Mail Forwarding and Shipment Consolidation

I’ve been using St. Brendan’s Isle mail forwarding for over a year. Am happy with their services except they offer only limited package consolidation. Customs declaration forms require everything to be opened before it is forwarded. If something in a small container will fit into a larger one then they do that to save shipping costs. Some other firms will discard the original boxes and packing material and consolidate all items into one box that weighs less. I’ve been contemplating a few purchases so looked at what else was available to see what I could save on shipping for a single batch of purchases.

It’s not pretty. VIAdress.com has many unsatisfied customers. They’re under investigation by the Indiana Attorney General. Better Business Bureau gives them an F rating. Some complainers report snail mail to them was returned as undeliverable because the USPS stopped delivering to them for failing to get Form 1583 (Application for Delivery of Mail Through Agent) from their customers. That’s not the sort of competance I look for in a mail forwarding company.

addy.us appears to be a one person operation intended for residents of Australia and New Zealand. The web site doesn’t have the usual ‘About Us’ link to the company’s background. It has an ‘About Josh’ link. Best part is the quote on his Facebook page: “I’m not trying to compete with the larger companies doing this service. This is only a hobby of mine.”

Shipito.com has mixed reviews. I find some of their business practices to be jaw-dropping. You can complain about being overcharged but only one complaint at a time. If they deem your complaint to be invalid, your account is charged $8.50. Credit card authorization means little. They warn that first time customers may have to wire them the money plus the $16 dollar fee. One Australian IT themed forum has a 52 page thread about Shipito. I sent customer service a question about their FAQ, the question and response are at the bottom of this post.

The number of companies existing to forward purchases out of the US has grown as the dollar tanked. Most US companies won’t take net orders from a foreign IP address. Using a free private VPN solves that problem but they firms also don’t take foreign credit cards. The forwarding companies will take your orders, i.e. website and item number, buy it on their credit card and charge a fee for the service.

It seems like it doesn’t take much to start a shopping and forwarding company. Maybe that’s why it’s hard to find one that doesn’t have scores of complaints about it on the net. I’m sticking with St. Brendan’s. They started forwarding mail to mariners all over the world in 1988. They know what they’re doing and it shows.

===== email exchange with Shipito customer service. My comments are in bold between brackets [].

from Shipito.com support@shipito.com
to Bill ****
date Tue, May 17, 2011 at 12:22 AM
subject Re: Questions about your FAQ
mailed-by shipito.com
hide details May 17 (1 day ago)
Hello BIll,

1.
> There is a 4.3% bank fee only on postage or assisted purchases.
> But the credit card company will charge us 4.3% for any incoming international payment,

4.3% bank fee is charged on all postage.

[Ever hear of a credit card company charging a fee on courier services like FedEx? Seems like it’s a Shiptito fee, not a bank fee.]

2. What, if any, is the maximum limit on the number of packages that
can be consolidated into a single shipment?

There is no limit on number, it is on size.

3.
> What if we loose your package in our warehouse?
> If we cannot find your package you will get fully compensated

You get what you declared on customs and prove with an invoice from the seller.

[So if they misplace the package for a while the customer gets charged for their incompetance. Is it any wonder that users report mysterious delays that result in additional charges, e.g., being charged for 2 months use of the service instead of one?]

Sincerely,
Marcial

http://www.Shipito.com
Eastbiz Corporation
support@shipito.com
Phone: 310-212-7143
Client account: http://www.shipito.com/account

Rate our services http://www.inccontact.com/rate
Always use your mailbox number when emailing us!

On Sun, May 15, 2011 at 6:21 AM, xxxx wrote:
From your FAQ

1.
>There is a 4.3% bank fee only on postage or assisted purchases.
….
> But the credit card company will charge us 4.3% for any incoming international payment,

Do you charge the 4.3% postage fee when paid with a credit card issued
by a US bank to a US citizen with a Florida billing address?

2. What, if any, is the maximum limit on the number of packages that
can be consolidated into a single shipment?

3.
>What if we loose your package in our warehouse?

…if we cannot find your package you will get fully compensated

Does ‘fully compensated’ include all of the following: amount charged
by retailer, including shipping, your storage fees because a
consolidated box sits for longer than 3 days while you are looking for
the lost package, your monthly fees because even though your records
show all packages received by the 21st, it doesn’t ship until the 2nd
of the next month because you lost the package, consolidating twice
because the lost package doesn’t fit into the original consolidated
box?

What Shipito fees and costs are paid by the customer for a lost
package that would not or could not have been charged if the package
wasn’t lost?

Do you know that it is ‘lose your package’ not ‘loose your package’?

Thanks,

Bill

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2 Responses to Mail Forwarding and Shipment Consolidation

  1. Coincidentally, I just (likewise?) spent WEEKS researching mail forwarding services (in anticipation of moving to Vietnam), and am poised to post my own conclusions later this week. Indeed, the mail forwarding service field is dizzying, but I believe I finally unearthed the perfect such service for me: Virtual Post Mail. Tune into TravelnLass to read why I chose them.

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