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#1 December 10 2013

Aly
Member

Shipping from abroad (share your experience)

Hello, I have seen alot of topics where people are asking about shipping goods from abroad and I think we should have a topic where people share their experience, post price estimations and real costs.
Let me start by telling that I was hesitating first about shipping from the US as I never done it before, but eventually I took the risk and I am very happy.

Shipment #1:

Seller & country of origin: Amazon.com | USA
Service & Carrier: Borderlinx.com | DHL
Item bought: Lenovo Ideapad Y510P Link
Item price: 959.99$
Item weight:: 4.99 KG
Shipping duration:: 12 days, timeline: November 15 (left amazon) - November 18 (arrived to borderlinx) - November 19 (left borderlinx) - November 26 (reached my house).

Shipping & taxes calculation using borderlinx calculator before buying the item (Estimation):
20h7x9x.jpg

Shipping & taxes calculation after buying the item and arriving to my virtual address in US (Accurate estimation by DHL):
30ro475.jpg

Actual costs I had to pay for DHL on delivery after clearance from Lebanese costums (2 bills, one for shipping the other for customs):
2m3mgle.jpg

2qmit5t.jpg

Final price:: 959.99 + 81.70 + 111 = 1158$
Savings: compared to M2 Megastore, they are selling the non FHD model with single vga for 1350$, and pcandparts selling the same model that M2 has for 1025$ +  185$ (additional vga) + 109$ (adapter 170W for SLI) + vat (on all) + shipping = 1455$ I think I have saved 295$ (comparing to pcandparts).

Shipping service and carrier review::
Comparing ShopandShip to Borderlinx, borderlinx is way better in my opinion.
Pros:
- Fast processing, the item appeared the same day in my account when it was delivered by amazon (it took 2 days on shopandship for a previous item to appear, I had to contact them to fix it).
- Account setup is for free (40$ setup fees with aramex more or less)
- Borderlinx calculator is pretty accurate if you submit the package information correctly.
Cons:
- No updates on the borderlinx website about your shipment (though they are working on it in the background).
- The AWB they provide is useless and you cannot track your shipment (with aramex you can track it).

Things you should know: Aramex gives you an address in New York, while Borderlinx gives you an address in Ohio, shipping between states is subject to different laws, Amazon usually ships from Indiana or Kentucky (maybe other states depending on the item), some times are subject to taxes, like the laptop if have chosen to ship it to my Aramex NY account they would charge additional 10% tax on it, while shipping the laptop to Borderlinx OH was tax free (0%), the tax estimation is added to your bill when you checkout on Amazon (you can see how much before paying of course).

Last edited by Aly (December 10 2013)

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#2 December 10 2013

rtp
Member

Re: Shipping from abroad (share your experience)

thanks a lot for sharing your experience!

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#3 December 10 2013

nosense
Member

Re: Shipping from abroad (share your experience)

Deserves to be a sticky so all the experiences are shared in one thread
Thanks for your efforts

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#4 December 10 2013

MrClass
Member

Re: Shipping from abroad (share your experience)

Nice work Aly! Thanks for taking the risk to try this out. Deserves a sticky indeed.

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#5 December 10 2013

samer
Administrator

Re: Shipping from abroad (share your experience)

Thank you for the thorough review Aly! Hopefully other members will join you in sharing their experience with as much details as you did. The topic has been sticky-ed.

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#6 December 10 2013

rtwo2008
Member

Re: Shipping from abroad (share your experience)

I wouldn't take the chance; if it was defective, became defective, or otherwise having any problem then I'll be paying more than its Lebanese cost to repair it.

I would take the chance if I am saving so much that it's worth it. (maybe if a relative is coming from the US can bring it with him, avoiding shipping and taxes).

On average, if anything in Lebanon costs 10-15% more than the USA price, it is considered a good price.
It is only when it costs 200-300% more (especially the 300% which has become popular with retailers lately) in Lebanon that I'd take that chance.

