International Shopping Tips

We get many inquiries from visitors who are keen to take advantage of the great coupon codes we display here at CouponSophy, but live outside the USA. To help you answer some of your most common questions, we have created this page. Please read carefully and let us know if you have more questions by contacting us.

Q: I live outside of the USA. Can I still shop online from US-based websites?

A: There is a high chance that you can, but it always depends on which store you want to buy from. Many online stores, especially the big ones (Sears and Kmart are two good examples), do accept customers from all around the world and ship worldwide to the vast majority of countries, often at very reasonable shipping rates. Some even have a presence in a number of countries and they will ship your goods from the country that is closer to your country of residence.
However, some – more commonly smaller – websites, do not offer international shipping, and some may not be able to process payments from non-US credit cards.
A lot of our partner stores do offer international shipping options, so we encourage you to browse our stores and check for yourself if your chosen store can ship merchandise to your own country.

Q: How do I find out if a store ships to my country?

A: Simply browse our available stores and click on the one that interests you. Any link from will take you to the store’s website. There, you can check the store’s policy on international shipping.

Q: What if the store I want to purchase from does not offer international shipping or does not ship to my country?

A: If you have relatives or friends in the USA, you may want to consider asking for their help and having your goods shipped to their US address. They will then need to mail or ship them abroad to you. This is a good option, especially if you shop from the USA only occasionally and if you aren’t looking to buy a lot of things all at once.
If you shop from the USA on a regular basis, or if you have no relatives or friends living here, there is a range of companies that offer parcel forwarding services, which is something you may want to consider. These companies will either provide you with a real street US address for a monthly/annual fee, and will then ship your merchandise to your country once it is received, or will offer to receive your parcel(s) in their own USA premises and forward it to your foreign address. Each of these companies has their own policies, so do your research. Some ship exclusively through big courier companies, while others offer a range of shipping options, including via USPS (United States Postal Service), which is usually the least expensive. If you shop online from the US a lot, creating an account with one of those companies is probably going to be the most cost-effective solution in the long term.

Q:What if an online store cannot process my non-US credit card?

A: Paying through Paypal is probably your best bet if your foreign credit card isn’t accepted, since Paypal is specifically designed for international transactions. Opening a PayPal account is FREE and very easy, and you don’t have to pay extra processing fees. Click here for information on how to open a Paypal account and how to use it for international transactions.
Alternatively, you may wish to try using a debit card or pay via money order or cashier’s check in US dollars, if your online store accepts that.
If you are using a parcel forwarding company, you may be interested to know that all such companies offer some sort of assisted shopping or personal shopping, as it is called. Through a simple online form, the international buyer lets the company know the exact product(s) they wish to purchase from online stores and then pays the company to do the shopping on their behalf. The company then proceeds to make the purchase using their own US credit card, and once the shipment is received, they forward it to the international shopper’s foreign address. Some companies offer this service as part of a standard package, while others offer it as a separate service and charge a separate fee.

Q: Can you recommend any parcel forwarding companies?

A: Couponsophy is a website that markets coupon codes, deals and discounts for online shopping on behalf of its partner stores. We are not in the shipping/parcel-forwarding industry, nor can we be seen as experts in these fields. For these reasons, we do not wish to recommend any such companies and we urge our international visitors to do their own research and sign up with the company that best meets their needs, if they decide to do so.

Q: If my chosen online store ships to my country, is it cheaper to use their service or go through a parcel forwarding company?

A: We recommend you do some research on that, as it usually depends on the store’s policy, shipping rates, and whether they are able to offer discounted shipping rates to your country. In most cases it is less expensive to use the online merchant’s shipping services directly. Generally speaking, it tends to be cheaper to arrange shipping directly through the merchant, if there is such an option, as using a parcel forwarding company could mean paying for double shipping (to the US address and subsequently to your foreign address), paying US sales tax (see below for more information) plus paying some commission to the parcel forwarding company.
However, if you shop from the USA very often and if you buy a lot of things at once, signing up with a parcel forwarding company can be more cost effective in the long term.

Q: Are there any general tips I need to know about shopping online from the US?

A: See the section on US sales tax on our US Shopping tips page. This may apply to you only if you use a parcel forwarding service based in the US, or if you have your goods shipped to your US-based friends or family. It does not apply to international buyers who have their merchandise shipped abroad directly from the merchant.

Q: Can you help me calculate the exchange rate between my currency and the US dollar?

A: Yes! We have a currency converter tool that updates daily, which you are welcome to use to estimate the exchange rate between the US dollar and your currency. Click here to access the currency converter tool.
Please note however that the exact amount you will be asked to pay will be calculated for you by the online store when you reach the checkout stage, and it may differ slightly depending on the exhange rate at the time of your purchase and your online store’s currency exchange rates.