many many great brands and retailers where you can get incredible deals. Below we have listed some of our favourites:

1. Rakuten; get deals on computers, tablets, backpacks, display monitors and more. How about this e-reader and MP3 player: Aluratek Libre eBook Reader Pro – retailing for only $59.99. Act quickly here as many items are already selling out.

2. Best Buy; offers all the tech you need to succeed! Save $150 on Select Lenovo Yoga and HP Laptops or Save $100 on All MacBooks. Simply enter your email address and receive a bunch of coupons in your email.  The great thing here is, Best Buy will not be sending you unwanted messages, just the coupons.

3. Apple.com; (the US store): Get a $100 Apple Store Gift Card when you buy a Mac for college. Or a $50 gift card when you buy an iPad or iPhone.* You’ll also save on a Mac or iPad with education pricing. Make sure you check the small print as you might not qualify. 

4. Newegg: Back at School with their #beequipped sale. Benefit from high discounts on wearables, mobile devices, computers and games.  We highlight this Canon PIXMA MG5520 Black wireless inkject printer that is on sale now for only $49.99

Have your OPAS and payment credentials handy and start shopping! Remember, you are saving another 5-9% on any item because you are using your OPAS 0% US sales tax guarantee.

We are always working on improving our customer service and global packages, let us know if we can be of help to you today, contact our customer service department via email: service@opas.com, one of our great staff members will help you out.


Apple's Next Big Event: October 15th?



As you may or may not be aware, the Apple iPhone 5s and 5c have launched today, with a corresponding fervor of fast sales and long lines to get these highly anticipated products. OPAS technicians were placing Personal Shopper orders for our customers as soon as we opened this morning, in order to minimize shipping times for these snazzy new phones!

But what’s next for Apple? According to rumors on a French website known as MacGeneration, there’s another special event coming up right on the horizon, on October 15th.

It was last October that Apple released the iPad Mini and and their fourth-generation iPad, so perhaps there’s another release of that same magnitude right around the corner?

Some speculate that it also could have to do with the release of OS X Mavericks, and other software related news.

The Los Angeles Times notes, however, that the site in question has had some issues in the past with accuracy on Apple news, so all such reports should be considered conjecture at this point.

Still, will you be ready when Apple releases the next revolutionary product that you want? International customers often times have great difficulty acquiring these items, as Apple is notoriously US-centric in their early releases.

That’s where OPAS can help you! We can use our Personal Shopper service to purchase these Apple goods for you, unlocked and ready for your use in any country around the world!

Whether or not you have an OPAS account, if you're interested in learning how we can help you purchase and receive Apple products, just send us a line at service@opas.com!

Compare Item Sizes When Shopping with a Package Forwarding Address


How Package Forwarding Shoppers Can Compare Product Sizes

One of the disadvantages to using a package forwarding address to buy from US stores is that you can't get a sense of an item's size as easily as you can by walking into a physical store. Items like clothing or shoes are fairly easy to estimate because of standardized international sizes, but other consumer products, like phones and electronics, are more difficult.

Although such products usually include measurements in their descriptions, it can be difficult to visualize what they will look and feel like in your pocket or home. Luckily, there are a number of online tools that help you compare irregularly sized objects before you use your package forwarding address to purchase them online.

Compare Phone Sizes with Phone-Size.com

describe the imageBecause you carry them around with you, often in a pocket or purse, knowing the size of a phone is pretty valuable information when making a purchase. Models sold in the US are often different than those sold overseas, so checking out a local store probably won't help if you're shopping with a package forwarding address.

Phone-Size.com gives you a fast, easy way to compare phone sizes. All you have to do is choose the phone models you want to compare from the drop-down menu, and Phone-Size.com will give you a side-by-side visual comparison.

You enter your screen's dimensions and resolution to make sure Phone-size.com shows you the phones at their actual size. And if you want to compare the phones' screen sizes, click the "Toggle screens" button to display a comparable image across all your example phones.

