Net-A-Porter (US Site): Sale on Now!

Technically I could’ve updated yesterday’s post, but this kind of needed a post of its own.

So normally I get Net-A-Porter sales notifications a bit late.  Maybe a few hours after it starts, sometimes a whole day.  And if you’re familiar with the world of online sales frenzy, a few hours is like a lifetime (half joking, maybe).

This time around, I was prepared.  I created a wishlist. I lurked. I checked my wish list throughout the day, and it paid off because before any emails or even before it was announced on the homepage, I discovered that some of my wish list items had been marked down!!!!!! I felt like I had beat the system!!

…except I couldn’t find anything to buy.  I considered this Mulberry Small Bayswater which is down to $945 (reduced by 30%).

I ooh’ed over this small Chloe Paraty.  It’s 40% down to $1077 (and I preened because I bought it in black last year at around the same price).

I aaah’ed over these Mulberry patent heels, reduced by 40% to $300.

At this point I realised I was probably just attracted to the colour orange and should not make any sudden purchasing decisions.  Another site in the “to be revisited” list.

P.S. Shipping to Australia is $55 from the US site.


Thanksgiving & Black Friday Sales 2012

My absolute favorite holiday is Thanksgiving, which may sound weird as we don’t celebrate it here in Australia.  The end of November brings joy and happiness a-plenty, because it is followed by the Biggest Shopping Day of the Year in the US and, by extension through the world wide web, the rest of the world as well.

Unfortunately it also breeds a bit of silly behavior — case in point: today I turned down dinner with a good friend with the response “Um I can’t!! Black Friday sales have started and I must go home and shop!!!!!! Raincheck?”

(Number of exclamation marks are as per original text.)

(She seemed to understand.)

Anyway, after several hours of scouring the beginnings of the sale, I thought I’d report back with my favorite finds.  Unfortunately most of the deals I like are US shipping only, so I’m still working on the logistics and whether it’s worth going through a mail forwarder this time around…

Of course there are plenty more sales going on, and I might add them as I go along.  Or I might not.  You know, could be too busy shopping. 😉


Added 22 November 2012

Shopbop – Spend $250, save 20%; Spend $500, save $25%, Spend $1000, save 30%; Spend $1500, save 35% with code BIGEVENT12. Offer ends November 26.  Free worldwide shipping.

I’d say shopbop has the best deal at the moment because it’s a sitewide discount, but things are selling out likely crazy so I hope you have a wishlist ready to go!  Tip: if something is sold out, it might just be reserved in someone else’s cart.  Check back in half an hour and it might be yours!

I was eyeing these turquoise Salvatore Ferragamo Varina flats literally 2 hours before the sale started, and by the time I woke up the next morning to see the sale notification, my size had already sold out.  Oh well.  It’s probably for the best — my red pair is still in its box in pristine condition.

Anthropologie – extra 25% of sale. Ends November 25. $25 flat rate shipping to Australia.

My wishlist items are already out of stock, so I’m holding out to see if anything else goes on sale.  I have this pleated skirt in the “maybe” list.

Last Call by Neiman Marcus – extra 40% off sale.  Ends November 22.  US shipping only — international orders can be placed by phone, but no information about shipping costs.

These Chloe sunglasses are down to $71.40, and I’m tempted to snap them up even though I already have a similar pair!  It’s always good to have a back up, no?

J. Crew: 25% off your entire purchase with code COLOR25; free shipping on $150+. Ends November 25.  US shipping only, as the promo doesn’t apply to the Australian site.

J. Crew Factory: 40% off everything, and extra 15% off when spending $100+, with code GIVEANDGET.  Ends November 25.  US shipping only.

Been eyeing the Copley Saddlebag for the longest time, but I recently acquired a butterscotch colored saddle bag so it’s probably a bit early for a neon persimmon version as well.  Not to mention 2 even more recently acquired bags which are yet to arrive….!

Madewell – 25% off everything with the code TREAT. Ends November 26.  US shipping only.

I really like J. Crew’s more casual cool sister, and their silk shirts are always nice to wear.  I have last year’s version of this solid silk boyshirt.

Loft – 40% off everything with the code ENJOY. Offer is on for a “limited time”. US shipping only.

Ann Taylor – 40% off full-price items and 25% off sale items, use the code THANKS.  Again, offer is on for a “limited time”. US shipping only.

Sparkly block heels!  I’ve been planning on the DIY for months now, but maybe I should just buy a ready-made pair?


Added 23 November 2012

SSENSE – markdowns and free worldwide shipping with code FREESHIPWW.  Limited time only.

A Proenza Schouler PS11 for US$1365… to buy or not to buy? I decided to not buy, or at least wait until I boosted the non “cross body bag wth structured shape and a flap” part of my bag collection.

Beautybay – 20% of your purchase with free international shipping, no code needed.  Black Friday (Nov 23) offer only.  Seems to be a good place to pick up Nails Inc polish for £7.96, or Parlux hairdryer for £52.45.

Saks Fifth Avenue – General markdowns, plus $10.95 USD Express Shipping to Hong Kong and Australia on orders of $250 USD or more with code: HOLIDAY1. Ends November 26.

Barneys New York – Sale on now, plus complimentary international shipping on orders of $200 or more. Limited time only.

How cute is this Alexander Wang Rockie Duffle bag, was $725 and now $439?

Neiman Marcus – further 20% off sale, ends November 24. $19.95 express shipping to selected countries.

Flannels Fashion – 20% off full price stock with the code GIFT20, exclusions apply. Shipping to Australia is £45.  I haven’t bought anything from here myself, but it says advertised prices include VAT, and they’ll take off the VAT when sending to Australia.

Urban Outfitters – general markdowns.  Shipping to Australia is $5, with free shipping for orders over $50.

