FAQs

FAQs About halpU.com - Find out how to shop Amazon products without the hassle

FAQs

About Us

  • What is halpU?

    halpU is an online ordering tool for items available at Amazon and Walmart. Pinoys can now shop online and buy US items hassle free by shopping and shipping on halpU.com. No credit/debit card? No problem! Various payment options are offered. All halpU orders are delivered straight to your doorstep – no need to pick the items at the post office or deal with customs.

    Overseas Filipinos can also shop and have their orders sent to their families in the Philippines. Instead of physically filling and storing a balikbayan box, OFs can just store everything they want to buy in their halpU account. OFs can even choose to send parcels or mini boxes instead of balikbayan boxes. Pretty much all U need is halpU!

    halpU was launched in February 2016. It continues to serve local and overseas Pinoys with their online shopping wants and needs. For comments/suggestions/questions, feel free to contact us so we can serve you better.


  • Benefits of using halpU

    There are several benefits to using halpU, even for those who can order and pay directly from Amazon and Walmart:

    • No need to fill an entire box. Send inidividual items as parcels, or consolidate small items into a mini-box.
    • Shop without a credit card.
    • Save on delivery costs within the USA. Since halpU has an Amazon prime account and is a Walmart ShippingPass member, you can enjoy FREE delivery on many items.
    • Enjoy a wide selection with low prices. Amazon and Walmart are marketplace, online malls with multiple merchants offering a large selection of goods. Since these merchants compete for your business, prices are very competitive.
    • Save on duties & taxes. The Philippine government generally does not levy duties or taxes on balikbayan boxes from OFWs.
    • Order large, heavy items and ship thru balikbayan boxes. Shipping costs by sea are based on size, not weight.
    • Items will be delivered straight to your doorstep.

  • Who is behind halpU?

    halpU is owned by New Standard Holdings, Inc., a company registered in the British Virgin Islands with an office in Hong Kong.

    In the Philippines, halpU is represented by Ventaja International Corp. Ventaja has a long track record of serving OFWs that started with selling Smart load and grew with collecting payments on behalf of SSS, Pag-IBIG, and Philhealth.


  • Who is Forex Cargo?

    Forex Cargo has been in the balikbayan box business since 1983 and now serves the needs of Filipinos in four continents. The company has an excellent track record and is highly respected in its core market, the USA. All halpU orders are handled by Forex Cargo’s warehouse in LA.


Account

  • How do I set up an account?

    The most convenient way is to sign up using Facebook. Or you can register by providing your full name, email address and a secure password.


  • I have forgotten my password. What should I do?

    Click on the “Forgot Password?” link in the login page, then check your email (including junk mail) for further instructions.


Shopping

  • How do I search for an item?

    Use the search toolbar on the top of every page. The halpU website is directly linked to Amazon’s and Walmart’s database and will display results real-time.

    Once you have found the item you are looking for (regardless of size, color or model), simply click on it to view the Variants page where all colors, sizes, and models of that particular item are displayed.


  • How do I place an order?

    The “box” is equivalent to a shopping cart. Click “Add to Box” or the “+” sign.


  • How do I know when the box is full?

    You do not need to pre-select a box size. halpU calculates the boxes you need based on the items you order. Since the box is really just a shopping cart, you can keep adding items to the box. To find out if a specific box is full, click “View Box” on the top of the page, and check "Shipment." You may select “Ship in balikbayan boxes” in “Shipment” if you want to consolidate all the items into balikbayan boxes.


  • How do I create a new box?

    You can only have one shopping cart at a time. To create a new cart or box, checkout or empty your existing cart by removing every item from the box.


  • What is a parcel?

    A parcel is any one item that weighs 20 lbs or less and has a volume of 1800 cu.in. or less. Users who do not want to fill a box, and order only a few items, may ship each item as a separate parcel. Items that exceed these parameters cannot be shipped in parcels and are automatically shipped in balikbayan boxes instead.


  • What is a mini box?

