I’m sure everyone who lives in the UK and loves vintage reproduction as much as I do has that same sinking feeling when you see something advertised by a US retailer you fall in love with… Even more so if it’s e.g. Besame, who don’t ship overseas (although I think they’re about to change that), right?
Step up, myMallBox! I’d heard of these ‘interim couriers’ – for want of a better phrase – before, who allow you to ship items to their US address and then they’ll arrange for delivery to you in the UK (and beyond), but from what I knew of them many charge for their part of the service. Once you start adding up that fee plus the shipping cost you’d still need to pay, they become a bit too expensive for the casual user like me. What’s good about myMallBox is that you don’t pay a fee like this, you just pay for your shipping. Oh and that they ship to any country in the world, not just the UK!
myMallBox gave me a credit to try their service out and it didn’t take long for me to spot the first US item I wanted to buy; a pair of glittery sunglasses from Unique Vintage. Side note: I’ve got a weird new obsession with glittery cateye sunglasses. Since buying this first pair I’ve bought a second and my attitude is currently Pokemon levels of ‘gotta catch ’em all’ – whenever I see them, I buy them. Anyway, back to this purchasing experiment! I ordered following myMallBox’s instructions (a little bit buried, but I found them in the end) and about a week later I got an email alert saying my item had arrived, which was in a day of my tracking with the retailer, Unique Vintage, telling me it had been delivered.
I went to the myMallBox website and selected my item for shipping, followed the process, but for a reason I can’t remember now navigated away from the page just before I hit the ‘go’ button and then had a nightmare finding it on the system again as it disappeared from my ‘My Packages’ view. Top tip – don’t do that! Anyway, eventually I found it again, went through the process and selected a cheap shipping option (you’ll get a few, some faster than others) and waited expectantly for my parcel to arrive. Which it did, within a couple of weeks. Success!
I’d deliberately picked a cheap option so that I’d get to have another go with a second purchase. Having spotted yet more things I wanted from Unique Vintage, this time swimwear for the minimoon and honeymoon, another order in and I waited for it to show in myMallBox. And waited. But unlike the first it didn’t go into my account for a while. I checked my Unique Vintage tracking number and saw it was delivered. I gave it a few days, then I contacted myMallBox to find out what was going on. It wasn’t easy to find this contact info, which I wasn’t overjoyed about. Anyway, they got back very quickly and what do you know, my package appeared in my account. I picked a faster service this time because I was hoping my items would get there before my minimoon and hurrah, they did.
Apart from that hiccup and I still don’t know what the hold-up was really, I’ve found this service pretty handy. The shipping rates offer more flexibility than most retailers do and where it really comes into its own is the consolidation and re-packaging service they offer. If you have several orders you can have them boxed together to save money on shipping, which is pretty handy. I haven’t used this but I know someone who has and it worked swimmingly.
Despite the issue above, I’ve used them again for a recent order and I think it’s a really good idea – particularly for getting your hands on something that only ships to US addresses. You can sign-up for the service here.
- You’re not forced to stick to one expensive shipping option as per most retailers
- You can order several different packages and myMallBox will consolidate and ship them together, or put them into a smaller parcel, to help keep costs down
- Many companies that won’t ship to the UK will happily ship to your myMallBox US address – particularly handy for cosmetics where this often applies
- Regardless of the problem I mentioned, there seems to be a delay in terms of when the item arrives at your suite vs when it becomes available to ship. Once it’s on its way it’s all good, but otherwise it does add some extra time in. This isn’t the option you’d pick for an express delivery or if you’re impatient (which I admit to being!)
- You’ll still pay customs as per the value you declare via myMallBox, who will put it with the packing info. Of course, that’s on you, but I’m not encouraging any law-breaking…
- Not all US companies will allow you to ship to this kind of warehouse. I haven’t run into one yet but I know they exist
What do you think; would you use a service like this?