As a beauty lover that highly favors U.S. make-up Brands, nothing is more frustrating than high shipping costs, customs fees or no shipping availability internationally. Now, there is a way to get products from the U.S. more easily by using Shipito, a (free sign up) USA Address & Mail Forwarding Service Company. I will try to explain everything in detail as much as possible on how to use this service and all the additional costs down below.
Shipito is an USA Address & Mail Forwarding Service Company, which provides you with an U.S. address where you can send multiple packages to and store for up to 180 days. You can even combine your packages to save on shipping costs.
You can sign up to Shipito for free. The difference in a free account and a payed membership is that you can Combine/Consolidate your packages using a payed membership, which can save a lot of shipping costs if you frequently order stuff from different web stores. You also get a Tax Free Warehouse in Oregon. I’m not sure how the U.S. tax system works. From my understanding, all states have a different tax value and avarages at 6%. For Oregon, you don’t have to pay any additional taxes which can also save a lot of money. You pay and start your payed membership after shipping your first package.
I have a payed membership, which costs $4.17 USD per month. This is however a bit misleading because for $4.17 per month, you have to become a member for One Year, which $50 USD in total for 12 months which you have to pay in full. If you want to pay per month, it costs $10 USD per month (so a difference of $5,83 USD per month).
It really depends on how much you want to use this service. I would suggest to try the free membership first and you can always upgrade after signing if you feel you need to do so but then I would definitely go for the Annual Subscription.
So what happens after you sign up? I’m going to show you everything for the payed membership. I have Three U.S. Adresses and One Austria Address. The different benefits of each address is explained below the address. Again, it totally depends what you would prefer. You can also fill in your own address (which can be multiple) to where you want to ship the items to.
I’m going to give you an example of how you can fill in the U.S. address when you order products online using my Oregon address.The 1st line is the Address, which would be “11407 SW Amu St.”, The second line shows the Suite number (I blurred mine due to privacy). This is a unique number. The third line shows the City (Tualin), State (OR which is short for Oregon) and Zip-code (97062).
This is how you would fill in your address in an ordering form form. This is from the Colourpop ordering page but most forms looks like this.
After you order from a web store, you will receive an email after the package has arrived to the warehouse. You get two pictures of the received package, together with the weight and dimensions. Shipito also gives the package a unique ID using your suite number and the letters A-Z (dont’t know what happens after that) and mentions the warehouse where the package is received.
This is the main page for your account. As soon as a package arrives, it will be in the Packages Arrived Tab. Within this tab, you have several options for your packages; Action Required, In Progress and Ready to Ship. When the warehouse receives your package, it will be on the Actions Required tab. This is a different package compared to the rest of the example because I forgot to take a print screen for that one but the process is the same. When a package is at Action Required, it’s something that you will need to do yourself. For an incoming package, you have to fill in the Customs Declaration which you can do by clicking the“Fill in Customs Declaration” button.
For the Customs Declaration, you have to fill in what items are in the package. You can go as detailed as you want but I personally write something very globally. This package for example is an Ipsy Glambag, which contains several miniature make-up samples. Instead of writing every product in detail like “Mascara” or “Lipstick”, I just write “Makeup Samples” in the item description. The quantity is how many items that you have described are inside the package, the total value and where the package comes from.
You also have to give additional information like if the package contains any Li-Ion batteries and if it’s a Gift or Merchandise. You then have to declare that you are in accordance with all applicable export control laws and regulations including regulations administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Department of Treasury (if package is exported from the United States), or any other relevant authority.
WARNING: You can fill anything you want in this form but remember, you are the responsible person for filling in this form. If you fill something in incorrectly or fill in a lower value to circumvent extra customs fees and you get caught by customs, you are the one that will be held responsible which might result in fines. Remember, filling out the custom forms incorrectly is fraud and against the law.
The Standard Processing Fee for one package without any special requests is $2,00 USD.
You can also ask for Special Requests listed above. For example, if you’re not sure what to do for the customs declaration, you can ask Shipito to do it for you. You can also ask for more pictures of the content. For example , when you order an eyeshadow palette, to see if the palette did not arrive broken. Shipito will charge you more money depending what you ask, which is always shown next to the request. The more you ask, the more expensive it will be.
Sending one package
After filling in the Customs Declaration, your package will be in the Ready to Ship list. Now, the package is ready to be sent to your home address. You can send the package immediately (which would be the only option if you would have a free account) by clicking the “Send Package” button. You can also choose to combine multiple packages in this list by clicking “Consolidate Package”. I’m going to explain how you can send this package by itself first.
