Categories
News

Aramex Acquiring MyUS

For those of you who swore off Shop&Ship and moved to MyUS or vice-versa due to bad experiences, I got some bad news for you:

Dubai-based logistics company Aramex has signed an agreement to fully acquire cross border e-commerce platform MyUS in a $265 million deal.

The US-based company provides package forwarding solutions to customers who shop from retailers based in the US, UK and China, according to a statement. Source

One positive thing that might come out of this acquisition is if Shop&Ship ends up with a Florida-based mailbox similar to MyUS. Right now you save around 7% just by shipping to a MyUS mailbox since you don’t have to pay sales tax when shipping to a Florida address.

Categories
Shopping

MyUS is Expensive

Last month I posted about how I was going to be switching to MyUS from Posta Plus’s MyBox service because based on the MyUS online rate calculator, I would be saving a ton of money.

Spoiler: That didn’t happen.

In fact not only did I not save any money by switching (I ended up paying a lot more), but the whole experience has caused me a lot of frustration. Not even sure where to begin because I’ve basically had issues and unexplained costs with 4 out the 5 packages I’ve shipped with them. Firstly for those of you who don’t know what MyUS or MyBox is, they’re both US mail forwarding companies. This means they provide you with a US mailbox and you can ship stuff to it and they’ll then ship the items to you here in Kuwait.

Since the start of the month, I’ve used MyUS five times. The service has been pretty quick, the package would arrive to the MyUS facilities in the States and then within a day it’s shipped to me in Kuwait. The problem is with all the hidden costs, the inaccurate “Shipping Rate Calculator” and how all my packages were being repackaged into heavier boxes to increase their shipping weight.

According to MyUS, when a package first arrives they weigh it and list the weight in your account. Then before shipping, they re-weigh the package and then charge you for that weight. This is where the problem occurs.

Weight According to UPS: 1.1 lbs.
Weight According to MyUS on Arrival: 1.3 lbs.
Weight According to MyUS on Departure: 2.5 lbs.

I confronted MyUS about this. How did my 1.1 lbs. package go from weighing 1.1 to 2.5. They denied any wrongdoing and sent me a photo of the shipping label from UPS which states it weighs 2 lbs (pic below).

I was like ok great so will you be refunding me the 0.5 lbs. difference I was charged? They responded with the following:

Thank you for contacting us. It is not an error. If you see the photos the indicated weight of your package with UPS Tracking #: 1ZE617090393761544 is 2 lbs when we received it from your merchant. And all packages arrives in our facility undergo re-weigh. So the final weight for this package with AWB# 100044466726 is 2.50 lb.

That email actually contradicts them because inside my account it shows that when they received it from the merchant the package weighed 1.3 lbs. (screenshot below). But in any case, how did a re-weigh increase the package weight? And where did the 1.3 lbs weight come from? Nobody knows…

But that actually summarizes my experience with MyUS. They’re definitely more expensive than MyBox for sure but that’s only half the problem. Their biggest issue is that nothing is ever clear. I had one package that had an unexplained charge of $18.5, when I asked them about it turned out because inside my package was a small bottle of cleaning fluid and that’s considered hazardous and requires special handling. Ok fine at least let me know ahead of time or at least after charging me that amount let me know what it’s for. Why do I have to email and ask about it?

My MacBook Air was shipped with the option “FedEx Economy” instead of “Budget Economy” which is the preference I have in my mailbox settings. When I asked them why they told me any item with a battery can’t be shipped with “Budget Economy”. That would be understandable except the option “Budget Economy” actually uses “FedEx Economy” as the carrier to ship. They’re over-complicated and have a lot of holes in their system.

Overall they just felt sleazy and I really don’t like that. I asked people on Reddit if they faced similar issues and turns out I wasn’t the only.

On a positive note, they seem to be good to use on very heavy packages. The only issue I didn’t have with them was with 1 package and that package weighed 18.48 lbs. It cost me around KD28 to ship with them which was that only time their online shipping calculator had quoted me accurately. That same package would have cost me at least KD35 with PostaPlus.

So would I recommend MyUS? For regular shipments no I would not. I faced an issue with every single package except for one and four out of my five packages would have cost me less to ship with MyBox. The only time I’d recommend MyUS is if you have a really heavy shipment but other than that I’m personally heading back to MyBox for my day to day purchases and I’m going to continue to recommend them.

