What should I buy in the US?

Besides finding exactly what you want, you are probably buying online in the US to save money.  The actual products are almost always cheaper in the US, but you need to factor in the PacMe fees, shipping, and GST/VAT to determine if it's worthwhile.  The PacMe fees are essentially capped at $41 per consolidation if you follow our go big strategy.  GST is what it is - you will either be paying it in the local store or at the border - but at least shipping to Oregon is tax-free, which will save you about 5-10% over buying it in a US store.  


So, it all comes down to the shipping expense.  There are 3 rules to maximize the value of shipping:

  1. Go Big.  PacMe fees are maxed out after 7 incoming packages. So, buy lots of stuff.  You have at least 90 days of free storage to wait for it all to come in.  Shipping 5kg costs $13/kg, whereas 30kg costs half that, about $6.50/kg.  Shipping is half price when you go big. 
  2. Avoid "bad" Dim Weight (or learn how to manage it).  A box 40cm (15 inches) per side, even if it is empty, "weighs" a minimum of 13kg and would cost about $120 to ship to Singapore ($150 to Australia or Europe), which brings us to the third rule...
  3. Buy products of high $ value but relatively low actual and/or dimensional weight.  That 40cm box, which costs ~$140 to ship, could fit a single $40 plastic toy fire engine or $1,000 worth of clothes.


Do buy:

  • Name brand clothes have high value and never trigger dim weight.  Shoes are ok, especially if we remove the shoe box.
  • Books are heavy but price+shipping is often still cheaper than buying in your home country.
  • Electronic gadgets usually have high value and are expensive abroad but are pretty dense so they do not trigger dim weight.
  • Sports equipment, kitchen gadgets, office supplies, are usually all good.  If you don't mind us removing the retail packaging, all the better (your choice).
  • Buy lots of things of different sizes and shapes.  Repacking reduces the dimensional weight considerably, but only if the items can fit together, like playing Tetris.
  • Rugs are good because they don't break and the actual weight usually equals the dim weight.  Rugs are ridicuously expensive in the countries where they are most needed.  An 8x10 foot rug costs about $150-200 to ship to Singapore, depending upon its thickness (a little more to Australia and Europe).
  • Suitcases, and them fill them up with other stuff.  A suitcase is "good" dim weight.


Don't buy:

  • Fragile items require too much excess packaging, which triggers dim weight.  If we skimp, then sooner or later, something will break.  So, it will either be very expensive to ship or it will be broken.  Don't set yourself up for such unhappiness.  Sure, you can buy insurance, but making the claim is a lot of hassle.  If the claim is denied, then we will probably pay to keep you "not unhappy."  So please don't buy fragile items.
  • Plastic toys might seem cheap but they are very expensive to ship since they trigger dim weight.  ...and it will end up in the rubbish bin by February anyway.
  • Furniture usually doesn't make sense unless you are just dying to have that perfect piece.  As a rule of thumb, shipping costs about what the item costs since the nicer the item, the more packaging is required to keep it nice.


Check out our shipping calculator for real-time quotes.  Most online retailers will include the dimensions and weight of items (if not, check Amazon).


Our main shopping page is the gateway to over 700 stores to give you some ideas on where to shop.  We always start with Amazon since the prices are decent and ordering is hassle-free.


There is another "is it all worth it" FAQ posting here.




All your online shopping, delivered in one package Get your mailbox Join Now
Take a Tour


L x W x H
kg Value (USD)
Postal Code
X Close