    A mini box measures 14” x 10” x 5.5” and is used to consolidate several small and light items into a box. The maximum weight for a mini box is 20 lbs. Items that cannot fit inside a mini box are either shipped as parcels, or consolidated into balikbayan boxes.


  • What does ‘Ship in balikbayan boxes’ mean?

    Users who intend to buy many and/or heavy items should select this option. Delivery costs of halpU’s balikbayan boxes are based on size, not weight.


  • What does ‘Ship in parcels/mini boxes’ mean?

    Users who do not want to use balikbayan boxes should select this option. Small items will be consolidated into mini boxes, and larger items will be shipped as is.


  • What does ‘Ship with Box’ mean?

    Users who want to buy shoes and ship them with the original box should click ‘Include box.’


  • What does ‘Ship without Box’ mean?

    Users who want to buy shoes and ship them with no box should click ‘Remove box.’


  • What do ‘Tag as Shoes’ and ‘Untag’ mean?

    Users, who want to buy shoes that aren’t tagged as such, have the option to tag them as shoes to avail of the shipping fee for shoes. Users, whose items are tagged as shoes but aren’t actually such, have the option to untag them to correct the shipment.


  • How does halpU decide how to ship items?

    The default shipping option is parcels. Once there are more than 2 parcels, halpU will attempt to fit items into mini boxes. halpU will automatically shift to “Ship in balikbayan boxes” when:

    • Any item is more than 20 lbs or 1800 cu. in.
    • The cost of shipping the parcels and mini boxes separately exceeds $75.
    • At least one item is odd-sized, i.e. it does not fit inside a balikbayan box. Forex Cargo will then attempt to fit all ordered items into the odd-sized box, or other balikbayan boxes.
    • All shipment costs presented within halpU are estimates. The halpU algorithm estimates what packaging configuration is best for your orders, i.e. the lowest cost. But it is only after the cargo forwarder receives all the items that it becomes clear what is required to ship your orders. At this point, halpU will calculate the final delivery cost and notify you of any shortfall or excess.

  • Why can’t I switch back to ‘Ship in parcels/mini boxes’?

    You may have triggered one of the conditions for halpU to automatically shift to “Ship in balikbayan boxes.” You will be notified in “Box Estimate” if:

    • One parcel exceeds 20lbs; your notification will say, “One item exceeds 20lbs limit for parcels. All items will be shipped in balikbayan boxes.”
    • One parcel does not fit in a jumbo box; your notification will say, “One item exceeds the dimensions allowed for parcels and is considered odd-sized. All items will be shipped in either odd-sized or balikbayan boxes.”
    • One parcel’s volume exceeds 1800 cu.in.; your notification will say, “One item exceeds volume limit for parcels. All items will be shipped in balikbayan boxes.”
    • Cost of mini boxes and parcels exceeds $75; your notification will say, “Cost of mini boxes and/or parcels exceeds $75.00. It costs less to ship all items in balikbayan boxes instead.”

  • Why is mini box separate from balikbayan box?

    Mini boxes are for users who want to buy more than two item but cannot fill an entire balikbayan box. halpU’s interface gives the users the option to manually select “Ship in balikbayan boxes” in “Shipment” if you want your items to be shipped in balikbayan boxes.


  • Why can’t I combine mini boxes and/or parcels with balikbayan boxes?

    halpU’s interface doesn’t allow you to combine mini boxes and/or parcels with balikbayan boxes to simplify the shopping process.

    Users who intend to buy many and/or heavy items may choose to ship in balikbayan box, while users who intend to buy only one or a few items will save up on shipping costs by shipping in parcels or mini boxes.


  • Can I order large items?

    Yes. Items that do not fit inside standard boxes are called odd-sized. The minimum shipping cost charge for each odd-sized item is $35.00. Once we determine the final shipping cost based on the actual dimensions of the items, you will have to settle the additional payment.


  • What are odd-sized items?

    Odd-sized items do not fit in any of halpU’s boxes based on the dimensions available at Amazon and Walmart.

    You may request for a quotation for the cost of sending odd-sized items beforehand. Or you may order the item at halpU first, pay for the minimum charge of $35.00, and settle any additional costs later on based on the actual dimensions.


