By Finder blogger: Jeannette Arrowood of dontspoilmarket.com
The Finder may have nicknamed me “The Hackinista,” but truth be told, I should be called the “online shop insists.” Or perhaps not – since moving to Singapore I have lost this illustrious title because:
A.I’ve been spoiled by free shipping and Amazon Prime while living in the US
B.I still can’t quite get over paying more than $15 for shipping anything, much less RETURNING IT
C.It’s taken me awhile to figure out this VAT thing
I’ve also tried to turn down the amount of online shopping I do for ethical reasons and environmental reasons, but I still have some tricks up my sleeve!
1. Consolidating your shipment
Ship all your newly purchased booty to an American address, then have them re-packaged and sent to you in a consolidated shipment. This way, even if the store doesn’t ship to Singapore, you can still get the must-have item (and this will likely make you eligible for initial free shipping in the US).
That being said, you’ll either have to be a wizard who knows the exact dimensions of your parcel, or have a lot of time and energy to figure out how much shipping will cost when your items are re-packed. Plus there can be a long delay in receiving your items, so it can get complicated.
There are several services that do this, such as Vpost, GShipExpress, Comgateway, Borderlinx, BoxinUS, MyUS, and Shipmatica. Read their reviews in this epic thread (there are pros and cons to each) before deciding on one!
2. Buying from other sources
By “other sources”, I really mean China.
Now, this may not be the most reliable option, depending on what you’re buying, but my partner uses this option for electronics and has ended up with some deals!
Try Ezbuy (formerly known as 65daigou) – it basically translates Taobao into English and allows you to order directly from Taobao and have it shipped to Singapore. You can order anything.
3. Get your items carried back by foreign travelers
Genius. Just – genius!! I mean, I’ve suckered my mom into bringing me leggings from Lane Bryant that were on mega-sale, dental floss in a massive pack from Costco… But mom has only visited once in 2 years. Not too feasible.
Have you tried any of these services yet? What has been your experience?
With so many options to choose from, it seems like anything CAN be shipped (except poppy seeds …), but the question is, how much are you willing to pay?
About Jeannette Arrowood
American-born expat Jeannette is a talented hackinista with an innate knack for optimisation – she’s all about cheaper, faster, and less hassle-y ways to get things done. She writes at the cheekily named Don’t Spoil Market about things she discovers in sunny Singapore, and she keeps it 100% steady pom pi pi lah!