I’ve never retracted a review since I started blogging over a decade ago. The most I’ve done was go back to a review and add a little note at the bottom mentioning what has changed about the place and thats about it. But, the amount of backlash I’ve gotten over my review of the US forwarding mailbox service Edfa3ly has been like no other which has made me consider retracting my original review. But I won’t and here is why.
Back in August I posted about how Edfa3ly was the cheapest way to ship lightweight packages from the States to Kuwait. Some of the advantages were the fact that they charged per 100grams, that you wouldn’t pay any US sales tax and you wouldn’t pay any local customs clearance fee. I had ordered an item from Amazon and had just paid around 500fils to have it shipped to me and it took 10 days to arrive. Two days later I posted a coupon that my readers could use to waive the international shipping fee and thats when things started going downhill.
First sign of trouble was when a reader left a message saying that once the package arrived to Kuwait he had to pay KD2 to have it delivered to his door and that he also had to pay KD5 for custom clearance. Then two more readers left messages stating the same thing. That turned out to be a temporary fuck up on Edfa3ly part but they fixed the issue.
More signs of trouble kept coming in though. A lot of readers were complaining that they couldn’t get hold of customer support. Some spent days trying to get a hold of someone to no avail. It seems people had more luck getting a response back from Edfa3ly by leaving a comment on the blog then trying to reach support through the proper channels.
Another problem was also brought to my attention. I had originally stated that you wouldn’t have to pay any US sales tax but Edfa3ly changed their policy and started charging a US sales tax. I also posted packages would take around 10 days to be delivered since thats how long it had taken mine to arrive but people started complaining how shipping was taking over 3 weeks with many going missing.
I couldn’t retract or update the review without trying the service out again myself, so I placed an order for another cheap lightweight item, a USB charging cable for my Game Boy Advance. These were the charges:
Item Price: $4.99
Sales Tax Inside US: $0.35
Clearance Fees: $3.32
Edfa3ly Kuwait Fees: $0.05
International Shipping Fees (1.33 dollar(s) per 100gm): $6.65 (0.5KG)
Free Shipping Discount Coupon: – $6.95
Final Amount: $8.66
Item order was placed on September 9, it arrived in my mailbox September 19, it then shipped out on September 23 and I finally got it October 6. So I ended up paying around KD1 to have the item delivered to me in Kuwait and it took 17 days to be delivered to me after shipping from the States. Thats not bad, it wasn’t an important item so I wasn’t in a rush and shipping was still much cheaper than the alternatives. If I had ordered using PostaPlus, the same item would have cost me at least KD3.5 to have it delivered to Kuwait while with Aramex it would have cost me KD4.25. Now true I had used a free shipping coupon with this order but it seems they constantly have a free shipping coupon listed on their website. One confusing aspect is why they marked my package as weighing 500grams when the item weighs just 25grams as you can see in the picture above. But since I had the coupon for free shipping I didn’t care or contact them to find out. If I was paying for shipping I would have definitely made an issue about this.
Now one final comparison. In my original review I posted a breakdown of how much it cost me to ship a Nikon Rubber Eyecup for my camera from Amazon (pictured above). The breakdown was as follows:
Item Price: $10.7
Customs Fee: $0.54
Edfa3ly Fees: $0.54
International Shipping Fees: $1.33
Total Price: $13.11
If I was to place the exact same order today and not use a free shipping coupon, the breakdown would be as following:
Item Price $10.4 (it’s 30cents cheaper now on Amazon)
Sales Tax Inside US: $0.73
Customs Fee: $0.56
Edfa3ly Fees: $0.1
Clearance Fees: $3.32
International shipping fees: $1.33
Total Price: $16.43
So while previously it cost me $2.41 on top of the item to have it shipped to Kuwait, this time around it would have cost me $6.03 which clearly isn’t as cheap but still cheaper than PostaPlus or Aramex.
So will I continue to use Edfa3ly? Yes like I have been… for really cheap small and light items that wouldn’t be worth shipping with PostaPlus or Aramex. They’re also items I don’t need urgently. For everything else I’ll continue to use PostaPlus like I have been doing. Someone emailed me telling me they ordered a Kindle with Edfa3ly, I personally wouldn’t order a Kindle with Edfa3ly. It’s more reliable to order a Kindle to my PostaPlus account and PostaPlus would also most likely be cheaper. People tend to skim through my posts no matter how short or long they are. I only recommended Edfa3ly specificaly for “tiny cheap stuff”, packages that weigh under 1/2kg. Look at what I ordered as a perfect example, a rubber eye cup for my camera that costs $10 and a tiny custom USB cable for my Game Boy that cost $5. I didn’t order a MacBook or an Xbox.
I will be placing an update under my original review mentioning the fact they now charge a US sales tax and a clearance fee, but I will not be retracting my original post since I still stand with what I originally stated. Edfa3ly are the cheapest way to ship light packages from the US to Kuwait. They are just no longer as cheap as they originally were.