Friday, September 24, 2010

Online Shopping

Back when I lived in San Francisco I was a big fan of online shopping. I was working a billion hours and often did not have the time to go. Plus it seemed so easy--just go to amazon.com and I could find just about anything I needed. Same with the stores where I already knew my size. Add sephora and zappos and I was pretty much set. Oh, and ebay. I was a big fan of Pottery Barn crap from ebay.

Since moving here, I do very little online shopping namely because the shipping/customs costs are insanely high. For example Banana Republic (gap, et al) partnered up with a shipping service that offered international delivery with customs fees included. For those who do not know, customs fees can be HUGE here. We once had a glass sculpture from Italy sent here, and despite the amount of the item already being lowered on the customs form from the company, customs here still wanted Php50,000+++ which is over $1000. It ended as life usually does with a few hundred being slipped into a pocket and our item being released. But anyways, back to the Banana Republic shipper. I placed items in my online cart amounting to about $150. Fees for shipping and customs via their partner was $120. Way too rich for my blood. At those prices I am better off waiting until I am home or shipping them to my sister and having her forward them. (It is worth noting that there is a Banana Republic locally which makes this a somewhat random example, but such is life).

I still buy most of my clothes in the US for one simple reason, I am too big for Philippines sizing. I am over 5'8". This means that even when a size goes up, it does not necessarily get longer, just wider. According to the Inquirer (one of the dailies here), the average height of a Filipino woman is 4'11" (although this does seem suspiciously petite) which is a lot smaller than me. Wearing a size 10 in the US equals size like 3XL here. And your bellybutton will still be showing. There are larger sizes here of course in the imported clothing and the inseams will be longer, but at that point, I would rather just buy from SF because the cost markup is high. And finally, it is worth noting that my wardrobe consists namely of jeans and cheap tops from H&M, so I am definitely not high fashion.

The moral of this drawn out, convoluted post is I fell in love with a company that allows me to do all my online shopping: Johnny Air. I order from whatever random online retailer I want, email Johnny Air with the shipping info, and they forward it here. Earlier this month I ordered from Sephora.com. It arrived from Sephora to their US office in two days, and SIX days after that, I received a txt telling me my package was here!!!! The prices are preset based on weight or size (size is something is big I guess) and includes everything. Total cost for shipping: P1,750 for about 3 lbs. So, this is my new happiness. Their website is: http://johnnyairretail.blogspot.com/ and they have a facebook page as well.

Other fantastic delivery services that I have used recently include Fully Booked which was FAST. I ordered on a Monday and the books were here Wednesday. Not the cheapest shipping, but the convenience was fantastic.

Although everyone knows that all fast food (i.e., McDo) can be delivered, more and more restaurant delivery services are popping up. Main ones are: http://www.quickdelivery.ph/ and http://www.citydelivery.ph/. I have used them both...quick delivery multiple times and city delivery just once. Both are awesome and perfect for rainy season when I do not really what to go out, yet do not feel compelled to cook. Plus there are no Indian Restaurants near me, so this satisfies that craving.

I guess I never need to leave the house again........

6 comments:

SCUGrad said...

Hi...

You don't detail if there's a yearly charge involved or what the rate is per pound. I tried going to the link you put up but couldn't find their rates.

You may also consider my-shoppingbox.com. They have a $25 annual charge and their rates are $5.50 per pound for air and $2.50 per pound if by sea. If you're buying electronics, etc. then it's $8.50 per pound for air but still $2.50 per pound by sea.

oflustandliquid said...

Nice blog, I am a filipino and thank you for being so honest about my country..

Jenny said...

Hi,
I recently found your blog and have read through all your previous posts. I have been researching life in the RP, as we may be relocating there from the US. We are excited, but a little nervous. Your blog was the most informative and objective I have found.

Thank you for sharing your insight - heartfelt, humorous, and honest. I hope you will continue to post.

valeriesummers said...

i found another online shopping site where you can order online .check out http://www.a-deals.com

james abram said...

Hi, I also want to recommend one of the best online shopping sites in the Philippines. It is shopthiseasy.com. Thanks for sharing your experience, I hope you find clothes of your size.

Manuelito said...

online delivery is really a trend this days!! I love it since it saves us time and gives us convenience.. I suggest you to try Goodsph online shop Philippines They are awesome in terms of delivery service