Dec 18, 2012

My First Amazon Order

I decided to write this post right after I opened the new Seagate External Hard Drive box, delivered by Borderlinx, DHL.

A month ago I ordered a 3TB External Seagate HDD from The price at the time was discounted to 109.99$, previously 139.99$, which would be the deal of the year, I assumed. Upon the estimation of the efficient DHL staff, shipping and all the additional fees (customs, VAT, clearance, etc..) should cost around 52$. Order being made on, the package reached my virtual address (Ohio, US, address being given free of charge upon registration with borderlinx) in 2 business days, which was more than perfect. This is where the hassle began.

Outstanding deals usually take place during holidays, which, of course, is a hectic time of the year for all freight companies, due to the escalating number of orders and the additional stress imposed by global shippers. Alas, the package delivery to Lebanon was delayed one week, and it reached my office this morning.

The HDD came in its original box, repacked by DHL in the US, and sent to DHL Lebanon. Obviously the repacking served the protection of the equipment being shipped, especially that volumteric weight was disregarded, which, if taken into consideration, would've raised my bill considerably. The DHL employee asked me for 65$, 13$ more than what I had expected. After thorough explanation and investigation, it seems that the Lebanese Customs decided to Re-Evaluate the price to 199.99$, they thought the label price was too low for such an item! How on earth is that a sain decision??

So basically, your government is offering you two options: you either have to buy locally and pay double (or more sometimes) the original price (in the US), or you can simply order online, go through the hassle of releasing and shipping and waiting a month to get your package, and in the end the customs will alter the price till it fits the local market. Such a ripoff.

I was glad I chose DHL by the way.
For those Aramex users who think highly of their provider: do they offer you with an option to repack?
Borderlinx provides a Repacking service, completely free. If an item can be repacked and you haven't opted out, it will be automatically. You do not need to request it via Customer services.
We may repack your items (see exceptions) in two situations:
  • If the shipment is inadequately packed (either damaged or insufficient for international transportation), we will repack it for you for added protection and security.
  • If the package has a high volumetric weight (see our FAQ What is volumetric weight?), we repack it into smaller padded envelopes to reduce their volume and therefore to lower the shipping charges.
Additionally, there is no setup fee upon registration: You get your personal virtual address in the US and UK for free. Highly competitive prices (even cheaper than other service providers as I noticed), very efficient customer service (don't forget you're dealing with DHL here) and of course a tracking option to constantly monitor you package.
Reweighed by DHL
Overall, my first online shopping experience was good. It would've been more than perfect if it weren't for the customs re-evaluation rules.


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