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Has anyone here had experience with having goods shipped to, for example, a UPS Store in Miami and picking it up on a quick trip there and back? I was contemplating just bringing two suitcases of things I'd need soonest and having my niece ship two-suitcases-worth of the rest to UPS in Coral Gables after I find a long term rental. I'd return to Miami to pick it up one to one and a half months after getting my cedula. Am I likely to attract undue attention from "the dogs of SENAE" by doing that?

DorothyPeck :

I was contemplating just bringing two suitcases of things I'd need soonest and having my niece ship two-suitcases-worth of the rest to UPS in Coral Gables after I find a long term rental. I'd return to Miami to pick it up one to one and a half months after getting my cedula. Am I likely to attract undue attention from "the dogs of SENAE" by doing that?

This is a great question for the forum because it's an issue facing a high percentage of Expats moving to Ecuador.

By my analysis, there are several variables you need to assess, Dorothy.

1.  Will I have my visa-required documents in order?  In other words, am I reasonably sure I will get a residency visa?

2.  After expending energy adapting to Ecuador, is it likely I'll have the motivation and energy to make the extra international round-trip flights, Ecuador-Florida-Ecuador?

3.  How outrageous will be the shipping and possible storage charges assessed by UPS?

If the answer to #1 is Yes, I suggest that you bring all four suitcases to Ecuador on one flight and thus eliminate the need and expense for the additional travel.

There are plenty of luggage carts and mozos to choose from at the airport :), any one of whom who would be glad to assist with the extra maletas for a small tip.

As for the dogs of SENAE... based on past experience it's doubtful they'll hassle you additionally whether you make one trip in, or two.

The one-trip scenario would be less expensive even with an excess-luggage charge.  It has the added advantage of not getting your niece involved in toting suitcases around and possibly running into some unpredictable, hair-raising shipping glitch along the way :o .

cccmedia in Quito

cccmedia wrote:

By my analysis, there are several variables you need to assess, Dorothy.

1.  Will I have my visa-required documents in order?  In other words, am I reasonably sure I will get a residency visa?

2.  After expending energy adapting to Ecuador, is it likely I'll have the motivation and energy to make the extra international round-trip flights, Ecuador-Florida-Ecuador?

3.  How outrageous will be the shipping and possible storage charges assessed by UPS?

Excellent questions, cccmedia! My analysis of these variables follows:
1. You bet your sweet bippy I'll have all the documents in order, apostilled here and translated and notarized in Ecuador before I leave. My plan is to have everything in place so I'll have my residency visa and cedula within a couple weeks of my move.

2. Motivation to return to the US at sea level after adapting to Cuenca? Great question. I wasn't too crazy about leaving when I visited for only three weeks.

3. I'm checking the shipping charges for 2 - 50 pound boxes from UPS-Minneapolis to UPS-Miami, but my niece won't be shipping them until I let her know when I will be picking them up, so unless she charges me a larger storage fee than be covered by sending her a llama scarf, that part shouldn't be too costly. :whistle: I'll be tracking the packages and they won't be at UPS for longer than a couple days. At $175 per extra bag (current rate), the price I am looking to beat is $350 + the price of two more large suitcases that I'll then be stuck with.

The advantage of returning, as I see it, is that I can ship gift items to my family in the US from Miami AND stop at the duty free store for my favorite libations which have a heavy tariff in Ecuador. If I am not mistaken, flights originating in Ecuador for someone with a residence visa are greatly discounted for those over the age of 65, which might possibly be me!  ;)  But I'm not telling!

Arriving Expats can take advantage of the visa rules to bring into Ecuador "anything you want" even if you're not ordering a large shipping container, writes visa analyst Dom Buonamici.

As some of our members know, once you have your residency visa, you have six months to bring in a container tax-free.

