As we’ve noted in the past sometimes shopping in Bermuda can be a harrowing experience. There are times you simply can’t get certain items on island and it is in these cases where the Internet can prove to be a tremendous resource. The only problem? Many businesses in the US won’t ship to Bermuda, don’t accept Bermudian credit cards and worst of all, will sometimes split your order into multiple shipments ‘for your convenience’. Local forwarding firms go a long way in helping make this situation less painful and yet there is nothing like ordering a bunch of specially sized shoes from Shoebuy.com only to watch in horror as each item is shipped individually. You’re forced to suffer through paying at least the minimum fee for each item while you wonder why these firms don’t offer some sort of package consolidation option. Why?
In the last year ZipX’s forwarding service has proven excellent when it comes to shipping items to the island, especially if you need them quickly. They have a pretty quick turn around and they handle the customs hassles for you which saves many headaches. As great as the service can be, it falls apart when it comes to being overcharged duty on a misinterpreted item or having an order split up into many small packages and being charged at least the minimum for each. Really, who wants to end up with staggering unexpected costs? On top of that, who wants to pay state taxes for items being shipped to Bermuda? Quite unfortunately while the rest of their service is outstanding, they stumble with these difficulties and attempts at contacting them to suggest services such as consolidation go unanswered. Thus we find ourselves seeking alternatives when service doesn’t need to be so speedy and we’re most concerned about cost.
While there are other forwarding services on island, none seem to have stepped up to provide the level of service that takes away all the hassles. While no firms provide the ultimate hassle free solution, numerous US based forwarding companies provide baskets of alternative services. As such it seemed like a good idea to give one a shot and after some research Shipito.com was decided as a worthy trial candidate.
Shipito is a forwarding company based in California which offers full service forwarding. This includes a virtual mailbox with forwarding address for a small monthly fee of $10 or an annual fee of $50, a variety of services and most desirable of all, a convenient web site in which you can fully manage your account, packages and shipments. You ship your items to Shipito where they weigh it, measure it and send you an email that it’s been received. If you’re a virtual mailbox subscriber they’ll even hold your package for you for up to 45 days.
You can select your shipping options of airmail, USPS or FEDEX, each of which have discounted rates and take different durations. You can fill out your customs details, though you’ll still require invoices when picking it up from the post office having used USPS and you can make special requests. Special requests include the ability to have them take photos of the contents of your package and send them to you or any other request you may have. You can even pre-configure these settings so packages are resent out as fast as possible.
Certainly the most useful of all is the small fee charged for consolidating packages of which you can select multiple packages and request that they repack it into one. Shipping estimates and timelines for delivery are provided to make this helpful and easy. Further they offer an added service that goes above and beyond: the virtual shopper. In the case that you can’t purchase something with your Bermudian credit/debit card, Shipito will make purchases for you online and in the case of a select number of stores, will make purchases in person as well. This is the kind of service we’re lacking with local forwarding firms.
While ZipX has proven to be a great and useful service where it falls short is going that extra mile to remain competitive and offer the best service possible. Indeed, if you need to get something quickly or don’t want to deal with customs hassles then ZipX can be your best option as their turnaround is fantastic. In contrast however if you need to order multiple things and fear the wrath of split shipments, ZipX can prove to be a nightmare. Other firms like Shipito rise up to fill these gaps with their helpful online management systems and services. While services like Shipito don’t make things completely hassle free such as having to deal with customs yourself and perhaps jump through a few hoops when it comes to verifying your identity, they do give a pretty good idea of where our local forwarding services should be striving to be. Best of all, they give us one more alternative for those times when you need to order big shoes and don’t want to face the horror of split shipments ‘for your convenience’.