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#7 December 11 2013

khanem
Member

Re: Shipping from abroad (share your experience)

rtwo2008 wrote:

I wouldn't take the chance; if it was defective, became defective, or otherwise having any problem then I'll be paying more than its Lebanese cost to repair it.

I would take the chance if I am saving so much that it's worth it. (maybe if a relative is coming from the US can bring it with him, avoiding shipping and taxes).

On average, if anything in Lebanon costs 10-15% more than the USA price, it is considered a good price.
It is only when it costs 200-300% more (especially the 300% which has become popular with retailers lately) in Lebanon that I'd take that chance.

I completely agree with you or if the product is unavailable here. Only by saving shipping and taxes that you get a good deal. For cheap items i use ali express who ships directly to Lebanon with free shipping.

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#8 December 11 2013

rtp
Member

Re: Shipping from abroad (share your experience)

as I read it turns out that aliexpress mark its product as gift that is why you don't pay tax

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#9 December 11 2013

Roudykh
Member

Re: Shipping from abroad (share your experience)

rtp wrote:

as I read it turns out that aliexpress mark its product as gift that is why you don't pay tax

yeah. The same goes for Dhgate.com and DX.com.

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#10 December 11 2013

Aly
Member

Re: Shipping from abroad (share your experience)

You're welcome guys, as for the the risk involved, yes of course there is a risk in the process, the chance that your item will be dead on arrival is minimal but its there of course, in the end its a personal choice, I am reviewing the shipping process not the risks, not everyone has relatives and friends abroad, in addition you should pick your items carefully, brands with international warranty are ideal.

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#11 December 11 2013

Nabs
Member

Re: Shipping from abroad (share your experience)

I get gifts from people abroad all the time and I have to pay taxes for them if they are shipped via UPS or DHL.

Also, sometimes I pay when stuff come from Aliexpress and DX. It's a weird thing. Once, I ordered a large box filled with dozens of electronics, I paid nothing. Another time, a single item came, I paid 35000L.L. for it.

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#12 April 26 2014

HarbDevLeb
Member

Re: Shipping from abroad (share your experience)

Shipment #2:

Seller & country of origin: DX.com | China – Hong Kong
Service & Carrier: SingPost (Singapore Post)
Items bought:     1x 1.5" LCD Heavy Duty Indoor Digital Timer [SKU: 66059]
                             1x 6.35mm Male to 3.5mm Female Adapters (10 Pack) [SKU: 132499]
Item prices:        - Timer : 12.59 $
                            - Adapters : 3.89 $
                            = Total : 16.48  (No customs tax paid)
Item weight: 0.247 KG
Shipping duration:  27 Days : Left HK – Arrived at post (6days) ,waiting time at post(7days) , time overseas – arrived LB (12days) , Customs - arrived at home (2days)

Order Invoice:

invoice

Shipment Tracking:
Shipping is completely free and if the order is above 15$ you get free tracking .
First they give you a false and invalid tracking number but it changes after a few days when the order gets shipped , I got Singapore Post which seems to be the best one available (compared to HK Post) .
What I got on DX.com

dx.com

Unfortunately their shipment tracking website doesn’t show useful tracking information ,
but I found another website : Just google “Quantium Tracking” .
However the original website has faster reporting .
As you see it left HK – Arrived at post (6 days after order date) , waiting time at post until it got shipped (7 days) , time overseas – arrived LB (12 days) , Customs - arrived at home (2 days)
tracking

Package:
From the outside it seemed broken , but it turned out to be LibanPost/Custom’s way to open packages (really decent isn’t it).
And actually it was good inside .

p1
p2

Items:
The timer , I was impressed by the build quality it seems very sturdy .
Actually it was even working and blinking inside the plastic .
I will use this to make my own “Wake Up Light” :)
timer

And those little adapters .
adapters


Overall Satisfaction:
The shipping takes a long time , and the first invalid tracking code they give you makes it really confusing if it’s your first time (like the gentleman writing this post) , you can’t blame them it’s free after all . (And shipping with DHL will get you custom fees)

The items quality seems excellent for Chinese products , will review them on website after a while of using them.

