Sending Gifts Home – a basic how-to guide

Shipping anything from the UK to the States is expensive anywhere outside of the UK (Oh, who am I fooling, it’s costly even if it is internal). This can and will make sending gifts home a challenge. In the past, I’d try to save/find money to cover the shipping for items to family that was often more expensive than the actual gifts outright.

Come to think of it, I do not believe there ever was an occasion where shipping something from either side of the pond (see: atlantic ocean) cost less than the item was literally worth.

So what do you do? Well, at least this year, I’m trying to rely more on amazon to do the work for me. At this point I will disclose the following: I do not work for or receive any moneys from Amazon for writing this. The following are my personal opinions and experiences and are not in any way affiliated with, or any other Amazon branch/entity.

But it isn’t as simple as we all would like. So, in the interests of helping others negotiate the task, I have pulled together a basic how-to guide for everyone’s reading pleasure.

First things first, go to the Amazon website and scroll ALLLLLLL the way down to the bottom of the page:

at the bottom of Amazon's main page there is a list of links to other "amazon" sites around the world.
at the bottom of Amazon’s main page there is a list of links to other “amazon” sites around the world.

Click on the link for the “amazon” site for the country you want to SHIP TO (in this example, I’ve highlighted the USA as I was on the UK version of the site at the time).

Once on the amazon for the receiving country, shop as usual. Once done go through check out the same way except you’ll need to add or use a different shipping address from your defaulted billing address.

Select or add a mailing address to send your items to another person
Select or add a mailing address to send your items to another person

Note: Amazon will save the addresses you use if you want to use them again. Also, if you need to send gifts to multiple addresses, you can split your order up accordingly to do just that. Be sure to click “ship to this address” once you’re done entering it.

Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 22.12.24

Then, finally, the subject of payment (read that in the voice of Ursula, from The Little Mermaid, k thx.)

Life's full of tough choices, innit? Shipping to family needn't be one of them.
Life’s full of tough choices, innit? Shipping to family needn’t be one of them.

Payment can be tricky. I’ve used my old accounts in the states for this before without problems, but this time I opted to use the one from that hard-won bank account we managed to open earlier in the year. You may be asked to verify that you have the debit/credit card again, but you most definitely will be asked to verify what form of currency the card is issued in. Why? Because Amazon converts the amounts into that currency for you, easy-peasy, lemon-squeasy. Though, of course, you’ll forgive me for not screen-capping this part of the process; sensitive information and all of that…

But that is the long and the short of how to do it. Complete your order and it’s all done and dusted.


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