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Limit to the amount of personal care products I can ship?

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TXinSingapore
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Limit to the amount of personal care products I can ship?

Postby TXinSingapore » Wed, 29 Apr 2009 3:42 am

Hello,

My husband and I are moving from the US to Singapore in June. I know many of the personal care products we're accustomed to using can be purchased over there, but it's my understanding that many of the items will be double or triple the price.

In an effort to save money, I'd like to purchase a year's worth of products (shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothpaste, etc.) to have shipped over to Singapore. My husband's company will cover the cost of shipping up to 1,000 lbs. so shipping charges won't be an issue for us.

Are there rules regarding the quantity of these products that I can ship to Singapore? I plan on declaring that they are for a year's worth of use.

Thanks for your help! :)

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Postby road.not.taken » Wed, 29 Apr 2009 6:54 am

Check with your shipping company, they may have limitations on liguids. If you do ship some, double or triple wrap them, they could very well freeze in the process and overflow their bottles due to changes in pressure. Also, some items just don't hold up as well here. I know Texas is hot, but it seems that here things get funky faster. I wouldn't go for a whole year's worth -- maybe 6 months? You can also just pack some in your luggage to distribute the amount more evenly. Good luck with your move :)

P.S. Double or triple the cost? Nah! More like 50 - 100%, still a lot, to be sure.

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Postby cbavasi » Wed, 29 Apr 2009 8:09 am

I agree with the way things change during shipping/storage... I sent over about 10 big bottles of Downy Fabric Softener b/c after all these years it STILL reminds me of home... and it turned a funny color and started smelling a bit ripe :? Now I just ship over the sheets... so maybe think about how things will store. Also, Singapore is very very western - there is very little you won't be able to substitute for your brands at home... and in re: to cost - it's just like at home - there are places that are less expensive than others. I would, however, stock up on towels and sheets if you need to buy new. Also, do a search on this forum - there have been a lot of threads in the past about what people recommend to bring in their shipment from the states...

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Postby pakjohn » Wed, 29 Apr 2009 12:54 pm

If the shipping is covered and you don't need the space, bring it. But.. you can find anything you need here, in US and alternative brands.

The prices are higher, but it's bearable.

I agree, better to bring dryer sheets than liquid softener. The air is so humid here you don't need the liquid. (Unless you're from Houston, then it's very similar to late June in Houston.)
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I probably wouldn't bother...

Postby nassaugirl » Wed, 29 Apr 2009 7:56 pm

I would bring whatever you need for a couple of months with you but you will find the majority of stuff here or acceptable alternatives.

I use a service here through the post office which allows me to ship drugstore items/clothing etc from the US to here. Its reasonably inexpensive. You get a mailing address in the States and stores will ship to you as if you were in the US. Then your parcels are forwarded to you here. I've ordered from drugstore dot com for those things I can't find here and you could do likewise.

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Postby TXinSingapore » Wed, 29 Apr 2009 11:01 pm

Thanks for all of the great advice! I hadn't really thought about the liquids changing, but that is a good point.

I actually am from Houston so I'm really, really familiar with humidity 8-)

nassau -- what is the service you use to have your parcels forwarded to you in Singapore once they arrive to your US mailing address? Thanks!

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Re: I probably wouldn't bother...

Postby Strong Eagle » Wed, 29 Apr 2009 11:11 pm

nassaugirl wrote:I would bring whatever you need for a couple of months with you but you will find the majority of stuff here or acceptable alternatives.

I use a service here through the post office which allows me to ship drugstore items/clothing etc from the US to here. Its reasonably inexpensive. You get a mailing address in the States and stores will ship to you as if you were in the US. Then your parcels are forwarded to you here. I've ordered from drugstore dot com for those things I can't find here and you could do likewise.


I'm sorry... I've never seen any of these forwarding services worth a bucket of warm spit. They charge a lot to forward and once you get the name of a company, google it and see how many negative comments there are.

Personally, I think the OP is stretching the meaning of 'personal items' when it comes to the import rules and if so inclined, the ICA would be within reasonable limits to assess GST on your shipment.

The reality is that things cost somewhat more but not outlandishly so. Hell, beer costs more... a lot more than Houston. The only thing that I find much cheaper in the US is ibuprofen... it is a pharmacy item here... but a couple of 500 pill bottles lasts a long time.

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Postby cbavasi » Thu, 30 Apr 2009 8:46 am

Here is a useful thread - goes a bit off topic with picture hooks :) but gets back on track...
http://www.singaporeexpats.com/forum/su ... 0cdc99769c

I'm in agreement with tampons - I would ship over a years supply in a mo. They are about $10 a box here!

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Re: I probably wouldn't bother...

Postby nassaugirl » Fri, 01 May 2009 1:40 pm

Strong Eagle wrote:
I'm sorry... I've never seen any of these forwarding services worth a bucket of warm spit. They charge a lot to forward and once you get the name of a company, google it and see how many negative comments there are.



Well that may be so but I'm really happy with the one I use (don't want to get in trouble for advertising but please look on the Singapore Post website for details). It works well for me and lets me take advantage of all the sales in the US!

