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Shopping/Shipping from US

I've just moved to Saigon/Ho Chi Minh city a few weeks ago for work. Originally from US then Germany and then Vietnam now.
I used to do all my shopping for my needs online when I was in Germany. A company called Planet Express (www.planetexpress.com) is my forwarding agent. I had really good experience with them while in Germany. I basically only pay for a handling fee of $2 and postage to ship my items.

Anyone here used them before in Vietnam? I check with their customer service, they said they ship to Vietnam. Any feedback from anyone here?

Ask them about the taxes that have to be paid in Viet Nam.

Never heard of this, so I put in a 5 lb book-sized box for an estimate.
$34 seems pricey to me just for shipping and insurance.

https://pixen.netlify.com/pix/shipsmall.jpg

And though inconsistent, some people on the forum have been hit with import duties, that @colinoscapee mentioned, especially on electronics.

I used a shipping service in California to ship personal items once, and because those were personal items and not new consumer goods, there was no duty, or I was lucky. Cost was $2.50/lb.
Nowadays, I just wait for my annual trip to California with an empty suitcase. And also adapt to local substitutes. You can find a lot in Saigon malls in D1 and D7.

@Operator: Aside from the fact that there isn't any guarantee whatsoever that the package would arrive (even with tracking number), the import tax can be more than the value of the merchandises --there is no such thing is minimum value in VN; everything that can be taxed will be taxed, except when you're lucky as Gobot was.

Bringing as much goods from the US as possible was my first choice, then when they ran out, I took a trip to Hong Kong or Singapore to get what I needed.  Airfare can be lower than import tax most of the time, and the pleasure of travelling is the bonus.

Note to self:  I probably should try the malls here.  I wonder if they carry Sonicare brush heads and henna hair colouring. (Vanity, thy name is woman.)

I looked into bringing my powertools into Viet Nam. Customs quoted me up to 100% tax on my tools at todays market price. No thanks.

It's wise to use agents who know how to tackle Customs.
There are agencies like Shipto.vn who can help you buy certain products (not everything) from Amazon USA.
I know locals who buy through them. I haven't tried them yet.
They clearly indicate the price breakdown.
Click on "Đã bao gồm các loại phí và thuế " below the price to see it. Use Google Translate.

As soon as they see a non Vietnamese name, thats when the trouble starts. Try and buy it through a local.

Thanks for the link for Sonicare brush heads, Senwl.  It's twice the price indicated on Amazon US, but I guess it's par for the course.

Ciambella :

It's twice the price indicated on Amazon US, .

:unsure
Amazon.com
Pack of 3. One-time purchase: $36.95.

Strange. This is what I paid before:

One-time Purchase  $24.99, pack of 3

And it has 2,239 reviews, vs 314.

Actually, after the first time, I bought the generic brands instead, and they're about 60% less of that price.  Same quality, same fit, $10.99 for a pack of 6

Ciambella :

Strange. This is what I paid before:

One-time Purchase  $24.99, pack of 3

:)  Two different products. Different product IDs.

- "Philips Sonicare ProResults Plaque Control replacement toothbrush heads, HX9023/64, 3-pk"
- "Philips Sonicare Intercare Replacement Brush Heads for Sonicare Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush, Standard, 3-pack, HX9003/64"

Ah. I didn't pay attention to that. Is there difference between the styles?   I simply bought the less expensive ones with good reviews that I knew would fit the toothbrush, didn't even look at product number.   :huh:

I can see they have replacement toothbrush heads with different specifications and styles.
Sonicare brush heads :)

I use shipping service too, but it is not cheap! 12$/kg but no other fees and I don’t need to care if items are alloved to be imported. Like secondhand motorcycle parts.

Hi all,
Thank you for all of the input and information. It's very helpful.

So far this is my experience issue. My stupid Macbook acted up since the time I was in Germany but I was too busy to replace it. Now I don't know if I should buy one since I'm in VN. I went out to couple shop in a place local people called "Quin 1" or something like that. I found it's expensive, also not the model I want also I need to fork up the money up front. I like to use by plastic because I can get miles and guarantee of the item on my Amex (thanks to the business tier on Amex ;) )

Beside to the personal Macbook, I buy a lot of stuffs online for daily use and personal need and so on. All of these purchases are covered under my business expense, hence company's plastics are being swiped :) but I got to keep the benefit ;)

I used companies like MyUS (www.myus.com) before but they're really expensive. Planet Express (www.planetexpress.com) is cheaper so I have been using them in the time in Germany.

NOW, the scary part, is it really true the tax is 100% ? spoke to one of my employee (a vietnamese gal), she said it depends on the items and value etc. Avoid buying really expensive electronic items unless "must" do. Also suggest to put lower value to dodge that tax.
Anyone can verify that or suggestion?
Some what surprised about this whole tax system !

