Tag Archives: amazon mexico

Shopping Online In Mexico

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Since today is Prime Day at Amazon, I thought I’d talk a little about ordering things online from Mexico. I haven’t been very adventurous ordering from many sites online because well, I’m concerned that my Capital One 360 account will be suspended for fraud. It’s happened. In fact, while I was traveling last month, I tried to pay for my son’s exam fee through UVEG online and that 56 pesos transaction triggered a total account shut down. I spent hours on the phone explaining that I was traveling and verifying who I was. Ironically, not one of my transactions in Philadelphia, Chicago or Mexico City airport was denied. 

Anyway, I use both Amazon and Amazon Mexico to order products. I find that Amazon has more selection than their Mexican counterpart and as long as I make sure that the item is eligible to be shipped to Mexico, I have few problems. Amazon calculates the import fees for me. If the import fees turn out to be less than what Amazon estimated, I get a refund on the difference. 

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I get free shipping options when I order from Amazon Mexico. Most orders more than $499 pesos have a free shipping option without needing to enroll in Amazon Prime. I really appreciate that option. It may take me a little longer to receive things, but I’m patient. 

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If you like to sign up for a 30-day Prime Trial membership–you can do that here and take advantage of the Prime Day offers. 

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I also like to shop at Zulily. I have the option to pay via Paypal there instead of my debit card, so I like that added security. Zulily has closeout items at great prices and ships to Mexico for $120 per order no matter how many packages the order is. And there is free shipping for orders more than $1500 pesos. I like to buy puzzles through Zulily. Again, I have to wait a bit because Zulily doesn’t ship items until the box is full, but I’m good with that.

Both Amazon and Zulily have been great when orders have been lost or items have been wrong. Amazon Mexico hasn’t been as helpful overall which is a shame really. 

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My most recent foray into the online market is EyeBuyDirect, a prescription glasses wholesaler. While we were in the U.S. we managed to get eye appointments. It turns out that my son needs his first pair of glasses and I need to make the transition to bifocals. I’ve never ordered glasses online before, but it was considerably cheaper than buying glasses at the eye doctor’s and they ship to Mexico albeit UPS so we could be waiting awhile. Paypal is a payment option at EyeBuyDirect as well. We are still waiting on our glasses, so I’ll let you know how they are once they arrive.

Do you shop online from Mexico? What sites do you recommend?

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Zulily

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Somehow Brexit has been messing with the Mexican peso. But since I’ve been earning a few dollars, that’s been to my advantage. So what’s a girl to do but go shopping!

As I hate, I mean hate, shopping here in Moroleon (quality, price, selection, size, you name it, I hate it) I was delighted that Amazon had opened a Mexican branch. Shipping for non-imported items was free with orders over 500 pesos and DHL delivery was prompt and reliable. (See Trade Route Established). My only hangup is that Amazon didn’t accept Paypal, so buying meant transferring my dollars from Paypal to my Mexican bank account, which was a 5 to 10-day wait, before purchasing.

Then I was introduced to Zulily! Zulily is kinda of like an online outlet store. Items are discounted but not available in every size or color. And, much like an outlet store, sometimes you have to sift through stuff to find a good bargain.

Shipping fees to Mexico are 120 pesos, which really is pretty good. The catch is all the items you order are sent to the central Zulily warehouse and then packaged together to be sent to you. This might delay the package some. Well, I’m used to slow mail.

Shipping is free for any other orders you make to the same address until midnight of the day you place the order. Any tax and duty fees are included in the price of the product, so there aren’t any surprises at checkout like with Amazon. AND Zulily uses DHL which I have found to be far superior to Fed-ex and the local postal service in my area of Mexico. (See Shipping Fiasco)

After browsing longer than I should have, I put a pair of jeans, a shirt, some shoes and a bra in my shopping basket. I headed like Little Red Riding Hood to the checkout and paid up. Later, I was second guessing my purchases. So I went back and ordered another pair of jeans and some undies. There, that ought to do it. Oh, and some sheets. Ok, I was done.

