Shipping items in the physical world sometimes feels more difficult than it really should be. You’d think that in the day and age that we can deliver videos at the speed of light, that sending your family something special from abroad would be simple; and turns out it really can be if you know how to do it.
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As many of you have discovered, Australia Post recently stopped accepting international packages, and subsequently, USPS has stopped being able to send anything from the US to Australia. This has meant that you have two options: don’t send anything, or send something for a huge price going directly through one of the shipping companies like FedEx, UPS, or DHL.
But it turns out there’s a third alternative for sending your packages internationally: PackageHopper (and if you keep reading I can get you 20% off your first packages).
How does PackageHopper work?
So basically the long and short of how PackageHopper works is that the big shipping companies I mentioned before offer discounted rates to individuals and companies who ship things all the time, and for those companies that they have relationships with.
I’m someone who only ships a couple of packages per year, and so this obviously doesn’t apply to me, but PackageHopper joins me together with all the other Josh-like-senders in the world and makes us look like one mega-sender!
They also have a long and existing relationship with these sending companies, so they can therefore work with them more closely to offer better and better deals.
How much does it cost to send a package to Australia with PackageHopper?
My advice is generally: Always go to the source. Whether it’s the information I post about immigration, or in this case, when a third party is involved in a transaction, it’s always good to find a point of reference.
As always, I like to be upfront: PackageHopper reached out to me a few weeks ago and offered me a trial! No terms, no conditions, they just asked if I would like to try shipping something to Australia myself and they’d cover the cost. I’ve shipped directly with these other companies before, but wanted to give them a shot.
So I decided to send my Mum and Dad something nice in Australia, for a package totaling 3 pounds, and with dimensions of 20in x16in x16in from 10009 (New York, USA) to 5066 (Hazelwood Park, South Australia).
So, using this package that I sent the other day to South Australia, here’s how the pricing compared:
Through PackageHopper the total cost to ship with UPS Worldwide Saver was $40.32 and I added “PackageHopper Protect” to insure my items for a grand total of $46.30.
The quote I got for the same service (UPS Worldwide Saver) directly through UPS (which by the way used a “billable weight” based on “dimensional weight” instead of the 3lb I input) was $861 USD.
Obviously, this is an outrageously mega difference and the other thing that’s worth mentioning, as you can see above, is that I picked the most expensive of the options because I wanted to see how fast it could get there (and UPS is closer to drop-off for me).
I could have saved another $8!
Why is PackageHopper better than some of the other options?
So the real winner for me is how they calculate the rates, which as you can see above clearly works well for most packages that I’d try to send.
There’s some text right at the bottom of the shipping rate calculator that says:
While 99% of shipments are calculated by weight only, TruePrice™ excludes packages with linear dimensions (length + width + height) greater than 80 inches (203 cm).https://packagehopper.myus.com/shipping-rates-results/
What this means is that if your item is a normal-sized box and not a monster package, the price you pay will only be based on the weight, and not on the size of the box (see “dimensional weight” above from UPS). This “TruePrice” thing is basically just saying that the price they propose doesn’t dramatically jump around at the final step. It’s all based on weight.
They will also ship items larger than those dimension (like car seats) and at a much reduced rate too. You can put those details into the site and it will spit that number out for you just the same.
For me, though when I’m just sending a few things back to Australia for Christmas and Holidays this works beautifully. It gives me the ability to send things, with insurance and tracking, and know that they’ll get there despite all the difficulties shipping internationally right now.
In addition to that they also work directly with the FedEx and UPS companies of the world. You actually drop the item directly to them. So there’s no middle-man losing your box. You’re getting reliable shipping on the cheap(er).
How to ship something with PackageHopper (e.g. Shipping gifts to Australia for Christmas and the Holidays)
So here’s how to do it, here’s how to ship your items back to Australia (or anywhere in the world):
- First things first, check that all the items you want to ship are not restricted or prohibited
- Assuming you’re all good, get all your items together and put them in a box. Be sure that the box doesn’t have other stickers on it, or other barcodes or anything, and be sure to pack it so things don’t bounce around too much
- Don’t seal the box just yet!
- Find a scale whether it be a kitchen scale or a bathroom scale and weigh the box to the nearest pound or kilogram, write it down
- Find a tape measure and measure the box you’re shipping in, write that down too
- Now you need a link: https://packagehopper.myus.com
- Click through the Ship Now link and start to enter your details to check the rates
- Select which method of shipping you want to use and push “Ship now”
- Enter all your details and create an account (or login)
- Enter shipping FROM and TO
- Give a reason for shipping, and be sure to be accurate (this changes customs rules)
- Describe what’s in the box and the value of every item
- Enter the box measurements you recorded before
- You’ll now be at a summary page but before you click “Continue to Payment”… I have a discount offer for you that gives you 20% off your first three items for the first 90 days!
- Find “Have a Promo code?”, click it, and insert AMERICAJOSH when it offers you the option.
