Buy items from the U.S. that you can't get in your country. Fast delivery worldwide!

Frequently Asked Questions

General

What is Big Apple Buddy?

Big Apple Buddy is a shopping concierge service based in the heart of New York City. Our service helps people from around the world buy from U.S. online stores that:

  1. do not ship internationally
  2. do not accept non-U.S. credit cards
  3. require a U.S. shipping address for delivery
Once you place your order with us, we’ll buy your items from a reputable U.S. online store and ship them to your doorstep. We understand your time is valuable so we’re here to take care of the entire purchasing process for you, from start to finish!

How does your service work?

It’s very easy!

  1. Place an order via our store or request a custom quote for an item here.
  2. Once we receive your payment, we’ll purchase your item and ship it to your doorstep.
We take care of the entire shopping process from start to finish so you don't have to lift a finger.

This includes purchasing your item, inspecting the goods upon arrival at our facility, repacking the items and preparing all necessary shipping and customs documentation.

When should I use your service?

You should use our service to buy:

  1. items that are not available in your country
  2. from U.S. online stores that do not ship to your country
  3. from U.S. online stores that require a US shipping address
  4. from U.S. online stores that only accept US credit cards
  5. from U.S. online stores that do not ship to parcel forwarders

Why do you charge a service fee?

Our service fee is what we charge to help you purchase your item from the U.S. and ship it to your doorstep, hassle-free.

The service fee covers the entire purchasing process, including sourcing your item, purchasing your goods, inspecting your goods upon arrival at our facility, packing your items and preparing all necessary shipping and customs documentation.

Which countries can you help me buy products from?

Big Apple Buddy can help you buy from online stores in the U.S.

We are looking to expand into other countries in the near future. To receive updates, please feel free to sign up for our newsletter here.

How are you different from a parcel forwarder?

Parcel forwarders can be useful for international customers trying to shop from the U.S. However, it’s worth keeping in mind the following when using a parcel forwarding service:

  • An increasing number of U.S. stores no longer ship to parcel forwarding addresses due to reliability reasons
  • A parcel forwarding service cannot help you purchase from U.S. stores that require a U.S. credit card or U.S. billing address
  • Parcel forwarders are unable to assist with returns, exchanges and warranty claims
  • Using a parcel forwarder does not take the work out of the shopping process (i.e. you will need to research where to buy your item from, place the order with the U.S. store, deal with any store issues that arise and complete customs documentation once the product arrives at the parcel forwarding address)
There can be a surprising amount of work involved when using a parcel forwarder. On the other hand, Big Apple Buddy takes all the work out of the process for you by delivering a convenient and hassle-free service. Once you pay for your order, we take care of the rest. All you need to do is sit back and wait for the product to arrive at your doorstep, which can take place in as little as 2-4 business days.

Placing an Order

How do I place an order?

Placing an order through the Big Apple Buddy store is easy:

  1. Simply add an item to your cart and click “Checkout”
  2. Enter your country and postcode/city to calculate the international shipping costs and view the delivery estimates. Select your preferred shipping option and click “Continue to Payment Method”
  3. Enter your full shipping details and click “Continue to Payment Details”
  4. Enter your credit/debit card details and click “Continue to Order Review”
  5. Review your details and click “Place Order”
If you are paying via TransferWise or international wire transfer, we will send you an invoice and payment instructions separately via email.

Once we have received your payment, we will purchase your item and send you a confirmation email.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for through the Big Apple Buddy store, you can request a free custom quote here.

What is the Big Apple Buddy store?

The Big Apple Buddy store is one-stop-shop for international consumers to browse and purchase from U.S. online stores. Our website contains a wide selection of U.S. stores so you can conveniently purchase your favorite tech, fashion, beauty, outdoors and sporting products all from the one platform.

Can I buy items that are not available through the Big Apple Buddy store?

Yes, of course! We’re adding new products and brands to the Big Apple Buddy store on a daily basis. However, if you can’t find what you’re looking for, simply get in touch with us here for a free custom quote.

What is a custom quote? How do I confirm my custom quote order?

New brands and products are added to our store daily. If you can't find a particular item on our website, please feel free to get in touch with us here for a free custom quote.

All you have to do is let us know what item you would like to purchase. We’ll then source your item from an official retailer and provide you with a quote via email. The quote will set out the breakdown of costs (including the product cost, international shipping and our service fee). If you’re happy with the quote, simply make payment via the link provided. You’ll receive regular updates when your order is placed and shipped.

