Internet shopping

Has anyone had any bad experiences receiving internet purchases? I see the costs are outrageous for a Fed Ex package.

There are plenty of good honest internet shopping companies on the net, and just as many terrible delivery services.

I've just returned a parcel that looked a lot like the delivery people had been playing football with it, but the total mess that was the back of his van explained the problem.
Boxes piled up randomly and the driver throwing then all around to find the one he wanted to deliver next.

I won't be buying any other fragile items from internet shops.

everyone in the philippines are receiving a bad internet service

Thanks for the feedback Fred. I'm thinking more along the lines of items ordered from Amazon, etc. not arriving or being looted by customs or enroute.

well if you order from amazon -then they are responsible for getting the delivery to you -if you dont get it -then you would get refund?

GT- Searching posts on other sites I did learn that in most cases boxes you must go to the post office and open it there and the VAT tax is calculated at that time.

Forget most of the rubbish posted here on this thread. It is ill-informed and useless claptrap.

1. Amazon (and/or associated companies/affiliates) are NOT liable to ensure safe delivery in the Philippines [FACT]

2. Import TAX is due and is calculated in the Philippines, by customers and excise (circa 300%).

HOPE: It is possible to purchase a US mailing address (if you don't have one) and have your goods posted there (Step One) or to your US home address as per usual.

STEP TWO - There are companies that will collect from your Home/PO Box address and forward to LBC (USA) LBC USA can then calculate the TAX and bill you for it in the USA (much cheaper).

Your goods can then be forwarded to you in the Philippines, whilst at the same time bypassing local customs in the Philippines. (at the time of writing ONLY LBC (USA) can do this.

From buying goods on Amazon (USA) to taking delivery in the Philippines is approx. 3 weeks. It is worth it if you regularly buy high valued items - and simply NOT worth the hassle if value(s) are small.

Hope this helps you a little.

RodBoud :

Has anyone had any bad experiences receiving internet purchases? I see the costs are outrageous for a Fed Ex package.

We have used a few shipping methods for our internet purchases with cost depending on the method used to ship.
  As you have stated Fed Ex also UPS and DHL can be expensive. Though depending on the importance of the item you may decide the expense is justified.
  We occasionally ship Herbal and other medicinal products from a single supplier and the method of shipment is the United States Postal Service with reasonable price compared to those like Fed Ex or UPS.. We have had no trouble receiving the shipments in good condition and pay a small fee a the local post office when we go to pick up the parcel. Ship time average two to three weeks with a small flat rate box averaging around $30.
  We have a friend back home who is also a Balikbayan shipper for items we can afford to wait for such as clothing items, hand tools or electronics that are purchased from a variety of stores such as Wal Mart, Kohl's, K mart, Amazon, Sears, etc. All of the items are sent to the Balikbayan shipper and she will then place them in a shipping box and ships when near full. If you plan for what you need and make those purchases in a close time frame, you can fill the box quickly and have them shipped asap. So far, ship time is 2 to 3 months at a cost of about a $120 dollars per box from the Eastern U.S. 24x24x18 inch boxes to your door.These can be shipped via Star Cargo, LBC, Forex, Atlas and possibly more depending on the area of the country you are shipping from and personal choice. We have not yet been assessed any tax or duty on a Balikbayan box.
  The bottom line seems to be if you want it quickly, you're going to pay.


LBC appears to be a viable option by sending an accumulation of smaller items together and there is a USA location perfectly located to accommodate my situation.
Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge. I'm doing my homework as I prepare.

Hi Jim,

I concur. Especially with the "if you want it quick - you're going to have to pay" part :)

When using US Post much will depend on the invoice/shipping data provided. If that is kept to a 'minimum value' (hint hint) then taxes would be calculated on the lower purchase costs of the shipment. With 'herbal medicines' they can be so ambiguous I guess they could be listed very cheaply - who's ever going to know exactly what they are worth in Philippine customs right? haha...

It is very tempting for me to start ranting-on about how import taxes here in the Philippines are strangling good quality products from entering the marketplace (hence the Philippines would seem to be the reject capital of the world) but that would be way 'off-topic' from your original post.

