Between vPost, Comgateway or ezbuy, we compare the cheapest shipping service from US to Singapore
Amazon Prime has erased borders and spoilt online shoppers in Singapore with two-day delivery for virtually anything our mouse can click on — all for a really low fee. But what if what you’re hankering for an item beyond the reach of even the mighty Amazon Prime? Say, something you know can only be found right smack in the middle of, say Odessa, Texas. Well, you’d have to sign up with a forwarding service that helps you ship from US to Singapore.
Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales in the US are just around the corner as well so by choosing the right forwarding service, you can save money when shipping from US to Singapore. Here’s a rundown of three popular forwarding services that help cut cost on hefty shipping and tax charges.
When to use a forwarding service
Most Singaporeans use a forwarding service when they shop at US retailers who don’t ship directly to Singapore. If you’re buying from a store that only accepts US credit cards as payment, forwarders also offer a concierge service that can pay on your behalf.
When buying from various websites, you can also save money on shipping by consolidating your purchases into one package.
How does a forwarding service help you save money?
Repacking is a common practice in which the forwarder repackages your item to reduce its volumetric weight – which lowers shipping charges. However, some items, such as fragile or gift-wrapped items, will not be repacked.
If you buy multiple items over a period of time, opt for consolidation to reduce your freight costs when shipping from US to Singapore. This service allows you to ask your forwarder to hold your parcels, and ship them together as one shipment.
This avoids paying multiple base charges, which are imposed on the first 0.5kg of your shipment, and are several times more expensive than the subsequent weight portions of your package.
Another advantage of consolidation is that it allows you more time to shop, so you can make sure you get the best deals.
Forwarders also offer optional insurance on your shipments, which covers (up to a cap) your items against damage or loss during shipment. Should this happen, you can recover some or all of the money you spent on your shopping.
Cheapest shipping from US to Singapore
We’ve compared the rates and benefits offered by the three most known forwarding services: ezbuy (formerly 65daigou), vPost and Comgateway. Which is the cheapest, and which offers the most value for money?
Before you get too click-happy on your favourite US online shopping site, know that purchases above USD$2,500 in value will require a Shipper’s Export Declaration (SED) form. If you require one, check with your forwarder on how to submit it.
Don’t forget about the 7% GST payable on your buys, which is applicable if the CIF (Cost of Shipping + Insurance + Freight) exceeds $600 if overseas for more than 48 hours, or $150 of overseas less than 48 hours.
|SHIPPING FROM US TO SINGAPORE|
|Service||Shipping Cost||Time||Repacking/Consolidation||Value-added Services|
4 – 6 days Economy:
8 – 11 days
– 3% of total shipment value
– S$2,000 limit
– S$100 compensation for items not insured
Home Delivery: S$3 to S$25, depending on weight
|Buyandship Singapore||First 1 pound: $9
Subsequent pound thereafter: $5
|6-9 days||Repacking: FREE
Consolidation: FREE (30-day limit)
– 3% of shipment value per package (up to US$30 per package)
– US$1,000 limit
– US$100 compensation for items not insured
|vPOST||Base charge: S$13.40
$0.91/100g of actual/volumetric weight
Free for 30 days, S$1.50 per item per day thereafter
– 3% of total value of the shipment, or min of S$9.90 per consignment note– S$20,000 limit
|COMGATEWAY||US$13.57 for the first 0.5kg
US$3.74 for subsequent 0.5kg
|Repacking: US$10 for first 5 packages, US$2 per package thereafter
Free for 30 days, US$1 per day thereafter
– 1% of total shipment value
– USD$10,000 limit
– Compulsory for item(s) over US$250
– 10% of total purchase cost + domestic shipping (if any)
ezbuy (formerly 65daigou)
ezbuy is one of the most popular Taobao shipping agents in Singapore and offers the lowest shipping cost from US to Singapore. Take note the service works on a self-collection basis, but you can opt for home delivery for a small fee.
ezbuy also has a Prime service, which provides unlimited shipping at S$2.99 per checkout. This service is available at S$9.90 for a 5-day trial, S$69 for 6 months or S$99 for a year. Consider these options if you shop online frequently.
The freight forwarder has expanded its services to include a shopping portal. Now, you can browse and order from popular USA brands such as Kate Spade, Coach, Disney, Under Armour and Tommy Hilfiger. Your orders will be automatically shipped to Singapore by ezbuy – really convenient.
An overseas forwarding services from Singapore Post, vPost lets Singaporeans access shops from the US, China, Taiwan, and Europe.
Although vPost charges a repacking fee, it will only repack your item if there’s a difference of 2 kg or more between the volumetric weight and dead weight of your parcel. Don’t worry though, the S$6 fee is lower than the savings you’ll get from repacking.
Opt between the Standard or Economy service. Although Standard is faster, the service charges the higher of actual or volumetric weight. Therefore, if your package is considerably large, choosing Economy (which charges by actual weight only) can give you substantial savings.
The creme de la creme of all US forwarding services, Comgateway charges premium prices for speedy shipping and great service. Comgateway offers a sales tax-free address, allowing you to save anywhere between 5.5% to 9.45% off your shopping.
We’ve shown the charges and services for Express service in the table above. If you’re looking to save on shipping costs, go for the Standard service, which ships your package in 5-8 business days.
Because of its detailed tracking and speedy shipping, Comgateway is ideal for high-value items that need careful handling. If you’re looking for more affordable shipping for lower-value items, ezbuy or vPost might be a better choice.
This Hong Kong-based freight forwarder offers Singaporeans another convenient and fuss-free shipping option for your US purchases. It also ships from various other countries, including UK, Japan and Taiwan.
The pricing structure is simple and competitive: you’ll be charged S$9 for the first pound (approx 450g) and S$5 for each subsequent pound. Shipping charges are based on the sum of the chargeable weight of your package only, which means you won’t have to pay extra for shipping excessively bulky items.
We also like that there is free consolidation and repacking, so you can buy as many items as you like without worrying about inflated delivery charges. However, note that your items will only be held for a maximum of 30 days.
Finally, save with the right credit card
Save even more on your online shopping with the right credit card. For instance, the Standard Chartered Spree Credit Card will give you 3% cashback on all online transactions in a foreign currency, and a further 3% cashback on all vPost spends. Double-dip savings? Yes, please!
This card will also give you 2% cashback on all online local spends, as well as mobile and contactless payments. Sign up for this card now at SingSaver, and receive $150 cash gift, plus $100 cashback as a new applicant.
Get 25% discount on your shipping fees when you use this credit card to ship with VPOST with the promo code SPREE2019, capped at S$1,250 per shipment. You’ll also enjoy free insurance of up to S$1,000 value.
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By Alevin Chan
A Certified Financial Planner with a curiosity about what makes people tick, Alevin’s mission is to help readers understand the psychology of money. He’s also on an ongoing quest to optimize happiness and enjoyment in his life.