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  1. #1
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    Default Best way to ship international packages?

    My sister just left to study abroad in China for a year. My mother needs to ship some of her winter clothes to her that she couldn't take on the airplane with her. What would be the best/cheapest way to ship these packages and preferably not take months to get there? Thanks!
    Mommy to 2 DS's (2003 and 2007)

  2. #2
    Neatfreak is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    My SIL has sent us a few things (we live in Thailand at the moment), and USPS has worked out really well. Packages arrive in 5-14 days, and it's a lot cheaper than using DHL or FedEx (though those are much faster).

    I'd love to know if there are any other good alternatives as well!
    ~ Laura



    One in 2004 and the other one in 2008

  3. #3
    MamaMolly is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    IME DHL is less likely to get 'rummaged through' on the non-U.S. end. If I were you I'd break it into a couple of smaller packages and send a few USPS and a few DHL just to see which gets there. Or gets there in one piece. Then send along the rest of the stuff that way.
    Molly
    Lula '06 outgrew her allergy to milk & eggs, still allergic to peanuts and cats
    Dolly '10

  4. #4
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    Take it there herself? Seriously, bulky winter clothes are going to be heavy and expensive to ship.

    I ship a lot overseas (although never to China) and USPS has always been the cheapest. But they have a definite size limit to the boxes you can ship. For adult clothes, I might get vacuum/space bags or something to compact them in order to get everything in one box.

    I would not split up packages though because you pay an expensive base price and once you get to a certain weight, it is only a few more dollars per pound. They no longer have surface mail, so everything is air and gets wherever I have sent it quickly.

    As a reference, I have sent about 18 lbs of kids clothes to Australia via insured express mail for a little over $100 (this include printing my label on-line discount.)

  5. #5
    mommy111 is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    USPS flat rater priority mail shipping boxes. But be prepared to have your stuff rummaged through at the other end with customs and to pay something there even if its totally unreasonable.

  6. #6
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    lowrioh is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rainbows&Roses
    Take it there herself? Seriously, bulky winter clothes are going to be heavy and expensive to ship.

    I ship a lot overseas (although never to China) and USPS has always been the cheapest. But they have a definite size limit to the boxes you can ship. For adult clothes, I might get vacuum/space bags or something to compact them in order to get everything in one box.

    I would not split up packages though because you pay an expensive base price and once you get to a certain weight, it is only a few more dollars per pound. They no longer have surface mail, so everything is air and gets wherever I have sent it quickly.

    As a reference, I have sent about 18 lbs of kids clothes to Australia via insured express mail for a little over $100 (this include printing my label on-line discount.)
    I have the same advice. International shipping has gotten outrageously expensive. And when it gets there it may be assessed a lot of import taxes. USPS Priority mail seems to be less likely to go "missing" in my experience.
    Could she find someone who is going over and send the clothing with them? You are usually allowed 2 suitcases for an international flight and a lot of folks don't take 2. When I was an exchange student my parents sent me clothing that way and we routinely send stuff over to South Africa with friends.
    Otherwise it might be just as cost effective to have her buy stuff over there.
    ___________________________________
    Mother to DD-A July 2008
    and DD-B-November 2010

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I didn't realize that USPS eliminated the surface mail option.
    Mommy to 2 DS's (2003 and 2007)

  8. #8
    stefani is online now Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Unless she is far from the norm of Chinese women, body wise, it will probably be cost effective to buy winter clothing there.

    Shipping is expensive, and what I found is that the clothing bought in the same place it is worn tends to fit better. Not fitting in terms of size, but in terms of thickness, type of clothing, etc. The weather where she lives here may be quite different from the weather there.

    I wish I can go, then I'll be happy to take a suitcase of clothing for her, .

    The few times I have sent packages to Asia, I used USPS. DHL is faster, but a small envelope (goods, not paper) cost me $70!
    Stefani

    Mommy to DS born 5 Sep 03

  9. #9
    Zansu is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    On the other end of the spectrum, if you need to ship 150lbs or more, try DHL Global Forwarding (a different company that DHL Express, but still part of the DHL Corp family).

    UPS and FedEx also have frieght services for foreign shipments, but DHL is the best of the group.

  10. #10
    army_mom is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    USPS does have international flat rate boxes but the price varies on location and the boxes aren't going to hold many clothes but may come in handy to send care packages. My SIL is in the Peace Corps in Morroco and we send her boxes via USPS at the flat rate of $37 a box! And they do get rummaged through at the other end. Is there anyway she can get an APO? Or if she knows someone who is flying over there, put it in their luggage (even paying an additional baggage fee would be cheaper than mailing). If not, I agree with the posts above, mailing is probably not the most cost effective way.
    Mommy to "Roo" (12/08)

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