You want to shop in the USA… Ordering in the USA with Shipito seems to us the best compromise. Comparison of the different forwarding services with free address without subscription. Tuto to register, choose the right site and make the right customs declaration to avoid paying taxes unnecessarily.
Advantages of buying and ordering in the USA
Some items are much cheaper in the US than in France or Europe. On the other hand, either direct shipping from these sites is expensive, or it is just not possible. It is therefore interesting to be able to go through an intermediary in charge of the reshipment.
Other advantages, in the United States, there is no imposed period for the sales: they take place all year long. You won’t have any trouble getting an extra 30% to 50% off on your favorite sites.
And the difference in conversion between the Dollar and the Euro, added to a reduced VAT (or even zero in some states) more than covers the shipping costs to Europe.
The forwarding sites have understood the business. They provide you with a free address (the address of their warehouse, and a locker number), collect your packages, store them, consolidate them, send them to you with a transport service (Fedex, DHL or other) and charge you a small commission, usually minimal. The idea here is to have a transport service that is not too expensive, with the lowest possible commission, and if possible without tax. And there, to you the good deals.
Which brands and products to ship from the USA
- Amazon US
- American Eagle Outfitters (ae)
- Banana republic
- Best Buy
- Brooklyn Industries
- eBay US
- JC Penney & Macy’s
- kate spade
- Ralph Lauren
- Victoria’s secret
Comparison of the sites to order in the USA
There are a lot of sites allowing the forwarding of packages. We have tested several of them. They are pretty much the same: they all offer a free address, and without subscription. But they have two main drawbacks:
- They all use very expensive courier services, which make the cost of forwarding explode (even if the forwarding commissions are actually quite low). They use UPS, Fedex, DHL… A mini-package will cost you at least 40 dollars right away.
- By going through transport services like UPS, Fedex, DHL… you will systematically receive taxes to pay, even if you are under the xx euros deductible. And bad surprise, the collection company that collects the customs fees will ask you in addition to these taxes, a flat rate processing fee of about twenty euros minimum, much higher than the taxes themselves.
higher than the taxes themselves.
A single site allows you not to use UPS, Fedex, DHL, and therefore avoid shipping costs, but also taxes and customs fees prohibitive.
Here is a list of Shipito’s main competitors:
- Bongo International (accepte les bitcoins)
- acheterauxusa.com (en francais)
Each site proposes “Shipping calculator”, which will allow you to know at least the price of the transport. Be careful, this does not include the bad surprise of customs taxes through Fedex, UPS and DHL… And for your information, all these sites claim to be the Number 1.
Obtaining a free address, for life (free)
The first step is for you to register on the site, and get your free address in the USA, for life!
Enter the requested information (name, first name, email…) and credit your account with 5$, 10$ or 50$, via paypal or credit card. It is absolutely necessary that the paypal account/credit card you are going to pay with is in your name, otherwise Shipito will ask you to send supporting documents to ensure that your account has not been hacked
Shipito offers 2 services
- Individual packages (free):
- You pay 5 dollars in advance when you register on the site (which you can use later).
- You do not pay any subscription
- The address is free for life
- A commission of 1$ is taken in addition to the shipping costs for each shipment
- You can only use the site based in Nevada (see sites below)
- Please note that there is no consolidation of your packages, they are sent as they are received
- Virtual mailbox (paying):
- You pay a subscription of 50$ per year (or 10$/month).
- The address is free for life
- A 1$ commission is charged on top of the shipping cost for each shipment
- You will have 3 addresses in the 3 states below, and can choose which one to use with each order.
Advantages of each site:
- California (Hawthorne): lowest re-shipping price (Shipito Airmail about 15% cheaper than other sites), and faster shipping, but 9% tax
- Oregon (Tualatin): tax-free shopping (California 9%, Nevada 7.1%, France 20%), but more expensive shipping through California
- Nevada (Minden): long term storage possible (9 months instead of 3 months, for 2m3 max, but more expensive shipping costs and 7.1% tax
- And an address in Austria, not necessarily very useful for us…
US credit card (optional and paying)
If some sites block you because of a non-US credit card, Shipito in partnership with US Unlocked offers you a prepaid visa payment card. But this service has a cost, and each micro operation is not free. Do not use it unless necessary.
- Set-up fee (one time only) $15.00
- NXpay transaction fee per reload $0.30
- Reload fee:
- $3 and 3% for bank transfer, Sofort and Ideal
- 4 and 4% for Paypal ( Brazil $4 and 6% ) and Cashu
- 4$ and 7% for Yandex
- 4 and 5% for WebMoney and Alipay
- Per use
- Domestic fixed fee $0.50
- International fixed fee $0.75
- Monthly management fee $3.50
- Closing fee with transfer $11.50
- Replacement card $5.00
Concierge service, if the American credit card is not enough (optional and paying)
If you are stuck ordering online (because the site detects that you are in France, Switzerland, Belgium…), Shipito can order on your behalf, or even come to a physical store for you. Obviously this service has a price.
The cost of the service is $8.50 (plus the cost of the order, possible taxes, bank fees, commission and shipping fees). This price is per 10 different items. If you want to order 15 different items, the price will be $17 (2 x $8.50). But if you order 20 units of the same item, the price is still $8.50.
The USPS 1583 form
The USPS 1583 form is only necessary if you use the USPS carrier (equivalent to the US Postal Service). In this case, it is mandatory to fill it out. It allows you to formally identify the sender (you), and a copy of your passport or driver’s license will have to be uploaded or sent to Shipito or any other forwarding site.
Your first order
Remember when choosing which address to ship to that each address has its own specificity. The prices displayed in the United States are exclusive of tax, and each state applies its own tax, between 0 and 9% depending on the address you put. See address comparison.
