Why should I buy stuff from overseas websites?
- Choice. You can find things that you may not be able to buy in your own country.
- Bargains. Many shops in the USA and China may be cheaper than stuff sold at home, and many shops offer free worldwide shipping and big discounts.
- Availability. Whilst some stuff can be bought locally, sometimes there is not much available, increasing the available shops increases the supply.
What should I consider when buying internationally?
- Always check out the shop you want to buy from, many are reputable and offer a great service and product but, some may not be quite as good. Check out our reviews or ask a question in the forum to gauge others' thoughts and experiences.
- Read the shipping policy so you know how much shipping will cost and how long it will take to arrive.
- Also read the returns policy, because if you have to return the goods, you will want to know how to do it.
- Familiarize yourself with you local import duty allowances, so you know how much you can spend before you might have to pay tax, and if so, how much import tax you may have to spend.
- Items marked as gifts, sometimes but not always, can have a higher value before being eligible for import duty.
- Using a credit card to purchase online can give you some extra payment protection should you have a problem afterwards.
How many people shop cross-border?
PayPal in a research paper identified 94 million cross-border shoppers in total across six global markets. Together they spent a total of $105 billion in 2013, representing 16% of all online shopping. By 2018, it is estimated that there will be 130 million international shoppers, spending nearly three times as much, up to $307 billion.
Some websites will allow you to pay in your home currency. We have identified some of those that will do this on our shop listings.
Here are some popular exchange rates for comparison.
$1 USD = £0.67 GBP
£1 GBP = Y9.2 CNY
$1 USD = $1.28 AUD
Can I contribute?
We set this community and website up to help others to buy internationally. We have several ways you can contribute and help out:
- Take part in the forum.
- Leave a shop review and tell others how you got on when you shopped internationally.
- If you know of a good shop that is not listed, please get in touch, or submit it using the Add New Shop form.
- Subscribe to the email newsletter and keep in touch with us and the shops!