This post and giveaway was originally posted on the 29th of November 2016.
I had my baby boy two days later and it’s been a whirlwind ever since so I am re-running the giveaway.
All entries captured during the original giveaway are still valid.
A few days ago, I wrote about some kickass dog leads that I sent to South Africa for my dad. (If you missed it, you can read it here.)
The struggle to send parcels to and from South Africa via SAPO is a well-known one and I don’t think it needs any further discussion because let’s be real – we ALL have our own horror stories about parcels that conveniently went ‘missing’ or had to pay weird duty fees that seem to get made up on a whim.
Luckily there are brave entrepreneurs who brought freight forwarding services, that actually work, to South Africa, so the nightmare is finally over.
One such company, that I can highly recommend, is Postbox Courier.
It took TWO DAYS to send my dad’s present from the UK to South Africa. I was expecting this kind of sorcery to cost a fortune, but it only cost £16 (R280).
(If you think that’s expensive, let me put it into perspective; I paid R870 to have a new bank card sent from SA to the UK and it took more than a week to arrive. R870 for a little envelope! So R280 for a big box AND for it to arrive within two days, really is magical.)
What service does Postbox Courier provide?
As I mentioned, it’s a freight forwarding service.
The most common way people use such a service, is to receive parcels from an online retailer that does not ship to South Africa.
I think Colourpop is a good example, although a bit outdated.
Colourpop is a makeup brand that only shipped to addresses in the United States. To get the items to South Africa, you would ship the makeup to Postbox Courier in the USA and they would then forward it on to you in South Africa. Pretty neat!
(Just a heads up – Colourpop now ships internationally.)
Another way to use the service, is to send your own parcels (that you packaged yourself), to South Africa – like I did.
I do not trust the SAPO so I would avoid sending gifts to my family in South Africa because the chances of them receiving the parcel was slim to none.
I would rather buy their gifts from online shops inside South Africa, like Takelot, to make sure they received them.
This was all good and well, but when I found something really special that’s not available in South Africa, I could only ever send it to them if I knew someone flying to South Africa who was happy to play parcel mule for me and as you can imagine, this is very, very rare.
Thanks to Postbox Courier though, this is no longer a problem for me. I can now send whatever I want to my family and not have to worry at all.
How to use Postbox Courier
You can get a quote of how much your parcel will cost to send on their website’s homepage but to use the service you need to register online.
Once your account is verified, you will be given a list of addresses to send your parcels to.
At the moment you can forward parcels to South Africa from the following countries:
- The United Kingdom
- The United States
- Hong Kong
- And soon, The United Arab Emirates too
If you are shopping online you can send the parcels directly to the Postbox Courier depo for that country but you will need to get in touch with the store so that you have the weight, dimensions and tracking number for the parcel.
If you are sending the parcel to Postbox Courier yourself, simply weigh and measure the parcel before shipping it.
I used Royal Mail to send my parcel to the UK depo.
Once your parcel is in transit to the depo, you need to let Postbox Courier know it’s on the way. This is done by completing the ‘Parcel Pre-Alert’ form on the website.
In this form you specify the value, description and destination of the parcel.
If you would like an estimate of SARS Custom fees / import duties / VAT etc, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org before hand.
When your parcel has safely arrived at the depo, you will get an email letting you know it’s time to pay. After payment is received the parcel is shipped and you should have it within five working days.
I found the whole process to be simple, efficient and extremely pleasant. I didn’t have to worry about my parcel because I got notifications when it arrived and left the depo as well as when it was safely delivered in South Africa.
I still can’t believe it arrived in South Africa TWO days later!
Now for the fun part!
Postbox Courier have agreed to give three lucky readers a shipping voucher of their own worth R600. (This is roughly enough to ship 3kg of parcels to South Africa, depending on the size of the package.)
R600 goes quite far – it only cost me R280 to ship my dad’s gift to South Africa and the box was not small.
How to enter
Simply follow the instructions listed in the Rafflecopter widget below. (Sometimes the widget takes a while to load, so please be patient.)
The only mandatory entry is leaving a comment letting me know where you would shop from and what you would buy. All other entries are optional.
If you are tweeting a message, remember to complete the sentence “Hey @_fairleigh if I won a voucher from @postboxcourier I’d shop from… ”
Uncompleted tweets will be disqualified.
Need Some Inspiration?
Not sure where you would shop from? Have a look at my Gift Ideas for the Unicorn Lover in Your Life post.
Terms and Conditions
Open to South African and UK residents only.
Competition runs from 18 February 2017 to 9 March 2017.
3 winners will be announced on Friday, 10 March 2017 and will have seven days to provide their email address before a new winner is chosen.
No purchase required.
Gift sponsored by Postbox Courier.
Please note that the voucher ONLY covers shipping costs with Postbox Courier. It cannot be used be exchanged for money, used to buy items online or pay for tax/custom fees on shipments.
Good luck and happy shopping!