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Balikbayan Box


Butch
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For those of you who've never heard of it, a "Balikbayan box" is a box of goods from a foreign country sent back to the family in the RP by the "balikbayan" or "overseas foreign (filipino)  worker". I don't think they do this for Thailand (or have an equivalent for Thais residing / working overseas) as I've been asked by two Thai girls over here if I know if they do, and I told them I didn't think so. I'd be interested if anyone knows if there is such an equivalent service however.

It works like this: A shipping agent and sales rep working on their behalf will drop off , to your house some flat cardboard boxes depending upon the size and package you specify. The usual set up we have is 3 x 1m Cubed boxes, collected from our house once filled on a pre determined date,they all get consolidated and stuffed in a container, put on a ship and embark to the RP. The shipping agent takes care of all the customs docs and import paperwork etc, there are no duties to be paid at the other end. and they are then delivered to the door of the family in the RP for around £120 (depending upon shipping costs)

All in all it is a popular option, and for good quality electronic items it can work out pretty cost effective (small stuff, not 55 inch LED TV's). I've just dispatched 3 such boxes, as according to the wife the Car boot sales which recently opened up have been "rich pickings". One box has some foodstuffs in it, a small selection being: 3 large tins of coffee, 6 jars of Coffee mate, 24 tins of Princes Luncheon meat, 24 Tins of Princes Ham, 5 Quality Street , 10 Shortbread, 30 bars of Cadburys Dairy Milk / Fruit and nut etc , 1000 Tetley Tea bags, yadayadayada.

We also have secondhand designer stuff from the Car boot, several pairs of new trainers from Sports direct, 2 toasters, 2 kettles, a Microwave, a set of kitchen knives, a set of secondhand 1/2 inch drive sockets, spanners, screwdrivers, several good quality towels and God knows what else.

All in all, I added it up, including the £120 for shipping, it cost us about £350 to fill the boxes, give or take. We tend to buy a lot of stuff when it is on offer, and also keep an eye on Lidl / Aldi for their decent deals. It might sound a lot of money, but some of the stuff in the RP is of dire quality, and that includes the food from the supermarket. A tin of Princes Ham for example is quite a treat because over there it is hellishly expensive, plus it gives the whole family something to look forward to as there's always something for everyone.

So until the next consignment in time for Christmas, thus I now have an area of my garage back , and I also told the bloke that if he puts his clipboard on the bonnet of my Hako again, I'll chop his balls off.

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Here on the US West Coast - Bay Area - there are a number to shipping services to various countries. People pack their stuff and a transfer service picks it up and takes to a location where it is placed in a shipping container. The full container is then delivered by ship to wherever.

I helped a woman friend from Fiji do this a few years ago.

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