Online Ordering in BA


Sep 9, 2009
My wife and I are planning on moving to BA this spring (April) and starting to think about what to bring. (besides peanut butter & maple syrup). Electronics seem especially expensive and so we were wondering if anyone has any experience ordering online (from US sites ex. Best Buy, Staples) and having it shipped there.

Is it cost effective after shipping? Any tax implications? Is the time delay not worth it? Package did not arrive at all or all busted?

Just curious with anyone's experience as we find ourselves ordering more things online these days than going to the stores. And would make deciding what to bring (besides say our laptops, cel phones) a bit easier.
If you ship, make sure to state on the mandatory invoice that the value is 1 USD. According to some that doesn't help all the time either.
If it does get hold up in customs, you will have to go to the international airport to get your package and pay 50% tax.
If you do bring anything brand new take it out of the box or remove all tags.
If you want to bring electronics put them in your suitcase and bring them with you in person.

Customs will generally slap 50% tax on imports, and they will decide what the item is worth. This could mean being told that your $100 camera is actually worth $400 and you have to pay $200 tax to receive it (as well as travelling to the airport to collect it). Once you add up the shipping costs to argentina, the customs taxes and the hassles of going to the airport to collect the item it really isn't worth it.

Its possible that you if someone packages an ipod as a $1 value "gift" it might get through, but I'd say its more hassle than its worth.

If you are moving here with a visa pre-arranged I think there's things you can do with regards to shipping your own belongings over without paying import duties, but I'd recommend you speak to an international moving company (and a customs agent) if you want to go down that route.

Good luck with your move
Remember that "worldwide "warranties usually aren't honored in Argentina if the item was not purchased in Argentina (and you have the factura to prove it). If you bring 110V electronics from the States, any warranty would probably be void here, anyway.

Some have posted that they were charged 50% duty by the aduana (at the airport) on shipping charges as well.
Yeah like they said, the biggest issue will be the import duties on stuff shipped to you.

I have a friend who tells me that when he goes to the airport to get something shipped to him, that he never pays import duties because he has no DNI. According to him, if you act like you don't understand what you have to pay for, tell them you don't have a DNI, they won't charge you import duties. Really, I don't believe this, but he insists. I still don't believe. Heh. Who knows?

The other thing is that you may have trouble getting an online purchase shipped directly to you. I have heard that Amazon, for example, used to ship to Argentina directly, but no longer will.

I have a mail forwarding service in the US from a place called Get this setup before you leave anyway - it costs me $29 a month. I have all my mail from the States forwarded there. That price includes storing your mail, displaying photos of it online and a free shipment from DHL once a month up to a certain weight/size. You can choose what to send and what to throw away (in the case of junk mail - and you can throw junk away anytime). I can also send as many times as I want during the month, but at an additional, low cost after the first free one. Much lower than if I were to use DHL myself, for example.

I usually receive things shipped from USABox within 2-3 days. I've only had problems once, when because of my address (no street number or anything, basically just directions) a package got sent to Mar del Plata, but I tracked it via DHL, saw where it went, got it straightened out in short order.

So you could have things sent from sites that won't ship to Argentina to your USABox and forward it from there to here. Depending on what it is (size and weight) you may have to pay a bit more for the shipment. Also depending on what it is, USABox will repack it if it will save money with DHL as far as the size goes. They will create the invoice and all for customs.

As far as what to bring - bring your favorite deoderants. I don't like the deoderant here. Bring some spices that are not salt, pepper and all the "regular" spices like paprika or ground red pepper because you can find that sort of stuff. For example, if you use Old Bay, bring that. Steak seasonings that you like, etc. Garlic salt I have found down here once, but you could make that if you had to.

Electronics you know.

The rest of it - you are going to live down here, may as well get used to it and figure out how to find what else you need and live without that you can't find.
ElQueso said:
Garlic salt I have found down here once, but you could make that if you had to.

There was Lawry's garlic salt at Jumbo Palermo recently and I also saw it in on one of the Discos.
Definitely make sure you bring your most valuable electronics with you. If you are flying in on a tourist visa Aduana will ask you a few questions but all you need to tell them is that you are going to take it back with you when (or if) you leave. That's how I was able to bring my $2000 iMac without paying a cent.

Everything else I had to ship and pay the 50% tax, and yes, they also taxed the shipping as well.

I've been told by locals that if you ship an electronic that is less than U$D 25 (AR$94), you will not have to pay any extra tax.
Cosaco is right. Quality underwear here is expensive. Everytime I go to the US I bring underwear lol.

cosaco said:
Cotton clothing and underwear for sure.