Compare TV Screen Sizes

TVs are another product that you really want to see in person before you buy. In a store you can easily see how much bigger a 32" set is than a 25" set, but that's harder to see when buying with a package forwarding address.

Display Wars is a simple way to visually compare different TV screen sizes. Simply enter the aspect ratio and size of the two screens you want to compare, and Display Wars will give you a visual representation of the two screens overlapped on one another.

Compare Camera Sizes

camerasizeCameras, like phones, are something that you usually have to carry around or store in a pocket or purse, so a difference in size could really affect your decision over which model to purchase.

Camera Size lets you compare different cameras, not only to each other, but also to lenses, AA batteries, or the average human hand. It also lets you view cameras from different angles, so you can see if there are any shapes that may make one model preferable to another.

Compare Almost Anything

Finally, you may want to compare items that don't fall into common product categories, or maybe items from different product categories (for example, a phone and a camera).social compare sizes

Sizeasy is a quick tool to let you compare the size of an item you plan to buy to an item you're already familiar with. For example, if you want to buy an iPhone but aren't sure of its size, you could enter its dimesions as they are provided on Apple's website. For comparison, you might enter the dimestions of a product you already have, maybe a Macbook Pro.

Sizeeasy will give you a quick 3d model of both products size-by-side. You can also choose from common objets, like playing cards or matchbooks, with predefined sizes.

A similar tool is SocialCompare. It works very similarly to Sizeasy, but its predefined shapes include the iPhone and iPad, as well as human shapes.

Compare... and Share!

A great feature of a number of these web apps is that they let you easily share your comparisons on social media sites like Facebook. Why not share your comparisons on the OPAS Facebook page to let other package forwarding shoppers know what you're looking at? If you have questions about the size of object, there are many others who can probably help you!


Win a FREE iPod Nano with a New Package Forwarding Address


Your First Package Forwarding Shipment Could be a FREE iPod Nano!

Starting today and running through July 3, everyone who registers for a new OPAS package forwarding address can enter to win a FREE 8BG Apple iPod Nano. You can choose from either a Package Only or a Package & Mail account, either one will get you a shot at the drawing.freeipodnano

Here's how to enter our iPod Nano Giveaway!

  1. Sign up for a new package fowarding account.
    You must register between June 27th and July 3, 2012. Only new accounts are eligible for the drawing. (Accounts created by existing or inactive users are not eligible.)

  2. Send an e-mail to service@opas.com.
    Type iPod Nano Giveaway in the subject line and put your five-digit account number in the body. You must include your account number in your email, otherwise you cannot be entered into the drawing! At 5:00pm on July 3, one account will be selected to win a free Apple iPod Nano.

  3. To get your free iPod Nano, you'll have to ship it!
    The iPod Nano comes in a box that is only 2" x 2" x 2" and weighs less than 1lb, so you can even ship it for free if you consolidate it with a larger and heavier purchased item!

Invite Your Friends for More Chances to Win

After you sign up for a new package account yourself, send an invitation to a friend. In addition to the regular benefits of our new referral program, you'll also get an extra entry into the iPod Nano drawing for each friend you refer.

Your friends have to register before the drawing closes on July 3, so hurry and send your invitations now!



Mother's Day Gifts to Buy from US Stores


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.mothers day ipad

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.

Amazon.momdescribe the image

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!




Buy an iPad 3 from the US, Get International Shipping


Order the iPad 3 from the US Using Package Forwarding

If you're an Apple fan, today's your day. The iPad 3 is finally available in the US and 9 other countries. (The other countries are Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, and the UK.)buy ipad 3 from the us

But what if you don't live in one of those ten countries? No problem, you can simply order your iPad 3 from the US Apple Store using a package forwarding address.

Because international shipping is not available on Apple products, either directly from the Apple store or through retail sites like Amazon.com, you'll have to get a US address from a forwarding company before you can place your order.

