Rambilicious 100% Ramble-y Goodness

4Dec/146

I used Australia Post’s ShopMate and it didn’t suck.

If you're an Aussie and you've ever tried ordering things over the internet you've probably discovered the prices are lower on any number of things in America, but American stores typically won't ship to Australia. Why? Nobody knows!

Previously you could use services like Shipito to circumvent some of these restrictions. You get a US based address with them and have your goods delivered there, then they ship them to you for a small fee plus postage.

I guess AusPost wanted a slice of that pie because they recently launched ShopMate, where you get a US based address to ship your goods to then pay AusPost the cost of bringing them to you.

So, cool. Does it work?

Yes!

What made me try it was a Star Wars themed "mystery box" that ThinkGeek wouldn't ship outside the US. Why not? I have the box now and I still don't know. Maybe it's illegal to export Death Stars, even when they're only tea infusers?

Anyway, I chucked that and some themed polo shirts in my cart and placed an order on the 12th of November. ThinkGeek shipped it the 13th and it arrived at ShopMate on... the 20th. A whole week for delivery within the US. Okay.

It then took another week to go from their warehouse to my door, halfway round the world. Arriving on the 27th means it took 15 days, which isn't particularly fast but not painfully slow.

As for the cost? If ThinkGeek had been willing to ship directly to me it would have cost around $US55. As it was technically being shipped to a US address and they had free shipping at the time I only had to pay the ShopMate fee.

Which came to $AU59.70. It ain't cheap, but after the currency conversion it worked out cheaper than the direct option, oddly enough.

The only really disappointing part of the whole experience was the lack of tracking available between ShopMate's US location and the parcel arriving in Australia. You don't get any kind of update until it's in the country and ready for delivery. It's a bit of a nitpick, it doesn't really matter so long as your stuff arrives, but it would be nice. Maybe you can track it and I just can't find the right bit?

One test run isn't conclusive but so far it's reasonably priced, reasonably quick and super easy to use. I'll certainly be using it again. Possibly to get some Lego...

  • Tara

    I’m glad it worked! Sounds pretty expensive, so you’d really want to have free shipping on the American side, at least.

  • Craig

    Shop mate is a terrible service. My parcel is lost in the ether and the
    customer service staff who are exceedingly willing to assist aren’t
    able to find out anything either. The delivery is slow and the customer
    service response is plain lousy. If read the fineprint you will notice
    that it’s not even an Auspost service but is subcontracted to Singapore.
    Don’t put yourself through hell use shipitto or someother service.

  • Jack Li

    Oh it sucks alright. Sweaty balls

  • Bill

    For the record, it does suck. Lost packages and absurd overcharging are the norm. Then you can’t get in touch with customer service to sort it out. Google Shopmate if you doubt my wisdom. Use an alternative!!!

  • Don

    Lost package. It sucks. Use other, established services.

  • Matt

    After using other USA to Australia shipping companies with success I decided to try Australia Posts “Shopmate” with terrible outcome. Firstly the Item was lost then found, like many other users unfortunately the item is now stuck in USA warehouse with no contact available for shopmate except for their email which I can confirm they do not reply to any emails at all not even a confirmation. So I have then contacted Australia post which also has no direct number or contact for “shopmate” Australia post cannot progress the item. The Item is now currently still stuck in USA shopmate warehouse and Australia post has no outcome.
    I have not received any emails or calls from Shopmate after numerous attempts to contact them, with the only reply being from my Australian inquiry with Australia Post which have now given me a reference number on a case that they confirm with me will take 10 days just to reply to my inquiry.
    What is really annoying is the glossy advertising on Shopmate’s website promoted by Australia Post stated fast delivery no issues cheap prices! WOW what a disaster after using many overseas shippers in the past and never having any issue I highly recommend staying far away from Australia Posts “Shopmate”
    My item was an expensive gift which is now unavailable to me, and most likely stolen by a US shopmate employee, my next step is to report this stolen to the police and hope for an outcome.
    Once again, NEVER USE SHOPMATE!