We've all been there: finding an item you want to buy online and pulling back after thinking about the miscellaneous charges you'll incur once it lands here... or worse, finding out that a site doesn't even ship to the Philippines to begin with. Well, let me enlighten you by telling you about the wonders of freight forwarders or couriers.

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With a freight forwarder or courier, you can have almost any item delivered straight to your doorstep. You essentially send the item to the service's given address (usually in the U.S.), and everything else is up to them. The thing is, there are several services out there right now and each has its own rules, methods, and pricing. We've put together a list of some of the best couriers so you can shop online with less worry.

1. Johnny Air

Best For: People who hate waiting long (and has money to spend).

Johnny Air is one of, if not, the most popular forwarding company out there. You can always count on its fast and reliable service. Unfortunately, all good things come with a price and, in Johnny Air's case, its pretty premium. The forwarder's site does have a shipping calculator to prevent shock, so start there.

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2. My Shopping Box

Best For: The patient bargain hunter.

If want to save money on charges and don't mind waiting a little bit more on your package, My Shopping Box is worth a try. That's not to say that it's slow since it does allow you to choose from different classes of shipping, with the fast and most expensive at $8.50 per pound. Plus, the service allows you to shop from the U.S. and Europe.

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3. Shipping Cart

Best For: First-timers that want a familiar courier company.

Shipping Cart is backed by LBC so you already know you're in good hands. The service is known for consolidating and adding the chargeable weight from all your items. Not to mention, it usually delivers items earlier than the estimated date.

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4. POBox.ph

Best For: Shoppers who buy in bulk.

What makes POBox.ph special is that it offers free consolidation services while also holding your items for up to 30 daysa great deal if you know a thing or two about online shopping. It also regularly partners with other companies like Philippine Airlines (Mabuhay Miles), BPI, Citibank, and more so you can get discounts and other privileges.

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5. Manila Forwarder

Best For: Shoppers who really buy in bulk.

Manila Forwarder also offers what any typical courier offers, but with the added service of filling up a container. Yep, you can fill a whole cargo container if you wanted. It's best for overseas Filipino workers, people moving back to the Philippines, or you know, extreme shoppers.

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6. Californila

Best For: Those who want a personalized service.

Not sure where to start when shopping? Check out Californila. The company has a personal shopper service that does the job for you. All you need to do is create a shopping list and then sit back and relax.

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7. Forex Cargo

Best For: The expanding entrepreneur.

Forex has three main services: Balikbayan, Packypack, and Commercial. Balikbayan is pretty self-explanatory. The company ships boxes for as low as $85 (approximately P4,300). Then, there's Packypack, the ideal choice for light to moderate shopping. Commercial, on the other hand, is for business owners as Forex takes care of warehousing, picking up and packing packages, and even e-commerce and international shipping.

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