myGermany freight forwarder

idlemarvel

Neither idle nor a marvel
13 Jul 2015
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Since Brexit many people have posted here on the difficulty of buying stuff from Germany. Some retailers just won't ship to UK any more, including PIKO, modell-land and others. One way around this it to use a "freight forwarder", one such being myGermany.com, and this is my experience of using them.

The idea of freight or parcel forwarding is that the forwarder provides an address for you, in Germany in this case, they receive the goods and then forward them to you. Simple really. With myGermany you have to register which costs 1€ and they give you a shipping address that you can use for online shopping in Germany (or anywhere in EU I guess). The address is the same for all their customers, somewhere in Weimar. Assuming you can now place an order you specify your German shipping address. When it arrives at myGermany they email you and you can then ask them to open and inspect it, photograph it, hold on to it for consolidation with other orders from you, or just ship it as-is using the level of service you want to pay for. The extra services cost money of course. DHL seem to be their courier of choice. So far so good.

If the website you're ordering from asks for a billing address, and they won't allow UK billing addresses either, you have a new problem. Another service myGermany offer is what they call "concierge service" which is where they order the goods on your behalf. You find the item, note the URL and the price including shipping to Germany and provide this to myGermany. You pay them up front plus 10% and they place the order. They email you when they have ordered it and again when it arrives at their location.

In my case the item I wanted was only available from one German online retailer who won't ship to or accept payment from a UK address, so I used the myGermany concierge service. It was all straightforward. I placed the request to order with them, with payment, and the next day got an email to say it had been ordered. Three days later another email to say they had my goods from the retailer. Same day I requested they just forward it to me and choose standard DHL service. Another email to say it had been collected by DHL and two days later it arrived. They handle all the customs paperwork. In my case the goods were just below the UK VAT threshold so no incoming taxes to be collected. All communications are in English. They only work Mon-Fri but their web-chat support is available all week.

So the cost of all this? The item in question was 139€, shipment within Germany from the retailer was free for orders over 100€, concierge fee (10%) was €14 and the DHL shipment was 22€, making a total of 36€ fees. The concierge service is expensive and as far as I can tell there is no cap on the 10% fee, but it works well and there may be no alternative if you really want a particular item. This is probably where they make their money as the uplift on the shipping fee seems quite low. For high cost items 10% is a lot of money and it would make you think twice, but UK distributors add a hefty uplift to the German RRP so it may still be worthwhile. Without the concierge service there would only have been the shipment forwarding fee of 22€ which is about what you would expect to pay, maybe a little more, for a sizeable parcel from Germany to UK.

I would definitely use myGermany again, with or without the concierge service. My only gripe would be that their website could do with a revamp as it is sometimes quite hard to find what you want to do or need to know, but their web-chat agents are pretty good at helping you.
 
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Software Tools

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18 Jan 2013
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I would definitely use myGermany again,
I have been using myGermany for quite a while now, as consolidator and reshipper for the G Scale RhB items I buy both directly from EU zone hobby shops and eBay-de.

It works very well and I normally pay for shipment via PayPal using my Australian credit card. For shipments to Australia, UPS usually turns out to offer the best value in terms of adequate delivery time and pricing.
 

idlemarvel

Neither idle nor a marvel
13 Jul 2015
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I have been using myGermany for quite a while now, as consolidator and reshipper for the G Scale RhB items I buy both directly from EU zone hobby shops and eBay-de.

It works very well and I normally pay for shipment via PayPal using my Australian credit card. For shipments to Australia, UPS usually turns out to offer the best value in terms of adequate delivery time and pricing.
Glad to hear it. If you can find retailers who accept PayPal you can probably avoid the "non-German billing address" problem. In my case the retailer didn’t accept PayPal.
 

AustrianNG

Director of my railway
16 Sep 2015
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Thanks for the heads up Dave.
I ordered a Massoth XLS sound decoder from MTS-Line (via Evilbay) a couple of weeks back - at the time with the euro exchange rate it was £124.00 with the lok sound of your choice programmed onto it- they did ship to UK using UPS - so no problems.
Generally speaking the importers/retailers in the UK slap on around 20% - so it becomes less advantageous if at all........unless your item is rare or no longer manufactured, then it becomes a question of how much you want it.
 

viaEstrecha

Spanish metre gauge in G scale (on the cheap)
25 Oct 2009
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I was lucky twice with stuff I needed from Germany: in one case a smashing member of this forum put himself out to obtain a specialist item for me and posted it on privately, the other time, the seller also distributed via Amazon Germany, for which I have an account, and dear old Amazon handled exchange and delivery in their usual efficient way. Consolidation and forwarding does seem a good idea - maybe some entrepreneur might one day tap into the whole UK modelling/hobbyist market by offering something similar from other places such as the USA too? One can only assume the wretched politicians who have condemned us to being Little Britain don't do international railway modelling either.