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Ask Slashdot: Package Redirection Service For Shipping to Australia?

timothy posted about 9 months ago | from the your-package-must-be-inverted-first dept.

Australia 206

An anonymous reader writes "I've recently moved continents, and one of the things I've noticed is the lack of the latest technology, as well as high prices for books and other goods here in Australia. I'm looking at package redirection services from the US, and there's a bewildering array of offerings, at a wide range of prices. What should I look out for? I'm hoping to reduce overall shipping costs to, but obviously worried about costs to deliver mostly empty boxes (yes, I'm talking about you, Amazon), damage to electrical goods from rough handling, packages going missing (does everything have to be registered post or tracked?), import duties (I'm not buying anything that should attract import duty, but still...) and overall costs (I'm not going to be buying frequently, just occasionally). What have other slashdot readers used, and what would they recommend?"

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206 comments

I don't know. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45295343)

Maybe the dingo ate your baby.

Re:I don't know. (2)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 9 months ago | (#45295363)

amazon double prime.

welcome to the socialist wonderland (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45295381)

you should be glad to pay the costs of living there

Re:welcome to the socialist wonderland (0)

DiSKiLLeR (17651) | about 9 months ago | (#45295441)

Fuck you.

The average income in Australia is more than double in the US thats why prices are higher.

Re:welcome to the socialist wonderland (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45295473)

The average income in Australia is more than double in the US thats why prices are higher.

A sentence that only makes sense to soft-brained Southern-hemisphere socialists, I daresay.

Re: welcome to the socialist wonderland (3, Informative)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about 9 months ago | (#45295507)

Double? Try 20% more nominal, and 19% less (PPP).

Re: welcome to the socialist wonderland (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45296285)

+4 Insightful? Try +5 Informative, -1 Overrated.

Re:welcome to the socialist wonderland (1)

NoobixCube (1133473) | about 9 months ago | (#45295551)

It's entirely disingenuous to just look at the exchange rate and figure we're paid twice what the US is. I bet I can afford less with my $37,000 a year than an American could buy with his $18,000.

Re:welcome to the socialist wonderland (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45295621)

Well, to be fair, unless that American with $18,000 a year lives in the backwoods of Tennessee or thereabouts, he is homeless and doesn't really need to worry about buying books and electronics as he won't have enough food, clothing, and shelter. $18,000 per year isn't even funny. You live under a bridge on that most places in the US.

Re:welcome to the socialist wonderland (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45295733)

Most Walmart employees make less than that and I agree that it is not funny.

Re:welcome to the socialist wonderland (1)

ChrisMaple (607946) | about 9 months ago | (#45295927)

Food: $1500/year, eating very well but preparing your own food.

Clothing: $200/year, tops. WalMart

Housing plus utilities: $3000/year/person, 4 people renting a house in a rural area and sharing expenses.

Transportation: varies too much with location, but call it $2000/year.

___

That leaves $11,300/year to be split among jollies, preparation for emergencies, and building a future.

Re:welcome to the socialist wonderland (0)

noshellswill (598066) | about 9 months ago | (#45296055)

I call bullshite. Housekeeping-per-person = $10K/yr  in the backwoods or jujuland. Figure 900 sq-ft.  No adult humans not sleeping together can share housing ... or live in SanFran/Seattle 275 sq.ft  mummytombs.  And no public transit in the boonies so  triple the tran$ budget. Let med$ = $5k just because you got unlucky.

Feckin-A Libertoonian *zzwholes ... 

Re:welcome to the socialist wonderland (2)

Gr8Apes (679165) | about 9 months ago | (#45296359)

You are smokin something. $3K per year? A lousy studio in one of the cheaper cities to live in runs $600 per month, utilities included. If you're sharing rent with a bed-sharing partner, the first thing you'd be doing is moving elsewhere, if you can afford it. Food easily runs way more than $1500 / year, unless you like bread and peanut butter or bologna everyday. And for clothes, things that you wear to work will run you a lot more than $200 / year, especially if you have a $2K / year car + gas. Insurance is going to cost you $800 / year most likely, or more. Yes, you're going to have a car, because that $6K / year pad is going to most likely be 10+ miles from anywhere you need to be with no public transport. I knew one group of 5 that drove 70 miles each way, for crappy $20-45K / year jobs, because the cheapest non-leaded pads were going for $1K / month, nothing included within a 30 mile radius. This was many years ago and prices haven't gotten better.

Re:welcome to the socialist wonderland (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45295713)

Chill, Dude. The guy is a troll. Pay him no mind.

Re:welcome to the socialist wonderland (1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | about 9 months ago | (#45295563)

Yeah and your goods are marked up accordingly.

Re:welcome to the socialist wonderland (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45295623)

Fuck you.