How do I redeem a store promo code?

If you would like to redeem a store coupon code, simply mention it when you request a quote and we’ll apply it to your order.

Big Apple Buddy affiliate codes can be entered during the checkout process through our store.

How do I place a bulk order?

If you need to place an order that exceeds the quantity limit available through our store, please feel free to get in touch with us here for a free custom quote.

How long will it take for my order to arrive?

The estimated delivery time will ultimately depend on what store shipping options are available and which international shipping option you choose.

It will usually take 2-7 business days for the goods to arrive at our facility from the store. The international delivery time is generally 1-8 business days.

The estimated delivery time for your order will be shown during checkout and displayed at the top of your order confirmation.

How do I track my order?

We will provide you with a tracking number for your parcel upon dispatch from our facility so you can monitor your parcel throughout transit. Please note that we are unable to provide store tracking numbers for your order.

Is my order insured?

All quotes include shipping insurance for loss and damage during transit up to the product cost.

Can I get a quote in my local currency?

All quotes are in USD, however you can choose to pay in your currency of choice with TransferWise. To see the approximate cost in your local currency, we recommend visiting www.xe.com.

Can I cancel my order? What fees apply?

Yes, you can. Cancellation fees will depend on when you cancel your order.

If you cancel your order before we have purchased your goods, you will be refunded all payments less any expenses we incur in processing your refund (e.g. Stripe charges).

If you cancel your order after we have purchased your goods, you will be refunded all payments less 50% of the service fee and any expenses incurred in reversing the order.

If we are unable to return your items to the store, then unfortunately, we will not be able to process your cancellation.

What if my items are out of stock?

If the item you’re after is out of stock, simply join our waitlist and we’ll notify you once the item is available for purchase.

I can't add my item to the cart

If you receive an error adding an item to your cart or checking out, please contact us at hello@bigapplebuddy.com

I can't get a shipping quote

If your country is not listed in the drop-down menu on our checkout page, Big Apple Buddy unfortunately does not currently offer shipping services to your location. To get updates on when we will resume service to your country, feel free to sign up for our newsletter here.

If you receive an error when entering your postcode or city, please double-check your entry and try again. Please note that our shipping couriers may register your city name differently than the local spelling.

If you’re still having issues getting a shipping quote, please contact us at hello@bigapplebuddy.com and a member of our team will get back to you within 24 hours.

My credit card was declined

If your credit/debit card information was not processed, the transaction may have been decline by your bank. We recommend paying with a different card or contacting your bank to see if there are transaction limits on your card.

My order was canceled

Your Big Apple Buddy order may be canceled if your payment has been flagged by our system or if we are unable to unable to secure your items for you. For orders that Big Apple Buddy is unable to fulfill, you will receive a full refund.

Pricing

Can I get a quote in my local currency?

All quotes are in USD, however you can choose to pay in your currency of choice with TransferWise. To see the approximate cost in your local currency, we recommend visiting www.xe.com.

Can I cancel my order? What fees apply?

Yes, you can. Cancellation fees will depend on when you cancel your order.

If you cancel your order before we have purchased your goods, you will be refunded all payments less any expenses we incur in processing your refund (e.g. Stripe charges).

If you cancel your order after we have purchased your goods, you will be refunded all payments less 50% of the service fee and any expenses incurred in reversing the order.

If we are unable to return your items to the store, then unfortunately, we will not be able to process your cancellation.

How much does it cost to use your service?

The cost will be made up of the following components:

  1. Product Cost (passed through from the U.S. store)
  2. Shipping Fee (passed through from the shipping courier)
  3. Service Fee
To view a breakdown of the costs, add an item to your cart and enter your shipping details at checkout.

Please note that our website prices do not include customs duties/import taxes. Fedex will bill you for these charges once the item reaches your country.

How is the shipping cost calculated?

Shipping costs are passed through from the shipping courier (FedEx or DHL) and are based on your location and the weight and dimensions of your package.

How is the service fee calculated?

The service fee depends on your total product cost and the number of items you are ordering.

TOTAL PRODUCT COST IS LESS THAN US$200

For each order, the service fee is $30 for the first item and $15 for every additional item.

TOTAL PRODUCT COST IS US$200 OR MORE

For each order, the service fee is $50 for the first item and $15 for every additional item.

The service fee is the same regardless of the type of item, or the number of stores you are ordering from.

Why does my quote include U.S. sales tax?

In America, sales tax is charged if the U.S. store has a presence in the state in which the customer resides.

