Look, we love a wander down Orchard Road as much as the next expat, but if it’s great value you’re after, then you can stomp around Paragon or Wisma until the queues at Din Tai Fung go home – the shopping ain’t going to get any cheaper! So, what’s the alternative? Simple – shop online in the US with a shipping consolidator like PacMe.com that gives you a sales tax-free US mailing address and then delivers your loot to your lobby in Singapore.
‘We launched our business into a crowded field of over 100 competitors,’ says Ken Crouse who founded PacMe with Randy Wilson in Portland, Oregon. ‘I had been a customer of many of them over the years, and found that they all lacked two things: a true consolidation/repacking service, which is really how you save money, and customer service that can work from 10,000km away.’
We don’t mind someone blowing their own company’s trumpet when what they’re saying is bang-on true. PacMe.com will log each of your incoming packages, scan the invoices, upload photos of the items and store it all for up to 90 days free of charge until everything arrives – and this is before the real magic even happens. Like a game of Tetris, their repacking gurus then bundle your goods into a super-strong double-walled box, often cutting the overall shipping weight of your stash by half! ‘Dimensional weight is the bugaboo of our industry, and it is not very well understood,’ says Randy. ‘Simply put, if there is empty space in your box, you are probably paying for it!’
PacMe addict Michelle learnt about dimensional weight the hard way. ‘I once tried one of the competitors that advertised the lowest per-kg shipping rate to Singapore, but they didn’t repack properly, and I paid way more overall than what I would have at PacMe,’ she says. ‘I won’t fall for that again.’
So, what’s PacMe’s secret to great customer service? Ken and Randy personally handle this side of the business and go the extra mile for their customers – literally! ‘The only reason to launch a business is to make customers happy,’ says Ken. ‘It’s a boring day when we don’t delight at least one of them.’
And delight they do if Michelle’s donut tale is anything to go by! “The customer service is ridiculously good. I mean, they bought me extra donuts on their account just because there was room in my shipment. Now who does that? I think I’ve used all the package forwarders out there, but now I have found PacMe.com and am totally hooked,’ she says.
Here’s another PacMe customer Vivien gushing about how PacMe’s stellar customer service: ‘I was doing a renovation project and needed some odd-shaped items. Randy went to the store to check out how an item was packaged and advised me what sorts of things we could do to reduce the overall shipping cost. There were some items that just wouldn’t fit so PacMe’s owner Ken hand-carried those items for me on his flight back to Singapore. I was astounded!”
Snoop PacMe.com to find out more about their services and fees, quoting EXPAT when you’re ready to sign up for your free account and mailing address, or drop Ken a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’ve got any queries. The website’s a doddle to use – with a dedicated chat box to discuss any issues as they crop up – but it’s amazing to know you’ve got a fast track to the head honcho should you need it!