Last edited by HarbDevLeb (April 27 2014)

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#13 April 28 2014

amkahal
Member

Re: Shipping from abroad (share your experience)

Guys, what if the needed product is available on both Aliexpress and DX , and nearly the same price, which is better to buy from ?

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#14 April 28 2014

vegetaleb
Banned

Re: Shipping from abroad (share your experience)

Customs are very random but you must consider to pay 20 to 25% of total price of the product + transfer/packaging, customs will check for a ticket price on the package to count the customs if no price are printed on the package then they will open the package to see what is the product and seek a price from local or international shops,that's why if you can convince the seller to print a much lower price it will save you $ on customs

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#15 April 28 2014

HarbDevLeb
Member

Re: Shipping from abroad (share your experience)

amkahal wrote:

Guys, what if the needed product is available on both Aliexpress and DX , and nearly the same price, which is better to buy from ?

Honestly I never tried AliExpress, but it works differently than DX .

AliExpress is basically a showroom for the products, you can also contact the sellers via the website, and most of the time you will open disputes with sellers when order gets delayed, or to cancel order, etc ... (that's what I read Here on LebGeeks) . Aliexpress is only your portal to these sellers. So if you search enough, you can find the same product from different sellers with different prices, it's like a market basically.
On the other hand, DX has their own storage and warehouses all over the world , primarily being in China . This way you buy things directly from DX. (they have warehouses in USA, Europe and Australia, they call it US-direct or Eu-direct shipment arrives faster this way).
Also DX offers free shipping (with tracking number if the order is over 15$) on all products while Aliexpress does it only sometimes and not for all the products.

So in my opinion it is safer to use DX.
The only problem is that DX specialises more in tech and electrical stuff ,in opposition to AliExpress that has a bigger and wider variety of stuff you might want to buy .
The only inconvenient with both is the tedious and long times the package takes to arrive.
(Unless you use DHL, but it's a lot more costly this way)

Update 2 years later: (personal experience)
I have nearly entirely switched to Aliexpress, because of the wider and cheaper range of products.
Yes I have had some disputes with sellers when items arrive malfunctioning or when they don't arrive at all.
But I have found some High Quality sellers (such as Ugreen Store, Orico, Blueido) which are a little more expensive than the cheapest items, but you  have guaranteed quality and durability.
Most of the time it is free or nearly free (1-2$) shipping.
As for tracking I have come to the conclusion that with items ordered from China you just expect them to arrive 1 or 2 months later.
Sitting home worrying about where it is is just a waste of time, cause tracking is just wrong and weird most of the time on Aliexpress.
I have never paid any custom fees while ordering from Aliexpress or DX.


vegetaleb wrote:

Customs are very random but you must consider to pay 20 to 25% of total price of the product + transfer/packaging, customs will check for a ticket price on the package to count the customs if no price are printed on the package then they will open the package to see what is the product and seek a price from local or international shops,that's why if you can convince the seller to print a much lower price it will save you $ on customs

Yes this might work with AliExpress because you can contact the seller,but it's not availble on DX
And Very True , cutoms are very random you cannot predict what will happen .
(unless you order a absurdly big shipment)

Last edited by HarbDevLeb (September 9 2016)

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#16 April 29 2014

Johnaudi
Member

Re: Shipping from abroad (share your experience)

HarbDevLeb, after seeing you package's outside state, do you think ordering with DHL off any other website will cause the same thing?

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#17 April 30 2014

HarbDevLeb
Member

Re: Shipping from abroad (share your experience)

Johnaudi wrote:

HarbDevLeb, after seeing you package's outside state, do you think ordering with DHL off any other website will cause the same thing?

