PRICES NARS Voulez Vous palette – $59 (Php4250 in Rustans! Which is around $98!) Chanel Graphite – $27 (limited-edition and hard-to-find) YSL Gris Underground – $25 (not available here in the Philippines)
LOCAL SHOPPINGI used to buy from my trusted Multiply sellers but sadly, Multiply had to shut down. They now have their individual standalone websites or sell in Instagram (which is the trend now!). Some of my trusted and go-to sellers are the ff:
Carefreeshopper – where I hoarded my MAC lipsticks from Beloved 7 – my super trusted Chanel seller Digital Traincase – bought some French skincare products here Make Up Pro – Tom Ford, Chanel, etc! I also go to their two shops in Makati & QC.
INTERNATIONAL SHOPPINGThis is something I dove into earlier this year because I realized that mark-up on makeup products in online stores is still quite high compared to purchasing it directly abroad (via their online store). The problem I faced with this though were: if they ship to the Philippines and if they do, the shipping charges, taxes, etc. I’d have to pay.
I first tried Strawberrynet, which had FREE SHIPPING WORLDWIDE and a variety of brands to choose from. My main gripes about Strawberrynet— they make use of local post which here in the Philippines means you’d have to go to the Pasay Post Office to pick your package up. But first, you’d have to wait for the notice card which they send out extra late for some reason. I went there one time and saw a pile of notice cards just stacked in their drawer! So if you have a package and it’s already been two weeks, I suggest just go to the post office cos it’s already there.
CRAZY CUSTOMS FEE!! To add to that, the local customs seem to just suddenly tax you whenever they feel like it. I’ve picked up about 4 packages that they didn’t tax and the 5th time I was there to pick up another, I’m suddenly faced with a Php1,600 tax! The price of the package wasn’t any higher than my previous purchases so I was quite dumbfounded to be faced with such an exorbitant amount. I paid, left and hadn’t purchased anything that ships through local post anymore.
Thankfully, I rediscovered this service recently after having tried it last year when it first launched. I wrote about it extensively from signing up to placing an order in virtually any e-tailers that accept American Express online HERE.
I’ll pick up where I left off from when I placed my order and waited for it to be shipped to my U.S. address. So, around 4 days after placing my order, I’ve been notified through email that I have a package that arrived in my My-Shopping Box suite.
Logging in to my account to authorize the shipment, I noticed that one item was missing. I checked my Nordstrom order and saw that Nordstrom separated the delivery of the YSL Gris Underground nail polish from the rest of the items. I was not able to ask the reason for this but I suspect that maybe the branch where the other items were coming from ran out of the YSL nail polish.
Instead of having the first package shipped right away, I decided to just wait for the YSL polish to arrive and have them be shipped together (although the shipping fee would be separate as this is MSB policy so tip: leave a note in your online purchases to have all items be shipped all together in one box).
SHIPMENT & DELIVERYAfter authorizing shipment, paying for the shipping fee of $11.92 or Php513 for the first package and $5.99 or Php258 for the second package, I just sat and waited for my package to arrive at my doorstep. No picking up at the local post, no exorbitant taxes by local customs — just untouched, unopened packages sealed and packed properly to avoid any damages.
After authorizing shipment, the package arrived exactly after 9 days. Not bad at all. This GCASH-Amex Virtual Pay service certainly opened a big big window of opportunities for an online beauty shopper like me. Especially since so many brands available at Sephora, Nordstrom and SAKS aren’t available locally.
May I add — ALL THIS WITHOUT EVEN THE NEED OF A CREDIT CARD! Yup, you just put cash in your GCASH wallet and that will be the source of funds for the GCASH-Amex Virtual Pay transactions.
Interested? Check out the GCASH-AMEX Virtual Pay site to sign up!
I’m already looking into my next purchases as it’s even cheaper to ship an entire haul compared to buying individually. How about you— are you an online shopper? Any experiences / tips you want to share? Please do share them below.