For those unfindable items, Amazon is worth a try

Costa Rica has a lot to offer.

Plastic covers for pet food cans is not one of them.

I discovered this after spending more than a month looking for them in all the likely places such as Walmart, PriceSmart, pet food sections of every grocery store and even veterinarian offices. In the United States this would have been a cinch to find. Here, employees first looked at me like I was nuts. Then after thinking about it, they would smile and tell me no they don’t have any but they sound like a good idea.

I thought I was destined for all eternity to cover the partially eaten cans of dog and cat food with aluminum foil.

Then I remembered something I had long forgotten:

My first surprise was that they delivered to Costa Rica. My second, not only did they have plastic pet food can covers, they had dozens of different types to choose from in every color, size and design imaginable.

This launched an avalanche of ordering of items I could not find in Costa Rica including bat repellent, self-stick felt pads for inside kitchen cabinets, faucet filter kit, sleep mask, a rechargeable battery pack for a Sony digital camera and an extension pole for changing light bulbs in high unreachable places. My next order will include a silicone sink strainer.

But how is their service and costs? Compared to the private shipping firms I have used in the past (the kind where you need to set up a

U.S. post office box), I have been happier
with Amazon. They will deliver to your residence, generally quicker than their original estimates. The average time is about two weeks.

Yes, you can expect to pay double what it would cost to deliver the same items within the United States, but then just about everything in Costa Rica costs double anyway.

To be honest, I can’t say my relationship with Amazon has been perfect. I have had my share of issues, like the time I had to order a hard drive for my Apple laptop because I couldn’t find one anywhere in Costa Rica for this model. As always, I included other difficult to find items in the order. All the items arrived as expected except the one I really wanted: the hard drive. The local post office in Atenas told me I would have to retrieve it from the main customs office in Zapote and pay a few dollars more to cover additional import taxes not included by Amazon.

I found the Aduana central office without much trouble and picked up the hard drive. Unfortunately, the new hard drive didn’t work when the computer guy installed it. I’ll never know for sure, but best guess is the delicate hard drive was ruined from the additional handling by customs.

Also, Amazon doesn’t ship everything to Costa Rica. And sometimes an item they say will ship to Costa Rica, doesn’t. I have tried to find out what the problem is here, but my emails have been lobotomized by a hierarchy of customer service reps who reply in corporate speak while avoiding the question.

Still, if you’re looking for a mostly reliable way to find the unfindable, can fulfill that niche. I recommend giving it a try. amazon022918

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