Update: Just got a shipment from MyUS today and it’s a total disaster. Firstly they charged me $18.50 extra for the shipment because they said my shipment contained flammable liquid, turns out the liquid isn’t flammable. Then they ripped open one of the packages inside and completely damaged one of the sleeves from a vinyl record. They’re a mess!

Categories
Shopping

Do You Use MyUS?

I’ve used the US mail forwarding company MyUS on and off since 2001. Originally they were the only option available, then Shop&Ship by Aramex came about so started using them, and it’s been a back and forth relationship with them ever since. I usually jump ship whenever I find a better deal since I ship a lot of items and the savings do add up. For the past few years, I’ve been using the MyBox service from PostaPlus since they were the most affordable offering but then last week I remembered one reader had previously told me MyUS had reduced their prices and were now cheaper than PostaPlus.

A couple of weeks ago I had ordered and shipped a bunch of parts for my Datsun 240z to my PostaPlus account and the total package weighed around 40lb. When I had originally checked the rate calculator on PostaPlus it told me I would pay around KD75 which I figured was ok. After I shipped the items, I decided to check the rate calculator on the MyUS website and was surprised to get KD45. That’s a pretty huge difference which is why I’m now thinking of moving back to MyUS.

But I have a few questions for those of you who currently are using them:

– Other than the shipping cost, what are usually the custom clearance fees you pay, for example with PostaPlus it’s KD1 for custom clearance and then 5% of the total shipment value for customs.

– Can you pay the customs fees online or is it cash on delivery?

– Are there any issues you’ve had with MyUS?

On a side note (and coincidentally), MyUS recently published an article about the top influencers in Kuwait and yours truly made the list. You can check that post out here.

Update: I tried them out and they’re more expensive than MyBox. Click here for details.

Categories
Shopping

No More Volumetric Weight with MyUS

myus

Just an FYI for those of you who use mail forwarding companies to ship items from the States. MyUS which I’ve previously posted about [Here] now no longer calculate volumetric weight, instead they calculate the cost of your shipment based on actual weight. What this means is you now pay a lot cheaper for shipping since if your box is huge or tiny it doesn’t matter anymore. [Link]

Categories
Reviews Shopping

Review: Borderlinx vs MyUS

Borderlinx and MyUS are both companies that offer US forwarding mailboxes so you can shop online, mail stuff to your US address and then have them forward it to your home in Kuwait. I’ve been using Aramex Shop&Ship since 2001 for my regular day to day shopping but a few years ago I signed up to Borderlinx since sometimes I needed my shipments to get to Kuwait fast and Shop&Ship is just too slow. Everything was fine and dandy until I realized Borderlinx was taking an 8.5% customs clearance fee on top of the 5% customs fee which I thought was absurd. So, I decided to try an alternative and I signed up to MyUS last month. This review is strictly Borderlinx vs MyUS and doesn’t include Shop&Ship because Shop&Ship is a lot cheaper as well as a lot slower (apples vs oranges).

membership

MyUS has been around since 1997, I first heard about them back in 2001 but ended up going with the much more affordable Shop&Ship instead. The reason I never signed up to MyUS even years later was their expensive shipping prices and fees. MyUS have different membership fees, the standard involves paying just $10 to open an account and no annual fee, but you don’t get the best shipping rates and you can’t consolidate your packages. To get the best deal you would have to sign up to their “premium” package but that costs $20 to setup and either $7 a month or $60 a year in membership fees. Recently though I found out that MyUS had special rates for credit card holders (which I posted here) where they not only waved all the setup fees but also offered additional discounts on shipping. I ended up signing up with my AMEX card which entitled me to free membership for 2 years as well as 30% off all my shipments.

Since I’m heading to SoleDXB next weekend I decided to order a backpack for the trip. I couldn’t risk shipping it with Shop&Ship and have it arrive after my trip so I sent it to MyUS mailbox instead. It was a bit risky since I hadn’t used my MyUS account yet but figured this would be the best way to test them out.

shippingoptions

MyUS allows you to customize a lot of different account options if you want to, for example they deal with a variety of shipping companies but if you have a preference you can say always use DHL or always use FedEx but by default its set on “Least Expensive Option”. You can also setup your account to ship packages as soon as they arrive or hold them until you choose to ship them. For an extra fee you can have them photograph the item for you, ship same day, add fragile stickers, add extra packing, discard shoe boxes and a bunch of more options. The different settings can be a bit overwhelming but you can not bother with them at all if you don’t want to.

