I’ve been meaning to post about Johnny Air but couldn’t find the time. But then a friend asked me if I tried buying from Amazon and having the item shipped to the Philippines. Of course! I’d like to think I’ve mastered the art of online shopping but I only use the services I know work and are reliable.
They say that online shopping is #morefuninthephilippines but I disagree. No thanks to the negative image of the customs, the fees, high tariffs, and the hassle of going to the post office. I also don’t like the idea of having to go to the bank to pay for a product you saw something online. I understand there are smaller online shops out there who only accept bank deposit payments, LBC, Western Union, or Cebuana Lhuillier and that they have no credit card. But if you are thinking of setting up an online store, might as well plan on how everything can be done ONLINE–which means the buyer won’t have to go out of the house to pay. (Kaya nga online shopping, dapat may option to pay online, diba?)
The local online marketplace is still new and I admire the likes of eBay.ph and Multiply for advancing their efforts. I just wish something can be done with the high customs fees.
I mentioned before that I buy stuff from the US. How? I have them shipped via Johnny Air. I learned about this shipping service from Chuvaness. I tried it for the first time more than two years ago, in March 2010, when I had to order Noah’s Ark party supplies for Noah’s dedication.
I simply followed the advice of Ms. Cecile. I ordered the party supplies form PartyPail.com on March 25, 2010 and forwarded the confirmation to Analyn Diego of Johnny Air via e-mail. But since I wanted to buy more stuff, I only got to finalize my orders on April 6. In less than ten days, I received a text from a Johnny Air representative that I have a package waiting for me in Megamall. Since I was living in Makati then, I requested to have it transferred to their Makati branch. The next day, I picked up the package which Analyn consolidated for a fee.
Impressive service. And it was done only thru e-mail and SMS. I didn’t need to pick up the phone to call, confirm, and “make kulit”. Since then, I’ve trusted Johnny Air for all my US online shopping craziness. Even my husband Joshua approves of the courier service because he knows it’s always cheaper to buy from abroad especially when it comes to his gadgets. I even had my first iPad shipped through them too.
I know there are other cheaper ways to buy from abroad. I can have the items sent to a relative or a friend’s house but that will take some time and it will be a hassle to them.
I love the fact that it’s speedy. For example, my bro-in-law asked me to buy the Flight Sim Yoke and Pro Rudder Pedal for him since he’s about to enroll into a flying school. I ordered the stuff on a Monday. I found a cheaper deal on eBay.com, paid for it via PayPal, and then informed Analyn Diego of Johnny Air right away. The next Monday, the package was ready for pick up at their Megamall branch. That was quick! My calculated fee was a bit higher than expected but it was still cheaper and more efficient.
Originally, my bro-in-law showed me a listing of a $400 product. I searched for an alternative and found one that cost a little more than $200. Since it was heavy and bulky (around 20 lbs.), I calculated shipping to be around $150 only but received a $200 bill because it was heavier than I thought. The $200 shipping fee could be pricey for some but we’re talking about a heavy item here. Normally, I would only pay P800 for a small item. Higher when packages are consolidated. But if you’re going to consider the hassle of waiting and having to deal with customs should you choose the post office route, this service is so worth it.
Here’s how to use Johny Air:
1. Instruct your US vendor to ship the package to:
Analyn Diego/Your Name
Johnny Air Retails
69-04 Roosevelt Avenue
Woodside, New York 11377
2. I suggest you attach the confirmation e-mail from the vendor when you send an e-mail to Analyn. Inform her which branch you would like to pick up the package (main Makati office, Megamall branch, or shipped to your address)
3. Under the Subject Field, write ‘IMPT: Package for Reah Padla ‘. This way, Analyn could easily identify you and your request.
4. Wait for a few days, maximum is up to two weeks.
5. You will receive an SMS from a Johnny Air representative in the Philippines telling you that you have a package with the amount due.
6. Make sure you bring an ID when you’re going to pick up the package or bring an authorization letter with you.
I’ve used Johnny Air’s shipping service to the Philippines more than five times already. Actually, I have items waiting for me at the Megamall branch right now but couldn’t find the time yet. Last week, I received an SMS requesting me to finally pick up the items because they need to make space for the next shipments. Eeeep! My bad. I will this weekend.
By the way, here are the current Johnny Air shipping rates:
- For Personal Items. Cost to ship to Manila is $ 5.99/lb ($ 6.49/lb to a provincial branch)
- For electronics and commercial/high-valued items. $6.50 /lb ($ 7.00/lb to a provincial branch)
- There will be customs fee for laptops ($50); iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch/Smartphones/Tablets/eReaders ($25); and couture/bags and other high-value items worth $500 and over ($25).
- Handling fee of $5.00 for each shipment.
- Another $20 if you want the packages consolidated.
Remember that there is a minimum of 2 lbs. per shipment.
Now you know my secret. You’ve been warned. 😀