global shipping, international shipping carriers, alternative shipping methods

6 Alternative Shipping Methods If Your Items Won't Ship to Singapore

Sometimes you poke around online and find a store you really like. You start browsing their whole catalogue, add items into your cart you never knew you needed, then proceed to check out. When you get there, OH THE HORROR--they don't ship to Singapore. You're hipster and you love wearing brands Singaporeans don't know about, or can't buy easily.

Gif via Tumblr


And what do you do when you come across a situation like this? Here are six solutions for you to consider. 

Things to take note:

For international shipping, the minimum chargeable weight is 500g

Volumetric weight refers to the amount of space it would occupy on an aircraft or container. It is calculated as follows:

Volumetric weight Singpost Vpost

Guide via vPost

To reduce costs, look for services that can help you consolidate multiple purchases from different online retailers. To reduce that cost even further, look for a repacking service that some websites may provide.


1. vPost

VPost can be considered the most legitimate service in Singapore, since it's a subsidiary of our local post office, Singapore Post. Many years before other services (such as those below) started, VPost was our only option in getting overseas products. 

Singpost vpost overseas shipping how it works

You will also receive a bundling discount if you buy from more than one retailer, which vPost will then repack for you and reduce your package size and weight so you can save on those precious dollars. This service remains free as long as your items arrive within 21 days of the first item sent to their warehouse. 

You can also buy from really small-time merchants who do not trust international credit cards with vShop4U, to get an (almost) personal shopper experience. 

Surcharges: Domestic shipping, international shipping (base fee, weight charge per 100g, fuel surcharge per 100g) 
Where you can shop: USA, Japan, Europe, China
Repacking: Yes
Consolidation: Yes
Storage: Free up to 21 days


2. Ezbuy

Ezbuy consolidates products from many Chinese e-commerce sites, and lists them all on their website. This allows those who can't read or understand Chinese to enjoy the variety of items that Chinese sellers provide, and at great value too. While the translation is not 100% perfect, it helps a lot.

Prime membership
You might also want to get a Prime membership if you shop on Ezbuy frequently. For an annual membership fee of $99, you can cap your international shipping fees at $2.99 each time you buy and ship something. This includes heavy furniture, appliances, and clothing that are labelled as a 'Prime' item.

For items not listed on the website, simply paste the URL of your desired product, key in important details such as size, and colour, and proceed to check out just as you would with any other products.

Prefer to do the buying yourself to ensure accuracy of your desired product? Go ahead, then send it to a Ezbuy warehouse where they will then handle international shipping to Singapore. 

Surcharges: Domestic shipping, international shipping, weight charge per 500g, agent fee (optional)
Where you can shop: USA, Taiwan, China
Repacking: Depends
Consolidation: Yes
Storage: Free between 7 to 20 days depending on weight


3. Airfrov

Save on complicated shipping fees and procedures by leveraging on travellers. If you have an insane craving for Tokyo Banana but don't have any friends travelling to Japan anytime soon, you can find a friend on Airfrov's community of travellers. Post a request, indicate how much you are willing to pay for the item, and wait for someone to pick up your request.  

airfrov how it works

Surcharges: 7% GST, $2 service fee, delivery fee (optional)
Where you can shop: Anywhere in the world, but depending on travellers
Repacking: -
Consolidation: Depends
Storage: 14 days (extension possible if liaised with Airfrov)


4. ShopandBox

ShopandBox is another personalised service, whereby you will be engaging someone else to do the shopping for you. Your shopper will find your products at the best prices, which you will then agree to before purchase is made. Once that is done, your shopper will buy the items, pack them in the most cost-effective way possible, and ship it out to you.

shop and box how it works

Surcharges: Domestic shipping, international shipping, 10-14% service fee, shopper boxer negotiated fee (depends)
Where you can shop: 28 listed locations
Repacking: Yes
Consolidation: Yes
Storage: -


5. Tenso

Perhaps you must drink ceremonial-grade matcha, or wish to acquire exquisite Japanese ceramics--Tenso is your friend in shipping small to the largest of items from Japan. You also get to choose your preferred mail service out of the four that they work with, meaning you can choose the one best suited to your budget. 

Japanese is also notoriously hard to translate, so if Google Translate has failed you, consider using Tenso's Buyee service. 

Shop like a local with this service. Simply let them know what you'd like to purchase and Tenso will take care of it for you. There are limited information on Buyee at the moment, so proceed only if you're very desperate. 

Surcharges: Domestic shipping, international shipping, handling fee
Where you can shop: Japan
Repacking: Yes
Consolidation: Yes, at a fee
Storage: Free up to 60 days


One of these is not like the other...


6. Grouphunt

Unlike the logistic services above, Grouphunt curates unique items, or Kickstarter-funded products that will be very pricey to purchase on your own. Grouphunt will gather interest for an item first, usually hitting a goal number, before going to negotiate for a bulk discount from the merchant. Once the goal number has been reached, and hunt price fixed, orders can then be placed on Grouphunt. These products can be from small, indie retailers which might have shipping limitations. If you're looking for a breakthrough innovation that you saw on TechInsider, it's likely Grouphunt has it. 


Featured photo via Modern Legacy

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