Once my package got delivered to MyUS it popped up in my account on the same day. I then logged into my account and told them to ship it for me and this is where things weren’t as pretty as Borderlinx. With Borderlinx before you give the shipping order you’ll know exactly how much the shipping fee would cost as well as the customs fee, with MyUS you won’t know until your package is already shipped. I found that a bit uncomfortable since I’m not used to saying ship without knowing exactly how much it’s going to cost me. In any case a few hours later I got an email saying my package was shipped with FedEx and my credit card was charged. So I logged into my account to check and see how much it cost me. Based on the size of the package and weight, the package cost $93.74 to ship with insurance. With my 30% AMEX discount the price went down to $67.42. I took the package dimensions and weight and plugged them into the Borderlinx shipping cost calculator and ended up with an $85 shipping fee without insurance. Not a bad amount of savings but I was now worried about the customs fee. Borderlinx quoted me $52 for customs while with MyUS I needed to wait until the package arrived to Kuwait to find out. Three days later my package arrived to Kuwait and the total customs fee was around $30, I was relieved.

I saved around $40 by using MyUS over Borderlinx and the package arrived just as fast. MyUS has now officially become my go to mailbox for when I need my packages ASAP. I still find it uncomfortable to have them charge my credit card without knowing how much it’s going to cost me first but I’m just going to have to get used to it I guess. If you’re interested in signing up, make sure you check my previous post on MyUS to know how much you can save using which credit card. [Link]

Categories
Shopping

Moving from Borderlinx to MyUS

I don’t know how long Borderlinx have been doing this but I just found out the other day they’re charging a 8.5% customs clearance fee for the items you ship with them. Thats in addition to the 5% customs charge for the Kuwaiti authorities. I chatted with their help desk and explained how illogical it was to charge an 8.5% clearance fee when the actual customs fee is only 5% but they didn’t seem to think it was odd so I’ve decided to stop using Borderlinx and instead start using MyUS.com.

For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, Borderlinx and MyUS are mail forwarding companies. You sign up with them and they provide you with a US mailing address so you can shop online and mail stuff to your US mailbox. They’ll then ship the stuff for you from the US mailbox to Kuwait.

myus

I always used to consider MyUS as a more expensive option but my friend sent me a link to their Visa Card offer page and with the savings they’re offering the prices actually become pretty reasonable. I don’t have a Visa card sadly so I replaced Visa with Mastercard in the URL and ended up with the Mastercard savings page which isn’t anywhere as good as the Visa offer but is still better than nothing.

Visa Card Holders
– Waived set-up fee ($20 Savings)
– Complimentary Premium Membership for two years (a $120 USD value)
– Save 25% on shipping for first month
– Save 20% with future shipments
Here is the [Link]

Mastercard Holders
– Waived set-up fee ($20 Savings)
– Complimentary Premium Membership for one year (a USD $60 savings)
– 20% off already discounted DHL & FedEx shipping rates for your first month
– 15% off shipping rates after your first month
– Dedicated Customer Service
Here is the [Link]

I’m still using the Shop & Ship for when I am not in a hurry and want to pay the cheapest rate but for my urgent packages I’m going to start using MyUS instead of Borderlinx. I’ll post a followup sometime down the line once I’ve started using it properly and let you guys know how it turns out.

Update: Found the American Express page and turns out it’s even a better deal:

American Express Card Holders
– Waived set-up fee ($20 Savings)
– Complimentary Premium Membership for two years (a $120 USD value)
– Save 30% with future shipments
[Link]

Categories
Information Interesting Internet Shopping

MyUS vs Aramex

MyUS is a US forwarding mailbox that has been around for a long time now, before Aramex even but their prices were always more expensive.. or I thought. I always calculated small packages like 1KG and Aramex would come out cheaper but a reader made me realize that MyUS is actually cheaper when it comes to heavier packages. They also offer a few features that Aramex doesn’t offer like you can have them ship your magazines once a month while your regular packages twice a week. If you get a lot of junk mail you can choose not to receive any. You could even ship stuff when you want instead of a regular interval. So for example you ordered a few items from Amazon, instead of having them ship to Kuwait as soon as they arrive to your mailbox you could wait until they’re all in your mailbox and then ship them all together in one box.

