It's a great time to shop online in Australia, but at overseas stores!

The strong Australian dollar continues hold world wide, and there has never been a better time to do your online shopping from Australia, but at overseas stores! Today I thought I would mention some great tips to use when you do your online shopping overseas.

Before I start with these tips to check offshore web sites, I should mention these tips aren't an absolute 100% way to determine if you're buying off a legitimate online shop. In an international market you're not fully protected by both Australian and the other countries' law. If you run into trouble, getting the authorities out to co-ordinate a world wide investigation for your lost $200 is going to be almost impossible to do.

That being said, don't be put off at all :) Use these tips as a guide to satisfy yourself and to learn the difference of a good international online store to one that isn't.

The first and most important tip is to checkout the store as much as you can. Send emails to the store asking about delivery. Why not ask them about delivery insurance to Australia and if they have it? If the store responds quickly you have a store that is ready to listen, and a good chance they will be quick to listen again if you start having problems with your order in the future.

Run a google search for a review of the web site. ie: "[Store Name] review" or "[Store Name] review forum". If the web site is a popular shopping destination, you won't have to look to far in the results to realise if the web site has a good reputation or not.

Running a Google Search Always Helps Find the Best Online Stores

Next, check that they deliver to Australia. If they don't say they ship to Australia don't assume the online store will. You may find yourself going through the registration, shopping cart and checkout process only to find there's no delivery to Australia. Another email to support should help, or perhaps try the FAQ page if the store has one.

Start Small! I always use this tip when ordering from a new online shopping store, or an overseas store. Buy a cheap product and see how well the delivery process is. Generally you'll get order confirmation, tracking numbers, and an invoice which needs to detail prices, shipping costs, and support contact details. When the order goes well, you can go back and make a bigger purchase.

Australian Customs Can Spoil Your Online Shopping Fun Quick

A big pitfall to look out for when shopping online at overseas web sites is the Australian Customs. If your product gets held up in Customs you may need to spend a lengthy trip to the local customs department or pay a fee to get the product released. An even worse possibility, is the product is rejected by Customs as you watch it get sent back or burnt to a crisp on the spot.. No kidding! 🙂

So make sure you're buying something that will pass the customs inspection easy - hardware, electronics, and most inert items should be fine. If you're unsure, here's a link to the Australian Customs web site and a link to the Australian Customs Search Guide.

Also try using a popular third party payment gateway when you use your money. A good number of web sites both when shopping online in Australia and overseas offer Paypal as a payment method. A good tip when shopping overseas is to try use your Paypal account. If all mediation between you and the overseas online store goes wrong, Paypal may be able to intervene and get your money back.

In regards to Australian GST and shopping overseas you will need to confirm the details with the web site. If you're buying expensive products over $1000 it's likely you will not be charged GST. In this case you will need to pay another 10% of the total bill to the tax man come next 1st July the next year.

These overseas shopping tips are just common sense really. But it's amazing how easy it is to get carried away with the prospect of buying something new overseas and overlook these simple shopping tips.

Happy Shopping!

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Books, Movies, Music & Game Shops

Whether you're looking for the latest best selling novel, need to try a new computer game or just want to buy some popular music, you're sure to find something here. Online stores include JB Hi-Fi Online, Kogan, OO, and more.

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Harvey Norman
National retailer of electrical goods, computers, furniture, & bedding.
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Clothing & Accessories Shops

Buy your favourite clothing, shoes or denim jean fashion brands, fantastic silver and gemstone jewellery, sunglasses and eye wear, discount manchester and much more with many stores including Salvos Stores Online, DealsDirect, and

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Sussan is one of Australia's leading women's fashion retailers that offer beautiful, mix and match fashion collections.
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Computers & Office Shops

Deck-out your office with furniture, or browse the latest in computer desktops, computer accessories, laptops, new tablets, printers, gadgets and many more computer devices. Get fantastic deals from big brands with stores such as JasonL Office Furniture, Razer, and Kogan.

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Dick Smith
Electronics retailer selling computers, TVs, GPS, game consoles, & more.
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Electronics Shops

In this department category you'll find a huge range of discount stores selling plasma TVs, LCD & LED TVs, home entertainment units, digital cameras, electrical appliances, whitegoods, and many other electronic appliances. Browse online stores like Betta Electrical,, Harvey Norman and more.

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Betta Electrical
At Betta you can buy almost every electrical need for your home and with a free delivery service for most products, Betta electrical online store is a great place to shop for home appliances.
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Grocery, Health & Beauty Shops

Maintain your health with a large range of health products, medicines & prescription medications. Keep yourself looking good with authentic brands for skin care, make up, hair care products, and designer eyewear. You'll also find some of the biggest supermarkets selling groceries and household products online in this directory. Stores include DealsDirect, GraysOnline, Toby's Estate Shop and more.

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The Body Shop
The Body Shop Australia specialise in a full range of ethically made, natural skin care products. At their online retail outlet you'll find a large selection of cosmetics including make up, bath and body treatments, haircare, gift sets and more.
The Body Shop Store Image

Home & Garden Shops

The Home & Garden department is the biggest of our safe shopping directories, featuring online stores such as Betta Electrical, Adairs, eBay Australia and more. There's thousands of products to choose from, with a wide range of home living ideas including indoor furniture, kitchen accessories, pet accessories, cat & dog beds, unique gifts, and much much more.

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David Jones Online
Online shop for the national department store chain selling quality clothing, fashion, accessories and cosmetics.
David Jones Online Store Image

Sports, Fitness & Outdoor Shops

If you're looking for outdoor equipment like tents and camping gear, or you're looking for cheap sports equipment, like weights and home gym equipment check out the stores listed in this shopping directory. Stores selling these kinds of products include Mossimo, Kogan, and Myer Store.

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Optics Central
Optics Central stock a range of Spotting Scopes, Microscopes, Telescopes, Binoculars, Cameras, Video Cameras, Tripods, almost anything with a lens.
Optics Central Store Image

Toys, Kids & Baby Shops

Looking for discount kids toys or nursery products? Here's a list of safe online shops for all your children's toys and baby needs. Online stores such as Toys R Us Australia, Purple Turtle Toys, Kogan and more are ready to browse through for that perfect addition to the nursery or a childs birthday present.

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Selling direct to the public, premier discounter Kogan aims to cut unnecessary costs by passing the savings to customers.
Kogan Store Image
Fresh Fragrances


Estee Lauder