Did you know?
According to a 2020 report by J.P. Morgan, the United States of America (USA) was the 2nd most popular destination for online shopping among Singaporeans.
Some reasons for this trend could be the availability of USA-exclusive items as well as cheaper prices on branded goods originating from the USA.
To help you find the best deals, we’ve put together a list of 18 things to buy in USA that are cheaper than in Singapore and share some money-saving tips for shopping and shipping from USA to Singapore!
Things to buy in the USA that are cheaper than in Singapore
Apparel, bags and footwear
1. Lululemon Align Full-Length Yoga Pants
2. Ralph Lauren Slim Fit Mesh Polo Shirt
Amazon US: From S$146.35
Amazon SG: From S$187.29
Amazon US: From S$129.36
Lazada SG: S$179
3. Michael Kors Jet Set Large Saffiano Leather Crossbody Bag
4. Adidas Originals SL Andridge Shoes Women
Amazon US: S$137.57
Amazon SG: S$154.10
Amazon US: S$136.18
Lazada SG: S$150
9. Covergirl Simply Ageless Instant Wrinkle Defying Foundation
10. Urban Decay All Nighter Ultra Matte Setting Spray
Amazon US: S$16.25
Amazon SG: S$19.24
Amazon US: S$45.14
Sephora SG: S$50
11. Simmons Beauty Rest Mattress
12. Canyon Queen Arched Canopy Bed
US Mattress: From S$540.68
Courts SG: From S$2,799
Crate & Barrel US: S$2,449.90
Crate & Barrel SG: S$4,198
13. Gather Petite Apartment Sofa
14. Benches Upholstered Storage Bench
Crate & Barrel US: S$2,245.62
Crate & Barrel SG: S$3,699
Ashley Furniture US: S$272.35
Ashley Furniture SG: S$448.33
15. Havalance Dining Table and 6 Chairs Set
16. Fields Natural Storage Cabinet
Ashley Furniture US: S$2,396.77
Ashley Furniture SG: S$3,658.33
Crate & Barrel US: S$2,994.62
Crate & Barrel SG: S$4,999
Vitamins and supplements
17. Centrum Silver Adults 50+ Multivitamins (325 tablets)
18. L’il Critters Gummy Vites
Amazon US: S$41.74
NineLife SG: S$192
Amazon US: S$15.58
Amazon SG: S$71.10
Tips for shopping and shipping from the USA to Singapore
Tip 1: Shop during sales
One great way to save money when shopping on US websites is making your purchase during sales periods. Get great discounts on your buys during these holidays:
- St. Patrick’s Day
- 4th of July
- Amazon Prime Day
- Black Friday
- Boxing Day
- Any other international holidays like Father’s and Mother’s Day
Tip 2: Apply for a tax-free USA address
An additional cost that may deter shoppers from buying in USA is sales tax.
The percentage varies according to each state and can cost anywhere between 2.9% and 7.25%, according to KPMG. Some states may even have an additional sales tax imposed by their local government. However, there’s a way around this!
States such as Delaware, Oregon and New Hampshire don’t impose sales taxes. Thus, you can register for a tax-free address in these states and use it when purchasing your packages to avoid incurring these taxes.
Tip 3: Use a freight forwarder
A freight forwarder can help you to ship your goods efficiently and affordably, especially if you have multiple packages or bulky items like furniture. Some services they provide include:
- Repacking of goods
To allow you to save on shipping costs, freight forwarders can repack your goods into smaller boxes. This is with the exception of fragile items or those wrapped in gift wrappers.
- Storing of goods
Your items will usually be stored at the freight forwarder’s warehouse while they consolidate the goods for shipping.
- Consolidating of items
Freight forwarders typically offer you the option of transporting your goods via LCL shipping so you can enjoy more competitive rates. In such cases, your goods will be combined with other parcels heading to the same destination to fill up a single shipping container.
Freight forwarders are knowledgeable when it comes to preparing the necessary shipping documents. They’ll assist you with all the documents you need to ship your goods to Singapore.
- Applying for cargo insurance
Cargo insurance may not be the first thing on your mind when you purchase goods overseas. However, it’s crucial especially if you’re shipping fragile and high-value items.
In such cases, you may request for the freight forwarder to apply for cargo insurance for your items.
- Tracking of shipment
You can also track the status of your items so you can be sure that they’re on their way to you!
Why you should engage a freight forwarder
Aside from the services that freight forwarding companies offer, there are also other additional benefits of engaging their services such as:
Lower cost of shipping
In a survey done by Paypal in 2018, 25% of respondents revealed that the high cost of shipping often deterred them from making cross-border purchases.
Freight forwarders can help to address this concern by repacking and consolidating your goods. Thus, regardless of the quantity and size of your items, they’ll be able to help you find the most cost-efficient method possible!
Efficient shipment of goods
The time taken for goods to be delivered to the end customer can greatly affect the overall shopping experience. In fact, in a survey done by Flow, 50% of respondents shared that long delivery times were the greatest barrier when it came to purchasing goods overseas.
Some reasons for the long shipping duration include:
- The physical distance from the country of origin to the destination
- Customs documents that are incomplete and/or inaccurate
- Usage of the wrong HS-Code for the item that’s being shipped
As freight forwarders are experienced, they’re less likely to make these mistakes and will be able to choose the best modes of transportation and routes to get your items to you as soon as possible.
Experienced and reliable
Another major concern shared by consumers in the same 2018 PayPal survey was the loss of items during transit.
As shipping internationally includes various steps and procedures, an error or hiccup at any stage could result in missing items. For example, the use of low-quality ink could cause information on the shipping label to fade during transit and become illegible.
Freight forwarders will ensure that your goods arrive at your destination safely and in a timely manner. Additionally, your goods can be covered by cargo insurance in the event of any losses or damages.
Process of shipping from the USA to Singapore via a freight forwarder
Step 1: Preparation of documents
You’ll receive a series of documents from the freight forwarding company that’s to be filled in and returned. If necessary, the agent servicing you will assist with the payment of any duties and/or taxes.
Step 2: Consolidation of goods
Once all your items are packed and present at the warehouse, the agent will arrange for loose parcels to be placed on the same pallet as other goods so that they’ll be secured during transit.
Step 3: Shipping of goods
Before shipping your goods to Singapore, the cargo details and relevant documents will have to be submitted to USA customs for clearance.
Once your shipment has been cleared, your items will be shipped!
Step 4: Arrival of goods
When your goods arrive in Singapore, they’ll be inspected by the relevant local authorities. Your freight forwarder will also receive the carrier bills, outstanding documents and other relevant paperwork to be filled in.
Step 5: Sorting and distribution
After the cargo has been inspected and cleared, they’ll be transported to a logistics hub for sorting and distribution to the respective distribution centres.
Step 6: Last-mile delivery
All that’s left is for your parcels to be delivered to your doorstep. You can expect to receive them within a few days!
Buying and shipping from the USA to Singapore
Buying and shipping items originating from the USA are often cheaper than in Singapore.
With the help of a professional freight forwarding company like M&P International Freights, you can ship products from USA to Singapore with ease at an affordable rate!
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