That thinking *is* the problem. A long time ago it was "cost of producing something+marigin=price". Today, it's just "asfuckingmuchaswecanextractfromyou=price".

Re:welcome to the socialist wonderland (4, Informative)

Tailhook (98486) | about 9 months ago | (#45295677)

The average income in Australia is more than double in the US thats why prices are higher.

No, I'm afraid it isn't. Median Household income in the US is about 50k USD. [wikipedia.org] That's across the whole US, podunk cow towns to NYC. The Australian "capital territories" are averaging 60k USD per household. Across all of Australia it's 43k USD [wikipedia.org] .

Not even at parity, much less "more than double." I can't imagine how you became so misguided; carefully reconsider from where it is you've chosen to get your information.

The GP was correct; the cost of the Australian welfare state is built into the cost of consumer goods, among other things.

You voted for it. Pay it. People trying to squirm out from under the weight of the statist utopias they've built should provide guidance to others.

Re:welcome to the socialist wonderland (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45296235)

From your tone, it sounds as if you have some sort of problem with the idea of higher taxes being used to pay for services such as healthcare etc. Your poetic allusion to weighty statist utopias is lovely writing, but noticeably lacking any real criticism.

I live in Australia - the atmosphere here is not particularly oppressive, nor are the taxes too onerous to poorer people like me as the tax free threshold is $18,200. As a sufferer from a usually mild but ongoing medical condition, the free, world class, healthcare I receive eases any angsty feelings of constriction that might otherwise bother me.

Have you read the works of Gramsci? I'm not saying he's right, but I really think North Americans would benefit from a deeper understanding of the concept of Cultural Hegemony. It is one possible explanation as to why so many of you spend so much time and money transferring wealth from the poorest majority to a few wealthy people.

With a higher median household income than many other countries, I'd imagine that, apart from the murders, the US would be an amazing place to live. [Provided you were white, male, rich and healthy]

Nothing to do with "socialist wonderland" (4, Insightful)

dbIII (701233) | about 9 months ago | (#45296323)

You voted for it. Pay it.

Our government has nothing at all to do with it apart from taking 10%. We didn't vote for price gouging, it's just because there are a small number of distributors so frequently there is a monopoly a product type. As an example, I'm wearing a pair of hiking boots that are made in Italy, cost $125US in Italy and the USA and they were advertised "on special" in Australia for $450 (at close to parity to the $450US then). I was prepared to wait a couple of weeks to save close to $300 once postage was included.

Another example is Apple, where not many years ago even a trip to Hawaii and back plus paying full customs duty was a cheaper way to get a powerbook than buying it in Australia.
The blame lies squarely with the distribution chain and the government has nothing to do with it apart from asking for their 10% for the final sale. What is it you you "guvvamint dis" guvvamint dat" "damn commie weasels" people? You've got a full sized brain - try using it.

Re: welcome to the socialist wonderland (2)

Jeeeb (1141117) | about 9 months ago | (#45296337)

I don't think you are comparing equivalent figures. The Australian figures are adjusted for household size .etc. Here is a good explanation: http://mattcowgill.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/what-is-the-typical-australians-income-in-2013/ [wordpress.com] If you look at tax burden in Australia cs America the figures are quite similar. So I don't think it is fair to blame the welfare state either. In fact it seems to have more to do with companies realizing they can charge more in the Australian market. Except for books. That's just protectionist bs legislation.

please explain (2)

ferret4 (459105) | about 9 months ago | (#45296385)

how Adobe charging more money for their software to Australian customers helps prop up Australia's "socialist wonderland" "welfare state". The price difference is not in government tax or import duties, it just goes into the pocket of Adobe.

Re:welcome to the socialist wonderland (1)

crioca (1394491) | about 9 months ago | (#45296425)

While the US may have higher average income than Australia, Australia doesn't have the crippling poverty issues that the US does, there's a lot less income inequality and the cost differences are largely the result of corporate gouging, where additional taxes etc come into it, it's mostly luxury goods. All in all Australians have some of the highest quality of life in the world.

Re:welcome to the socialist wonderland (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45295711)

Durrr....

Re:welcome to the socialist wonderland (3, Insightful)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | about 9 months ago | (#45295637)

Jesus H Christ, do you people have any fucking clue what socialism is? Are you calling Tony Abbott a socialist? OMFG you people need to go back to kindergarten and start again. Idiot.

Re:welcome to the socialist wonderland (4, Insightful)

geezer nerd (1041858) | about 9 months ago | (#45295955)

Actually, the typical American does NOT know what "socialism" is -- only that it something bad, to be feared

Re:welcome to the socialist wonderland (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45296223)

I'd say he's not a socialist, maybe a national socialist... if you know what I mean.

Re:welcome to the socialist wonderland (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45296427)

I'd say he's not a socialist, maybe a national socialist... if you know what I mean.

