A few months ago, I won a giveaway. It was held by one of the loveliest South African bloggers ever, Azraa, from Prettiful Blog, and the prize was a R1000 voucher for Postbox Courier. Prior to the giveaway, I had never heard of PostBox Courier and prior to using their service, I had never used a service like theirs before. It was all very new to me, and I am so grateful that I got to experiment with a voucher in hand (thank you, Azraa!).
Postbox Courier provides a courier service to and from South Africa. They call it an “express” courier service, so you don’t have to wait as long for a parcel as you would if you were working through the post office, deal with lost parcels or communicate with customs directly. They do all of that for you! Once you sign up, you’re given addresses in the US, UK, Hong Kong and South Africa, where your parcels can be shipped to before having them delivered directly to you. The process is explained very clearly on their website.To stay under R500 (so that I wouldn’t have any additional charges from customs), I chose to order from ColourPop during their Black Friday sale. This was the same as ordering from any other store, besides the fact that I had to enter my US address (given to me by PostBox Courier) rather than my own home address. This was a huge advantage because I qualified for free shipping for orders in the US over $30 or +-R370 (free global shipping only applies to orders over $50, which is over R600, meaning additional charges from customs). My total ended up being $34, so I qualified for free shipping while staying under R500. After receiving my tracking number from ColourPop, I had to alert Postbox Courier via their parcel manager. All that I had to do was provide them with the tracking number and details of the parcel (contents, weight, etc.). It took four working days for ColourPop to process and ship my order via USPS (the United States Postal Service) and it arrived at the US address three working days later. I actually expected it to take longer due to the fact that ColourPop would have had hundreds of orders to process, but in total it took about seven working days.
After the arrival of the parcel, PostBox Courier sent me an email with the courier cost, $27.50 (about R341). This was where my voucher came in, so I didn’t have to pay that (thank goodness), but I do think it’s a very off-putting figure for most people (including myself), especially if you expect additional charges once the parcel reaches South Africa. Luckily, I had the voucher and kept my order under R500, so I didn’t have to worry about that. After one pays the courier cost, the parcel is said to be delivered within 4-6 working days (depending on delays due to customs). November/December is a very busy time of the year, I understand that, but I was quite disappointed with the fact that I had to contact PostBox Courier after waiting 2,5 weeks for my parcel to arrive at my door. Their website states “such delays are few and far between and we will always keep you in the loop if your parcel is affected“, but I didn’t receive a single email. The day before Christmas Eve, I decided to send them an email and I received an apology immediately. They also ended up delivering my parcel the same day, which I didn’t expect at all (as it was a Saturday).
I think that there are some huge advantages and disadvantages using a service such as the one Postbox Courier provides. Firstly, it is completely stress-free, as they deal with everything on your behalf. Secondly, your parcel arrives a lot quicker than what it would if you were to have waited for the South African post office. Thirdly, you’re given addresses in various countries which means you can save with shipping costs. Lastly, Postbox Courier has very good customer service and a website that is easy to understand. However, the disadvantages could be the deal-breaker. Their courier cost is expensive, and it increases with the size of your parcel. Also, although my experience may have been a rare mistake, they didn’t keep me “in the loop” the way they promised to.I usually end these posts off with a review of the products I ordered, but I am going to keep that for a different day. For now, all that matters is that I received everything I ordered and there were no problems with the products. I am very impressed with the service that Postbox Courier provides and I believe it can be very useful to those who prefer to have their parcels delivered quickly. Would I use their service again? Maybe, but the courier cost is the only thing that would stop me.
Would you benefit from a service like this?