During the course of my life abroad in Japan, I've increasingly found myself in this situation:
- I find something online that I just must have--usually something very American (and a bit silly) like ridiculously potent gel that makes my teeth gloriously white.
- Not surprisingly I can't buy it in Japan. -OR- I can buy it in Japan, but the price is insanely high.
- I go to Amazon USA or Ebay and find it there, but the seller won't ship it to Japan.
Oh, and this situation is compounded by the fact my family back home loves gifting me Amazon USA gift certificates for birthdays and Christmas.
I would usually inconvenience my retired father by ordering it, shipping it to him, and asking him nicely to ship it to me. However, as time goes on I get the distinct feeling my father does not particularly enjoy running a package forwarding service. I think he prefers to spend his time gardening. Fair enough.
Fortunately, I stumbled upon a parcel forwarding service known as Shipito. They provide you with a USA address (and even a European one too) that you can use to order things online. Then for a reasonable fee they forward your purchases to you in Japan or elsewhere. They also offer optional services like a no-sales-tax Oregon address and package consolidation.
I found their website clean and intuitive. I receive a friendly email notification when a package arrives for me, and it even includes a picture of the package. I then login to the website to provide requisite info (for customs) and choose the shipping vendor (USPS, DHL, etc.). The cost is clearly indicated, and the process takes only a minute or two. Overall I've enjoyed a very positive customer experience with them. Shipito has come through for me for those once-in-a-while cases where Japan's marketplace landscape fails me--in other words, when I just gotta get this thing from good ol' 'Merica!
NOTE: If you found this article helpful and you do plan on using Shipito's services, please show your appreciation by using the links provided in the article. This tells them where the referral came from. Thank you!