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Internet shopping?

I'm so used to buying things on Amazon that I wonder if I'd be able to make regular purchases and have it shipped to my home in Ecuador.  I'm learning, however, that things don't work the same way and since I'm so GREEN, I have no idea if I'd be able to buy things on the internet that I can't find locally.  Anyone care to chime in on this?

I have been wondering this very same thing!

Nope....
They won't ship here. The only luck I have with Amazon delivery here in Cuenca is for my Kindle. No problems with down loads.
You'd have to ship to a US addy, then pay a huge shipping fee to get anything from Amazon.
Bummer!!!!

Stay Well,
Neil

Neil,
Is that just Amazon that wont ship to Ecuador?
Wow I sure will save a lot of moola if I can't do any internet shopping...LOL

jan

Hey Jan,
I've not heard  of anyone stateside that ships to Ecuador. You have to go through a second party shipper. Like UPS, or DSL. It is a very spendy proposition. I just had an 8.5 pound package delivered to Cuenca via USPS. I think the cost was in the mid 60 dollar range. So, that is an option. It took exactly 10 days from shipment to here. There are also private carriers you can use.
Stay Well,
Neil

How will I ever survive??!!!!    LOL!  :blink:

Amazon.com will ship certain items here like paper books, but I am not sure there is an advantage in cost or time over using Club Correo, if you join them for a yearly membership fee of around $13.

http://www.econcargoecuador.net/clubcorreos/index.php

Mostly I order stuff off easy. Perhaps it is not a big thing that I will need to curb my internet shopping!!
hmm...I wonder if LL Bean will ship there?

Have a great evening Neil.

j

How about getting a pallet shipped there?  If we move, we would probably ship 2-3 pallets.

Any idea cost, price?

Boy,
I have no idea. I did the suitcase thing. There are plenty of shippers. Go on Gringo Tree and look up movers under the recommendations tab.
Hopefully someone reading your query has done it, and will give you a hand.
Good Luck
Neil

American companies do the pallets. But you will need your agent in customs who can deal with them and tell you the taxes, etc

Never fear, fair maiden.  There is a way.  Check out: http://www.econcargoecuador.net/ (website is in Spanish, but Google Chrome/Translate will help out, if necessary.)

It's a partnership between EconCargo and the Ecuadorean Post Office.  Orders from Amazon (and most any other online merchant) are sent to them in Florida and then forwarded to Ecuador via the Post Offfice system. Here in Cuenca, at least, if you have a proper street address, the PO will deliver directly to your home.  Otherwise, one can pick up their package(s) at the PO downtown.

There are some rules and limitations, but the system has served me well the last couple of years.  So far I've received nearly 40 orders from Amazon and others without any losses.  Delivery is usually within 2-3 weeks, but not always.  All shipments are trackable online.

If you have any questions feel free to ask.

It has been almost three years since anyone posted on this thread.

Internet Shopping, however, is a great topic .. and is well-named for a thread .. so I’m reviving it here in late 2016.

....

I ordered my first shipment of anything from the United States since 2014 about seven weeks ago.

That September 2014 shipment via Amazon encountered many problems and finally arrived in January 2015 in the dying days of Club Correos, the EC postal service’s failed sub-service.  Ecuador was just starting to impose the fancy new $42 tariff at the time, and I got stuck with two $40 fees when the shipment got sent in two parts.

....

On the latest shipment (2016), I ordered something I have never found outside the United States -- and which is crucial in Ecuador for the noise-sensitive Expat.  Malleable, good quality ear plugs.

Actually, this product is called Ear Stopples by Flent’s and is indispensable to me for sleeping .. for swimming .. for riding noisy buses .. to block out unwanted sound during a massage .. for meditating if Oriente Street is noisy .. and did I mention sleeping? Of course, I did.

The Amazon providers of this product do not -- or did not -- ship to Quito when I was ordering.  However, via a Google search I found Steede Medical LLC of Doral, Florida, which came to the rescue.  Look up steedemedical.com for their product lines. 

They sent me 12 boxes of Ear Stopples (six pairs to a box) for $60 including a $5 ‘handling’ charge, not including shipping.

Shipping via USPS (then by Correos del Ecuador in Quito) including insurance turned out to be $41.50.

That did not include a SENAE charge levied in Ecuador of $5.08, which I paid in cash at my local Quito post-office today when I picked up the item.  SENAE had held up the process for about a week with their customs shenanigans.  In all, it took almost two months from start (research) to finish to get the wax-based product.

