How to G1G1 XO-1 in Europe, Asia, Africa & Americas


On Monday morning, Give One Get One will start in the USA and Canada. Excited geeks and concerned parents will buy a XO-1 laptop for a child in the developing world and get their own "$100 laptop". And yet it will be a sad day for many OLPC News contributors and commenters.

olpc g1g1 globally

OLPC is limiting G1G1 to only those lucky enough to live north of the Rio Grande, excluding geeky friends and needy families in Europe, Asia, Africa and the rest of the Americas. Why would OLPC geographically discriminate? Denying not only a huge groundswell of supporters from participating, but also rejecting the very population it aims to serve - people in the developing world.

On the OLPC wiki Xavi says that G1G1 limitations have more to do with logistics, support and other bureaucratic reasons that apply to international commerce of electronic equipment than OLPC being geo-snobs. But not everyone believes that argument. An anonymous poster asks the very question I have:

Why don't OLPC just do this themselves using a transatlantic courier? Transatlantic trade isn't a new idea... If they don't have the human resources or expertise to negotiate a deal, they could just encourage discussions like this one about the best way to get them shipped over individually, and put the most highly recommended links and tips on their official site.

Surely anything is better than a vaguely implied flat-out "No" to the 93% of the population of the world who aren't in Canada or the USA?

Here at OLPC News, I've been thinking about a possible solution to take G1G1 globally if One Laptop Per Child will not eliminate its arbitrary G1G1 geographic restriction. How a domestic American shipping company can let you participate in the geek dream of 2007: One Laptop Per Child XO-1 computer ownership regardless of country or currency.
  1. Sign up with a mail forwarding service to receive your XO
  2. On November 12th, 2007, order your own Children's Machine XO-1
  3. Select the mail forwarder address as the "Ship To" location
  4. Send your shipping address & international postage to the mail forwarder
  5. Get your very own OLPC XO laptop!
This way we can have connected families and joyous geeks from Argentina to New Zealand experiencing a One Laptop Per Christmas Tree.

G1G1 Update:

One Laptop Per Child has now officially made Give One Get One Globally with the following change to the G1G1 FAQ:

If I live outside of the US or Canada, may I participate in Give One Get One?

Yes, but only if you provide a shipping address within the US or Canada. To participate, please call 1-949-608-2865. International calling charges will apply.

Do note that in addition to a US/Canada address you also need to give a phone number and/or email address that corresponds to the address.

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Wayan, forwarding through the UPS Store is a really creative idea. Thanks for thinking that through.


I don't think its all that creative, UPS stores do this all the time. I just wanted to offer people a personal touch to make sure -everyone- could participate. In fact, I've held off on announcing this plan as I was hoping OLPC would be smart and offer international shipping itself. Its not like charging extra for international shipping would be a shock or even that difficult.

Wayan, this is such a great news! We will spread the good news to Germany :-D

Off course, we will report about our experience to! Thanks!

That give´s me one idea:
add this to the mix

and instead of buying one, why don't we at olpc news get together to buy a hundred or a thousand? Every individual get's a chance to buy one for less and the olpc as a whole gets to sell a lot more laptops..

According to this news source an OLPC communique delivered to their office asserts that the G1G1 program will also be carried on in Romania.

So I'm hopeful :D

While the UPS store is a good idea, people need to be cautious with the customs and duties charges (and hassle factor) associated with international shipments. This could double the cost of the laptop.

We could use Wayans address and he can send them on to us.

We send Wayan $400 through, say Paypal and he Gives 100 Sends 100 :)

it doesn't seem to have a way to select the shipping address and it doesn't like my credit card when I put in the address I want to ship to as the billing address :-( hope they don't sell out before I figure out a way round this.

I'm really interested... I've tryed to get a mail forwarder from UPS but I've not found where I've to ask the service because I'm Italian and in each box require a ZIP code from USA

Two work-arounds to get the XO laptop shipped to a second location:

1. call the 1.877 number using skype and talk through the order with a phone representative

2. use your registered PayPal account and change the ship-to address

Hey Wayan,

just noticed your comment about This is in fact a great idea! We also had the idea to order 100 Laptops+ with other interested people in Germany. We have already very positive response about this idea.

Pleas let us know, if you are willing to realize this idea! Let's give it a try!


What people outside North America need:

-A person or an institution with a high trust factor
-Who will collect the money for 100 or more X0's (via or direct payment)
-They will then get the laptops for $333 each
-And forward them to the buyers abroad

Any volunteers? Come on, this is a *global* project!

If needed, I will set up a website and host it, but I don't know anybody in the US to do the tasks mentioned above.


OLPC News is on it - we're organizing such an activity right about now...

