Mail forwarding is the simple answer to international shipping. You can have all the benefits of a United States address without having to front the costs of actually relocating, acquiring citizenship, and securing a business license.
With the rise of companies who offer various mail forwarding services, it’s necessary to establish the basics and bring clarity to the services provided within this industry.
What is mail forwarding?
Mail forwarding companies were created to assist foreign shoppers to receive items they purchased in the United States. The goal is to provide a central location in the United States for receiving mail and packages, then they ship or fly the content to a specified international destination for a fraction of what it may normally cost for international shipping.
Most “mail forwarding” companies use their physical warehouse storage address to share with international customers. Anyone can apply for a verified legal street address that can be used to ship packages and mail to over 200 countries worldwide.
What happens to my mail?
When the “mail forwarding“ company receives your package, it will automatically be stored in a safe environment and placed in queue for your next specified shipment date. If you are expecting multiple items, these can be repackaged into one large container to minimize any dim weight.
What are the mail forwarding requirements?
You will be required to provide valid identification from your current country of residence. You may also be required to place your credit card on file with the mail forwarding company since most of them do not receive cash or checks as a form of payment.
Specify the frequency of your mail forwarding.
The dividing factor between companies who provide “mail forwarding” services is usually hinged upon how frequent your shipments occur. You can usually purchase memberships based upon weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly delivery options.
Weekly shipments usually require a membership that cost more per month, while monthly or one-time shipments usually cost less. Most companies are able to ship packages, mail, and even magazine subscriptions, however these added features may increase the subscription rates that determine your overall cost.
How to avoid shipping problems.
“Mail forwarding” is a simple system that usually flows with ease, but there is one major error that can cause big problems. Once your United States address has been established, it is very important that you always enter the shipping address exactly as it was issued.
For example, the street address may include directional prefixes such as N for north. It may include a specific suite with dashes and numbers, such as AH-809-1. You must also remember to include the full 5-digit zip code. If you are issued an additional four digits on the zip code of your address, you should add these as well to further help you avoid any possible shipping problems.
This may seem like a simple principle to remember, but it’s usually the small things that get overlooked and cause the biggest challenges. So, when you’re placing your order and using your new U.S. Address, remember that the shipping address must be entered exactly as it was given.
If you follow these guidelines, your mail forwarding experience should be seamless, and your packages should arrive to your international destination in excellent condition.
One last thing: Whenever you make a purchase that’s specified for international shipping through a mail forwarding company, be sure to save a copy of your receipt and order tracking number. That way, if any packages become lost in the United States mail, you will have a way to track your items and retrieve them without a hassle.
Now you’re ready to begin mail forwarding.