International Parcel Forwarding with MyMallBox

Sometimes the postman teases me for how many parcels he delivers to me, and the man at the Royal Mail office I have to go to pay my customs fees likes to comment that I sure do like my customs payments–yeah, because everyone just loves paying extra money for their goods. But in all honesty I don’t shop as much as I used to, and I certainly don’t shop abroad that often anymore. A lot of that is down to trying to be better at saving in general and not buying things just for the sake of it, but in terms of not buying from America as much as I used to it’s simply a case that it just stopped being so practical.

The British Pound took a nosedive (thanks Brexit!) after a long period of slowly weakening against the dollar, and trans-Atlantic shipping has never been cheap anyway. Combining all those things with the saving mentioned above meant quite often I’d put items I wanted into my cart on various US websites, see the shipping rate rocket up the cost of my order, then forlornly close out the window, order abandoned. If the item I was looking at was only small or light, and/or cheap, and something I knew therefore wouldn’t actually cost too much to ship internationally, that was an increasingly frustrating experience.

Enter MyMallBox. I’ve been curious about shipping forwarding services for a couple of years at least but have never done the proper research to find out how many there were out there or even entirely how they worked. MyMallBox contacted me a while back to ask if I would be interested in testing out their services and the answer was a no-brainer. What took longer was deciding what to buy to best utilise the service.

There’s multiple options there. Some American companies simply won’t ship to the UK or other countries abroad, so a service like this allows you to shop with a storefront that normally rejects your custom–MyMallBox even have a feature where they can buy the product on your behalf for a small additional fee, as some US websites will actually reject any debit or credit card not registered to a billing address in the States (I’m looking at you Payless, Walmart, and Target.) In those kind of instances, a service like this is a total game changer.

I found it’s also really useful in combining several small orders into one shipment so you aren’t paying for international shipping from multiple companies. To test the service out, I eventually decided I would place a few small orders to do just that.

I ordered a dress on sale from Unique Vintage, another on sale from Bernie Dexter, a cardigan from Amazon, and an audiobook CD set second hand through Amazon, one I haven’t been able to find the audiobook of here in the UK, written by one of my favourite authors. The international shipping for each item was quoted to me as being $15-30 each, but combining them in a single parcel from MyMallBox meant I only had to pay $36-ish total to get them delivered tracked to the UK.

So how does it work? When you sign up to MyMallBox they give you a private Suite address at their Delaware location, a state that is tax free so you won’t get charged additional state tax fees when you order an item to be delivered to that location. When your parcel arrives to your Suite they email you to let you know your parcel has arrived and where it’s come from, which is handy if you have multiple shipments heading to your Suite around the same time. Any items can be stored free of charge for up to 90 days, so you can wait until you’ve had all your deliveries arrive before you then begin repacking or consolidating for shipment.

All your parcels are detailed in the My Packages area of your account

When choosing your items for repacking or consolidation, you can change the customs amounts listed against each item. This is especially handy when ordering from certain companies that don’t mark down sale items to their sale value on their customs forms, which I’ve experienced before, forcing me to pay customs fees on the full retail value of an item I bought at half price, or even less. Since you can control what the customs fees will be documented as on your parcel, you won’t be getting a nasty unexpected customs bill when you go to pick your item up at the post office.

You can choose to repack single parcels, or select multiple parcels to consolidate

When you choose to repack a parcel they simply repack it into the smallest but safest packing option they can. When you choose to consolidate, that’s when they will repack the parcels you’ve selected into one single parcel ready for shipping.

I was actually expecting to get an email letting me know my parcel had been consolidated but I didn’t, although checking my account the next day showed my parcel had been repacked. Then it’s a simple case of adding that parcel to your cart and selecting what address you want it to be forwarded to. All my shipping options were listed according to its newly consolidated weight and size, and where I wanted it to be delivered. I chose the cheapest tracked option, as I had no desperate need for my items to arrive quickly, paid for it at checkout, and waited for an email with my tracking number. Then all I had to do was wait, occasionally checking the tracking excitedly to see how far off my parcel was.

All shipping options will be listed In Your Cart once you’ve selected your shipping address

My parcel was shipped by Globegistics, and it’s worth noting that if you choose similar shipping that the Globegistics tracking will stop updating once it leaves the USA. Upon arriving in the UK I found the Royal Mail website was then able to tell me where my parcel was. It took 14 days from shipment to delivery to my local post office where I had to pay for the customs. There were delivery options that would have gotten the parcel to me faster, but I wasn’t too concerned with speed so the cheaper option worked fine for me. Even though I knew exactly what was in my package, there was still something especially exciting about opening it up to see all the items that I probably wouldn’t have been able to buy without utilising this service.

I was so happy with my experience I’ve told myself since then that it would be a reassuring piece of mind in the distant future to order certain items if I absolutely needed to–and then quickly broke and ordered myself another dress, a hair accessory and some Colourpop lipsticks. What can I say? It’s a useful service but it certainly doesn’t offer you extra will power, that part you have to handle on your own.

Just make sure you don’t order items that MyMallBox can’t ship overseas (aerosols, perfumes, etc, tend to be prohibited for international shipping across all mail carriers and couriers.) You can find a list of prohibited items in their Terms & Conditions.

I had a really good experience using MyMallBox and it’s definitely a service I’ll be continuing to utilise in future when it can save me money or help me purchase goods that are otherwise not available to me because of my location. If you sign up through a referral from a friend you immediately get $5 credited to your account, so I’ve got a referral link set up for you here should you want it. Happy international shopping, bbs!

