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Monday, April 30, 2012

Online Shopping

I have been trying to navigate the world of shopping here in Israel - and I have discovered high prices or sales gimmicks or poor quality, and other problems, in many places. Not to mention that anytime I drive ANYWHERE I spend a fortune on gas. So, I looked for alternatives. Some were out of necessity - certain items are just not available here. Some for convenience, so as not to run around, wasting a whole day shopping. And other items were just because it costs so much less abroad. It's time for us to tell Israeli retailers that we won't tolerate inflated prices anymore. If they want our business, give us competetive pricing!

This list is a work in progress. Feel free to leave comments with your favorite websites, or let me know about your experience shopping with these sellers.

I cannot endorse any of the sellers below, and I take no responsibility for your orders with them. I have merely compiled a list of sellers who sell internationally, and will ship to Israel. 

Amazon Global offers international shipping, and you prepay any import fees.

BetterWorldBooks.com - check for coupon codes! I *always* order with a coupon (example: code RETAILMENOT10 for 10% off 2 or more used books thru June 30, 2012). Free worldwide shipping.

Book depository - there are sometimes coupon codes available, so be sure to check (right now APMA12 will get you 10% off!)! Free worldwide shipping.

Vitacost (sign up for a coupon for $10 off your first order). Ship your order to Israel for as low as $10.99 (orders over 3 lbs will incur higher shipping fees)  If you have a BigCrumbs account, you can get a great rebate if you start shopping there! (but first sign up for your coupon!) (BigCrumbs requires a PayPal account based in the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, or Australia, as far as I know. But it's worth it)

iHerb (at this time, they do not guarantee arrival in Israel, and will not refund lost deliveries. I myself, have never had a problem. But there are plenty of people out there who may not be willing to take the risk. That said, if you choose to order, and you are a first time customer, use coupon code QEJ101 for $5 off your first order)

endless.com Super fast delivery, very reliable. $5/$10 shipping. I was thrilled with their service. Great shoes for less money than cheap shoes that fall apart in 4 weeks here... no need to say more. (some shoes and accessories cannot be purchased internationally, but MOST can) Here's an example of great shoes for a great price: Stride Rite Angler Sandal (Toddler/Little Kid),Brown,7.5 M US Toddler

Fishpond - sells a huge variety of items, including Legos, Melissa & Doug toys, health and beaty items, books, etc etc etc. It's huge. And it's all free shipping worldwide! Just watch out for customs limits - so some of those big Lego sets would get taxed, but a small one costs about half the price of a local toy store, and it ships for free! I'm going to check this out when I have some spare cash for splurging!

Next  Clothing for kids and Adults, and housewares. I have never ordered from them, but I have been told it is good. They advertise free delivery via Royal Mail.


ASOS Clothing for adults. (free standard shipping to Israel) (I have never ordered from them, but I have friends who have)


NatureShop - sells shoes, clothing, housewares, and more free shipping worldwide, ships from the UK via Royal Mail (I have never ordered from them, but I have friends who have)

Little Ones Clothing - high quality clothing for babies and children. International deliveries are shipped using Royal Mail and cost 4.50 GBP (about $7.30) (I have never ordered from them)

Cameo Jewelry Supply $12.95 international shipping. Ships via USPS in a flat rate envelope (items must fit in the envelope and be under the 4 lb weight limit for this method) (I have never ordered from them)

Gone Sewing - sewing supplies. Worldwide shipping for $3.33! (I have never ordered from them)

1-2-3 Stitch! Sells sewing and craft supplies, including craft kits. Shipping is via US Mail, and is calculated in your cart. Remember to check their clearance section for great deals! (I have never ordered from them)

dealextreme  - Worldwide Free Shipping, mostly electronics and gadgets. (I have never ordered from them)

The Hut. Sells clothing, toys, games, DVDs, Health & Beauty items, Sports equipment, and more. 1.19 GBP Shipping per item (I don't think in British Pounds, so I have no idea how much that is! Doesn't sound too exorbitant though), ships via airmail. (I have never ordered from them)

