Alternatives to the Mexican Postal Service

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Posted by Hurley on Marzo 29, 2000

What can you tell me about the mail service from Mexico? I want to use the service to ship small packages back to the USA. Cost? Insurance? Speed? Duty? Any information will be appreciated! Thanks! Hurley

Posted by disabel on Marzo 29, 2000

I agree with Bill, look for other alternatives, such as UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc. It will cost a bit more, but at least you can be sure your package will get to its destination. Possibly even intact!

Posted by Bill on Marzo 29, 2000

If the items you are planning to send have any value you might want to consider another way to ship. Packages shipped in the Mexican postal system are, on occasion, “misplaced” or opened and valuable contents removed. Unfortunately, the system is not as reliable as the systems in Canada or the United States.

Posted by Hurley on Marzo 29, 2000

What are the choices other than the Mexican mail service? I was told that UPS does not run in Mexico. Is this true? What about FedEx?

Posted by Diana on Marzo 29, 2000

False! FedEx, UPS, DHL are here. In addition to Estafeta and MexPost (MX companies) .

Posted by R.J. (Bob) Evans on Abril 01, 2000

We have used DHL from Canada a couple of times to Mexico. It’s not cheap but it is reliable and fast.

Posted by Hurley on Marzo 30, 2000

Can you tell me about the cost of shipping, and how long it would take a small package to go from Mexico City to Oklahoma City, OK, USA? Hurley

Posted by Bob Story on Abril 02, 2000

I regularly send mortgage documents to Los Angeles via DHL from Mazatlan. It costs about US $45.00 for a 2 lb. package.

Posted by john on Marzo 30, 2000

I have received a couple of small packages from Mexico with no problem. One was sent via MexPost and the other by FedEx.

Posted by John on Marzo 30, 2000

FedEx delivers faster than MexPost

Posted by Gordon on Abril 02, 2000

There has been several comments about mail going from the USA to Mexico and the recipient does not receive the mail. What is experience of mail going from Mexico to the USA? Same thing? Would like to hear some comments.

Posted by Doris on Abril 11, 2000

Mail within Mexico leaves a lot to be desired. My Telmex bill mailed from Mexico City to Guadalajara takes at least three weeks to arrive. I maintain a box at the main post office and letters from the US take from three weeks to 6 or more months. After a while you learn that email is ABSOLUTELY essential and that anything important be sent by UPS or FedEx!!

Posted by gary on Abril 03, 2000

The problem is probably not quite so bad, but it still exists. Simple letters will probably get through, packages are best sent back with friends for mailing in the States. People here actually have to go to Aduana, Mexican customs, to have packages approved for the States. Who needs that shot?

Posted by john on Abril 03, 2000

Have received two packages from Mexico, one FedEx and the other MexPost, no problema. On the other hand, I have sent two packages to Mexico, via U.S Postal Service with a 50% success rate. This past Saturday I was surprised to find a returned package that I mailed out Sept. 16th, 1999 (6 1/2 months ago). It had been opened and guess they must not have wanted the contents because it came back. I know the address is correct and also know the person lives there. Rots a ruck with your mail…john

Posted by jennifer rose on Abril 03, 2000

Just a few minutes ago, the postman delivered a book to me, snail mailed from Skokie, bearing a postmark of 14 March, duty-free (because the sender marked the green USPS Customs Form CN22 “educational textbooks”), a review copy of Steven Keeva’s “Transforming Practices.” And another letter arrived postmarked Chicago 29 March. Now, the book and the letter might’ve actually arrived in Mexico sooner than that, but my post office is off in one of Morelia’s burbs and I was off in the US last week. Are y’all remembering to tip your Mexican postman on Postman’s Day?

Posted by geri on Abril 03,2000

When is Postman’s Day in Mexico?

Posted by jennifer rose on Abril 04, 2000

Sometime in November. Just take a look at the postmark on your Mexican mail during the month before…it’s not a huge secret.

Posted by Zita on Abril 04, 2000

When is Postman’s Day in Mexico? November 12

Posted by Mike on Abril 06, 2000

November 13th is Postman’s day in Mexico (dia del cartero). The postal workers deserve a big tip since their salary is quite low and they really work hard, and with honesty.

Posted by geri on Abril 05, 2000

I have a postal box and get pretty good service. Any ideas of how to “reward” the workers. Should I give a box of candy to the WHOLE post office? How do I indicate that I want it to go to the people who work with the boxes? Jennifer, tipping the postman is a good idea. geri

Posted by john on Abril 05, 2000

Is a good idea to tip regularly if that’s the way you want to receive your mail, john

Posted by Carl H. on Mayo 05, 2000

I’ll be moving to Guadalajara in July and I’d appreciate any advice on how to have mail sent to a U.S. address and then somehow forwarded to Mexico without falling into the hands of the Mexican postal service. I read of people in the Chapala area who use a service in Laredo, Texas. A former colleague uses a Mail Boxes Etc. address in San Diego, CA. Can anyone provide details of this? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Posted by allye on Mayo 12, 2000

Mail Boxes Etc. is what many people use to get mail but they are pricy..over $2. to send a letter to the States…American Society in Guad may have system similar to Chapala society in Ajijic where a person can put mail in a box and someone flying to the States picks it up, signs for it, and drops it in the U.S. mail in States; or find people who travel to the States and give them mail to put in U.S. mail boxes…MBE is a problem with packages….ALL and I do mean ALL get charged duty and they are reluctant to show one the actual duty stamps with actual charges..they try to show their spreadsheets, which are NOT what is often charged from what has been learned…..ALWAYS ASK for DUTY RECEIPT from Mexican customs when dealing with them….their service takes anywhere from 4 days to 8 days for a regular letter to get here from the States..

