We are constantly updating our FAQ page so you can understand mail & parcel forwarding services better. Please read the below questions/answers.
Who uses Parcel Forwarding Services?
Mostly shoppers. You simply purchase items from any country and have it shipped to the ‘shipping address’ that your parcel forwarding service provides. After a due process, your parcel will be forwarded to your doorstep.
Do you have a checklist of what I should consider (warehousing, shipping, declared value, fees, etc.) before signing up with a forwarding service?
Yes we have a checklist. You can read our Guide on How to Choose a Service.
How soon after signing up can I start having packages shipped to my account address?
This depends on the forwarding service you have signed up with. Some are operational immediately after signup, while some require authentication and verification. If there is a signup fee involved, then once the transaction has gone through, you can start using the account address.
Can I ship my stuff to any country?
No. You can only ship to countries that your forwarding service allows. Go over their FAQ or ask the support team to assist you.
As a common practice always read FAQ before signing up with any service.
Can I receive packages for other people?
Yes, you may receive packages for others, but they should be addressed under your name.
There are many parcel forwarding companies which offer free signup, so perhaps these other people can simply open a free account for themselves.
Can I ship packages to other addresses and other people?
Absolutely! All forwarding companies allow you to ship packages to other people provided they live in a region that they ship to. You can moreover email the support team to confirm before proceeding with the forwarding.
Can I give my account to someone else?
Its best not to. There are some services which allow ‘additional names’ to be added to the account. If you have signed up with a service that offers this feature, then perhaps adding more names is possible and hence giving access is also permissible.
My friend/family person and I both have separate accounts with a parcel forwarding service. Can we combine our parcels from the two accounts?
Tricky situation. Perhaps you can contact the forwarding service and ask them if they allow combine packages.
Can I receive letters/mail/magazines in my account?
You need to double check with your forwarding service for this because some allow and some don’t. So before your much-awaited letter/mail/magazine ends up in the trash of the warehouse, better check with the support team.
Can I pick packages up at my warehouse address?
You will need to confirm this with the support team of your forwarding service as some allow and some don’t.
Is there any service that can redirect parcels inside the USA?
Yes. A lot of them do it. I have personally tried VykingShip for this very purpose. You can always speak to the support team of the forwarding service to confirm if they will ship within the USA.
Will my account address ever change? How will I know what it changes to?
Yes, it could. The common practice is that all account holders are notified via email. You too will be informed the same way.
Do I need to fill out a Form 1583?
No. Form 1583 is only filled out if the snail mail is being opened by the forwarding service.
In other words, if you have mail coming into a parcel forwarding service account and you want it to be forwarded as is without any document scan or visual check, then there is NO need for you to fill out Form 1583.
However, due to any payment issue, a forwarding company may request you to fill and submit the Form 1583 with some form of government-issued photo ID and address verification document.
What items are prohibited from being shipped to me?
Some item are prohibited in general, and there are some which are country-specific. The general list is: Ammunition, Biological Objects, Blades/Swords, Controlled Substances, Compressed Air/Aerosols, Currency, Chemicals, Drugs, Explosives, Firearms, Flammable Objects, Lithium Batteries not within a device, Medications, Money, Pornography, among other things.
Can I pay using my friend / family member’s credit card or PayPal account?
No! This is not an acceptable practice. Kindly avoid doing this at all cost.
Which shipping forwarding service accepts bitcoin?
Many accept Bitcoin, perhaps you can simply search the term “bitcoin” in the search bar, and you will get the results for it.
How does one choose between a courier and shipping service? Sometimes courier is cheap and other times shipping service is cheap, so I'm confused.
You need to weigh in two things before choosing; speed & customs duty. Courier services are quick, great tracking, insured and come with a certain (read big) custom fee.
Shipping service on the other hand is slow, sparse, late or no tracking, insured, yes but negligible custom fee. If you feel that speed is important and you will pay the price for it when the item arrives at your doorstep, then go ahead pick DHL, FedEx, TNT or UPS but if you don’t mind your country’s postal service delivering your parcel at snail speed (and paying very little or none), then go right ahead and choose USPS, Royal Mail, China Post or others.
You can also read about customs on our dedicated page.
Why does the postage on my light-weight package cost so much?
Most shipping companies calculate the actual weight and the dimensional weight and use the larger of the two results for you.
Space matters, so you parcel could be weighing less, but it is still taking precious space in the cargo plane. Keep this in mind when you buy things; this is the biggest reason for high postage fee.
I’ve heard shipping via USPS helps in avoiding customs fee – Is there a shipper similar in the UK?
You’ve heard right. Similar to USPS, UK has a shipper ‘Royal Mail’ – If you choose them as your shipper when sending out your stuff, you will most likely get hit by 1% of the usual customs fee or get the package delivered completely free.
The estimated time of delivery has passed, what should my next step be?
Shippers start this sort of inquiry once 2-3 days have gone over the estimated delivery time. So keeping this in mind, you should inform the forwarding service after waiting 2-3 days – so when they inform the shipper, the team can start the process immediately.
Do keep in mind that delay usually occurs when packages are at the customs office being assessed.
My items were confiscated by Customs, what do I do?
You need to contact your customs department and sort out the issue with them. Forwarding companies are not responsible if your item gets confiscated, suspended or held at customs.
In fact, this usually happens when you either do not declare items on your customs declaration, miss-declare the value or that item is prohibited.
To avoid such a scenario, always declare the item, its value or ask your forwarding service if they offer Delivery Duty Paid service. Please note that DDP only ensures the amount is cleared from customs and not the item itself.
My country’s Customs has contacted me and is asking for more information. What do I do?
Many countries have unique requirements they impose on incoming shipments. If your Customs department requires more information to clear your parcel, please provide them what they are asking for. If you do not give them the information they are seeking, they will return your package to the international forwarding service or declare it as ‘abandoned’ and discard it.
How can I close my account?
Simply send an email to the forwarding service. Some services even have an option in the account dashboard under ‘settings’. However, its best to email the support staff.
Drop Us A Line if you think we were unable to answer your unique question.