Here is a price comparison with Aramex:
10 lbs Aramex $89 – MyUS $101
25 lbs Aramex $203 – MyUS $172
50 lbs Aramex $403 – MyUS $287
100 lbs Aramex $796 – MyUS $500
150 lbs Aramex $1201 – MyUS $500

If you decide to sign up use this link:
https://www.myus.com/AWL
It will cancel the annual membership fee. Just make sure you should choose annual while you’re checking out and it should reduce the amount to just the setup fee. I’m also in contact with someone at MyUS and they’re going to try and reduce the amount of the lighter items to compete with Aramex. So here’s another option for everyone, enjoy.

Categories
Apple

Are you getting an Apple Vision Pro?

Apple launched the pre-orders for the Apple Vision Pro this past Friday and I’m still undecided on it.

I definitely think it has a lot of potential, but at 1,150 KD it’s crazy expensive. I ended up pre-ordering one on Saturday since by then the delivery date had moved back to March which gives me some time to decide. I figured depending on how much money I make from advertising this month, and depending on the reviews that come out, I could decide to get one or just cancel my order.

I’m still trying to figure out what I could use it for. I think it could be a second TV, but I also like the idea of being transported some where else. I don’t know, I’m curious to have one and see where this technology is going to go, but the cheapest Apple Vision Pro which is 256GB comes out to around 1,200 KD shipped to Kuwait. The device itself costs 1,080 KD, but if you ship to MyUS.com there is additional $244 tax on top of it (more if you ship to Shop&Ship). Then calculate around 20KD to ship to Kuwait, you’re looking at close to 1,200KD. Crazy for something that I have no idea what I will use it for.

Did you pre-order one?

Categories
Information News

Regular Mail to be Delivered to Your Home Starting February

According to the Ministry of Communications, starting February 2023, regular mail that arrives to Kuwait will be delivered straight to your home for a small fee. This means you no longer have to figure out which post office your package arrived at and then go through the hassle of picking it up yourself.

The package tracking system is also being revamped and improved since the current one is fairly basic and not that informative.

This is really good news because if the post office starts delivering mail straight to me I might just start shipping more stuff to them instead of using more expensive couriers like Shop&Ship and MyUS.

Categories
Complaints

The Worst Courier I’ve Ever Dealt With!

It’s been a while since I last complained about a business, but this experience was too much not to share. A few weeks ago I ordered a new MacBook Air from Apple.com. I sent the MacBook to MyUS forwarding mailbox and then selected the cheapest shipping option to Kuwait because I wasn’t in a rush to get it and I’m cheap like that. MyUS ended up shipping it with a courier I hadn’t heard of before, SMSA Express. I was like fine, whatever, I wasn’t in a rush anyway.

The package took around 10 days to arrive in Kuwait, similar to how long Aramex would take so it wasn’t too bad. But that’s when I ran into a problem. The package went out for delivery last Saturday, I didn’t get a call, and there was no attempted delivery. If you check the tracking via their website, it shows that it’s out for delivery, if you use their WhatsApp service to check the tracking, it says that the receiver requested a new delivery date. So I started calling customer support:

Sunday: I called customer support who told me they’d have someone call me back regarding delivery. Nobody did.

Monday: I call customer support again and they tell me their tracking system hadn’t been updated since September 25 and that my package was showing still in Bahrain. I tried to have them explain to me how my tracking data was more current than theirs and they couldn’t.

Tuesday: I called customer support again, they don’t have a local office so I have to keep calling their Saudi number btw (thank you Skype). They tell me my package will be delivered today or tomorrow.

Wednesday: I called customer support, and they told me my package will be delivered today.

Thursday: This time when I called customer support I made a big fuss about how my package has been out for delivery for one week and they keep promising me delivery every day and how no one ever calls me. I get transferred to a manager who promises he will make sure my package will get delivered today before 3 PM.