How close to transgressing Godwin's law is that without actually crossing the line? Well done!

Start here (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45295383)

http://www.ozbargain.com.au/wiki/list_of_mail_forwarders

There is also a number of discussions like this one:
http://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/74601

y /.? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45295389)

Shouldnt you be looking at expat forums?

Re:y /.? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45295549)

Better off just Australian forums, this isn't a new problem for us.

Of course /. is still a bad idea because most people here still assume no other countries exist.

Re:y /.? (2)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | about 9 months ago | (#45295647)

Better off just Australian forums, this isn't a new problem for us.

Of course /. is still a bad idea because most people here still assume no other countries exist.

Well actually they do. They just assume that any country with brown people doesn't have any running water, and that Europe is all run by communists.

Re:y /.? (0)

ChrisMaple (607946) | about 9 months ago | (#45295999)

When you stop making racist comments, people might take you seriously. But I doubt it.

Re:y /.? (1)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | about 9 months ago | (#45296275)

If I want to shop around or get Australian specific advice I start with whirlpool.

Who cares about Australia? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45295391)

I certainly don't. Smelly, awful place full of criminals. A blot on England's reputation as an effective empire builder, I say.

Shipito (4, Informative)

DiSKiLLeR (17651) | about 9 months ago | (#45295423)

I use shipito personally. Back when I used to live in Australia, and now that i'm in New Zealand. Great service.

I picked shipito after doing my research online, you probably should do some research and read up on some reviews and make an informed decision yourself.

Re:Shipito (1)

ralphbecket (225429) | about 9 months ago | (#45295495)

Seconded: I've used Shipito several times and their service has been first class.

Re:Shipito (1)

Duindain (2647149) | about 9 months ago | (#45295573)

Shipito is very good reliable and has some quite cheap shipping options

I've used about 4 different companies to reship things to aust and most were quite bad experiences with dodgy quotes when the actual cost is much higher and hidden fees like fuel taxes or tarifs

Shipito is honest fairly fast and one of the cheapest I've used but you have to evaluate for each package whether its more cost effective to reship or get it somewhere else. Prices here are astronomical if you need to return to another country compared to other countries international fees

Re:Shipito (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45295787)

Can confirm shipito can be cost effective. I have used them a fair bit, its better if you are shipping multiple packages together.

letters are about $3 (fill in a Form 1583 when in US)
magazines $5.50
small packages seem to cost $40-70
larger packages >$100

It used to be more cost effective when the AUD was buying ~1.08USD a few years ago, now its worth evaluating weather its really cost effective. Its great for things like the chromecast, roku etc which you cant get in OZ. Use a router thats VPN'd to US for netflix, hulu plus, psn plus etc.

Not quite the exact topic (1, Insightful)

aitikin (909209) | about 9 months ago | (#45295429)

My company has lots of dealer agreements that make it a violation of our contract to send stuff internationally. Occasionally I have certain ones that will NOT let us ship to a freight forwarder. Just be aware that that CAN occur and you're far better off having a family member or a friend ready to ship something for you.

Re:Not quite the exact topic (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about 9 months ago | (#45296303)

I've used a number of shipping forwarders (even within the US, when I lived in Alaska, 2-day to Washington was free, but 14-day to Alaska was $50 in shipping, so I used a forwarder in WA that would save lots of money and get it to me faster). Now that I'm out of the US, I've never had a problem. Amazon will not ship most things internationally. Even items marked "ships internationally" in the product description are not shippable. I think they define "international" as "Canada and Mexico" or something. I have a number of US game systems, and can't use local games in them. Plus books are silly expensive. But Amazon won't ship, so I have to buy elsewhere or use a forwarder. I currently use a forwarder, and have never had a problem with anyone shipping to them. Who did you see that wouldn't let you ship to a forwarder? And how do you identify a forwarder? If they are banned from shipping internationally, why do they care if someone else re-sends it? They fulfilled their contract.

myus.com (2)

sonamchauhan (587356) | about 9 months ago | (#45295433)

Around $100/year has them receiving your US online purchases at your personal US address (their Florida warehouse). They scan shipment invoices -- you view the invoices in a web interface and tell them which shipments to 'consolidate' and ship, They stuff everything together and ship Fedex or UPS. An 12"x8"x6" box costs about $50-$60 -- you save money when you've consolidated multiple shipments.

In Australia, any import under $1000 is duty free.

