Monetize your overseas trips with Airfrov

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I realise this sounds like a sponsored post, but believe me, I wish I had the capability to do those. I’d love nothing more for people to throw money at me in exchange for writing nice fluff pieces about their goods and services. Then I’d quit my job and make a living from praising not-at-all-fraudulent products like Korean alkaline water, Worldventures and homeopathy.

But anyway, I stumbled upon Airfrov while browsing HWZ and it sounds like a very interesting proposition, considering how much I fly.

The business model is simple. Suppose you want something from the USA but don’t want to get gouged on shipping. You submit your request online with details and the price you’re willing to pay (the cost price of the item + a little something extra for the mule who brings it back).

Suppose I’m going to the USA. I can check the listings on Airfrov before I fly and if the offer sounds good to me, buy that item, bring it home and deposit it at Airfrov’s centralised warehouse (in Purvis St). The buyer collects it, payment is settled, everyone wins. Here’s the TL:DR version.

There’s more nuance to this, of course, but it’s a great chance for you to rack up some lucrative overseas card spend.

Let’s look at an example

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This guy wants something that I swear you can buy in Singapore, but hey, free market! This item, according to Walmart, is US$4.68, or $6.64 at today’s exchange rates. 2 boxes would be $13.28.

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This guy is willing to pay $25! TWENTY FIVE FREAKING BUCKS! I really wish I had found this site before I did all my US trips. Even if you paid with a credit card and incurred some forex fee, you’d get miles and some margin for yourself.

Oh yeah, in theory since you’re importing stuff not for personal use but for resale, you need to declare it at the red channel and pay GST. Airfrov makes this point very clear on their site, as I’m sure the law obliges them to do. I’d be very interested to know how many people actually do this.

So I am definitely going to look at doing this on my next trip. And to those of you trying to leverage the generous overseas spending bonuses on the DBS Altitude AMEX (3 miles per $1 for the first 6 months), or the UOB Visa Signature (4 miles per $1 for the first $2,000), now’s your chance.

Note: Airfrov did not pay me anything to write this post. But if they want to, I will gladly take it. 

Note 2: Apparently paying via the app does not count as an online transaction, so if you’re trying to use the DBS woman’s card you might want to stick to online

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13 Comments on "Monetize your overseas trips with Airfrov"

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Thanks Aaron for sharing!
#sharingiscaring Replied your email!

Hi Aaron – I agree with you – this is one way of “manufactured spending” in Singapore. However, for the trouble, I would only give it a shot for big ticket items. I was in Sydney last week and offered to buy items worth >AUD$200. The more expensive the item is, the less expedient the customer is wiling to put down his/her deposit (though I am not sure if it was just my own personal experience then).

Any idea of Airfrov is classified as online or offline merchant ?

I don’t think so. I just saw my statement. It’s clearly treated as offline transaction. Having said that, I made my purchase request via the app. Maybe using desktop browser will make a difference like SQ. Disapponted but oh well, at least I tested it out.

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