How To Shop Makeup Anywhere Around The World - Cosmetopia Digest Beauty and Makeup Blog

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Thursday, May 17, 2018

How To Shop Makeup Anywhere Around The World

One of the most frustrating things about being a makeup addict - irrespective of where you live on this planet - is knowing that a bunch of brands are inaccessible to you, simply because they are unavailable in your country. Similarly, you also tend to miss out on country-exclusive sales and deals.
 These days, however, thanks to the internet, most brands either ship worldwide directly, or do so indirectly through retailers (Stay tuned for a series on where to buy what brand and get it shipped anywhere around the world). Nevertheless, there are some brands which aren't available outside of their country of origin. Lorac is one huge example - as far as I can see (and I shop extensively), no authorised retailer ships Lorac worldwide; nor does the brand do so directly.
This is where you have something called a "forwarding service". Essentially, a forwarding service is someone who, when you sign up, gives you an address in the country where you want to shop, receives packages for you, and forwards them to your address within your country. Neat, innit?
Having researched and compared a bunch of forwarding services, I find that a number of them charge you just to sign up and get an address within, say, the US. Others charge to receive packages or to repackage. Yet others refuse to consolidate packages without an additional charge.
Even worse, most forwarding services offer only DHL and Fedex as their carriers, and we know what the postage costs for those two are - often exceeding the cost of the items purchased.  
Ideally, a forwarding service should not charge for just signing up/getting an address within, say, the US, or for consolidating or repackaging your purchases, or for storing them for a couple of weeks. The charge involved must centre around the cost of forwarding the package to you, and not much else - maybe a nominal service charge. And, the carrier options must vary, and include local shippers who don't charge as much as DHL.
I've finally found a forwarding service that fulfills all these requirements - 1GrandTrunk. They ship from the US to anywhere at reasonable rates, and offer better value for money than their competitors, and have successfully shipped out more than 5,000 packages last year alone, to more than 45 countries.

Scroll down to find out how to shop for makeup from anywhere around the world.

How To Shop Makeup Anywhere Around The World
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How does this forwarding service work?

1. Sign up for free; get your US address

You get an address within the US for no charge, when you sign up on the website here.

2. Shop online with your US address for delivery

When you shop, you enter the US address given to you by 1GrandTrunk, in the delivery information (NOT the billing address - that would be your credit card/debit card/Paypal address). You can shop at Sephora, Ulta, Kohls, JCPenny... knock yourself out!
Which US parcel forwarding service is best and cheapest

3. Assisted purchasing

Some websites do not accept credit cards that are issued in another country. Under these circumstances, if you are unable to pay using cards or Paypal, 1GrandTrunk will assist you by making the payment on your behalf. All you need to do is send them the details of the item and the retailer where you want to buy - you can do this via a form on their website or via email.
They will then tell you the total cost including taxes, postage options to your home, and a service charge (about $5, depending on the total cost of your order), and you can decide whether to go ahead with the purchase or not. 
Remember - taxes may be applied by some retailers; 1GrandTrunk's warehouse is in Virginia. If requesting assisted purchasing, this tax may be added by them. If not, the tax - if applicable - may be added when you check out while shopping directly.

4. Package arrives at the US address

Your order then goes over to the US warehouse, where it is received free of cost. You are then informed that the packaged has arrived for you. They tell you what contents are within the package, but if you want a photograph of the items inside, it costs $1 extra, which you need to pay along with the postage.

5. Storage

Packages are stored free of cost for ONE month. That's not bad; gives you plenty of time to shop more!

6. Consolidation

Multiple packages may be consolidated into one large shipment, free of cost.

7. Repackaging

In the event that your package is bulky, they can repackage it for you - IF you so wish. If you want your parcel to come in the original packaging, you can request this as well.

8. Forwarding to you

Several options are offered, including local couriers in the country of your residence. This means there is a way of getting your package delivered without paying an arm and a leg.
All shipping options offered are fully tracked.
There is a built-in shipping calculator on the website here, where you can enter the country where you live, the approximate weight of your purchases (REMEMBER - add a pound or two extra for the weight of the packaging, invoice, and so on), and calculate the approximate postage costs for various carriers. This is where 1GrandTrunk differs from other services - they offer local carrier options, which don't cost a bomb to get your packages to your home. For instance, if you live in Russia, they offer "Boxberry", who don't cost as much as DHL/Fedex. Aramex is a low-cost option for those living in the Middle East.
You can then choose the carrier you wish to use, and make the payment for this online with your credit or debit card, use a money transfer service such as Western Union, OR request a Paypal invoice (I prefer the latter).  

9. Payment

You then make the payment for delivery, choosing the shipping option that appeals the most (depending upon cost, delivery time, and so on).
You can also pre-pay customs duty BUT carriers such as DHL and Fedex tend to charge about 10% (or more) extra for this, so I would recommend post-paying duty as needed, even though prepayment helps avoid any surprises. 1GrandTrunk fills in all the documentation for you; if an invoice is included in your package, they will add that as well. If not, you may have to tell them how much you paid for the lot. Customs duty is a government tax, and it is illegal to attempt to evade any form of tax, in every country around the world.

That's it. Await the arrival of your shipment, and sit back. Delivery time depends on the country where you live, and the shipping method chosen. For instance, Fedex and DHL may be quicker than, say, USPS.

What if you want to return something?

If something has arrived at the US address, and you change your mind, 1GrandTrunk assists you with returns by sending the item or items you specify back to the retailer. There is a service cost for the returns; it is $2.99.
If something has already reached you at home, then you may need to send it back to 1GrandTrunk in order to facilitate the return. You may not get back the shipping cost you paid to have the package forwarded to you, or any customs duty you paid.

So, now here's what they DON'T do.
They do not ship "from anywhere to anywhere"; they ship FROM the US TO anywhere around the world. They also ship FROM China and India TO anywhere around the world.
In other words, you can shop TO any country on earth from the US, China, and India, regardless of where you are living.

There are some HAZMAT restrictions - mostly nail polishes, and perfumes. I am, of course, talking about beauty products alone, since this is a beauty blog. That doesn't mean you can shop for weapons, drugs, body parts, and so on! You may view a full list of restricted items here.
Also, some merchants - retailers - may not deliver to the forwarding agent. I understand from 1GrandTrunk that all known beauty retailers within the US definitely deliver to them without problems, and there are no beauty retailers on their "restricted merchants" list.

Forwarding services have truly made the world a small place. Now there is no more need to complain about how some of us are missing out on sumptuous Holiday sets from Sephora, Black Friday deals, and even birthday present offers. You can even use Ebates while shopping from retailers in the US, get cashback offers, and arrange for your packages to be delivered to 1GrandTrunk, who will then forward them to your home.

To sign up, go here. No payment until you order a package. Have fun shopping!





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