 

 

A Few of My Favourite Things

There are plenty of things I love that don’t get covered here on the blog because I don’t feel they warrant a full blog post or I just haven’t found any other place to sensibly ‘put’ them, so to speak. But since they’re things I adore and feel others would enjoy, it seems a shame they never get any share time. So, considering that, I’ve decided it might be nice to create a series for them on the blog in which I can occasionally share my favourite things of late, from books and movies to new websites I’ve discovered, music I’m obsessed with, accessories I’ve been wearing to death, maybe even food I can’t stop eating (no, don’t worry, that last one is super unlikely. Or is it?)

I do a similar thing with my newest favourite makeup products every few months, in the very cleverly titled My Makeup Faves series, so depending on how much you like this feature we might have to think of a title that’s less likely to obnoxiously stick you with a The Sound of Music earworm in your head all day. As of right now, I’m kind of gleefully excited about messing with you like that. Sorry, but come on, who doesn’t love a bit of The Sound of Music? (Apart from the Nazis, obviously.)

Let’s take a look at all the miscellaneous little things in my life that have been making happy lately!

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Hamilton – I’ve been obsessed with listening to this soundtrack for a few months now, because God knows I haven’t seen the musical itself, but after their absolute slaughter at the Tony’s recently it’s kindled my love anew. I often listen to this soundtrack on repeat all day long on Sundays while I blog and it definitely perks up endless hours of photo selection and editing. If you haven’t bowed to the enormous societal pressure to love this show that everyone else loves, I’m kinda gonna have to insist you give it a try.

michaelbook

Michael McIntyre’s ‘Life and Laughing’ autobiography – I listen to audiobooks almost every day so I get through a lot of them. It’s not often I opt for an autobiography, but since I think Michael McIntyre is both hilarious and adorable I thought I would give his book a go. Truly fascinating, funny and heart warming, it amazed me to learn about the famous heights of Michael’s childhood that gave way to the near-poverty of his years as a gigging comic. Hearing the story of how he met and fell in love with his wife actually narrated by himself on the audiobook format especially earned him another soft spot in my heart, so if he’s a comedian you enjoy I would definitely recommend this book, whether in audio or written forms.

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Beauty Bay – There’s several makeup brands I like that can’t be delivered to the UK or easily found at stockists over here, so I was super excited to find Beauty Bay. They stock Makeup Geek, LA Splash and LA Girl, all brands I’ve been frustrated not to be able to purchase easily over here, so it’s a great one-stop shop for a lot of those products. Plus, it’s free 2-day tracked shipping over £15, which is super easy to do when makeup shopping.

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Hell Bunny Tina Capri pants – I did review these pants last year, actually, so it’s sort of cheating to include them in this run down. However, I bought them in black this spring to the red pair I already own from last year, and between the two of them they’ve been getting tons of wear lately when I need to quickly get ready and don’t have time to faff around creating my usual fully-fashioned pinup outfits. Super comfortable, affordable, and available in several colours.

splendette

Splendette Carved Fakelite bangles – Oh Splendette, you make me feel things. I went through a long phase of completely overlooking jewellery when putting together my outfits, but now we’re in summer I’ve been loving how easy it is to throw a bunch of Splendette bangles onto a wrist to complete an outfit and add in some fun, casual colour.

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Erin Wicker bag by Banned – I looove wicker bags and already own several, and yet I can’t stop eyeing up more. They can be pricey to source depending upon the style, age and where you’re purchasing, so I was really pleased to see Banned bring out a wicker style bag in their SS16 line. The great thing about this bag, weird as it sounds, is that it’s not made of wicker. It’s actually made out of plastic woven to look like wicker, which it really does until you get up close. This means that it’s much more hard-wearing and able to take a knock than real wicker bags are, so it’s a perfect wicker style bag that can withstand the beatings of daily wear much more resiliently. I use it when I know my handbag might be getting knocked around more, and save my more delicate wicker pieces for more special occasions.

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PYO Strawberries – This might seem like an odd thing to include, but I have fond childhood memories of going with my family to local Pick Your Own farms and kneeling on the ground helping to pick out strawberries for us to take back home. I decided last summer it had been far too many years since I had been, probably 15+, and that it was time to go again, but I completely miscalculated when the PYO would be available, missing it by more than a month. This year, I stalked the FB page of my local PYO farm for updates on the crop and was really excited to take two of my youngest niblings for their first ever experience picking strawberries. They were adorable, we got some lovely locally grown fruit at an amazing price, and to top it off we had a Mr Whippy ice cream each at the end. Perfect.

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djflorals

Daisy Jean Florals Felicity Orchid Hair Flower – I own quite a lot of Daisy Jean Florals pieces now and they’re all lovely, but the piece I find I keep reaching for over and over again lately is this orchid clip. It’s so pretty that people often ask me if it’s real (flattering for DJF, but come on people, be sensible) and as someone who’s still getting the hang of mastering various updos, I have no shame in admitting that it’s excellent at often helping me hide my less-than-perfect handiwork.

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Storm Flower by Cheryl Cole – I’m really not a celebrity perfumes kind of person, but I’m in love with the mandarins and nectarines top notches of this scent. It always makes me feel super light and summery, which is perfect for this time of year when the last thing I want is anything cloying in my perfumes.