Import duties (4, Informative)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | about 9 months ago | (#45295435)

As long as you keep the total value of what you are importing under $1000, you don't get hit with GST. If you were to, say, buy a PC overseas that costs over $1000, prepare to get slugged when it comes in through the post. If you have someone send something over, make sure that they price it as $999 on the customs form. I sent myself a computer from overseas and in my honesty/stupidity, priced it over the magic $1000 value and ended up paying about $200 in duties. Actually while you are in Australia, prepare to get slugged everywhere for tech. A high Australian dollar, and the fact that we don't locally produce any tech (we just dig rocks out of the ground and sell them), means that overseas tech companies here charge whatever the small Australian market will bear, and usually they typically price it on the side of unreasonable. Do I really need to talk about how terrible the internet speeds are here? No need to mention that in some places, the best you can get is 2Mbps ADSL? No? OK.

Re:Import duties (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45295525)

There's a word for this: fraud.

Re:Import duties (1)

rjch (544288) | about 9 months ago | (#45295619)

There's a word for this: fraud.

No, the word is "legitimate". Import duty to Australia basically consists of the 10% Goods and Services Tax, and consumer goods shipped to Australia valued at under $1000 are specifically excluded. This isn't taking advantage of a loophole in the law caused by weird interpretations, it's a very specific exemption.

Re:Import duties (1)

jrumney (197329) | about 9 months ago | (#45295981)

Australia has a specific tax exemption for people who state false prices on customs forms? Still haven't shaken the penal colony mentality I see.

Re:Import duties (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 9 months ago | (#45296313)

It's not fraud when you request it to be sent in two boxes, one $600 and the other $600. Buying things in a manner to not trigger fees isn't fraud, lying is.

Re:Import duties (2)

mspohr (589790) | about 9 months ago | (#45296355)

... but it would be really hard to put the MacBook back together on arrival.

Re:Import duties (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 9 months ago | (#45296405)

We're currently run by a guy who has been before the judge a couple of times. The theft of a traffic sign was put down as guilty but no conviction recorded and the sexual molestation charge was dismissed because "I only touched her back without permission and not her genitals your honour", and he had his political club drinking mates as witnesses along with a very expensive lawyer.
However the penal colony thing coming from Americans is getting a bit old and just reinforces my view that many of you know fuckall about your own history. Australia was founded because the criminals could no longer be shipped to the American colonies. It looks like the Reagan era education cuts really hurt and let a lot of you down.

Re:Import duties (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45295651)

There's a word for charging double or triple for the same goods, it's called price gouging. Fuck you too.

Re:Import duties (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45295669)

Dono about that mate. If you are shipping a computer overseas that you purchased in the US, by definition it is *used* and thus worth less than you paid for it. So doing a bit of undervalue on a $1,200 computer is not without reason. Now if you start pushing things too far and get caught.... Suppose you get what you got coming.

Re:Import duties (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45295837)

No, it's only fraud when other people do it. I'm honest.

Re:Import duties (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45295855)

>>No need to mention that in some places, the best you can get is 2Mbps ADSL? No? OK.

I live in a small town in Ohio with a telco station. 1.5Mb DSL became available in 1997 and we jumped on it. Now in 2013... 1.5Mb DSL is still all that's available, despite many complaints from quite a few people. We're apparently not worth the expense of upgrading equipment*. So you're not alone.

*I am seriously hoping it was just sitting in a corner gathering dust, but when the company came out to replace some equipment due to lightning damage last summer, there was a box they took out of the little telco building that had freaking REED RELAYS in it.

Re:Import duties (1)

norpy (1277318) | about 9 months ago | (#45296261)

1.5mbit adsl is the exact same equipment that runs 8mbit, the only thing is that 1.5mbit can be provisioned reliably at 100% speed whereas the 8mbit sync speed will require a "we will provision your line somewhere between 1.5 and 8, good luck!"

Re:Import duties (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 9 months ago | (#45295945)

I wonder how many items they see priced at exactly $999, taunting them by slipping just under the limit? Probably fewer than the number of "toys" from China valued at $1 that UK customs see.

Re:Import duties (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45296005)

A high Australian dollar, and the fact that we don't locally produce any tech (we just dig rocks out of the ground and sell them), means that overseas tech companies here charge whatever the small Australian market will bear, and usually they typically price it on the side of unreasonable.
OK.

Note, a high Australian dollar means that we should be paying less for our imports not more!. Sadly we aren't. The excuse from the retailers has been that they originally imported goods when the AUS dollar was low and anyway the dollar to go back to "normal" at some point soon. Of course, the ignore the fact that we've have had a strong AUS dollar for a number of years now.

Shipito (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45295445)

Posting as anonymous because the password reset email ain't coming through.

I've pumped thousands of dollars worth of goods through Shipito's hands. Out of about 75 boxes, they've completely lost one, and another was in limbo for a while when they sent it to the wrong person. Full compensation was offered for the one that was lost.

