All hail the USA! Freight-forwarding at its best.

Despite the Aussie dollar falling, American shopping still has bucket loads to offer in terms of good value.  See that “Change Country” button in the corner of the website? Nominate the USA instead of Australia and you’ll quickly discover the price we pay for our wide open spaces on this pretty island we live on in the corner of the world… we can’t compete with the northern hemisphere’s economies of scale and subsequently suffer a mark-up of up to 200% (or more! Wah!).

Dubious? Spot the difference:

MAC USA    MAC Australia

ASICS USA ASICS Australia

Dang, that pink sole and lining sure be worth an extra $105 in Australia. *sniffle*

Even if you’re on the very noble support-local-industry bandwagon and don’t mind paying a smidge more, in lots of ways we struggle for the variety our Yankee friends enjoy. A quick flick around sites like Sephora and Zappos makes our options look minimal.

Which brings us to another issue with Australian shopping: the stuff us Aussie’s Just. Can’t. Get. Heard of C. Wonder? Did someone say H&M (which the entire-rest-of-the-world enjoys… did we offend you H&M)? And the one particularly close to my bleeding heart… kate spade. A visit to the FAQs to read “we currently don’t ship internationally” quickly turns this blogger’s eyes from blue to an envious green.

So what’s a dame to do?

The answer of the rich-and-famous is surely a quick jaunt to NYC to stock up supplies. The answer of the less-rich-not-famous is ask an American friend to help out. Don’t have any USA-dwelling friends? Me either. But I got myself a freight forwarder, and I’m pretty sure she’s better anyway!

Might I present to you one of my most bedazzled and sublime finds of all time, Parcel It On.

It works like this:

1) Shop online (on your fave US websites) ’til your beady eyes bleed.

2) When you find something(s) that you simply must have either

a) order it online and have it delivered to Parcel it On’s New Jersey address and email them a copy of your order confirmation to let them know it’s on the way OR

b) if you can’t shop with an Australian credit card or paypal, send the link to Parcel It On who will make the purchase on your behalf!

3) When your fab finds arrive, you’ll receive an email with shipping and insurance options to Australia (there’s lots at different price points and speeds). There are modest fees associated (all outlined on their website, here) and everything is paid via PayPal.

The amazing Lyka at Parcel It On is (literally) the top of my Christmas card list. She has sent countless packages to JS and me, all with super fast turnarounds. I trust her so much that if I’ve got something I need to move super fast (like a fabulous hand-made Swarovski crystal necklace ordered the week before one’s wedding) I have sent her money before she even receives my goods (which she received, on-forwarded to me and arrived with FOUR WHOLE DAYS to spare, a near impossible feat!).

So savvy shoppers, with the help of freight-forwarding, the USA’s online marketplace is your shopping-oyster. Get shucking!

♥ AS

Used a freight forwarder before? What American goodies would you love to be able to get here? Tell us below!