Shop Australian Gifts to the USA
Firstly, select a gift that is light and small! This is because, for most international carriers, and for Australia post, the cost of postage is calculated based on the dimensional weight (also called volumetric or cubic weight), or the actual weight – whatever is heavier. So a very light item in a large box could cost a lot more than you think to send!
So for example, if in the above picture the larger box had a feather in it; and the smaller box had a 5kg weight (i.e. the smaller box is clearly heavier); they may still cost the same in postage, because the larger boxes dimensional weight would be used. I.e. it takes up a lot of space to send over!
Each freight carrier has a different calculator for dimensional weight that is a multiplier depending on the width / length / height of the package.
Here are some links to calculate dimensional weight:
Secondly, you want to consider what you are going to put in your gift to get it posted BEFORE you buy it. If you haven’t thought about it but go to your local Australia Post shop, you might find your gift doesn’t quite fit in their standard Box 2 (31 x 22.5 x 10.2cm) but will have too much room in their standard Box 3 (40 x 20 x 18cm).
As you can see from the point above, the size of the box will impact how much it costs to send your gift across the oceans.
If you don’t get this right, you’ll also need to buy some bubble wrap or similar cushioning so your gift arrives without damage to its final destination. This can be a hidden cost you wan to avoid.
Thirdly, consider what you are sending as this impacts the feasibility of getting through customs and not getting returned to sender. Here is a list of restricted and prohibited items that can’t be sent to America.
As you can see alcohol is on this list or restricted items and some States within the US do allow it (each State is different). We recommend you avoid sending it even in these cases for 2 reasons:
(1) Even when it is allowed, each State has slightly different rules and unless you understand these well, you run the risk of either your item being returned or the alcohol taken out of the package (if you have a bigger gift)
(2) Most of the rules of sending it even as a gift state that the recipient must be a licenced premisis (e.g. like a restaurant or a bar). Most private addresses I do don’t hold one of these – so again your risk the package not making it to your loved one or VIP.
In terms of value of your gift, the US has lifted value of items coming from Australia – as long as it’s under $800, doesn’t contain anything on the restricted or prohibited list; and is marked as a gift for personal use – you should be okay.
We always include a commercial invoice with documents (yes even for a present!) that includes an overall description that the item is a ‘Gift for personal use only‘ as well as an itemised list of products included. For each product within the gift we include:-