Getting value for money when shopping online involves comparing alternative products, suppliers and prices.
Know what you are buying
Make sure you know what you are getting for your money. Shop around to compare prices, uses, abilities and quality. Check prices on a price comparison site, and read the product description very carefully for words such as 'second-hand' or 'refurbished'.
Also, prestige brand items advertised at extremely low prices could be counterfeit goods which cannot be legally imported into Australia.
Clothing and shoe size differences
Lots of countries use different size scales for clothes and shoes. For example in women’s clothing a size 10 in Australia is called a size 6 in the United States. Look at a shoe and clothing size conversion table first before making a decision.
Compatibility of electrical and audio visual equipment
Domestic electricity supplied in the United States is 110 volt, while in Australia it is 240 volt. This means that electrical equipment made for the United States will not work in Australia unless it’s connected to a transformer, or the device has a self switching power supply. There are also other technical compatibility issues that affect audio visual devices like TV tuners. Buying this equipment online from an overseas supplier can be a costly mistake.
Compare the total cost
If you’re considering buying goods from overseas, remember to include all handling, shipping, insurance and currency conversion costs as well as any import duties and taxes in the total price.
Before buying an item like a computer online from an overseas supplier, remember to check if the warranty extends to places outside the supplier’s country. Make sure the goods can be serviced and repaired in Australia.
Can the goods be legally imported?
Check with Australian Customs whether an item can be legally brought into Australia. Australian Customs can also tell you the import duty or tax you’ll need to pay before you can collect the goods.