How we calculate YouShop international postage costs

A lot of people are curious as to what goes into working out the price of international postage for YouShop parcels and when it’s best to use YouShop over a merchant’s own shipping options. We hope this post will help make this clearer.

Using YouShop when direct shipping is offered by the merchant

This is one of the most common complaints we get about YouShop pricing.

YouShop didn’t set out to replace conventional international shipping – we’re here to help get Kiwis the things they want to buy from the US, UK and EU stores that don’t ship to New Zealand. If the merchant offers direct shipping to New Zealand, it may well be cheaper (and sometimes faster) than using YouShop because of the merchant’s commercial agreements with their shipping company. The merchant might also be able to off-set the shipping cost in the price of the product.

Generally speaking, YouShop has the same price bracket as the majority of our competitors and is even cheaper than some.

Use the YouShop international postage calculator to get an idea of how much your international postage is likely to cost. Remember this will only give an estimate and final costs are determined based on the actual parcel when it arrives at the warehouse.

Volumetric weight

Volumetric weight is a postal term used when working out how big your item is.

Volumetric weight is sometimes called dimensional weight, as it measures ‘weight’ based on an items length, width, and height. If shippers used actual weight only, this would make light yet bulky packages unprofitable due to the amount of cargo space they require. Volumetric weight is used by the shipping industry to determine a minimum charge for the cubic space a package needs. (You can find out more about volumetric weight on Wikipedia.)

The international postage is based on the greater of how much space your item takes up on the plane to New Zealand (volumetric weight) or how heavy your item is (actual weight), because they’re the rules by which  we’re charged to bring it here.

  • Use our International Postage Calculator, to get an idea of what your item’s international postage could be.
  • Note, this often catches people out when they order a small item which is then packed in a larger than necessary box by the merchant – where possible, we will repack items like this.
  • We also recommend you check the estimated postage for large and lightweight items, as these items tend to have a much higher volumetric weight (over their actual weight).

We hope this helps you get more out of YouShop. We’re keen to hear your feedback.

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6 Responses to How we calculate YouShop international postage costs

  1. Chris says:

    I will never use YouShop again. It is the biggest rip off ever. Terrible service as well. There are other freight forwarding companies out there that offer much better pricing and service.

    • ajsheterline says:

      Hi Chris,

      I’m sorry that you had a bad experience with YouShop. We are committed to understanding where we can improve, and to continuing to refine our service offering.

      I’ve looked into your case and I can assure you we have made a lot of improvements to both the technical and customer service aspects of YouShop since then. One of the key things that cases like yours taught us was that we need to communicate information about pricing more effectively. This blog post is just one of the actions we’ve taken as a result.

      We’ll be in touch by email to discuss further.

      The YouShop Team

  2. Kirsten Samuels says:

    I would just like to ask whether you are able to pack multiple items into one parcel. I found that if I buy 2 items, the postage is exorbitant, but might be better if they were repacked into one parcel to ship to NZ.

    • ajsheterline says:

      Hey Kirsten,

      We don’t currently offer this service but it is definitely planned for the future. Watch this space.

      The YouShop Team

  3. Katherine says:

    I was really excited about using Youshop because it came very highly recommended to me by friends who had moved here from the states (so they knew about their shipping services) but when I used it, I specifically asked the seller to use a specific size box so that the forwarding wouldn’t cost that much. They obliged and sent me the measurements of the parcel before sending, but then when it arrived at the Youshop warehouse, they have given me a price estimate for different measurements. It’s only a few dollars I guess, but it’s uncomfortable because now I don’t know who to believe.

    And it arrived in the youshop warehouse after mothers day, so I missed out on using my coupon D: I’m feeling pretty unlucky! One I get the funds to pay for the shipping though, I’m excited to see how quickly it arrives, as overseas shipping can often take more than a couple weeks, and I’ve been told that Youshop ships very quickly. I just wish it was cheaper! But then, I wish everything was cheaper -_- such is the life of a new parent!

    • ajsheterline says:

      Thanks for your feedback Katherine!

      Sorry to hear about the difference in dimensions – if you’d like to follow up on the measurements, you can contact our Customer Service Centre.

      In regards to your discount code – quite often we have discount codes available to our Twitter followers at – keep an eye out there.

      The YouShop Team

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