Philippine Mail Forwarder

I’ve found two services regarding mail that I consider essential for me.  One of them, I just hate paying for but I also find it way to convenient and even necessary to give it up.

Earth Class Mail

Earth Class Mail is the service I hate to pay for but can’t do without.  The way it works is that I give my us banks and credit card companies this address.  They give me an address in Beaverton, Washington.  When the mail comes in, I can elect to recycle it, shred it, have the mail piece scanned or gave it shipped to another address.

The service to scan the mail is the most beneficial part of the service for me.  This allows me to get my mail as  fast as I would if i was in the States.  Most of the time I don’t need to ship it any place.  Instead, I read it online and then download it to my PC.  After I have it downloaded, I mark it for recycling which has the added benefit of it not going into a landfill.  They like to jump on the going green bandwagon in their advertising, that matters but its just not a huge selling point for me.  The speed at which I get my mail is what is important.

I get checks from my insurance company sent there too.  Those are what I most often need to forward.  Thus the term of mail forwarder is what this type of service is called.  I send the checks to my mother and she deposits them for me.

But, I also use another service to help me.  There is another mail forwarder known as Johnny Air Cargo (JAC).  When I need a package sent to me, I send it to JAC’s New York office.  They have an account setup for me so they know where to send mail that is meant for me.  Johnny Air Cargo will ship the item at about the same speed as UPS for a lot less money.  Its not cheap but when compared to UPS or FedEx it is cheap, very cheap.  They charge $7.50 a pound.  It takes about a week to get to me after they receive the item in New York.

This comes in really handy for things like replacement of credit cards if they are lost or when they expire.  UPS and FedEx will charge you $100 or more to get that item to you where JAC will charge  you around $20.

Another important feature of Earth Class Mail is that I can have several items sent to them and they will combine the items for me.  This helps me avoid JAC’s service charge per item and their 2 pound minimum fee.

For example, I need to order some items from the US that are just not available here.  Some are at Amazon.  Some are at drugstore.com.  I already have a Pay-pal credit card that has been sent to me and is waiting at Earth Class Mail.  If I ship that one credit card alone, it will cost me about $25.00 with JAC because of the 2lb minimum.  So I’m just leaving the credit card at Earth Class Mail while I get ready to order the things I need from the States next month.  Once everything is there, they will combine and ship the items to JAC in one box.  That saves me a lot of money.

I have mailed things to the Philippines using regular USPS in the US but that went badly every time.  I paid custom duties that I don’t believe were due.  Generally, no duties are required for items that total less than $1000.  JAC handles all that for you and I’ve never paid any more customs duties since I started using them, which has also saved me a lot of money.

It also took up to four months for my things to arrive via International Express Mail.  Not too express.  One item didn’t turn up until I filed a claim for it with the USPS.

I’ve not had any problems sending items from the Philippines back to the US using regular PhilPost, the Philippine version of the USPS.  Its a bit slow but not too bad.  The tracking for Philpost doesn’t work as best as I can find out.  When I asked how to track packages, I was referred to the website but the website doesn’t work.  Several times I’ve tried to track something, their system always returns an error message.  You can also use LBC here in the Philippines.  Sending a letter from the Philippines via LBC will cost you P1000 or about $20.00.  I’ve never needed to do that but if something was valuable and time sensitive you’d probably want to use that service.

Earth Class Mail will cost you only 10 bucks a month.  You do have to pay for three months though.  I think they have a setup fee too.  I hate to pay setup fees but I couldn’t talk them out of it.  Perhaps they have done away with that since people are now required to sign up for three months.  They should, if they haven’t dropped the setup fee, they need to.

Now in the interest of full disclosure, if you sign up for Earth Class Mail using the link above, I’ll earn a one time commission.  However, I wouldn’t recommend it if I didn’t think it was a needed service for many expats.  Some of you don’t need it.  I do and it works very well.  If you do sign up, please let me know.  I want to give them “what for” if they don’t give me my commission.  I have no reason to believe they would do that but some affiliate programs are known to do that.  I’ve been cheated by others.

If you do sign up, also let us know how it works out for you.  I love it but that doesn’t mean you will.  I hate paying for it but then that’s life, huh?  To use JAC you need to contact them first.  To do that send an email to Jesse at: [email protected] I don’t get anything for you using their service but  please let her know I sent you if you contact her.

Someone sent me an email tonight asking a series of question and one included mail service.  I realized then it would be useful to others.

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Filed under: Living In The Philippines

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