Hawaii is in the middle of nowhere which makes online shopping a challenge sometimes. But when we can’t find something we want on the island we often go online to find what we are looking to buy.
Shopping online from Hawaii normally take a bit longer, costs a bit more and sometimes limits what you can buy. Normally shipping to Hawaii takes about 2 to 3 extra days to arrive. In addition, additional costs may apply to ship to Hawaii depending on how it is being delivered. And worst of all, some stores or products are not able to be shipped to Hawaii at all.
Amazon Shopping in Hawaii
We are long-time Amazon Prime member! We love Amazon. We love the convenience of shopping online, avoiding shipping costs and the speed the products we order get to us.
One of the things we were curious about when we were planning the move to Hawaii was how Amazon Prime worked from Hawaii.
Differences with Amazon Prime in Hawaii
Amazon Prime works almost exactly the same in Hawaii as it does on the mainland.
Cost of Amazon Prime
There are no additional costs to ship to Hawaii when using Amazon Prime. The only difference is the time to get the items ordered.
Amazon Prime Shipping Times to Hawaii
When living in Colorado we were able to get just about anything on Amazon within 1 to 2 days. In fact, because of the new distribution center located within just a few miles from our home in Broomfield we could get things same day sometimes!
Well, not so much in Hawaii. No distribution centers here and a big ocean between us means that delivery times are a bit extended compared to the mainland. Instead of 2 day shipping we typically see 7 day shipping times when shipping to Hawaii.
But here’s what’s interesting. Even though Amazon tells us that the estimated arrival dates is about 7 days we generally receive the items a bit faster – normally within 4 to 5 days.
Amazon Shipping Methods
For most places on the mainland Amazon now uses their own delivery trucks rather than UPS, FedEx or the USPS. That’s not, yet, the case in Hawaii.
What is interesting is that we have received Amazon packages at our home in Hawaii via every possible delivery method including UPS, FedEx and USPS. This makes receiving packages from Amazon a bit different than we were used to.
Not a big deal but just something to get used to.
Additional Fees or Costs to Ship to Hawaii
When we shop online we normally shop via Amazon. Because of our Amazon Prime membership we don’t pay shipping fees and therefore rarely have a situation where we encounter additional fees to ship to Hawaii. But we know it happens.
Some online retailers have to charge an additional fee to their Hawaii and Alaska customers due to the additional costs they incur to ship to these locations. Normally, they are just passing along the fee they incur over to us as residents of Hawaii.
Unfortunately, it is just something we have to deal with because we live in paradise. We live in the middle of the ocean where it simply takes more to get things here. Between the additional logistics involved of trucks, rails, planes, and ships there are additional costs of getting things to Hawaii.
Prior to shopping online from Hawaii we recommend you do a quick search in the online store’s FAQs or shipping policies to determine if additional fees may be incurred when shipping to Hawaii.
We Do Not Currently Deliver to Hawaii
The worst situation we encounter is when we find out that a particular online store doesn’t even ship to Hawaii.
Even some Amazon Prime products are not able to be delivered to Hawaii.
We’ve seen this happen quite a bit actually. There are a couple of places that come to mind including Butcher Box and Thrive Market. Since we eat keto these two online stores are places we would like to order from but unfortunately do not ship to Hawaii.
My guess is that because they are food related items it is a bit more challenging to ship to Hawaii. Having to deal with cooling things to avoid the food from going bad it most likely the reason they do not offer deliver to Hawaii.
Need a Little Help Finding Online Stores that ship to Hawaii?
During my research for this post I came across an article from Brad’s Deals. They created a list of 59 online stores that all ship to Hawaii!
What’s great about this post is that they don’t just list the stores but also provide minimum purchase orders, additional fees and any notes that are relevant to purchasing from that online store.
This list is not an exhaustive list of every online retailer that ships to Hawaii but is a decent list to help you find a particular store you might be interested in.
Other Options to Ship to Hawaii
Ship to Store Option
Sometimes we find it is best to have things shipped to the store rather than to our home.
Many online retailers also have brick & mortar locations they can ship your orders to. Some of these stores allow you to eliminate shipping charges when you do it this way.
Near us, in Kona, there are a few retailers that offer such options including:
- Home Depot
- Pier 1
Another cool resource I found when researching this post is a site called ShipToHawaii.com.
They found that shipping items to Hawaii was often difficult or impossible so they solved the problem! They have a membership program depending on how much you will be shipping each year.
Their Basic Plan is free but has a cost per package being delivered at 10% of the shipping fee per shipment and a maximum amount of 600 pounds shipped each year. If you would prefer to pay a membership fee or plan to have more than 600 pounds worth of stuff shipped you might want to check out their Gold Plan for just $20/year that eliminates the 10% handling fee. And if that’s not enough they also have a Business plan too.
When your items gets sent to Hawaii it goes to a will-call warehouse where you can pick up your items. On the Big Island there are two locations available including Kona and Hilo.
Although shipping to Hawaii can be a bit frustrating at times there are quite a few options to get stuff here. Sure, it might cost a little extra at times but if you have an Amazon Prime account (get one if you don’t and live on Hawaii) you can get just about anything you need! If you’re shopping online be sure to check the bottom of the page to look for shipping related questions to make sure they ship to Hawaii before you get your heart set on something you can’t get to Hawaii…or use a service like ShipToHawaii.com to get it here.