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Amazon is without a doubt the number one e-commerce platform for online shopping. It keeps expanding rapidly covering more and more markets and altering dramatically the way people buy around the world. Shopping on Amazon has become a regular habit for millions of people who rather buy products with the click of a button than spend hours in crowded malls.
If you recently moved to Costa Rica, or are planning to do so and wonder if Amazon delivers there, you are in the right place as we are going to answer that question below.
Setting Clear Expectations
The answer to the question of whether Amazon delivers packages in Costa Rica is yes, it does, but it comes with a price. Before diving into this matter it is important to set clear expectations and clarify that the scenario in Costa Rica is different than it is in the United States in the following ways:
- Addresses in Costa Rica are a bit messy or not as straightforward as they are in the US. Delivery companies in the country are used to this and somehow find a way to get to even the most complicated addresses, so don’t panic.
- Amazon’s delivery service to Costa Rica doesn’t work the same as it does in the United States, so there is no such thing as free delivery.
- Receiving your desired product depends upon different variables such as the item’s weight, size, or whether or not what you want to buy is eligible for international shipping. The easiest way to know is if you see delivery options available when checking out, otherwise, it will say “This item cannot be shipped to your selected delivery location” in red letters.
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Alternatives for Receiving Packages in Costa Rica
Although receiving packages in Costa Rica is not as direct and simple as in the US, there are some routes available for you. These are:
In 2018, Amazon announced the launch of a platform within the Amazon Shopping application to ship internationally called Amazon Global. This made it possible for its customers in Costa Rica to receive their packages directly from the United States.
There are two downsides to this platform that you should be aware of:
- Some products or specific colors of a product do not apply for international shipping, in which case you will see it when trying to add the item to your cart.
- Shipping rates and fees vary depending on the delivery address for your order, which in most cases ends up tripling the price of the product. For example, for a pair of water shoes that cost $26.98, you end up paying $76.49, as the Amazon Global Shipping rate is $22.53 and the estimated import fees deposit is $26.98.
Before Amazon Global was enabled, the only alternative for buyers to have products shipped to Costa Rica was through freight forwarder companies, which are the ones dealing with Costa Rica customs. Even when this is no longer the only option it is the most used alternative for Costa Ricans.
The most popular freight forwarders in Costa Rica are.
Tiendamia is an online store based in Miami, offering over 1,000 million products from Amazon, eBay, and Macy’s. At Tiendamia you pick your desired products by selecting Amazon on the dropdown menu. You buy them online, have them sent to the Miami address that Tiendamia gives you when you sign up, and they will send them to you at your selected shipping address in Costa Rica.
At Tiendamia, the price you see when you checkout includes all shipping costs and taxes, so the product reaches you at no additional cost. The end cost won’t be triple, but a little less than double the original price on Amazon.
Box Correos is the online shopping service of Correos de Costa Rica (the oldest mailing company established in 1839). The process is basically the same as with most delivery companies- you sign up and get a box in Miami for free and you buy what you want using that as the shipping address. Probably the only extra step with them is that once your Amazon order is processed and you receive your receipt, you need to upload it to Box Correos. This is to notify them that your package is on its way. After that, they follow up, receive, and deliver the package to your selected address in Costa Rica.
Some added benefits they offer include:
- A loyalty program called Puntos Box. Every time you make a transaction you accumulate points that you can apply to pay for the transportation of your shipments.
- Your box in Miami does not pay sales tax in the state of Florida.
- You receive a 50% discount on transportation for your first purchase.
- Box Marketplace. This is a virtual space where you will find a wide variety of products with the final price that includes the cost of the product, freight, customs handling, and taxes.
With Ultrabox you can buy products from the US and Spain. You register for free and create an account, you receive an email with a physical address in Miami and Madrid, which you can use as the shipping address for your purchases. You buy your desired products, and once your product arrives at that address in the US or Spain, you will receive an email confirming that your package is on its way. You can register your package without any additional cost to track your product, and finally, the package arrives at your desired Costa Rica address.
Ultrabox has 100% insurance on the declared value of the merchandise in case of loss, damage, or theft. They calculate the shipping cost based on the product’s weight. They only have 3 restrictions: 1. The product cannot weigh more than 154lb. 2. The product cannot measure more than 1.5 meters on each side. 3. The product can be imported without the prohibition of value.
With more than 7.7 million members around the world at MyUS.com, you can buy not only from Amazon but from many retailers in the US and the UK. They also have different plans available for you: one package from one shop, packages from different shops, or a high volume of packages if you tend to buy a lot or have a business. This last option allows you to save up to 80% on delivery by consolidating your packages from various stores into one shipment.
You also save 7% on each purchase by skipping US sale tax when using their selective postal code every time you shop from US stores. The price they charge you depends on the product’s weight.
Other Logistics Providers
Logistics providers like DHL, UPS, or FedEx can also be used to have your Amazon purchases delivered to Costa Rica, especially if you are in a hurry. Just keep in mind that you might end up paying more to use their service. If you have family or friends you trust in the US, you could have your Amazon items shipped to their address, and then have them shipped to Costa Rica using any of these providers.
Summing up, shipping packages from Amazon to Costa Rica is totally doable. If you don’t mind paying three times the value of your chosen products and they are eligible for international shipping, you can buy them directly through Amazon Global. If you rather saving money, using a freight forwarder company like the ones mentioned above is your best route.
Remember that if you need any professional assistance to rent or buy a property in Costa Rica, we are here to help you!