Review of Shop & Ship in Madagascar (Aramex)
Shop & Ship in Madagascar is a postal relay service offered by Aramex. I have had the opportunity to test it and there are advantages, but also disadvantages.
Shop & Ship in Madagascar is a parcel relay service offered by Aramex. Aramex is a logistics and transportation company that is based in Dubai. Its main market is the Middle East, but it is available worldwide. It is present in Madagascar. And even if online payments with the Mvola card are democratized in Madagascar, international delivery is still a nightmare. You have services like DHL, Fedex, or EMS, but most of them are very expensive. Shop & Ship in Madagascar is cheaper than its competitors, but the prices are not given either. However, he offers an interesting approach.
How does Shop & Ship work in Madagascar?
Like all relay services, Shop & Ship in Madagascar is chargeable, but unlike others that only offer monthly subscriptions, Shop & Ship offers two options. The first which is the basic registration and costs $ 45. It’s expensive, but you’re a Lifetime Shop & Ship member.
The second plan is called Shop & Ship Flex with a monthly subscription, but which offers additional options which we will see later. Me, I took only the basic subscription, because that is enough for me and it was also to try the thing. Once you have your subscription, Shop & Ship in Madagascar will offer you delivery addresses around the world.
As of this writing, it offers more than 32 delivery addresses in major countries around the world. France, England, United States, China, Emirates, Pakistan, India, etc. This is why I was won over by this approach, because for $ 45 you have access to online shopping sites all over the world. If for example you want to buy from a UK site then you provide your UK based address and Shop & Ship in Madagascar will forward the package to you. There are some important countries missing from the list, notably Russia.
Shop & Ship prices in Madagascar
Of course, you have the shipping costs in addition to your subscription. And here too, Shop & Ship in Madagascar scores a point, because it is cheaper than services like DHL or Fedex. The site offers you an online calculator that lets you know the price per kilo from one country to another. For Madagascar, we are around 21 dollars per kilo.
Thus, a 1 kg package from France to Madagascar will cost you $ 21. And I have tested with several countries and for Madagascar it is still around $ 21 per kg. And this is where the difference between the basic $ 45 subscription and Shop and Ship Flex comes in. Because for the basic subscription, the package is calculated in increments of 500 grams.
This means that even if your package weighs 150 grams, you will still be charged for 500 grams. The Flex service, which costs $ 119 per year, offers packages in increments of 100 grams, as well as other options such as personalized delivery addresses, reduced shipping costs, etc.
I think that’s a good point too. Because if you buy internationally, but only occasionally, then basic service is sufficient. But if you are a compulsive shopper who receives packages from all over the world every month, then it may be worth it. So if you have the basic subscription and you have a package of 150 grams, then Shop & Ship in Madagascar will charge you 11 dollars since the price is 21 dollars per kg and they charge you in increments of 500 grams. $ 11 for international shipping is affordable, but you’re never going to pay $ 11 because there are taxes.
Taxes of Shop & Ship in Madagascar
These taxes are calculated depending on the product you buy, but also if there are additional charges. Shop & Ship in Madagascar is not transparent on this, but it is not the sea to drink either. So I ordered a package (amounting to $ 50) of about 255 grams and paid $ 13 for delivery. I got a second delivery and got $ 13 as well, about the same weight. So don’t just rely on the calculator.
Personally, I bought little things like wires and accessories. On the other hand, if you are making large purchases such as phones or computer parts, then Shop & Ship in Madagascar will ask you for the invoice which you can send via the management of your packages in your Shop & Ship account. Payments are made by Paypal, but how does the delivery work?
Slowness and lack of reaction
When you buy online via Shop & Ship in Madagascar, the package will be delivered to the S&S office in the country in question. Note that you will have to pay double shipping costs. On the one hand, the merchant site that sends the package to S&S and on the other hand, the relay service itself. But in general, local parcel post charges are quite affordable. When Shop & Ship receives your package, it will notify you by email asking you to pay for the delivery and taxes, if any. You can do this directly on the S&S site via Paypal.
And there you have to be patient. As I mentioned Shop & Ship was designed from the ground up to deliver to the Middle East and the delivery times are faster there because there are a lot of customers and the logistics are better. For Madagascar, it takes a month and dust. I had ordered a product from an American site. Shop & Ship in Madagascar received it on November 28, 2020 and I received it on January 5, 2021, 38 days. It’s a lot, but for online shoppers in Madagascar, it’s unfortunately the average. AliExpress takes 30 days to deliver to the area.
Now you will be able to track your package as it arrives at your doorstep. And so, he leaves the United States, arrives in South Africa, passes through Mauritius and then arrives in Antananarivo. The package remained blocked in South Africa and Mauritius. 1 week for the first and a week and a half for Mauritius.
And we saw in the tracking that the package was constantly “On Hold”. That means the package couldn’t find a plane to take it here. Is it related to covid and the fact that Madagascar’s borders are closed and there are no more scheduled flights? I think in a normal situation the shipping would be faster, because Shop & Ship in Madagascar wants to be an alternative to DHL and Fedex.
As I could see it was taking a while, I sent in a support ticket and so far they haven’t responded. User reviews on Shop & Ship are quite negative. But they often live in countries where other delivery services are fast. This is not the case here. I was generally satisfied with Shop & Ship in Madagascar.
A very good surprise with Shop & Ship in Madagascar is that they deliver to your door. They called me and they delivered the package to me turnkey. No taxes or other to pay during the reception, in any case for this package. So this is a very good point, because it is only DHL that offers door-to-door delivery and it is 10 times more expensive. I have another package on its way, still from the United States, and we’ll see how long it takes.
My opinion on Shop & Ship in Madagascar and my advice on how to use it
Despite the slowness which its main negative point and we do not know if this is normal or because of the crisis, Shop & Ship in Madagascar is fulfilling all its promises. Basically, you have to be patient when you want to use it. If you’re planning on using it, my first tip, before you even get a subscription, is to check out Shop & Ship’s list of banned products, because there are a ton of them. If you use it to buy a banned product, they’ll just throw it away.
Alcohol, tobacco, electronic cigarettes, batteries, there is a long list, probably because it is a Middle Eastern service and the laws are stricter. Until recently even perfumes were banned, today they are allowed. So, check the list to see if you can buy your products well.
Then there are sites that have had difficulty accepting Shop & Ship delivery addresses in Madagascar. When I took out my subscription, Amazon was the first site I tested and it took a lot of hacking to get it to accept my delivery address in France. This does not work for Amazon USA.
But in theory, Shop & Ship delivery addresses are accepted by all merchant sites. Now that I’m sure the package arrives and is delivered to my door, I will start using it more and testing it on other sites. Out of 10 I would put a 7/10 on Shop & Ship in Madagascar, because overall it is a service that works quite well and that is the main thing.