Big Apple Buddy is based in New York so an 8.875% sales tax may apply to your order.

Because we are purchasing the item on your behalf, the full product cost (including the sales tax) gets passed through to you.

To minimize costs, Big Apple Buddy will always try to source your item from a U.S. store that does not attract sales tax.

Will I be charged customs duties or import taxes?

This depends on which country you are shipping to and what items you are buying.

If you would like an estimate of the potential customs duties/import taxes for your particular order, please feel free to contact us at hello@bigapplebuddy.com

Your local customs office will also be able to provide you with a quote for these charges.

Why do you charge a service fee?

Our service fee is what we charge to help you purchase your item from the U.S. and ship it to your doorstep, hassle-free.

The service fee covers the entire purchasing process, including sourcing your item, purchasing your goods, inspecting your goods upon arrival at our facility, packing your items and preparing all necessary shipping and customs documentation.

Products

What if my items are out of stock?

If the item you’re after is out of stock, simply join our waitlist and we’ll notify you once the item is available for purchase.

What can I buy?

Big Apple Buddy is based in New York and has access to over 100,000 U.S. online stores. Feel free to visit our store to browse the latest products and brands from America. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can request a custom quote here.

Where do you source products from? Are you affiliated with these brands?

We source products from popular U.S. brands and reputable retailers. However, please note that we are not affiliated with these brands so we’re unable to provide specific information regarding their company and products.

What websites do you not purchase from?

To ensure that you’re not at risk of receiving defective goods, we only purchase from reliable suppliers and official retailers.

Please note that we currently cannot assist with purchases from:

  1. eBay
  2. non-U.S. websites
  3. websites with poor reviews or SimilarWeb rankings
  4. third party sellers

Are there any items you won’t buy for me?

We cannot help you purchase items that are considered illegal or hazardous. Please visit your local customs and border protection websites for a list of prohibited and restricted items that cannot be imported into your country. We are also unable to assist with items that are extremely fragile, bulky or heavy.

Does my item come with an international warranty?

This will depend on your product and the manufacturer. Most products in the U.S. only come with a U.S. based warranty. We do recommend checking the manufacturer’s website prior to placing your order to confirm warranty details.

How do I get my product repaired or replaced under warranty?

If your product is covered by an international warranty, you should contact the product manufacturer directly to process the warranty claim. We recommend checking to see whether the manufacturer honors international warranties before providing any order information to them. Otherwise, we may be prevented from making a warranty claim on your behalf at a later stage.

We offer a warranty return service for products purchased through Big Apple Buddy for a fee of US$50 per item. You will be responsible for all shipping and store-related costs associated with the return/exchange. If you are interested in this service, please contact us at hello@bigapplebuddy.com.

Please note that we are currently unable to provide store receipts to our customers.

How do I know the products are brand-new or authentic?

We only purchase from reliable suppliers and official retailers so you can be assured that your items will be brand-new and authentic. Please note that we do not assist our customers with used, refurbished, or open-box items due to the high risk of defects.

Can I purchase customized/personalized products?

We can certainly assist with customized or personalized products. Simply send us your preferred design and we’ll prepare a free custom quote for your item. Please note that some stores may have extended delivery times or charge additional fees for special items or services such as monogramming.

Can I sign up for a waitlist for new products?

Yes, of course! If the item you’re after is not yet available for purchase, you can join our waitlist and we’ll notify you once it is in stock.

Shipping

What countries do you ship to?

We ship to over 100 countries around the world including:

Australia
Austria
Azerbaijan
Bahrain
Belgium
British Virgin Islands
Brunei
Bulgaria
Canada
Cayman Islands
Cook Islands
Croatia
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Fiji
Finland
France
French Polynesia
Germany
Gibraltar
Greece
Greenland
Hong Kong
Hungary
Iceland
Indonesia
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Japan
Jordan
Kuwait
Latvia
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Macau
Malaysia
Maldives
Malta
Marshall Islands
Martinique
Mauritius
Monaco
Montenegro
Netherlands
New Caledonia
New Zealand
Norway
Oman
Papua New Guinea
Poland
Portugal
Qatar
Romania
San Marino
Saudi Arabia
Serbia
Seychelles
Singapore
Slovak Republic
Slovenia
South Africa
South Korea
Spain
St. Lucia
Sweden
Switzerland
Taiwan
Thailand
U.A.E.
United Kingdom
Vatican City
If your country is not listed, please feel free to sign up for our newsletter here and we’ll notify you once our service is available in your location.

