I have the ultimate love/hate relationship with online shopping internationally. When I discovered it years ago, I was hooked, but after many, many disappointing experiences with shipping and especially dealing with our local post office and customs in SA (grrr), I just gave up! The problem though, is that I’m a shop-a-holic, and I can’t stop myself from browsing what’s out there – it’s part of my job, so I guess I kinda of have to (or at least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it). Plus, I am always fascinated by all the pretty things we can’t get in SA, which only makes me want them more!
Well gals, I’ve got the answer to all your online shopping dilemmas thanks to Aramex Global Shopper – the super efficient service that takes all the pain and hassle out of shopping online internationally, shipping, dealing with the South African Post office and customs!
Now that I’ve found Aramex Global Shopper, I think we’ll be besties, and my lovely readers, you too can become BFF’s as I have discounted coupon for all of you later on in this post (under my “How it Works” heading). But first, let me tell you all about my really easy shopping experience and show you my new Rebecca Minkoff baby, which has completely changed my view on online shopping for the better! Bank balance beware 🙂
Ok, so I had my eye on the baby pink Rebecca Minkoff Cleo Wallet On Chain for a while, and as much as I wanted it, I didn’t want the pain of importing it. Every time I had imported something from overseas in the past 5 years, it had been a nightmare! Besides the exorbitant shipping charges, hefty customs duties (handbags are around 30%, plus duties and clothes are even more), the pain of dealing with the local post office and trying to release a parcel from customs was just not worth it. Or at least not worth the disappointment.
Until I was introduced to Aramex Global Shopper! In a nutshell, it’s the answer to all your international online shopping needs, wants and desires!
Once you sign up with them, you get a lifetime membership which includes 14 of your very own international shipping addresses. So you can shop hassle free in New York, London, Shanghai, Istanbul, Dubai, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Frankfurt, Milan, Barcelona, Paris, Singapore, Ontario and Malaysia, without leaving the comfort of your home.
Seen a beautiful handbag in New York, a stylish coat in Paris, or have your eye on some super cool electronics from Germany? They can all be yours and the best part is, Aramex Global Shopper not only brings them to you chop-chop (which beats banging your head into a wall trying to get a response from customs or our local Post Office – who never answer their phone), but AGS offer reasonable shipping rates too!
To give you an example, with my Rebecca Minkoff Cleo Wallet On Chain that I imported using Aramex Global Shopper, my shipping fees were only R275. The exact same bag, if purchased from Bloomingdales, my shipping alone would have come to R737.80! Talk about a score! I’m using Bloomingdales as an example here since they ship directly to SA and calculate all charges for you on checkout so I could compare. When you already have to consider our weak Rand/ Dollar exchange and the possibility of customs, saving R462.80 makes a huge difference to your total import cost.
Now lets talk about customs. I know a lot of people have had their parcels slip through. Unfortunately I’m not one of the lucky ones. Whenever I’ve ordered from the US, my parcels have incurred customs duties. Sadly this really isn’t something you can get around and although I hate customs, the fact that Aramex Global Shopper deals with them makes my life so much easier! Nothing worse than spending all day on the phone trying to figure out what happened to your parcel, where it is and what is needed to release it only to get nowhere.
From your Aramex Global Shopper profile, you can track your parcel from the minute it arrives at your AGS address. If you do encounter import duties when it arrives in SA, AGS will update the amounts on your profile and let you know what is needed to get your parcel released (clearance documents, invoice etc). They also have a nifty upload feature on your profile which makes sending all the necessary documentation a breeze.
Aramex Global Shopper is a really easy service, and quite honestly, very much needed in SA for shopperlusting peeps like you and me!
It’s an ideal service for buying stuff from retailers that don’t ship to South Africa, and even if they do, I’ve found the AGS shipping charges way more reasonable, so I’d much rather just shop using Aramex Global Shopper. Plus many of the retailers that do ship to SA usually have a minimum spend fee, so it’s great that you don’t have to overspend just to get what you want!
How it works!
- First sign up for a lifetime membership with AGS here and use my discounted coupon so you only pay $10 instead of $45. When checking out use AGS10SSB to apply the discount (which will work until the 16th April 2016). FYI AGS offers a money back guarantee, so if you sign up and you don’t use the service for a year, or you think it wasn’t worth it in the first year, you can ask for a refund – no questions asked!
- Seen something you love? Have it sent to one of your 14 personalized AGS addresses that will be given to you once you’ve signed up.
- Once your parcel arrives at the AGS hub, it will be shipped out almost immediately. My order arrived at my AGS address in New York (coz I’m fancy like that and have an addy in New York baaaby) on the 29th Feb. Aramex Global Shopper shipped it out on the 1st March and it arrived in South Africa on the 4th March. I only had to pay for shipping right at the end.
- Your shipping charges will be calculated based on the total weight of your shipment.These are determined by both destination and the origin zone that the shipment comes from. You can check these out in detail here and you can also get an estimate on shipping charges using the calculator on your AGS profile.
- Track your parcel from the minute it leaves the hub until the minute it lands in your hands, quickly and easily via your AGS profile.
- Once your parcel lands on South African soil, if there are any customs duties/ fees, these will be loaded onto your AGS profile and you can pay for them quickly using PayPal.It’s a good idea to know what you’re in for and prepare for customs (even if you get lucky and your package slips through). A great tool to work these out is DutyCalculator.com. Just bear in mind that if your parcel is stopped at customs, AGS charges you a clearance fee of R50.00 per shipment for any shipments with an invoice value of over R500.00. That’s really not bad! Also, a 2.5% Disbursement Fee will be charged when your shipment has incurred Customs Duties and VAT in excess of R1000.00.
Overall, I was really impressed with how quick and efficient the Aramex Global Shopper service was! My parcel arrived at my NY address on the last day of Feb and was shipped out to SA the next day. By the 4th March my parcel was on local soil and if it wasn’t for the week that I was sick in between, I probably would have gotten in sooner (since I needed to submit clearance documents for customs).
Once I submitted these (on the 8th March), my parcel was released and I had it delivered to my door bright and early on 11th March. Considering I’ve waited longer for a parcel from a local retailer, I’d say that’s pretty good going!
PS! Let me know if you’d like to read more about purchasing Rebecca Minkoff handbags in South Africa. Like I said, I’ve wanted this little bag for a while and I found a few sneaky, but legit ways to shop smarter that I’d be happy to share with you gals and tell you more about my charges on this bag in detail. Just comment below and let me know ok?