Service Type: International Parcels
The reception of the package by Shipito
When you receive a package, you will receive an email from Shipito, with information about the sender, the tracking number to help you identify your package and even pictures of the shipping label and the package.
The customs declaration
You must then complete the customs declaration (including a description of the contents and the value of the package). The customs declaration is mandatory for international shipments.
As a reminder, in France the amount of customs exemption is set at 45€, or 60$. Above this amount, your package is subject to these fees. It is you who makes the customs declaration. Controls are rare, but there can be some.
With FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, beware of the bad surprise: expect to receive a formal notice asking you to pay, even if you are under 45 euros. You will have to pay.
- Import VAT (20% on your goods),
- processing fees (between 10 and 40 euros)
- VAT on the handling fee (20% on the handling fee)
With Shipito Airmail Economy, you are the one who declares the content of your package, you put what you want. And if you declare less than 45 euros, you won’t have to pay any customs tax.
Important: Read our article and tutorial to order without customs fees or VAT.
The choice of the carrier
Several carriers are proposed, but the Shipito Airmail Economy mode is by far the most interesting, and the one that makes Shipito an unbeatable offer, because it is 10 times cheaper than other carriers.
The carriers are:
- USPS (Express Mail et Priority Mail)
- FedEx (Priority et Economy)
- DHL (Express)
- TNT (Express)
- Shipito Airmail Economy
To use Shipito Airmail Economy, the weight of the package must be less than 2kg and the size less than 60x90cm.
Weight: 1 lbs / 500 gr (1 jeans, 2 t-shirts…)
Size: 18 x 15 x 3 inches / 45 x 38 x 8 cm
For your information: the proposed insurance is totally optional.
Example 1: Shipito Airmail Economy tracking with USPS via Torrance, CA (Los Angeles)
- Weight: 1 lbs / 500 gr (1 jeans, 2 t-shirts…)
- Size: 18 x 15 x 3 inches / 45 x 38 x 8 cm
- Price: 9.40 USD / 8.33 euros
- VAT and custom duties: 0 (none because gift < 45 euros)
- Time to arrive: 14 days
|Local Date & Time||Location||Item|
|02/10/2015 10:00||Paris, France||Mail Delivered|
|02/04/2015 16:00||Us||Mail Consigned|
|02/04/2015 14:00||Us||Mail Preparation|
|01/30/2015 19:05||In transit to USPS tracking#: LM743760467US|
|01/30/2015 19:04||Torrance CA||Parcel Received|
|01/28/2015 16:44||Torrance CA||E-File Uploaded|
|01/27/2015 17:30||Minden, NV||Parcel Picked Up, in transit to California Shipping Depot|
|01/27/2015 13:45||Minden, NV||Parcel Shipping Initiated|
Example 2: Tracking a package with USPS Priority Mail via Los Angeles
- Weight: 1.5 kg (12 t-shirt) -> Airmail Economy not possible if above the weight limit (2kg) or size (60x90cm)
- Price: 45 USD (39 euros) -> More expensive price !
- VAT and custom duties: none -> None because gift < 45 euros
- Time to arrive: 15 days -> Same time to arrive
|Shipment Activity||Location||Date & Time|
|Processed Through Sort Facility||FRANCE||December 31, 2014 6:07 am|
|Departed||Paris, FRANCE||December 20, 2014 10:50 pm|
|Departed||London, UNITED KINGDOM||December 20, 2014 7:45 pm|
|Departed||Los Angeles, UNITED STATES||December 18, 2014 4:18 pm|
|Arrived||Los Angeles, UNITED STATES||December 18, 2014 12:52 pm|
|Processed Through Sort Facility||ISC LOS ANGELES CA (USPS)||December 18, 2014 12:22 am|
|Arrived at Sort Facility||ISC LOS ANGELES CA (USPS)||December 18, 2014 12:22 am|
|Shipment Accepted||RENO, NV 89510||December 15, 2014 5:39 pm|
|Arrived at USPS Origin Facility||RENO, NV 89510||December 15, 2014 3:09 pm|
|Accepted at USPS Origin Sort Facility||RENO, NV 89510||December 15, 2014 1:54 pm|
|Pre-Shipment Info Sent to USPS||December 15, 2014|
Shipment of prohibited products
- goods for civilian and military use, weapons and ammunition, fireworks,
- narcotics, psychotropic drugs, medicines for human use,
- perfumes or cologne, nail polish, aerosol cans,
- flea collars or flea sprays,
- cleaning products, paints, mercury thermometers,
- pool chemicals,
- batteries, fuel or gasoline,
- goods presented in counterfeit form,
- national treasures and cultural property,
- objects with pornographic images or representations,
- live animals and animal products,
- plants and plant products,
- organs, tissues and cells from the human body, gametes from the human body, labile blood products,
- artificial and natural sources of radionuclides,
- waste, including radioactive waste,
The iPhone / Android application
And you can track your package live with the free official Shipito app, available on iPhone and Android.
Conclusion: ordering in the USA with Shipito, the best solution
Shipito’s interest lies in its Airmail priority or Airmail economy offer, which costs 10 times less than UPS, FedEx, TNT, and others… even if you have to pay a $1 commission fee.
In addition, there is no systematic tax like with the others, and you are the one who makes the customs declaration. Read our article on the VAT and customs duty exemptions, systematic with FedEx, TNT, DHL, UPS, Chronopost… but not USPS and Shipito Economy.
Finally, with the free subscription, and your address in Nevada… even taxed at 7.1%, it is still cheaper than 20% VAT in France.
So, even if the delay is a bit long (Shipito specifies 5 weeks, more like 2 weeks in practice). It is more acceptable. Be careful though, no tracking number and no insurance with this service (so no recourse in case of lost package).