What is Shop and Ship?
Aramex Shop and Ship service facilitates shopping for residents in the middle east by delivering goods bought online from the US, UK, Turkey, China, and Dubai to your country of residence with low cost compared to other couriers. It does so by providing you with an unique address “ID” for each of the countries the service is available and using that address you can buy items online and ship the items to the address given by Aramex. Then Aramex will ship that to the country registered with your account for your collection on Aramex site.
I’m using Shop and Ship service for a while now and I can say that it is good in the matter of speed of delivery and cost but when the needs of shopping expanded Shop and Ship was not completely fulfilling my needs plus the service requires you to pick up your shipment from your local Aramex branch and they do not provide home delivery. I keep reading online about shipments that got lost and others that were delivered to the wrong person but when one of my shipment got lost they called and offered me redemption for the value of the shipment which I found good as this can happen with any other courier.
Looking for alternatives of Aramex
I started looking for alternatives of Shop and Ship when I bought a Play Station 3 for my 6 years old son. I went to the malls and found that the prices of the games for PS3 were extremely overpriced here in Qatar. for instance one game can cost like 200 QR ($60) in Qatar while it is like $30 on Amazon and much cheaper than that on eBay. My plan was to get as many games as I can from eBay and ship them to Qatar through Aramex Shop and Ship. The problem is that Aramex does not consolidate multiple shipments because they process the shipment as soon as it arrives. I checked their FAQs for this and they mention that they do not consolidate shipments. This means I’m going to pay the minimum charge which is 43QR for each and every game disk I’m going to order while each disk is not going to reach the 1lb weight (in fact most of them are just 100gms or less).
I made my search online for Alternatives and found this article in which the author is complaining about Aramex and is mentioning problems he had and also the same problem I have which is package consolidation. He also mentions alternatives to the Shop and ship service. including “Borderlinx” and “U Shop we Ship” and other ones. After reading his article I decided to go with the “Borderlinx” company and registered there quickly as the registration was free which is opposite to the other services which were either too expensive or not looking so trustworthy.
The service allows you to consolidate shipments and release them all at once. So I started buying games on eBay and changed the primary delivery address to the borderlinx address. Few days after I started receiving the notifications from Borderlinx about the shipments. Although I knew before sending that Borderlinx charge with what is called “Volumetric Weight” I calculated that each game disk will not exceed 200 gm using their way of calculation “they have a calculator for you to use and you enter the dimensions of the shipment to calculate the Volumetric Weight“.
The Borderlinx experience
I was surprised to find out that Borderlinxs calculated the volumetric weight of my disks as twice as I was expecting. the reason is because of the packaging that was used in USPS which made the shipments actually bigger than it really is and because Borderlinx does not repackage individual items into one box they charge you using the volumetric weight of each item as it was delivered from USPS. Eventually I ended up paying the same money as I would do with Aramex. The consolidation option was not of a great use then for me and also you will never be sure of the cost of shipment while buying using the services other than Aramex because you will never know how big is the packaging envelope USPS used.
Another annoying thing I found with Borderlinx is that although the website looks nice but it requires you to re-login every-time you are going to use the website as it does not keep you logged in for a certain amount of time like most websites do. This might be nothing if you are tracking one or two shipment items but in my case I found it tiresome to do that almost everyday every-time I’m checking for something on the website.
The advantage I found of borderlinx is that they use DHL and thus shipping is going to be a little faster and they can deliver to your home address unlike Aramex Shop and Ship. They also provide this Saftylinx option for you to choose while releasing shipments and it is basically like insurance for the safety of the shipment and of-course you will need to pay for that as well. Also their customer support is very responsive either using the email or the chat I found they are very helpful and cooperative.
So after all what I can say is this Shop and Ship is still the best way to do shopping online especially when you have your shipment already in one bulk sent to Shop and Ship or when your shipment weight is small compared to its size (all other services charge by Volumetric Weight which takes size into consideration) and eventually using any other service is going to cost you almost the same as Shop and Ship. I’ll still use borderlinx but only when items need to be consolidated (only one trip to DHL) or when I’m certain of the shipment dimensions.
I really hope that Aramex would take this into consideration and add the consolidation option or that Borderlinx would use the same charging rates as Aramex without this highly priced and uncertain volumetric weight.
That’s it and good luck shopping online.