Buying from overseas? Have no fear! (but stay on your toes)

OomBen

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So, you plan on getting stuff in the mail from Friends/family, Amazon,or AliExpress from overseas? Here's some information for you to consider and be aware of when ordering items.

Friends or Family sending you stuff:

  1. Tell them to keep the declaration of value to under $50usd. (your stuff might be things you left behind)
  2. Try not to send things in big boxes. The size gathers attention.
  3. Try not to send several items of the same thing. This might not get attention if you pass the previous two, but if opened you might have to fight customs or pay the man.

Ordering from Amazon:
  1. I think this is a hit and miss sometimes. But chances are what you're ordering is over the $50 limit so your stuff will get checked out and you'll have to pay taxes.
  2. If you order something and have it shipped to a friend overseas and they ship it to you and they leave in the receipt, customs will take a look and tax you based on what's on the receipt.

Ordering from AliExpress:
  1. When you order items, shippers tend to undervalue items on customs declaration. (ex. they declare $3 instead of the $13 you paid)
  2. Try and make sure other people have ordered the same item in the past, you don't want to be a guinea pig and get stuck with a sub-quality product.
  3. It generally takes 2-4 weeks to receive items, but potentially up to 2 months. Patience, my friend.




My experiences with family sending stuff have been basically my mom sending us secondhand baby clothes or stuff we had left behind in the USA. When she filled out the customs paperwork, I'm quite certain she overvalued everything and customs gladly took our money. Usually if the declaration is low, then we only need to pay Pos Indonesia (i assume) for shipping from their mail facility to our house. Typically is rp3,000 to rp15,000. Usually takes 2 weeks to receive items shipped from the west coast of the USA. Not sure of other areas.

With Amazon...I had shipped out a couple books and fluoride-free toothpaste from the USA to Indonesia for my mom-in-law. I decided to toss in the receipt too. When the package arrived in Indonesia, customs took a gander and decided to heavily tax the books. I think they charged around rp300,000 or more. Quite annoying, i think it was a 100% tax or so. This was around 2010 i think.

With AliExpress I have only ordered small things and always have used the free shipping option (pos indo often asks for rp3,000). Have not had to pay any additional fees. Just takes 2-4 weeks for items to arrive but can take up to 2 months. A friend told me he purchased some items upwards of $100 but were declared less than $20 and had no issues with customs.


I must stress that I'm not telling you to lie about what you should declare on customs. I just want you to be aware so that you'll have no surprises.

Should you have any other experiences from ordering items from overseas, please share!
 

fastpitch17

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In Bandar Lampung it doesn't matter the value. POS still charges you. If you get a package of any kind they give you a slip to come to the POS to pick up. Then they charge you roughly around 50% of the value listed. Doesn't matter if from business or personal. Funny how they can find you when they want some cash but in almost 2 years at this address, never received a bit of mail in an envelope. I now list for mailing purposes a Jakarta family members address and they send to me via JNE or TIKI. I avoid Indo POS at all cost possible.
 

Bad_azz

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Interesting stuff Ob.
Nice to have all that tucked in one article for easy reference- letters & packages for me are a hit & miss affair... I am currently waiting for delivery of something sent with Tikki, from Jakarta last Friday ... sigh- tracker says with delivery agent... so I figure some geezer with a moped is having a looooong nap somewhere- cos it has said that since Monday.
 

Bad_azz

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In Bandar Lampung it doesn't matter the value. POS still charges you. If you get a package of any kind they give you a slip to come to the POS to pick up. Then they charge you roughly around 50% of the value listed. Doesn't matter if from business or personal. Funny how they can find you when they want some cash but in almost 2 years at this address, never received a bit of mail in an envelope. I now list for mailing purposes a Jakarta family members address and they send to me via JNE or TIKI. I avoid Indo POS at all cost possible.

I received a letter from the UK on Monday- it was for my vote by proxy for the UK /EU referendum- they never rattled the gate or called out or anything- just threw it over- & the dog pissed all over it - hahaha. That'd be my Boxer- he is a clever boy.


& because us getting letters is so rare the hubby insisted on peeling it all open & drying it in the sun- stinky!! I repeatedly told him to chuck it in the fire pile.
**RollsEyes**
 

Nimbus

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Very useful info, in case I need to send stuff that can't wait until the next visit.
 

OomBen

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letters & packages for me are a hit & miss affair... I am currently waiting for delivery of something sent with Tikki, from Jakarta last Friday

For domestic shipping I've had great luck with JNE except for one time where they seemed to take an extra week. As for letters... there's only been one thing that was important and did not arrive, my daughters Social Security card.
 

