Where do you shop online?

  shopping_thumb.jpgA while back Adam wrote a post on how to become an online power shopper. At that time, reader Danielle commented on the lack of good online stores here in Australia.

"As an American living in Australia, it kills me that hardly any stores even show their products online, much less give you the ability to purchase them. What is the deal?"

From my experience of buying online in Australia, the UK and the US, I have to agree with Danielle. While we have a decent range of PC and computing related online stores who understand how to present products and offer a fairly user friendly buying experience, I can't name an non-IT related Australian online store I regularly go to. I love the idea of online grocery shopping but tried several and gave up because the ordering process took so long. I regularly buy from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk but haven't found a decent local online bookstore.

But I don't want to just whinge. I want to find the stores which have good websites  - preferably offering online shopping, but even if they're showing off their products online to entice you to come to their shop, that's something. While I like to purchase online, I also like to use the net as a browsing tool for items I'd prefer to buy in person - so stores with online catalogues would be a plus too.

I thought Lifehacker readers might share my interest in online shopping, so thought I'd throw the question to you - what are the good online shopping sites? Which stores have decent websites showing their products, even if they don't sell online? Of course, given how well the Aussie dollar is performing against the greenback, buying online from overseas is less expensive than it was - even if postage can be a killer. So if you have any favourite overseas sites you shop at, let us know about them too. Leave your tips in comments please!


    I found a good online fitness store when I was looking for a new exercise bike. If I remember correctly, they have a bricks and mortar shop in Brisbane too. The great thing about them is that they sell direct to the public, so they can smash Amart All Sport's and Elite Fitness's prices.


    For jewelery, there is a Brisbane jeweler called Gillett's Jewellers that has a stunningly good website with a catalog you would actually consider buying from.

    Some small niche retailers are setting themselves up with open source shopping cart packages to throw their hats in the ring. In arts and craft, for example, there's Scrap & Stitch Boutique ( http://www.scrapnstitchboutique.com.au/ ) and Eastwood Country Design ( http://www.eastwoodcountrydesign.com.au/ ).

    I don't know of anyone selling staple items online in Australia, though. Brick and mortar still seems to be preferred.

    Wow, it's amazing what passes as stunningly good these days..

    http://www.retailmenot.com/coupons/australia is a good place to find coupons for Australian online stores (and in turn, Australian stores. Imagine that!)

    I don't know if you have come across it before, but www.fishpond.com.au is a great online bookstore in Australia. They also offer free postage if the order is over $50.

    The good thing about fishpond is that I've found that they stock a lot more "american" books than say if you compared to dymocks online.

    I buy beauty products and cosmetics at http://www.strawberrynet.com because it's easy to see what you are paying in AU$ and their shipping is free (and fast!). I buy a lot of new books at http://www.bookdepository.co.uk because they are the same price or (lots!) cheaper than Amazon and their shipping is also fast and free! I have also found whitegoods at great prices at http://www.theelectricdiscounter.com.au/ and with a flat delivery fee from Brisbane to anywhere (I think) in Australia.

    http://www.auspcmarket.com.au/ is a good computer parts retailer. They are not the cheapest, but they do next day deliver to most parts of Australia for free. They also have great service, and have easily the best online shopping solution I've come across.

    Now that I've switched to a Mac though, I hardly visit there anymore, but PC people, knock yourselves out.

    My fave store for merino wool clothing & outdoor gear (especially Icebreaker & Macpac) is www.bivouac.co.nz . The conversion from NZD to AUD is good, plus Bivouac has free shipping for orders over NZD100.

    I use Paula's Choice skin care & cosmetics (Paula of the "Don't go to the cosmetics counter without me" fame), www.paulaschoice.com.au

    For kitchenware, it's hard to find a better place than www.petersofkensington.com.au

    Finally, I've recently discovered www.play4me.com.au for books, dvds, cds, games, etc. The range isn't huge, but the prices are better than Fishpond or Booktopia.

    Happy shopping!

    We selling computer and iPod accessories here in Australia. Please check our website at www.techbeat.com.au.

    I didn't know that Lifehacker has an Australian version as well, it's a great website.

    Photobuff (http://www.photobuff.com.au) and Digital Discount Photographics (http://www.d-d-photographics.com.au) both parallel import camera equipment (bodies, lenses, etc.) from other regions and sell them from Australia. You don't get an Australian warranty, but you will save around 25% sometimes on more expensive hardware.

    I'd have to completely agree with this comment. When I moved to Oz from Canada I had to completely give up the idea of viewing grocery catalogues online.

    Think about it - this is a country that has "no junk mail" stickers on their mail boxes,and $1 "green" bags from Woolies, yet instead of going green by putting fliers/catalogues online most Australian websites barely have a list of inventory that they stock. This would not only help the environment yet would save the corporations tonnes of money!

    Take a look at a good example of what I mean at this popular Canadian supermarket:


    There are a growing number of Australians working hard to sell online and provide shoppers with what they want. Try out aladdiescave.com.au If you want something not listed, just email.
    I wonder if Aussies are reluctant to put their bricks and morter shop inventories online because web hosting/development can be so pricey compared to the U.S. But things are getting better so hopefully more retailers will hop on the internet bandwagon.

    For cosmetics go to www.adorebeauty.com.au for underwear try www.zodee.com.au . I have looked at zazz a few times but never saw anything i wanted to buy.

    If I purchase from overseas, I'll buy from Strawberrynet http://www.strawberrynet.com otherwise if I'm buying from Australia I'll buy from Green Organics http://www.greenorganics.com.au

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