So you’ve found something that you’d really like, but it’s only in New Zealand – and they only ship domestically? Here’s how to buy locally in NZ, and ship it to almost anywhere in the world.
Most NZ based e-commerce websites only ship domestically, even though they accept credit cards from around the world. So to get the item you want requires a New Zealand delivery address.
Private Box provides physical and postal addresses in 6 cities throughout New Zealand.
How does it work?
In short, when you sign up to Private Box, you get a New Zealand address & and online account where you can manage your mail (similar to how you would manage your email). Once mail arrives at your Private Box address in New Zealand it is added to your account, we send you a notification email, and you can choose to forward it to wherever you are in the world.
Here are ALL the steps for parcel forwarding an item from New Zealand to another country:
- Create a Private box account
- Complete Identity verification – this is to check you are who you say you are, and for our compliance with New Zealand’s Anti-Money Laundering laws.
- Get your Private Box address
- Purchase your item using your Private Box address
- Your item arrives at Private Box
- You select your item in your Private box account, and forward it to yourself
- Private Box completes your forwarding request. To do this we:
- Check the item to complete customs declaration
- Can combine shipping to reduce costs
- Let you know the final cost once it’s been sent
- Provide tracking details (if available)
- You receive your item from New Zealand
- If you no longer need your Private Box account and don’t intend to do anymore shopping at this time, you can close your account in the billing settings.
Don’t forget to check your country’s import taxes and duties on incoming items. These are paid by the recipient. See more info on import taxes and duties below.
Watch the video
Want to see how it works before going ahead? Check out this video where I go through the whole process of parcel forwarding from New Zealand to Australia, including signing up with Private Box, buying my item in NZ, and forwarding it to myself in Australia from my Private Box account. It’s a long video, so here are some timestamps for some key information:
- 1:28 Explanation of the 30-day trial
- 1:53 Start of Signup process
- 4:15 Evidence of Identity & account ownership explanation & form completion
- 7:27 Explanation of address withheld & identity verification process
- 8:19 Identity Verification completed
- 8:35 NZ Address revealed
- 9:36 Example of completing delivery details for online orders
- 17:49 Parcel received
- 19:53 Example of Forwarding an item
- 23:56 How to close your Private Box account
While I used Australia in this example, Private Box can forward mail to over 230 countries & territories around the world.
Here are some of the most common questions around forwarding parcels overseas:
- What kind of parcel shipping services do you offer?
- Can I use my own DHL account?
- How much does it cost?
- How much postage will cost?
- What things can’t I send with Private Box?
What kind of parcel shipping services do you offer?
- Air Mail (NZ Post) – Cheapest option, usually no parcel tracking, takes longer
- Courier (EMS via NZ Post) – Affordable courier option, includes parcel tracking & insurance
- Express Courier (DHL via NZ Post) – Most expensive courier option, includes parcel tracking & insurance, usually twice the price of courier but only a day or so faster.
Can I use my own DHL account?
No. You can’t arrange your own courier service to collect mail from your Private Box address. All postage is paid for by credit card through your Private Box account.
How much does it cost?
Forwarding costs include:
- Shipping costs, and
- Private Box’s Handling fees
Common Private Box handling fees for parcel forwarding are:
- NZ$1 handling fee for receiving a parcel
- NZ$4.50 handling fee for a small air mail parcel (under 2kg)
- NZ$15.50 handling fee for air mail parcels over 2kg, and items shipped courier or express courier.
- NZ$0.50 handling fee combining an additional item when shipping
Note that the shipping handling fees correspond to the mail service that you choose. Air Mail has a lower handling fee because it is easier for our mail operators to lodge with the Air Mail parcel service, EMS courier has a higher handling fee because it take longer for our mail operators to complete the paperwork.
Private Box is a subscription service for using the address. However, we have a 30-day trial. If you close your account before the trail ends, then you won’t be charged any monthly subscription fees.
Reminder: Check your country’s taxes and duties
It is important to check if you will be required to pay any duties or taxes for your item. If applicable, the receiver will need to pay these to get their item delivered.
Usually taxes and duties are levied on certain categories of items AND all items over a certain value. It is your responsibility to check if the item being sent will be taxed by category and/or value threshold.
Common value thresholds are:
- Australia: $1000AUD See Australian Border Force
- USA: $800USD See: U.S. Customs and Border Protection
- Canada: $20CAD See: Canada Border Services Agency
- UK: £15 (See table below). See UK Government website
UK limits for customs duty and import VAT:
|Goods Value*||Customs Charges applicable|
|£0.01 to £15||No customs duty
No Import VAT**
|£15.01 to £135||No customs duty
Import VAT due
|£135.01 and greater||Customs duty due,
Import VAT due
How much postage will cost?
The shipping costs primarily depend on weight & volume of the item that you are shipping.
If you know the weight and dimensions of the item that you want to forward, you can use NZ Post’s International Rate Finder calculator.
Tip: If you’re unsure of the items dimensions you can try calling the store to ask them to provide these for you.
Anything can’t I Forward with Private Box?
There are a lot of prohibited and restricted items. It’s important to check the item that you want is not prohibited and restricted before purchasing.
For a full list of prohibited and restricted items see our prohibited & restricted items page.
Example Prohibited items:
- Illegal substances – we operate within the law, and cooperate with law enforcement agencies.
- Freight – items over 25kg are classed as freight, and need to sent with a freight forwarder.
- Perfume – is prohibited.
- Honey – is a animal product and we do not hold the export licence for it.
Example Restricted items we can send:
- Mobile phones – can only be sent with International Express Courier which is the most expensive mailing option.
- Electronic devices with Lithium ion batteries – can only be sent with International Express Courier which is the most expensive mailing option.
We’d recommend using the NZ Post rate finder calculator to check the price before buying any restricted items.
If you’re not sure, please ask us before purchasing your item.