So, you regularly visit US websites like Amazon and eBay and are impressed by the huge number of products you could buy? It doesn’t matter where you live. If you can afford the products you just saw, there is a way to get them into your home country.
This guide offers tips on how to make purchases on US-based websites and import them into your home country successfully.
Website-Supported International Shippers
Both Amazon and eBay support international shipping partners. Amazon’s Global Store allows you to buy certain items on the site without worrying about shipping. The company handles the shipping process. eBay has a similar program that calculates the amount of money you need to pay to have your items delivered to where you live.
Besides eBay and Amazon, many US-based retailers have similar programs that relieve you of the stress related to shipping. When you visit such websites, you buy whatever you want. The sites calculate the additional shipping costs plus tax-related charges and the items are delivered to you.
There are no disappointments with the top websites. As long as you provide your real addresses, the products will be delivered to your doorstep. Unfortunately, not all products on Amazon and eBay are eligible for international shopping. With certain products, you have to rely on alternative shipping methods.
Get a US Friend to buy the Items for you
If you know someone who lives in the US, ask them for assistance. You can complete the buying process on your own but ship the products to your friend’s home. Once that’s done, your friend can then ship the products to you through a trusted method.
There are many risks involved in this method, which is why you need someone very close to you. It’s also important to decide on a shipping method in advance. Some companies like USPS price items based on weight, categories, shipping destinations, and shipping timelines. DHL and FedEx also ship internationally but have varying pricing methods.
Work with Package Forwarding Agencies
If eBay’s Global Store doesn’t work and you don’t know anyone in the US, try package forward agencies. Companies like DHL allow you to purchase items on any US websites and forward them to a given delivery location. The providers then ship these items to your home country.
The process is simple. Research online about products by reading review sites like the best reviews guide. Buy the products on Amazon or your favorite US website. Create an account on a package forwarding agency. Get an account number and U.S. shipping address. Authorize Amazon to ship the product to your US address. DHL or your preferred shipping company then ships the product to your home country.
Keep in mind that you are responsible for all the custom-duty charges imported items are subjected to in your country. Each country has its own laws and taxes for specific products. Find a shipping company that helps you calculate everything you need to get the item delivered to your doorstep.
Use Air Passenger Apps
A new series of mobile apps allow air passengers to act as package deliverers. Apps like Grabr trust their travelers so much that they will refund you if the items are not delivered to you.
Grabr.io lets you find products online and direct travelers to buy them for you. Payments are made to the app, which also deals with any other costs involved. The travelers buy the exact product you ask them to and come with it on their journey to your home country. Some apps allow you to negotiate delivery costs with the travelers so that you get the best deals.
Unfortunately, the travelers don’t deliver the items to your doorstep. You arrange a meet at a public place. If no travelers plan to visit your nearest city, you may have to travel a city away to the items. The method isn’t worse though since you are assured you will get the products.
Local Websites that Sell US Products
US products like electronics and clothes tend to be in demand all over the world. Many local websites import these products and sell them on their local sites. That way, you don’t need to stress yourself with the hassles of international shipping.
Visit your favorite local website and search their electronics, clothes or any US-manufactured items you want. If the site is big enough, chances are they have a range of US products you can assess and buy. Prices in local products will often be higher than on US sites. But you don’t have to deal with expensive shipping costs. Evaluate the costs of buying the items locally or internationally make an appropriate decision.
Find Amazon/eBay for your Country
The top US websites have online stores personalized for different countries around the world. Amazon has stores in India, France, the UK, Germany, and several other countries. Instead of using Amazon.com and you live in Berlin, try the Germany site.
While the Amazon website for Germany doesn’t sell everything sold on the US version, there are many US products supported on either website. Simply search for the products. If you can find the items, shipping them your physical address is much simpler.
VPN for Unsupported Websites
If you need to purchase eBooks, join online classes, or subscribe to US Netflix while in a foreign country, a VPN will come to your rescue. Virtual Private Networks hide your IP address and replace it with a US-based provider. That way, you appear as though you live in the US.
You can access any services offered on US websites. Payments are often not a problem with cryptocurrencies and some e-wallets. And because they are services and no shipping is required, accessing them is easy.
The US is full of products and services you could fancy buying. From iPhones to Netflix, there is always something available to US Citizens people from around the world dream of owning. These days, most of these products can be yours with a few tricks. Use any of the techniques above, and you can conveniently buy anything on US-based sites.