  • What is an item with no dimensions?

    These are items with no dimensions available at Amazon and Walmart, e.g. clothing. In many cases, halpU will attempt to fit these items within your existing box. If this is not possible, then halpU will upgrade the box size, or add another box to your order.


  • How will items with no dimensions be charged?

    For parcels, halpU will initially collect the minimum parcel rate for every item with no dimensions. If this item can be consolidated with your other orders, then halpU will refund the delivery fee collected. If not, halpU will charge Users the actual cost which depends on the item’s weight and dimensions.

    For balikbayan boxes, halpU will attempt to fit these items within the boxes ordered. If not, halpU will ship this item as a parcel or individual box instead, depending on its size and weight.


  • How will items with no weight be charged?

    For parcels, halpU will initially collect the minimum parcel rate for every item with no weight. If this item can be consolidated with your other orders, then halpU will refund the delivery fee collected. If not, halpU will charge Users the actual cost which depends on the item’s weight and dimensions.

    For balikbayan boxes, weight is not an issue.


  • How do I checkout?

    Click “Check prices and availability” button on the “View Box” page. If you are not logged in, or need to create an account, you will be asked to do so. The “Checkout” button will appear only if the items’ prices are current, i.e. not more than four hours old. Otherwise, halpU will have to update prices and availability with Amazon.com and Walmart.com first.


  • Can I change my order after I have checked out?

    Yes, but only if you have not paid for it yet. Once paid, it is not possible to change an order.


  • What happens if there are changes by the time halpU orders my items?
    • For items with price changes, halpU will proceed with the purchase if the increase in price is less than 20% or $10. If the price for a particular item increases by more than 20% or $10, we will seek your approval first before purchasing the item.

    • For items that are out of stock, halpU will inform you so that you may either replace or remove those items from your order;

    • For items unavailable to ship immediately, halpU will inform you of the revised ETA.



  • How soon is my order processed?

    Once halpU confirms your initial deposit, your orders will be processed within 24 hours. Please note that over-the-counter payments from the Philippines and remittances from abroad are confirmed in 1-2 banking days.


Basic Timeline

  • After checking out, how many days do I have to make a payment?

    You will have to make your initial deposit within 48 hours for your order not to be cancelled.


  • How soon is my order processed?

    Once halpU receives your initial deposit, orders will be processed within 24 hours.


  • When will I know how much the Additional Payment is?

    Not all orders require Additional Payment. For those that do, halpU will notify you of the amount due by email when all items are in the warehouse and ready to be shipped.


  • How many days do I have to make Additional Payment?

    You will have to make your Additional Payment within 10 days for your items not to be sold or returned to the Merchant.


  • When will the boxes be shipped?

    After halpU receives the Additional Payment and confirms that all costs and fees are settled.


  • How long does delivery take?

    Delivery takes 8-10 weeks, from the time the boxes are packed and your account with halpU is fully paid. Orders received in the months of August thru October may take an additional two weeks to deliver due to the peak season. You have to settle all outstanding amounts with halpU before any of the boxes is shipped.

    Please be informed that during busy seasons such as Christmas and New Year’s and in the event of adverse weather conditions, there may be up to 2 weeks of delay in shipment.


Order Restrictions

  • Are balikbayan boxes tax-free?

    Per the Republic Act No. 10863, otherwise known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA), OFWs can send up to three P150,000-worth of tax free balikbayan boxes in a year, as long as goods are not in commercial quantities nor intended for sale or trade.


  • What can I order?

    Almost anything available on Amazon.com and Walmart.com except the following:
    1. Perishable goods
    2. Items on the prohibited list, and
    3. Commercial quantities of any item.

    Per Bureau of Customs, non-commercial goods or goods not in commercial quantity strictly for personal use only, such as wearing apparel, clothing, and household items.


  • How is commercial quantity defined?

    More than 6 pieces of any item is considered commercial quantity. halpU’s interface will not allow you to order more than 6 pieces of any item.


  • Is there a size/volume limit?

