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Sending packages to the UK

My daughter is going to England for her masters degree. Does anyone know of an economical way to ship clothing there, preferably without having to pay any duties on the package.

Posted by
8293 posts

Probably the least troublesome way would be to have your daughter take and pay for the extra luggage with her on the plane. Anything she is missing she can purchase at Marks & Sparks.

Posted by
415 posts

When my son was going to school in London, I ended up sending him a box of things to help out - not clothes however. Every means seemed fairly expensive. It would have been cheaper to pay for an extra suitcase. In the end I used the post office (canada post) and as I recall there was a customs form for the box on which I specified the items. He did not have to pay duty. I think if you can label the box with "used clothes",it would be helpful. Depending on what you are planning to ship, it might work out better to have your daughter buy clothes there or pay for an extra suitcase to go with her.

Posted by
9363 posts

Every method of shipping will be expensive. Just pay for an extra suitcase. If she is a shopper, she might enjoy shopping for some things there instead of hauling her old stuff around, particularly things she won't need right away.

Posted by
4524 posts

If the extra bag doesn't work (a person can only carry so many bags), the least expensive way will be through the post office with "slow boat" service. It will take several weeks to arrive. If you label the contents properly (ie-used clothing with no real value) you shouldn't have to pay any duty.

Posted by
231 posts

Unfortunately the USPO did away with international surface mail to the UK quite a number of years ago, and there are size and weight restrictions (4 lbs tops) on their first class service. Heavier parcels have to go Priority Mail and something that's 30 lbs will cost around $130 to mail. They also have something called M-bags that can go up to 44 lbs, but 11 lbs to the UK costs about $44, so that's not cheap either. I believe UPS is even more expensive. No idea about FedEx. It's probably cheapest to take an extra bag, or use compression bags to get as much in as possible. Have her not pack toiletries or a hair dryer and such since she's going to be there a while and can buy those there. A later thought--can she contact the university and see if they have recommendations? If students frequently send things like that the school might know of a good service.

Posted by
4566 posts

Are any family or friends going over to visit her during the course of her stay? If so, can you send an extra bag with them? Really, the cheapest way is to pay for an extra bag on the plane.

Posted by
415 posts

One more suggestion: Since everything is on higher voltage in the UK, it might be better to leave electrical items like blow dryer, curling iron etc. at home if she uses those things. She can buy them in the UK with the proper voltage and plugs. There's a reasonably priced chain of stores called Argus which my son used a lot to buy electrical appliances. This might free up enough space for more clothes. Also I don't know if you were planning for her to take bedsheets and towels, but sheets are a different size in the UK so again it would be better to buy those things once she's arrived. (Take note - a counterpane is a duvet/quilt in the UK. I didn't know what that word meant when we arrived)

Posted by
26384 posts

Arg os, with an "o". Their website is http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Home.htm They are pretty much a catalog store, everything is on line. Some things can be seen in the stores but the vast bulk is only visible in the catalogs scattered around the store and on line. Once the tiny pencil has written the stock number on the tiny piece of paper and taken to the cashier and paid for you are given a piece of paper with your receipt and a large number and either A B or C, and you are directed to a few rows of plastic chairs where you sit and wait. After a while, as you watch the TV screens which show the order numbers, your number will appear and you go to the letter area at the pickup counter - and there is your item. Check carefully that what it says on the item is what you ordered and take it home. Unwrap (assemble) and use. They have a reputation for inexpensive, lower-end ranges of product. They carry very little if any high-end products.