Their fees can rack up, especially for consolidation, but if you just get Amazon to send individual boxes to their warehouse in Oregon (US tax free), then send to Australia via USPS Airmail without photos or whatever guff, you're really not spending very much per item at all ($2.50 plus postage, and a $50 annual fee). I doubt I'll ever change providers, if they keep it up.

leech (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45295455)

Submitter wants the benefit of living in Australia while not contributing.

Re:leech (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45295529)

I don't get it. This isn't about taxes; it's about money that goes to the seller and shipper rather than the state.

Re:leech (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45295701)

Assuming of course he's not spending more than $1,000 per package he imports...

Re:leech (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45295599)

Because Gerry Harvey doing this and keeping the profits contributes so much to Australia.

shipito (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45295459)

Take it w/ an AC-sized grain-of-salt :-), but I've been pretty pleased w/ shipito. I've been a member for about 2 years and had over 50 deliveries sent to their location and consolidated them to about a dozen shipments to me. (My only real complaint is that once you open an account, they never allow the associated email address to be changed.)

Where's the problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45295479)

Import duties = $0 for packages under AUD $1000 of declared value. There is speculation that this threshold will drop, to increase GST revenue and increase competitiveness of local distributors/retailers. But it has not yet happened, afaik.
As a moderate/occasional on-line shopper, I've never had any go missing en-route to me in Australia - locally or overseas sourced.
And all packages have arrived without shipping damage, including hard disks.

The main problem you seem to face is those US vendors who won't ship outside Australia. Aren't there competitors?

MyUS (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45295485)

Most people I know here with the same inclination use MyUS (http://www.myus.com/)

For group buying and ex-pat interaction, this (mostly Melbourne-centric) group is good to join: http://www.meetup.com/americans-in-melbourne/

Don't forget to check out the local hackerspaces for (among many other things) group buying and local knowledge. I highly recommend the Melbourne Hackerspace (CCHS - hackmelbourne.org)

Re:MyUS - warranty etc (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45296155)

Do check the situation with warranties etc when using consolidators. MyUS buys good on your behalf, i.e. the purchase contract is between the vendor and MyUS. You will not get the original invoice from the vendor, but a MyUS invoice instead. It can make returns and disputes a bit tricky.

Skip the US (4, Funny)

mirix (1649853) | about 9 months ago | (#45295489)

Seems awfully silly making something in China, shipping it to the US, and then shipping it back to Australia.

Re:Skip the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45295683)

Explain why it is cheaper.

Friends? (1)

retech (1228598) | about 9 months ago | (#45295503)

Or don't you have a single friend or relative that will do this for you?

Re:Friends? (1)

dhammabum (190105) | about 9 months ago | (#45295755)

That is fine once or twice but you can't keep bothering them. Also some can be pretty unreliable ;-)

Re:Friends? (1)

retech (1228598) | about 9 months ago | (#45296179)

And the OP said for "occasional" items. Not a big deal if they're good friends. Or is that completely lost on /.?

Ask Whirlpool (4, Informative)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | about 9 months ago | (#45295519)

If you haven't seen it already, may I introduce you to Whirlpool Forums [whirlpool.net.au] ? It's an excellent resource and I'm sure they'll have some good info on this topic.

Re:Ask Whirlpool (1)

chriskenrick (89693) | about 9 months ago | (#45295839)

Totally agree, as a native Aussie, it's probably the most useful and active forum across a wide range of subjects that I've found.

Why buy from the USA? (3, Informative)

Vegemite (609048) | about 9 months ago | (#45295561)

I have lived in Aussie for the last 8 years and am grateful every time I leave the doctor's office without having to fill out one stinking form. This is a wonderful country. Support the Australia economy where you can. There are some good online bookstores like Booktopia. If you can't find any joy there, try the Bookdepository and Abesbooks in the UK (owned by Amazon?) They have low shipping costs. There is a large online electronics industry here. Maybe it won't be quite as cheap as buying from the US, but if you have a problem with the order, it won't take months of overseas troubleshooting to figure out. Australian ebay will give you access to the China markets.

Re:Why buy from the USA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45295639)

Shipping from the UK a much better idea. Online retailers typically do international shippments for free. I don't know why US retailers can't do it... protectionism?

Re:Why buy from the USA? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45295815)

No, Most of us here are just dumb as a box of rocks.

Not joking, the average american worker is a fucking moron. I work with my fellow americans daily and I am surprised most dont drool. They certainly cant drive cars safely. We try to cheap out on education every way we can and higher education is priced for only the rich.

Why are you people surprised that we cant figure things out?

Back in the late 90's I figured out how to buy German Punk Death Metal direct from germany without a credit card, Most people though I was a genius. All I did was call a few record stores I could find online at that time and ask them how I can pay them to ship discs to me. "OMG you speak German??? No, Germans mostly can speak 3 languages.. Only in the USA are we so fucking stupid that we cant speak more than 1 language."