- Proceed to payment and pay
- Now, you will need to print out a whole stack (five of them!) of customs declerations and a shipping label (if you don’t have a printer, that’s fine, you get details on how to send it to the local FedEx or UPS and they can print it for you as a label!)
- You put four of them (who knows why) inside the box, and keep one at hand
- If you do have a printer and everything is done, seal the box to make sure all your things stay safely inside (if you don’t have a printer, take the open box with you)
- Cut out your shipping label, and stick it on the side
- Carry the box to the FedEx or UPS location closest to you (they tell you how to find one), and get a customs sticker folder (they’ll help you put it on)
- Hand it over, and wait!
Shortly after doing this, you’ll get confirmation from PackageHopper and can start tracking your box!
How to get a discount with PackageHopper
I’ve got a special discount for America Josh readers!
It gives you 20% off shipping three different packages for the first 90 days of your new account.
Go to PackageHopper.com, find the option to enter a Promo code and enter: AMERICAJOSH
All one word. AMERICAJOSH
How long does PackageHopper take to ship
The times vary depending on which of the services you select. You can see in the screenshot above that I had the options of FedEx Economy (2-5 business days), FedEx Priority (1-3 business days), UPS Expedited (2-5 business days), and UPS Worldwide Saver (1-3 business days).
My package took 3 business days to get from the drop-off point in New York City to my parents’ front door in Adelaide, South Australia, which honestly still feels like magic.
It’s worth noting that right now, with the whole *waves hands generally in the air* there may be some global logistics delays and therefore it might take 1-2 days extra. Worth noting and planning ahead!
Why am I recommending PackageHopper?
The links to PackageHopper in this article do get me a kickback.
I always like to be upfront with that. But the reason I’m recommending it is simple: It worked, and it was cheap. I wanted to send something back for my family, USPS wouldn’t accept it, and the other options were much too expensive.
I hope it helps you too and if you’d prefer to not use my discount, I completely understand!
Do I have to go to ups or FedEx store. Or can I drop off pkg at one of there drop off locations
You can drop it off at their drop off locations!
THANK YOU SO MUCH! I am so grateful that I found your post! I have a backload of packages to send to Aus and I sent one off as a trial run and WOOHOO! It got there in three days and the cost was way less than what I usually spend. You are amazing–thanks Josh!
Oh I’m so glad, Lisa!! Thank you so much!!
Is there the option coming back the other way? Looking for a similar solution for family sending it the other way
Will look into options for you, Jason! I don’t know sorry.
The fastest and cheapest way to send a SUITCASE full of items home is – https://www.mybaggage.com
Ive used this service twice now, 3 day delivery turnaround, and 25 kilos for about $300 USD. By far the best kept secret!
FYI: Not for India
Thanks Josh, really useful article and bozo-proof step by step instructions. I always procrastinate about shipping things home because it was tedious enough pre-covid and now is just a nightmare. I will see if in 3-5 days it arrives but so far, an extremely easy to use service and the if the coupon saves me money and makes you some, then GREAT!
Thanks for all your work on this site and community, it really is a wonderful resource.
Thank you, Bec! I’m really so glad it was easy and thank you so much for the kind words!
Hi Josh, thank you for the add! I am about to ship my first package with Package Hopper!!! Now how do I attach the label? Do I print it on to an Avery label or do I print it on paper? Thanks much!!!
Hi Robbie! I just printed it on my lase printer and stuck it on with tape!
okkk thanks much again Josh!! too easy!
I dropped off my package at FedEx on Jan. 17 and I’m told it’ll get to Melbourne on Jan. 31. That’s quite a lot more than what they advertise! On the one hand, it is going; on the other, it’s taking twice as long as advertised for $55.
Keep us posted when it arrives, Elisabeth! My estimated date was way off.
Wow this worked out great. I was quoted $180 at USPS and paid $50.12 with package hopper. The only thing I can say went wrong was that the drop off location has to be a FedEx Store. You can’t drop an international package off at a DeEx drop off location. In my case that was the local Walgreens store. Other than the extra drive, it was so easy and saved a ton of money. Thanks Josh
I’m so glad!!
I love that you’ve shared this, Thank you so much! I’m keen to try it out. One question though – Does it have to be a boxed package, or will they also handle a satchel/padded post bag type package?
You’re so welcome but I’m sorry I don’t know. I think it needs to be boxes as it uses FedEx or UPS.
Thanks for the info. Unfortunately, I don’t think they’re very upfront with the actual cost. I had a shipment and had entered everything correctly. I paid ~$60 and dropped off at FedEx. They confirmed the weight I entered was correct. A day later, I got an additional charge from PackageHopper for another $70 because of inaccurate weight and dimensions (which is untrue). While I don’t think $130 is unreasonable, but I just wish they’d advertise the actual cost.
