Did you know it costs £7 to insure the delivery of a parcel containing £250 worth of hair to Russia?! I’ll resist the urge to include any jokes about “hair mail” but witnessing this conversation between a customer and cashier in a Post Office made me wonder about the benefit of insurance and the challenges of international delivery where sending gifts is concerned.
After overcoming the problem of what to buy, the rest should be straightforward. That’s until you consider the possibility of the parcel going missing, arriving late or being stopped at customs. “I hope you had a great birthday. I did send something but it’s lost in transit etc”. A surprise treasure hunt isn’t something most people have in mind.
Of course, the majority of parcels do arrive pretty much as planned, but these are not the only possible complications. I therefore offer the following for your consideration when planning how to get a gift to a friend or relative overseas.
- Do you have the time to post it? Can someone collect it from you?
- When do you need to post it? How long does delivery take? How likely are delays?
- How much will delivery cost?
- Do you need to insure it? How much for?
- Is the gift prohibited by customs? Have the regulations changed recently?
- Will there be any import duty or tax? If so, how much and can you pay it in advance or will the recipient have to pay for its release?
- What are the options if the gift needs to be returned?
- …and not unique to international delivery, where should it be delivered to? Home? Work? PO Box?
It would be impossible for me to provide an all-encompassing answer to each question. Indeed, to answer each question specifically for one product to be sent to one country would require a fair amount of investigation. So, whilst I’ll share some useful websites at the end of this blog, I’d like to offer a simpler solution…use a retailer within the country you need to send a gift to.
Ok, it’s not rocket science. Nor does GiftFinda claim to offer anything revolutionary. We simply do the leg work so you don’t have to. We list reputable retailers, many hundreds of them, by country and product category. So that you can buy with confidence, we include ratings from independent review sites and if a retailer has poor reviews, we don’t list them.
Still stuck with what to buy or if you’d like to understand more about how the site works, click here.
If sending from your home country appears to be your only option, we recommend the following resources:
- Calculate the import duty per product into any country
- Import restrictions by country
- Tips for sending mail overseas
…or you could just return the gift and start again with a search of our site!
If you don’t do it this time around, please invest two minutes to create a profile and we’ll send reminders in advance of future events so you can take advantage of our services.
Happy shopping and good luck!