Worthy of note:
I have never had an issue importing NEW items bought elsewhere when they travel with me (classified as personal items for personal use) even when I have been questioned/stopped at the airport. Probably as (1) I have residency here and (2) There is usually only 1 or 2 of any item - so I am not exactly 'bulk importing'. Just things like iPhones/technology bought more cheaply in Thailand/Dubai etc etc....

Heads up:
This is maybe a bit of a 'curveball' - but I know one 'fitness addict' who got so fed up with the cost of protein powders and other fitness supplements, he eventually set up a small business in CFZ (Clark Freeport Zone), imports all the "white label" raw powders/pills from wholesale suppliers abroad (tax free) and bottles them up in the Philippines under his own local brand. He's dong OK and makes more than enough to enjoy his own supply for FREE. Not sure how loyal you are to your "herbal remedies" - but it might be an avenue worth exploring? (Just thinking out loud Jim).
Kindest regards,

No problem Rod.
I do have some experience as I have done it myself (from US and UK) and I have lived in the Philippines for some time. Although it is merely a 'general rule of thumb' LBC attracts FAR LESS attention from .PH customs than most other postal items from abroad. That's just the way it is (think OFW's sending items home from abroad by the Ton every week etc etc....)

I think too that the new president is already starting to shake things up, and most government agencies are scared sh*tless of being accused of corruption, extortion, over-charging or making life difficult etc..
Kindest regards,

Yeah Rod  what i  found is the damn taxing by the Filipinos to be nuts.  They are one of the few countries left who have not figured out how valuable the Expat is to the Country.  They  rob the expat from the minute u touch ur feet on the soil until u get on the plane to leave, even get that last crack at u as u leave the country.   I have bought stuff  that cost me more in import taxes than i paid for the item and even 3 fold more.    They have no idea how to create jobs and run their country that way instead of soley on taxation and it is why investors and businesses pass on the Philippines. Maybe it will get better, hopefully it will, until then they will see the white man as an ATM.

Totally agree with the vast majority of mikenjane' post [above].
Tax, graft, red tape has crippled the Philippines - with the 1%ers raping & pillaging the country to its knees. In doing so, keeping the average citizen well and truly in his/her place!

Most countries do the same - they just dress it up better as legalised corporate/governmental 'incentives' [old school tie etc.] ;)

Lack of infrastructure investment is now hurting the Philippines and it is hard for an international corporation to justify a presence here, with more tax-neutral alternatives on the doorstep (Labuan in Malaysia being a very good example).

I can fully appreciate Filipinos embracing their freedom fight and becoming independent from the Spanish and Americans - but one has to wonder if the lack of [true] democracy and accountability here has served to achieve anything save, line the pockets of the influential?

One has to be very careful when quoting the "white man" as an ATM, as this terminology has certain unwelcome undertones - but I concur with the general message intended. However, the very same can be said about Investment Banks using COUNTRIES as ATM's to bail them out of difficulty!!  :D

Very true is that high import taxes makes life tough for everyone - and the main reason the Philippines is the "Reject Capital of the World".

I guess we can't have everything. If the Philippines possessed world class infrastructure, retirees could own a plot for a house and international corporations could operate unencumbered - the Philippines would be the UAE of the Pacific - and I couldn't afford to live here!!??  :idontagree:  hey ho.x

VERY good answer! Thank you for posting. It's easier to just buy from Lazada if LBC or Air21 is doing a good job of delivering in your area. Buying from overseas gives Customs the chance to hold your item(s) hostage for ransom.

Good point! DU30 should eliminate a lot of the corrupt customs problems.

I haven't tried them yet but some over here (Mindanao) recommend - they have about anything but prices are all over the place.

I use Lazada regularly. Just check the shipping estimates on timing. If it takes a month, then being shipped from China. Often without English instructions.  I have always received what I paid for though and cheaper then some items at the mall.

Another aspect of internet shopping is the delivery service the shops use.
I had to reject a parcel as it was delivered in very poor condition, then I saw the inside of their van and realised why. The drivers had just tossed everything into the van, ignoring any and all rules of packing the thing properly.
That meant they had to rummage for every parcel, simply throwing others that got in the way to the back of the van.
Almost all the packages I saw were damaged in some way.

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