Namaste, Bless, Enshalla, Gotobuti

This generation of olpc kids will speak the same language of hope, and sweetness will flow around the world, like the dawning of the age of Aquar..

tears of joy. ...soppy old git I am.

Uk price at 2.03150 us dollars is £98.45
that's less then £99.00 by the price of a soda, so I say OLPC has broke the $99.00 price easy :-)

I'm reminded of the Firesign comedy when they bomb nigeria with 20,000 hard back copies of the naked lunch, love will overcome, at last liberation, it's not a laptop, it's not a fishing rod, it's a passport to the global community, no longer will there be only 1 computer owner in the global village of 100, but as in "Ghandi's blunders" the direction is right when it helps the least amongst us.


£98.45 just Donate today, get one when ever.
support the idea.

While mail forwarding is a great idea, you should be aware of one little PayPal nastiness: it defaults your shipping address country to the one your billing address is in. And paying directly with a credit card helps little -- same "defaulting" with no way to change it.

Don't diss OLPC just because they won't trade electronics internationally. It's not because they won't, it's because they can't. Not even Amazon ships electronics outside of North America. I think it's basically impossible for a company, let alone a charity, to sell and ship electronics outside of North America. I think this is to do with the laws around taxes and import duties on electronic goods.

Why did you choose Argentina and New Zealand in the final paragraph? I am from New Zealand but lived in Argentina for a number of years... Just curious.

Unfortunately my danish paypal account won't accept any shipping addresses outside of Denmark, even for "gift shipping", and the OLPC website won't accept non US credit cardfs, or at least all 3 of my credit cards get turned down with some useless error message.

so no OLPC for me.



I suspect part of the problem is getting the safety certifications and the like from the EU:

"The project has received safety certification from several countries and can now ship legally in the U.S., Canada, Uruguay, Peru and elsewhere. Approval from the European Union is expected in 'approximately a week,' OLPC said."

Perhaps once this certification is achieved OLPC will expand the initiative to the EU or launch a separate G1G1 campaign there.

Frankly, I think this is a great initiative and it is a great way to get the folks in the wealthy countries directly involved. I did my G1G1 this morning (6:30 AM MST or 8:30 AM EST) via the website and had no problems at all. Quick & Easy. Apparently the first XOs going to the developing world are going to Uruguay, so presumably that is where my gifted XO is going. [Maybe OLPC should consider including information on their website about where the specific gifted laptops (or batches thereof, I think the first production run was 40,000) are going, so the donors know who and where the kids are getting XOs? Just a thought.]

BTW: does anyone know if OLPC intends to publish "progress reports" on how the G1G1 initiative is going, i.e. how many orders they're getting and the like?

"I suspect part of the problem is getting the safety certifications and the like from the EU" - CE marking is all about self certification ie the vendor makes a statement that the goods comply with all relevant EU directives, so I see no delay there.

The variety of power plugs and voltages would frazzle the average American retailer :-)

Value Added Tax is due on imports to the EU and registration is required for collection and payment - but Amazon, Digital River and others do this all the time.

@John S.:

> I suspect part of the problem is getting the safety certifications and the like from the EU

Well, how then are they planning to distribute it to children? Considering that Romania is part of EU and is also covered by OLPC program?

Point in much of the above and the one I have posted on earlier is that OLPC's partner (eBay's PayPal) has system/API restrictions do not allow anyone outside take part in G1G1 (unless, of course, you somehow posses a US-based credit card).

This is not meant as dissing of OLPC -- just a statement of (sad) fact...

I'm in Canada & smoothly ordered my G1G1 XO by 3:15am Pacific Standard Time, using the website and a credit card thru PayPal. US$433.95 includes shipping to Canada. I sympathize with the excluded enthusiasts outside of Canada/USA, but suggest that you might do well to wait a few months until the product and production process is proven and debugged before committing your money. I feel I'm taking a risk, and still have no idea when I will actually receive my XO. OLPC/Quanta must take care not to disperse too many laptops too far too fast, because if they have some serious flaw it will make a bad public relations scandal or cost a fortune to fix. If the OLPC phenomenon works out, you can expect that consumer retail versions will eventually become available worldwide, because it will improve the economies of mass production for OLPC/Quanta.

How exactly do I have to do this with the UPS shop.
You wrote: "you have to arrange shipping with them yourself". Am I supposed to call them before I do the order? How do they know that it is my shipment they'll forward to me? How does payment work with them?

Has somebody actually tried this approach and could give a little report of what had to be done. My spoken English is not quite perfect so I'd like to be prepared when calling them.


Mail forwarding alone is not enough due to the paypal address problem. What you really need is mail forwarding that provides "Personal Shopper" service. With this service you use the mail forwarding company's US paypal account to pay instead your own paypal account. From the review at I found one mail forwarding company that offers this. Sweet, guess I'll try and order my G1G1 XO through that service.

