How to shop at US online stores when you’re not from the US

online shopping USA stores blog cover

online shopping USA how-to blog register button

online shopping USA stores blog cover
You’re a frequent online shopper. You spend hours and hours just scrolling through hundreds of websites, and because of that, you pride yourself on being an expert in finding the best deals and most unique items on the internet.

Ralph Lauren blue sweater

On one of your online expeditions, you suddenly stumble upon a cool-looking sweater on the Ralph Lauren online store. You then add it to your cart and hastily proceed to checkout, with every intention of getting your hands on that beautiful piece of clothing.

Ralph Lauren checkout failed

But alas, it turns out that Ralph Lauren only delivers within the US! You think to yourself, “That’s unfair! I live in another continent!” Still, you’re determined to have it, and so you search for other stores in your country that might sell it, only to come up empty-handed for the second time.

Chin up, because there a surefire solution for your woes! Reshipping or freight forwarding partners like comGateway are the answer to shopping problems like these, and more! With a comGateway account, you’re one step closer to your dream US purchase! Register here.

ONLINE SHOPPING ON USA WEBSITES: THE START OF YOUR JOURNEY

Got your comGateway account already? Good. You’re ready to go online shopping from USA stores. But now you’re thinking, “How does it work? How will I get my packages from the US delivered to my home?”

There’s no need to panic! We’ve got your back, and we will gladly walk you through the first steps.

FIRST THINGS FIRST: KNOW YOUR US ADDRESS

Before you begin your shopping journey, you must first be familiar with your US address. When you registered with comGateway, you were given a US address that serves as your shipping address for your online purchases.

Your US address is a combination of the address of comGateway’s warehouse in Portland, Oregon, plus your very own unique Suite ID.

Where to find it

To view your US address, make sure that you are signed in to your comGateway account. It will show up on the upper right portion of your screen when you’re using your desktop. If you’re on mobile, click on the Menu tab on the top right side of your dashboard to see it.

screenshot of comGateway dashboard with US address highlighted

Desktop view

screenshot of comGateway mobile website showing the US address

Mobile view

How to input your US address

Upon checkout at US online stores, the merchant will ask you to input your US shipping address. You will fill it up in parts, and this is how each is identified: 

My US address example

  1. Address line 1
  2. Address line 2 (your unique Suite ID)
  3. City
  4. State
  5. Zipcode
  6. US phone number

County

Some merchants may also ask for the county where your US shipping address is located. When that happens, just answer with “Multnomah” and proceed.

Zip+4 code

Additionally, some merchants also ask for a zip+4 code for delivery purposes. For that, use 97252-1777.

Once you understand how your US address works, you’re ready to start shopping.

HOW TO START SHOPPING FROM US ONLINE STORESonline shopping USA icon

There are two ways you can shop US online stores. You can either (1) shop US online stores directly, which we call the do-it-yourself (DIY) method, or (2) avail of the BuyForMe service and allow us to purchase your items on your behalf. The latter can be availed anytime but is especially applicable for US merchants with payment restrictions. Here’s how both of them work:

Online shopping at USA stores – DIY-style

  1. Go to the US online store where you want to buy. Always set your location to “United States” to access all of their available products.Additionally, choose “US dollars” as your currency to get the lowest price possible as some merchants tend to reflect inflated foreign exchange rates. However, if you insist on sticking to your local currency, be sure that the online store uses fair exchange rates and that the item prices do not differ from the brand’s US website.Michael Kors US online store screenshot
  2. Select the items you want to buy and add them to your cart. When you’re ready to pay and ship your items to your US address, go to checkout.screenshot of Ralph Lauren US online store's checkout page
  3. At checkout, fill in your shipping address (your US address) as instructed above. If you have applicable coupons and codes you want to use, apply them at this step to enjoy additional savings.screenshot of Ralph Lauren US online store shipping address
  4. Wait for an email from comGateway’s customer service team informing you that your items from the US merchant have arrived at your US address.If you haven’t received one yet but had already gotten a notification from the merchant stating that your items have successfully been delivered to your US address, patiently allow for one additional business day for the comGateway team to process your packages and assign them to your account.online shopping USA DIY email- arrival of package from US merchant at US address/warehouse


Online shopping at USA websites through BuyForMe

  1. Go to comGateway’s BuyForMe page and fill in the BuyForMe form with the details of the item/s you want us to buy. (e.g., product name, URL, price, size, quantity, color, promo code you want to use) You can place as many orders from the same merchant as you wish and even order from various merchants at the same time.If you’re buying from marketplaces like Amazon where there are various merchants, you might incur multiple shipping fees. Please be aware of that scenario, especially if you’re using our BuyForMe service in shopping.BuyForme screenshot 5
  2. Hit checkout for the items you want us to order.BuyForme screenshot 7
  3. Pay for your order total plus the indicated BuyForMe fee.
  4. Wait for these emails from the comGateway customer service team once:
  1. your order has been confirmed,BuyForMe email- order confirmation
  2. your order has successfully been placed,BuyForMe email- order placement notification
  3. the US merchant has shipped your order/s to your US address,BuyForMe email- domestic shipping notification
  4. and the package/s has arrived at your US address.

BFM package warehouse arrival

WHAT’S NEXT?
online shopping USA- icon of warehouse

While you’re still waiting for some of your orders to arrive at your US address, you can store all of the available ones for up to 30 days free of charge. But once all your orders have arrived, you can avail additional services to make your international shipment cheaper and more convenient. Here are the things you can do:

  1. Consolidate packages into one shipment
  2. Avail of the OneBox service. We will combine all your parcels into one container to reduce shipping weight for cheaper shipping fees.


No US address yet? You’re seriously missing out! Register now and start enjoying the benefits of online shopping at USA websites!