This is very much a delayed post as I have been travelling. In July, An Post launched a US Address with their AddressPal service. With this new service, you can get parcels delivered to an address in New Jersey, USA where it will be opened, customs forms completed and then sent on to Ireland. It will then be delivered to your address by An Post. This service starts at €15.99 for up to 2KG. I have not used the service yet so I can’t give my personal experience of how it works.
Previously AddressPal didn’t offer a home delivery service, instead you picked up the parcel from your selected Post Office. Now, with the US AddressPal it is delivered direct to your home, you cannot elect to pick it up from the post office. This home delivery is also optionally available for UK AddressPal parcels now, starting at €5.99. You must activate the US AddressPal service on your AddressPal account and add a credit card that will be charged the AddressPal fee. If you do sign up for US AddressPal, your UK Parcels will also be delivered to your home at the higher price. If you wish to have continue to collect UK AddressPal parcels from your selected post office and also use US AddressPal service, you will need to sign up two different AddressPal accounts.
|Weight||UK Price||US Price|
These are the prices for home delivery service. AddressPal charge €3.75 for UK parcels that are collected at a selected post office up to 20KG so home delivery is more expensive. However, the size limits are much higher for home delivery. The maximum size for post office collection is 31cm x 25cm x 72cm. The maximum size for home delivery is Length + Girth = 300cm. Girth is 2x (depth+width) An oversized UK AddressPal parcel for post office collection costs €25 and needs to be picked up from the sorting office so this home delivery service works out a lot cheaper, although not as cheap as DPD Parcel Wizards home delivery service which costs €3.85.
From various reports I’ve read online it appears the delivery time from being received at the New Jersey warehouse to Ireland is about 2 weeks which isn’t exactly fast but not the slowest. As the parcel is treated like any other parcel arriving into Ireland you may or may not be hit with customs fee. If you are charged customs An Post will add the usual €10 processing fee to the amount that is collected. I had hoped that since you are paying for the AddressPal service, the €10 custom clearance fee would be included but this is not the case. You will also need to pay the post man the customs fee in cash, they do not charge the customs amount to your credit card.
There seems to be a lot of issues with how Polar Express, AddressPals agent in the US are completing customs forms. There are reports of using 1:1 exchange rates when converting dollars to euro, using new retail prices when the item was used or posting the full retail price even when the amount paid was discounted. In theory if there are any questions of the price paid Polar Express should contact the customer – but this does not appear to be happening.
I was looking forward to the service, previously I have used Shipito and eBay Global Shipping Program but both were in my opinion quite expensive. I had hoped AddressPal would be a game changer but unfortunately I don’t think it will be. It appears to be very poorly implemented which is my feeling for AddressPal as a whole. While its great to see An Post offering more services I just can’t see myself using this. Even with the new home delivery option for UK parcels it is much more expensive and slower than DPD Parcel Wizards offering with its only benefit being that it is a UK mainland address instead of a NI address. I never thought I’d say it but this seems to make eBay Global Shipping Program good!