PacMe FAQ

 

Browse through our Frequently Asked Questions to find answers to your questions and find out more about how PacMe works.

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Hi, welcome to PacMe.  This tour will give you a run through of the PacMe website.  It will help you get comfortable with PacMe before you become a customer or serve as a handy reference guide once you get started using PacMe. For a briefer video tour, try the Tour de PacMe.

 

At PacMe, we provide our customers with a dedicated US mailing address for your online shopping purchases. We will store your incoming packages in our warehouse and then ship a consolidated outgoing package to your address overseas (or to your Aunt Sally in Chicago if she is coming to visit you).

 

We named our company “PacMe” because we believe that packing your items, not just consolidating your boxes, provides you the most value.

 

We open every package upon arrival and scan the invoice and take photographs of your items. You will see in your website account exactly what is on your shelf in the warehouse. 

 

When you are ready to consolidate, we will carefully repack your items into a double-walled shipping box, using some of the incoming packaging for structure and organization. Repacking your items, not just your boxes, also helps avoid the dimensional weight surcharge. Pack and save. That’s the PacMe Way.

 

While we are expert packers, we are not actors, but you can hear it straight from the Founders in the video below. Or read more about PacMe on the About Us page.

 

 

 

There are only 2 types of PacMe plans: Package and Package+Mail.  The vast majority of customers choose the standard Package plan. Both plans have the same services and fees associated with receiving, storing, consolidating, and shipping your packages.

 

Here are some tips when you sign up for a PacMe account.

  • If you want us to collect your regular mail (letters, bills, magazines, etc.), then you should sign up for the Package+Mail account. Otherwise, we destroy all mail.  You are not allowed to use your PacMe address as your US business address, but overseas businesses use us all the time.
  • Your email address will serve as your login id when you initially sign up. You can change your login id after your email address has been verified.
  • Use the same name that is listed on your credit cards and/or passport. We will need to verify your identity and that process is easier if you have just one name and it is the same everywhere.
  • You can choose your own mailbox number (e.g. Z9999) so that it is easy for you to remember. Your mailing address will be in the format:
    • Your Name
      14960 SW Tualatin Sherwood Rd Ste 103
      Suite 103 - Z9999 Pacme
      Sherwood, OR 97140
  • You will need to pay for your plan with a credit card, PayPal, bitcoin, or a promo code. Later, you can add funds into your PacMe virtual cash account to pay for your packing and shipping fees. This will cut down on the foreign exchange rate and credit card fees that your bank will likely charge you if your card is not US-based.

 

 

Once you open an account at pacme.com (takes less than 5 minutes), you can immediately start using your PacMe address to receive your online purchases. You can choose your own mailbox number during signup.  You don't have to wait.  In order to consolidate and ship out your packages, however, your account needs to be verified.  This is generally done by two different methods.

 

The first method is the easiest and least intrusive.  You can link to us via Linkedin or Facebook.  Or, at least send us your Linkedin URL if you don't want to connect. We just need some assurance that you are a real person and not a bad guy.

 

The second way is to upload ID documents.

  • You will need to upload to our secure website a scan of your passport or other photo id to verify your identity and upload a utility bill or other document to verify your residential address. These documents will not be stored on computers connected to the Internet.
  • If you are a “mail” customer, you will need to fill out the Post Office’s 1583 form. This requires the same documentation as above. Check out our 1583 FAQ for more information.
  • Your email address is verified by responding to an email that we send to it. This is actually optional.
  • Your credit card is verified by reporting the value of the 2 small debits that we will charge to the card. You can log into your credit card’s online account or see these charges on your statement. From when you start shopping to when you will actually use your card with us, you should have several days to complete this task.

 

 

Your My Account page is comprised of several tabs where you can manage your details and information.  This is largely self-explanatory, but here are a few highlights:

  • You are allowed 4 additional names as “recipients” on your account. You are not required to list family members with the exact same last name as the primary account holder. Additional names must be verified (photo id and address).
  • You are allowed 21 additional shipping addresses. These do not require verification, except that they must be deliverable by the major carriers.
  • You can change your mailbox number, but your old mailbox will be canceled when you do so (and will no longer accept packages). We ask that you do this infrequently.
  • If you don’t have a US-based credit card, it’s helpful to keep money on account with PacMe to pay for your packing and shipping fees. Every customer has a “virtual account,” and this is managed in the My Account section. You can fund the account in USD by wire transfer, PayPal, bitcoin, or cheque (drawn on a US bank).

 

 

You will probably spend most of your time on the My Packages page. It is Organization Centrale.

