The mail system here on the Baja peninsula doesn’t exactly function properly (or at all) so when I order anything online, I am forced (weep for me) to send everything to the importer.
|The path the importer takes from San Diego to Cabo.|
The importer is located in San Diego and has made thousands of dollars off of me. The system goes like this:
1. Kylee online shops.
2. Kylee mails items to importer.
3. Kylee then emails invoice of items purchased to importer so that they know what to expect. (Kylee always forgets to do this and then I get emails that say, “Kylee, we have no invoice for the closet organizer, 2 umbrellas and 4-pack of cinnamon life cereal that you just bought.”)
4. Importer receives items and opens all boxes. (SO ANNOYING, but necessary. I once ordered a vacuum cleaner that they removed completely from the very specific protective wrapping and then just threw back in the box sans wrapping. Who does that?)
5. Importer loads on a truck on Thursday and then drives over the boarder, down the entire Baja Peninsula.
4. Kylee waits approximately 1-2 weeks (sometimes longer depending on the season) to receive said items in Cabo.
5. Kylee pays anywhere from 13-20% of importation fees at the time of delivery.
Exhausting, but online shopping is this important.
Great things about this process?
I order a TON of stuff and the guys ALWAYS bring everything to my house. They’ve brought cribs, pack and plays, refrigerators, scooters, dryers, area rugs, cases of goldfish crackers, 2 SUVs, 1 car and computers. Literally, you name it — they’ve brought it: Christmas gifts, birthday gifts, foodstuffs… The only items I have abstained from sending to the importer are underwear or bras, because… duh. I don’t need customs peeps at the Tijuana border touching my underpinnings.
So, I got a new car back in April or so. We bought it from a dealer in Ohio and with the help of Craig’s Mom, put it in storage. We drove it for the month of July while we were there and then planned on shipping it down here like we had with 3 other cars.
Craig arranged the car pick-up with an autotransport company that has received no complaints from the Better Business Bureau. The car was picked up last Friday by a lovely gentlemen in Ohio and was set to be delivered to our importer in San Diego on Tuesday.
Autotransport man calls me Tuesday morning: “Yes, I am the person who has your car. [insert very thick Russian (?) accent.] I will be dropping it today can you please tell me at what time I can?”
I call him back and consider asking him not to “drop” my car anywhere, but instead would like to ask him to drop it off, but I can almost guarantee that the joke will be lost in translation.
So, we establish that the car will be “dropped” at the importer between 12 – 1 p.m. on Tuesday.
I let the importer here in Cabo know – she’s supposed to let her team in San Diego know. (She’s the contact I’ve been working with all along.)
Background information: The balance of the payment for transporting the car from Ohio to San Diego is due to the lovely Russian gentlemen at the time of the drop off. So, I gave the importer here in Cabo the cash (had to be cash) so that it could be funneled up to San Diego and could be given to the Transporter at the time of drop off.
Another important background note: Not only am I shipping a CAR that we just paid a lot of money for across the country and then DOWN the Baja , but I also have in the back of my car several boxes of shoes and purchased items [important things] and our new juicer. Again, special things.
Around 3:45 p.m. I get a phone call from the Russian. “Yes, eat appears that the place where I am to drop the car is a commercial business.”
Me: “Yes, that’s because it’s an importation/logistics company. They are expecting you. You will give the car to them, they will bring it to me.”
Him: “To whom should I drop the car to?”
Me: “I don’t know. Let me call you back.” (I don’t know exactly who, my contact here in Cabo has been planning this…)
I call the importer…
Me: “Hi, It’s Kylee So-and-so and my car is going to be dropped off within the next 10 minutes, can you tell me who is going to sign for it?”
The guy: “Oh, I can. My name is Leo Whatever and I’ll sign for it. No problem.”
Me: “Um… ok. Can you also be sure to give the final payment to the guy who drops it off?”
Leo: “No, I can sign for it but I can’t pay for it.”
Me: “…why not? I already worked this all out…”
Leo: “Let me check something…”
–gone for 3 minutes… I’m waiting…
Leo: “…Yeah, I’ll pay for it. We have your money.”
So I call the Russian Transporter back and give him Leo’s name, phone number and the promise that when he arrives he’ll get paid.
Transporter: “So do I need to drive the car there or are they going to come and pick it up?”
I’m literally thinking, “WHHHhhhhat? JUST DROP IT OFF. Don’t drive it. Take it off your big truck and push it where it needs to go. JUST GET IT THERE.”
Then he says, “It’s ok. I call heem. I figure it out.”
I’m assuming it’s been figured out because I haven’t received any calls indicating that it wasn’t figured out. And at 5 minutes to 5:00 p.m. I called the importer’s office in San Diego and a woman answered and says, “Hi! Yep. We have your car.”
Thanks for the confirmation.
Now, back in 2006 when we moved here, this would have been enough to give me a coronary or at least driven me to drink a bottle of wine, solo. Today, in 2013, I know my car will get here. Eventually.
It’s the shoes I’m worried about…