How to buy items in the US without a US credit card

How to buy items in the US without a US credit card

Not all US online stores will accept your local or International credit card and will require you to have a US credit card to purchase from them. So here’s my guide on how to work around it.
You should only consider these steps if you can’t buy using your normal credit card. Otherwise, read my guide on How to buy directly from US websites and have it shipped to you via freight forwarder – comGateway.

So, how to buy items in the US?

One way is to use a freight forwarder.  It’s essentially a freight forwarder is an organisation that will receive freight (goods/ items) on your behalf and forward it to you.
comGateway with their BuyForMe service (US founded) and vPost4U from SingPost (Singapore founded) offers you the ability to buy from an overseas merchant that does not accept international credit cards. They both work by allowing you to pay them first, and then they will buy the item/s on your behalf. They both will ship to many countries around the world such as Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, etc.
Here’s how I used comGateway’s BuyForMe service to buy items for me.

Step 1 – Sign up for a US address at comGateway

As soon as you register with comGateway, you’ll be given a free, sales tax-exempted U.S. shipping address, and the fun can begin!

Step 2 – Start shopping and find the items you want

Start shopping and find the item that you’re looking for. That is, shop at your favourite U.S. online stores, ship packages to your new U.S. address. As the store won’t accept your credit card, we will use comGateway‘s BuyForMe service.

Step 3 – Once you find your items enter the details in the BuyForMe section of comGateway

Once you find your items enter the details in the BuyForMe section of comGateway. This is under the “Tools” menu.

Fill in your items in your BuyForMe cart

Step 4 – Check out at BuyForMe

Once you are ready, check out and pay for your items with your local or International credit card. comGateway will then buy your items on your behalf.

Step 5 – You will see a confirmation BuyForMe screen

Step 6 – You’ll also receive a confirmation email

You’ll also receive a confirmation email with details on your comGateway BuyForMe purchase.

Please note the 5% service and admin charge below that comGateway will add to your bill for buying the item on your behalf and factor this into your costs.

comGateway
Dear Vu,
Thank you for shopping with comGateway BuyForMe service.
We have received your order request with AMAZON.COM. View your Orders here.
BuyForMe order Confirmation
Product Description Quantity Unit Price Sub Total

AMAZON.COM
TP-LINK N300 Wi-Fi Range Extender (TL-WA850RE)
Amazon.com
1 US$19.86 US$19.86

Sub Total US$19.86
BuyForMe service charge US$0.99
Total US$20.85
You have chosen free or lowest cost domestic delivery.
You have chosen to hold the order if one or more items are unavailable.

Next Step:
We will proceed to place your order within the next 48 hours. We will send you another email when your package arrives at your U.S. Address.

Step 7 – Check your Dashboard for your items

Check your Dashboard for your items. Once they are received by comGateway, you will see them in your dashboard.
comGateway dashboard. Packages will be here once they arrive from the US online stores

Step 8 – Packages are shipped to your US Address at comGateway

comGateway notify you as soon as your packages arrive. When you log in, you’ll have full control over what happens to your package next.
This includes:

  • View full scans of each package’s invoice and chargeable shipping weights
  • Enjoy 30 days of free storage while all your shipments arrive for consolidation
  • Make easy returns if you change your mind
  • Manage international shipping options and track your packages
Tip – It’s generally best to group all your items together if you are buying from many different US online stores. This helps you to maximise your purchases and make save you from paying more than one freight postage costs.

Step 9 – When you’re ready, ask comGateway to ship your packages home

Make sure everything you ordered has arrived, tell us how you want them packed, and give us the OK to ship them to you. You’ll be able to track the packages until they arrive in 3-8 business days. comGateway uses FedEx and DHL to manage their logistics delivery here for you.

Step 10 – Enjoy your new items!

Enjoy your new goods, shipped directly from the US.
Sound good? Check out more details here at comGateway. Happy shopping!

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How to buy from US online stores using comGateway from Singapore

How to buy from US online stores using comGateway from Singapore

First of all, what is comGateway?

comGateway is an e-Commerce company that provides solutions for consumers to buy online and ship internationally to more than 200 countries. It’s essentially a freight forwarder, which means they receive freight (goods/ items) on your behalf and forward it to you.
 

Why use comGateway?

comGateway will give you  a free, sales tax-exempted U.S. shipping address. This allows you to buy what you need with no extra taxes.
 

How to buy from US online stores using comGateway

Step 1 – Sign up for a US address at comGateway

As soon as you register with comGateway, you’ll be given a free, sales tax-exempted U.S. shipping address, and the fun can begin!

Step 2 – Start shopping

Start shopping and use the new US address. That is, shop at your favourite U.S. online stores, ship packages to your new U.S. address. If a store won’t accept your credit card, use comGateway’s BuyForMe service.

Shopping Tips

  • Pro Tip: Shop via Ebates for up to 15% cash back!
  • Be sure your items aren’t prohibited for international shipping.
  • Always your location as United States & consider view currency in $USD- some sites offer more products or lower prices for U.S. customers.
  • Need items from more than one site? Consolidate multiple packages at your U.S. address and save on international shipping.
  • Use comGateway’s Time & Cost Calculator to estimate shipping.

Step 3 – Packages are shipped to your US Address

comGateway notify you as soon as your packages arrive. When you log in, you’ll have full control over what happens to your package next.
This includes:

  • View full scans of each package’s invoice and chargeable shipping weights
  • Enjoy 30 days of free storage while all your shipments arrive for consolidation
  • Make easy returns if you change your mind
  • Manage international shipping options and track your packages
I personally brought a bunch of items and had it shipped to my comGateway US address.
I brought myself some chocolate from Godiva, and a bunch of items from Amazon
 such as a Roku3
. The 19.86 USD item below is one I brought using comGateway’s BuyForMe service – to test this so I could share my experiences with you.
 
