Saturday, May 26, 2012

Online Shopping Encore

Online shopping is so additive, I just can't stop clicking.


If you been shying away from online shopping, you are missing the attractive benefits. Beside the conveniece of shopping anywhere anytime, you often get larger variety and delivery right to your doorsteps.

But the main draw for me is the price. With the recent strength in SGD, US and Euporean sites offers fantastic pricing especially during their sale.

I wrote a blog post on online USA shopping before and that concentrated on the frieght forwarders that ship the goods bought on USA sites to you. This post expands on that to other options available.

Freight Forwarders like vPost and Borderlinx are ok to use when shipping multiple small items that are packed such that their volumic weight is close to their actual weight. But my recent interest in Lego sets has prompted me to look for alternative shipping. The main reason is most lego sets while doesn't weight much, are usually packed in nice big box, jacking up the volumic weight. So I'm effectively paying to ship air.

Enter Tarazz. They are a USA shopping site that ships for a flat fee for first three kg (also based on volumic weight) and at $6 per kg above that. I find their shipping pretty reasonable compared to vPost and Bordelinx, especially when you wish to ship big lego sets. And they quote the total amount you need to pay in SGD at checkout. If after the item reaches their hub and its higher than the 3kg, they will advise you on the addtional overweight charges. They also offers the option to debox if its overweight by 2kg or more. vPost offers this service too but not Borderlinx. It's an important service as it can subtantially reduce your shipping cost.

They also offer Butler service for sites that do not accept non USA credit cards or refuse to ship to frieght forwarder's address (like Nike.com and Lego.com).

If you are into Lego, you may be looking for loose bricks to do your own creations or just to replace some missing bricks. Bricklink is the place to go for loose bricks. Its a Lego marketplace that is huge and growing.
In there, you are find almost any kinds of lego bricks in another colour even made. And the prices for sets and minifigures are in general cheaper than eBay. And being Lego owners/fans themselves, most of them take the effort to pack the goods protectively.

Bookdepository.com is the place I shop nowadays for physical books. They also have a UK site call Bookdepository.co.uk. I usually check both sites to see which offers cheaper price (due to fx differences). The site offers free shipping to Singapore and they quote their price in SGD so its easy to compare, even with prices of local stores. So far I only had 1 book that arrived in not so good state due to shipping.

iHerb.com offers very good prices for health supplements and baby food. They also gave me a special coupon code "EWU242" to share with everyone. This offers USD5 off for your first iHerb purchase and I get to earn credit too.

Also check out my first post on Online US shopping.

Update 14 Aug 12: iHerb just informed me that the above coupon code is now worth USD10 for anyone shopping with them for the first time, with a minimum spending of USD40. Or USD5 off smaller orders.

Lastly, remember to take into account the 7% GST for any purchases above SGD400, inclusive of shipping cost, overseas sales taxes, etc. Happy shopping!

Update 14 Apr 13: It seems like Tarazz is no longer operational. The last update I saw was that they are away for the Christmas and New Year holiday but they never seem to come back. And now their website url is no longer working.

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