Is Planet Express legit? Quite a common question, I’d say. And understandably so, because Planet Express is a young company in the goods and mail forwarding space. At the time of writing this Planet Express review, it had barely earned two candles on its birthday cake.
Admittedly, the good thing with startups, as you probably know by now, is the aggression they come with. And Planet Express managed to hit the ground running with arguably the lowest rates in the market, combined with flexible services. That alone aroused my interest and I decided to give it a try.
So, after my experience, I can report that yes- Planet Express is indeed a legit package and mail forwarding company based in the US. It essentially receives stuff on behalf of international shoppers, before shipping them to their rightful buyers anywhere in the world. Additionally, it offers order fulfillment handling for dropshippers and typical ecommerce merchants.
Planet Express Reviews: Overview
I bet you’ve worked it out by now. That Planet Express came into the market in 2017. Well, the brand has only been around for two years, but the team behind it has a heck of a lot of experience in the shipping industry. Jason Luong- who happens to be the founder- for instance, has been in the business for over a decade. As a matter of fact, he was previously the COO at Shipito.
Currently, Planet Express is based in California, from where they run both the warehouse and headquarters. Their main objective is providing international shoppers with a convenient and cheap way of shipping products they purchase from US-based online stores.
But, is that even necessary?
Ok, here’s the problem that many international shoppers are facing. Although US-based ecommerce sites are increasingly accepting payments from international buyers, things get a little bit complicated when it comes to order delivery. Many merchants simply don’t support international shipping because of logistical difficulties.
Thankfully, Planet Express swung into action and filled that gap. Shoppers from all over the globe can now shop freely from any online store, and have their stuff first delivered to the Planet Express warehouse, before it’s finally shipped to them directly.
And you know what? You can shop for anything as long as it’s legal- books, electronics, clothing, accessories, equipment, you name it.
That said, it turns out Planet Express does not focus on consumers only. It also serves businesses through its specialized fulfillment solution. You can take advantage of their warehouse to store your items for as long as you want, and then have Planet Express deliver each product to its respective buyer.
Sounds good. But, how exactly does Planet Express work? How effective are their services? What are the applicable rates? And how secure are your packages with Planet Express?
Well, this Planet Express review answers all that. It walks you through how to use Planet Express, all the services they provide, the accompanying features and pricing, plus of course, any outstanding drawbacks I’ve noted so far.
How Does Planet Express Work?
As far as package and mail forwarding is concerned, there are two principal types of shoppers that Planet Express targets.
The first category, of course, is international buyers who just can’t have their orders delivered to their countries. And then the second group is typical shoppers facing outrageously high shipping rates. Therefore, instead of proceeding with the expensive direct delivery option, they choose to have their purchases sent to the Planet Express warehouse for forwarding.
Whichever category you belong to, the process of forwarding parcels plus packages is the same. And it’s quite straightforward.
The starting point here is the Planet Express website signup, which I found to be simple and user-friendly. I only had issues with the account activation process since it required me to pay $5. But then again, at least this money is subsequently credited to your account to partly offset your first shipping charges.
Now, in addition to your box and account numbers, one fundamentally important thing you get upon activation is your own California warehouse address. You can think of it as your virtual US home address, where you can freely direct deliveries after shopping online.
Before you order anything, however, you might want to take advantage of the Planet Express Postage Calculator provided on the main site. It assesses your package parameters before generating the price you should expect to pay for shipping.
Fair enough. And how do you shop with Planet Express?
Well, as long as you have your warehouse address, you can go ahead and shop on any ecommerce website. There are no restrictions. Planet Express only requires you to enter the issued address during checkout.
And when you’re done, you can go back to the Planet Express main site to coordinate the subsequent forwarding process from your account management panel. You could, for instance, start off by notifying the warehouse handlers about the incoming delivery through the “Expected Package” option.
Don’t get me wrong though. Planet Express is bound to receive and process your package even when you fail to use this notification feature. It’s only helpful when you need to minimize the overall processing time.
That notwithstanding, there are better management functions that come into play once Planet Express receives your package. The consolidation feature, for example, allows you to integrate various deliveries, and have them shipped collectively as one unified package. You could also request for multiple photos of your warehoused package, supplementary custom declarations, specialized repacking, and so forth.
In the end, the Planet Express system will give you several shipping methods to choose from, depending on your budget, package specifics, destination, and preferred shipping time range.
I was pleased to find out that Planet Express can indeed ship to any country in the world, apart from the few internationally embargoed regions. So, there’s nothing to worry about when it comes to that, unless you’re planning to ship your package to either Crimea, Sudan, Syria, Myanmar, Cuba, Iran, or North Korea.
Planet Express Reviews: Main Features
It just so happens that the Planet Express warehouse team takes photos of each package they receive, which are then sent directly to your account for free. Consequently, you’ll be able to visually confirm not only your package’s condition, but also the sender’s details that come with it.
However, it doesn’t end there. If you want a detailed inspection, Planet Express offers additional photos on request, at a cost of about $2 for 3 images. Requests that are made ahead of the actual delivery, on the other hand, are charged 50% cheaper.
