Professional Amerifriends?
October 26, 2007 4:57 AM   Subscribe

International Shipping-Filter: Greetings Amerifriend-less hivelings. How do you get your 'US addresses only' goods out of the Lower 48? Specifically, has anyone used Access USA?

I'm a Canadian living in the UK, and I've got a yen for some custom Chucks, amongst other things. For some reason, Converse won't ship them to either of my addresses, and they're not the only ones. Does anyone have recommendations for reliable, legal (I'm not try to avoid the usurious customs charges here. I just want some shoes.) middlemen?
posted by Kreiger to Shopping (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I've used people I know from mailing lists with great success. They are generally folk I've corresponded with for several years, so I've never had any doubt about their bona fides.

I had a very expensive bike shipped to Canada via a mailing-list buddy last year. I just gave him my FedEx number and they came to his house and collected it. UPS would do the same.

You could also potentially use a FedEx location just south of the border and have the stuff held there (you'd have to add it as an authorized address to your credit card) then have a friend nip over to collect it. I've not tried this but I think it would work.
posted by unSane at 5:15 AM on October 26, 2007

Maybe you could work something out with this guy.
posted by allkindsoftime at 5:23 AM on October 26, 2007

If you wanna do things in a legal way, you can't get around duties and taxes. It sucks, but the only thing you can do is complain to your government. US stores don't ship internationally because the amount of credit card fraud they get hit with is outrageous. US credit card companies have a complex address verification system which makes it easier to protect your store against fraud. When it comes to international transactions, US stores have zero protection.

I have heard of people who get a PO box on the US side of the border and drive down every so often to collect their packages. This is also the same idea as Access USA (which is a good, reputable company), but here's the problem: UPS and FedEx will not ship to US PO boxes and some stores will not ship USPS. Also, you are still using an international credit card for the transaction but most stores will not charge a foreign credit card so having a US shipping address still doesn't help you.

If you have a friend in the US that will use his own credit card to purchase the shoes and then ship them to you, you can have him ship them USPS and declare them as a gift. Then you won't pay duties on them. Stores that ship to Canada will not mark your item as a gift, because customs will realize they're coming from a store (or mail forwarder) and that company will be hit hard by fines.

If you don't have a buddy in the US, I'd recommend a company like
posted by wannaknow at 2:20 PM on July 27, 2008

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