How do I ship some small things for the USA to Ecuador?
September 16, 2006 8:54 AM   Subscribe

I need the send something to Ecuador from the U.S of A.

I've never sent a piece of mail farther than, well, whereever my nearest Netflix distrobution center is. I've sold a few games on Ebay, so I'm familar with 1st class and Priority mail and what not, but now I need to send a couple of mixtapes and some pictures to my girlfriend in Ecuador. Problem is, I don't even know where to start with something like this.

Neither speed nor cost are particularly important, although more of the former and less of the latter are nice. It's headed to Quito if that's any help at all.
posted by GilloD to Work & Money (7 answers total)
It's no big thing at all.

You can use the USPS calculator here to calculate the cost before you go in. It shouldn't be too expensive. You didn't say what the item was (e.g. how big a package you're sending) - but Airmail from the USPS will ship boxes up to about 50lbs. Just make sure you get the exact address, package it up tightly, and the friendly people at your local USPS will take it from there.
posted by ifranzen at 9:06 AM on September 16, 2006

I send packages internationally all the time, and it's really no big deal. It's the same as sending domestically, except of course it costs more, and you frequently have to fill out a customs form describing the contents. You really only run into problems if you're sending things that could be considered weapons or biohazards or whathaveyou.

Be sure to package anything breakable very carefully, with the expectation that it will be dropped, shift in transit, etc.

As long as you go to a post office to send it, rather than dropping it in a mailbox, they can tell you if you've done everything you need to do.
posted by joannemerriam at 9:12 AM on September 16, 2006

joannemerriam has it -- go to your post office with your package, and they'll walk you through it.
posted by danb at 10:31 AM on September 16, 2006

Tip: DHL has a better reputation and more offices in Latin America than FedEx. You might want to check them out.
posted by mynameismandab at 11:13 AM on September 16, 2006

I just checked DHL's website and for a 2lb package they quoted me 94$. That seems incredibly expensive and likely incorrect. Any idea what went crazy there?
posted by GilloD at 12:37 PM on September 16, 2006

Might depend on your preferences. If you want to overnight it vs. 14-day minimum, market value of shipping to Ecuador may be higher in general, or the products you're shipping may require special shipping conditions.

DHL is the choice if you want your packages to arrive in a timely manner (or at all). Latin America has a bad reputation for packages getting lost in the mail.

You may want to speak with a DHL customer service representative if you doubt the quote on the website.

What price does FedEx give you?
posted by mynameismandab at 3:39 PM on September 16, 2006

DHL/Fedexing stuff to odd countries is expensive.
I wanted to send an envelope, just some paper, to Cambodia and I think was about 80 dollars for thier cheapest option.
Regular Canada post mail was much much cheaper, but took like 2 weeks.
posted by Iax at 11:21 PM on September 16, 2006

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