Frequently Asked Questions

What does Purchase Express do

We act as an intermediary between American merchants and overseas customers. We assist overseas customers to shop at American online stores and auctions. You don't need to be fluent in English, have a specific credit card, or possess a mailing address in the US. As your intermediary, we take care of the details of payment, communication, shipping, etc. With our help, you're treated exactly like a domestic customer. When your purchases arrive at one of our facilities, we arrange the shipping according to your instructions. We guarantee your purchases arrive safely. We're trusted by thousands of shoppers worldwide.

What advantages does Purchase Express offer

We do all the hard work so you don't have to.

  • You do the shopping. We take care of the rest.
  • Our clear pricing system shows you what you'll need to pay for an order up-front.
  • We place bids for you at auctions. Negotiating with an auctioneer can be frustrating even for people who speak native English; letting us handle the transaction means no headache for you.
  • With US-based payment methods at our disposal, we never have any issue buying products, no matter the policies of the seller.
  • Our repackaging service ensures that you are only paying to ship the minimum amount of size and weight.
  • We offer assistance with regulations and customs paperwork, ensuring things move through customs smoothly.

How does it work in general

  • You register on our website. It takes just minutes to open an account.
  • Immediately after registration, you can access a list of all our shipping/receiving points by location. You can use any of them as your address when placing orders yourself. If you want to order on your own, you need to place the details of the transaction (such as description of contents and a tracking number) in your account so that we can verify your packages as they arrive. Doing so allows us to physically check the items received against your expectations.
  • If you prefer that we make the purchase on your behalf, insert links to the products you'd like to purchase into your account. We will process your order within 24 hours. Payment will be due once we've confirmed the availability of your items.
  • When your order reaches our facility, we will upload a photograph detailing the contents to your online account. You can check the contents, and determine how you would like it to be shipped.
  • Let us know if you want packages sent right away. If you have more orders, we can bundle them together to save on shipping. We can also optimize the value of goods for you in the invoice.
  • We process your packages within 24 hours of the ship request. We aim to get your merchandise to you as soon as possible. Once we've gotten it out the door you just have to wait for your goods to arrive.

Why do I need your services

We give you access to price, quality, and selection. Goods available from US merchants are often less expensive than products from stores in your own country. There's a wide selection of goods available in the US market, and the quality of new and used goods on the US market is often higher than in many other countries.

How do I order on my own using your address

  • You can buy from online merchants or auction sites on your own.
  • There is a list of our facilities in your account. When you check out, select the facility where you want the package sent.
  • After placing your order, check your admin area. In this section you update us as to what items you are expecting.
  • 4. Also in your admin area, you have a “personal cabinet.” Use this feature to tell us what to do with your package when it arrives.

How do I have you place an order for me

  • Make your selections and place hyperlinks to the products in your account's admin section. (Be sure to add sizes and colors or other options to the details of the order.)
  • Within 24 hours we will confirm item availability and place the order. (If there are any issues we will contact you.)
  • Once the items have all been verified as available for purchase we charge you and complete the order process.
  • You can let us know what you'd like us to do with the package when it arrives via the administrative section.

How do I pay for my order

There are a number of ways to add money to your account. See “Payments” for details and up-to-date information. Once you have placed money in your account, you can use it to pay for orders, auctions, shipping, or any other services you require. If you have insufficient funds in your account to handle a transaction, you can refill your balance at any time.

Where can I find information about the cost of an order or shipping method

You will find this information under “Rates.”

Why do you split the payments up between the original order and the final shipping Can't I just pay once

We do this because the two halves of the process are separate. We don’t know how much the shipping costs will be until we know the weight of the items. You may want to combine three different orders to save on shipping. The process is designed to make sure we have all the facts before charging you, and it allows you to customize shipping.

Can Purchase Express participate in an Ebay auction for me

  • Yes. Browse our catalog and decide what item to bid on, and decide the maximum amount of money you want to bid. (You only pay the winning bid amount if you are successful.)
  • Input the product (and quantity, if applicable) and your bid in the Admin area, then add it to your order.
  • We'll process payment for the auction at this time. You can follow the auction as it unfolds. If you win, we'll take the payment and refund any amount over the winning bid.
  • The item(s) will be shipped to our facilities, and you choose how you want us to handle shipping.

What if I want you to buy a fixed-price Ebay item for me

  • Check through our catalog and find the item you are looking for from those which have been marked with a “buy now” tag. Click the appropriate button to initiate the purchase.
  • Once your payment has been made we will buy the item for you and have it shipped to one of our facilities.
  • Create a new shipment and add the purchased item(s) to it.
  • You will receive confirmation of the arrival of the items at our warehouse.
  • Pay the cost for your preferred method of shipping, and we'll send your purchase to you.

Do I need to bid on auctions Can't I just buy the items I want off eBay

You can buy items with a “buy now” emblem on the listing. If you like the item being sold you can arrange to own it in just a few clicks!

If I know what I want, can I just skip these auctions

You can skip auctions if you prefer. But don't be intimidated by them. EBay is a huge marketplace, and there are some items you just can't get anywhere else. You may find items that were recently available are now only on auction sites. This is how the markets work—old items are phased out to make way for new stock. We will handle every part of the auction process for you. It will be easy to bid on any items you desire.

