There’s nothing quite like living abroad. Meeting new people, trying new things, and experiencing different cultures. But while it’s an incredible experience, it’s not without its challenges.
One of the most common issues ex-pats face is limited access to products from their home country. Whether it’s your favorite tea or a designer brand, getting your hands on the products you miss from home can be a hassle.
That’s where parcel forwarding comes in.
It bridges the gap between local shopping options and the products you miss. It’s a great solution for the nearly 4% of the world’s population that live abroad. If you’re looking for ways to order from home, we’ve got you covered. This guide will take you through everything you need to know about parcel forwarding services and their benefits.
Ready to dive in?
Table of Contents
What Is a Parcel Forwarding Service?
Parcel forwarding services do pretty much what they say on the tin — they forward parcels. They’re companies that provide customers with a domestic shipping address in a specific country, often the UK or the US. Customers can then use that address as a delivery destination for online purchases.
Forwarding services act as an intermediary, receiving packages on behalf of customers and then forwarding them to wherever they are in the world. While the process varies depending on your choice of service, it usually follows these steps:
- Sign up for an account
- Receive your domestic shipping address
- Shop online and use your domestic shipping address as the delivery address
- The parcel forwarding company will notify you they’ve received your parcel(s)
- The company will then arrange delivery to your international address
- You receive your parcel(s).
Now that you’re up to speed with what a parcel forwarding service is, let’s dig into the benefits of using one.
1. Access to a Wider Range of Products
One of the main advantages of using a parcel forwarding service is that it gives you access to a broader range of products from your home country. Many retailers and e-commerce stores don’t ship internationally due to high costs and complex logistics.
With a parcel forwarding service, you can buy items from stores that do not offer international shipping by having the packages sent to a domestic address provided by the service.
From there, the company will forward the package to your international address, allowing you to enjoy your favorite products and brands, regardless of location.
2. Cost Savings on International Shipping
International shipping can be expensive and add up quickly, especially if you shop online a lot (and who doesn’t?). Parcel forwarding services help you save on shipping costs by consolidating your purchases into a single shipment.
Instead of paying for shipping on multiple individual items, you can have all your packages sent to the service’s domestic address. They will combine your packages and send them to you in one shipment, reducing shipping costs.
Plus, many forwarding services offer discounted shipping rates through partnerships with major carriers, ensuring you get a competitive price on international shipping.
3. Easier Returns and Exchanges
Another advantage of using a parcel forwarding service is it makes returns and exchanges for your online order easier. Handling returns or exchanges for items purchased from international retailers can take time and effort.
With a parcel forwarding service, you can return or exchange items more easily by shipping them back to the company. The forwarding service can return the items to the retailer on your behalf or help with the exchange process. This can save you time and money on return shipping costs.
4. Enhanced Security and Privacy
When shopping online, privacy and security are important considerations. Using a parcel forwarding service, you can protect your personal information and ensure parcels arrive safely.
Parcel forwarding services provide a domestic shipping address, which can be used as your billing and shipping address, ensuring that your personal address remains private.
Plus, these companies have security measures to protect your packages, such as secure storage facilities, package tracking, and insurance options. Knowing that your purchases are safe and secure until they reach your doorstep gives you peace of mind.
5. Customer Support and Assistance
Finally, parcel forwarding services often provide excellent customer support and assistance. They have dedicated customer service teams available to help with any shipping-related issues. This can include tracking information, package consolidation, returns, and exchanges, as well as customs documentation.
Some parcel forwarding services also offer personal shopper services to help customers place orders on their behalf. This can be particularly handy in cases where language barriers or payment method restrictions present challenges.
How to Choose a Parcel Forwarding Company?
As you can see, there are a lot of advantages to using a parcel forwarding service. But if you’re considering using one, there is a lot of competition for your custom. When choosing a company, it’s essential to consider several factors to make sure you pick the best parcel forwarding service.
Here are a few things to consider before signing up for a service:
- Research and compare multiple providers
- Consider the shipping address location
- Assess shipping rates and options
- Evaluate package consolidation and storage services
- Review customer support and additional services
- Check for customs and import regulation support
- Investigate security and privacy measures
- Read through their lists of prohibited items.
By evaluating different providers and assessing their offerings, you can find a parcel forwarding company that meets your needs. After that, you’ll be able to enjoy a convenient and cost-effective shopping experience wherever you are in the world.