While it’s not really my style, how interesting is this stingray clutch?


Benefit Cosmetics – up to 3 free gifts with order: spend $30 and get free BADgal lash mascara mini; $60 and also get a FREEdeluxe the porefessional mini; spend $90 and also get a deluxesugarbomb mini.  Enter STAYCATION at checkout.  Offer valid through November 25.

Revolve clothing – Spend and save offer, valid to November 26.  Shipping to Australia is $10, or free for orders over $100.

Banana Republic – 40% off your purchase with the code BRFRIDAY, valid November 23 only.  Ships to Australia using FiftyOne Global, which is generally weight-based.

Piperlime – 20% off storewide with the code ME. Ends November 26.  Same umbrella as Banana Republic and Gap, so you can combined the order to save (maybe) on shipping

Gap – 20% off purchase with the code GAPGIFT.  Ends November 23.

Mail forwarders, or one less barrier to online shopping – a review of sorts

Up until a year ago, nothing made me want to punch my computer screen more than the words: ships to the contiguous 48 U.S. states and Alaska and Hawaii, and now ships to Canada as well. Shipping to other international destinations and U.S territories (such as Puerto Rico and Guam) is unavailable at this time.

Rebecca Bloomwood might have bad credit, but she didn’t have to deal with this!!

Luckily, I came across Parcel It On, a mail-forwarding service based in New Jersey in the US, and I can’t recommend them highly enough.  Great communication, low fees, and the Big Box of January 2011 arrived safe and sound.

How does it work?

I’ve only ever used Parcel It On, but from my research this is how mail forwarding services generally work:

  • You can choose a larger mail forwarder (like Ship2Me) which will give you a “real” US street address.  For example, the address you could get through Ship2Me is something like: Your Name, 1234 Paylor Lane, #4321, Sarasota, Florida.  My address is a few doors down.
  • You could also choose a home business type like Parcel It On, which will let you send parcels care of their address.
  • Order those amazing pair of shoes (or four!) as usual, and send it to your new “US address”, then contact the mail forwarder to arrange shipping of the new shoes to you in Australia!

How much does it cost?

  • Shipping fees will always be paid by you.  Some will charge whatever USPS charges (which could make the cost a little difficult to estimate, especially if you convert everything by either multiplying or dividing by 2) and others might give their own set shipping prices, which could also depend on membership level.
  • On top of shipping fees, the mail forwarder will charge a service fee, which could be a flat rate or a percentage of package value.  Sometimes this will be built into the shipping fee.
  • If you buy several packages, the mail forwarder will often “consolidate” these and send it as one package.  The benefit is that shipping for one big parcel could be cheaper than 6 small ones.  There is usually a small fee for each additional package.
  • If you are waiting for several packages to arrive and need to store a couple with the mail forwarder in the meantime, this could be subject to a fee as well, but the first couple of weeks are usually free.

How to decide which mail forwarder to choose?

  • Decide what exactly you are going to be using the mail forwarder for – ordering ridiculously cheap magazines from the US?  Once in a blue moon shopping packages?  To show your ongoing support of the world economy?  Each service and fee structure is different, so it will depend on what you’re after.
  • This may sound silly, but where the parcel forwarder is based will be important.  This is because each US state has a different sales tax rate, and different exemptions for certain types of products.  One of the reasons I chose Parcel It On is because it’s based in New Jersey, and there is no sales tax on clothes or shoes (there is a 7% tax on bags, jewellery and cosmetics though).  Oregon apparently has no sales tax at all, but I’m still on the look-out for a mail forwarder based there.  If you know of one, drop me a line.
  • Do your research!  I can’t stress how important it is to read reviews and other people’s experiences on the mail forwarder you are thinking of using.  Of course, still be wary of those rave reviews from 5 different people who all suspiciously make the same spelling mistake.  I find that a great way of testing the waters is to email or call and ask some general questions, and then you can judge from their response (or non-response) whether or not it seems reliable.

Why there is no Big Box of November 2011

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that there would be a Big Box of November, the follow-up to the Big Box of January.  To explain why this hasn’t happened, we need to go back… back to the summer of 2011…

So, Australia has an imports threshold of $1,000, which means if you order more than $1,000 worth of goods from overseas and have it sent to you in one package, then you’ll have to pay an extra 15% or so in GST and customs duty.  Strictly speaking, the $1,000 should include international shipping costs, but sometimes… well, things slip through.

Anyway, so I had ordered a Big Box.  It was this Big:

Shop Items Value (USD)
Madewell 5 $157.45
Anthropologie 4 $198.84
J.Crew 6 $237.60
Loft 6 $201.71
Macy’s 6 $195.00
Total 27 $990.60

Thinking back, it was ridiculously big, seeing as it was only 1 month after I’d come back from the US with a Big Suitcase.  (And a Little Suitcase.)

But, you know, inertia and all, so once I started I couldn’t help myself and just kept going, one order after another.  Luckily, many online stores do ship to Australia nowadays, so a couple of packages became Supplementary Boxes:

ASOS 9 $110.70
Urban Outfitters 6 $141.94

This time around?  I tried to make the Big Box happen, I really did.  I was so ready to show my support for the worldwide economy.  Unfortunately, my Supplementary Box got so big, that it completely took over the Big Box.

Game changer, I tell you.*

Ah well, Black Friday Sales are coming up (November 25, put it in your diaries).  I’ll try again then.

* Am I using that term correctly?  I hear it all the time on TV, and have always wanted to use it…

Edited on 18/09/12:  I’ve been getting a few emails from a mail forwarder called Ship2Me, which is apparently now based in the tax-free state of Oregan!!  No personal experience on this one yet, but I’ll get onto that soon and keep you posted. 🙂