I buy electronic items outside of Viet Nam and get my friends to bring them over. Viet Nam has many things that are cheap, electronics is not one of them.

Ditto what Colin said.

you are lucky to have friends outside of Vietnam. I do have friends outside of VN but we usually do not meet much so it's tough.
You're right , for electronic, it's over price in Vietnam and I'm a little iffy about the quality.

colinoscapee :

As soon as they see a non Vietnamese name, thats when the trouble starts. Try and buy it through a local.

Great, now I need a Vietnamese name. LOL

operator2020 :

Hi all,
Thank you for all of the input and information. It's very helpful.

So far this is my experience issue. My stupid Macbook acted up since the time I was in Germany but I was too busy to replace it. Now I don't know if I should buy one since I'm in VN. I went out to couple shop in a place local people called "Quin 1" or something like that. I found it's expensive, also not the model I want also I need to fork up the money up front. I like to use by plastic because I can get miles and guarantee of the item on my Amex (thanks to the business tier on Amex ;) )

Beside to the personal Macbook, I buy a lot of stuffs online for daily use and personal need and so on. All of these purchases are covered under my business expense, hence company's plastics are being swiped :) but I got to keep the benefit ;)

I used companies like MyUS (www.myus.com) before but they're really expensive. Planet Express (www.planetexpress.com) is cheaper so I have been using them in the time in Germany.

NOW, the scary part, is it really true the tax is 100% ? spoke to one of my employee (a vietnamese gal), she said it depends on the items and value etc. Avoid buying really expensive electronic items unless "must" do. Also suggest to put lower value to dodge that tax.
Anyone can verify that or suggestion?
Some what surprised about this whole tax system !

Not true.. can be over 100% too ;) plus items can be in the list of not allowed in..

About mac, go to official shops like FPT shop,or fly bangkok and buy from there.  I hear malaysia has cheap apple products :/

Buy the Macbook at an authorized dealer, I know of 2 in D7, in Crescent Mall and Vivocity, more in D1.  The Apple VN website lists them. The Vietnamese price is about 10-15% over US retail price, as I recall.  Similar to state tax in the US.  And you can use a credit card of course.

The 100% markup is when going through immigration and you get caught with 5 new iphones.

@opertor2020
Be careful what "Apple" shops you are shopping at. If they did not accept your credit card it sounds like it was not an Authorized Apple retailer. Go to the apple site and they will provide the TRUE Apple retailers in any country you are in. Most here are not true Apple stores. And all that are true Apple stores accept credit cards. I have compared prices and the dazzle of brining from another country, such as the USA and in the end it is not much different. Not unless you are in the USA or planning a trip there. They it is easy to bring into VN. I brought one in and was not charged anything for a LT, iPad more iPhone. But it was just one of each for personal use. Good luck

For those looking for electric toothbrushes, do you know SHOP ĐỨC VÂN shop:
http://caorauducvan.com/en/product/heal … oothbrush/
I want go there when I need Oral-B Replacement Brush Heads.
There should be also a shop in D5.

A generally question ( I am not yet familiar at expats.com):
I am looking or several things to buy here in Ho Chi Minh City.
Is there only in the forum "Shopping" the possibility to ask for specific items?
A table or database would be helpful.

Andy Passenger :

A generally question ( I am not yet familiar at expats.com):
I am looking or several things to buy here in Ho Chi Minh City.
Is there only in the forum "Shopping" the possibility to ask for specific items?
A table or database would be helpful.

Shopping category is ok but I recommend the Ho Chi Minh City city as it more popular than Saigon for posts.
Better to start a new thread though.
Table or database? Confused. :/

Andy Passenger :

A generally question ( I am not yet familiar at expats.com):
I am looking or several things to buy here in Ho Chi Minh City.
Is there only in the forum "Shopping" the possibility to ask for specific items?
A table or database would be helpful.

Hi Andy Passenger,

I agree that such a table/database of ALL products and their availability etc. could indeed be a one-point solution for all our shopping needs ..... but I also wonder if it's at all a practical and feasible option to put ALL items (available in HCMC) in a single table/database and then list ALL the shops where those items are available.

If you're  looking for information on where to buy certain items, please feel free to ask a question on the forum with a list of those items that you want to buy.
I'm sure our members here will give you the best leads on where to find those items in HCMC.

Thank you. :cheers:

Thank you, Andy, for the tip on brush heads at Đức Vân.

I didn't mean all items  :) .
I meant members can enter the item in a column and the shop name in the next colums of a online register or similar.
But I will use the "Shopping" category in the forum.

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