Sourcing books, etc., from overseas
In this internet age, I often find that books, etc., I'm interested in can best be found overseas — either because they're the only available copies, or simply that they're dramatically cheaper (it helps that books + magazines are zero-rated here in the UK, so there's no import duty to pay).
Sometimes, however, things don't work out as well as one might hope. Postage costs can sometimes make things prohibitive (especially when a seller insists on using express and/or tracked services, or for inexpensive items). More frustratingly, perhaps, some sellers choose for whatever reason not to sell/ship internationally.
Unsurprisingly, numerous companies claim to be able to help. In particular, so-called Commercial Mail Receiving Agencies (eg: reship / shipito / comgateway / viaddress / …) offer US addresses to which items can be shipped for subsequent forwarding to your overseas address, and can even consolidate multiple items into a single shipment to reduce overall costs.
My question, then, is whether any members have any
- experience of such services?,
- recommendations regarding the use (or avoidance!) of any particular outfits?, and/or
- knowledge of pitfalls to be aware of (eg: the alleged need for USPS form 1583, which would seem to require witnessing by a notary public, which at least in the UK seems to be rather expensive)?
Alternatively, I suppose: are there any members who might consider receiving + forwarding such items? (Off-hand I can think of several such 'prospects' in America, and perhaps another in Belgium/the Netherlands, but they come up all the time.) I'd obviously cover postage costs. Time is rarely of the essence, so there'd be the opportunity to study items before sending them on.
Thoughts? Suggestions? — David