    For balikbayan boxes, items should generally not exceed the size of the largest standard box or jumbo box (25” x 23” x17”). Items that do not fit in standard boxes are considered odd-sized. If you would like to know the shipment cost of an item before ordering, you may request for a quotation first.

    For mini boxes, items should not exceed 14” x 10” x 5.5”. Items that do not fit in mini boxes will be shipped in balikbayan boxes instead.

    For parcels, each item should not exceed 1800 cu.in. Items that exceed 1800 cu.in. will be shipped in balikbayan boxes instead.


  • Is there a weight limit?

    For balikbayan boxes, Forex Cargo recommends that two persons should be able to carry a box to assure the box and its items are not damaged.

    For parcels and mini boxes, items should not exceed 20lbs. Items that exceed 20lbs will be shipped in balikbayan boxes instead.


  • What are prohibited items?

    halpU reserves the right to refuse orders under the following item categories:

    · Currencies
    · Checks
    · Money orders
    · Travellers' checks
    · Precious Metals
    · Precious Stones (e.g. Diamonds, Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald)
    · Jewelry
    · Watches
    · Firearms
    · Ammunition
    · Gun parts and accessories (e.g. Reloaders)
    · Toy Guns
    · Explosives
    · Drugs and other prohibited substances
    · Lewd, obscene and pornographic materials
    · Perishables
    · Gambling paraphernalia
    · Industrial carbons
    · Combustible materials
    · Hazardous materials
    · Goods of commercial quantities
    · Large electronics and appliances
    · Big Car Parts
    · Tires/Wheels and Mag Wheels
    · Any item which falls within the restrictions of the CBP


Box Sizes and Fees

  • Box Delivery to Metro Manila
    Box Type Dimensions Price Consolidation fee
    Jumbo Box 25” x 23” x 17” $75.00 $10.00
    Regular Box 20” x 23” x 17” $65.00 $10.00
    Odd-sized Box Any Min. $35.00 $10.00
    Mini Box 14” x 10” x 5.5” $21.00 None

  • Parcel Delivery to Metro Manila

    Base rate is $7.35 for items up to 8 lbs and 350 cu. in. In excess of 8 lbs, add $0.60 per pound. In excess of 350 cu. in., add $0.021 per cu. In.

    Example #1: Item weight, 7 lbs. Dimensions 7” x 5” x 10” = 350 cu. In. Cost is $7.35

    Example #2: Item weight 10 lbs. Dimensions 7” x 5” x 10” = 350 cu. In. Cost is $7.35 + (2 x $0.60) = $8.55

    Example #3: Item weight 10 lbs. Dimensions 9” x 5” x 10” = 450 cu. In. Cost is $7.35 + (2 x $0.60) + (100 x $0.021) = $10.65

  • Shoe Delivery to Metro Manila
    Shoe Type Sizing Price
    Shoes without box Men's/Unisex $10.00
    Shoes without box Women’s / Kids’ $8.00
    Shoes with box Men’s / Unisex $13.00
    Shoes with box Women’s / Kids' $11.00

  • Shoe Delivery to Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao
    Shoe Type Sizing Price
    Shoes without box Men's/Unisex $12.50
    Shoes without box Women’s / Kids’ $10.50
    Shoes with box Men’s / Unisex $15.50
    Shoes with box Women’s / Kids' $13.50

  • Parcel Delivery to Luzon, Visayas or Mindanao

    Base rate is $9.35 for items up to 8 lbs and 350 cu. in. In excess of 8 lbs, add $0.60 per pound. In excess of 350 cu. in., add $0.0267 per cu. In.