 

The My Packages section is primarily used to manage your Incoming Packages, whether they are just sitting on your shelf, at the Special Request station, or earmarked for a consolidation that still needs to be completed. Once a package is consolidated and shipped to you, it will be moved to the History page.

 

On the other hand, the My Consolidations page (discussed later) is primarily used to view each consolidation itself. For instance, you can view the packing and shipping options you have chosen for the Consolidation. You can still see all the Incoming Packages inside each consolidation, but the focus is on the Consolidation. Similar to an Incoming Package, a Consolidation has its own dedicated chat box, tabs for photographs and documents, and other options.

 

Let’s start with the My Packages page. It has 4 sections:

  1. New Packages. These are individual incoming packages that are probably sitting on your shelf. They have J number ID’s (e.g. J0001) and are waiting to be put into a consolidation. In the meantime, you can make “Special Requests” for them. For instance, you can ask us to take a video of the items or have us gift wrap an item.
  2. Expected Packages. This is optional. If you know you have a package coming, you can enter it into the system and the tracking number will be recognized when it arrives. An Expected Package has a temporary ID (e.g. JT0081) but will turn into a New Package (e.g. J0081) once it is matched up. You can put Expected Packages into consolidations. This is helpful if you know you will be away from a computer and want the consolidation to proceed as soon as that last package arrives.
  3. Temporary Consolidations. This section shows consolidations that you have started or submitted, but are awaiting approval by PacMe. Listed below each consolidation are the Incoming Packages that will be packed inside it. Temporary consolidations have “PT” IDs, whereas approved consolidations drop the temporary T and have P numbers (e.g. PT0002 becomes P0002). Many customers like to set up all their consolidations beforehand (for instance, if they have multiple consolidations, each going to a different address) and then add Expected Packages to them or drop Incoming Packages into them as they arrive. When ready, they submit the consolidation. If that’s confusing, just create and submit the consolidation in one go and don’t look back.
  4. In Progress Consolidations. Approved consolidations, and the Incoming Packages that will be going inside them, are listed in this section. Once approved by PacMe, the consolidation cannot be edited.

To view a specific Incoming Package, you can simply click on the Package ID (e.g. J0005), and you will be transported to the package’s page, comprised of several tabs.  You’ll see a scan of the invoice that accompanied the package, several photos of the items, and the carrier information.  There will be a blank Item List that, if filled out, will be used to create the Customs List of the consolidation into which this package will eventually go.  Most importantly, you’ll see the dedicated chat box to discuss any questions or issues you might have about this package.

 

You can also view a brief tutorial about the My Packages tab below...

 

 

 

The My Packages section above showed a few consolidations that were already in progress. We necessarily got ahead of ourselves. How did we create the consolidations in the first place? That’s what we will explain here.  When you want us to send your packages to you, click on “start a new consolidation” in the upper right corner of most pages when you are logged in, and we will walk you through the handful of steps to make that happen.

 

Step 1: Click on "Start a New Consolidation"

 

 

 

Step 2: Choose the processing speed (you will choose the shipping transit time later)

We usually pack and ship "same day" except around the time of year that everyone needs it urgently!

 

 

 

Step 3: Add your packages

 

 

 

Step 4: Create the customs list

Customs Lists are sometimes a bit tricky because different countries require different levels of detail. In general, personal packages under $2500 in value do not require “Harmonized Codes” when describing the contents of the package. You are responsible for all duties, taxes, and importation fees on your end.  We will print the final customs form or electronically attach it to the shipment, but there are two ways to fill out the Customs List (the “Item List”):

  • You do it. You can create your own Customs List from the invoices and photos we uploaded for each Incoming Package and your own knowledge of what is inside each package. You can get a head start on this process by filling out the “Item List” for each individual package and then transferring that information over to the Customs List for the overall consolidation in this step. You can then continue to edit the list until it is just right.  Or, you can wait until you process the consolidation and do the customs list from scratch.
  • We do it. Most customers choose this option.  For a $10 fee, we will complete the Customs List for you (we waive this if the list is short). Most Incoming Packages do not contain invoices, however, so it still might be necessary for you to fill out the Item List, with values, for each Incoming Package.  That said, we are pretty good at using "reasonable" values so you can just let us do it.

 

 

 

Step 5: Choose your delivery address

 

 

 

Step 6: Select your packing & shipping options

It’s best to set all your packing and shipping defaults beforehand since you will often choose the same options. You can always override them in this step.  That said, most customers leave all the boxes unticked anyway - that's the default.

