Tuesday, February 7, 2012
I am in a happy place so I write about happy things. Last week it was Sherlock. This week, it is shipment.
Some things are impossible to get here: they are unavailable or too expensive. Online shopping should be a solution. However, since the Georgian post service is apparently our version of a Soviet Occupation Museum—it reminds us how it used to be in the soviet time (offices, employees, service, months of shipment, parcel delivery time), since mailing things via UPS and FedEx is very expensive, finally, since you are never sure that you will actually receive what you’ve ordered (“they” have lost my shipment twice), we refrain from shopping online.
When I travelled to U.S. often, I used to bring a lot of stuff from the states. Shoes, clothing, make-up, books, even pans and Ziplocs (we didn’t have them back then). But many of those things are getting old and have to be replaced. Plus, new items that we need, for example, electronic devices (camera, Nook, media player) are considerably more expensive here.
For a while now, I’ve been shopping online. Every time I come to pick up my order, I promise to write about the experience. I have stumbled upon one of the rare cases when Georgian business actually works: the whole process from shipment to pick up is perfect, web-site is easy to manage, payment—reasonable and staff--quick.
I am of course, talking about USA2Georgia. If you have never used it, then you are way behind the rest of civilized Tbilisians
This is how it works: you register at USA2Georgia.com; the website is user-friendly; it has all the info, discussion forums and other useful things. After registration, you are assigned a room number. You then go online and shop for something fabulous. For the shipping address you write the USA address given to you by the USA2Georgia. Your item gets shipped there. Once it arrives, you get an E-mail and a message on your account. You are notified about the arrival and asked to declare it for the customs purposes. You choose the category of your item (like clothing, electronics, etc.), write how much it costs and choose to have it sent: 1. in original box (larger, heavier and costs more) 2. repackaged (if your item is not fragile, you should totally do that); after around a week, you get an E-mail and a message that your shipment is here. You take your ID with you, go to Kavatardze 27, pay the amount of shipment through an electronic paybox (you will need to know your room number to do that), stand in a queue like a normal person, sign a receipt, and receive your item. You then proceed into tearing the wrapping off and putting on new shoes right there…sorry, I got carried away.
It is a bit complicated the first time you do it, but after doing it several times, you get used to the system. It does not change and makes sense.
I wonder how long they will keep the excellent service. Too often businesses in Georgia start very well and then fail to maintain costumers. Let’s hope this is a lucky exception!
P.S. They should probably give me a gift card for advertising their business
P.P.S. What hubby and I usually order online…