After following Steps 1 through to 3 above, I had my items shipped and waiting at my comGateway US address.
 
When you log into comGateway, you will find this under your “Ship” option.

 

I was a bit surprised to see that the shipping weight was higher for some products that I ordered from Amazon. It looks like you need to be very careful and keep in mind not only “Actual Weight” but “Volumetric weight” as well. (please read the “How are shipping rates calculated” above for more details).

So the important learning from my experience here that you should take note is this.

Shipping weight is determined by volumetric and actual weight of a shipment – whichever is greater.

Here are these details for each of my purchase line items. You see these details when you highlight the “Shipping Weight” in your “Package Awaiting Instructions” page.

First item from Godiva

Second item from Amazon (via “USMerchant” supplier)

Third item from Amazon

Fourth item from Amazon (my Roku3
!)

Step 4 – When you’re ready, ask comGateway to ship your packages home at comGateway

Make sure everything you ordered has arrived, tell us how you want them packed, and give us the OK to ship them to you. You’ll be able to track the packages until they arrive in 3-8 business days. comGateway uses FedEx and DHL to manage their logistics delivery here for you.

 

 
For me, once my items have arrived at the comGateway US address, I shipped my items to my place in Singapore. It is shipped using DHL and they also gave me the option to consider picking up the items from Cheers/ Fairprice.
 

Step 4.1 Confirm Final Delivery Address

You can have it delivered to an address you desire or self collect at a local Cheers/ Fairprice in Singapore. This is up to you.
 

 

Step 4.2 Select Repack (optional) and Shipping Speed

Step 4.3 Pay for your International shipping fees and add Promo codes (as applicable)

Step 4.4 Review International Shipping order

Review your International Shipping order. In my purchase, at this step, I reviewed the order again after entering my payment details. I have chosen the “Standard” shipping option.
 

SUMMARY OF SHIPPING CHARGES

EXPECTED DELIVERY DATE

 

2016-01-20
TOTAL WEIGHT

 

11.5KG

VU TRAN

 
 
 
SG

Singapore

TEL:
  • DOMESTIC SHIPPING
  • $8.80
  • INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING 
    (STANDARD)
  • $83.30

  • FUEL SURCHARGE
  • $9.16
  • INSURANCE
  • $3.52
  • CONSOLIDATION CHARGE
  • $1.00
  • GST (INCLUSIVE OF HANDLING FEES)
  • $25.67
 

  • SUBTOTAL
  • $131.45

Step 4.5 Confirm your International Shipping order

 

Step 5 – Enjoy your new items!

Enjoy your new goods, shipped directly from the US.
If you’re wondering, I shipped mine in Jan 2016 on standard shipping and received it on Saturday 16th January 2016.
 
Here’s a summary of the steps again in an infographic.
 
 
Sound good? Check out more details here at comGateway. Happy shopping!
 

How are shipping rates calculated?

If you’re wondering how shipping rates are calculated.
Shipping charges are calculated using a flat fee for the first half kilogram, with a lower subsequent fee charge for every additional half kilogram.
 
Shipping weight is determined by volumetric and actual weight of a shipment – whichever is greater. Volumetric weight is calculated by multiplying the dimensions of a package and dividing the result via a volumetric factor.
 
I’m based in Singapore so here are my rates as an example.
 
DESCRIPTIONS EXPRESS STANDARD
FIRST 0.5KG $13.57 $11.80
EACH ADDITIONAL 0.5KG $3.74 $3.25
SPEED OF DELIVERY

 

(IN BUSINESS DAYS)

3 – 4 5 – 8

comGateway Time and Cost Calculator

I used their Time and Cost calculator as I want to get a feel of the shipping costs now that I know my actual “shipping weight” (after my items has arrived).

 
 
 
 
 

After putting in my “shipping weight”, this is the results that came up.

 

Learnings from buying items using comGateway

Now, as key takeaways. Here are my learnings from my purchase:

  • Volumetric and actual weight – Take note and think about what the shipping weight would be. Since this is determined by volumetric and actual weight of a shipment – and they say it’ll be whichever is greater.
  • Use the Time & Cost Calculator from comGateway – It’s handy to use, and gives you a better view of the other costs. Though you’ll need to estimate what you think your “shipping weight” will be.
  • BuyForMe service is great when you don’t have a US credit card, but don’t use it unless that’s the case. As you will need to be careful and ask them to give you a quote on the final domestic US shipping costs from your online store to your comGateway US address.

Remove or update outdated information from Google

How to remove or update outdated information from Google

If you have a website, or you see information has been deleted from a webpage, but still shows in Google Search results, you can ask Google to update or remove the page.
This is a pretty cool feature that I just discovered, so I am highlighting this in case you didn’t know there was such a feature available.
This is great for me right now, as I recently just changed my subdomain name and need to make sure people are not hitting blank pages. From an SEO perspective, this is very important if you have pages that you may have deleted permanently so that you can let Google know before it plays a factor in your website ranking.

How to remove outdated content

Remove a page that was already deleted from a site from search results

  1. Go to the Remove outdated content page
  2. In the “Enter URL of outdated content” box, paste the URL of the page. (Learn how to find the URL of the page)
  3. Click Request removal.
  4. If you see the message “This content is gone,” click Request removal.

Note: If you see the message “The page is still live on the web” but the page has already been removed, click Submit feedback and we’ll look into the issue.
Here’s an example of a page of mine that I am removing.

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