Tuesday, January 23, 2018

A Guide For First-Time Buyers of US-Based Online Shops With My Shopping Box

Sometimes, 'window shopping' isn't exactly the happiest thing--it's when you let your meager dreams happen every now and then. Ano daw? Well, I used to browse on different e-commerce sites of US makeup brands for the reason that it's much more economical to buy from direct suppliers since there are no additional taxes and everything. Problem arises because it's only either they don't ship outside their region or if ever they do, the parcel just got stuck in customs for inspection (what usually happens with international shipping unless they don't claim it). I'd rather go for the first one though since there are cargo and freight companies now like My Shopping Box, who does the rest of the hard work right after you paid for your items. Now, we can enjoy deals straight from the original manufacturers of our beloved makeups brands!

Being the first time buyer like me, I'm also skeptical buying stuff from outside the country because to make it worse, you have to pay using credit cards, shipping costs are way, way more expensive than what we are accustomed to with local shipping and transit time feels like forever. We are on the same page and believe me, I read tons of both positive and negative feed backs before I plunge head first. In a matter of achieving success or getting fooled, you just have to take a risk to get to the verdict. At the end of everything, the most important part is the fact that you learned (boom, hugoooot!).That's what I did though and if I haven't, I don't think I would be this confident to buy from US-based online stores one more time and seek the help of MSB.

With this saying, here's my simple guide on how you can take advantage of sales and deals from international shops if you are residing in the Philippines.

  • If you are on tight budget and looking out for discounts, I suggest you subscribe on brand's mailing list so you can get the first dibs on information about sales and other deals. If the mailing invites do not pop up automatically, just manually scroll down to the bottom part of the website where you usually see the 'Subscribe to mail' option.
  • If you are fully decided on getting the item/s, just provide your U.S. address on the checkout page that MSB automatically generates once you create an account with them. This U.S. address will be the destination of your items and MSB will have it inspected and repacked once received before sending it to your physical address in the Philippines. Don't worry because for every essential step, MSB have your e-mail address and contact numbers on file to update you about the status of your purchases.
  • Make a mental estimation or utilize MSB's calculator (with a bit of allowance) on how heavy or how large your parcel would be so you won't get surprise about how much you're going to pay for the shipping. This is an important step. I don't think MSB would take the extra mile to have your items ship back to the online shop just in case you complain for the shipping cost. Make sure to only order a certain quantity that you are willing to pay for. Here's how MSB charges for our parcels.

  • If you are willing to wait and maximize your savings, I suggest you go for the sea shipment. It takes time but come to think of it, you still get the same items--nothing more, nothing less. And oh, by the way, they also offer 10% discount on shipping for BDO Mastercard holders. Hooray!
  • Don't worry about your items getting squashed along the way, for MSB will secure it the best way possible by putting bubble wraps and putting them in sturdy boxes. Just relax at the comfort of your home and don't worry about having to deal with custom people anymore 'cause you'll receive the box right at your doorstep.

To give you an idea, here's what exactly transpired:

November 24, 2017 - I placed an order. It says 'Paid'.
November 2, 2017 - It was updated to 'Processing'.
November 30, 2017 - Parcel is on its way. Finally after 5 days!
December 1, 2017 - Status said 'Fulfilled' though I wasn't really sure what that means.
December 3, 2017 - I received an e-mail saying that my parcel is bound to be delivered today at my U.S. address. That's December 02 for U.S. times, by the way.
December 06, 2017 - I received an e-mail confirmation saying that MSB received a package at my MSB suite coming from Coastal Scents.
December 7, 2017 - I paid the item using my BDO Mastercard and I received 10% off shipping. I chose the sea and I was charged $5.38 instead of $5.98 for a box smaller than a standard-sized shoe box.
December 16, 2017 - I took the liberty of checking the status of my order and I'm glad that it was updated to 'In Transit' meaning my parcel could be inside a boat right now sailing to the Philippines, yey!
January 01, 2018 - I asked for a real time update where my package has already been and two days later, MSB replied. They said that my parcel is out for delivery (no specific place mentioned) and is expected to arrive end of January.
January 22, 2018 - A rider came right through our doorstep days before the promised time. Took a total of 47 days.

Overall Thoughts 

I am actually satisfied with My Shopping Box service. It was my first time but I'm overall happy with my purchase. I know some of you might say that it didn't do me any good even though the stuff I got are on sale because I still need to pay extra with shipping. I know and I computed it ahead of time. I still leaves me the fact I have saved from this purchase rather when I'll buy my brushes here in the Philippines. Worse case scenario--there are only limited type of brushes here. I read a few bad comments about MSB but I focused more on the stories of hassle-free transactions from customers in which I think I currently belong to. I can't guarantee that I won't face any problems in the future but I hope MSB should improve on their customer service with regards to immediate action and response just in case. I would definitely avail the service again in the near future, but I'm open to suggestions and other freight couriers too. That way, I can better compare which is the most convenient to use. 

Let me know if you already tried purchasing from online stores abroad too! I would love to talk about what we got! Comments your suggestions too! Until next! Good night.


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