Table of contents
Want to shop in the US… Ordering in the US with Shipito seems to us the best compromise. Comparison of different forwarding services with free address without subscription. Tuto to sign up, choose the right site and make yourcustoms declaration correctly so you don’t pay taxes unnecessarily.
Benefits of buying and ordering in the US
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’s 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.
What brands and products to ship back 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
Comparative of sites to order in the US
There are quite a few sites that allow package forwarding. We have tested several of them. They are pretty much the same: they all generally offer a free address, and without subscription. But they have mainly two defects:
- They all use very expensive courier services, which blow up the cost of forwarding (even though the forwarding commissions are actually quite low). They use UPS, Fedex, DHL… A mini package will cost you 40 dollars minimum right away.
- When going through shipping services like UPS, Fedex, DHL… you will systematically receive taxes to pay, even if you are under the franchise of xx euros. 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 go through UPS, Fedex, DHL, and thus avoid shipping costs, but also taxes and customs fees prohibitive.
Here is a list of the main competitors of Shipito:
- Bongo International (accepts bitcoin)
- acheterauxusa.com (in French)
Each site offers a “Shipping calculator”, which will allow you to at least know the price of transport. Be careful, this does not include the bad surprise of customs taxes when using Fedex, UPS and DHL… And for the record, all of these sites boast to be the Number 1.
Getting a free address for life
The first step is for you, to register on the site, and get your free, lifetime US address!
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 IDs to ensure that your account has not been hacked.
Fees: Shipito offers 2 services:
- Individual packages (free):
- You advance $5 when you register on the site (which you can use later).
- You do not pay any subscription
- The address is free for life
- A $3 commission is charged in addition to the shipping fee for each shipment (these fees were $1 in 2010, $2 in 2017, and $3 in 2022)
- You can only use the Nevada based site (see sites below)
- Please note, there is no consolidation possible for your packages, they are sent as you go
- Virtual mailbox (paid):
- You pay a subscription of $50 per year (or $10/month).
- The address is free for life
- A $2 commission is charged in addition to the shipping fee for each shipment
- You will have 3 addresses in the 3 states below, and can choose with each order which one to use.
Advantage of each location
- California (Hawthorne): lowest re-shipping prices (Shipito Airmail approx 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 that transits 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 hyper useful for us…
American bank card (optional and paid)
If some sites block you because of a credit card that is not American, Shipito in partnership with US Unlocked offers you a prepaid visa payment card. But this service has a cost, and each micro transaction and paid. Only to be taken if necessary.
- Set-up fee (one time only) $15.00
- NXpay transaction fee per reload $0.30
- Reload fee:
- $3, then 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
- In use
- Domestic flat fee $0.50
- International flat fee $0.75
- Monthly management fee $3.50
- Closing fee with transfer $11.50
- Replacement card $5.00
Concierge service, if US CB is not enough
If you’re stuck ordering online (because the site detects that you’re in France, Switzerland, Belgium…), Shipito can order on your behalf, or even come to a physical store for you. Obviously this service comes at a cost.
The cost of the service is $8.50 (plus the cost of the order, any taxes, bank fees, commission and shipping costs). 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.
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 to 9% depending on the address you will put. See address comparison.
Service Type: International Parcels
The receipt 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 make it easier for you to identify your package and even photos of the shipping label and package.
The USPS Form 1583
The USPS 1583 form is only required if you are using the USPS carrier (equivalent to the US Postal Service). In this case, it is mandatory to fill it out. It formally identifies the sender (you), and a copy of your passport or driver’s license will need to be uploaded or sent to Shipito or any other forwarding sites.
The customs declaration
You must then complete the customs declaration (including a description of the contents as well as the value of the package). The customs declaration is mandatory for international shipments.
As a reminder, in France the customs exemption amount 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 systematically receive a formal notice asking you to pay, even if you are under the 45 euros. You will have to pay.
- VAT on import (20% on your goods),
- Fees of file (between 10 and 40 euros)
- VAT on the application fee (20% on the application fee)
With Shipito Airmail Economy, you are the one who declares the contents of your package, you put what you want. And if you declare less than 45 euros, you will not have systematic customs tax.
Important: Read our article and tuto to order without customs duty or VAT.
The choice of carrier
Several carriers are offered, but the Shipito Airmail Economy mode is by far the most interesting, and the one that makes Shipito an unbeatable offer, as it is 10 times cheaper than the other carriers.
The carriers are:
- USPS (Express Mail and Priority Mail)
- FedEx (Priority and Economy)
- DHL (Express)
- TNT (Express)
- Shipito Airmail Economy
But be careful to use Shipito Airmail Economy, the weight of the package must be less than 2kg and the size less than 60x90cm.
Simulation for a single package
- Weight: 1 lbs / 500 gr (1 jeans, 2 t-shirts…)
- Size: 18 x 15 x 3 inches / 45 x 38 x 8 cm
FYI: the proposed insurance is completely optional.
Package tracking example
Example 1: Tracking a package Shipito Airmail Economy 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 duty: 0 (none because gift < 45 euros)
- Time to arrive: 14 days
|Shipment Activity||Location||Date & ; Time|
|Traité par le centre de tri||FRANCE||Le 31 décembre 2014 6h07|
|Départ||Paris, FRANCE||20 décembre 2014 22h50|
|Départ||Londres, ROYAUME-UNI||20 décembre 2014 19h45|
|Départ||Los Angeles, ÉTATS-UNIS||18 décembre 2014 16h18|
|Arrivé||Los Angeles, ÉTATS-UNIS||18 décembre 2014 12h52|
|Traité par le centre de tri||ISC LOS ANGELES CA (USPS)||18 décembre 2014 12h22|
|Arrivé au centre de tri||ISC LOS ANGELES CA (USPS)||18 décembre 2014 12h22|
|Envoi accepté||RENO, NV 89510||15 décembre 2014 17h39|
|Arrivé à USPS l’installation d’origine||RENO, NV 89510||15 décembre 2014 15h09|
|Acceptation au USPS Centre de tri d’origine||RENO, NV 89510||15 décembre 2014 13:54|
|Information préalable à l’expédition envoyée à USPS||15 décembre 2014|
Example 2: Tracking a package with USPS Priority Mail via Los Angeles
- Weight: 1.5 kg (12 t-shirt) -> Airmail Economy not possible if over 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|
List of prohibited products
- civilian and military dual-use items, weapons and ammunition, fireworks,
- drugs, psychotropic drugs, medicines for human use,
- parfumes 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,
- living animals and animal products,
- plant and plant products,
- organ, tissue and cells from the human body, gametes from the human body, products, labile blood, artificial and natural sources of radionuclides,
- waste, including radioactive waste,
The iPhone / Android app
Shipito used to have a dedicated app, but no longer has one. So you have to go on their website directly.
Shipito was a very interesting service when it was launched thanks to its Airmail priority or Airmail economy offer, much cheaper than UPS, FedEx, TNT, and others… But be careful, Shipito regularly increases its commissions (which were at the very beginning 1$ per reshipment).
As far as VAT is concerned, with the free subscription, and your address in Nevada… even taxed at 7.1%, the rate will always be below the European VAT rates.
Moreover, you are the one who makes the customs declaration. Read our article on VAT and customs duty exemptions, but unlike FedEx, TNT, DHL, UPS, Chronopost… there is no systematic customs duty with USPS and Shipito Economy (depending on what you have declared).
On the other hand, remember that with Shipito Airmail economy, the delivery time increases by a few weeks, and there is no tracking number or insurance (so no recourse in case of lost package).
Survey on reshipping