I placed my order on June 29 and the estimated delivery date was July 16. I had it shipped to the school since that seems to work the best. School was officially out for the school year, however, there was someone at the front desk for most of the morning and on Saturdays, I was there faithfully teaching English classes (See Saturday classes)

To my delight, my order arrived on June 14. No missing items, no lost boxes, and the clothes fit just right. I was super pleased with the experience. Now, let me take a look at the school items on sale….

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Dirty and ragged?

The other day I was reading a prepper adventure story–you know the kind, where a handful of people survive X disaster. In this particular story, it was an EMP attack, which means no electricity. In the story, it had been just 2 months since the power went out and the survivors were described as dirty and ragged.

Dirty and ragged? I’ve lived without electricity in my home for 10 years now and I hardly consider myself dirty and ragged. What could have happened to these people? Well, water might be in short supply. We’ve had that dilemma ourselves which has meant a gap of several days between showers. (See Ni modo) but we still wash our face and hands and any other grubby parts, even if we have to draw up a bucket of water from the ajibe (dry well). (See Water Woes) So what about that ragged part? If there happened to be no electricity, it stands to reason that the sewing machines wouldn’t work. But really, ragged? After just 2 months? Nobody knows how to use a needle and thread anymore?

Right then and there I decided that wouldn’t happen to us in the event of X disaster. Thus began my quest for a treadle sewing machine. Believe it or not, they aren’t so hard to find here. Everybody and their mother had one, or so it seems.

First, I asked my co-workers. The secretary’s grandmother had one. However, she wasn’t able to get ahold of grandma because her phone had been disconnected. I don’t know about you, but finding out my grandma’s phone was disconnected would inspire a visit at the very least to make sure she wasn’t kitty food for her houseful of now feral cats. But I guess every family is different.

So then the lunch lady said that she had 2. Yep, two. One had been her mother’s and she would not sell it for sentimental reasons. The second was in need of repair but she didn’t know exactly what it needed. Nothing came of that lead either.

At the Sunday tianguis (flea market) in Moroleon, I came across the machine part that the seller assured me was in working order. However, without a base, it wouldn’t be much good to me. I suppose I could have bought the base separately, but then I would have to see if it worked with that machine and get bands and well, it seemed too complicated. It was only $250 pesos though.

Then there was the trip to Patzcuaro to the Singer store where the lady refused to sell me the display model saying it was a piece of crap made in China, not Mexican-made. So much for that. (See Playing Tourist–Patzcuaro)

The other week, driving to the gas station, I spied one at a bazaar (an open-air junk shop). We turned around and asked. The one displayed didn’t work. The guy said that he had another one but his brother had it. He’d be able to have it there by 1:30. So we went back at 1:30. Well, the brother had taken it to a tianguis (flea market) to try and sell. He’d be back by 6:00. Meanwhile, the guy had another model in his house. My husband had a look at it. He said the machine looked fine, but the base needed some work. My husband went back at 6:00 and the brother still hadn’t appeared. The guy was willing to sell the crappy base, but not the machine to the one he had in the house. That wouldn’t work. How much you want to bet that the tianguis guy from the other week had the machine that matched the working base? Either way, it didn’t work out for me.

Coppel had a display model treadle machine, but I wasn’t impressed. Since I was disappointed with the quality of my bike recently purchased at Coppel (there seemed to be missing screws and the frame feels like it will burst apart at every pedal) I wasn’t going to shell out over $2,000 pesos for something I might not be happy with.

What I really wanted was one of the antique sewing machines–built to last and still running. I checked out eBay and found a few–even a Janome 131 Hand Crank Sewing Machine hand crank one. I was all excited about it until I saw that it would be shipped from Latvia. How much would shipping be from there? I didn’t even want to know. Besides, I had a bad experience or two with eBay and wasn’t in a hurry to give it another go. (See Shipping Fiasco)

Barring the antique sewing machine, a functioning new machine would work. So I went to Amazon. Regular old Amazon had nothing, but Amazon Mexico had 2 Singer Negrita 15CD Máquina de Coser con Mueble de Triplay de 5 cajones models seemingly identical but about $200 pesos different in price. As I couldn’t find anything different but the color of the base, I ordered the less expensive one.

