You must be wondering if there is anything worth buying from Germany. Well, not for me, but my wife has tried and would like to continue using some German branded beauty products. As with products from China and USA, you get lower prices if you source from the source. Even when the shipping cost is significantly higher for Germany as compared to shipping from China and USA.
I learnt quite a few things from this maiden attempt to ship stuff from Germany to Singapore, and i’m sure there is an obscure chance that my experience will be helpful to some people.
First of all, there are not many choices when it comes to the parcel forwarding service provider. There are practically only three – vpost, myGermany and mailboxde. The first two are prohibitively expensive, so you can toss them out the window. Mailboxde has reasonable shipping rates because they offer shipping via Deutsche Post (the German equivalent of SingPost). In terms of volumetric weight, i think the allowance is quite generous, whereby the acceptable dimensions for a small package is Length + Height + Width < 90cm. Both the fairly large parcels i shipped were considered small packages. At 9.81 Eur ($15) each, it was very much within reason.
I discovered that online shopping in Germany is fairly easy for foreigners not residing in Germany. PayPal is commonly accepted at all online shops. Google translate mitigates the language barrier completely. I was also able to pick the online shop with the lowest price (with free domestic shipping) through an aggregator site. All in all, easy peasy.
I guess it is worthwhile buying light and non-bulky items such as beauty products from Germany, but not much else. Shipping cost seems to increase exponentially with higher weight and volume. Anyway, Germans are innovative, and i would have been quite interested to explore buying German products if not for the high shipping cost.
One of the parcels I received came attached with a catalogue of Daiso-esque products. I thought would be interesting to show you the following excerpts, some of which i found rather quirky.
Update: Amazon.de ships direct to Singapore. While shipping isn’t cheap (i guesstimate that it is somewhere around 20% more than if you shipped via mailboxde), you do get the tax deducted price (a whopping 16%), which in my opinion more than makes up for the higher shipping cost. I might just buy via Amazon.de exclusively from now on.