Posted by Mexico Mama on Mayo 10, 2000

I didn’t find Mailboxes Etc. to be much faster and they cost me over $20 US/month. A Mexican post office box is about $8/year. They’ve been really dependable and mail takes anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 weeks for packages that need to go through customs. My US mail goes to a Mailboxes Etc. in California and he forwards my mail in one envelope each week. I’ve received everything, including credit cards with no problem. For anything urgent, I use faxes via email with and the Internet. I hardly need regular mail any more. For anything really urgent, there’s UPS, FedEx, etc. Mama

Posted by Warren in Ajijic on Mayo 05, 2000

The Laredo and San Diego forwarding addresses are both services of Mail Boxes Etc here in Mexico, which, I believe, also provides the service to Guadalajara. The actual addresses in Laredo and San Diego do not appear to be MBE stores per se however mail delivered to those addresses show up in our MBE mail box down here–about a week’s extra time if addressed correctly.

Posted by Mary Burger on May 03, 2000

My company is sending me to Mexico City for about two years and I am dealing with all the questions of what to do about mail, magazine, books, etc. that I normally receive in the States. I saw an ad in a business magazine awhile ago for mail service out of Texas. Use that as your address and they would see that your mail arrived. Anybody have any experience with such firms and/or any recommendations.

Posted by Mercy Dueñas on May 06, 2000

Most expats either sign up for a service such as Mail Boxes Etc. or have them arrive (letters, magazines) and have them FedExed by family in the States. I would suggest also bringing down lots of US stamps and taking advantage of anyone going north to drop letters in the mail.




Posted by Blue on August 22, 2000

Anyone know if there is an import duty on books and how much it is or how I can find out?

Posted by LJ on August 23, 2000

I have ordered books on several occasions from to be delivered to my house in Ajijic. According to all government resources and comments I had found, there is no duty on the “importing” of books for personal use (international shipping is more appropriate than importing). After finding that out, I quickly placed the orders I wanted and after a fairly decent amount of time (up to 8 weeks later) I would receive my shipments, no problem. The first time I received a notice from the post office in the form of a card saying my package was there. I went to pick it up and was told there was a $30 peso duty.

I honestly didn’t have a cent on me, and told the guy that and he said no problem. (In the past, shipments that WERE subject to duty would come with the card under the door with an amount written on the paper, and a customs form attached, proving the cost). The next two times the books were delivered to my house. No duty, no cost. A word of advice based on my experience, do not, if you can, have your books or anything really, shipped to a commercial mailing center in Mexico. A local one tried to charge me ranging “duties” for the same packages of $550 pesos to $400 pesos, never ever providing a customs sheet despite three months of requesting the proof. The items in these packages were valued at $5 USD each. (The sender notified her credit card company of the situation and the goods were eventually credited as stolen in the mail).

Posted by Dumois on August 22, 2000

Import duty on books? Zero, as far as I know.

Posted by jennifer rose on August 22, 2000

Books are duty-free (but shipping in 1,000 copies of a single time may be yet another issue). However, if the sender has completed a customs declaration showing that the book has a value of x$, you will be required to pay that duty in order to retrieve the book. Of course, there no doubt exists an avenue in which to debate that issue, but the book will remain outside of your clutches until that issue’s been resolved, by which time the book will be about as current as “Bucher: My Story” and the USS Pueblo.

Posted by Bill on August 23, 2000

As regards the commercial purchase/sale of books: I don’t have anything to hang my hat on, on this one, but my belief has been that companies that import books, from the U.S. as an example, pay a hefty duty on those books. They then pass along the cost of the duty to the consumer. I’ve been told that Mexico assesses a high duty as a protective measure for the Mexican publishing industry. I have heard some speculate that the duty acts as a form of censorship. I do know that many of the language schools (and many a private preparatoria) photocopy their books (from publishers such as Oxford, Cambridge, and Prentice-Hall) for their students because the cost of buying them in Mexico is about double the cost of buying them in the U.S., and many of the students cannot afford a 150/200 peso book, or two or three books at this price. Many students share books, making it difficult for students to learn and for teachers to effectively follow a lesson plan. Managers at Sanborns tell me that DIMSA, their book distributor, pays a high duty on the books from the U.S., explaining why the same paperback may cost $6 in Laredo, Texas and $10 in the D.F. Maybe supply and demand affects the price as well (importing a few books is more costly because of sma ller demand).
As for the books imported for personal use, maybe the single most common complaint I hear from expats in Mexico, is that of finding a reliable source of current books in English (after they’re through flaming the government for one thing or another). I’ll be interested in reading the comments from the purchasers, as to the duty, if any, they were required to pay on their purchases.

Posted by Nancy on Mayo 28, 2000

I need to purchase some personal items (value under $100) that are not available in my size in Mexico. A catalog purchase from a US company seems to be the answer, but what will happen if/when the small package reaches the border?

Posted by jennifer rose on Mayo 28, 2000

The vendor will attach a customs declaration to the parcel, identifying the merchandise and its value. You will be assessed duty on the merchandise. The duty, as well as the enhanced shipping charge for delivery to Mexico, may exceed the value of your purchase. Sometimes a prudent move is to have the catalog purchase sent to a friend who contemplates a visit to your area in Mexico. Or wait until you go up north. MBE, if it’s available to you, is an alternative, but you’ll still have an enhanced charge from MBE as well as be subject to duty.

Published or Updated on: March 29, 2000 by Discussion Thread Forum © 2009
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