Q: Why doesn’t SMITH DISTRIBUTORS ship directly outside of the United States?
A: International shipping is expensive, not very reliable and can be complicated. Our clients were having difficulty with getting packages in a timely and cost-efficient manner and we were spending too much of our resources handling international shipping issues (lost packages, slow delivery times, delays in approval of the shipping charges, failed credit cards, answering questions concerning cost, etc.).
To better serve our overall client base, we decided to leave the international shipping to the international shipping experts. It was either that or raise our international surcharge dramatically. Since mail forwarders are experts at international delivery, they can do it much more efficiently than we can. Because they ship so much internationally, they get bulk rates and can be more competitive than we can. Many of our international customers already know that and are using mail forwarding services. Once you have signed up with a mail forwarding company, this makes it simpler for you the international customer (you know exactly what to expect from your mail forwarding company). This also makes it simpler for us since we now can deal with all of our customers both domestic and international in exactly the same way. This allows us to keep our operation running smoothly and our prices low.
Q: Is it expensive? Complicated?
A: We believe this is better than having items shipped directly from SMITH DISTRIBUTORS. First, the mail forwarding services are experts in international shipping. They can help negotiate the various customs regulations, help you find the best shipping method (right combination of price and speed) and since they buy international shipping in bulk from the carriers, they get discounts that SMITH DISTRIBUTORS. cannot get. Their services are priced reasonably, some charging a monthly fee and an upfront cost- some not charging any monthly fees. Some offer different levels of service, which allow you to choose the type of shipping you want.
Once you have signed up, the service is simple to use. You simply order online, as you normally would; only you enter your new United States address as the ship to address. Then, you work with your mail forwarding company to have the package shipped to you.
Q: How much will it cost to ship my package to me?
A: Our Domestic Shipping rates apply for the shipping to your mail forwarding service. SMITH DISTRIBUTORS. will charge this amount to your credit card at the time we ship. We cannot answer how much it will cost to get your package from the mail forwarding service to you. The cost will depend on the weight of your package. We also cannot tell you how much your package will weigh. Please do not ask for a shipping quote or estimate. Here are some guidelines.
Our average package weighs somewhere between 2-4 pounds (1-2 kg). Most of our individual items weigh far less than a pound.
Access USA offers a rate calculator on their website. Shop the States has a rates page on the FAQs page. You can play around with these to get an estimate of how much your package will cost to have it shipped to you. Each mail forwarder offers different rate structures with some charging upfront and/or monthly fees and some charging a per package fee.
Q: What do I do if I want to order with you?
A: The first step is to sign up with a mail forwarding service. A mail forwarding service gives you an address in the United States that you can use to have packages mailed to you. The mail forwarding service receives your packages and mails them to you, in your country, for a fee. This greatly simplifies Internet shopping for international customers on all Internet purchases. Once you have this in place, you can shop with ease from any United States-based Internet store. See the next question for some links to mail forwarding services (these are NOT an endorsement of these particular services).
Important second step: After signing up with a mail forwarding service, a key step will be to notify your credit card company of your new address in the United States (as an alternate address). This will allow the merchant (us, in this case, to get an “address match” on your address). This is very important in terms of security. Your order may be denied by merchants if the address you give is not listed as an alternate address with your credit card company.
Q: Who are some of the mail forwarding services?
A: Your choice of mail forwarding services is entirely up to you. Here are some that we are aware of. Please keep in mind this is not an endorsement of any particular service. You should do your own research.
• Get a MyUS Address – reasonable rates. online rate calculator. personal shopping service.
• USA Box
These vendors have different fees and offer different services. Please visit their websites and read carefully. Access USA offers a “Personal Shopper” service which will pay for your merchandise for you. This can be very useful if you are having problems getting an alternate address on your credit card, want to use a check or if your credit card does not support address verification (many international cards do not). Some have monthly fees and set up fees (but charge less per package) and some have lower fees but charge more per package.
Q: I have signed up with a mail forwarding service. Can I begin my orders?
A: You can begin ordering. But, please do not forget the important second step. Make sure to contact your credit card company and add your US mailing address as your alternate shipping address. Or, you can use the personal shopper service option that Access USA offers. USA Box also offers a shopping service. They will place and pay your orders for you.
To order, shop as you normally would. When you check out, enter your new United States street address as the “Ship to” address. Do not enter your International address as the billing address as our system will not accept international addresses.
Q: Do your shipping rates includes taxes, tariffs, duties, etc.?
A: No. SMITH DISTRIBUTORS. rates have never included any fees that might be imposed by your local government. Our fees include the cost of shipping only. If you have any questions concerning import duties, taxes, etc., your mail forwarding service should be able to help you.
Q: What payment methods do you accept?
A: Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express
Q: Will my information be shared with or sold to anyone?
A: Absolutely not. At Smith Distributors, we respect your privacy and will not share your information with anyone. We will never call you unless you want us to call you to resolve any issue.
Q: How Long before I receive my order?
A: Smith Distributors processes orders within 24-48 hours of receipt. All orders are shipped via UPS (estimated time for delivery is 7-10 days) Also USPS that takes anywhere from 4 to 10 business days depending on what state you live in our other options. Use the Standard Shipping Method.
Q: I received an item that is damaged. Should I return it and place a claim with UPS or return it to Smith Distributors?
A: Please return your item to SMITH DISTRIBUTORS. in the original **undamaged** box along with a copy of your original receipt. SMITH DISTRIBUTORS. does not accept C.O.D. Return your product in an economical manner. SMITH DISTRIBUTORS.s will not reimburse overnight returns.
Q: How long does it take to get my order and what are my shipping options?
A: Your order is shipped ground UPS and will take about eight days to receive. We feel that UPS has superior service with reasonable pricing. UPS also allows us to track your shipment.
Q: I was charged for my order, but haven’t received my merchandise?
A: Please allow up to 14 business days to receive your order. If after that time frame you haven’t received your order, please contact us at Customer Service include your order number when sending any correspondence, this will help us serve you better.
Q: How will I know if my order was received?
A: You will receive a confirmation email, it will include your order number and other information pertaining to your order.
Q: How are products shipped?
A: Products are shipped via UPS ground, FedEx, or USPS (depending on the weight and the product line). Most orders ship the same day. Orders are usually received within 5-7 days from the day you place your order.
Q: How do I know how much to charge my orders for shipping?
A: We show you the shipping charge for each item on the item details page or you can add it to your cart to calculate it. You may need the recipient’s zip code.
Q: Do you provide online tracking numbers?
A: Yes, all of your orders can be tracked online from our website and we email you the tracking number as soon as your order ships.