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Furniture Shopping in Bali and Shipping to Sydney
November 6, 2011 9:53 PM   Subscribe

How to go about buying furniture in Bali (Indonesia) and getting it to Sydney (Australia)?

I'm visiting Bali in a couple of weeks. Travel, stay etc. are all tied up. Better Half thinks that it is a good idea to buy some furniture from Bali and get it shipped to Sydney. She has been told that it works out better in terms of cost as well as quality (but folks have been vague on details because it seems to be something always done by a friend of a friend but never by someone directly known to us). The items we need to buy are bulky: entertainment unit, chairs, dining room buffet etc. We may not buy all of these, but entertainment unit is the one thing we really need.

Is it a good idea to buy furniture in Bali? If so, is there a well established supply chain that can do a door-to-door delivery for us to Sydney? Fumigation? Customs? What do we need to know?
posted by vidur to Travel & Transportation around Indonesia (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I can't answer you specifically, but you should be aware that Quarantine is probably gonna be an absolute bastard for importing wooden furniture.

You will almost certainly find it tied up in quarantine for weeks perhaps months, and if they need to fumigate they will charge you for it.

I'm not saying this is guaranteed to happen, but I know they are very tough.
posted by smoke at 1:37 AM on November 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Not only may customs be problematic, you may be contributing to deforestation in indonesia</a.
posted by Joe Chip at 2:39 AM on November 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just popped in here to say both smoke's and Joe Chip's points... quarantine don't like wood. And I wouldn't trust Indonesian products made of wood to be particularly eco-friendly.
posted by Jimbob at 4:06 AM on November 7, 2011


To answer your question, there are plenty of freight companies that will ship your furniture and take care of the paperwork. Pick up a copy of the Bali Advertiser and look through the ads for shops selling furniture and cargo companies. The furniture shop might offer to take care of the shipping or you might want to determine the dimensions and get quotes from a couple other shippers. Note that the furniture is actually made in Java and the container ships depart from Java as well so the stuff is making a detour to Bali because that's where the customers are.

The cargo company will pad the edges of everything in cardboard to prevent dings but it's quite usual for items to be damaged in transit. You will be charged by the cubic meter, not weight, and if you buy soft goods or small items, that can be stuffed into crevices/gaps/openings/drawers. Keep your receipts.

New furniture might be made from wood that is not properly dried so that it warps and cracks. Changes in humidity will also affect it.

When it arrives, if Customs has a 'tude that day, they can order everything unloaded and searched (especially if the paperwork is not in order) and they are not in the repacking business so more stuff gets broken.

Insects are a huge problem. You will be charged (one of many, many charges) a fumigation fee in Indonesia but whether it's actually done, or if it's done whether it's actually effective, is debatable so Australia has its own procedures which you can read up on.

In short, you might want to let an import store suffer the aggravation and the extra cost you pay is for peace of mind.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 5:27 AM on November 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks folks. Tough quarantine regulations, sifting through shipping companies, cargo insurance.. all seem to be complex issues I would rather not deal with on a business trip. Not going ahead with the idea.
posted by vidur at 2:59 PM on November 8, 2011


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