Now that I have a viable shipping address (See Trade Route Established) I set about ordering it and waited anxiously for its arrival. Although there was a hiccup with my supplier (my friend) and her bank saying she had a fraudulent purchase for using a Mexican site, it arrived right on time. The school secretary accepted delivery for me.

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It wasn’t sent via DHL, but Estafeta which makes sense as the sewing machine came from the Amazon warehouse in Mexico–and as there is an office not so very far from the school, it seems that they too had no problems in delivery.

We stashed it in the back of Myrtle and took it home.  That’s one less thing I need to worry about when TSHTF!

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Trade Route Established

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We’ve had all sorts of luck having things shipped to us in Mexico, with most of it being bad. This January, we said goodbye to the post office box for good. (See Mexican Postal Service) and have sworn off Fed-Ex completely. (See Shipping Fiasco). It seemed that my dream of establishing a trade route where I can have hard to get items delivered was yet another impossibility.

However, there was hope. Remember way back when we had to renew our passports (See Renewing our Passports in Mexico) and the consulate used DHL for interior shipping? Well, if you don’t, we were able to have the passports delivered to the local office and pick them up there (with proper identification of course) and that saved us all sorts of headaches.

So when Amazon Mexico opened its virtual doors, I was delighted to discover that they too used DHL as a shipping service. YIPPEE! Now, Amazon Mexico does not have the same inventory as regular old Amazon and there are some price differences, but they do have free shipping for purchases over 500 pesos. And that’s just dandy!

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It was time to test it out. I wanted to order a Kindle for my son because although we have one, I don’t share well. Have you ever tried to share a kindle? It’s like two people reading the same book at the same time. It just doesn’t work out. Amazon Mexico had kindles in stock. I went to order one and ran into a glitch. Amazon does not take PayPal. Well, of course, they don’t. It’s owned by Ebay. Unfortunately all my ill-gotten and well-gotten gains from online work (See Failing at your own business–Freelance Writing Essays, Freelance Test Writing, web design) were stashed in my Paypal account. I could transfer that money to my husband’s account and withdraw it, but since Amazon is an online business, there was no store I could go to with my pesos for the purchase.

So your question is why I wouldn’t just use a debit or credit card, is it? Amazon accepts those forms of payments without problems. Well, banking is another one of those things that gets complicated without an address. We had been able to open a savings account using my husband’s mother’s address once upon a time, however as she is no longer living and no one in the family is currently living at that address, we haven’t been able to present a verifiable address to the bank in order to open a checking account. So no bank cards for us.

What I needed was a go-between, someone to whom I could send Paypal money and would place the order for me at Amazon Mexico. No sooner thought than done. I had recently finished a web redesign job (See Failing at your own business–web design) for my friend in Tennessee. She agreed to order the Kindle in lieu of payment. Awesome! I had found my purveyor of fine goods!

As the Amazon Mexico site is all in Spanish (because no one would speak another language in Mexico right?) it took some doing for her to get it ordered and the shipping address set up. I decided to try and have it shipped to the school that I work at, which is just a few blocks from the DHL office. I figured it wouldn’t be too hard for them to find me. My friend placed an order for the Kindle.

The bank rejected her order. I thought it might have been a name change issue as she has recently remarried, but it wasn’t. The bank called her the next day to say that they had detected a fraudulent online purchase (because no one in the US would use a Mexican site to place an order right?) So she got that straightened out and hit send again.

This time, there were no problems. Amazon Mexico sent a confirmation of order received and an expected delivery date of 2 days later. As I was in my classroom all day, I let the secretary know that a package would arrive for me. She signed for it and brought it to my room. The Kindle had arrived!

It looks like I’ve established my trade route without having to resort to camels!

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