For the past week or so, I’ve been telling people that I have a shopping blog that is yet to go live. What does that mean? It means I’ve been umm-ing and ahh-ing over what my first post will be about: online shopping and mail forwarding dramas? the perils of shopping the old fashioned way, in person? what to buy at David Jones with my gift cards before they expire, even though I cannot help but think everything here is so expensive compared to overseas? In the end, the answer presented itself to me in a box. Ok, fine, it was actually 3 boxes.
The mailman said: Sis, ever since you came back from Europe, you’ve had non-stop orders! (Note: the ‘mailman’ is actually my brother, who is a self-employed non-mailman, so there is no one to judge him for the endless personal packages he receives on my behalf… other than the real mailman, of course.)
Amy Bracelet w/Glitz, Rose Gold, Marc by Marc Jacobs
I hadn’t worn a watch in the near 10 years before 2009, at which point I decided to treat myself to one as a Christmas present. It didn’t have many number markers so I could barely tell the time, and for the most part it was more of a watch-style bracelet than a bracelet-style watch, but it was too late — a watch fixation had been born! (Actually, the word ‘fixation’ may be too strong because, thinking back, I only bought 1 watch in 2010, so it’s all quite reasonable really….. huh.)
This year, I’ve been searching for a sports watch with a large face/band, except everything looked ridiculously oversized on my wrist. The problem was I kept choosing watches which were way too masculine — it looked like I just bought it overseas for someone else and was just wearing for safekeeping on the plane home… Or something. The solution?
Since my US trip, I still can’t get over how cheap Marc by Marc Jacobs is if you buy it from the US or a US website, and this is no different – the price tag is only US$175! (Not including shipping, see below.) I didn’t expect the watch itself to be as large and masculine as it is, but the rose gold colour really softens the look. I can see this as an everyday watch that I wear to work (except I have to hold my left wrist a little higher as I type, because sadly the keyboard is kind of in the way), as well as a dressy watch. It’s also not very sporty, but hey, I won’t be (wearing it while) doing sports.
The shopping experience?
- Website: nordstrom.com, which is the online store for the US department store.
- Shipping costs: Nordstrom uses FiftyOne Global to ship internationally, which means it is not necessarily cheap – shipping for my total order came to about US$80, but the order included a bag, some clothes, jewellery and sunglasses. (FYI, I’m still considering this to be A Good Buy, considering all the other pricing factors like the amazing exchange rate, no US sales tax added, exorbitant prices for all the same things if purchased in Australia, allocation of the shipping cost to each item…. but more on pricing factors at a later date.)
- Payment: By default FiftyOne Global will bill in AUD, but my tip is to always check what exchange rate they use. Generally, the rates offered by merchants are pretty shocking (but not as shocking as, say, Travelex at Sydney Airport). I ended saving around $35 by paying in USD with my 28 Degrees Mastercard, my dedicated online shopping and travel card. (…Does that mean I can say shipping was only effectively $45-ish?)
- General service: As with most US websites, shipping was slow (1 week before dispatch, and another 2 before arrival) but detailed parcel tracking was provided and general status updates from Nordstrom/FiftyOne were excellent. FiftyOne Global also did an initial fraud prevention check (not sure if this is determined by order size, or for all international orders), so it felt very safe.
Conclusion? 5 stars!
P.S. The other 2 boxes? More on those another day…