Any tips for shipping internationally?

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Shipping internationally can be very expensive. Please be aware of that and work it into your gift budget.

Here are some tips we've gathered for the past exchanges:

  • Check what can/can not be imported into the destination county. This information can generally be found on the destination country's embassy or customs webpage. USPS seems to have a pretty comprehensive list available at this link.
  • When filling out the customs forms, make sure you indicate it is a gift and be as generically specific about the contents as you can. You don't need to do into absolute detail, but simply writing "gift" as the contents may raise some flags by customs. Whereas, "books, toys, candy" will generally not cause problems.
  • The customs form will require you to write the monetary value of the contents, the higher the amount, the more likely your giftee is to be charged import fees. 
  •  The customs form may require a phone number for the recipient, if that is the case, please message your giftee to get the information. 
  • If possible, avoid using a courier service. (e.g. UPS, Fedex, and DHL) Many of them will charge your giftee a customs handling fee as well as any customs or import fees in order for them to receive their gift. Sometimes when using a courier service, they will also ask for passport information which may not be available. This varies from country to country. If you must use a courier service, you can consider sending your giftee money to cover the cost, or, at the very least give them a heads up. 
  • If shipping costs end up being too high for you, look for an online shop that is local to your giftee and purchase a gift directly from there.

Please also see this helpful post for more shipping advice.

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