Monday, June 22, 2015

floating down the amazon

I may have discovered a way to replenish my DVD library without subsidizing Mexico's narco terrorists.

A new pen pal (I think in the Chapala area) has been forwarding some handy local travel hints to me.  He has convinced me to add several towns around Guadalajara to the Escape's next multi-day adventure in Mexico.

Yesterday morning, though, his tip was a bit different.  He forwarded extracts from the Chapala message board about Amazon shipments to (or within Mexico).  Those who have used the service says it is reliable, the shipping is reasonably priced, and, so far, no one has been charged duty fees or the 16% IVA tax.  (I suspect because books and DDs have constituted the shipments).

That sounded like a good deal to me.  If I can actually rummage through Amazon's full DVD and book library, and then have the accumulated treasures shipped to me in Barra de Navidad, I will be one happy expatriate.

The problem is shipments.  I had the same problem up north.  I am seldom at home when the usual shippers show up.  And there is nowhere to stash a delivery on my stoop here.

So, I raised the question at church yesterday.  Certainly someone must have an idea on how to deal with the absentee owner issue.

I got an even better solution.  Nancy, who owns and runs a hotel on the beach in San Patricio has been receiving shipments from Amazon for years -- mainly books.  Even though she has a hotel with full-time staff, she has all of her packages delivered to her Mexican post box.  At the same post office I use.

With that information in hand, I did a little shopping.  The one limitation on shopping is that the order must exceed $150 (US).  And that is not difficult.  With a DVD set, two separate DVDs, and a hard cover biography, I rang the bell.

According to the confirmation email I just received, my new goodies should arrive at my post box between 6 July and 9 July.  There was a small ($17.95 -- US) charge for shipping.  Otherwise, I paid the same price a shopper in Des Moines would pay to get the same merchandise.

At least, that is the advertised drill.

Did I need any of the items I ordered?  Not really.  But they will certainly be used -- and they are materials I have thought of buying in the past.  Most importantly, it is far less intrusive than asking friends returning from The States to reduce themselves to mules.

I put this in the investigative journalism basket.  I shall share how the process works.  Frankly, the weakest link appears to be the involvement of the local post office.  I love the service my post office provides me.  But there have been some rather odd temporal lapses lately.

But you will be the first to know.  Just don't press me on the accuracy of those early July dates.  I am going to cut Amazon a bit of slack, as well.

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