"Well, how then are they planning to distribute it to children? Considering that Romania is part of EU and is also covered by OLPC program?"

That may just be a bit in the future, or perhaps they already have some arrangement with Romania. One of the articles I read yesterday said that that the first batch to go to children is going to Uruguay and apparently they are already set to go there. Europe is, of course, well known for its bureaucracy, so it really can't be too much of a surprise that there might be some delays here and there as mentioned previously ("Value Added Tax is due on imports to the EU and registration is required for collection and payment...")

Anyway, I imagine OLPC would be utterly foolish to permanently exclude the enthusiastic folks supporting this project in the EU; so I would imagine that once all the paperwork is settled, they'll launch some sort of program to make the XO easily available to European supporters (same with Australia/New Zealand). As I understand it, Uruguay is the only government that has solidly paid for XOs (unlike other countries that are still negotiating), so it would be very much in OLPC's interest to continue variations on the G1G1 initiative (assuming all goes well).

Regardless, I don't think the EU will be denied access, but it may take a bit longer.


I tried to order in G1G1, but i live in Switzerland..
So i Tried, nothing worked, because will not mak PS for charity orders.... and USA Box requires the form 1583 wich i only can sent via mail ;)
Is there any other way to order 2 of the XO`s?
Its very sad that they make it so hard to give them the money...

Tank you


For those outside the US: why can't you just trust a friend in the US to order the laptop for you? It's a win-win: (s)he gets the tax benefit, you get the laptop - it's only a matter of shipping.

Just my 2c.

"Europe is, of course, well known for its bureaucracy"

- it isn't a patch on the USA, we don't have any BS like the FCC certifying every 802.11 wireless device by type, for example.

Nor will you be asked if you were a member of the Nazi party if you fly over here :-)


I have contact UPS, they want the following information :

Estimated height, width and length of package
Estimated weight of package

Can anyone give me an idea?

Thanks a lot

I, on behalf of Telstra (Australia) just called the international support line to G1G1 of 100+. There are 55,000 employees so we think 100 will be a easy target(5 on our floor of 40 want one each) I personally think we could G1G1 of 10,000.

They flatly refused and said 'no' to every option proposed including a bulk delivery that we pay for all shipping.

Now that is sad as we now have to find a U.S office to send to which is a major un-needed hassle.


As the mail forwarding service (i.e. of the mentioned UPS store) doesn't work because you need also an american credit card, you can try these Mail Forwarding Service. They have an "Personal Shopper" service which includes payment with an american credit card or paypal.

I ordered my laptop over the phone, so no need for an American card.

Anyway, the UPS store has quoted me shipping of approximately $200 (to the UK), that was based on me assuming the package would be 5lbs and 15cm x 30cm x 20cm. This included $500 of insurance coverage. I have asked if they will reduce the cost for less insurance. I am pretty much at their mercy as the laptop has already been ordered and addressed to them!

I am also dreading receiving the package and finding a huge bill from customs and excise slapped on top. This whole thing could turn out to be very costly.

...yesterday I was on Amazon UK, and I saw a banner ad for OLPC, saying "available now"...

I tried to click but I have certain things blocked on my browser and it wouldn't go anywhere...Have refreshed loads (lol) but never seen it since.

I got all excited but I'm assuming now that the ad was wrongly placed on a UK site :(

Or maybe it was a dream lol

FYI, there are officially three charges you might expect with imported goods plus a handling charge of the carrier (as they need to advance the duties on your behalf). I am not exceedingly familiar or commercial electronic goods, but here is what you might expect for the UK:

Exceise duty: Not applicable as this is for goods such as tobacco and perfume that attract special direct taxes (I think no electronic goods fall into this category).

Customs(Import) duty: I hope they waive you this. For "gifts" under 290GBP (last year), it is the lower between the actual rate for the product and 3.5% of the cost excluding non-express delivery costs. They waive the charge if it is less than 7GBP. Given that, after all, you are paying $400, at the current rate of exchange, it might not apply.

VAT: I am pretty sure they will check that:(. Here, the VAT rate for the product (17.5% for electronics) applied to the exchange rate supplied by HMCustoms & Excise is what you pay. Unfortunately, this includes the amount of postage. [The waives here do not apply as the cost + postage must no exceed 18 GBP or 36 GBP, not your case.]

Carrrier's handlig fee: this is usually a flat rate that might even be 0GBP given that it comes by UPS (Royal Mail's is 13.5GBP).

You might expect a minimum of 50-80GBP from VAT but not "double" the amount. I sincerely hope this is not too bad and you get the XO.

