Everyone loves to grab a bargain and save some pennies, and the infamous post-Christmas sales are one of the best places to do this.
In fact, these sales can become even more lucrative when you’re ordering from overseas, with many countries offering fantastic bargains of their own. Whether you want some discounted French wine, some boutique Italian leather or the newest American kicks, there are lots of deals to be had by buying abroad.
However, with these fantastic savings also comes added issues, so we’ve put together a quick guide to help you out when you’re buying from overseas in the January sales.
Check for additional fees
One of the main things to check when buying from abroad is the end price.
Whilst it may seem like a great deal at face value, once you add in VAT, any customs charges, postage, and differences in currency conversions, it may end up being much more expensive than you realised.
For more information on customs charges, check out this page.
Check shipping rules
Once you’re confident of the price, make sure you check the regulations of your home country before you hit purchase.
Each country around the world has their own specific regulations of what can and can’t be sent into the country so you’ll save yourself a lot of hassle by checking these in advance. The last thing you want to happen is to spend a small fortune on something for it to be seized by customs!
You can find specific country shipping rules here.
Use a forwarding service
One of the best ways to save some money when purchasing from abroad is to use a forwarding service, such as Forward2Me, instead of the standard postage.
These services allow you to shop in another country, such as the UK, without paying international postage fees by using an address in the country of the seller. Your items will be delivered to this address and then sent on to you with discounted fees.
These services are particularly useful if your seller doesn’t deliver outside of their own country and will handle all of the logistical side of things for you.
Check the returns policy and warranties
One of the most important things to check before ordering is the returns policy and any warranties.
Some items may only have a short returns period so having to send things back overseas may take too long for you to qualify for a refund and you may end up losing money.
Similarly, it’s important to check the warranties, as guarantees may not be enforceable depending on the law of the country where you bought the product. For more information, The Mix have a helpful guide.
Get the seller’s details
Finally, before you purchase your items, make sure you get the contact details of the seller.
If you’re buying from a big retailer this will be easy to find via their website, but for private sellers, it’s important to get names and numbers so that you can communicate should anything go wrong.