How to buy anything in the world (sorta)

Can’t travel but need those limited edition sneakers from the US? Get a local to help you buy it there. You may just get a few extras thrown in too (get your mind out the gutter and read on)

howtobuyanything1

1. GET PERSONALISED SERVICE FROM A ‘BOXER’

Rejoice, all you shopaholics who love shopping overseas but aren’t travelling anytime soon. ShopandBox (www.shopandbox.com) is a shopping service that pairs you up with one of over 80 “Boxers” (aka personal shoppers) in over 20 countries, including Japan, Korea, and USA, to help you buy items that can’t be bought here or online (more on that later). A 10 to 14 per cent service fee is charged. Unlike other concierge shopping services like vPost or comgateway, your assigned Boxer scours for the items personally in brick-and-mortar shops or factory outlets for, say, your favourite US drugstore brand make-up palette. Shoppers and Boxers agree on a price before the item is bought, boxed, and shipped to you. Shopping for a living sounds like fun? Yes, you can be a Boxer in Singapore, too, though demand for found-in-Singapore items isn't exactly high. Oh, well.

2. STRETCH YOUR DOLLAR AND GET UNUSUAL FINDS
Shipping is charged at a minimum of 500g, approximately the weight of 20 lipsticks. “The best way to save money is to consolidate items across stores or share a ‘box’ with a friend,” says ShopandBox co-founder Rebecca Chia. To maximise your shipping cost, the Boxer informs you how much more you can buy without paying extra for shipping, and suggests what else there is to get in their home country. Who knows, you could make a few new discoveries too. Seasonal Oreo flavours available only in the US like red velvet, pumpkin spice and cookie dough have been a huge hit. “Boxers make extra shopping trips at no extra charge, and are trained to repackage everything into as small a box as possible to remove unnecessary packaging so that shipping is fully optimised,” adds Rebecca.

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