International Order Experience from Arrow Electronics (Updated)

Their no minimum order, free shipping via Fedex international priority, 10% discount all seemed very tempting. So I made a very small test order of $11 containing smd components (few xp-e photo red leds , a qfn chip ltc3612 from linear tech, some 0805 caps, and 0603 resistors).

To my horror, they have now shipped these parts in 2 separate shipments of 10’x9’x8’ boxes each (both from the U.S. , currently in transit), one containing just the 3x4mm qfn chip! Fedex India (my country) charges minimum $8 advancement fee per parcel, and they will probably not exempt it for such large sized packages. So I may have to shell out $16 to them even if customs does not charge anything.

Apparently, Arrow has multiple warehouses in the U.S. and a very incompetent shipping department. Although they have very good price and no moq for some cree leds and some passives like nichicon electrolytic caps, their catalog is extremely limited.Will update further as the package comes.

EDIT: Fedex has informed me to pay about $22 to clear the two shipments (out of which only $7 is customs duty, rest is pocketed by Fedex). I have realized the hard way now that Arrow’s free shipping policy is a gimmick, and Fedex is complicit in this. Otherwise why would they split my small order into 2 shipments when both were in stock in their U.S. warehouse?

EDIT2: However, Arrow might still be ideal if I were buying only a single type of component (say 20 xpe photo red leds) so that they would not get the excuse to split my order.

EDIT3: Arrow always ships things the wholesale way. Even if you order 1 smd resistor, expect it shipped in a moisture barrier bag (meant for full reel) filled with dessicant. My first shipment also contained 6 copies of delivery note, and a material safety data sheet!

FINAL EDIT: Arrow has agreed to refund me $6 for their mess.

Arrow is not ideal for international shipping. Tried ordering several times, either the order was canceled (for international shipping) or the adjacent fee structure didn’t work for me.
There is a flat fee (approx. 10% for international customs and handling fees) - what nobody tells you is that this fee is for THEIR cost, not for any eventualities on your end. No company abroad can be held liable if you, the buyer, is the importing agent for your goods. Any customs agent from your country or economic region has the right to pull whatever parcel they feel needs pulling.

So if you order an expensive product (say, 100+) you could end up paying 10 bucks to arrow, then any customs liabilities on your end (any VAT or other sales tax i.e. is not handled by Arrow). I specifically asked and they said any local fees from our local government/region is not their liability (besides that 10% would be too low for most country VAT rates anyhow). Also, per-parcel fees like you mentioned are in countries that are not carried by the shipper.

None of this is Arrows “fault” IMO. They are not an actual consumer facing business, they just allow consumer clients to make orders. When you look at how their web portal is designed you’ll realize they are setup for BOM imports from whatever design software the purchasing department is using.

I have always placed medium orders from Mouser/Fedex in past with no issues. But this time I had a small requirement, so I thought why not give Mouser my MyUS shipping address instead of asking them to ship via Fedex directly to India. [MyUS uses cheap $10 DHL Global Mail (routed via Frankfurt) which becomes registered post upon entering my country.The postal dept is pretty kind on small valued packages, so no duty/handling fee is charged. This is pretty sensible for light/small valued packages.]

Unfortunately, Mouser first told me this is a foreign party routed transaction, so I need to fill up a form to comply with U.S. export regulations. Which I did, but after 2 days they cancelled my order since they could not verify the MyUS address, which I used countless times in past.