Maybe you've heard that Apple won't ship to forwarding companies? This is true, for most companies. However, OPAS has a secret strategy for ordering Apple products outside the US, including the new iPad 3.

All OPAS members have access to a top-secret Alternate Address. Once you register for an OPAS account, you can request this address if you need to order from Apple or other stores that don't ship to forwarding companies.

Ordering an iPad 3 from the US... for a Third Time?

Here's another tip: if you ordered the iPad 2 from the US last year and are wondering whether it's worth the price to upgrade, you can trade it in to Apple for credit toward the new version. That will cover the shipping cost, at least. :)



Order from US Online Stores Using a Web Proxy


Online Stores Can See Your Location

Online stores and other websites can use your computer's IP address (a unique label assigned to any device that uses the internet) to determine your location. Websites can tell which country, region, or even city you computer is located in.order from us websites using a web proxy

In fact, you can test this yourself simply by visiting Spyber.com. Spyber.com will show you where it thinks you're located--you might be surprised by how accurate it is!

Online stores use this information to show you different versions of their websites depending on your location. For example, if you visit store.apple.com from a computer in the US, you'll see the US Apple Store. But if you visit the same URL from a computer in the UK, you'll see the UK Apple Store.

Usually there is a bigger difference between the different versions of an online store than just language. The biggest difference is price.

Because prices on most products are lower in the US than in other countries, you'll always see a lower price at the US version of an online store than you will at your country's version.

Web Proxies Let You Order from US Online Stores from Outside the US

Sometimes you can change the country for an online store simply by clicking a link at the bottom of the screen. But even if you can view the US version of an online store from outside the US, most websites won't let you order that way. If you try to place an order on the US version of an online store from another country, your order will typically be denied, or cancelled at the time of processing (Abercrombie & Fitch is well known for this!)

However, you can use a web proxy to order from US online stores, even if you're not in the US.

For example, try using the popular web proxy Proxify to view Spyber.com by entering the URL into the text box. You'll notice that your own location is no longer detected. Instead, Spyber thinks your computer is located in one of Proxify's proxy locations.

Now you can make any US online store think that you're shopping from the US, and successfully order from their US website using your US package forwarding address.

Note that some websites block proxies, so you may have to try a few different ones in order to get through. In addition to Proxify, here are some other popular web proxies:

  1. proxfree.com
  2. hidemyass.com
  3. ultrafastproxy.com
  4. proxy-open.com
  5. free-webproxy.net

Which Web Proxies Work Best with US Online Stores?

It might take a bit of trial and error to determine which proxies work best with which US online stores. If you've tried and had success (or a failure), share you experience in the comments section so that others can know what to look out for.


Get Free Shipping from the Apple US Store


Order from the US Apple Store & Get Free Shipping to Your Package Forwarding Address

If you were disappointed that Apple didn't offer any sales or deals for Cyber Monday, you'll be happy to learn that Apple's gift for the holiday season is free shipping on everything from now until December 22nd.free shipping from us apple store

What does your shopping list look like this holiday season?

Absolutely anything you order from the Apple US store until December 22 will ship for free. The catch, of course, is that this offer is only good at the Apple US store.

The Canada, UK, and France stores did offer free shipping for Cyber Monday, but that was a one-day only deal. The Australian and New Zealand stores are also offering free shipping until Christmas, but the prices for Apple products in Australia and New Zealand are much higher than in the US.

How to Get Free Shipping from the US Apple Store if you DON'T Live in the US

The US Apple Stores doesn't offer international shipping (not even at a price). But if you don't live in the US, you can still take advantage of Apple's free shipping deal by getting a US package forwarding address.

You can get a US address in minutes, order from the US Apple Store, and have your items sent to your new US address for free. Once your Apple items arrive at your US forwarding address, you can have them sent on to your home address outside the US.

Now is the Time to Buy from the Apple US Store

Apple products are popular all year long, and the prices are lower in the US than anywhere in the world. Apple almost never holds sales, so if you've been waiting to buy a new iPad or iPhone, this free shipping offer from the Apple US Store is your best bet.


