4 ways to order a Lytro camera outside the United States (e.g. Europe)
“It’s a global revolution, but we only ship to the US for now.” – If you’re as excited about the new Lytro camera as I am, then I’m sure you’re a bit frustrated about this notice at the lytro order page.
However, this doesn’t mean you can’t order a Lytro camera at all if you live overseas. It just means it’ll get a bit more complicated.
Here are three (four, if you have time) ways to get a Lytro camera if you’re living in Europe or any other country than the United States of America.
Family & Friends
This is probably the easiest and cheapest way: If you have family members or friends from the United States, ask them to order a Lytro camera, and forward it to you once it gets shipped.
One of the easiest ways to transfer the money over to them, is PayPal.
Mail forwarders do exactly what their name says: They forward your mail. You usually get a U.S. shipping address to where you can have your mail sent. Once the package gets there, you should get a notification, and be able to choose how the package is sent to you (i.e. what mail service, insurance, …).
If you want to get your Lytro camera this way, make sure your mail forwarder offers a real address. Post boxes are not allowed by the Lytro order system.
Lytro only accepts U.S. credit cards with a matching billing name & address. In other words, you may still need to find a valid way of payment (family & friends?) in order to complete your Lytro order. Update: There have been more and more reports of successful orders with international credit cards and billing addresses (but US shipping addresses).
The mail forwarding service of my choice is Shipito. They are relatively cheap, offer a real postal address and get good ratings. However, my Lytro camera will be shipped in one or two months, so I don’t have personal experience with Shipito. Of course, any other serious mail forwarding service should work as well.
Update: When choosing your mail forwarder, make sure they can sign for incoming packages. Lytro apparently ships them with status “signature required”. Shipito says they can sign on behalf of the customer.
If you have neither a US postal address, nor a US (or other working) credit card, you still have a chance to get your hands on a Lytro camera outside the US: Making an Assisted Purchase, you pay somebody inside the US to make the order for you, and pay for it with a US credit card.
The cost of an assisted purchase consists of a fixed service charge (usually below 10 US-Dollars), commission (usually between 5 and 15 %) plus the cost of purchase + sales tax and shipping.
If you can hold out until the camera is available in your country, you can also lay back, wait and sign up to Lytro’s international shipping notification service.
Don’t forget Customs
Whichever way you order your Lytro, don’t forget that your national customs will most likely add customs charges!