Getting my first item overseas via Philippine Post Office
This is the spare battery (DMW-BCG10PP) for my camera Panasonic Lumix ZS3 that I bought via Ebay.A few days ago, I was thinking hard whether I should buy my spare battery overseas or not because I was scared of the Philippine Custom Horror Stories that I have read in several blogs. I compiled a list there and you can browse through their experiences if you want. I thought about it and decided that I want to take the risk. I will be going out of the country tomorrow and I really need a spare battery else I will miss a lot of nice shot camera moments.
So I did some research on the batteries for the Lumix ZS3 and found these two.
- DMW BCG10PP – This is what I will order
- DMW BCG10E – This is what I currently have
I really do not know what is the difference between the two batteries but I opted to get the BCG10PP because since the letters are much further ahead, I believe that they are the newer model (please correct me if I’m wrong). There were other replacement batteries out there but I read that if your camera firmware is 1.2, you cannot use replacement batteries but you have to panasonic batteries (monopoly technique?).
So anyway, I decided on getting the battery I want so I did some searches via Ebay to see who are selling batteries and what are the prices. I took consideration of their prizes and their feedback so that I will be sure on the item I will buy. I decided to buy one for $29.98 + $1.99 shipping and crossed my fingers waiting for it to arrive (Jan 15, 2009).
On January 29, 2009, I got a letter from Philippine Post Office that I need to go there to claim my item. It wrote there that I need to pay PHP35 for service charge. At that point, I got excited yet scared at the same time. The posts in the customs horror stories came back to me especially when I went to the Post Office and found the words, “Bureau of Customs Inspection” in the counter I was instructed to go.
I was observing other people and found that the people there were opening their packages before they gave it to them (inspection) and they do not seal it back so you will have to carry an opened item when you go home. However, on my package, since it was very small, I guess they did not bother opening it anymore and just gave me the item after I paid PHP35 to them. I was happy that I did not get charged of anything but I was still thinking that maybe I was just lucky?
Conclusion (normal transaction with Post Office, the fee is written on the card they will send you for pick-up):
Philippine Post Office Fee = PHP35
Location = Manila Central Post Office Building, Business Address: Liwasang Bonifacio, Lawton, 1000 Manila, Philippines.