Online shopping

Tonight on the Frugal Japan website a member was asking if anyone would be interested in "online shopping sprees". This sort of thing is common in Singapore. I googled it and found the group. From what I can gather members of the group solicit orders from other members for certain online shops, collate the orders and have them shipped as one order to cut down on shipping costs.

What do you think? It seems risky to me especially when it comes to collecting the money. I've been bitten on Tell and Sell - no payment, late payment, last minute re-neg, overpayment and then there's the issue of how to ship the package inexpensively (it's not possible).

I'd consider getting friends together to order and cut costs but not with strangers.

Has anyone tried one of the numerous companies that provide a forwarding service? I've ordered from Expat Express. Shipping was calculated by weight.

Foreign Buyer's Club also offer the same arrangement. You can shop directly at FBCExpress or you can "Shop online from your Favorite U.S items and have them sent to Japan with FBCExpress". Again shipping is based on weight.

For orders from FBCExpress' own store the shipping rate is flat rate I believe.

I used to have an account with DoUWantIt.com It's a partner site to Overstocks.com.

What do I order? I'm tall and large so I shop for clothes mainly. Recently I have found the clothes at Aeon in the Plus Size section fit me. I'm wearing a cardigan that's 3L which doesn't do much for my self-esteem but at least it fits!

I have very sensitive hair and skin so I order cosmetics and toiletries from the international stockists. I like Strawberry Net but they only sell "brand" cosmetics which don't meet my budgetary constraints! The site is easy to get around but I recommend signing up for email updates then you get a link directly to the English website rather than the Japanese one.

Over the years I have come to like Eddie Bauer, J-Crew, Land's End and New Zealand based Ezibuy. Of course I'm a frequent shopper at Amazon Japan and all the other Japan based stores. What are your favourites?

2 comments:

  1. I have used the Expat Express mail forwarding service to get a portable DVD players from the US. (Yes, I know they have them in Japan and you can hack them and make them region free, but...I have my reasons. LOL!) Anyway, I was very impressed with the service. I might use it again for Christmas as DD wants something I can't get here.

    I have also gotten together and done the group order thing, but I have only ever done it with friends that I trusted.

    Also, if you do it be clear from the beginning about how everyone will split shipping. People who only order a couple of things will sometimes want to pay less than people who ordered a lot and it can get very complicated if they start demanding to pay x% because they only ordered x% of the total and so forth. So,just be sure that everyone is clear and in agreement about that beforehand.

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  2. Thanks for the extensive reply Sherry. Good advice for anyone who is weighing up their options.

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