A few years ago, I went a bit crazy with overseas shopping for my daughter’s 4th birthday party. I had a computer and my poor husband’s credit card, I thought it was easy peasy…. buy and pay. Little did I know the dangers of online shopping at the time, and a few months later we received insane credit card statements for thousands of rands purchased at unknown overseas companies. Thankfully the bank reversed it, as it was fraud obviously, but I’m sure it could have been much worse. I get a few messages asking how I purchase items internationally, so I thought I’d do a blog post on it.
A few months ago I discovered Aramex Global Shopper and after reading some good reviews, I signed up. I think I paid around R170 (with a discount code) for the actual account, which is for a lifetime membership. What you get is:
Affordable shipping fees – R175 for the first 0.5kgs and then R99 per 0.5kgs after that
Currently, about 18 ‘addresses’ around the world that you can ship to, when the seller perhaps does not ship to South Africa (and Kenya or Botswana). From that ‘address’, they ship to your physical address in South Africa. Addresses include Hong Kong, Dubai, London, Milan, New York, Thailand and Tokyo. (Remember you may still have shipping from the retailer to the Aramex address, so look out for free shipping offers within the country you are purchasing from, or if there’s a ‘free shipping above $30 purchases’ offer. )
Aramex deals with customs and fees on your behalf, and you settle with them directly, instead of dealing with customs.
They insure your parcel for up to $50 (I think that’s the amount).
They offer a money back guarantee within the 1st year if you’re not happy with their service. No questions asked.
If you go 100gms over 0.5kgs, you get charged the additional R99, which is a bit painful for me personally. Unfortunately the sellers do not give you an estimate of parcel weight.
You cannot combine packages to save on shipping fees. You pay per parcel.
I’ve used Aramex a few times now and have been very happy with their service, except my very last order, but they have now contacted me and are keeping me up to date. They are a very good option for shipping international packages. The speedy deliveries have seriously impressed me, sometimes being shorter than some local deliveries I’ve waited for. So that’s Aramex in a nutshell.
Then to pay for my actual purchases I recommend setting up a PayPal account. You can use PayPal to pay for your purchases and not have to provide any actual card/account information online to the seller. I really like that. Also you can activate/link a few cards or deactivate a card at any time. Also what I really love about PayPal is that they offer you Buyer Protection.
Buyer Protection – If an eligible item that you’ve bought online doesn’t arrive, or doesn’t match the seller’s description, PayPal’s Buyer Protection may reimburse you for the full amount of the item plus postage. Buyer Protection can cover your eligible online purchases, on eBay or on any other website, when you use PayPal.
Once you start purchasing makeup (or anything really) overseas, you want to have the freedom and peace of mind to purchase any sought after brand not available locally and to know you’ll be protected in the event of damages, incorrect goods, etc. If you’re careful and do your homework, you should not be shedding any tears over purchases gone wrong 🙂
Always research before purchasing from an International retailer. Check their Facebook page, Google, etc. for feedback on purchases. I had a friend message me recently about a dress she wanted to purchase. It took me 5 seconds to Google that the dresses were bad quality and also the retailer was a bit dodgy. So please ladies, do your homework.
I’ve used the Aramex and Paypal to purchase from Colourpop, Superdrug and Wet n Wild. Colourpop does ship internationally now, but I find that their flat $25 is a bit much compared to the $13-$15 fee I pay to Aramex. So many International brands are making it easier to purchase their goodies, but compare shipping rates to save a few bucks. I want to place a Makeup Revolution order soon and their shipping fee is lower than the Aramex fee, so I’ll be using their shipping in that case.
Happy shopping ladies and stay safe.
PS If you want to sign up with Aramex, Google for a discount code and I’m sure one should come up. If you are interested, I can also check for you, so just leave a comment below.