After filling in your address, you can choose several shipping options. The price of the shipping costs is dependable on how big and heavy your package is. The bigger and more heavy your package is, the more expensive shipping will be. The postage costs, insurance option, delivery time and tracking totally depends on which shipping method you want to use. The most affordable and most popular pick is Airmail Economy. Since this option is most affordable, it will take the longest time and tracking is not available. You can have your package insured, which will cost an additional $3,30 USD. Be aware that you are insured for the value that you have filled in yourself in the Customs Declaration Form. The total costs will be displayed on the right.
After choosing the shipping method, you can also ask for additional services like removing the invoice or extra safety measures for your package. This is again all depending on what you want and what you need to ship. I would for example highly recommend to add extra bubble wrap when you’re shipping something fragile like an eyeshadow palette. Again, everything that you ask extra will include additional costs.
After everything is done, you get a final summary with the total costs including all the Shipito fees and the shipping costs. If you click the button “Confirm Package Shipment”.
Finally, after you have confirmed to send the package, it will again return in the Action Required list, since you have to pay for it. The account balance is displayed on the top right of the screen. You can pay by pressing the “Add Deposit” button.
You can enter the amount in USD and choose if you want to only pay the exact amount or if you want to add some extra balance for in the future. I will get back to this at the end of this post. There are several ways to pay like Credit Card and Paypal.
After payment has been done, you’re completely finished. The package will be in the In Progress tab and the package will be shipped soon. You will get another email confirmation when that happens. The whole process of receiving and sending the package has taken up 1-2 days for my packages.
Combining multiple packages
Combining multiple packages to one is a way to reduce shipping costs. To combine multiple packages, you have to click on the button “Consolidate Package”.
On the next page, you can pick the packages that you have in the “Ready to Ship” list to combine. Each package that you want to add will cost you a $3,00 USD Consolidation Fee. So for two packages (which is the minimum amount required) will costs $6,00 USD on Consolidation Fees.
The next page lets you choose if you want to Keep the outside box, Keep the retail packaging or only package the Products Only. Choosing an option here will effect the size box that is needed. You can pick an option for each different package. I personally like to keep the retail packaging, this is for example a box where a lipstick comes in. You can then choose the box size, but I would highly recommend to let Shipito choose the smallest possible box.
You then get an option to pick Additional Services like you do with sending one package. A visual check of the content including photos is additional of charge with combining multiple packages. You also have the extra options like removing the invoice and extra safety measures here.
The final page is the Summary. Afterwards, the packages will go in the In Progress tab, which requires Shipito to do an action like for this one, combine all your packages. You will receive an email when the action is completed by Shipito. Combining packages can cost effective but if you have small packages like I do, it might be that the consolidation fees will be more expensive than just sending these packages separately. For these two packages, I chose to send them individually.
Here’s an example of two packages that I’ve combined. In the top picture, you can see the packages of both items. The big package contained a small palette, so if I would have chosen to send this item individually, it will probably cost even more than I payed now. The second picture shows both items. There are also two pictures with the items in their new, smaller box and extra bubble wrap (which I put as an extra request) and the newly, smaller box when wrapped up.
After receiving the email, the package will have a Unique Identifier (package A + B was made in C in the top example) and is again in the Ready to Ship list. From there, the process is the same as Sending One Package as explained above.
I have received several packages from Shipito. It exactly describes on the Customs Declaration Form what I have filled in. They came from 2 to 3 weeks after shipment confirmation. Like it already showed in the shipping options table, it takes some time to arrive and it is quite scary not having a track & trace code for your package. However, it is so much more affordable to receive packages from the U.S. this way. I really like their services and have been using this for example to receive a monthly subscription called Ipsy Glambag, which is not available in the Netherlands and for websites that have high shipping rates like Colourpop.
There are so many other options with Shipito. I won’t go in detail with that but it is also possible to buy stuff without a credit card using Assisted Purchases. You can add a deposit to your account using Paypal and let Shipito buy the products for you on the web stores that are require you to pay by credit card. This service has additional fees ofcourse. I don’t know exactly how much it costs but I just wanted to quickly mention that this is also possible.
I hope that my “How to use Shipito“ explanation was clear. Let me know if you have any questions down below.
Have you already subscribed to Shipito? What are your experiences?