AMERICUH!

Re:Why buy from the USA? (1)

RobertinXinyang (1001181) | about 9 months ago | (#45296063)

The parent is just another child troll. If you actually lived outside of the US for any length of time, you would know that the US has some of the safest, politest, and most law abiding drivers in the world. Before you say I am wrong, try driving, or even just riding in a taxi, in Africa, Asia, or the Middle East. I have done it; I doubt you have.

As you leave the US you will also discover that true multi-lingual capabilities are rare. Yes, people can understand several dialects; much like you can probably understand and communicate with a Scotsman. Further, with great difficulty you can probably exchange minimal information with some Dutch. This reflects the multi lingual capabilities found around the world. Keep in mind, just this year the Chinese ministry of education released a report that stated that over 40% of Chinese cannot even speak Chinese at an elementary level.

IT is ok to feel good about yourself; but, to publicly state a form of “I am so great because the people around me are so dumb” makes you look foolish. It really is misplaced Hubris.

Re:Why buy from the USA? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45295685)

> leave the doctor's office without having to fill out one stinking form

And I wasn't so grateful when I lived there and had to wait over a week for an appointment when I was pregnant and started bleeding. I lost the baby. Later when I was staying with my inlaws in the US, I had a less serious complication, but I was seen by a doctor in the ER via ambulance in less than fifteen minutes total. Other than the three minute wait for the ambulance, there was literally no way to have been helped faster. Of course that cost a good bit, but I'd rather pay dollars than the life of a baby. "Free" healthcare is very expensive.

Re:Why buy from the USA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45295791)

You don't have to make an appointment for an emergency. We have ER in Australia too.

Re:Why buy from the USA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45296273)

> You don't have to make an appointment for an emergency

That depends. My husband works for the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, and the numbers that they publish show a 33 day wait for whites and a 38 day wait for Indigenous Australians for surgery that is considered elective. When I was pregnant, I found-out that a surgery to save my baby's life was considered elective while it would not have been if it was to save my life. The ER here is very likely to not treat you if the condition doesn't affect the mother unlike in the US where they love to pile on extra bills and fees to try to save a fetus. Australia does it right in refusing most treatments of nonpersons.

Re:Why buy from the USA? (4, Insightful)

Psychotria (953670) | about 9 months ago | (#45295905)

Why didn't you call an ambulance and go to ER just like you did in the US? That's weird. Your post suggests that Australia doesn't have hospital, ambulances and ER and that complete and utter rubbish.

Re:Why buy from the USA? (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about 9 months ago | (#45296109)

> leave the doctor's office without having to fill out one stinking form

And I wasn't so grateful when I lived there and had to wait over a week for an appointment when I was pregnant and started bleeding. I lost the baby. Later when I was staying with my inlaws in the US, I had a less serious complication, but I was seen by a doctor in the ER via ambulance in less than fifteen minutes total. Other than the three minute wait for the ambulance, there was literally no way to have been helped faster. Of course that cost a good bit, but I'd rather pay dollars than the life of a baby. "Free" healthcare is very expensive.

How much did you pay for that ambulance ride and ER visit in the USA? How much would you have paid for an ER visit in Australia?

Re:Why buy from the USA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45296307)

> How much did you pay for that ambulance ride and ER visit in the USA?

The ambulance was free. The city of Kirkland, WA where I lived at the time pays for all ambulance services. The ER visit plus minor outpatient surgical procedure (as they called it, didn't seem minor at the time) was a total of $8,500.

> How much would you have paid for an ER visit in Australia?

I wasn't billed anything when I went. Of course all they did was refer me to my regular doctor so I'm not 100% sure that is the normal fee.

Re:Why buy from the USA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45296123)

Bull. There is no way you have to wait a week anywhere in the country for an appointment if you state, "I'm pregnant and bleeding". Nowhere and nowhen. Never heard such incredible bullshit in my life. If you are so stupid as to not to call an ambulance (free) or front an emergency room (free), but instead try and book in to see a Gyny in a week's time you are the world's most stupid person and you would win the king stupid award at the festival of stupid on National stupid day. Stupid.

Re:Why buy from the USA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45295851)

I have lived in Aussie for the last 8 years and am grateful every time I leave the doctor's office without having to fill out one stinking form.

What are you referring to? I live in the United States and I never fill in any forms when I go to my doctor.

ANTI-CAPITALISTIC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45295583)

Charging a higher price to people in Australia?
That's ANTI-FREE-TRADE!
What kind of import tariffs do they have down there???
If they don't have any tariffs on electronics, just get an American to ship it to you.
No one will mind that if there aren't any tariffs anyway.
Duh!

Re:ANTI-CAPITALISTIC (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45295681)

You don't seem to understand free trade agreements.

