There are a few great opportunities for ordering products online from the United States to be mailed directly to you in Nicaragua. I especially like to order online all my organic health and beauty products and all of Aiden’s clothes for the year.
The key to getting these products mailed to you directly and cheaply without paying customs or having to ask permission from any government ministry is using the regular government mail system from your country to Nicaragua.
Don’t splurge on any fancy express mail for a package to be overnighted to you in a few business days. These overnight services are without exception stopped before they get to you to be audited for any customs fees or required permissions. It is your regular mail service that slips easily through the system and finds its way to you without creating any red flags.
You, the receiver on the waiting end, should get ready for your package’s arrival. First head down to your local post office. If you are in Granada, you will find the official Correos office on the south side of Convento San Francisco, 1/2 block towards the lake from Kathy’s Waffle House. There is a sign that says TELCOR hanging outside like the one pictured above.
Go inside and ask for Don Jose who has a small office beyond the reception on the left where you will see all the packages are stored. Introduce yourself to him, give him a slip of paper with your name, address and phone number (write if the phone number is either Claro or Movistar) and tell him that you are expecting a package.
When your package arrives Don Jose will give you a call to let you know that it is there and you can come pick it up from the office. I tell Don Jose to just call and hang up so that he doesn’t have to pay for the call. But also you can give him 10 cordobas to be sure that he isn’t out of pocket for the courtesy call. You will pay a small fee for the delivery of the package at the front desk in the reception. Most my packages seems to require 20 cordobas to finish the transaction.
My favorite items to order online are our health and beauty items from Vitacost in the United States.
I pay $9.99 on the Vitacost website for DHL ground shipping and before I know it a few weeks have passed and I am getting that call from Don Jose… Check out my top 10 items that we like to order to keep us at our best in Nicaragua.
An exception to direct government mail service which I like:
My other favorite online retailer is The Children’s Place for all of Aiden’s clothes and school uniform apparel. My preference is to buy his clothes right before I fly into the United States to meet me at any house or hotel at which we are staying.
But also I have ordered his clothes directly from the website several times to be sent to Nicaragua. The website has the option of prepaying for the customs duties for the clothes at the time of purchase so that there are no mysterious fees to pay when it arrives.
The Children’s Place will send your package to Granada (or anywhere else in Nicaragua) by DHL. This package will be delivered directly to your house. DHL often doesn’t call before they try to deliver so it’s totally possible that they might stop by your house without you ever knowing.
If you check the tracking on the shipment and you feel that it should be already in Granada, it doesn’t hurt to pop over to the DHL office at Plaza Inmaculada (where supermarket La Colonia is located) or call them at telephone # 25521389 to see if your package has arrived.
You can also order anything that is slow shipped from Ebay and also directly from Victoria’s Secret. I was shocked at how quickly an order from Victoria’s Secret arrived and they used the cheapest first class international mail service you can buy at the US Post Office. But it all got here okay! (By the way, once you start ordering from these companies they start to send you coupons for free international shipping. They really want your business!)
You cannot order directly from Amazon yet, without using a freight forwarding service. These services are expensive and you will have to pay import taxes are your items unless they are books, medical products (these will require a permission from the Ministry of Health) or educational materials.
Sadly the one item that I have lost over and over again is children’s books in English (maybe 50+ books). These are hot items for someone in the system so beware!
I continue to look out for new companies that are shipping directly door to door to Nicaragua. It’s easy to think that it is impossible to have things shipped to Nicaragua but I have always stayed open to the possibility and I think that this has led to many mail success stories.