If you have a habit of shopping online repeatedly, you might, at some point, find yourself with several packages held at the Planet Express warehouse.
Well, if you choose to have them shipped separately, the cumulative cost could end up being pretty astronomical. So, to save your pockets, Planet Express offers a supplementary package consolidation option.
And here’s the trick. Planet Express simply repackages all your stuff while cleverly eliminating the empty spaces left by the retailer. As a result, they come up with one integrated package, whose volume is much smaller than the initial combined volume of the separate packages.
Now, if you do the math, you’ll discover that this alone could reduce the overall shipping cost quite substantially. And in case you’re worried about the corresponding warehouse costs, Planet Express makes the deal sweeter by offering 45 days’ storage for free.
Admit it. Providing package photo and consolidation services is quite thoughtful of Planet Express. But, let’s be honest- that’s not all there is to package handling. There are many other possible things you might want for your specific package.
So, instead of offering a one-size-fits-all range of options, Planet Express decided to take an all-inclusive approach. In essence, you’re allowed to make any special request by writing directly to the support team.
You could, for instance, ask them to reinforce the packaging, fill customs declaration forms, repackage your stuff, return some of the items to the retailer, and so forth. Whatever you have in mind, they promise to try their best to assist you.
Shop For Me
Shipping is not the only problem experienced by international shoppers. Come to think of it, even the process of shopping process itself can become a challenge. You might not be able to complete checkout possibly because you don’t have a valid payment card, or your country is blocked off.
In such isolated cases, Planet Express offers a “Shop For Me” service, through which its team will take care of everything for you. Just give them the product link plus the accompanying item specifications, and they’ll complete the purchase.
The service fee for this is 7% of the product price, which you’ll pay in addition to a $5 processing charge.
Ecommerce Order Fulfillment
Shoppers aside, it turns out dropshippers, ecommerce merchants, and typical business owners can also leverage Planet Express. You might consider saving yourself the trouble of setting up an entire logistical warehouse by simply outsourcing this role to Planet Express. The company provides specialized Amazon fulfillment, subscription box fulfillment, plus standard ecommerce fulfillment.
Then guess what? The pricing is admirably flexible for the range of options you get. And it gets cheaper as you increase the number of monthly orders.
Planet Express Shipping Methods
- USPS First Class Domestic: It’s ideal for shipping letters and small packages within the US. The standard delivery time is 4 to 6 business days.
- USPS Priority Domestic: It manages to ship stuff within the US in 2 to 4 business days.
- DHL Ecommerce: It’s a cheap US shipping option with a comparatively slow delivery time of 4 to 8 business days.
- FedEx Ground: It’s a US shipping option that happens to be costlier and faster than DHL Ecommerce, with a delivery time of 1 to 5 business days.
- Planet Mail Express: It’s an international shipping option that will deliver your package in 17 to 25 business days.
- Planet Mail Economy: It’s the cheaper version of Planet Mail Express, without package tracking capabilities. The delivery time is 30 business days.
- Aramex Priority Parcel Express: It’s suitable for shipping stuff to the Middle East countries. The typical delivery time is 5 to 8 business days.
- DHL Express: It’s a fast service ideal for shipping packages to Europe. The standard delivery time is 2 to 4 business days.
- FedEx Priority International: It’s the fastest FedEx option for international deliveries. The delivery time here is 3 to 5 business days.
- USPS Express International
- USPS Priority International
- FedEx Economy International
Planet Express Reviews: Pricing
There are two primary options for shoppers. The One Package Plan is ideal for individuals who rarely buy products from US-based online stores, while the Consolidated Plan targets regular shoppers who expect numerous deliveries.
Here are their brief details:
- One Package Plan- Has zero account fees with a handling fee of $2 per package. Shop For Me costs 7% of the buying price plus $5, while special requests are charged $5 per package. Photos requested before the package arrives cost $1 for 3 shots, or $2 for 10 detailed ones. After package delivery, the cost doubles to $2 for 3 typical shots, or $5 for 10 detailed ones. Storage is free for 10 days, then it subsequently changes to $.01 per lbs per day. Sadly, you cannot qualify for any consolidation service.
- Consolidated Package Plan- The subscription account charges are $10 per month, or $50 per year, with a handling fee of $2 per package. Shop For Me is charged 7% of the buying price plus $5, while special requests cost $5 per package. Photos requested before the package arrives cost $1 for 3 pics, or $2 for 10 detailed ones. After package delivery, the cost doubles to $2 for 3 typical pics, or $5 for 10 detailed ones. Storage is free for 45 days, and then it subsequently changes to $.01 per lbs per day. The handling fee for consolidated packages is $7 per package, while consolidated free storage only applies for 7 days.
Who Should Consider Using Planet Express?
Considering it’s the global hub of ecommerce, the US is particularly attractive when it comes to online shopping. As a result, US-based online stores will continue hosting international shoppers from a wide range of countries.
If you belong to this group and happen to have difficulties shipping products you’ve purchased from the US-based ecommerce sites, you might want to consider taking advantage of Planet Express. Based on my experience with their services plus testimonials by other users, I can confirm that Planet Express is not only legit, but also considerably flexible and cheap.