Welcome Home: Should You Ship or Shop?

If you have purchased a newly constructed home in Mexico, one of the first questions you will ponder is whether you should buy furniture in Mexico or ship from north of the border. Here are some things to keep in mind to help you make your decision.

When it comes to price, the cost to ship will be at least the same as buying new. Factors impacting the final price include distance, weight and the number of items shipped. The bottom line is the average homeowner will not save money by shipping. Most will pay less buying all new furniture in Mexico.

Comfort is another factor to consider. Until recently, you would be hard pressed to find a comfortable sofa, sectional or sofa bed here. Many furniture manufacturers have moved their plants to Mexico over the past ten years as a cost-saving measure. The styles that Americans and Canadians prefer both in design and comfort are now available in Mexico. For example, Palliser, a top brand of upholstered furniture in North America and based in Canada, just opened its third manufacturing facility in Saltillo. In addition to shipping its full line of products throughout North America, we can now buy all their sofas, sectionals and sofa beds in Mexico.

Remember to consider the difference in the climate when deciding between shipping and buying new furniture. The beautiful pine table that works in Calgary or Chicago could attract termites in your home in Yucatán. The extremely humid summers in your Mexico home could wreak havoc on the particle board backing of a beautiful dresser. The salt air and humidity could quickly oxidize the mechanisms on your recliners and sofa bed causing them to rust. When it comes to durability, it is better to purchase items that take in to account the climate so that you get the longest lifespan from your furniture and the best return on your investment. Most of the furniture in our northern homes are not necessarily manufactured using the right materials and processes for this climate.

Some items have sentimental value. This is where shipping may make more sense. Just ensure that the materials the piece is made from will survive in our humid, Mexico climate.

International shipping is different than shipping within a country and not without its challenges. There is a lot of work involved. You will need to research to separate the good companies from the bad, get and analyze competitive bids, be there for the packing and pick up, be there for receipt and deal with any potential dings and nicks. Although insurance is available, the hassle of getting your claim approved and then the work done locally by a repair person in Mexico will take time and patience.

Before considering importing anything, thoroughly investigate all legal requirements. Among the items you may need to provide to the Mexican government include bills of lading, packing lists, proof of last entry date, proof of address, proof of citizenship or immigration status, letters of declaration, empowerment and household goods.

Sheryl Novak is an expat from Canada who has owned a home in Mexico for over 10 years. She is the owner of SOLutions Mexico, an online furniture store and an expert on sourcing all styles of furniture, for all budgets, in Mexico. Buying a home in Mexico? Email furniture@solutionsmexico.com to get a free home inventory list.

Sheryl Novak
Sheryl Novak is an expat Canadian who has owned a home in Mexico for over ten years. She is the owner of SOLutions Mexico – the online furniture store for your home in Mexico and The Furniture Store by SOLutions Mexico, a brick and mortar show store in Bucerias. She is considered the expert on sourcing all styles of furniture for all sizes of budgets, in Mexico.

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