We’ve had all sorts of luck having things shipped to us in Mexico, with most of it being bad. This January, we said goodbye to the post office box for good. (See Mexican Postal Service) and have sworn off Fed-Ex completely. (See Shipping Fiasco). It seemed that my dream of establishing a trade route where I can have hard to get items delivered was yet another impossibility.
However, there was hope. Remember way back when we had to renew our passports (See Renewing our Passports in Mexico) and the consulate used DHL for interior shipping? Well, if you don’t, we were able to have the passports delivered to the local office and pick them up there (with proper identification of course) and that saved us all sorts of headaches.
So when Amazon Mexico opened its virtual doors, I was delighted to discover that they too used DHL as a shipping service. YIPPEE! Now, Amazon Mexico does not have the same inventory as regular old Amazon and there are some price differences, but they do have free shipping for purchases over 500 pesos. And that’s just dandy!
It was time to test it out. I wanted to order a Kindle for my son because although we have one, I don’t share well. Have you ever tried to share a kindle? It’s like two people reading the same book at the same time. It just doesn’t work out. Amazon Mexico had kindles in stock. I went to order one and ran into a glitch. Amazon does not take PayPal. Well, of course, they don’t. It’s owned by Ebay. Unfortunately all my ill-gotten and well-gotten gains from online work (See Failing at your own business–Freelance Writing Essays, Freelance Test Writing, web design) were stashed in my Paypal account. I could transfer that money to my husband’s account and withdraw it, but since Amazon is an online business, there was no store I could go to with my pesos for the purchase.
So your question is why I wouldn’t just use a debit or credit card, is it? Amazon accepts those forms of payments without problems. Well, banking is another one of those things that gets complicated without an address. We had been able to open a savings account using my husband’s mother’s address once upon a time, however as she is no longer living and no one in the family is currently living at that address, we haven’t been able to present a verifiable address to the bank in order to open a checking account. So no bank cards for us.
What I needed was a go-between, someone to whom I could send Paypal money and would place the order for me at Amazon Mexico. No sooner thought than done. I had recently finished a web redesign job (See Failing at your own business–web design) for my friend in Tennessee. She agreed to order the Kindle in lieu of payment. Awesome! I had found my purveyor of fine goods!
As the Amazon Mexico site is all in Spanish (because no one would speak another language in Mexico right?) it took some doing for her to get it ordered and the shipping address set up. I decided to try and have it shipped to the school that I work at, which is just a few blocks from the DHL office. I figured it wouldn’t be too hard for them to find me. My friend placed an order for the Kindle.
The bank rejected her order. I thought it might have been a name change issue as she has recently remarried, but it wasn’t. The bank called her the next day to say that they had detected a fraudulent online purchase (because no one in the US would use a Mexican site to place an order right?) So she got that straightened out and hit send again.
This time, there were no problems. Amazon Mexico sent a confirmation of order received and an expected delivery date of 2 days later. As I was in my classroom all day, I let the secretary know that a package would arrive for me. She signed for it and brought it to my room. The Kindle had arrived!
It looks like I’ve established my trade route without having to resort to camels!