vPost is a package forwarding company operated by Singapore Post that forwards packages from the US, UK, Japan and China to anywhere in the world. I’ve been using vPost since around the end of last year and although there are some flaws in their service, I’ve generally been quite happy and hope that this vPost review can provide some insights and help you better decide on whether or not to choose them for your package forwarding needs.
Firstly, signing up to use vPost is a cinch, you can either sign up by filling in a simple form or use your facebook login if you have one. You will then be given your own personalised overseas addresses in the US, UK, Japan and China so you can shop from any online shop in those countries apart from some merchants that don’t allow delivery to package forwarding addresses (for a list of those merchants see here). After your shopping has arrived at your overseas address, vPost will notify you via email to let you know that it’s arrived. You can then declare your package by logging into your account and specifying the details of the contents in the package and their value. After doing this the cost of forwarding your package to you will be displayed (you can choose to send it by airmail or by sea (US Only) which takes longer but can sometimes be cheaper) and you can then make your payment online. New users get 15% off their first vPost shipment using the discount code SGWELCOME15. You can opt to have your package sent to your home address or you can collect it at your local post office or POPstation if you live in Singapore. Your package is then shipped out over the next couple of days and you can track the delivery progress on the vPost website and they also send out emails to update you. Then all you have to do is sit back and wait for your package to arrive which usually only takes around 5-8 working days.
So as you can see it’s quite a simple process! I used vPost for several shipments from the US and UK over the past few months and with shipments from the US I didn’t encounter any problems and was very happy with the service overall. I was able to save a lot in shipping costs by using them as they offer a bundling discount (only for customers in Singapore) so if you order from several different merchants and wait for all your packages to arrive and ship them out together, then you only have to pay the base charge once. Base charge varies per country with the base charge for the US being 13.40 Singapore Dollars (around US$10), UK at S$23, Japan at S$16 and China at S$12. So as you can see below, I only paid the base charge of SG$13.40 once for the first package and then for the rest of the packages the base charge was discounted.
vPost allows 3 weeks of free storage so that you can wait for all your packages to arrive which is good compared to other package forwarding companies that I’ve used that charge a storage fee. However there’s a holding fee of S$1.50 per day per package if the period goes over 3 weeks so just make sure you do all your shopping quickly and allow time for delivery! If you aren’t based in Singapore and want to shop at several different merchants I would probably recommend using another package forwarding company such as Shipito who can consolidate your packages into one bigger package to save on international shipping costs.
Even if you are not based in Singapore and can’t take advantage of the bundling discount you can still save a lot of money on shipping charges for single packages as using vPost is sometimes cheaper than using the merchant’s shipping option if they offer international shipping. For example I purchased something from Ivivva Athletica and as you can see above I only paid S$17.95 (around US$13.30) whereas if I had chosen to have it shipped directly by Ivivva Athletica it would have cost me US$30. Of course if you shop from any of the merchants on International Online Shopping then delivery worldwide is free. 🙂
Also be aware that vPost calculate shipping costs based on volumetric weight or actual weight, whichever is higher. So if something that you’ve purchased is very light but it takes up a lot of space, then even though the actual weight is very low you may end up paying a high shipping charge because of the size of the package being large and therefore the volumetric weight is high. vPost will repackage your purchase though for a fee of S$12 to help you save on shipping costs if the difference between the actual weight and volumetric weight is 2kg or more.
Shopping on international online shopping websites can often be cheaper than buying the same products locally and if you use vPost to forward your packages from the US then you can save even more because your dedicated address in the US is located in Oregon which is a tax free state so all your shopping will be US tax free!
Another advantage of using vPost is that if you are able to use their bundling discount, the individual packages will not be consolidated into one bigger package but will all be sent in their original packaging as received from each merchant. Therefore since they are treated as separate packages, each package is exempt from GST (Goods and Services Tax) up to the maximum value for the country you are based in (in Singapore you don’t have to pay GST for goods valued under S$400), so you are less likely to have to pay GST compared to a single large package with several purchases combined, where the value of the contents are more likely to exceed the customs tax allowance.
The times that I used vPost to forward my packages from the US, I found the service to be quick and efficient. It would usually take them around 1-2 days to update packages on the system when they received them and they were all shipped out very quickly and I received them after only 1 week. I was sent regular email notifications for when they received my packages and throughout the entire delivery process and the online system was also updated in a timely manner so I could easily check the progress of my delivery. I found them to be extremely reliable and although vPost provide you with the option to purchase insurance against loss or damage I think that it’s not really necessary since delivery is trackable and seems to be safe.
On the other hand I’ve found that using vPost to forward packages from the UK is a different story. Updates to the online system to show delivery progress is slow and is usually only updated after several days and as you can see below until this day they still haven’t updated the system to show that I’ve received my order. Email updates were also late and sometimes not sent out at all.
The worst experience I’ve had with vPost was earlier on this year when I used them to forward two packages to me from the UK, one of which had some items that were flammable and therefore weren’t allowed to be sent to Singapore. Instead of contacting me to let me know that they weren’t able to forward that particular package, the system allowed me to make payment for the shipping of both packages. After I received the other package I contacted vPost customer services to ask them why I hadn’t received the second package and they replied saying that they had raised a request to the relevant team and that it would take three working days for the request to be processed. After a few days I chased them up and received a reply saying that they were still investigating into the whereabouts of my package and finally 11 days after my initial contact they informed me that they were unable to ship the package to Singapore as it contained flammable goods so I could choose to have it returned to the merchant, disposed of, forwarded to another courier or redirected to another address. I opted to have it redirected to another address in the UK and contacted them on the 22nd January to let them know and it took them until the 2nd of February to arrange for payment of the redirection charges. After payment was made the package was redirected within 2 days and received quickly however they still haven’t updated the online system to reflect this. The vPost team in the UK seem to be quite disorganised and because of this I received another email nearly 2 months later from customer services saying that I had to inform them about what I wanted to do with the package!? After a couple of emails back and forth they realised their mistake but they still haven’t updated the status of the package on the system!
On the whole I’ve found vPost customer service to be fairly quick in replying to email queries but their communication with the UK team needs to be more effective. Also with my name being Stephanie I found it quite amusing how some would address me as “Mr” even when I highlighted the “Ms” in my email signature. 🙂 All in all I think that vPost are a good package forwarding company to use when shopping on US online stores but be wary when using them for forwarding packages from the UK.
Please leave a comment below if you have used vPost to forward packages from Japan or China as we’d be interested in hearing about the service you received or if you’d like to leave your own review of vPost or share any current vPost promotional codes 🙂