This is a guest post by an American expat living in Cuenca since 2007.
UPDATE (November 14, 2013): We published this new post: How to avoid problems with Club Correos
I recently discussed how to send and receive packages in Ecuador.
And for a quite a while, we had trouble with international shipments. However, things have recently changed and we have successfully received a number of packages from the U.S. directly from online sellers. The Ecuadorian Postal Service has recently offered a service by which we can receive packages from the States rather quickly and at a reasonable rate. The service is called Club Correos (Mail Club) and has proven to be a reliable and easy to use way to get some of the products we can’t get here in Ecuador, such as clothes and shoes that fit and some health and beauty items.
Here is how Club Correos works: For a $10.00 yearly fee, you are assigned a physical address in Miami which gives you a U.S. shipping address where you can receive packages from online retailers in the U.S. Each Club Correos customer has an individual box number which distinguishes you from other customers who use the same Miami street address. It is similar to renting a P.O. box at a UPS Store location.
Once you have signed up for Club Correos, you just log on to your favorite online store, such as Amazon.com, and place your order using your credit card. There are some shipping limitations with this service:
- No package can weigh over 4 kilos or have a value of over $400.00.
- The shipping cost from the States to Ecuador is about $5.00 per pound which I’m told is a reasonable rate for international shipping. Club Correos bills your credit card for the shipping charges.
With this service, all customs matters are taken care so you don’t have to deal with Ecuadorian Customs officials. When your package arrives in Ecuador, the post office gives you a friendly call to let you know that you have a package waiting for pick up. They will even deliver the package to your house, if you can tell them how to get to your house. Remember, most houses here do not have assigned addresses so unless you speak good Spanish and have a house that is easy to recognize it is better to just pick up your package at the post office.
My wife recently ordered a pair of shoes from her favorite U.S. shoe company and they arrived via the Club Correos service within two weeks. The total shipping costs was $17.00, which for us is worth it considering the fact that it is not that easy to find good fitting quality shoes here. There, of course, are other shipping companies who offer service in Ecuador, but Club Correos is the most efficient and hassle free way we have found to receive on line purchases and mail from the U.S.
If you want more information regarding Club Correos, check out Correos del Ecuador where you will find a link to the Club Correos site. Happy shopping!!