Shop smart: how to reduce shipping costs this Boxing Day 2018

Lauren Chaplin 29 November 2018 NEWS

Boxing Day is one of the best times of year to bag yourself a bargain, but don't get caught out paying too much for shipping.

All Aussie online shoppers know the struggle of picking out purchases online, patting yourself on the back for being sale-savvy and then seeing the shipping cost and having a mini heart attack.

A recent study by Amazon software platform, Sellics, has revealed that Australia currently ranks in the top five most expensive countries for shipping a package. The research compares the cost of local express shipping in 40 countries. According to the findings, sending a package in Australia costs a whopping 102.89% above the average price.

So how can you avoid spending the money you've just saved on shipping costs?

1. Shop around

Look for stores that offer discounted or free shipping for spending a certain amount. It might seem to defeat the purpose of saving money, but hear us out. If there is a product that you have to have and can't get anywhere else, find another item you love to push your spending into the free shipping threshold. That way, your money is spent on something you actually want rather than just on shipping costs. ASOS is a great place to shop with free standard shipping on all orders over $40, while THE ICONIC offers free shipping when you spend over $50.

2. Invest in a paid subscription service

With the arrival of services such as eBay Plus and Amazon Prime, shoppers now have another option to reduce their shipping costs. Registered members pay an annual fee in return for free delivery and returns on eligible items. With eBay claiming that the average shopper spends about $71 on shipping annually, you'll be saving yourself around $20 per year. Australian company, Shipster, also offers shoppers a way to cut costs by covering delivery fees under $20 from more than 40 big-brand retailers.

3. Create a freight-forwarding service account

Mail forwarding services such as ShopMate allow Australian shoppers to both purchase items from the US that aren't available here and bag an overseas bargain. After signing up for an account, you will be given a US address to ship to. Your parcels will then be forwarded to your Australian address for a fee. Just be aware that freight-forwarding companies often can't give an exact quote for your delivery until the parcel hits their warehouse and is measured and weighed. However, if it's an item currently unavailable in Australia, you're still likely to save much more in shipping costs than you would buying from a third-party seller on sites like eBay for an inflated cost.

Of course, good old-fashioned retail shopping might spare you the hassle altogether, but why brave the crowds when you can shop in your PJs?

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