Zavvi - I believe this site is owned by The Hut (above), and sells the same types of items - DVDs, music, games, toys, clothing, gifts... They offer international shipping for 0.99 GBP, and soon free international shipping for orders over 35 GBP. They also have a rewards program, where you collect points every time you make a purchase. (They may charge the shipping fee per item)

StrawberryNET.com cosmetics and beauty supply. Ships free. (I have never ordered from them)

The Craft Barn Ships crafting supplies from the UK. International Shipping is capped at 10 GBP per order. (I have never ordered from them)

Forces of Nature coupon '10OFF30' $10 Off any purchase of $30 or more Exp 12/31/12 International shipping via USPS for $9.95 Homeopathic and natural remedies.

Housable.com Ships via airmail, worldwide, for free. I have no experience shopping from them. They sell all sorts of housewares and goods. (I have never ordered from them)

9Mart -  Sells all sorts of things - for $9 apiece. I have no experience shopping with them. they offer free Airmail (sent from Hong Kong) on all orders.

Tmart sells all sorts of stuff from China. (Again, I have no experience shopping with them). Free worldwide shipping.


Chocolate Circle - sells food-themed gift items (they all look like food). Shipping is free, and is sent out via airmail in Hong Kong. (I have never ordered from them)

Amazon UK ships here, but I found their fees slightly higher than I am comfortable with. (I have never ordered from them)

Debenhams  Sells Clothing, Shoes, Toys, Gifts, Housewares, and more (15 GBP for delivery though - I think that's high) (I have never ordered from them)

Focalprice - 8% OFF Over $35 Sitewide. Coupon code: JULYSAVE. Valid from 1, July to 31, July, 2012.

Still waiting for shipping information from: The Hunger Site Store (I have never ordered from them)


This post contains affiliate links that help support Frugal and Kosher! Thanks for your support.

36 comments:

  1. Which of these do you find worthwhile? From what I can tell, the merchandise (besides endless, iherb etc.) is Chinese stuff and/or expensive (I checked the "Next" site).

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    Replies
    1. I wrote all that I know already. Sorry. I think Next has some good sales from time to time, but I cannot vouch for anything. I have friends who have ordered from some of these stores - one loves NatureShop, for example. Of course, everyone's price points are different. My goal is to be sure that whatever I am getting is actually worthwhile...

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  2. The Next site says it is free shipping, but it isn't really - the prices are much higher than the Next UK site - so they have built the shipping into each items price - making it very expensive. For someone with UK connections, it is much cheaper to have it go to a UK address and have them mail it on to you.

    NatureShop - very good - I bought a lot of items for a friend - and they even guarantee that if there are customs duties etc, they will refund you - never noticed this, and I ordered each item separately. One item went missing and they replaced it without hesitation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad to hear good things about natureshop!

      As far as Next goes, well, it makes sense that they make it more expensive so they can cover shipping! Of course, buy carefully. But not all of us are lucky enough to have "home addresses" in both the US and the UK...

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  3. Thanks so much for this comprehensive list of online retailers with free/cheap overseas shipping!

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    Replies
    1. Happy to do it! And I'd be so happy if you'd share this post with your friends! ;-)

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  4. I've just received my 2nd order from Debenhams - towels. They cost less than in the UK because VAT was not charged. The quality is amazing, and £15 - about 87 NIS - for shipping 12 beautiful quality bath towels was less than the UK tax would have been.

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  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  6. I often buy DVDs from Amazon.co.uk. The prices are quite good -- you can reduce VAT from the quoted price, and shipping generally comes out less than the VAT that was subtracted. ends up being quite a bit cheaper than amazon.com (especially for orders fulfilled directly by amazon -- for those fulfilled by 3rd parties shipping comes out a bit more per DVD).

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    Replies
    1. how much is the VAT in the UK? That would be good to know when shopping sites in the UK...

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    2. vat in the uk is 20%

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    3. wow. that is high. and i thought israel's VAT was excessive.

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  7. Thanks so much for compiling this, can't wait to check a few of those out!

