Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Evaluating My Overseas Shopping Habit
Now that the dollar - shekel exchange rate has gone all the way up again (it's about 3.9 today, you can check the current rate on XE or The Bank of Israel) it's time for me to re-evaluate my strategy of ordering certain items from overseas.
Not only is the dollar exchange rate prompting me to do this, but iHerb's announcement of higher international shipping rates REALLY made me think. (They have instituted weight based shipping rates, but give 50% off shipping for orders of $20+, now. Here are the new shipping rates for international orders: Up to 1 pound = $4.45; from 1 pound to 2 pounds = $8.90; from 2 pounds to 3 pounds = $13.35; from 3 pounds to 4 pounds = $17.80)
So let's take a look at some products I know people buy from abroad but have started to become more available here.
Product iHerb price Vitacost Price Local Price
Coconut Sugar (454g) $5.09/19.97nis $4.99/19.58nis 19.90 - for 500g
Coconut Oil (946ml) $14.35/56.30nis $17.89/70.18nis 74.90 - for 1liter
Pink Salt (909g) $9.96/39.08nis $9.79/38.40nis 32.50 for 1kg
Grey Sea Salt (454g) $4.48/17.58nis $5.00/19.62 12.90 for 1kg!
Maple Syrup (946ml) $24.98/98.04 $22.19/87.09 98.70 for 1080ml
Vitamin B12 (250-1000mcg) $20.60/80.76nis $20.60/80.76 75.40 for 240
I could go on all night comparing products like this, but I think you can see a pattern here. Now that the exchange rate is so much higher than it had been, ordering from abroad may not be saving us money. The prices listed above do not even take shipping charges into account!
Of course, there will always be that special item you just cannot get here. And for those, I am grateful for international shipping! But I for, one, will likely be waiting for a LOT fewer packages to arrive, at least for right now. (But I will still order my fragrance free shampoo, I don't have any other way to get it!)
Although if I am going to be realistic, now that I’ve discovered AliExpress.com, I don’t know if I really will be waiting for fewer packages overall!
If you STILL want to order from iHerb or Vitacost, go ahead! And be sure to take advantage of iHerb's first time customer discount, and sign up for $10 off your first order at Vitacost, too!
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