Hey PS! I’m really sorry to hear you had a bad experience! If you want to send your details to me at [email protected] I can have someone look into what happened?
The vast majority (including myself) don’t pay anything extra on top of what the cost was online!
Thank you. I sent you an email last night. Appreciate the help!
First and foremost, we deeply apologize for the disruption to our website. We can now share that the PackageHopper website is up and running. You may resume using our services now.
Unfortunately, unrelated billing issues occurred during the same period of time our site was down. Due to this, some customers may have been billed erroneously or received a bill/been charged directly from a carrier. We have resolved the billing issues so that it will not impact any labels created on or after March 10th.
Here’s how we are resolving these issues:
If you were charged a secondary amount by PackageHopper that exceeded your original order total, please contact us at [email protected] so that we can issue a refund of the erroneous charge to the original method of payment.
If you were already charged by a carrier, we are working to have those charges refunded. Please contact us at [email protected] to ensure you are properly refunded.
Provide current contact information
We also experienced an issue where some customers may not have been able to print their labels or proformas, we expect to resolve this issue shortly.
Again, we sincerely apologize for these billing discrepancies and understand the frustration this has caused. We appreciate your patience and understanding while we work to ultimately resolve these issues for all impacted customers.
The MyUS Executive Team
Is there a company that helps ship items from Australia to US? For Aussie stores that don’t ship internationally?
Not that I know of, but looking into it!
I used package hopper for the first time and my package did make it to where I was sending it, but I received a huge huge bill from FedEx. Others have had this happen to them recently as well. Package hopper says they will fix the issue with billing, but we are all waiting and it’s getting close to the bills due date. It makes for a very stressful situation. I understand their site was hacked, but I don’t understand why they can just call fedex and fix the problem by giving them their FedEx account number and our FedEx invoice numbers to fix the issues. FedEx says that package hopper/myus was unable to be billed and so they are billing the senders. I hope that this issue gets fixed soon. Any info you can offer me on this would be a great help. Thanks
Hey Richard thanks for the information!! They definitely got thrown for a loop when they got hacked so everything of the last couple of weeks is definitely out of the ordinary. If it’s not sorted out tomorrow, please email me!
Hi Josh- I’m trying to send something pretty urgent to Australia and my luck, package hopper is down online since Wednesday. Is there a phone-in options or an email connect?
Yeah super unfortunate timing, Cat! But no, there’s nothing until it comes online, unfortunately. Hopefully very soon.
Hi there! The site seems to be online but the discount code has expired. Can you get it activated again?
Have a good day !
Thanks David! I’ve got them onto it.
The website has been down for more than a week!! Any alternatives available?
The packagehopper site was hacked in March 2022, but appears to be back up now. Your coupon appears still to work. Thank you.
Any sense of whether “package protection” is worth it? It’s relatively expensive for insurance, and it’s not clear what it actually provides – if your package is lost do they give you replacement cost up to $500? Why is their insurance so much more than FedEx which is the shipper they’re using?
Great to hear it’s back up and running! All I know about Package Protect is here: https://packagehopper.myus.com/faq/protecting-your-shipment/
After using the discount code, a situation arises
Code: 2209 Message: Inactive customer account
Let me look into it! Do you already have an account?
Any alternatives available?
packagehopper’s fedex is not working now, urgently need to use
Hello! Also looking for alternatives, I’m waiting to hear back from Package Hopper about this – but currently am not seeing Australia in the country pull-down menu option! Do they not ship to Australia anymore?
They still do, it’s just that they’re resolving an issue with their partner which I’m told should be back online properly very shortly!
Hmmm…. I have to say packagehopper is remarkably uncommunicative. It’s really annoying and frustrating that they cannot simply be upfront with what on earth is going on. I’ve been waiting weeks now for a problem that will be “resolved shortly”. And isn’t. The site appeared to have been up very briefly but as another says is no longer showing Australia as a shipping option. For weeks it went to an error message, Now the option is simply gone. Why can’t they tell us what is going on? Is this simply a programming error? It sounds to me is if they are now feuding with their carriers, FedEx and perhaps others? If that’s the case then it seems the likelihood of resolution is dim. If it’s just a programming error that should be relatively straightforward, and shouldn’t have been ongoing for weeks now. This is all really frustrating and annoying.
They do not seem to service Australia anymore.
Does anybody know of a different service (happy for it to be via a ship – i.e., slower) to assist with a relocation (LA -> Australia)?
Hi James, did you find an alternative? They are still not shipping to Aus 🙁
Your promo code isn’t working, it says it’s expired. Can you please get them to reactivate it?
Sadly I don’t think it works anymore but I’m working any more!
What’s the status on PackageHopper shipping to Australia, and on reinstating your promo code? I have a package I need to send in the next couple days. Thanks.
Sadly nothing is imminent!
So they are not shipping to Australia AND you don’t have a promo code?
The promo code appears to be working again, thanks! And packagehopper seem to be shipping to Australia again too.