The US tells the other countries what they will pay, what they will buy and what they are willing to sell.

The other country accepts, and adopts the laws that are part of the agreement.

Dear Slashdot (0)

sexconker (1179573) | about 9 months ago | (#45295615)

Dear Slashdot, I'm an idiot and I want to know how to circumvent my local taxes, tariffs, etc.
There's no better place to ask this shit than on a site titled "Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters", so here we are!

Re:Dear Slashdot (1)

sc0ob5 (836562) | about 9 months ago | (#45296227)

While I can understand your argument in all honesty it isn't always a case of circumventing the local taxes and tariffs. There are some items that do not get released in Australia or have a delayed release. It really does suck when you read reviews of a product you desperately want only to find it will not be released in your country and the only way to get it is through one of these package redirection services.

package consolidation to australia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45295617)

I've used Shipito.com -> they consolidate packages and offer good corporate rates on freight. For about $170 I can normally get about 15 items packed and shipped - weighing about 8-12kg with a combined value of less that $1000 to avoid Australian import duties. They have a control panel to control the consolidation process that makes it easy. Have had about 30 boxes shipped without problems. I've had laptops, iphones, electronics, vitamins, clothes, metal detectors, and electronic gear shipped:) You can select the shipping company to reduce the cost, normally I use TNT express with these weights/sizes.

When ordering you put in a unique suite# at one of their US offices. You can choose an Oregon office to avoid local state sales tax eg from amazon.

It takes a while to get the hang of how to optimize the cost given the constraints, but it becomes kind of a fun challenge after a while.

Shipito (1)

tomtomtom (580791) | about 9 months ago | (#45295625)

I'm not in Australia (I live in the UK) but I have bought a couple of things from ebay sellers who would only ship to the US in the past few years (sadly this seems to be an increasingly common occurence). I've used Shipito [shipito.com] for package forwarding for this and would definitelty recommend them - for my sort of low-volume use they worked out cheapest by quite some margin (as they have a plan where they don't charge you a monthly or annual fee, just a higher fee per shipment) and everything has worked out so far exactly as advertised. Although I've not really had any major issues, I've been in contact with their customer support team a couple of times too and that has been a good experience - they respond to emails/online form submissions pretty quickly.

One other tip - more relevant if you're not using a forwarding service though - I've found it's well worth paying for USPS Express rather than USPS Priority Mail for boxes as it's usually not much more money (often in the region of 5%) and is SIGNIFICANTLY quicker - we're talking a difference of 2-3 WEEKS, at least from the US to the UK and in my experience.

Re:Shipito (1)

chriskenrick (89693) | about 9 months ago | (#45295965)

One other tip - more relevant if you're not using a forwarding service though - I've found it's well worth paying for USPS Express rather than USPS Priority Mail for boxes as it's usually not much more money (often in the region of 5%) and is SIGNIFICANTLY quicker - we're talking a difference of 2-3 WEEKS, at least from the US to the UK and in my experience.

Also, some more general tips about buying things online here. Ordering from dealextreme (the non AU warehouse version) takes around a month or more to arrive. Ordering things from HK/Chinese based ebay sellers can sometimes take about the same time, or sometimes take less than a week. You can often find a AU based ebay seller with comparable items and a slightly higher cost if you need something more quickly. If you're buying media (blu rays + console games particularly), order from UK based sites (eg Amazon UK) since they're the same region as us, and you'll run into less problems, as well as them usually being substantially cheaper. DVDs should be region free though.

I'd also thoroughly recommend http://ozbargain.com.au/ [ozbargain.com.au] where members share good bargains that they've found, in addition to the whirlpool forums mentioned previously

Why are you looking at shipping from the US?? (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 9 months ago | (#45295745)

China is a stone throw away, Why are you paying to buy china made items in the US to be shipped to you? Buy from frigging china directly, hell take a weekend boat ride and buy up as much as you can fit in your suitcase!

Re:Why are you looking at shipping from the US?? (1)

Heir Of The Mess (939658) | about 9 months ago | (#45295817)

To add to this, I generally buy all my chinese made stuff from Hong Kong retailers on e-bay who ship to Australia for free.

Re:Why are you looking at shipping from the US?? (2)

RobertinXinyang (1001181) | about 9 months ago | (#45296253)

What you probably do not understand is that most of th eChinese made export quality goods made in China actually cost significantly more in China. Most people who live in China, and trave out frequently, purchase their Chinese made computers while on trips to the US. Look at the carry-ons that the Chinese have while flying to China.

Just compare apple prices with http://www.apple.com/cn/ [apple.com] In a recent article in China daily it was noted that Chinese made goods at Starbucks cost more in China than in London. The list goes on. It is cheaper to order North Face (real, not low grade fakes) from Amazon and pay the internatoinal shipping than to purchase them in China. Yes, there are very low quality goods that can be purchased for similar prices to much better quality goods found outside of China; however, for similar items, the price is higher in China.