Buy an Unlocked iPhone 4S from the US for International Use


Use a Package Forwarding Address to Buy an Unlocked iPhone 4S from the US

It was just last month that Apple started selling the iPhone 4S in the US, but until now the US version has only been available with service contracts from US carriers. This week, you can finally buy the iPhone 4S unlocked, which means you can use it with any carrier that works with SIM cards.buy iphone 4s unlocked from us

What this means for international Apple fans is that you can now buy an unlocked iPhone 4S from the US and use it in your own country. Just order your phone from the US Apple Store using a package forwarding address and use a local SIM card from a local phone carrier.

Two Reasons to Buy an Unlocked iPhone 4S from the US

Typically, there are two kinds of people who use package forwarding to buy products from the US: people who want the newest items, and people who want to save money. Buying the unlocked iPhone 4S from the US accomplishes both.

First, there is the product's availability. There are still a lot of countries that don't have access to the iPhone 4S at all. That is, you can't even buy a locked version there. For people in these countries, buying an unlocked iPhone 4S from the US is the only way to experience the device.

In other countries, the iPhone 4S may already be available, but only in a locked version tied to other carriers. If you want an unlocked version that you can use anywhere, the US is one of the few places you can get one.

The other issue is price. In the UK, the unlocked iPhone 4S costs £499 ($787 USD). In Australia, it's $799 ($809 USD). The US price? $649. If you want an unlocked iPhone 4S at the best price, the US is the place to shop.

How to Buy an Unlocked iPhone 4S from the US

Wait a minute--everyone knows that the US Apple store doesn't ship internationally. You may even have heard the rumor that Apple cancels orders made to package forwarding addresses.

Don't worry, there are still ways to order an unlocked iPhone 4S from the US using your package forwarding address.

The first is to use one of your forwarding company's personal shoppers to buy the iPhone 4S for you from an Apple retail store. The second is... kind of a secret (but you can read about it here!).

The iPhone 4S is an exciting product, and everyone around the world is talking about it. If you want one now and you want to get it for the best price, a package forwarding address is the easiest way to buy an unlocked iPhone 4 from the US.


How to Buy the Samsung Galaxy Tab in Australia (UPDATE)


Australian Court Bans Galaxy Tab Sales

Two weeks ago, we posted about a pending court case, based on an injunction filed by Apple against Samsung to prevent them from selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia. This week, it turns out that the Australian Federal Court has ruled in Apple's favor, barring Samsung from selling their popular tablet.buy galaxy tab in australia

Although the ban is not permanent (it only has effect until Samsung resolves the patent dispute), it certainly eliminates the possibility of buying a Galaxy Tab in Australia in the foreseeable future. Furthermore, since the only way for Samsung to resolve the dispute is to alter their product design to avoid Apple's patent, it's likely that even if the Galaxy Tab does go on sale in Australia at a later date, it will be a somewhat reduced model with limited functionality.

How to Get the Samsung Galaxy Tab in Australia (Right Now)

Of course, it is still possible to get the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia (right now, today), by buying one from the US and having it shipped. Additionally, a US model will be the fully functional version, not a version limited by the patent dispute with Apple.

Although most US stores won't ship the Galaxy Tab outside the US due to licensing agreements with Samsung, you can use a package forwarding service to get international shipping from any US store, even if they don't offer it. The forwarding company will give you a US address, which you can use to place your order, and then forward your Galaxy Tab to Australia (or any other country).

Keep in mind that the US price of the Galaxy Tab, or any other tablet (or just about anything else, for that matter), is far less than the Australian price, so it's worth your while to get a US package forwarding account.

Galaxy Tab vs. iPad 2: Which Tablet is For You?

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is a popular alternative to the Apple iPad for good reason. It's got a larger screen, and is still thinner and lighter than the iPad 2.

Which one are you buying and which US store has the best price? Discuss your decision in the comments section below.


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