This has been highly requested, so I have finally put up this tutorial for you!! Welcome to the world of shopping heaven and a warning to your wallet, beware!
Disclaimer: I am not doing any advertorial for CGW. This tutorial is made solely with your interest at heart.
Anybody from around the globe, can now have easy access to shopping US-based commerce sites. If you are in Hong Kong or even in United Kingdom, you can make use of this CGW (Comgateway for short) service and ship these US purchases to your local addresses. To check if CGW can ship to your country, just check out the locations on the top right hand bar on the homepage of CGW.
- Create an account, and sign in.
- “Get an US address” is for purchases from US based websites that allow international credit cards.
- “Use Buy For Me service” is for purchases from US based websites that only allow US-based credit cards.
How to order from US-based websites that allow international credit cards:
Websites that allow international credit cards include:
First, click on ”Get an US address” as explained above.
A drop down bar will appear once clicked, which shows your US address.
Take note of your US address as given. This US address is uniquely yours so any parcels sent to this address belong to you. You would be using this US address to place orders on US commerce sites so that they will ship their parcels to CGW. CGW is located in Portland, OR, and hence there will not be any sales tax charged.
After you have placed your orders at the commerce site, click next on this CGW page.
You will then be shown this, and fill in the following details:
- The full URL of the merchant site
- Invoice number on your recent purchase from this site
- Amount charged to your credit card by this merchant
How to order from US-based websites that only accept US-based credit cards:
Websites that allow international credit cards include:
First, click on ”Use Buy For Me service” as explained above. And again you will have a drop down bar as shown below.
- Key in the full URL of the merchant site that you are planning to purchase your items from.
Let’s just say you would like to buy this lipstick below from www.macosmetics.com.
Take note of the following details as circled above.
Now, all you have to do is to fill in the details on this CGW form.
- The unit price is the price for one item. Let’s just say, there could be a “buy 1 get 50% off another” promotion. This particular item used to cost USD1. With this promotion, one unit price would reduce to USD0.75. You can opt to key in USD0.75 instead of USD1, else CGW will charge you intially for USD1 when you pay for this “Buy for me” concierge purchase. Despite that, CGW will only deduct the final amount stated on the merchant invoice and not on this BFM concierge purchase.
- For this portion, you can key in other notes or promotion codes. I usually like to key in the promotion code on my 1st item that I am ordering and additional notes for the last item. Additional notes could be like informing the customer service to contact you if one item is out of stock and that you have an alternative you would like to purchase. Other notes may include like if the promotion code is invalid, you would like to cancel order for that particular item.
This will be your order page with a breakdown of all the items you are purchasing.
- CGW dollars are rewards for every transaction you have done with CGW. You can redeem it to reduce your purchases or shipping payment.
- Buy for me service / the concierge service is not free and you would have to pay 5% of your total purchase from a particular merchant. This purchase amount includes the domestic shipping fee (if any) from the merchant to CGW in Portland. So yes, you would have to pay 5% of the domestic shipping fee too.
- As there are usually many shipping options on every merchant site, this is for you to pick if you want the free or lowest shipping cost or express shipping. Usually, I opt for the free standard shipping given by every merchant when I hit a particular amount of money spent. For example, free standard shipping for www.drugstore.com is for purchases $25 and above.
You can check the shipping options rates and delivery times on the merchant site.
Finally, CGW will send you a confirmation email on the list of items you would like to purchase from the merchant. CGW will issue you another email when they have placed the orders with the merchant. This email will include a screenshot of the invoice of the purchase made with the merchant.
When your orders have arrived CGW:
CGW would usually email you once they have processed a parcel that has reached your US address. Alternatively, you can check the tracking number given to you by the merchant itself. CGW takes 2-3 working days usually to process a parcel when they received it. This means, even though the parcel has already been received by CGW when you check your tracking number, CGW will only email you 2-3 working days later for payment of the shipping.
For BuyForMe purchases, you will unfortunately not have any tracking number given to you so all you can do is wait patiently for CGW to email you when the parcel has reached CGW.
Under “my account”:
- Orders: This will lead you to a page with the listing of all your transactions made with CGW, both for purchases made by yourself and also BuyForMe purchases.
- Packages a my US address: This will lead you to a page with the listing of all parcels that has already reached CGW, ready for your payment for the shipping from CGW to you.
Under the page “Packages at my US address”:
- Make sure all your parcels arrived before consolidating them for shipment.
- Take note of the arrival of the parcels. You can wait for all your parcels to arrive before shipping them out together (this is called consolidation) to save on the shipping cost. You can keep the parcels for up to 30 days, and beyond that, CGW will charge you additional storage fees.
- CGW would use the amount declared on the merchant invoice. Sometimes, this invoice (attached to the exterior of the parcel) do not contain any dollar amount. This portion on the page will leave in a box for you to key in the amount that you would like to declare for the customs. Customs make sure that all the parcels consolidated from CGW (all the parcels shipped together from CGW) does not exceed a certain amount for taxing purposes. For example, in Singapore, all parcels must be under the value of SGD400 (shipping cost included), else there would be a 7% GST.
- The option of repacking of items usually does not appear unless the volumetric weight tof the parcel and the actual weight is beyond a certain amount. If repacking is chosen, USD10 will be charged for CGW to repack this parcel into a smaller box for cheaper shipping.
- Select all the parcels, by checking on the checkbox, for shipping. Just remember, the whole value of your consolidated parcels should be below the chargeable tax amount. Now you are good to go! Just click “ship selected” and you will be led to a page to fill in your payment details. There you would also be given a breakdown of the shipping cost.
For additional questions, CGW has a livechat service (which I’m always thankful for!) HERE.
You can also clicked onto the help section HERE.
I hope you find this tutorial helpful!
Have fun shopping!!