There was an article here in one of the newspapers the other day that I felt needed to be shared.
Lanboxusa.com, run by LanChile, the main airline of, well Chile. (It's all in Spanish)
Recently they have set up this delivery service for anyone who lives in a Latin American country serviced by LanChile.
What LanBoxUSA gives them, the latin american customer, is an address in Miami, Florida to have all their purchased merchandise sent to. They handle all the customs and aerial delivery.
Once the package is received by them they will have it delivered to the customer within 2-5 days. Their international delivery prices are almost par with UPS deliveries inside the States.
This means that someone living in Venezuela for example, can order some product out of Joe's Door Handle shop in Kentucky with hardly any shipping hassle. Joe doesn't have to worry about international shipping because he just needs to mail the product to the Miami address registered by the customer.
Now each country will add additional customs charges and restrictions to the customer, depending on the merchandise, price, and weight but this is a giant leap in being able to sell some products products to the rest of the Americas. The restricted products are listed on their site.
In some cases it is cheaper to buy the product in the US and pay the customs charge than going through a retail outlet in their own countries.
For example, Sony Playstation 2 costs around $900 here. I can buy it in the States for $300, pay $50 for the shipping, the 50% customs charge(150), and still be $400 shy of the local retail price.