(Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links. For more information, read my disclosure.)
For a while, I had wanted to buy a new home automation hub. However, the one I wanted, the Samsung Smartthings Hub V3 was a bit too expensive on Amazon. After a while, I figured out a way to get 50% of this item by ordering it from another Amazon website and dispatching back home with a mail transfer service.
With this technique, I have been able to save more than 175 CHF on a single Amazon purchase. I did not discover a new technique, this is already known by quite a few people. However, I do not think many people use it. But since it took me a while to figure it out and it saved me a lot of money, I figured it would be interesting to share it with my readers. It is the first time I am using a mail forwarding service in order to save money.
In this post, we are going to see how I saved more than 50% on a single purchase on Amazon by forwarding my parcel from the UK.
I am going to talk about plain old mail in this post, no emails here! So, what is mail forwarding or parcel forwarding? This is simply a service that will set up an address for you in another country. You can then use this address to deliver things ordered online. Once they receive the packet, the mail forwarding service will then dispatch it back to the address of your choice. You could, of course, use it in the same country, but there are much fewer advantages to it!
You may wonder why to use another address and not directly send to your home address. For the simple reason that some websites do not deliver in some countries. For instance, Amazon UK does not deliver in Switzerland. From Switzerland, if we want to order on Amazon, we need to order from Amazon France. We do not yet have an Amazon Switzerland. I guess the country is too small for that.
But there is another reason to send to use another website. It is to use arbitrage to find the cheapest website and to order from another country to get the best deal. That is what I did and that is what we are going to see now.
The product I wanted
Let’s see with my example of how I managed to save more than 50% on my purchase. I wanted to buy the Samsung Smartthings Hub V3. Unfortunately, I did not find it in any Swiss shop. So I looked at French shops. On Amazon France (amazon.fr), they list the item at a price of 239 EUR. You can see the details of the listing:
Sorry about the French, but Amazon France is only in French. As you can see, the item cost 239 EUR and there are 39 EUR of delivery fees. That means a total of 278 EUR or around 313 CHF. Seeing this, I decided I really did not want to pay that much money for such a simple product.
However, I was looking at other Amazon websites and I found the same product on Amazon UK. I was really surprised by the difference in price:
On Amazon UK, my product is only 79 GBP, which is around 99 CHF. The base price is more than twice cheaper. Unfortunately, delivery to Switzerland is not possible. So I decided to go with a mail forwarding service.
Of course, Amazon UK is not the only option. This item is available in on many Amazon versions. For instance, it is available in Amazon Germany for 89 EUR. I considered it but it was slightly more expensive overall. And of course, there are other websites than Amazon. If you are going all the way and want to save, you will need to check many websites.
Forwarding the packet to Switzerland
It was the first time I ever used a mail forwarding service. I was a bit scared about the possibility of trusting my parcel into the hands of such as service. Therefore, I compared a few of the services that propose addresses in the UK. I finally settled for MyUKMailbox. From what I read in the different reviews, it seemed to be the best service for getting an address in the UK.
Moreover, this service does not charge any monthly fee. Since I am not planning to use this service regularly, I did not want to pay a hefty monthly fee just for using it once.
So I went ahead and created an account from their websites. I made sure to control several times my address in Switzerland. After this, they will give you an address in the UK. Once I had my address in the UK, I ordered my product from Amazon UK and made it deliver to my UK mailbox address. I made sure to use my Revolut card to save on foreign exchange fees. It took three work days to deliver the packet.
Once the packet arrived at the mail forwarding service, I received a mail telling me that the packet arrived. At this point, I could forward the mail to any address I wanted from the website. For my packet, the only option was to go with DHL. This cost me 30.95 GBP. Once again, I paid with my Revolut card to avoid any foreign transaction fees.
Finally, after two more working days, I received my packet in Switzerland!
The final price
In the end, I paid:
- 79 GBD (99 CHF) for the product itself
- 30.95 GBP (39 CHF) for the delivery via DHL
- 27 CHF for the Swiss import taxes
This gives me a total of 165 CHF for my purchase. If I had ordered on Amazon I would have paid:
- 239 EUR (269 CHF) for the product
- 39 EUR (44 CHF) for the delivery fees
- 27 CHF for the Swiss import taxes
So, a total of 340 CHF on Amazon France. This means I saved 175 CHF on a single purchase. This is more than 50% saved on a purchase! I really think it is worth the trouble to compare even on foreign websites for such a discount!
By using a foreign address and a mail forwarding service instead of direct delivery to Switzerland, I have been able to save more than 50% on a single purchase! This is 175 CHF that I saved with some time invested. This is definitely not negligible. I really think it was worth the time I invested in finding a better price for the product I wanted.
In the future, I definitely plan to look around in other countries for better deals when the local price is too high. Generally, it is cheaper when the product is available in your own country. But sometimes, it can be significantly cheaper on another website that may not deliver to your home address. In these cases, a mail forwarding service can save you a lot of money!
Have you ever used a mail forwarding service to save money? Do you have any other tip to save money?