If you tend to do all your purchasing with crazed eyes while wrapped in a blanket burrito in the early hours of the morning (yes hello, it me), you’re probably familiar with some of the tricky lil’ online shopping traps that you can fall into while navigating the wonderfully weird world of the internet.
There’s legit nothing worse than finding your ideal gift or product that you’re 100% convinced will turn your life around (you’ll finally start drinking green juices and going to the gym, that’s how good this is)… aaaand then it all goes downhill. But, rest assured, there’s a way to get around these potholes so you can go back to scrolling through your phone like the determined gremlin that you are.
There’s been a lot of talk about the GST changes, but if you’re still trying to work out what the heck it all means, this is the rundown: there’s been a new law that’s forced international sellers to add GST onto purchases under $1000, so a bunch of your fave online stores will be upping the price of their goodies.
Some brands are even going so far as to stop shipping from international sites to Australia. Amazon has cut off access for Aussies to purchase on any of their international websites, so we’re all restricted to the Australian version or not at all. While this obvs isn’t fun for anyone involved, some of your faves are coming up with inventive ways of making sure you’re still able to get the goods, with some straight up absorbing the extra costs so that products stay the same for customers. They’re the real MVPs.
Ridic delivery costs
If you’re purchasing a teeny tiny product (that will inevitably arrive in a giant-sized box for no apparent reason), it’s pretty annoying to get lumped with a hugely disproportionate delivery fee. All you wanted to do was buy some cute earrings or vaguely amusing novelty mug, and you’re slammed with a fee three times the price of the item in question. Why? WHY?!
One of the sneaky ways to get around this is to sign up for a subscription shopping program – eBay is offering free delivery as part of the brand spankin’ new eBay Plus annual membership, which can see you getting all your items delivered free (plus free returns and extra flybuys points), covered under the annual fee of $29 (for a limited time only). And honestly, no two words have ever sounded as beautiful as ‘free delivery’.
Delivery that takes approx. a century
Once you’ve sorted out the cost of delivery, try not to get sprung with a delivery timeline that will see you having to explain to your grandchildren why grandma got herself a sweary little knick knack for the mantlepiece. One of the downsides of cheap shipping can be unjustifiably long wait times, and frankly I am not here for it one bit.
A whole bunch of places have now instituted next day delivery – and sites like eBay will even let you filter your items by how long they’ll take to arrive at your door (choosing between one, two, three and four day options with the Guaranteed Delivery program). It’s a gift that the online shopping world truly needed, and will save you many a sleepless night wondering what kind of postage hell your items are in.
No international shipping
Seriously though, there should be a mandatory warning on every site that you visit that they won’t ship to Australia, because the acute physical pain you feel when you get to checkout and realise that your perf items are destined to stay just out of reach… it really hurts, okay. I’m still recovering from the loss of some legit amazing stuff.
If you’re feeling particularly sneaky, there’s definitely a few ways to get around it. First of all, you check out local sites for the same or similar kinds of products – most of the time you’ll find something close enough. Buuuut in extreme circumstances you can get crafty with a freight-forwarding service. There’s always a way.Image: iStock / Drazen_