Picture this: you feel chilly one evening and realize you need a new, warmer sweater. So you take out your phone, look through stores online and find a sweater you fall in love with. You order it, and within a day or two, it’s yours.
It probably sounds familiar.
Shopping is undergoing a revolution. We’ve gone from a pure walk-in store experience to a fully online delivery system in a matter of years. But for people who aren’t in the US but want to buy from American stores, it can be a letdown finding out that the store doesn’t ship to your country.
No need for despair, there’s an easy way around it. We’ve put together a step-by-step guide on shopping American when the store doesn’t ship to your country.
Step 1: Refer To A Shipping Mediator
If you’re unfamiliar with what shipping mediator companies do, they simply get your packages delivered to their own location in the US and then start package forwarding your country. It’s an easy way to get things delivered if the store doesn’t ship to you directly.
Once you’ve made an account with a shipping mediator company, they’ll give you your very own dedicated address at their warehouse or other location. This is where your package will be delivered before it’s shipped by the mediator to you.
Step 2: Choose Your American Store
The possibilities are endless when it comes to shopping American. But we’re going to go through some of the most popular options, especially amongst international customers.
Amazon is the go-to option for most international shoppers because of its everything-under-one-roof approach. There is not much you won’t find there. They have an ongoing New Year’s sale at the moment, and you can be sure they’ll continue to have plenty of promotional offers once that’s over.
In the same vein, Walmart has an amazing online experience and some very big ongoing discounts at any given time. They currently have an end-of-year clearance sale as well as special promotions on items for the new year.
If you’re on the lookout for cosmetics, self-care products, or fragrances, you might want to check out Sephora. They have an amazing Editors’ Picks section dedicated to stand-out and recommended beauty products, and a very useful loyalty program called Beauty Insider, whereby you get reward points for purchases that can be redeemed for rewards.
Step 3: Consolidation And Shipping
Once you’ve added to your cart what you want to buy and are ready to check out, make sure you enter the address you’ve been provided by your shipping mediator. This way, the products will go to the US shipping address, from where they will be forwarded to you.
You can do this multiple times, so for example, if you buy various products from different stores and send them all to your shipping partner’s address, you can then consolidate them into one box so they’re all shipped to your country in the form of a single package, reducing your total shipping cost massively.
And you’re done!
This is also a great idea for buying gifts. You’re bound to come across much more variety and the possibilities are endless. And for added value, getting your friends and family something from abroad, that too from a US store which doesn’t even typically ship to your country, adds a special touch to the present.
Shopping has come a long way in the past few years, much to the delight of the avid shopper. If you know your way around obstacles like limited shipping, there’s a whole world of consumerist opportunity waiting for you.