I already have an eBay account and PayPal address. Why do I need your help

While many people worldwide have accounts on eBay and with PayPal, those two things will not guarantee that you can access all the auctions available. Many sellers do not ship internationally, or if they do, they only send packages to certain destinations (Canada or Mexico, or Western Europe). With Purchase Express, you can bid on every auction, regardless of seller. We use American payment methods and American addresses to place our bids, so you're assured the cooperation of the sellers.

How much do I need to bid

Decide the maximum amount of money you are prepared to bid on an item. Once you decide, we can freely handle the bidding process, and you are more likely to win. There is no downside to doing this, as neither the seller nor other bidders know how much you are willing to spend. If you win, you only pay what the item actually costs. We refund the remaining amount to your account at the end of the auction.

What about the sellers Who are they, and how do I know I can trust them

An eBay seller may be a college student; a store clearing out old stock, or a collector and trader whose hobby is buying and selling. Each seller has a feedback rating you can view, as well as a number of transactions, situated next to their name. The number of transactions and the level of feedback indicate the trustworthiness. For example, someone with 20 transactions and a 65% positive feedback rating would be more risky than a seller with two thousand transactions and a 90% positive feedback rating.

What if I am not satisfied with my auction purchase

In order to ensure you will get exactly what you have been looking at, you need to ask questions of the seller. If you want us to ask a question, we'll get you an answer. We can confirm sizes, colors, features of electronics, and more. We can open your shipment when it arrives. You will receive a photo, and if you decide you are not satisfied, we will try to negotiate a return with the seller. Be advised it is rare for this to happen with goods purchased at auction. We suggest if you have concerns, don't make the purchase through eBay. Look for other options that may have better return and exchange policies.

If an item costs only $1, why does it cost so much more in shipping

An item may be a bargain at an auction or an online store, but the shipping costs are determined by package dimensions and weight. A good way to make these kinds of purchases is to buy many items at once and have them shipped together. If asked, eBay sellers may combine shipping on different lots, and we bundle your shipments any way you choose.

Why not have items shipped directly to me instead of through your facilities

Shipping through one of our facilities lowers shipping costs:

  • You benefit from low (or even free) domestic shipping costs from the merchant to our facility.
  • We make sure the international portion of your shipping cost is reduced by combining multiple packages into one shipment.
  • We can repack items to remove excess packaging. Note: This is never done with electronics.
  • We ship with the state-run postal agencies of many countries, making our shipping options far more attractive than high-cost international agencies like DHL, UPS, and FedEx.

What is your policy regarding cash on delivery (COD) orders

COD is inconvenient and we ask you not to use this method. We charge a fee of $20 on top of the delivery charge for COD orders. Please do yourself (and us) a favor – please do not use COD.

What are my options for shipping my packages

We use the USPS Express Mail International and USPS International Priority mail options as they offer less expensive shipping costs though the delivery time is longer than other carriers. If you prefer, we can ship via UPS, FedEx, and DHL, though these options cost more than USPS.

International shipping can be tricky. What guarantees does Purchase Express offer for safe arrival of my goods

While many people worldwide have accounts on eBay and with PayPal, those two things will not guarantee that you can access all the auctions available. Many sellers do not ship internationally, or if they do, they only send packages to certain destinations (Canada or Mexico, or Western Europe). With Purchase Express, you can bid on every auction, regardless of seller. We use American payment methods and American addresses to place our bids, so you're assured the cooperation of the sellers.

  • We guarantee we only buy products from reputable online resellers who guarantee delivery of the products they sell.
  • We pack shipments to ensure light weight and safe delivery. We never remove electronics from their retail packaging. Manufacturers take care to shield their devices from static and impact, and know exactly how delicate equipment must be protected. Our experience shows our methods are safe, even for electronic equipment, such as cell phones and computer components.
  • Our reputation is important to us, and we will always make every effort to resolve any issues that might arise with our customers. Our Terms of Service, included in the User Agreement, sets out our procedures. These include:
    • An archive of all receipts for each transaction you make while on our site.
    • Verification of the items to ensure you get exactly what you ordered.
    • Tracking numbers for all your packages so you can track their progress.
    • You can access any other documentation related to any of your shipments.

I live in a country with 220V mains. Are there issues with buying electronics from America

These devices operate between 110V and 240V there is no problem using American 110V corded appliances in a 220V setting. You will need a converter to transform the plug into one which can interface with your mains.

Why are the prices at US-based online stores and auction sites so inexpensive

Lower import duties on many products make the items less expensive than those in other countries. A wide variety of “Made in the USA” goods have no duties attached, so you get prices much lower than those in many other countries which have customs duties, VAT and other such taxes. Online sellers pay less rent than brick & mortar outlets. They pay for storage space, which is often inexpensive in America. For the auction sites, in many cases the sellers acquire items in bulk when they are on clearance. Or they may be selling items they do not need in order to make some money. The size of the US market means prices are competitive, and this is true of auctions as well.

What kinds of products may not be shipped internationally

  • alcohol products, ethanol, beer;
  • any kind of tobacco products or smoking blends;
  • any type of weapon or weapon parts, ammunition or ammunition parts, or items of similar design;
  • radioactive substances;
  • items of cultural value;
  • perishable goods;
  • live animals, except bees, leeches, and silkworms;
  • plants in any condition, or plant seeds;
  • gemstones in any condition, natural diamonds, with the exception of jewelry items;
  • narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors, including medications;
  • substances harmful to the ozone layer;
  • other products prohibited from shipping in accordance to the regulations of the Universal Postal Union and the customs law of the Customs Union