Shopping and shipping

Regular H&H readers will know that we feature products from shops and online stores abroad, mainly in Europe and North America. While it's entirely possible to furnish your home perfectly well with furnishings and accessories bought in the UAE, for more individual, unusual pieces, you do sometimes have to look further afield.

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All the items we feature can be shipped to the UAE directly, so our readers can order and own everything they read about. However, international shipping charges can often be higher than the cost of the item itself, and in such cases it may be worth considering Aramex's Shop and Ship service (www.shopandship.com)

Now we don't want this to sound like an advert for Aramex, but Shop and Ship can sometimes (but not always!) be a much more cost-effective - and faster - way of getting your goods sent to you.

If you're not aware of the service, here's a brief summary:

For a one-off sign-up fee of US$45 (Dh165), you are given a personal mailing address in the US, UK and China. This means that for purchases made in in or near these territories, you can instruct your goods to be posted to your Aramex mail box (whichever is relevant), for the standard domestic mailing charges.

Aramex will then forward the goods to you in the UAE at a cost which can often be cheaper than that offered by the retailer.

Here's one example:

  • A cushion bought from an US online furniture store, cost $60 (Dh220) to buy, cost an additional Dh220 to ship here directly.

  • The same cushion posted to our US Aramex mailing address (based in New York) cost $5.95 (Dh22) with Dh73 international shipping charges.

Delivery times vary, depending on where in the world you are buying from - but it's usually no longer than 10 days. 

It's important to point out that the Aramex option may not always be the case - particularly with smaller, lighter goods that can be mailed, rather than couriered. So you should always calculate the costs of both options.

Of course many shops don't offer any international shipping at all. But with Shop and Ship, you can also something collected and shipped wherever you're buying from. Other courier companies are available, of course, but in terms of cost and ease (it has collection depots in Muroor Road, Abu Dhabi and Airport Road, Deira), Aramex is the best we've tried.

  • Loving Budgies cushion, £55 plus shipping, Chloe Croft at Rockett St George (www.rockettstgeorge.co.uk)

Published: August 2, 2011 04:00 AM

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