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I was not paid to write this review, I wrote it of my own accord. I wanted to share my experience with them and feel like they are the best-kept-secret.
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Send My Bag Review
Moving can be a pain in the butt.
Moving across the world? Now that’s another story. Where does one even begin? One of the first things I did when I knew I would be moving half–way around the world was join some expat groups online. I talk about some of the groups here in this post. I also started scouting airlines and their luggage polices, ranking which was the best bang for my buck.
I had heard tell of this company called Send My Bag, but I honestly forgot about it until after I had moved to Paris. My parents were looking to send a box to me of some of my personal belongings. That’s when I stumbled upon a post of someone singing praises about Send My Bag. I started to look into it and I was instantly intrigued.
My family and I are hesitant to ship things between France and the United States because we have had issues in the past on both ends. Boxes with personal effects have been lost, returned, and picked through. I honestly don’t know how a parcel gets “lost.” I know things can happen, I get it, we’re only human. But when you pay a hefty amount to ship a package and it never makes it to its final destination, I have huge suspicions. Sorry my fellow friendly postal workers, I’ve lost (partial) hope in the USPS.
What the heck is Send My Bag?
Just like any genius idea, it started somewhere because someone thought there should be a better alternative. Send My Bag originally started as a service to university students trying to transport belongings long distance, specifically by airline. We all know the extra fees that can be tacked on and the nightmare of making sure we do not exceed the wight limit. Being a poor college student, these extra (sometimes hidden) fees to not help the pocketbook.
From inception to today, Send My Bag has evolved into a service that has become valued by those moving long distance. They not only ship luggage, but also boxes, large and bulky equipment too.
You can read more about their story here. And here you’ll find a brief step-by-step on how to send that extra luggage over seas. This section gives you an exact idea on what shape/form of luggage and box you can send. There’s even a nifty little video! Their FAQ page has any and all questions that you could possibly think of. This is where I spent most of my time reading up on their offers and services.
I asked my Mum (AKA Melinda) if she’d be willing to give me her impressions so I could share them with you here and she was just as eager to sing their praises! Plus, she’s the one sending all the boxes so she kinda has some experience. Like I have said, we’ve both been let down by the French and US postal services on both ends. We were looking for an alternative to shipping my personal belongings to me since moving to France that would not cost an arm and a leg and guarantee delivery.
Here’s some of her feedback : This is all based on sending parcels. We have not sent any bags (… as of yet…)
To date of publication of this post, my Mum has sent me three parcels ranging from 24 pounds up to 33 pounds; ranging from $86 to $140.
Navigating the website
The website is pretty straight forward and easy to navigate through. Once landing on the homepage, you can either choose to create an account or dive directly into getting a quote for you bag/parcel you are wanting to send.
Scrolling down through the homepage you will find a plethora of information at your fingertips in regards to who they are, what they do, and how you can use their services.
Setting up an account
Setting up an account (as the sender) is simple and straight-forward. If you are the intended receiver of the parcel, there is no need for an account. All you need is the addresses involved as well as your debit/credit card information. You will not be charged until you have completed the request to send a bag/parcel.
I have not tried to send something from France to the United States. When I have the opportunity to send things back to the States, I will update when I have done so from my personal point of view.
Interested in signing up for Send My Bag? Click my link here (affiliate link) and you’ll get a 5€ discount off your first bag/parcel!
Preparing Your Bag/Parcel
You’ll want to double box if you’re sending a box. As in, put the box inside another box and pack it up. You have no idea what type of conditions your package will be put through.
Also, there are some restrictions in terms of items you are allowed to send via Send My Bag. You will be reminded several times throughout the process on what you cannot ship. Here is also a list for your viewing pleasure :
If you end up including any of these items, your parcel will be sent back to the sender. Send My Bag is extremely clear about this throughout the process. Your parcel will be x-rayed and is subject to a search. Of the three parcels that I have received, I believe one was opened. There was DHL tape on the inside box that my Mum did not use. This was also the biggest box she had sent that had my winter coat and boots in them.
You’ll need all the information of the sender’s contact information. We have a front door code and an interphone number. All this needed to be included. Send My Bag also asked for the phone number and email of the recipient. There may also be, if necessary, the need to upload the receiver’s passport and signature page. It has not been needed yet from my end, but we shall see.
It is best to create a list of items you are sending and their corresponding individual price. You will also need to total these prices up for a grand total. When you are filling out the form online, it will ask you for the total first. The next page will be an itemized report of all the individual items with their corresponding price. It will tell you while you are filling out the form how much is left to reach your total price you entered on the previous page.
When you have successfully submitted all the paperwork and information, you will be emailed all the necessary information that you will need to print off for sending your parcel (bag). You will need to print out all the items in the file. The sender will receive the following in their mail :
- Instructions on preparing your item to be shipped.
- List of items that are not allowed to be shipped via Send My Bag.
- Packing list.
- Declaration of Honor. This is required if you are shipping to France. This releases DHL from any sort of legal responsibility if the parcel is opened and inspected.
- Power of attorney ( for personal effects only).
- External shipping label + instructions.
- Internal shipping label + instructions.
- Driver’s label + instructions.
- Second packing list for driver.
Shipping your parcel
Once you have submitted all the necessary information and you have received your paperwork, you’ll be ready to hand your parcel over the DHL delivery man!
DHL has directions on how to properly tape a box on their website. This is HIGHLY recommended.
When you are near the end of your application, you will be asked to choose a day and time for DHL to come and pick up your parcel. Ultimately, it is DHL who will come back with a timeframe for when they will collect the parcel. But this will allow DHL to come back with a more precise time. You must be present when the delivery man comes to pick up the parcel. You need to hand him some of the forms that you received from Send My Bag. You will literally hand off the paperwork and the parcel to the delivery driver and he will be on his way.
When you have submitted your application, you will receive a confirmation mail with your order number, links to all the paperwork you need to download, as well as the information in tracking your parcel all the way to the destination. Both parties received shipping and tracking information on behalf of DHL so it can be followed from both sides.
On all three occasions, the DHL driver has called when he is downstairs (we live on the 5th floor of an apartment building). All three parcels have arrived before noon and always within 5 days, door to door. I have never had to pay any customs taxes, as of yet, even with some items marked a gifts.
Tips & Tricks
All in all, we are extremely satisfied with the service of Send My Bag. We have not had to call customer service for any hiccups. The delivery drivers at both locations have been courteous and respectful. The three parcels have arrived in under 7 days and only one has been opened (that we are aware of). If you are looking for an affordable way to send personal items from one country to another, I could not recommend Send My Bag enough!