Shipping items you buy from Barnes & Noble to the UK used to be a hassle, but not anymore. This post lays out a dead-simple process for getting your order from Barnes & Noble—or any other retailer that doesn’t ship to the UK—shipped right to your doorstep in the UK with zero trouble and minimal fees.
Known as the bookseller with the largest number of retail stores throughout the US, Barnes & Noble has large stores, many of which contain Starbucks Cafes. Most stores don’t only sell books, they can also sell things like films, toys, and even graphic novels. Founded in 1886, Barnes & Noble has been around for more than 100 years and their headquarters are at Fifth Avenue, New York City, USA.
Does Barnes & Noble Ship To the UK?
No, Barnes & Noble does not ship to the UK, but I’ve designed a process for getting any Barnes & Noble order shipped to the UK with zero headaches.
It involves using a package forwarder: a warehouse in the United States that will accept your Barnes & Noble order and forward it on to you in the UK.
Here’s the exact process, explained step-by-step.
How To Get Barnes & Noble Orders Shipped To the UK
Step 1: Choose A Package Forwarder
Choosing the right package forwarder is a big deal, because that decision will determine how quickly you receive your order, and how much you have to pay for the service. I spent many hours doing some deep research on fourteen different virtual mailboxes, scoring each of them on a wide variety of relevant metrics. Here are five of the main metrics I looked at:
- Service Fees: How much do they charge to provide their core service of accepting and shipping packages, plus ancillary services such as long-term storage, re-packing, package consolidation, and more.
- Monthly/Annual Fees: How much do they charge in monthly or annual fees, if at all.
- Pricing Transparency: How much do I know about their pricing structure before sending my order to their warehouse.
- Speed: How quickly will they process my package.
- Customer Service: How satisfied are other users with their service, and how thoroughly/quickly do they respond to my questions.
After reviewing the data I collected on these and other metrics, it became clear to me that Planet Express was the best choice for this job. Their customer service team responded to my emails quickly and thoroughly, they have thousands of 5-star reviews online, and their fees were consistently lower than all of the other package forwarders I looked at.
Why you should trust me
Digital NomadI’ve lived in 8 countries over the past decade, so I know the struggles of getting things shipped to wherever I am.
UnbiasedAll of my selections are supported by multiple data points, including other travelers, Amazon shoppers and entrepreneurs running businesses overseas.
Deep ResearchI opened accounts (and shipped packages) with 14 different mailboxes to write this post.
Here are a few other things I like about Planet Express:
- Planet Express has a tax-free warehouse in Oregon, so you can avoid paying sales tax on your orders.
- Planet Express will consolidate multiple packages into a single box, significantly reducing shipping costs when you make multiple purchases.
- Planet Express sends you free photos of your package as soon as it arrives at their warehouse.
- Planet Express offers extremely cheap storage for your packages. Every package receives 10 days of free storage, but after that, Planet Express only charges one cent per pound per day. That means storing a 1-lb package in their warehouse for a month only costs $0.30!
Step 2: Ship Your Order To Planet Express
As soon as you’ve signed up for Planet Express, you’ll receive a unique mailing address at their warehouse. Once you decide on the items you want to buy, just enter your Planet Express mailing address instead of your home mailing address and you’re all set.
If you’re not able to enter your home address as your credit card billing address, you should also be able to use Planet Express’ warehouse address without any issues.
To learn more about Planet Express—including what it looks like inside the Planet Express dashboard—watch the video below.
Step 3: Forward Your Package
As soon as your order arrives at Planet Express’ warehouse, they’ll send you photos of the package to let you know it’s arrived. You’ll also be given a series of shipping options to choose from.
I find that there’s generally at least 4 shipping options corresponding to 4 different price-speed combinations. Sometimes there can be as many as 10 or more shipping options—it just depends on the weight, size and value of your package.
My Personal Experience
I’ve used Planet Express more than a dozen times to ship packages to different parts of the world, and the experience has always been very smooth. Here’s how things went the last time I did it.
First, I had my order sent to my unique address at the Planet Express warehouse. Less than 48 hours later, I received an email from Planet Express letting me know that my order had arrived, which is extremely quick.
Second, I filled in Planet Express’ super-easy customs declaration form with the four pieces of information required:
- The item being shipped
- The number of items being shipped
- The value of the item
- Whether the item contains batteries
Third, I chose the shipping option I wanted from a list of eight. Prices ranged from $6-$35 USD, plus insurance at an additional $2 USD, so I chose the cheapest one ($8 USD, including the insurance), and I was done. My package was shipped out later that same day, and when it arrived, everything was in perfect shape.
The Costs (Customs & Duties)
In my experience, the price I paid ($6 USD + $2 USD in insurance) is pretty standard for shipping packages to the UK. If your purchase is worth more than £135, or you have it marked as a gift and it’s worth more than £630, this table shows the customs duty you will have to pay.
|Item Category||Customs Duty|
|Health & Beauty||6.5%|
|Dry Food & Supplements||9%|
As you can see, it makes a lot of sense to have your item marked as a gift when importing it into the UK. You can do that with a single click in your dashboard before shipping the item out.
There is no VAT charged on anything imported from outside the EU.
Overall, getting Barnes & Noble items shipped to the UK is extremely easy and smooth. The costs are low, and in my experience you’ll actually end up saving money, since buying direct from Barnes & Noble is often cheaper than buying from other comparable retailers in the UK. If you’re buying from Barnes & Noble, or any other retailer that doesn’t ship to the UK, I’m confident this method will serve you well.