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Lolai Brin
June 16th, 2014, 16:20
Hi everyone. I will be going back to the US in about six weeks so I am trying to figure out the cheapest way to send everything home that won't fit in my two suitcases. I did some searching and came up with some information about moving back from Japan, but most of the info was about moving say, a whole apartment. I probably have about two more large suitcases worth of stuff past the amount I can take on the plane without ridiculous charges, maybe around 30 kilos. The flight I am taking home would charge around 400$ for me to take it all on the plane with me.

So my question is, does anyone know what the cheapest way to mail a medium amount of stuff to the US is? I don't care if it takes a month to get there, I just don't want to pay a ton. I assume I will have to do it through the post office since most moving companies only offer a minimum size of a square meter.


(Thanks to person that moved my thread!)

webstaa
June 17th, 2014, 08:18
Post office or Yamato/Sagawa will probably be your best bet. IIRC there is a special rate/customs exception for sending 'household' goods (AKA your stuff) to the US if you are moving. I don't know how it works, but I think my predecessor did it.

Lianwen
June 17th, 2014, 14:47
You can also send via surface mail at the post office for very cheap if you put your suit cases in boxes. You can by wrapping cellophane and go over two suitcase to keep them together and then put them in a box. I don't think the post office lets you just mail suitcases international any longer.

ihatefall
June 17th, 2014, 15:03
Last time I moved back I used surface, I shipped it in the beginning of August and I got my stuff sometime after Halloween.
I actually had forgotten about it by the time it arrived.
If this is still an option, make sure to wrap everything really well. (Its going to be moved around alot more than air shipping, until it is thrown in a crate and makes its way through rough seas back to your home country.)

I shipped some stuff air as well because I wanted it sooner.

If you're shipping books and media, keep in mind that it might be cheaper to mail those in a separate box and get the special rate.

Lolai Brin
June 17th, 2014, 15:48
Thanks for all the help! Sounds like surface mail is the way to go.

ihatefall
June 17th, 2014, 18:05
Thanks for all the help! Sounds like surface mail is the way to go.

If it's available! Do your research now.

Gizmotech
June 17th, 2014, 22:53
Surface is great and cheaper assuming you're not in a hurry to receive your packages.

themightyquinn
June 26th, 2014, 13:44
I don't think the post office lets you just mail suitcases international any longer.

I checked earlier this year for a couple of returners, and they told me that mailing suitcases as-is was OK (international to UK). Another returner contacted me looking for boxes for her suitcase and I told her what I'd been told. She had her supervisor check again and as told that you can ship suitcases, but they recommend boxing them to avoid damage. How that will work out in practice at your specific post office is anyone's guess though.

Ini
June 26th, 2014, 16:27
chuck everything away. a clean start will be good for you. board the plane leaving japan with nothing more than a song in your heart and some stories to tell.

and maybe a change of pants

webstaa
June 27th, 2014, 08:11
and maybe a change of pants

And a change of underpants, for after that 13 hour flight.

Antonath
June 27th, 2014, 09:13
Joking aside, I'm getting close to saying "fuck it", ditching most of the stuff I've been thinking of sending home, and just taking what will fit in a couple of suitcases.

Ebi
June 28th, 2014, 20:25
Joking aside, I'm getting close to saying "fuck it", ditching most of the stuff I've been thinking of sending home, and just taking what will fit in a couple of suitcases.
I'm not even leaving Japan and yet I'm feeling similarly. I rarely go shopping but somehow I've accumulated a stupid amount of stuff. I already got rid of a huge portion of my wardrobe and I'm going to leave a lot of furniture to my successor for free.

webstaa
June 30th, 2014, 12:26
Joking aside, I'm getting close to saying "fuck it", ditching most of the stuff I've been thinking of sending home, and just taking what will fit in a couple of suitcases.


DOOOOoooo iiIIITTT! You don't need have that shit anyways.

ihatefall
June 30th, 2014, 14:59
Joking aside, I'm getting close to saying "fuck it", ditching most of the stuff I've been thinking of sending home, and just taking what will fit in a couple of suitcases.

Sayonara sale

tealparadise
July 1st, 2014, 10:27
So I was lurking this. Went to the post office in my little inaka town and.... they didn't know how to ship internationally. They confused the restrictions on "small packet" type mail with the restrictions on "funabin" aka surface mail. Told me I had to send my boxes via air mail at a whopping 6000¥ each, because they were over 2kg (barely). I couldn't explain well enough to tell them how wrong they were. Ended up going into another town and trying at a bigger post office. 3000 each, no problem sending surface.

So basically, if a post office employee tells you that you can't send via funabin.... just go somewhere else. Don't trust that they know how to send mail better than you do.