Dom points out that "even if you are a light packer .. be sure to apply for the procedure menaje de casa at your nearest consulate once you have your visa, and you can bring down anything you want like a big screen TV one time by plane or in a container tax-free."  Even items for profitable re-sale in Ecuador would qualify, Dom writes.

source:  email to subscribers by author/blogger/Expat entrepreneur Dom Buonamici of the Ecuadorrealestate.org website.

cccmedia in Quito

Instead of pros and cons and arguments about shipping items to Ecuador (everyone has their personal preferences from which to formulate their goals) it would be nice to see some posts as to experiences with movers, the good and bad, so that those of us who have not been deterred from bringing some of those things we consider essential have some direction.
Thanks

How on earth does a person retire and sell family heirlooms because of customs?  I have inherited my furniture and it is priceless and more than two centuries old.  I cannot imagine selling it to anyone.  I will leave to relatives in a will but sell off everything?  No, no way. The prospect seems inhumane and unnecessarily cruel.  How on earth do people function without ties to family?  This all sounds super dismal.

MegfromCT :

How on earth does a person retire and sell family heirlooms because of customs?  I have inherited my furniture and it is priceless and more than two centuries old.  I cannot imagine selling it to anyone.  I will leave to relatives in a will but sell off everything?  No, no way. The prospect seems inhumane and unnecessarily cruel.  How on earth do people function without ties to family?  This all sounds super dismal.

Furniture and ties to family is relative and personally I don’t see items as being a bond. But in general it's a sacrifice. Heck, I’m annoyed I had to part with Norton Reader, but damn book weighed 3 lbs. You actually have several options you can store them at a storage facility, auction them off, give them away to relatives now as you already intended to do so via will, and lastly you can pay customs if you are actually required to because my understanding is we can import a container worth of personal things after being granted residency without custom charges (duty).

Philosophically, ashes to ashes, so we can’t take anything with us ultimately, ask Tutankhamun.

I do believe my mother, grandparents and relatives would roll in their graves!  Does anyone know the size of the storage container?  I was going to ship in a shipping container the size in the freight docks.

MegfromCT wrote:

Does anyone know the size of the storage container?  I was going to ship in a shipping container the size in the freight docks.

From quotes I got there are several sizes including "partial containers". My attorney's husband runs a shipping company and provided quotes. I reached him through EcuadorVisas. You need to check out several different companies to compare services and prices, bearing in mind that things can get damaged in transit or "go missing".

I weighed the costs and decided to give my treasured, but bulky items to the relatives who would most appreciate them. This was easier after having seen the distributions of goods by other relatives after they had died. The recipients shared their memories of having seen the items used and that made for some great shared memories.

If you decide to bring the items with you to Ecuador, be aware that not only will you have the initial expense, but your relatives to whom you will the items will have to decide if they want to go through the expense and difficulty of obtaining those items from Ecuador when you pass on. That is assuming you spend the rest of your life here and do not need to leave due to unexpected issues such as health or family emergencies.

There is much to consider and I wish you all the best as you explore your options.

I would not be planning to live out my life in Ecuador.  I am thinking 15 years at most.  Many other places do not charge duty to bring used goods into the country, but purchases yes.  The idea of paying duty on personal used belongings does seem a tad absurd.  I have lived abroad before but not owned property abroad.  I never had to pay customs for used personal items before, so the idea that used goods are taxed is new to me.  Thanks for your input.  I truly have no interest in selling off my stuff or "willing" it decades before I die...I am the care-taker of such for a reason.  I hold a lot of my family's history.  Psychologically the idea that I would simply discard it now for several years of reasonable living seems, quite frankly, unreasonable.  But this is good because it does totally change my view...I am checking into other locations that are not as such.  More expensive to live, but also somewhat less restrictive in many ways.  There are 22 Expat Easy countries;  my largest concerns are climate, transportation, technological advancement, and health care.  Based on the unwelcome idea of becoming a nomad, I am now looking into the possibility of a retirement career that is subsidized in the US.  This has been informative for sure.

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