Puspawarna

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This is great info for people new to Indonesia (and all of us, for that matter). Thank you!
 

HappyMan

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I've had average luck with the post. A couple of birthday cards with visa cards in them went missing. Others got through. I had an old tent of mine sent in... and paid something like a hundred dollars in taxes, in spite of the clearly used condition of the tent. We sent a bunch of our stuff over from China, banana box sized packages, and paid no tax for any of it.

Seems like a bit of a crap shoot.
 

El_Goretto

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I'll also add that now Amazon charges a deposit estimate for the import duty. So let's say you buy something for $60 with shipping, they will charge an extra $5 or $10 on top for customs. Once you've received your package, Amazon will refund whatever wasn't used of the deposit. The shipping is also very fast, I received stuff from Amazon within a few days of ordering.

For domestic shipping I've had great luck with JNE except for one time where they seemed to take an extra week. As for letters... there's only been one thing that was important and did not arrive, my daughters Social Security card.

I love JNE. Once I even received a package at 9pm on Lebaran Eve! Talk about dedication!
 

kimdub

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My worst experience happened when one of the family gave birth to cleft palate baby. I had shared the experience with some friends in the states, and one friend who is a nurse, immediately shipped out a baby bottle with special nipples for feeding.

We knew it would take awhile, but after trying to track it and asking at the local POS, we gave up after about 3 months.

We actually received the shipment. 17 months after it had been shipped. Combination of shaking our heads and laughing.
 

dafluff

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Hi, I moved this thread to the Export-Import, Moving in Moving out forum, as I think it would be more valuable there.

Also, adding my own tip:

Some companies, for instance Ebay, use the Global Shipping Program. It calculates shipping and taxes beforehand, so you can usually bypass all the red tape at the post office, and the item will even be directly delivered to you. Last time I ordered something on Ebay it was received within 10 days.

The threshold for duty being charged is $50,-, so it would be advisable to hunt around for an identical item sold for under $50, even if they charge more for shipping.
 

Bad_azz

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YAY, my package arrived yesterday- Tiki : Jakarta to Bandung with all the bells & whistles - tracking number etc... 1 week.

JNE is much better.
 

dafluff

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YAY, my package arrived yesterday- Tiki : Jakarta to Bandung with all the bells & whistles - tracking number etc... 1 week.

JNE is much better.

One week for Jakarta to Bandung? Did they use horses?
 

Jaime C

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And be careful using DHL and Fedex to Indonesia. I've read that they tack their own import handling fees onto the shipment.
 

fastpitch17

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And be careful using DHL and Fedex to Indonesia. I've read that they tack their own import handling fees onto the shipment.

My experience with UPS was that they shipped to Jakarta and then turn it over to JNE who charges the recipient for their service. At least according to JNE.
 

Jaime C

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My experience with UPS was that they shipped to Jakarta and then turn it over to JNE who charges the recipient for their service. At least according to JNE.
Everytime I've checked UPS shipping to Indonesia, it was sky high.
 

fastpitch17

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Everytime I've checked UPS shipping to Indonesia, it was sky high.

I didn't order it up. Some had to send me a replacement for something of theirs that broke. My cost was only the JNE. I have seen that same thing, way high for getting anything here from the US. Not that the other couriers are that much less.
 

Jaime C

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Using mail services are often best for international orders. Outside of Canada, I use USPS to send stuff all around the world for my US based company. I'd certainly send to Indonesia using postal shipping.
 

fastpitch17

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Using mail services are often best for international orders. Outside of Canada, I use USPS to send stuff all around the world for my US based company. I'd certainly send to Indonesia using postal shipping.

Great for you but even using US Postal International Priority Mail envelopes, I get nothing at this address through POS. I have to direct anything that may come POS to a Jakarta address where it is then sent on to me via JNE. In 2 years I have never received a single piece of mail to my home here. POS personnel have check my address ID and said no problem but nothing comes including government documents. JNE, TIKI, no problem
 

Euc-

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I actually have someone for this, I can basically order from any EU or Aussie website and have it delivered to my friends contact. My friend then arranges for it to come to Indonesia, it has never taken more then a week from moment of ordering till reaching my doorstep.

Charges vary but to give an indication: pair of shoes was 300k, rimowa suitcase (not the Aluminium ones though) was 600k. This was all in from EU till my doorstep. She usually sends me the stuff through RPX as that offers an option for guaranteed delivery before noon the next day domestically, but JNE/Tiki work fine too.

My contact isn't very keen on having her contact details out there, but there are various services on Instagram that offer this so just try to contact a few (they usually sell luxury shoes).
 

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