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shipping luggage from NY to BsAs

New York
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shipping luggage from NY to BsAs

My college age son is spending his upcoming semester in BsAs, which begins at the end of Feb...so he is going to do some backpacking first in Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. I want to ship the bulk of his clothing and his laptop that he will need for the next 5 months, but I have been told that you can't ship "used clothing" to Argentina and that the cost would be huge. Any ideas if this is true and thoughts as to how I can get the rest of his "stuff" to him??

Nice, France
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for Buenos Aires, Nice
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1. Re: shipping luggage from NY to BsAs

I found this which pertains to the mailing of used clothes to Argentina. This says that commercial shipments of these is prohibited without consular invoicing and other required paperwork showing that the items have been disinfected. However, there is this exemption to this rule:

"used clothes intended for personal use or consumption but which by their quantity or type give no indication that they're intended for sale"

http://pe.usps.com/text/imm/ab_008.htm

(In the 1970's, I lived awhile in Spain. In order to send some of my clothes ahead of me, I had to have DRYCLEANED every single item of apparel including undies and socks, and include with the box each drycleaning receipt and completed forms. This seemed so old-fashioned then.)

WDC
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for Buenos Aires
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2. Re: shipping luggage from NY to BsAs

An idea - not necessarily a workable one:

Maybe you can find someone (through your Church or Craig's List or whatever) who will be traveling to BsAs who would port your son's goods as an extra bag in the hold ? - You, of course, would pay the extra bag fee. But then, I do not think the computer would be safe in the hold - and I doubt that a stranger would be willing to try to get it into the country through Customs.

Otherwise, a young man can probably buy in BsAs the clothes he would need with only a little trouble - the computer, not so much !

Buenos Aires...
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for Buenos Aires
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3. Re: shipping luggage from NY to BsAs

Having moved here and dealt with both airlines and shipping.. I would suggest he change his plans in some way that will involve him carrying his own bag and laptop.

It is both expensive and risky ( for the laptop) to do this.

The second option would be that you visit him once he is settled back in BA and carry his bag/laptop with you :)

( good excuse to come to BA)

Madrid, Spain
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4. Re: shipping luggage from NY to BsAs

My advice: DON'T. SHIP. ANYTHING. ESPECIALLY not a laptop (he'll never see it again.) Customs can charge whatever arbitrary tax they want (since *they* decide the value of the used items), and I personally know a few people who went through utter hell (bribes, repeated trips to Ezeiza or Retiro, etc) to get their things. My personal approach is that if it doesn't fit into my suitcase or carry-on, it doesn't come to Argentina at all.

Buenos Aires...
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5. Re: shipping luggage from NY to BsAs

I am 26 (close to your son's age) and came to BsAs nearly 2 months ago and plan to venture further on into SA, and brought nothing more than a single backpack. Laptop included.

Best advice, have your son do likewise and alot a $150 - 200 settling fee so that he can buy anything that he needs once he arrives here.

Here's a list of bare essentials to include:

1. One week of clothing appropriate to the season. In your case, T-shirts, a pair of shorts, multipurpose jeans.

2. Backup photocopies or scanned copies of all important documents: health insurance, passport/visa, credit cards, debit cards, etc.

3. Credit cards, debit cards, etc. (withdrawing pesos from ATMs in Buenos Aires costs about $5 USD per withdrawal)

4. Small cable bike lock for securing luggage while in transit or in hostels; most hostels sell these for very cheap

5. Broad strokes travel guide

6. Electronic dictionary (I use Google Translate app on my iPhone, which is a free substitute though wifi is not always readily available): http://bit.ly/xWmHcL, and/or small grammar guide

That's it. Consider suggesting to your son that a trip like this is a chance to reduce clutter, shift gears, and focus on the few things that are really important (as what I am seeking to do during this trip).

Hope this helps!

Buenos Aires...
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6. Re: shipping luggage from NY to BsAs

Also, highly recommend he research the work of Rolf Potts before his trip (http://www.rtwblog.com/, or do a Google search).

New York
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7. Re: shipping luggage from NY to BsAs

Ok, message received loud and clear...thanks! He will travel with backpack only and buy clothing when he gets there (will cost less than the shipping fees anyway). We'll have him buy a new laptop down there, too, and he can give it to his brother when he gets back to NY this summer. Thanks DannyFlood for your explicit suggestions...I will pass them along...time for the Mom in me to let go, and he'll just have to wing it! And yes, we are definitely planning on a visit sometime this spring...Can't wait!!

Buenos Aires...
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8. Re: shipping luggage from NY to BsAs

Be prepared for the high cost of electronics here .. much higher than the US.

New York
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9. Re: shipping luggage from NY to BsAs

uh-oh...really? How much would a Macbook Pro laptop cost (15 or 13" screen)

Buenos Aires...
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for Buenos Aires
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10. Re: shipping luggage from NY to BsAs

www.macstation.com.ar

Much more than when bought in the US.

www.macstation.com.ar/categoria.php?catid=38

Edited: 15 January 2012, 01:19