The shipment was trackable on a USPS website during the entire process, using a tracking number suppled to me by Steede Medical.

Was it worth almost $107 to get the Ear Stopples?

For me it certainly was.  It’s well over a year’s supply of peace and quiet on demand.  As they say:  “Priceless.”

cccmedia in Quito

From a contact:
I ship things from Ebay all the time, electronic and otherwise. You will need to be patient as the mail, and Aduana are very slow. It is typically cheaper to order form a country other than the US as the shipping costs from the US are exorbitant.

Q: You've piqued my curiosity. If you don't mind me asking, what countries do you have items shipped from and what kinds of items? What carriers so you use or do you have things shipped through that country's PO to the Ecuador PO?

A:  I have shipped items I have purchased from Ebay from all over the world. To list a few: Ukraine, England, Scotland, China, Israel, Russia, India, and others. The method of shipping has been everything for the big three, FedEX, DHL, and UPS to Royal mail, Hong Kong Post, USPS, and others. Depends on the shipper mostly but I have requested the premium carriers if I am in a hurry.

Q: Have you been required to pay the $42+ tax when the items arrive in Ecuador?

A: Yes, if you use a premium delivery service like DHL, or Sevientrega. IF you use regular postage like USPS or Royal mail they do not make those charges.

Q: so anyway do you have an idea of the total cost before your last click or are there some extras when you receive the goods? And does it all work also for shipping to the coast of Ecuador (Salinas)? thanks

A: The 4x4 rules still apply regardless of the shipping method. IF the packager is under $400.00 and under 4 Kilos, no tax. Over either one then they will charge taxes on the item(s). There is also an additional fee at the post office, usually less than $5.00 er item.

I like your Q-and-A format, G, as well as the information. 

Can you give us some examples of the more reasonable, non-urgent shipping costs you have paid from the various places ?

What was approximate shipping time in some instances?

cccmedia in Quito

cccmedia :

Shipping via USPS (then by Correos del Ecuador in Quito) including insurance turned out to be $41.50.

That did not include a SENAE charge levied in Ecuador of $5.08, which I paid in cash at my local Quito post-office today when I picked up the item.  SENAE had held up the process for about a week with their customs shenanigans.  In all, it took almost two months from start (research) to finish to get the wax-based product.

cccmedia in Quito

$41.50 for shipping + $5.00 at the post office  for a total of 46.50 is pretty reasonable.  .

Just for sake of comparison, if that item was 1 pound or less and your shipping to a Transexpress mailbox in Florida were free, you would have paid for shpping to Ecuador

$9.50 shpping plus $42.00 tariff for a total of $51.50.  Not sure about insurance.  The shipping time from florida to Quito with customs delays probably wouldn't be more than a week. So it might come down to whether it is worth an extra $5 to get it faster. Of course, you are only allowed to use a courier service 5 times a year to get packages while with the post office there is no limit.

I usually normally use TransExpress.com in Miami.   They receive your purchases (and mail) and then ship it to Ecuador where they have Laar Courier, a partner company in Ecuador, handle it on this end and deliver it to your home.   There's no membership fee and the rates are the lowest I've seen.  For the first pound it's $9.50 and about $4.00-5.00/lb after that. 

For many items, you can opt to ship outside the 4x4 system with no $42 tax but pay the normal import fees + IVA  and often save some money.  They have a handy calculator to estimate your total cost. 

Those ear plugs would likely be in a medical supplies category, so there may be no import fee and just the IVA and If the ship weight is 3 lbs, the shipping would be free from Amazon and $20 to Ecuador.

Charlie B.

icemeister :

Those ear plugs would likely be in a medical supplies category, so there may be no import fee and just the IVA and If the ship weight is 3 lbs, the shipping would be free from Amazon and $20 to Ecuador.

Charlie B.

That would be even better.  I wonder if they would ship vitamins under that category.

I had to get a part for my car (a VW) and the local dealers said it needs to be imported and I would have to pay the total of about $200 up front to order it.   So....I started checking around online and found an online store in Latvia that sold it to me for $67 plus $13 shipping to Ecuador via the postal service.

It took about a week to get to the UK, where it was processed somehow and entered into the international postal system, so the tracking system at Correos del Ecuador could then follow its progress.

It arrived in Quito a week or so later, where it was held for a required 33 days waiting period in an Aduana jail...I mean...a warehouse.  Then it got nationalized by Aduana and released back to Correos del Ecuador.  That took another week.

