CONTRIBUTED BY KIMBERLY MITCHELL

I wanted to share a fabulous find for kids toys online. Fat Brain Toys and My Kids need that. Fat Brain Toys not only ships to APO addresses, they ship here for FREE, and they ship here quickly! And to top it off, they have a great selection of creative and educational toys. My 3 year old LOVES her dado squares– who am I kidding? We love them more. One of my husband’s creations:
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I’ve also had abysmal service from online vendors. GotPrint.com was a particularly bad find recently. Not only did they bill me $25 for shipping business cards without telling me, the product was terrible and they refused to make it right. Under no circumstances would I use them again.

If you have any tips on where to shop online and which companies might be the best bet to get something to an APO box on time and under budget, let us know!

27 COMMENTS

  1. Update for 2012.
    Good sites:
    Amazon
    JCPenny
    Walmart now ships priority
    Children’s Place
    Party City

    Bad sites:
    Kohls
    Oriental Trading (also does not take free shipping coupons to ship it)

  2. Stores that ship fast:
    ToysRus/BabiesRus
    Old Navy/Gap
    Kohls
    Target
    BabyEarth
    GNC
    Children’s Place (though they charge $10, so only if you really need something)
    Gymboree (also charges $10 shipping)
    Victoria’s Secret
    Aeropostle

    Places that ship slowly:
    JcPenny
    Walmart (took two months to get an order here)
    Abercrombie (also two months to get my order)
    Hollister (another two months)
    JoAnn’s (1.5 months to get an order)

  3. I have been here for four years:

    I love:

    Macy’s
    Kohl’s
    Amazon
    Baby Center
    Target
    JC Penneys

    I would skip:

    Disney Store.com
    Drug Store.com
    Old Navy (they used to be on my love list)

  4. The best place to go to make custom, quality, most cost-efficient, business cards is http://www.printsmadeeasy.com. They specialize in designing custom postcards, business cards, stationery, labels, brochures, invitations, envelopes, flyers, greeting cards, letterhead, pens, & labels.

  5. HI! i know the posts here are old but i just wanted to let you all know that http://www.SpiralHaircase.com has really increased the number of salon professional hair care lines we carry! (even the hard to find ones) Also, we offer FREE APO shipping. Hope this helps you wonderful men and women out! Thanks for all of your sacrifice!

  6. I know that roseytoys.com also ships to APO addresses and offers free shipping for orders over $75!

    They are a great educational site with quality toys.

    Plus they are always offering coupons. Go to retmailmenot.com to see what they are offering, but the best is to get on their newsletter.

  7. Retailmenot.com has COUPONS for most online stores. You simply enter the website’s name and they give you a list of coupons! Most of them can even be combined!! I love this site for free shipping and $5-$10 off coupons for bamm.com. Good luck!

  8. Nordstrom rocks! Took advantage of their anniversary sale and recieved the goods in about 10 days. I’ve heard of people having trouble with Gap/O.N/B.R/Piperlime, but I received items from them two weeks ago. It took about 2 1/2 weeks for everything to arrive. I placed an order with Annies.com for the first time two days ago. They sell the organic and all natural mac and cheese and bunny snacks and cereals for kids. They ship to APO/FPO. I will let you know when it comes.

  9. I love Old Navy and have shopped online with them for years. I always receive my orders quickly and usually within 10 days. In May I placed an order that took more than 2 months to get to me. When I called customer service about the issue I was told they had updated their shipping system and branched out with a new carrier. I was assured the system upgrade had been completed and they were no longer using the new carrier as they had had too many complaints and problems and they refunded my shipping charges. My next order came fast as always. I love their flat rate shipping and their easy returns. I would say if you ordered from them from late April to early June and your order took too long try them again.

  10. I don’t know if you know about the Children’s Place coupons. We used the shipping coupon. I can’t remember what percentage they took off but the shipping at that time was only $8 with the total of 132.00. So, returning the clothes was worth it.

  11. I recently returned $40.00 worth of clothes back to Children’s Place and it cost me $10.00 to ship them priority. I ordered 12 items. It seems that the min. price to ship a box back to the states is $10.00(priority). It took a little over 2 weeks to receive the refund. I called and asked, they said that they were backed up on returns because there were too many. Understandable, I only shop there for children’s clothes anyways. Can’t beat their sales.

  12. I just had a good experience w/ receiving items from JCPenney and Childrens Place. They both came in a timely manner. Only question that I have is on return of an item. What would someone suggest if I need to return something (the cheapest route)? For example- I need to return items to Childrens Place but do not know whether it is worth the postage? Thanks!
    I also had a horrible experience w/ Old Navy-took over a month to receive. The first time I ordered it only took just over 1 week. So I don’t know if this is the new shipping standard for them or not?

  13. I used to be loyal to Barnes and Noble, but had to switch to amazon.com after several bad experiences with their shipping.

