Sometimes, buying online from the US can be way cheaper than buying the same product here in Singapore. Unfortunately, the snag is that these overseas websites may not always ship to Singapore.
Shoppers can get around this by using parcel forwarding companies, who ship your online purchases to Singapore. Companies like ComGateway, Vpost and Daigou65 are the popular ones Singaporeans use. And yes! Daigou65 now ships from the US to Singapore!
For the rookie shopper, ComGateway, Vpost and Daigou65 will provide you with a “unique address” in the US for you to ship the parcels to. They will then consolidate your packages and forward them to you Singapore at one go.
ComGateway and Vpost both charge a minimum cost per parcel for their service. So it usually works out to be cheaper if you forward more purchases in a single shipment, instead of shipping them individually.
Daigou65 is relatively new to shipping from the US (although they are quite big shipping from China), and interestingly – Daigou65 doesn’t charge any minimum cost! So they are good for shipping small, light-weight items.
We know how confusing it can be to calculate the various charges. So we’ve worked out some examples to help ourselves. We hope they will help you too:
Shipping with ComGateway
(Standard shipping, 5 – 8 days)
• Comgateway charges a base cost of USD 11.80 for the first 500g.
• You then only pay USD 3.25 for every additional 500g.
If you purchase for instance a Lego Chima product
that weighs 450g, then what you pay for Standard shipping is:
(USD 11.80 + USD 0 ) + 12% fuel surcharge* = USD 13.22
(Base costs first 500g) + (Cost /Every 500g)(~SGD 17.59)
If you purchase a Lego Chima product
that weighs 450g and a Daniel Wellington watch
from Amazon.com that weighs 220g, the total weight is 670g. What you will need to pay is:
(USD 11.80 + USD 3.25 ) + 12% fuel surcharge* = USD 16.86
(Base costs first 500g) + (Cost /Every 500g) (~SGD 22.41)
*Do note that the fuel surcharges differ from month to month.
Shipping with Vpost
(One type of shipping only, 5 - 8 days)
• Vpost charges a base cost of SGD 13.40 per shipment.
• In addition, you pay SGD0.91for every 100 g.
Similar to the example above, we have worked out the costs for Vpost:
To ship the Lego Chima product
to Singapore, what you have to pay for shipping is:
SGD 13.40 + (SGD 0.91 x rounded up 450g/100g) = SGD 17.95
(Base cost) (Cost/ Every 100g)
To ship the Lego Chima product
weighing 450g, and a Daniel Wellington watch
from Amazon weighing 220g and the total shipping weight is 670g. What you pay for shipping is:
SGD 13.40 + (SGD 0.91 x rounded up 670g/100g) = SGD 19.77
(Base Cost) (Cost/ Every 100g)
As you can see, our estimates show that it is slightly cheaper to ship through vPost – though our caveat is also that the exact cost can differ, depending on the packaging used and fuel surcharges. We have not worked out an example for Daigou65 yet, but hearsay seems to suggest they are the cheapest in the market.
Of course, price isn’t the only factor, and you should also check out the service experience for each of these companies.
On shipping weight, it is important to note that parcels from the US may be charged the higher of the actual weight, or something called “dimensional weight”. We will have more details on how dimensional weight is calculated in our next post.
Note: We have used a USD / SGD conversion rate of 1.33. Shipping rates, fuel surcharges and exchange rates may vary from time to time.