Less than an hour later while on my way to Shuwaikh, I get a message from their driver asking me for a location. I call him up and ask him if he prefers to deliver in Kuwait City which is the original address listed, or Shuwaikh since I’ll be there. He tells me he’s delivering to Wafra 🤦🏼‍♂️. My office is in a building called Wafra Downtown Tower, so the dispatcher had read te first word, ignoring the rest of the address and decided that my package should be delivered to the area Wafra. I explain to the driver that the name of the building was Wafra, but the address was Kuwait City, he told me the office told him to deliver to Wafra and that’s where his deliveries are. So I ask him if I could come to him, he said I could and that he was in Farwaniya, so I got his location and headed there.

I get to the driver less than 15 minutes later and find out that SMSA Express use a local courier called OCS Express for their Kuwait deliveries. I finally get my package from the driver but he then asks for a payment of KD23.900 for customs. I was like it’s a laptop, there is no customs on laptops in Kuwait. So I ask the driver for an invoice and he says he doesn’t have one. Told him there was no way I was going to pay without at least an invoice. So he calls up his office and I talk to a lady and explain to her the situation. She says she will send me an invoice later, I told her I needed it first before paying, it’s a normal request. She told me it would take around 5-10mins, I was like fine I’ll wait and hung up. A few minutes later driver comes up to my window and hands me the phone. It’s the lady again, supposedly the accountant isn’t there and the driver needs to go make his rounds. I told her I’d been chasing this package for a week and I even drove all the way to Farwaniya to pick it up, I’m not leaving without the package. I hand the phone back to the driver and he goes back to his car. A few minutes later he comes to me and shows me a WhatsApp he got of a photo of the invoice. It said 23.900KD so I ask him to send me the photo and I hand him the amount cash to get my package.

After he left, I look at the invoice carefully and they charged me 20.400KD for customs. So I call the company up and talk to the lady I had spoken to earlier and explain to her that laptops don’t have customs charges so how was I being charged customs? She transfers me to another person who I assume is an accountant or manager. The guy tells me the item costs 408KD which is why there is customs on it. I told him the value doesn’t matter since it’s a laptop, and there are no customs on laptops. He says the description says there were notebooks in the box as well. I was like wtf, they’ve written notebook cuz it’s a notebook computer and if he doesn’t, believe me, I still hadn’t opened the box and he can check! I then proceed to tell him it was illegal that they were charging customs on a laptop when the government doesn’t charge customs and that I was going to report them for this. He then told me they would refund me the customs charge of 20.400KD but not the remaining charges. I told him fine and I sent them a payment link and got my refund.

So much drama for such a simple thing as a delivery. The fact that I was being charged customs when I shouldn’t have been is also super dodgy. If you ever use MyUS make sure you don’t select the cheapest delivery so you don’t end up getting your items shipped with SMSA and OCS!

Categories
Apple

iPhone 14 Prices in Kuwait vs US

The official iPhone 14 prices are out in Kuwait and so I decided to do a comparison with the US prices. This year Apple increased the price of the iPhone around the world while keeping it the same in the US. This means the price difference between Kuwait and the US is even greater this year.

Below are the price comparisons. The US price is based on shipping it to a MyUS address so you don’t pay tax, and then chosing priority 1-3 day shipping which will cost 16KD. They have cheaper shipping options as well.

iPhone 14
128GB – 293KD (US Price 263KD) +30KD Difference
256GB – 327KD (US Price 294KD) +33KD Difference
512GB – 400KD (US Price 325KD) +75KD Difference

iPhone 14 Plus
128GB – 327KD (US Price 294KD) +33KD Difference
256GB – 362KD (US Price 325KD) +37KD Difference
512GB – 435KD (US Price 356KD) +79KD Difference

iPhone 14 Pro
128GB – 371KD (US Price 325KD) +46KD Difference
256GB – 405KD (US Price 356KD) +49KD Difference
512GB – 480KD (US Price 417KD) +63KD Difference
1TB – 550KD (US Price 479KD) +71KD Difference

iPhone 14 Pro Max
128GB – 405KD (US Price 356KD) +49KD Difference
256GB – 440KD (US Price 386KD) +54KD Difference
512GB – 515KD (US Price 448KD) +67KD Difference
1TB – 586KD (US Price 511KD) +75KD Difference

The US prices are taken from the US Apple Store.
The Kuwait prices are taken from Xcite.

