*Cross-posted from Melvel's Closet
Friends who are aware of my incurable online shopping addiction always ask me how I manage to keep on shopping online, even from stores that do not offer shipping to the Philippines. Their usual questions are: Is it safe to have items shipped here? Aren't shipping charges to the Philippines expensive? Don't you have to pay for customs duties?
I have only one answer for all those questions:
Johnny Air Cargo is an online shopping lifesaver. Their business is simple: you order something online and have it shipped to their business address in New York (or New Jersey, for lesser sales tax), and they ship your package (unopened and safely intact) to the Philippines. You then pick up your package in any of their branches (in SM Megamall or along Aguirre St. in Legaspi Village, Makati). They charge a fee for this service, depending on the weight or volume of the package.
Here's a step by step run-through, using my most recent order as an example:
First, place your order in the online store of your choice. You need to have a credit card or paypal account to do this. If you don't have either option, Johnny Air offers a service where they can purchase the item for you, using their own credit card (this will entail additional service fees, however).
When you check out from the website you are ordering from, indicate the following as your shipping address:Analyn / (Your full name)Johnny Air Retail Corp.69-04 Roosevelt AvenueWoodside, New York 11377
When you receive the email order confirmation from the online retailer/website, forward the email to the Johnny Air contact person in the Philippines, and inform them that you are expecting a package to arrive in the NY office (don't forget to tell them if you want to pick up the package from the Megamall or Makati branch). My regular contact person is Christine Villaranda from the Makati branch, since I pick up my packages from there. E-mail addresses of Johnny Air contact persons can be found here: Johnny Air Directory.
Wait until your package arrives in the Philippines. Someone from Johnny Air will call you or send you an email to confirm arrival of the package in the Philippines, and will advise you of how much fees you need to pay. These are the rates provided to me when I first availed of the service (I have to confirm if these fees still apply, but if there was an increase, I don't think the increase is significant, based on what I paid for my last order):
Finally, pick up your package from (and pay the fees at) the branch of your choice! Turnaround time (the date when they receive the package in NY and the date it arrives in Manila, ready for pick-up) is normally five to seven business days.
For my most recent order, the package was received in NY on February 11. It arrived in Manila on February 16. I retrieved the package in this condition, on February 17:
I paid only the minimum amount for this order (2 lbs), around P800.00. All the items I ordered reached me safe and sound:
Cath Kidston actually offers shipping to the Philippines, but considering the value of the items I ordered, I would have paid approximately P1,500.00 in customs duties and fees if I had the items shipped directly to the Philippines. And then I would also have to worry if my items will ever reach me at all (does anyone trust our local postal system?).
The minimum charge for the service (about P800.00 for non-electronic items) isn't exactly cheap, so evaluate your options first before you decide on using Johnny Air. Here are some additional tips to make the service more "sulit":
Request the online retailer/website to ship your items in the smallest box or envelope possible. This will work for items that are not so fragile and do not need a lot of protective packaging. Some items may be light in weight but are shipped in huge boxes. Remember that Johnny Air charges based on weight or volume, whichever is higher), so the smaller the packaging, the better.
When you order several items, don't forget to check the option that ships all your items in one package only. Some online retailers send orders in batches (especially if some of the items you ordered are not yet available). Remember that Johnny Air charges by package (not by number of items or by order), so it's in your best interest to have all your ordered items to be shipped in one box/package only.
If you're ordering something that you don't urgently need, wait for a free shipping promo for the online retailer/website. That way, you eliminate the shipping charges from the retailer to the NY office.
If you reached this far...congratulations! Start ordering online now!
(Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with Johnny Air Cargo in any way. I am simply sharing my experience with this service because it has worked well for me so far and I haven't had any bad experience with this service at all. If you have questions, just post in the comments section.)
*You can now follow Kikay Exchange at Twitter! Just search for @kikayexchange :)
** Read my comparison between Johnny Air Cargo and My Shopping Box here.
*** Comments section is now closed. Please forward all inquiries directly to Johnny Air Cargo.