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  8. Hi,
    http://www.123stitch.com/
    Also ships to Israel and I think the shipping fees are not too high. I haven't tried it yet but I would do it. This is for needlepoint/cross stitch kind of thing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tzemer U'pishtim, if you order, can you let us know how it went - shipping charges (their site says int'l shipping begins at $4.49), method of shipping, whether or not you got charged fees...?
      Thanks so much!

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    2. I haven't tried it yet because I happened to have had someone coming to me from the US .. But I plan on it.. I will try to tell you about it. I like their service very much.

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  9. This may sound dumb, but how do you pay for this stuff if you don't have dollars or pounds? Is an international credit card (issued in Israel of course) required?
    Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. many of these sites accept paypal. otherwise, you would need a credit card that works internationally - it can be issued anywhere in the world where you are eligible for one.

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    2. the Israeli post office now has a debit type of card that can be used internationally...but you have to put money on it first.

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  10. marks and spencers delivers from the uk. amazing quality for decent prices especially in the sales. think they charge 15 pounds delivery to israel which is approx 90shek.

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    Replies
    1. thanks for letting me know! any idea what service they use for delivery? (I'm hoping not to include those that use EMS/FedEx/UPS)

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  11. surprised you didn't mention Mustop - www.mustop.co.il - they re-ship items from the US from places that don't ship to Israel. One of the specialties is shoes from Zappos. They also have an arrangement for the return shipping that covers much of the return shipping cost if you return an item.

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    Replies
    1. thanks for mentioning them. I will check it out. so far, my research into re-shippers has shown them to be VERY expensive. But maybe mustop is better!

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  12. Whats the story with import duties?

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    Replies
    1. As mentioned above, if you keep your order to $75 or less (including shipping charges, some say, others disagree), you will not be charged anything UNLESS your order arrives via Express Mail or FedEx or similar. Once you cross the $75 threshold, certain taxes kick in.
      For mote info about import taxes, see this post: http://kosherfrugalmenus.blogspot.com/2012/01/new-customsimport-law-has-gone-into.html

      Delete
  13. Vitacost is telling me

    No shipping method is available for your region

    has anyone ordered from them before?

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    Replies
    1. Vitacost will tell you that if something in your cart has restrictions on it - either export from the US or import into Israel.
      They don't send Solgar brand items, certain other supplements, or essential oils to Israel, along with a few other assorted items.
      I order from them about once a month.

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  14. nope. tried everything. maybe it is a new change? I can not get vitacost to accept my order.

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  15. never mind. got it. One item was not allowed and it would not tell me that until I was passed where I was in checkout!

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    Replies
    1. Sorry 'bout the prohibited item! Glad you got it sorted out though!

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    2. oh and did you sign up for the coupon?

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  16. sigh, still will not work. I have Canadian and ISraeli paypal accounts, no American!

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    1. try with the canadian one. - i think bigcrumbs works with those!
      the coupon I was talking about was #10 off your first purchase - nothing to do with paypal. click thru this link to sign up (anyone can get it!) for a coupon code: https://www.vitacost.com/MyAccount/CreateAccount.aspx?wlsrc=rsReferral&ReferralActionId=689000199344

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    2. more info about big crumbs - BigCrumbs is currently available in the following countries:

      Australia
      Canada
      Ireland
      United Kingdom
      United States

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  17. Thank you for great site; I have put it on my "favorites"!
    Regarding AMAZON UK for DVDs. I buy a lot of DVDs from them and am very pleased with the service and the prices (which are less the VAT) using my Israeli credit card.
    However, I did not have any luck downloading music: most CDs are available also in MP3 version, but it seems its not possible to download in Israel with Israeli credit cards. Do you know of "a way around" this problem, perhaps? (I simply prefer my music in MP3 format).
    Thank you, Yonatan

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  18. I used mySupermarket.co.il for finding deals on groceries here in Israel. The site compares the online grocery stores (Mega, Shufersal and Rami Levi) and shows you how cheap your basket comes out in all the stores. And it suggests cheaper alternatives for items you buy regularly.

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