If you are anything like me you can’t stand fighting for a parking, dealing with large crowds in shopping malls, digging through clothing racks to find the correct size and waiting in a queue to pay for purchases on a Saturday morning. To be honest, I avoid it at all costs. I much prefer shopping in the privacy of my own home (usually in my pajamas), with my hair in a messy bun and with a cup of tea in hand. It’s so quick and simple and I absolutely love it when the courier arrives with my items a few days later just like Santa on his slay with my Christmas presents lol. You may have noticed that I always link the items I’m wearing in my blog posts or Instagram pictures to make it easy for you to shop the items I’m wearing directly from your home too. Lately, I’ve been receiving quite a few questions from South African readers asking about the process of international online shopping so I thought I’d share a few tips and tricks in this Guide to International Online Shopping.
I often like to do international online shopping on sites such as ASOS, Nordstrom and Macys because they have such a wide range of items, the quality is phenomenal, the trends are current and the service is great. The main reason why I love international online shopping is because I feel that we are so limited in terms of choice here in South Africa and we are often restricted from wearing the latest trends we see on Instagram or international blogs until about 1 year to 18 months down the line when they finally arrive on SA shores.
The first thing you need to know about international online shopping is that we, as South Africans, are heavily taxed on importing clothing items into the country. By “heavily” I mean up to a whopping 45% which is pretty much unheard of in any other country. There is a silver lining though: any clothing order valued at under R500.00 is exempt from custom duties. Having said this, there are often times were an item I’m about to purchase is over R500 and with a quick calculation on what I can expect to pay for the item along with custom duties, I often realise that the item is still cheaper than what I would be paying for the equivalent in a shop in SA. This is often the case with formal dresses. Along with being cheaper than something I could buy here, buying it from overseas also means there is zero risk of me arriving at a wedding in the same dress that someone else is wearing too. Awkward!
Once you’ve placed your order I highly recommend having it sent by courier. Often international online stores’ “standard shipping” means shipping via the postal service which is reliable if you’re living in the States or the UK but we all know what a horrific job the South African postal service do so unless you’re willing to take the gamble of your order being “lost” in the post, rather don’t risk it and pay the shipping charge instead. I’ve learned this the hard way. The international online stores are always really good about missing deliveries but rather than dealing the added hassle, have your delivery couriered. If you’re worried about the cost of delivery (usually around R200.00), I’d recommend asking your mom/sister/bestie if they would like to make any purchases from that site and put it all through as one order and then split the delivery cost.
I hope this post has answered any questions you might have surrounding international online shopping. If you have any other questions, pop them in the comment section below and I will make sure to answer each one. I always leave the links for each item in my blog post directly under the images and also in the widget below so that you can start shopping straight away. You can shop my Instagram posts by clicking on the “Fashion” drop-down bar at the top of this page. If you download the LIKETOKNOW.it app from the App/Google Play store you can also screenshot any of my Instagram/Snapchat images that are LIKETOKNOW.it enabled and you will be provided with all the details of where each element of my outfit is available for purchase. Happy shopping!!!