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. You can read about my comGateway BuyForMe experience here.
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.
Sound good? Check out more details here at comGateway. Happy shopping!
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
Sound good? Check out more details here at comGateway.

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.

Sound good? Check out more details here at comGateway.

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. 

Sound good? Check out more details here at comGateway. Happy shopping!

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