    For large items (like stroller/baby bed)Wal-mart and Sears have been good. They shipped things babiesrus and amazon wouldn’t w/out the shipitapo prices. Also aafes.com for furniture stuff. You can pick it up at the furniture store and not pay shipping. (We got a glider that way…but it takes ages.)

  14. LLbean is pretty fast and efficient too-(not that were in need of down feather coats or face masks here in warm Oki)…stocked up on their flip flop sale though….

  15. I use shipitapo.com for anything that I MUST have but can’t be shipped here. I’ve used them for something as small as clothes all the way from getting a double stroller shipped to me. I use them a lot with Amazon’s free shipping, when they can’t ship directly to me.

  16. I love amazon.com. We’ve bought video games, electronics, and clothing from there with no problems with shipping.

    maccosmetics.com–this is a big one for me because I’m a makeup artist. I know a lot of people love MAC, and they do ship to APO. It usually takes one week exactly for my order to arrive once I get the email that it’s shipped.

    musiciansfriend.com gets large, big ticket items like electric guitars and drum kits here within a week.

    sephora.com does not ship out here. There are items that they sell that I need for my kit, so I use shipitapo.com with them. I get my stuff within 2 weeks.

    drugstore.com and cafepress.com…I haven’t been thrilled with. It took about 6 weeks for my orders from them. I noticed they both use UPS Mail Innovations for shipping, so I don’t know if that has anything to do with the long wait times or not.

  17. Suzy- Shipping is usually based on dollar amount spent but they may offer shipping specials or free if you spend over a certain dollar amount. Another hair site is spiralhaircase.com and they do offer free shipping to military FPO but they don’t seem to carry the harder to find, more exclusive hair products.

    Penny- I am so excited about your scrap site. I am always disappointed over the selection of paper on base. Can’t wait to stock up and love the free shipping!!

  18. Penny, great I have been wondering about scrapbooking. I am tring to stock up before I leave the states. Do you know of any scrapbooking groups that get together?
    Thanks.

  19. ScrapYourTrip.com has awesome, awesome, AWESOME scrapbooking papers and — you guessed it — free APO shipping, no matter how little you spend. Woo-hoo!

  20. Michelle C…You just made my week! I just found my fav. haircare line on sleekhair that I haven’t been able to find in years!!! Thanks so much for mentioning the site! Do you know how much they usually charge for shipping out here? Also can’t wait to order some cool stuff from the toy store! Those square are awesome!

  21. Who I love to shop from:
    amazon.com
    joanns.com
    ebay.com (only priority shipping)
    vistaprint.com
    shutterfly.com
    lowes.com

    WHO NOT TO BUY FROM:
    oldnavy.com (they changed to piperlime.com and the shipping took over a month and they charge more than they used to!)
    buycostumes.com

  22. A couple of my favorites are Buckle.com for clothes… and they offer free shipping to military FPO addresses, Sleekhair.com for great variety in hair care products, Footballfanatics.com for any type of sports fan gear – I can always find whatever I am looking for for any team and they offer a standard $4.95 shipping PLUS a free award program and I agree with Aviva that Lands End ships FAST and we love their stuff. Happy shopping and thanks for the Fat Brain Toy tip.

  23. Amazon Prime (as most of you know) is fantastic. Sometimes it’s the 3rd party sellers they work with who lame out, but the A-Z Guarantee is a gem; you get refunded immediately when something doesn’t come.

    Great experiences with Lands End (less than a week every time), B&H Photo (yeah, the camera gear!), and when Target will ship the product to an APO, it’s great. J&R for electronics is amazing – and ships electronics that Amazon won’t.

    I had a pretty pathetic experience with Blurb.com but others have been ok with it. So who knows?

    And if you buy from AAFES.com and it doesn’t work out, you can return it to the BX/PX!

    I just can’t understand why the whole world thinks we have foreign addresses or that it’s a PO box. IT IS AN AMERICAN ADDRESS WITH AMERICAN POSTAGE, PEOPLE!

    I ordered something from the Apple store the other day to my Ship It APO account – it wouldn’t take my BILLING address for my credit card! Apparently you have to put in Austin, TX with that local zip code. WHAT?!

    No sense.

    Thanks for the Fat Brain Toys idea, Kim.

  24. This is our second tour here. Last time I used Amazon, Aafes.com (and their affilitiates), JcPenney’s, Sierratradingpost.com, and a few smaller companies with great success.

    This time, Amazon does not ship anything but books, dvds, and cds to APOs so I have stopped doing business with them completely in protest.

    I use Powellsbooks.com or BAMM (an aafes affiliate) for books . I use Target, JcPenney’s, Best Buy, Sierratradingpost.com, Aafes.com (and their affiliates), and a few smaller companies for everything from towels, to printer ink.

    I also like to Ebay on occasion but the shipping there is dependant on the seller.

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