Update: Forgot to mention the local launch date is 23 September.

Categories
Apple Shopping

How to buy an iPhone 14 from Apple.com

The new iPhone 14 and 14 Pro will be available to pre-order on the Apple website in a few days and if you don’t want to wait for it to officially launch in Kuwait, you can pre-order the phone from Apple directly.

There are two things you need, a US forwarding address like Shop&Ship or MyUS, and a US Apple Store account.

US Forwarding Mailbox
This is something you most likely have already, if not you can get an account by visiting myus.com or shopandship.com and signing up for one. When ordering from Apple.com I always prefer to use MyUS due to the fact the mailbox is located in Florida and so all the items you purchase from Apple are tax free. The amount I save on tax I use to pay for shipping. Last year I paid 16KD to ship the phone from my MyUS mailbox to Kuwait using FedEx 1-3 Days Priority. If you don’t mind waiting there are cheaper shipping options available as well.

US Apple Store Account
Unlike what a lot of people think, you don’t need to have a US credit card to order from the Apple.com website. I have an account that uses my Shop&Ship address as my billing address and my NBK credit card for payments, and I have no issues purchasing laptops and phones from the website and shipping them to my MyUS address. I’ve been doing this for years now and just a couple of weeks back ordered the new MacBook Air that way.

Is it cheaper to buy the iPhone from the US? Yeah, it is. Depending on which iPhone you’re thinking of buying it could be a bit cheaper (and not really worth it) or a lot cheaper. Not only that but you could actually make a bit of money buying an iPhone by reselling it in Kuwait for more than what you paid for since demand, in the beginning, will be a lot higher than availability.

If you have any questions, let me know in the comments.

Categories
Apple Shopping

How much does it cost to buy an iPhone 13 Pro from Apple US?

When the iPhone 13 Pro launched a couple of weeks ago I pre-ordered one from the Apple store along with a silicon cover. This is how much it cost me with shipping:

iPhone 13 Pro 512GB (Sierra Blue)
Apple Silicon Cover (Blue Jay)
Total = KD 404

Shipping – MyUS (so I don’t pay US tax)
FedEx 1-3 Days Priority
Customs and clearance fees
Total = KD 16

Total cost = KD 420

I’ll be actually selling this one since I accidentally ordered the 512GB instead of the 256GB. And since the shipping time from Apple is now 3-4 weeks due to high demand, I’m just gonna wait till Digits gets their phones and buy one from them. But, the prices above should give you an idea of how much it generally costs to get a phone directly from the States. There were two cheaper shipping prices with MyUS, but both would have resulted in the iPhone arriving in around 10 days’ time and I’m traveling soon so wanted it to arrive before.

Categories
Reviews Shopping

My DesertCart Experience

If you’ve ever searched for a product on Google then you’ve most likely come across the website DesertCart. It’s an online store that will ship and deliver items to you from around the world, think of it like if Amazon and Shop&Ship merged together because that’s what DesertCart is. DesertCart’s catalog is composed of items from various other websites but with the added convenience of being able to ship the items directly to you.

I haven’t had a reason to ever use them, I just order my stuff directly from Amazon to Kuwait or have items shipped to my Shop&Ship mailbox. But, a couple of weeks ago, I ordered a Dewalt Cordless Tire Inflator from Amazon. It’s really the best cordless inflator you can buy and my friend has one which we use at the race track. It’s super convenient and runs on batteries which you need to purchase separately since they aren’t included with it. The local Dewalt dealer sells 18V 5000mAh batteries for 35KD but I wanted to get 20V batteries which they don’t get locally. Amazon also doesn’t ship batteries directly to Kuwait nor does Shop&Ship. MyUS do ship batteries but they’re too expensive and so wouldn’t make sense with such a low-value item. So I started googling other options and I ended up finding a Dewalt 20V 4000mAh battery for sale on Desert Cart for 29.600KD plus 3KD to ship to Kuwait. So 32.600KD total and that also included customs. So I placed the order.

The battery turned out to be available in the UAE and within a couple of hours, it got sent to the DHL warehouse and prepared for shipping. I got a notice by email that the item was classified as “dangerous goods” and that it needed more handling and packaging but that they would still ship it. Due to it being classified as dangerous, shipping took a bit longer than usual since I don’t think batteries can’t be mailed on regular flights. A week later, I got the item.

