One of the main reasons to use a package forwarding service is for international shopping online.
If you live in India for example and you would like to order some products from a U.S online store that doesn’t ship overseas, you could use a forwarding service.
Simply use the U.S based virtual address provided by the service when you order from the store, the item will be sent there from the vendor, the package forwarder will then send it on to you in India.
A simple process that has proved very popular with international shoppers in recent years.
However, there can be issues. Some U.S based eCommerce stores are beginning to cancel orders if they are being sent to a package forwarder address.
Today we will look at why this happening, what online stores are doing it, and how you can get around it.
The Package Forwarder Blocklist – Why this is happening?
As we explained in our recent article about the U.S online Apple store, eCommerce stores are trying to protect themselves when blocking shipments to package forwarders.
They are aware that products are being sent overseas and they are worried that shipments might get damaged.
They are also wanting to protect their international businesses if they have branches abroad.
There is also a slim chance of fraud occurring if online criminals choose to use a package forwarder when using false details to purchase a product online.
All of this has led to some stores refusing to ship their products to package forwarding services.
Which online stores refuse to ship to package forwarders?
The OPAS package forwarding service has created a very helpful list of U.S stores that block shipments to forwarders. (Head here for the latest list)
- Abercrombie & Fitch
- Abercrombie Kids
- Best Buy
- Box Lunch
- Coach Outlet
- Dallas Cowboys
- Hot Topics
- MLB Shop
- Mystery Ranch
- Old Navy
- Packers Pro Shop
- Puritans Pride
- Ralph Lauren
- Spinelli Kilcollin
- Team the USA
- Tommy (Tommy Hilfiger)
In short, if you use a known package forwarding address to buy products from these online stores, you could encounter problems.
How to get around the package forwarding blocklist
Of course, you may well be very keen to order products from these online stores and have them shipped abroad. So, how can you go about this?
The good news is many package forwarders now offer an “assisted purchase” or “personal shopper” service.
The general process for this is as follows, (it can vary slightly between providers):
- You find the item you would like to buy on your favorite U.S based online store.
- You then order the item THROUGH ASSISTED PURCHASE PAGE of your package forwarding account, NOT the sales page of the website. (You do this by providing the URL of the store sales page to your forwarding service).
- You then make payment to your package forwarder for the price of the product, plus fees and shipping.
- The package forwarder with then PURCHASE the item on your behalf, using an address that is not on the blocklist.
- Once the item arrives at that address, the forwarder will arrange shipment to your location of choice.
Some package forwarders, (such as OPAS) will also provide you with a separate address if your original order is canceled. This allows you to make the order direct with no need to use the personal shopper service.
International shopping is a big reason to use a package forwarding company. Service providers know this so are looking for ways to ensure that service can take place as normal in situations where online stores are reluctant to ship to them.
When signing up for a service provider, you should ensure that options are available for shopping stores that have put forwarders on a blacklist.