I was recently contacted by My Mall Box, a packaging forwarding company that helps to ship American products to international users. Now, this, is right up my street!
I love shopping, and especially love shopping online, as I can browse any time I like. I’ve been shopping online since the early 2000s, and have bought from both here in the UK and in the USA. There are a few things that I do not like about shopping online from America – high shipping costs; not shipping internationally at all; and of course the dreaded fees for tax and duty. You can read more about that on the HM Revenue & Customs website.
Before I heard about My Mall Box, I had wanted to buy some make up items from the USA, but they didn’t provide shipping to the UK. Such a pain, and meant I would have to wait until our next holiday in Florida, where I often send items to myself at our holiday accommodation. But Not anymore!
I was provided with some credit to use My Mall Box to see how the service works, and review it on my blog. I’ve used it a few times now, and I am loving it! Let me explain how it works.
- Register and receive your free US Address in My Mall Box’s warehouse.
- Shop online and put your delivery address as your My Mall Box address when checking out.
- There is also a “Buy For Me” service, which incurs a $4.50 Handling fee and a 3% Transaction fee.
- When your products arrive, My Mall Box emails you to let you know.
- You can choose to ship the products to you immediately, or wait and consolidate several items to save on postage.
- Wait for your package to arrive!
- Repeat steps 2-5 ;)
All in all, I have had a very positive experience using My Mall Box, and plan to continue using it now that I’ve exhausted the credit they provided me with. Like I said, I often shop from America, and this makes things a lot easier all around. Here are my tips for using My Mall Box and shopping in the USA.
- If you are not bothered about the original packaging of a product (i.e., the box it is shipped in) then consolidate your shopping into one package to save on postage.
- My Mall Box unpacks your original items, and repackages everything into one package. Everything is very well packed with bubble wrap – but you will not receive the original packing box that the product/s came in. I learned this after consolidating my first package, and felt a streak of panic when it arrived because I thought to myself “how have the boxes fit inside this package?! Once I opened it, I realised what they had done.
- My Mall Box use a range of couriers to send your products to you, and the price is based on weight and dimension of the package. As a guide, a 5lb package costs $47.22 using DHL Express, and arrives within 1-3 days. They send you a tracking number so that you can follow where your package is. It’s quite exciting when you see that it has landed at the airport!
- Make sure that the consolidated price of postage is less than what you would have paid individually from the stores you have bought from. For example, I bought products from online stores that ship overseas, but it cost more to send them to me in the UK than sending via My Mall Box.
Storage at My Mall Box
- My Mall Box will store your package(s) for free up to 90 days. After 90 days, your account will begin accruing a charge of $1 per day, per package. After 120 days they will liquidate the contents. The storage limit is cumulative and applies to consolidated packages as well. The 90-day and 120-day cycles do not reset after repackaging your products
- Check your country’s prohibited items list before you buy anything. For the UK you can find that information out here. And My Mall Box have a list of generally prohibited and restricted items here. I advise you check this information yourself, either by the links provided, or your own research.
Shopping Online in the USA
- Check the terms and conditions of the store you are shopping at. Some companies do have issues with shipping to package forwarders. If you are not sure, you can contact support at My Mall Box who will advise you. I came across one (Sephora) who wouldn’t ship to My Mall Box. I only found this out after I’d placed the order (which was accepted) and then they cancelled it. I didn’t know why, so I contacted them, who then told me the reason. Annoying at the time as it was a limited edition make up palette! I wonder if the Buy For Me service would have worked for me here?
- Of the shops that I did buy from, I was able to either pay by PayPal, or with my credit/debit card, and have my billing address in the UK, but my shipping address in the US. I did find that one store I tried, wouldn’t let me do that, which was a pain. Not sure how to work around that, so that shop is out of the question for me for now.
- Be mindful of tax and duty charges when you shop online from overseas. The courier will usually get in touch to say how much you need to pay. You will not receive your package until the charge is paid for.
- When you have consolidated your items, make sure you put in the correct value of the products, as My Mall Box do not know this information. They need to declare the price and contents of packages on customs forms.
- But most of all, have fun buying stuff that you might not be able to buy here in the UK! They also ship to other countries, so this service is not UK specific!