Whether you're moving interstate or internationally, mail forwarding services ensure that all your letters and packages are shipped on time and to the right address. They can also be useful if you're shopping online and you want to buy from to a retailer that either doesn't ship to your country of residence or that charges a hefty fee for doing so.
There are plenty of mail forwarding companies to choose from, and a few traps to watch out for. Our guide will help you compare the features and costs of competing services to find one that's right for you.
What is mail forwarding?
Mail forwarding is the process of arranging to redirect mail addressed to one location to a different address. Traditionally, mail forwarding was to help with the transition when you move home, ensuring that you continue to receive mail sent to your old address.
However, in the age of online shopping, there are now specialist mail forwarding services that can help you get around the international shipping restrictions of some online retailers.
You might want to redirect your mail for the following reasons:
- You've moved home and some mail is still being sent to your old address.
- You want to buy something from an online retailer who doesn't ship to your country.
- A retailer charges exorbitant postage and packaging fees to send parcels to your country.
- You're travelling long-term and your address is constantly changing.
- You have a post office box that doesn't allow you to accept courier deliveries that require a signature.
How to redirect your post
If you want to get your mail forwarded to a different address, there are two main options:
How to compare mail forwarding services
If you're planning a move to a new address, your best option might be to have your mail redirected for a few months by your local postal authority. However, if you're an online shopper looking to find a way to bypass international shipping restrictions, you'll need to consider the services offered by dedicated mail forwarding companies.
There's no shortage of providers to choose from, so make sure you consider the following factors when comparing your options:
Mail forwarding to Australia
Aussie online shoppers are all too familiar with the fact that many retailers in the US and UK don't ship to Australia. However, there are several companies that can help you forward mail to Australia from the US and UK.
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As well as a plethora of specialist mail forwarding companies, you can also access Australia Post redirection via the ShopMate service. However, ShopMate is only available for parcel forwarding from the US, so if you want to forward mail to Australia from the UK, you'll need to look elsewhere.
Whichever service you choose, you'll need to sign up for an account and get an address before you start shopping. Check the fine print to find out whether there are any prohibited items, such as aerosols or flammable products, and whether you'll need any special documentation to clear customs. For example, if you're shipping items valued at more than US$2,500 from the USA to Australia, you'll need to fill out a Shipper's Export Declaration Form (SED).
Finally, don't forget that as of 1 July 2018, GST applies to low-value (less than $1,000) goods imported into Australia, so this will bump up the price of your purchase by 10%.
If you're searching for a mail forwarding service, start comparing your options today.
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