No, shipping with DHL should not cause the same thing , as you will be paying more than 30$ just on shipping sometimes a lot more than that (up to hundreds) , but usually from DX you get random numbers , one time it was 13$ , and most the times 50$. But it should greatly reduce the damage the damages on the package.

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#18 May 4 2014

rolf
Member

Re: Shipping from abroad (share your experience)

vegetaleb wrote:

Customs are very random but you must consider to pay 20 to 25% of total price of the product + transfer/packaging, customs will check for a ticket price on the package to count the customs if no price are printed on the package then they will open the package to see what is the product and seek a price from local or international shops,that's why if you can convince the seller to print a much lower price it will save you $ on customs

How does that happen? Where to pay? I am considering shipping something from Japan...

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#19 May 4 2014

silverfox
Member

Re: Shipping from abroad (share your experience)

By the way anyone ever tried usa2me or myus?
They're both International Mail Forwarding Services, and give you an address in the US for a certain monthly fee starting from 0$. You can use it to buy goods from US online retailers like Amazon or Google Play that doesn't have shipping option to Lebanon.
I was thinking of buying the OnePlus phone. The whole process would cost around 400$ with Bronze Plan from usa2me.

Aly mentioned that Aramex have the same option. Can you provide more information about the service?

Last edited by silverfox (May 4 2014)

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#20 May 9 2014

solo220
Member

Re: Shipping from abroad (share your experience)

I paid 53 $ for an item costing 35$ to be shipped on DHL but after the item arrived DHL asked for another 22$ : (  they claimed it's for Lebanese customs , when i checked the billing details see what i found .
FluxBB bbcode test

it looks like DHL is happy with Lebanese customs because they get more money from us for nothing.
so if the item is not urgent don't order using DHL because you will end up paying more than twice the item price.

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#21 May 9 2014

rtwo2008
Member

Re: Shipping from abroad (share your experience)

Good one on "Customs Overtime" and VAT 10% on Customs Overtime...

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#22 May 10 2014

ironman
Member

Re: Shipping from abroad (share your experience)

solo220 wrote:

I paid 53 $ for an item costing 35$ to be shipped on DHL but after the item arrived DHL asked for another 22$ : (  they claimed it's for Lebanese customs , when i checked the billing details see what i found .
http://i.imgur.com/cAPdGCG.jpg

it looks like DHL is happy with Lebanese customs because they get more money from us for nothing.
so if the item is not urgent don't order using DHL because you will end up paying more than twice the item price.

@solo220, 53-35= 18$ is the shipping fee (per KG, for DHL)
the rest is for the lebanese customs which is insane, sometimes its very low, sometimes its very high (usually high)
once i ordered a backpack for 50$ it costed 100$ (they counted it as 2 KG + customs fees...)

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#23 May 10 2014

solo220
Member

Re: Shipping from abroad (share your experience)

@ironman my problem was that DHL is charging 11.6$ for clearance not the customs , they lied about that the customs taking the 22$, customs duty was 1.76$ only which is reasonable.
the funny thing is that there is vat on whatever you pay , i wonder why they didn't take 10% vat on vat  .

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#24 May 11 2014

ironman
Member

Re: Shipping from abroad (share your experience)

solo220 wrote:

@ironman my problem was that DHL is charging 11.6$ for clearance not the customs , they lied about that the customs taking the 22$, customs duty was 1.76$ only which is reasonable.
the funny thing is that there is vat on whatever you pay , i wonder why they didn't take 10% vat on vat  .

yea, you are right, but unfortunately, there is no other way to ship from the US to lebanon...
you know whats worse than that? when i buy from ebay, i pay commission to the paypal guy, shipping from the US to the US, then shipping from the US to lebanon, just crazy.

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#25 June 29 2014

themike10452
Member

Re: Shipping from abroad (share your experience)

Can anyone share his Billing Address form? I read that it should be your Lebanese address and not your virtual mailbox address. I am curious on how to fill in this address ... Does it work if I fill in anything inside?

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