What shipping options are available?

We've partnered with courier services, FedEx and DHL, to offer fast and reliable shipping to your chosen destination.

The available shipping options will be displayed at checkout or at the bottom of your custom quote. You should choose the option that suits your preference for price and delivery speed.

Please note that we no longer ship via the standard postal service due to reliability reasons.

Can I ship to a PO Box or APO address?

Unfortunately, our couriers do not ship to PO boxes or APO addresses. Please note that FedEx and DHL require a full street address for delivery.

Can I ship to a parcel forwarder?

Unfortunately, we do not ship to parcel forwarders due to the increased risk of parcels going missing or being mishandled.

Can I ship to a hotel?

Unfortunately, we do not ship to hotels due to the increased risk of parcels going missing or being mishandled.

Can I place an order from a U.S. store using Big Apple Buddy’s shipping address?

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide our shipping address for parcel forwarding services. Please note that all orders must be purchased by Big Apple Buddy.

Why does my quote include a rural surcharge?

Your city/postcode may attract a rural surcharge if it falls outside FedEx or DHL’s standard delivery areas.

How long will it take for my order to arrive?

The estimated delivery time will ultimately depend on what store shipping options are available and which international shipping option you choose.

It will usually take 2-7 business days for the goods to arrive at our facility from the store. The international delivery time is generally 1-8 business days.

The estimated delivery time for your order will be shown during checkout and displayed at the top of your order confirmation.

How do I track my order?

We will provide you with a tracking number for your parcel upon dispatch from our facility so you can monitor your parcel throughout transit. Please note that we are unable to provide store tracking numbers for your order.

Is my order insured?

All quotes include shipping insurance for loss and damage during transit up to the product cost.

Payments & Billing

What payment methods are available?

We currently offer three payment methods:

  1. Credit/debit card payments (Amex, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, Diner’s Club) through Stripe
  2. Wire transfers from U.S. bank accounts (can be made via TransferWise)
  3. International wire transfers
Please note that a 1.9% transaction fee applies to all credit/debit card payments and a $45 surcharge applies to international wire transfers. TransferWise and international wire transfer payments require an additional processing time of 3-6 business days.

Why do you charge a 1.9% surcharge for credit/debit cards?

Stripe charges a 1.9% fee for each transaction. Unfortunately, because of the way our pricing is structured (whereby we charge a flat service fee regardless of the product cost), the Stripe fee gets passed through.

Can I pay with PayPal?

Unfortunately, we do not currently accept payments via PayPal. However, you can pay directly with your credit or debit card during checkout. All payments are secured by Stripe.

How do I pay with TransferWise? Do I need a U.S. bank account to use TransferWise?

TransferWise is service that that allows you to send money internationally. You do not need a U.S. bank account to use this method and can even elect to pay in your local currency. Simply create a free account here and enter your bank details. Unfortunately, TransferWise is not available for all currencies, so we recommend checking the supported countries here.

TransferWise payments do not attract a surcharge. Please note that your bank may charge a fee for the outgoing transfer. Any outstanding costs will need to be settled via Stripe.

Please note that TransferWise payments can take 3-6 business days to clear. If your order is time sensitive, we recommend paying by credit/debit card instead.

When do I pay?

We require your payment in full before we can purchase items on your behalf.

For custom orders, we will provide you with a quote setting out the costs for your order. If you decide to proceed, you can select your preferred payment option and shipping method via the quote link. Once we receive your payment, we will purchase your items and ship them to your international address.

Do you offer cash on delivery?

Unfortunately, we do not currently offer cash on delivery. Please note that we would need to receive your payment in full before we can purchase items on your behalf.

Do you offer financing options?

Unfortunately, we do not offer financing options. Please note that we would need to receive your payment in full before we can purchase items on your behalf.

Can I pay with a store gift card?

Unfortunately, we're currently unable to apply store gift cards to your order.

Can I pay with a credit or debit card?

Yes. We currently accept all major credit and debit cards via Stripe's secured payment system. Please note that your payment will be subject to a 1.9% Stripe surcharge.

Can I pay in my local currency?

All of our quotes are displayed in USD. However, you can certainly elect to pay in your currency of choice via TransferWise.

Will my payment information be secure?

All credit and debit card payments are processed via Stripe's secured payment system and protected with 256-bit encryption. We never store any payment information.

Can I get an invoice or receipt for my order?

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide original store receipts as they contain our billing and shipping information. However, we’d be more than happy to provide a Big Apple Buddy invoice with a breakdown of costs.

