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Still Sending Gifts Abroad the Old Way?

Daniel Lee CEO & Cofounder, SodaGift

Whether you have family studying abroad, relatives who have emigrated, or if you find yourself overseas, there's often a need to send gifts across the globe. I've felt this need firsthand, wanting to send gifts for my sister's birthday or family occasions after she moved from Korea to Canada, but was deterred by the high costs and hassle involved.
The go-to method for many is buying gifts and shipping them through international courier services like EMS, DHL, or FedEx. According to a survey by SodaGift, 50% of those who have sent gifts abroad used these international shipping services. Interestingly, 31% admitted they abandoned the idea of sending gifts because they couldn't settle on a method.
The advantage of using international couriers is the ability to send items not available in the recipient's country. However, this comes with significant drawbacks, such as high shipping costs on top of the gift's price and the challenge of ensuring timely delivery due to the unpredictable nature of international shipments. There's also the hassle if the gift doesn't match the recipient's taste and needs to be returned or exchanged.
Here's a look at FedEx shipping rates from Seoul, South Korea to Los Angeles, USA as of March 2024, for a 2kg package measuring 30cm x 30cm x 20cm. The cost ranges between 160,000 KRW and 360,000 KRW (approximately $120 to $275 USD).
Source: FedEx, Price list for sending a 2kg box from Seoul to LA
What if you were to send a similar package from LA to Seoul? The cost ranges from $250 to $340 USD. And, the faster you need it delivered, the more it costs. If the gift's price is around $200, shipping costs can surpass the value of the gift itself.
Source: FedEx, Price list for sending a 2kg box from LA to Seoul

Gifting Overseas Without the Hefty Shipping Fees

If the idea of shipping costs is holding you back from sending gifts abroad, there are a few alternatives worth exploring.
Firstly, consider sending a gift card. Gift cards strike a balance between cash and a personal gift. e-Gift cards, in particular, combine the convenience of cash with the thoughtful gesture of gifting. Knowing the recipient's favorite brands and sending an e-gift card can add a personal touch.
Another option is to utilize local services in the recipient's country. While gifting e-gift cards is straightforward, you might sometimes want to send a physical gift. In such instances, local delivery services, like flower delivery, can be an excellent choice. These services often allow you to set a delivery date, making the gift feel more special. If you're concerned about the freshness or delivery condition, sending a gift basket instead can be a suitable alternative.
A typical gift using local services includes flower delivery.
Sending e-Gift cards
Gifting via Local Services
Quick and simple to send. Cost-effective with no additional shipping fees. Suitable for last-minute gifting.
Allows for sending physical items. More affordable than international shipping. Delivery dates can often be specified.
It can be challenging to know which gift card is best. Difficult to find services offering a variety of brand gift cards. Delivery is mostly limited to email or phone.
Trusting and comparing overseas services can be tough. Language barriers or time differences may complicate issues. Requires knowing the recipient's address, and incorrect information can lead to misdelivery.
Although there are alternatives for international gifting, they each come with their own set of concerns, primarily because they aren't optimized for the purpose. This challenge led to the creation of SodaGift. Our team leverages the benefits of all mentioned methods while addressing their shortcomings.

SodaGift, From e-Gift Cards to Delivered Presents

SodaGift was born out of a collective experience of the inconvenience faced when trying to send money or gifts abroad. Launched in 2019, the service, as of March 2024, is enjoyed by 300,000 users across over 130 countries. It began with South Korea and now enables gift-sending to seven countries, including the USA, Canada, Australia, the UK, Singapore, and the Philippines. SodaGift offers an assortment of e-gift cards that are usable in various countries and local delivery options for physical gifts, saving customers over $49 million USD in international shipping costs.
Image source: SodaGift website(sodagift.com/en)
If you've hesitated to send gifts overseas due to shipping costs, it's time to consider these alternatives. Especially for those with family or friends in the aforementioned countries, SodaGift stands as a streamlined solution.
Send gifts to the United Staes https://sodagift.com/en/send-to-united-states
 Send gifts to Canada https://sodagift.com/en/send-to-canada
Send gifts to S. Korea https://sodagift.com/en/send-to-south-korea
 Send gifts to Australia https://sodagift.com/en/send-to-australia
 Send gifts to the United Kingdom https://sodagift.com/en/send-to-united-kingdom
 Send gifts to Singapore https://sodagift.com/en/send-to-singapore
Send gifts to the Philippines https://sodagift.com/en/send-to-philippines