Dedicated to providing you with credible information about living overseas
TextImage
Best Places In The World To Retire Community Questions and Answers about living and retiring abroad

Questions & Answers

Q & A Menu Q & A BY TOPIC
To navigate, use menu bar to the left
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.About KW PACIFICA
David Bayliss of KW PACIFICA – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Via Espana, a street near a Mailbox Etc., Panama City, Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingYes, you can receive your goods purchased in the US and shipped to Panama. Personally, we use something like a Mail Boxes Etc., which provides me with my address in Miami. I get Amazon to deliver to my Miami address and then Mail Boxes Etc. puts stuff on a plane every day from Miami to Panama and the goods are distributed to all the locations in Panama.
 
American retailers could also ship directly to Panama but it is more expensive. If you’re going to order online, having a service like Mail Boxes Etc. (there are a lot of other versions of this service) is the cheaper way to go rather than having the retailers directly ship your order from the US to Panama. It is generally relatively inexpensive to use something like Mail Boxes Etc. but if you order something heavy like a generator then that can be relatively expensive. Mail Boxes Etc. ships your order to you and you pay for that shipping. If the duty people don’t figure it out (you’ll notice that Amazon will ship your order in a brown box), often times you will not pay a duty but sometimes, yes, you will pay a duty. However, I haven’t had that happen to me in four years.  
 
(Via Espana, a street near a Mailbox Etc., Panama City, Panama, pictured.)
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.About Panama Roadru...
Denise Patrick of Panama Roadrunner Secure Transport – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Panama Roadrunner - Denise and Neil – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingWe have an account at Mailboxes Etc. where we do pay a monthly fee.  We bring in parts for our vans (as they are about 70% less expensive in the U.S.) and have them shipped to our address in Miami and then Mailboxes Etc. ships them right to Coronado where we pick them up.
 
Even with our monthly fee, it still is a huge savings for us.  Our monthly fee covers 16kg per month and we seldom pay anything over that.  Our business laptop recently had the screen die and we ordered a laptop from the US and paid no additional freight on it but there was some value tax as it was more than $100.  Any package under $100 is tax free.
 
We find that it is often easier to shop on Amazon and have our packages shipped than to spend a day driving around in the city looking for a specific item.  
Neil Patrick of Canadian Locksmith – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Shipping products to Panama from anywhere in North America is not difficult.  We have a mailbox at Mailboxes etc, pay a monthly fee and try to keep the value of our purchase at under $100 US to avoid any import taxes.  Our product is usually shipped at no charge to our Miami box (if we are ordering from Amazon), and our monthly package we have at Mailboxes Etc covers most of the products we bring in.  We have brought in car parts, locks, books, fabric and shoes.  
 
Living in Coronado, we can choose to either spend a day at Westland Mall (50 minutes each way and fuel) or a day in the city (90 to 120 minutes each way, depending on traffic, plus fuel), or order from the U.S.    
 
We have found on car parts that it is less expensive to order from the states and pay the freight than purchase it in Panama.  
 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.About Origen Real E...
Terry Bradford of Origen Real Estate Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Coffee, Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingMost expats in Panama have a Miami address in Florida.  If you want to buy a pair of shoes online, for instance, and have it shipped to you, you can go ahead and have it shipped to the Miami post office box. That package will then be shipped from Miami to your mailbox in Panama. They will also email you to say that you’ve got a package.
 
You can have things shipped here all the time. The cost is limited to your mailbox. We pay about US $29 per month, but if the total weight of the packages shipped to your mailbox in excess of 2 kilos (4.4 lbs) then there will be additional charges. Generally, the weight of the stuff we get shipped to us is within the $29 per month parameters so we avoid the additional fees. We received a package last month that included our vitamins, which cost us about $40. That works out pretty fine. The people in Miami ship pretty quickly, too. From the time the package leaves Miami, you’ll wait about a week to receive it here in Panama.
 
Everything goes through customs. If what you are shipping in is something that Panama produces locally, then it might cost you more, like, for example, coffee. Coffee is one of the few things that Panama produces. We once made a mistake and we ordered coffee to be shipped here. We were taxed and the duty we paid was at 80%, so we no longer have coffee shipped here.
 
People who move to Panama, especially when you file separate tax returns, are allotted around US $10,000 worth of personal items to be shipped over in a container duty free.
 
(Coffee, Panama, pictured. )
Dennis Dean Smith of DennisDeanSmith – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
I use a private company who receives the items I buy from American retailers to a Miami address and then ships it to me here in Panama. There is no monthly cost and I only pay based on weight. So far I have had no problem getting what I need.
Nanette Witmer – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
I totally agree with everyone else's ideas regarding American retailers shipping to Panama. I will tell you a short story. I had to order a seven pound box from Amazon containing a vacuum for my pool. The contents from Amazon cost me US $35. Shipping from Amazon to my Airbox address was free.  From Miami to the Airbox office in David, it cost US $87. It evidently matters due to size. Although now, any item or items that are sent valued at less than US $100 are not subject to import duties.
 