Two things here... (1)

bobbied (2522392) | about 9 months ago | (#45295803)

First: having a friend forward items to you would likely be the best bet for low volume things or high value things. I find that international flat rate priority mail boxes are wonderful things. They are size limited, but service is good even to New Guinea where I'm ship stuff.

Second... Watch what electronics you buy. In the US we have 60 Cycles 120V and over there it's 50 Cycles 220V. It's not usually a problem, but it can be sometimes. The connectors are generally NOT the same, but adapters abound down there. Also, radio stuff (wifi routers and such) are subject to different rules down under and you might be better off performance wise to use locally distributed stuff. Just be careful out there.

To make a point.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45295877)

I love my motorbikes, and it is a common complaint in Australia that a dealer cannot go to Honda (or whoever) and buy a motorcycle wholesale from them for cheaper than a US citizen could walk into a US dealership and buy off the showroom floor.

Why is a digital download of Adobe software hundreds of dollars more expensive if the IP address originates in Australia as opposed to the U.S. when there is no extra cost incurred to Adobe for import duties, shopfronts etc?

But the big question for me: How can it be cheaper for a private citizen to pay to import ONE item purchased retail in another country, than retail in their own country that presumably imports in bulk direct from the manufacturer?

Another case in point is badminton racquets. There are pro shops that go to Thailand or Indonesia and buy top notch Yonex racquets retail and then import them, and then sell them from shops that you find typically in Melbourne. These racquets undercut the same model Australian coded racquets by $90-150.

There is something going on and it is not that Australians are payed more, not entirely. It is not the exchange rate, for our dollar is now effectively parity to the US dollar and the pricing is typically the same as it was when it was 65c to the USD (and back then it was said to be the exchange rate). It is partially taxes. I believe that the rest is margins for the importer / manufacturer.

US Globalmail (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45295901)

USglobalmail.com mail/freight forwarding. They scan all your mail and you can see the packages online, then click to send it to wherever you want in the the world. Fantastic service- have used it for years.

Australian Post redirection (1)

zdepthcharge (1792770) | about 9 months ago | (#45296021)

New Zealand Post has a redirection service that's geared specifically for purchasing in the states and having it shipped to N.Z. cheaper (http://www.nzpost.co.nz/tools/youshop). It goes through a redirection service in Beaverton, Oregon (since Oregon doesn't have a sales tax). I would venture that Australian Post has something like it. If not, you can set it up yourself. I have friends here in Wellington that use the same service in Beaverton to maintain a US address for their business. Shouldn't be hard to do.

Au, NZ, US (2)

geezer nerd (1041858) | about 9 months ago | (#45296131)

I moved from the US to NZ 7 years ago, and also had the need for a mail forwarder. I chose an outfit named "USA2ME", and that worked out pretty well. They charged a monthly fee and forwarded all kinds of mail, envelopes and packages. When the volume of mail dropped to only about 1 envelope a month, I dropped the service as not economical. Now I use my step-daughter's address and she sends things on to me by regular post.

I also use the NZPost's YouShop service when doing online retail shopping in the US. Most places will not ship internationally, you know. YouShop provides a shipping address in Oregon from which they onship to NZ -- for a price.

After moving to NZ, I found the retail scene to be lacking in choice. Eventually, I got over it.

Freight Forwarding experience. (1)

unkiereamus (1061340) | about 9 months ago | (#45296207)

I know nothing for about them specifically for Aussielandia, but from my experience with forwarders when I was living in Honduras: First, you might actually want two different forwarders, one who does air service and one who does ship service. Generally, air service for small light things you want fast, and sea service for everything else, usually you're paying a nominal monthly fee, then a per item fee for packages, the per package fee can be quite high for air, and is usually almost a (low) flat rate for sea.

Second, you are almost certainly going to be paying import duties, but the forwarder should take care of all that and roll the price into the price for the package itself.

Third, there's going to be breakage, it should be relatively rare, but it will happen, I had no choices for insurance on the forwarder, you might. It's probably pretty exorbitant, though. When it comes to moving something delicate and expensive your options basically boil down to hand carry it in your carryon when flying back, or go ahead and pay the extra money to buy it there and let the retailer deal with the possible breakage.

Finally, just spitballing here, and I have no idea how practical it might be, but you might want to look to japan for your cutting edge electronics, I've always had the impression that they're more available and cheaper there than almost anywhere else.

USGlobalMail (2)

Balthisar (649688) | about 9 months ago | (#45296343)

I'm an American living in China. I use USGlobalMail. These guys are legitimate and do a good job. They're my personal recommendation, and I won't go into thousands of details you can get from their website directly. Check them out.

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