Then I received a notice at my house from the post office that I had to go to their storefront annex at the bus terminal in Guayaquil, where I picked up my part for the unbelievable cost of $1.00 cash.  No tax, no fees, no nada. 

I wanted to ask about that 33 day thing, but I figured I'd not temp fate...just say gracias and leave quietly.

Nards Barley :
icemeister :

Those ear plugs would likely be in a medical supplies category, so there may be no import fee and just the IVA and If the ship weight is 3 lbs, the shipping would be free from Amazon and $20 to Ecuador.

Charlie B.

That would be even better.  I wonder if they would ship vitamins under that category.

You can send them an email with a link to the item (on Amazon for example) you want to ship and Laar Courier will get an answer for you. 

My wife buys supplements and vitamins along with makeup, personal care items, spices, etc and ships under the 4x4.  If you spend more than around $120-130, the duties and IVA you save offsets the $42 tax.  So above that the Category B, 4x4 route is cheaper, but limited not only to $400 and 4 kilograms, but also by quantities...typically three of any one item.  You're also limited to 5 shipments and $1200 per person per year under the 4x4 rules.

Charlie B.

Huh.  I imagine it was intercepted by the Aduana for being over 4 kg (the auto part)?

Okay,

I know you are used to Amazon,, so was I.  The great thing about Amazon is now that you are here, it is easy to send things to people from Amazon.  That way you don't have to just try to send Ecuadorian things.. you can send them what they are used to.

I don't mean to be sarcastic.  I too was used to PB2,, PB2 chocolate, and various other pleasures that I still love.  Here in Ecuador you will find other things to replace the need to buy things.  Life here is simple, slow, relaxed( so you can do the due diligence to find what you need).  There is no web to show you where to go get things,, you discover them,, by walking, by someone else telling you about it. or passing by it in a taxi and knowing you better write the cross streets quick before you can never find it again). 

When we first arrived, they had a 4X4 program which meant that you could have something shipped in,, from Amazon that was less than 4 kilograms, or less than 400 dollars in value by a third party shipper,, and it was wonderful.. but then they Ecuador lost in the oil game,, added a import tax of 35% on imported items,, and away went the awesome thrill of receiving packages.. even if you made a mistake and it was over the weight allowable.. yes we paid a small fortune for an escape ladder but oh well.

Now,, we live with what Ecuador has,, no process food,, very little actually, buy from Expats leaving to get what we didn't bring that we cannot do without.. and enjoy what we do have.  You find things that you need,, and buy what you don't,, Tia is a wonderful store for that.. or Sukasa if you want to pay high end prices... it is up to you.

I hear all people say,, how do I.. well,, you do.. you just do it differently here.

Sincerely

We’re not all alike when it comes to internet shopping. Locally, many things are available but not everything, regardless of price. Take Levi Jeans for example, they have the regular sizes and modern tight leg jeans, but don’t have classic straight leg or bootcut. And what’s available is more than twice the cost, sometimes as much as three times the cost, especially when you can buy at big discounts online.

Another example is decent curtains, my new place has pre installed curtains courtesy of the landlord. However, the color doesn’t go well with how I furnished and decorated my place. So, I went to not 1 but 3 different cortinas (curtains) places in north Quito with an Ecuatoriano friend, and you know how much they wanted to charge me? $23-$25 per square meter including installation and if I wanted blackout they wanted more. These prices were similar to costs of blinds on Mercado Libre, but I want curtains in the bedroom. Anyway, so I turned to Amazon, found exactly what I wanted at 1/3 the price, and with all the window space in my bedroom, the saving was significant.

Amazon helps to counter these seemingly absurd prices from some of these retailers. We explored other options, such as going to an area near San Roque or buying the fabric separately and taking it to a tailor to make them, a little bit too much drama for curtains, no? In this case buying from Amazon was convenient because the drilling and bars were already in place.

Personally, I’m a minimalist, but I don’t like feeling desperate or exploited because I like particular kind of jeans for example. I love German wheat beer, but they’re ridiculously expensive here, but I have no issue with Pilsener or Club, so in this sense I’ve clearly adapted and let go of something that I used to enjoy drinking.

It’s about balance I think, something you can buy online like jeans, clothes, or whatever and have shipped economically or can fit in a suitcase, and have delivered by family or friends makes sense to me.

Big items, like big screen TVs, furniture, and appliances, it probably makes sense to buy here for logistics and warranty.

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