Shipping in Mainland Mexico

End of May at Paradise Village Marine in Puerto Vallarta Mexico

Ok we are in Puerto Vallarta Mexico, a major city in Mexico…basically “on the moon” for some things – like buying marine items and shipping. 
So I am writing because a friend asked why we did not ship the items to Mexico instead of bringing them back on the plane and paying the “eat rice and beans for months” amount of money for overage on baggage.

First, even receiving your items is at best a guess, pot luck or just not likely.

Second, a lot of places do not ship to Mexico because of this.

Mexico is a beautiful country and we love it but the availability of marine items and/or getting something shipped here are not strong points.
We tried to ship two items totaling $50.00 US from San Diego. Cost us $60.00 US and we ended up never getting them. They got returned for lack of duty but were duty free items. We picked up these items when we went back to the US. They weighed less than a carrot. It also took months. They were shipped from “The Cruiser’s Chandlery”.

 So if we had a car we could say drive to SD and pick up the items there is a cost also. Let’s say the car gets 25 miles a gallon. It is about 1200 miles. At $4.00 a gallon it would be about $200.00 US each way or $400.00. That’s if you slept in your car and did not eat.
People say just send someone back to the US each year and pick up the goods. It is easier and cheaper in the long run and you get your stuff. We did not really believe that then but now do.

Perhaps if you are staying in the Sea (of Cortez) and close to the Baja, then it might be easier to travel back to the States to pick up needed items.  Maybe it is just because we are on mainland Mexico that it is more difficult. Well it is because you can not just drive back to the US or take an easy bus ride to the US, once on the mainland  things are a bit different. Both places have their charms but the mainland is different. from the Sea.
This time we had some big stuff. 

A Garmin drive A unit which weighed over 25 lbs and cost over $2000.00 US. We did not have to pay for it as it is under warranty. But Garmin would NOT ship to Mexico. They will but they make you sign an agreement that if it is lost it is on you, and it very well could be. Then it is $2000.00 out of your pocket plus the Mexico shipping! Then you need to fly back anyway.
Spectra Water Makers will not ship to Mexico.
We purchased a lot of items from the web to be sent to our daughter’s house where we picked them up in the US. (Thanks to her and her husband!!)

A lot we purchased from sites that do not ship internationally. Some sites do but remember the shipping cost for a $50.00 item was $60.00 so it is just not worth it most of the time. Plus 16-20% duty if it gets that far.
We went to the Honda dealer in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and were going to buy a new prop for the Honda 9.9 outboard. We were quoted the equivalent of well over $300 US when it came in, and that was a guess that it was even the right one. 

We ordered one from a different manufacturer on the web and had it sent to our daughter’s house for $89.00 US delivered. We got two, one for back up. OK not a dealer like in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico but still you can see how things get expensive here, boat parts-wise.
So if you not up in the sea by the US like in Puerto Vallarta Mexico you are “on the moon”.

Now it is not to say you cannot get parts. The chandleries here can sometimes order the parts, say a pump. Get it from West Marine and have it shipped and pay duty and you then pony up for the item. Not cheap and not necessarily quick but you get it. There are no deals to be had, no sales on items or sale flyers or these types of deals.  Even the local chandleries around here do not carry many things for sail boats specific hardware. Mostly for both power and boats in general. Like through hulls yes but snatch blocks, no. They consider it too much of a specialty item. So coming from San Diego where we had an account at Marine Exchange paying ship yard prices and most items in stock or a couple days out and have the internet with shipping to your door it is a big surprise to be paying full retail and duty and extra shipping and still try getting it “on the Moon”.
If you are cruising then forget it. Most of the places are fishing villages or tourist towns with no boat services. You go to the auto mechanic shop or the tractor mechanic or the fisherman or the hardware store and go hunting for someone to make\fix or repair it.

So far that has been our experience. But hay, we just started the summer here in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and will get the skinny on the all the shipping and goings about.
As for shipping agents, usually they only handle large item like engines, etc. But they get it done for $$.

There does not seem to be a problem with documents.

1 comment:

  1. I must be the one you're referencing this post to, and now I understand your situation regarding shipping! I wonder if the boat parts situation is easy in La Paz? Maybe a flight on Areomexico from Puerto Vallarta to La Paz, or the ferry from Mazatlan to La Paz would be easier...of course you would have to get to Mazatlan. Just a thought. Sounds like La Paz needs a West Marine.