    Example #1: Item weight, 7 lbs. Dimensions 7” x 5” x 10” = 350 cu. In. Cost is $9.35

    Example #2: Item weight 10 lbs. Dimensions 7” x 5” x 10” = 350 cu. In. Cost is $9.35 + (2 x $0.60) = $10.55

    Example #3: Item weight 10 lbs. Dimensions 9” x 5” x 10” = 450 cu. In. Cost is $9.35 + (2 x $0.60) + (100 x $0.0267) = $13.22

  • Box Delivery to Luzon
    Box Type Dimensions Price Consolidation fee
    Jumbo Box 25” x 23” x 17” $85.00 $10.00
    Regular Box 20” x 23” x 17” $75.00 $10.00
    Odd-sized Box Any Min. $45.00 $10.00
    Mini Box 14" x 10" x 5.5" $24.00 None

  • Box Delivery to Visayas
    Box Type Dimensions Price Consolidation fee
    Jumbo Box 25” x 23” x 17” $90.00 $10.00
    Regular Box 20” x 23” x 17” $80.00 $10.00
    Odd-sized Box Any Min. $50.00 $10.00
    Mini Box 14" x 10" x 5.5" $24.00 None

  • Box Delivery to Mindanao
    Box Type Dimensions Price Consolidation fee
    Jumbo Box 25” x 23” x 17” $95.00 $10.00
    Regular Box 20” x 23” x 17” $85.00 $10.00
    Odd-sized Box Any Min. $55.00 $10.00
    Mini Box 14" x 10" x 5.5" $24.00 None

Box Delivery

  • Which areas does halpU ship to?

    Please review the list of delivery areas by region in the tabs below. If your province is not included in the list, halpU (thru Forex Cargo) does not deliver there. It is better to list a residential address instead of a business address to assure that someone will be there to receive the boxes.

    Luzon
    Abra, Albay, Aurora, Bataan, Batanes, Batangas, Benguet, Bulacan, Cagayan Valley, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Cavite, Ifugao, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Isabela, Kalinga Apayao, La Union, Laguna, Mt Province, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Quezon, Quirino, Rizal, Sorsogon, Tarlac, Zambales.

    Visayas
    Aklan, Antique, Bacolod, Biliran, Bohol, Capiz, Catanduanes, Cebu, Guimaras, Iloilo, Leyte(Southern), Marinduque, Masbate, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Palawan, Romblon, Samar(Eastern, Western and Northern), Siquijor, Tacloban.

    Mindanao
    Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Basilan, Bukidnon, Camiguin, Compostela Valley, Davao City, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, North Cotabato, Saranggani Province, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sulu, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Tawi Tawi, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay.


  • Is every item opened before packing?

    Yes, Forex Cargo opens every item delivered to check for damages, and if it is complete and correct. If an item is damaged, incomplete, or incorrect, Forex Cargo will notify halpU. halpU will in turn notify the customer. Note that Forex Cargo does not test if any of the items works. They only look for external damages.


Other Fees and Costs

  • What is shipment cost?

    Shipment cost is what vendors charge to deliver the items to Forex Cargo’s warehouse in Los Angeles, CA, USA. halpU’s customers pay the actual cost of delivery. In most cases, it is only after halpU places the order at Amazon and Walmart that we can determine the final shipment cost.


  • Why is shipping “free” for many items?

    halpU has an Amazon Prime account and is a Walmart ShippingPass member. Many items are delivered for free under this account. halpU’s customers enjoy the same benefit and save by not having to pay for an Amazon Prime account and a Walmart ShippingPass membership.


  • Why is shipping “free under certain conditions”?

    Some items are delivered for free by vendors if the order exceeds $49.00 for Amazon from that particular vendor and $50.00 for Walmart.


  • What is the processing fee?

    Processing fee is either $1.99 or 6% of all items, whichever is higher. This is how halpU earns.


  • What is the consolidation fee?

    Consolidation fee is what Forex Cargo charges for accepting multiple items, storing these items in the warehouse, then packing them into one box once complete. Forex Cargo may also remove items from vendor packaging to maximize the space on every box. The goal is to pack as many items in a box without compromising the safety of each one. Forex Cargo will keep delicate items the way vendors’ shipped them.

    There is no consolidation fee for mini boxes or parcels.

  • What are taxes?

    These are taxes charged in the USA, but do not apply to all items and vendors. There is no clear way to determine how much taxes are beforehand. Amazon and Walmart calculate taxes only after the items are purchased. Hence, if there are any taxes charged on your order, you will have to make an additional payment for these.


