Welcome to our guide to buying from overseas online shops with international shipping to Great Britain, otherwise known globally as the UK. There are hundreds of shops throughout Europe, the USA and all over the world that sell things that can be shipped to the United Kingdom.
Why should I shop from overseas?
There are plenty of reasons for buying from international shops. These days with the invention of the internet it is easy to browse online shops from all over the world, from the USA, Australia, China, Hong Kong and the rest of Europe, to name just a few of the more popular shopping countries. Many shops in these locations will offer free worldwide shipping to the UK. So the best reasons for buying online worldwide include:
- More choice, as you can browse and buy from shops all over the world.
- International shipping can be cheap or even free.
- Some countries sell things cheaper than they can be bought domestically in Britain.
What are the best shops with worldwide shipping to the UK?
There are online retailers all over the world that sell products in all categories that are different or better value than some of those found at home. Here is a comparison table of some of our favourites.
Top tips for buying from international websites.
- Always try to buy with your credit card, this will give you extra protection in the unlikely event you have a problem with your international purchase. Otherwise a service such as Paypal can also give you extra protection.
- carefully read the website’s shipping and returns policy. All are different, so it is good to know in advance how long things will take to arrive, and how many days you have to return any unwanted items.
- Read the reviews and if you have used a shop please leave a review. Good or bad.
You may need to work out the prices of some goods by converting the prices into British Pounds. Although, many shops do offer prices in many currencies.
£1 = about $1.50 US Dollars
£1 = about CNY9.3 Chinese Yuan
£1 = about EUR1.4 Euros
The exchange rates are quite important because when the pound is high it will make overseas purchases even cheaper.
Do I have to pay UK Customs Import Duty?
- VAT is charged on gifts sent to the UK if their value is more than £36.
- Purchases are duty free if their value is under £135, otherwise 2.5% for gifts valued between £135-£630. Other purchases above this amount are subject to duty at their applicable rate, which alters according to product type.
- If you return your purchases you can apply for a VAT and import duty refund.
Information taken from Gov.uk Tax and Customs.
Can I join the Community?
If you are a keen international shopper, or just doing it as a one off, we would love to hear your experiences, it is very useful and helpful to others. Why not?
- Sign up to the email newsletter and we will send you details of interesting shops and deals and coupon codes
- Make friends in the community forum
- Leave a shopping review and tell everyone what you think of the shops you have used.