The trick to these things is to do a bunch of shopping at once as these forwarding companies always charge a base amount per shipment, which you pay only once regardless of the number of parcels. So typically I do say 3 parcels. The service I use also offers coupons for reduced shipping quite frequently.

So to maximise my savings, I take advantage of free shipping within the States and/or coupons/sales. Then my mailbox is located in a state without sales tax, which saves more. Obviously, there is no point shipping heavy items but for stuff from the drugstore or teeshirts from Gap or Banana, the shipping costs are not huge.

All in all, the numbers pencil so whats the problem?

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Postby road.not.taken » Fri, 01 May 2009 2:17 pm

Wow! You sound like a shopper after my own heart :wink: I tried vPost once and said never again. By the time I got my son's sliding pants, baseball season was over. It was so bound in red tape -- awful. If it works for you, that's great, obviously you've figured it out. In the old days, expat packages sometimes included air shipments throughout the year for precisely this reason -- we never had one, but I was always envious of those who did.

So nassaugirl, anything that was restricted? Liquids, gels, etc...? I love getting packages in the mail, definitely one of my favorite things :)

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Re: I probably wouldn't bother...

Postby Strong Eagle » Fri, 01 May 2009 3:16 pm

nassaugirl wrote:Well that may be so but I'm really happy with the one I use (don't want to get in trouble for advertising but please look on the Singapore Post website for details). It works well for me and lets me take advantage of all the sales in the US!


Please feel free to post the information regarding the shipper. The board rules ban only two kinds of advertising.

a) Real estate - since this is an real estate supported board (and by advertising I mean other realtors offering their services

b) Posting your own company as a 'solution'.

Cheers.

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Re: I probably wouldn't bother...

Postby jpatokal » Fri, 01 May 2009 4:56 pm

Strong Eagle wrote:The reality is that things cost somewhat more but not outlandishly so. Hell, beer costs more... a lot more than Houston. The only thing that I find much cheaper in the US is ibuprofen... it is a pharmacy item here... but a couple of 500 pill bottles lasts a long time.

Agreed -- and you can get your meds cheaper across the border in Malaysia and super cheap if you venture into Indonesia.

Toothpaste, shampoo, soap and whatnot seem quite reasonably priced to me in Sing, especially if you use the local brands. I wouldn't bother unless you're a huge fan of some mildly exotic US product, which you're unlikely to be able to find here.
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Postby nassaugirl » Fri, 01 May 2009 6:24 pm

[quote="road.not.taken"
So nassaugirl, anything that was restricted? Liquids, gels, etc...? I love getting packages in the mail, definitely one of my favorite things :)[/quote]

I haven't had any restrictions as to what I can buy (and have bought both liquids and gels from Drugstore.com). They do inspect it when it gets over here but I've never had any issues! I do miss the shops in the States so it does help!

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Postby boffenl » Mon, 04 May 2009 1:50 pm

We brought lots of shampoo, conditioner, soaps and detergent. I would say the brands I use in the US are easily 100-200% cheaper there than what I can find here in Singapore. Plus, it makes you feel a bit more like yourself when you can smell like yourself. :D I'd ditto any comment on women's products--you won't find the same brands and it will take a few months to trying to get the same kind of "protection" you're used to finding at "home". Bring at least a years worth supply.

Also, over the counter medicine is insanely expensive here--at least double the price for dimatap and similar medicines. Make sure you read the expiration labels before you stock up so you have at least 1 year to use them! I haven't found towels and sheets to be too expensive here, but if you have good ones already, just bring them with you. Nothing makes you feel more settled than putting your "old" sheets on your new bed in Singapore! Sheesh, I even brought pillows. That was a bit much, but our shipping container was in my "package".

Good luck!

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Postby LoriW » Thu, 14 May 2009 9:43 pm

I would, however, stock up on towels and sheets if you need to buy new


If you're used to huge fluffy towels, then they are a must to take with you! I've been leaving a few towels with my cousin just to use when we're been on holiday for the last few years!!

I'm going to do a reccy over the next couple of weeks to see what I nedd to bring. I've already been to France and bought 4 bottles of Marseilles liquid soap - lavender and anti cooking odour.

I don't know about US brands but I'd say that almost anything you can buy in Europe you can buy in Singapore - sometimes it's more expensive, sometimes it's cheaper.

Tampax? I'd never thought of shipping that over - it's been available in Singapore for as long as I've been aware - many many years!

My can't live without must be Original Source Mint and Tea Tree shower gel - I'm sure I saw that in Cold Storage but I'll probably take a few bottles with me! Also the hand soap - living in the UK I'd travel to France to buy soap!!

There are also personal care items only available in Singapore which make life in the tropics more bearable though .......... don't forget "Snake Powder" (Prickly Heat Powder - talc containing menthol) and Mopiko - the best anti itching mosquito bite cream known to man!

My partner - a largish built stocky Englishman can't survive without Prickly Heat Powder and Prickly Heat Soap!!

Pillows!!?? A question if you don't mind me hijacking the thread?? Feather pillows? Are they OK in the tropics? I HATE synthetic pillows and I prefer the French big square pillows to the small rectangular ones!


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