  • Do I have to pay taxes or duties when the boxes enter the Philippines?

    Balikbayan boxes that contain personal effects are generally not levied a tax or duty. If the items inside your box exceed a certain value, or contain dutiable items, Philippine customs may inspect the box and charge additional taxes or duties.


  • What is web service fee?

    This is meant to cover part or all of the fees charged by payment providers and varies depending on the payment method you select.


Payment

  • What is Initial Deposit?

    Initial Deposit covers the cost of the items, shopping fee, and delivery. halpU will initiate the purchase with Amazon and Walmart only after confirming Initial Deposit. Note that prices of items are not final. Amazon changes prices especially when several people are viewing the same item. If changes in price are less than 20% or $10.00, we proceed with your orders and include this amount in your additional payment.


  • What is an Additional Payment?

    An Additional Payment may be required under any of the following:

    • When the listed dimensions or weight at Amazon and Walmart are wrong.
    • When Amazon and Walmart increase the price of an item.
    • If your order requires a different packing configuration than what was estimated.
    • Your order includes items with no weight, no dimension, or do not fit in a balikbayan box.
    • If the items incur additional fees from Amazon and Walmart, e.g. shipping and tax.

  • What is the Account Balance?

    The Account Balance is only for customers who have a history with halpU. This is where halpU credits any refunds due to the user. It can be used for the user’s next purchase but cannot be exchanged for cash.

    halpU will credit your account under any of the following conditions:

    • When the vendor lowers the price of the item you ordered.
    • If items with no weight or dimensions fit in a box with the rest of your orders.
    • If your order requires a smaller box size or fewer boxes.
    • If your odd-sized items fit in a standard box.
    • If you replace an item that is out of stock with a cheaper one.
    • If the box comprises fewer items than originally ordered.

    The Account Balance may be found in 'View Box' under 'Cost Estimate.'


  • After checking out, how many days do I have to make a payment?

    You will have to make your initial payment within 48 hours for your order not to be cancelled.


  • How do I pay?

    Customers based overseas can choose between credit card, Remittance to Ventaja’s Metrobank account, PayRemit Online Wallet or PayRemit Over-the-Counter. For more information about PayRemit’s services and where its outlets are, please visit: www.payremit.com.

    Customers in the Philippines can use Dragonpay’s partners to pay over-the-counter. View partners below:


    Over-the-Counter Banks



    Over-the-Counter Non-banks


    Online Banking




    halpU will also be adding other forms of payment soon.


  • What currency do I pay with?

    All payments are in Philippine Pesos. halpU converts all USD charges to pesos.


  • Do I have to pay additional fees when paying over-the-counter?

    Agents, particularly those based overseas, may charge fees for every transaction. Fees vary per agent.


Returns, Exchanges & Refunds

  • What if an item is damaged upon delivery to Forex Cargo?

    Forex Cargo will inspect every item for any superficial damage or defect. Important: Forex Cargo will not remove any item from sealed original packaging, nor will they test if it works.


  • Can I return the item before it is packed in the box?

    It is not possible to return or exchange items with Merchants.

  • Can I return or exchange an item after it arrives in the Philippines?

    It is not possible to return or exchange items with Merchants. By the time these items arrive in the Philippines, the 30-day period Merchants provide to return or exchange items will have lapsed.


  • What if an item is damaged in transit from Forex Cargo to the halpU customer?

    Forex Cargo will first determine if the damage occurred while in transit from their warehouse. If this is the case, then their insurance will cover the damage.
    Insurance coverage is as follows:

    • $500 for balikbayan boxes.
    • $150 for odd-sized or large individual boxes.
    • $60 for mini-boxes.
    • $20 for parcels.

    You assume the risk of any amounts not insured.


  • What if an item does not work after it arrives? Is this covered by a warranty?

    Please check the warranty on every item before you order it. Every vendor has its own terms and conditions.


Track Order

  • How can I track my order?

    If you are not yet logged in, your halpU order number serves as your tracking number. Simply go to the Track Order page and input your halpU order number. If you are logged in, the Track Order page will automatically show all your orders under their corresponding status.