So what do we all try to do instead? Well we have a system. Anyone who is going back to the US or Canada takes orders for their friends, if they will have room to bring things back. When everyone participates, it really saves on the shipping fees.
 
I recently had no choice, but to order a laptop from Dell. The laptop was $500 and shipping was another $300. That is a really expensive laptop that I hold dear now, since I paid so much for it.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.About Multimodal &...
Lourdes Townshend of Multimodal  & Logistic Transports Magazine – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
All contributors' answers have a lot to offer.  In addition, personally, I´ve purchased things many times online, especially dresses  (on sale) from Macy´s and JC Penney, shipped to our mailing address in Miami, and delivered to our address in Panamá, vía AirBox as easy as 1, 2, 3, and one non heavy dress envelope cost me $5.  It depends on the weight and value of the purchase.  You have to play smart,  looking for non-expensive items, though.  Otherwise, your best bet is looking into buying from local Panamá stores.
Louis Seldon – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
UPS, FedEx & other freight companies ship to Panama, but it will cost you dearly.  The services mentioned by other two contributors mention Miami companies that will allow friends in the U.S. to mail to a Miami address, then your mail will be forwarded to Panama, then you can either pick up your mail or have it delivered to a location of your choice.
 
For example a retired canal pilot acquaintance of mine has his mail delivered to the Balboa Elks Lodge.  Ah, the Balboa Elks.  Another story: if you are in Panamá don't miss visiting the Elks.  The building on La Boca road once was all Elks operated but now Bon Profit (same restaurant as on Via Argentina in P.C.) is a contract restaurant operator.  In the back is the Elks bar.  Any visiting ExPat is welcome.  The Elks meeting hall is on the second floor.  If you are familiar with the Elks, my grandfather was the Exalted Rulers in 1946.   Saludos amigos ~~ Panama Lou
 
JuliAnne Murphy of Panama Pacifico – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
If you choose to ship to Panama via Airbox or Mail Boxes Etc or another shipper, be prepared to pay up to 25% of the cost of that item for shipping costs and taxes.  Even with the new Free Trade agreement that recently passed between the US and Panama, not all parts of it have taken effect.  That means, for the present, you can certainly get your goods in Panama from the US retailers via air or boat shipment, but you will pay for it.
 
Trisha Squires of Airbox Express – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Some American retailers ship to Panama and some do not. But if the store where you want to buy does not make shipments to Panama, there are companies such as ours to offer you an address in Miami where you can send the goods and we will transport to Panama.

Go Here Next

Go Here Next

 
Best Places In The World To Retire Expat Stories contains text, video, and photos by people just like you who are already living abroadUse the menu on this page to go to categories of Stories.
Best Places In The World To Retire Community Questions and Answers about living and retiring abroadUse the menu on this page to go to other categories of questions.
The Best Places In The World To Retire Location Advisor makes personalized recommendations for where to live and retire overseasGet matched to your ideal location to live abroad.
Best Places In The World To Retire Community Questions and Answers about living and retiring abroadAnswers about living, working or visiting abroad.
Best Places In The World To Retire Expat Stories contains text, video, and photos by people just like you who are already living abroadStories by expats & others about their life aborad.
Best Places In The World To Retire - MarketplaceFind for profit, non-profit and religious organizations.
 

Go Here Next

 
Best Places In The World To Retire Expat Stories contains text, video, and photos by people just like you who are already living abroadUse the menu on this page to go to categories of Stories.
Best Places In The World To Retire Community Questions and Answers about living and retiring abroadUse the menu on this page to go to other categories of questions.
The Best Places In The World To Retire Location Advisor makes personalized recommendations for where to live and retire overseasGet matched to your ideal location to live abroad.
Best Places In The World To Retire Community Questions and Answers about living and retiring abroadAnswers about living, working or visiting abroad.
Best Places In The World To Retire Expat Stories contains text, video, and photos by people just like you who are already living abroadStories by expats & others about their life aborad.
Best Places In The World To Retire - MarketplaceFind for profit, non-profit and religious organizations.
 

Our Pledge To You

Best Places will present information from the Community in a transparent way, unedited, except to conform with our Conditions of Use.

You can trust that Best Places does not manipulate content to sell you anything. All opinions in the Community Q & A and Expat Stories are those of its authors, not Best Places.

Get Known To The Community

Those who contribute to the Best Places Community are our heroes! And being a Best Places hero is fast, fun, and easy. Just go to Questions & Answers, find your first question to answer, click on it, and then click the Contribute Your Answer To This Question Button. If you’d rather enter a Story, go to Expat Stories and click the Contribute Your Story Button".

Contact/Support

Please contact us. We would love to hear from you! Customer Service
Technical Support
Business Development
Suggestions
Press
Phone: (US) 520-498-0427