 

 

 

 

Step 7: Choose the carrier and transit speed

We partner with the major carriers (UPS, FedEx, and USPS) and can pass along our volume discounts to you. You will receive real-time quotes during this step. They are only estimates because we obviously won’t know the exact weight and dimensions of the Outgoing Package until we do the actual consolidation.  Most people tick the "PacMe Preferred" carrier button and we will ship it out by the cheapest way between UPS and FedEx, but you can choose a specific carrier if you want. You also pick your transit speed in this step:

  • Express (3-4 days)
  • Economy (5-6 days)
  • Super Economy (9-12 days)

 

Most importantly, please don't freak out at this stage.  If the quote seems high, send us a chat if we haven't already sent you one.  Usually the issue is that the consolidation is relatively small (we are a better value for larger consolidations), you have a lot of bulky items that trigger dimensional weight (we try to estimate the effect of this, but might be off in our pre-pack calculation), or the shipping calculator malfunctioned.

 

 

 

Step 8: Summary and select payment method

  • In this step you are authorizing payment, not actually making payment, because we won’t know the final shipping cost until we complete the Consolidation. You can pay by credit card or by your Virtual Account (cash that you have on deposit with us).
  • If you want to pay by PayPal, you will need to transfer USD funds from your PayPal account into your PacMe "virtual account," which you can do at any time on the My Account Billing tab.
  • If you want to pay by bitcoin, the process is somewhat similar. Since the BTC/USD exchange rate is volatile, however, the amount of USD funds deposited into your Virtual Account will be at the rate at which we actually conduct the transfer into your Virtual Account. This will occur within the 24 hours following your BTC transfer to us. That means you will be taking the exchange rate risk for up to 24 hours. But hey, the rate could also go in your favor!

 

 

 

Step 6: Congratulations

  • You’re all done! You will see a list of the various statuses that your Consolidation will take on as your order is processed.
  • If we have any questions, we will put a message in the Consolidation's chat box and you will receive an email.  Feel free to use the chat box at any time.  It is our primary way to communicate since we are likely many time zones apart.

 

 

 

Video Tutorial

This video is a bit outdated and some of the layouts have changed, but you can get the idea.

 

Expand to full view and change resolution to 1080p to be able to read the text.

 

 

Now let’s go back and visit the My Packages and My Consolidation pages again. There are 2 views of the same information. My Packages focuses on the individual Incoming Packages. It clearly shows the entire list of all the Incoming Packages that you have in the warehouse (or are expecting), where they are currently located, and whether or not they are already associated with a particular consolidation. It is like an “expanded” list of your packages.

 

On the My Consolidations page, the focus is on the consolidation. It is a “collapsed” list of your Incoming Packages, where the header is the associated consolidation. You can drill down into each consolidation to see which Incoming Packages are inside it.

 

Most customers live in the My Packages screen, but if you have a lot of concurrent consolidations going on, sometimes it is more orderly over on the My Consolidations screen.

 

You can always click on the ID of an Incoming Package (e.g. J0121) or a Consolidation (e.g. P0045) and that will take you to a tabbed page with the information about that specific package or consolidation. Each one has its own chat box so it is important to make comments or ask questions in the right place.

 

The My Consolidations page has 2 tabs: Active and Completed. That was easy.

 

 

 

The “My Action Items” page acts as the dashboard for your account. You will arrive here when you log into your account. It’s important to complete your actions items before you want us to complete our action items!

 

Action items marked with the red triangle are to-do’s that you must complete before we can move on with the particular package, consolidation, or account activity.

 

Action Items can be viewed and/or cleared:

  • View. Clicking on “view” will usually transport you to where you have to complete the action item. For instance, if we left you a message in the chat box for package J0023 that requires your response, then the “view” link will take you to that chat box.
  • Clear. If you see a “clear” link, then the action item is more like an FYI or an alert. It usually doesn’t require your immediate action. You can click on the “clear” link to remove the item from your list if you want to keep things tidy.
  • Auto-clear. Items without a “clear” link cannot be removed by you. It either means you have to view the action item and complete it, in which case we will clear it once verified, or the system will auto-clear the item at a specific date and time.

 

The My Action Items page has 4 sections that mirror the main tabs discussed above.

  1. PacMe Messages. These are usually system-wide messages. They might include status updates from the warehouse (e.g. we are closed on 4-July) or marketing messages (e.g. sign up a friend and receive a new Porsche).
  2. My Account. Messages here usually pertain to verifying your account. We will also notify you when your credit card is about ready to expire or your annual plan needs to be renewed.
  3. My Packages. This is the J-message section and regards your Incoming Packages. Most messages here will instruct you to visit the chat box for a particular Incoming Package. More specifics will be mentioned there.
  4. My Consolidations. This is the P-message section regarding your Consolidations. Similarly, you will usually be asked to visit the chat box. If it is an action item, then the Consolidation will be put on hold until we hear from you.

 

 

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