Please note that we are unable to split payments, address invoices to a third party or back-date invoices.

Can I have different billing and shipping addresses?

You can indicate different billing and shipping addresses for your order. However, please note that our shipping couriers are unable to use a separate billing address for customs duties/import taxes. The customs invoice issued by FedEx/DHL will be addressed to your shipping address.

Customs Duties & Import Taxes

How do I pay customs duties and import taxes?

Customs duties and import taxes are charged by FedEx and DHL on behalf of your local customs authority. They will contact you once the parcel is in transit with payment instructions. Most of our customers pay online or over the phone.

When do I pay duties/taxes?

FedEx/DHL will contact you once the parcel is in transit with payment instructions. Once your payment has been received, they will proceed with delivery to your nominated address.

Please note that customs duties/import taxes are not included in our quotes or website prices.

Do you offer prepaid duties/taxes?

Unfortunately, we currently do not offer prepaid customs duties/import taxes.

How do I get an estimate of duties/taxes?

We recommend contacting your local customs authority to get an assessment of customs duties/import taxes.

If you would like an estimate in the meantime, please feel free to get in touch with us at hello@bigapplebuddy.com.

Can you declare a lower value for customs purposes?

Unfortunately, we cannot declare a lower value for your items. We are legally required to declare the purchase price of your products on the shipping and customs documentation.

Can you declare my item as a gift?

Unfortunately, we cannot declare items as gifts. We are legally required to declare the purchase price of your products on the shipping and customs documentation.

What information do I need for duties/taxes?

FedEx may request your importer registration/identification number (e.g. EIN, SSN, VAT, GST, RFC) for customs clearance so we recommend having this information ready when they contact you. If you are importing items as a company rather than an individual, the clearance process can take a little longer and you may be required to provide additional information such as your Tax ID.

Please note that the customs process is different in each country so we recommend contacting your local customs authority for more information before placing your order.

Will I be charged customs duties or import taxes?

This depends on which country you are shipping to and what items you are buying.

If you would like an estimate of the potential customs duties/import taxes for your particular order, please feel free to contact us at hello@bigapplebuddy.com

Your local customs office will also be able to provide you with a quote for these charges.

Returns, Exchanges & Refunds

What is your return/refund policy?

We’d be more than happy to assist with any returns for items purchased using our service. Please note that you will be bound by the store’s return policy and you will be responsible for returning the items to the U.S. and paying for any shipping and store-related charges. A US$50 service fee will also apply for each item.

What is your exchange policy?

We’d be more than happy to assist with any exchanges for items purchased using our service provided you are in compliance with the store’s exchange policy and the item is in stock. Please note that you will be responsible for returning the items to the U.S. and paying for any shipping and store-related charges. If the item is no longer available at the original sale price, you may also need to make payment for the outstanding costs. A US$50 service fee will apply for each item.

Do you charge a fee for returns and exchanges?

Please note that you would be responsible for returning the items to the U.S. and paying for any shipping and store related charges. A US$50 service fee will also apply for each item.

When will I get credit for my return?

If your return is accepted, we will issue a refund once we receive the credit from the store. Stripe refunds may take 5-10 business days to process.

How do I initiate a return/exchange/refund?

If you need help with a return, exchange or refund, please contact our team at hello@bigapplebuddy.com. In your email, please provide your name, order number and a detailed description of the issue you’re experiencing.

Warranties

Does my item come with an international warranty?

This will depend on your product and the manufacturer. Most products in the U.S. only come with a U.S. based warranty. We do recommend checking the manufacturer’s website prior to placing your order to confirm warranty details.

How do I get my product repaired or replaced under warranty?

If your product is covered by an international warranty, you should contact the product manufacturer directly to process the warranty claim. We recommend checking to see whether the manufacturer honors international warranties before providing any order information to them. Otherwise, we may be prevented from making a warranty claim on your behalf at a later stage.

We offer a warranty return service for products purchased through Big Apple Buddy for a fee of US$50 per item. You will be responsible for all shipping and store-related costs associated with the return/exchange. If you are interested in this service, please contact us at hello@bigapplebuddy.com.

Please note that we are currently unable to provide store receipts to our customers.

Affiliate Program

How do I join the BAB affiliate program?

If you are interested in joining our affiliate program, please contact us at hello@bigapplebuddy.com for more details.

Still have questions?

Contact us at hello@bigapplebuddy.com and we'll get back to you within 24 hours.