It is a question we get posed almost every day on TR: Why are products so much cheaper in the US compared to the UK? For a start this is because advertised US prices don't include tax, but this isn't something we're going to dwell on. Instead we're going to focus on a rather clever new service called 'Bundle Box' which aims to solve this very problem.
Newly launched this week, Bundle Box allows UK users to register a free US postal address. Products, clothes, moonshine, koalas, etc can then be purchased and shipped to this address and Bundle Box will then re-package your items and have them sent to the UK.
The real trick however is that Bundle Box will work out the import duty and VAT up front so there are no hidden surprises from customs or couriers on arrival. On top of this Bundle Box will, wait for it, bundle multiple products together into a single shipment to reduce cost. Standard shipments are guaranteed to arrive in 4-7 days with express delivery in 2-4 days.
All items can be insured for up to $10,000 for £19.99, multiple delivery addresses (a maximum of 99) can be specified and return insurance, warranty and carbon offset are all part of the service. As for pricing (which includes import duty & VAT) this begins at £17.35 for items up to 1Kg, raising to £35.08 for 5Kg, £55.38 for 10Kg, £103.75 for 25Kg and so forth up to £712.62 for a whopping 250KG - or quarter metric tonne!
So where would this be useful? On low value goods not so much, but prime examples would include the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV which is over £1,000 cheaper in the US or for products like the Amazon Kindle and Microsoft Zune HD that have yet to go on sale outside the States.
Yep, it's ingenious. I did a bit of digging and Bundle Box isn't the only service out there pushing this (MyUS.com and Bongo are rivals), but it does seem the most complete solution I've seen to date. And that my dear readers is how we beat the US/UK price divide...