Shipping purchases back home, cheaply

Jan 2nd, 2015, 03:35 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 1
Shipping purchases back home, cheaply

I've paid as much as $250 to ship purchases home from our trips to Europe. We use a Mailboxes Etc-type store, as we don't know other options. Does anyone have good ideas for shipping gift purchases home to the US at a reasonable price? I would rather ship than bother with carrying things. Thanks.
alexanderphd is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2015, 03:49 PM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 8,668
Ship them surface mail from the post office. I've done it from countries all over the world and it's a great solution for things you aren't in a hurry to get.

You don't say which countries. I mention it because the UK, for instance, has a significantly lower rate for small boxes up to 2 kg in weight. See the chart here which includes dimensions - I refer to "small parcel":

Post offices of any size all over Europe, even quite small ones often, have mailing supplies to buy, including boxes. Inquire before you buy a box in case 2 smaller ones will get you a lower rate.
MmePerdu is online now  
Jan 2nd, 2015, 05:26 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,861
Most merchants will arrange to ship things for you . . . they take the VAT off the top and that covers all or a substantial part of the shipping costs. Plus you don't have to deal w/ packing/wrapping/schlepping to the post office.
janisj is online now  
Jan 2nd, 2015, 07:08 PM
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Yes, certainly, you can have someone do it for you. But if the object is to save money and have a little adventure while you do it, I recommend you do it yourself. I don't have each purchase sent by each merchant and sometimes what I'm sending are things I'm done with and want to lighten up. So in neither case would the above solution be applicable. I actually look forward to my post office forays, a peek into how things are done locally. Some may not look forward to these mundane sorts of activiites, but I always do.
MmePerdu is online now  
Jan 2nd, 2015, 07:24 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,861
It usually doesn't cost me more since I get the VAT deducted . . . in fact it is often cheaper.
janisj is online now  
Jan 2nd, 2015, 08:13 PM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 8,668
I once bought a carpet in London and did as described above, the VAT was deducted and the rug shipped surface mail. It worked out fine. Most of my purchases, however, are small and having each sent individually makes no sense. So it depends on what's being sent, alexander. As I've mentioned, used items being returned home or an accumulation of smaller purchases may best be sent yourself by mail. You can decide when the time comes. Have fun shopping.
MmePerdu is online now  

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