Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Cheaper than your local drugstore: Buying cosmetics and toiletries online, Part 2

In Part 1 of this post, we discussed large American online retailers which have a large variety of quality cosmetics and toiletries, and offer reasonable shipping rates. Now we'll discuss a few more online retailers with great shipping rates - some even free!

While the promise of free or low shipping is often accompanied by a serious hike in the items' prices to compensate, this isn't the case in the stores I'll be mentioning, and their prices are generally better than what you can find in stores here. 
Strawberrynet  is a Hong Kong-based online cosmetics and perfume retailer, offering attractive prices and free shipping over $30 (under that sum, or if the package contains only perfume, shipping is $10). Their items arrive quickly - 10-14 working days instead of the usual month from China - and are originals. The site has a loyalty program whereby you get a higher discount each time you buy from them, up to 10% from your 20th purchase and onward. The site also participates in cashback programs - 4% at ebates, 6% at Mr. rebates, 8% at Topcashback, and 7% at Extrabux

Another great site at which to purchase perfume is the American FragranceX. Very good prices, and usually low, often free worldwide shipping - currently with the coupon code FSW. It, too, participates in various cashback programs.

 There are a few British stores that are well worth looking at in this category. The shipping time is shorter and some of the shops offer free shipping and great deals! Also, the sites may automatically lower their prices once you inform them you're not British, to account for the British VAT you're not obligated to pay.

Xtras offers free shipping worldwide and very good prices. I couldn't find any cashback deals for it, but you can order nail polish from them (unlike some other British cosmetics sites) and they will give you a coupon for 20% off your first order if you sign up to their mailing list. 

eChemist  has many high-end cosmetics and other items (Such as reasonably-priced Melissa & Doug puzzles), and shipping is free on orders over £20, and very low (£2-3) under that amount. You can receive 5.25% in cashback at Pouring Pounds, or 7% using Quidco.

Chemist Direct  doesn't offer free shipping, but shipping prices are reasonable as well as their item prices (especially excluding VAT). You can get a coupon for 10% off your first order if you sign up to their newsletter, and 4-6% cashback at Quidco

Other British sites with free shipping are FeelUnique and Lookfanstastic.

Finally, there are a couple of Polish sites  - Kosmetykomania and Ladymakeup - which have a nice range of cosmetics and will happily ship them to Israel. I don't have any personal experience with these sites, but have heard from others that the service is good and shipping is cheap and fast. If you don't happen to know Polish, you'll have to navigate these sites with Google Translate . One rather surprising advantage of these sites is that the Polish Zloty's exchange rate is nearly 1:1 with the Shekel, so you don't have to constantly figure out how much that lipstick costs in real money. If you choose this route, please email me and let me know how it went, or just leave a comment below. 

What are your favorite places to shop online for cosmetics and toiletries?

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