This is not legal advise on commercial imports, this is my partcular experience and one of the hassles to take into account having friends and family over the Pond:)

You can appeal the decision if what the customs label is plainly wrong - with the help of a solicitor you might even argue that the actual cost is just $200 (plus $200 postage as officially $200 are donated to acharity and are not part of the payment-they happen to have been paid in the same transaction) but then they might end up treating it as a commercial import rather than a gift and there might be Customs duty (if they waived them).

Hope you enjoy your experience with this interesting piece of engineering,

R. Miracle

Has anyone actually tried calling the 877 number and successfully used a non-US credit card to order one of these, shipped to a US remailer ? Gregor implies he has. Do you have to give them your (non-US) billing address ?

OK, I think both the last 2 replies were aimed at me, not Gregor.

Firstly thank you R. Miracle for the info, seems to have confirmed my worst fears! Still, I can't wait to get my hands on the hardware.

And to Haveahacks.. yes I ordered one with a UK credit card, they only asked for the US shipping address, they were not interested in the billing address.


I have shop space to accept several pallets of XO's and forward them on in batches. Location is Eastern Shore of VA--so not terribly convenient but we are served by FedEx, UPS, BAXGlobal and DHL.

We wouldn't be interested in doing the whole (web site, payment, etc.) piece, but we can accept and reship either individually or by the pallet. Individual reshipment could get to be very paper intensive due to export documents, so batch setups would be best. I can be contacted by email for more discussion and questions.

Hi Wayne,

So much for the "free" trade agreement between USA and Australia. Sounds like Telstra trying to do something useful though. If you guys ever get onto this perhaps setting up an Aussie interest list would be great.

How does one go about ordering these laptops through the G1G1 program? Specifically, where do I go to send funds in, and must I actually order and pay for two? One for an overseas child and one for my grandkids? Thanks, Malcolm Massie

I successfully placed my 'Give One Get One' international order a few minutes ago, and I am a happy puppy now.

Here's how I did it:

1) A few days ago, as suggested by Wayan, I signed up for a mail forwarding service (I used Access USA, and chose a merchandise only forwarding address for 80 USD).

2) As soon as Access USA sent me e-mail confirmation and gave me my very own US based address, I tried ordering the laptops through PayPal, but failed as there was no way I could change the ship-to address to my Florida forwarding address. PayPal allows to change the ship-to address, but the system only accepts addresses in the same country you are based in.

3) Having no other options and being slightly drunk, tonight at 3.10am local time in Italy (10.10pm in Boston), I fired up Gizmo and called the international order number (1-949-608-2865), not really expecting an answer (it's Saturday and it's late!). I thought I would get to hear a recorded message telling me at what time to call back. To my surprise, a sweet girl's voice greeted me, and proceeded to take my order. It was a slow and slightly awkward process, as I had to spell my name and address and credit card details (my English is sadly not flawless), but she was very nice about it, and we made it. My order is now placed!

I am posting this to thank Wayan, and to confirm that it can be done - International customers can take part in the 'Give One Get One' program. The procedure could be easier, sure, but in the end all that counts is that it works... \o/

I placed my order some 5 days ago. It was really hard, bad phone quality. In the end, we said OK and it was finished. However, my debit card hasn't been billed yet - so I am not sure everything is OK.

I absolutely *hate* that I can't do this over the internet, as it is extremely much easier. How in the world can I make the girl in the phone aware of how you write «Hørthe» and «Børge»? That's no task for a phone-order.

I'm sure something is messed up over there. I had much trouble explaining the shipping and billig address (which of course is different), I also need another name in the US shipping address. I think she just god frustrated in the end and said it was OK.

If I got the correct order number I must try to check my order again tomorrow or the day after.

I really want those 3 OLPC's :-)

I tried ordering on the international order number (1-949-608-2865) twice: Both refused saying they cannot accept an order for a UK credit card - not sure how they expect international customers to place their orders?
The call center staff blindlym read out from a printed matter without understanding what it means!

i am mary living in the usa and i want to know if you carry internation shiiping of HP Pavilion TX1305US 12.1" Entertainment Notebook PC (AMD Turion 64 Processor TL-58, 1 GB RAM, 160 GB Hard Drive, Vista Home Premium)
i will like to ship it to a an institution in gahan west africa , so i want to know the price each if you can do that
i hope to hear from you soon

You r stopid!

my name is william wachira.

i hail from kenya. i am involved in dessimating ict knowledge to people in rural areas of kenya.

i am in need of a laptop so that i can be preparing the lessons in advance or i can carry the lapttop to areas with no electricity.

please if you can donate a laptop to me i will be very grateful which i will use to impart change. please reach me through my email address or my physical address william wachira

p.o. box 1215-00900 kiambu kenya.

i look forward to a positive reply from you.

yours Faithfully,
William Wachira