Throughout the whole process, my order tracking was updated constantly, and overall my experience was pretty great and I’d order through them again, but I did run into issues:

  • Originally I wanted to purchase two batteries, for me and my friend, but every time I tried to pay for the items I got a weird error regarding payment. I got in touch with their customer support through live chat which was impressive, but after trying a few things and placing the order from different browsers, we couldn’t figure out the issue. I then tried purchasing just 1 battery and the order went through. Turns out that there was only 1 battery in stock which is why my previous orders were confusing their system.

  • The second issue I ran into was with my account. I have an account but no password, everytime I try to log in I need to enter a code that gets emailed to me. There doesn’t seem to be a way for me to create a password for my account and I think I have three different accounts with them all using the same email and number? I don’t know, it’s confusing because when I log in from the app on my phone, I can see my previous order. When I log in from the browser on my Macs, I can’t. Also, I verified my phone number on my MacBook but now when I logged in to DeserCart from my iMac I noticed my phone number wasn’t verified so I just verified it again. It’s really buggy.

  • All my issues with them seem to be related to random strange bugs, the menu button on the iPhone app for example pulls up an empty list (see above). It’s really odd because they’ve been around for years now so how come no one has run into all these issues before?

But, as I mentioned, my experience was pretty positive since I ended up getting an item which under normal circumstances I wouldn’t be able to get. Even talking to their customer support was a positive experience. I’m still not sure what I’d use DesertCart for again since I don’t need any more batteries, but what’s going to happen from now on is that anytime I want to order anything online, I’m going to check and compare the cost to DesertCart. I just really hope they work out all their kinks. Check them out at desertcart.com.kw

Have you tried them before? Did you face any issues?

Categories
Shopping

Shop & Ship FLEX

I have zero loyalty when it comes to mail forwarding services and I’ll flip flop between Shop & Ship, MyBox and MyUS without hesitation. They’ve all got issues and end of the day all I care about is getting my items to Kuwait at the most reasonable rate possible. I know Shop & Ship gets a lot of hate here but I have a nostalgic connection to the brand since I was one of their first customers 20 years ago. But, for the past few years, I had been using MyBox for all my US and UK shopping since they were cheaper than Shop & Ship. But recently I moved back over to Shop & Ship because of their FLEX membership program and because MyBox was starting to get on my nerves.

One of the most annoying things about MyBox was the fact they would send me an SMS, email and app notification all at the same time whenever a package arrived to my mailbox, a package shipped from my mailbox or when a package was out for delivery. Three notifications at the same time and there wasn’t a way to stop it (from within my account at least). Another thing I found annoying was that every single time I logged into my account I would get a pop-up asking me to rate my experience. Every single time and I really really hate pop-ups. The final straw I think was when they most recently started charging 90$ a year for the option of consolidating packages. I thought that was too much to pay but it made me go back and take a look at the Shop & Ship FLEX program since that was only $45 a year. I ended up realizing that I could actually be saving money going with FLEX so I shifted all my shipping back to Shop & Ship.

FLEX has been around for a while now but I never signed up for it because I was happy using MyBox. The service costs $45 a year and has a number of benefits but the two most important ones for me were:

– You’d be charged in 100g increments instead of 500g increments
– You’d get a 20% discount on shipments weighing over 3KG

The 100g increments thing is obviously useful but the 20% discount on heavy items helped me out a lot recently since I was ordering a bunch of car parts for my Datsun 240z and they were mostly all over 3KG (pictured above). So far these two benefits combined have helped me save a bit of money compared to if I had shipped it with MyBox. For example:

13.4lbs
S&S Flex: 23.93 KWD
MyBox: 26.500 KWD

8.56lbs
S&S Flex: 15.69 KWD
MyBox: 16.500 KWD

1.88lbs
S&S Flex: 3.44 KWD
MyBox: 4.500 KWD

So not major savings but enough to justify signing up to FLEX and, I’ve actually already made back the $45 membership fee in savings this past month alone. So if you use Shop&Ship but haven’t signed up to FLEX then you should since you could be saving a lot of money. For more details on FLEX you can check out this page.