Stop Talking To Me! The Anti-Social Persons Guide to Shopping Part 2
Last week I may have mentioned how frightfully anti-social I am.
After reading about this bad habit of mine (you know the one, where I run maniacally away from approaching individuals), I have been inundated with hordes of people dropping by to say that they didn’t know I wasn’t keen on people, and isn’t it a good thing that we are such good friends or they wouldn’t see me often… really? Good friends are we? What’s my middle name… huh… didn’t think so! If you can’t tell me what wine I drink, and more importantly where I buy both it, and my favourite shoes from, I daresay you can’t call me a friend. An acquaintance maybe… but a distant one. Who doesn’t want to hug you hello!
In my quest to avoid the sweaty hordes (see last week’s missive here) I have a few of my secret, and some more of my not-so-secret-but-still-favourite online shops that I want to share with you. You know, ‘cos we’re friends!
Home, Décor & Gifts
In my frantic search for a Nespresso coffee machine, that I had said I had bought weeks previously, I came across this way more sexy version of Dion’s! Electronics, home appliances, gaming consols you name it. Anything you can get in a Dion Wired store you can get online. Delivery normally takes three days, but sometimes it’s worth it, as the stores aren’t exactly on every street corner. Their website is completely comprehensive and you can do comparisons which is so useful! Delivery, for now, is free.
A fairly new site in SA, Printwild do terribly exciting things to images so that you can hang them in interesting and exotic ways. We particularly love the Faceblocks (wooden, square and small, which are only R60, at time of going to ‘print’). All you do is select your option, load your image and they do the rest! You finished products are delivered to you once payment is processed. We designed and printed a bunch of Faceblocks for Christmas gifts last year and they were absolutely adored.
We Heart this
Ooooh and I do! Now not only is everything in this store SA designed, but it’s also SA made, and we do like to spend our money in our own economy and keep Gill Marcus happy! But the items are beautiful. From home-ware and décor to gifts and clothing you actually can’t go wrong on this amazing site. My newest love is the Black Betty Spiral Earrings which were made for me. No seriously! It’s just by accident that they are sitting in their shipping warehouse, waiting! Delivery attracts a small fee, but takes a maximum of 72 hours depending on your location.
It’s a little like Zando grew up and became an adult. They have a large online selection (much larger than any Poetry store I have seen). They actually stock clothing for women who want to look stylish (the Karen knit wrap top is seriously hot!) as well as comfortable. Now I realise I have a boot fetish (it’s only really a problem because I can’t wear all 8 pairs at once. Seriously I have 8 pairs of boots and yes, some are purple), but Poetry have the most amazing boots and flats. The site is great, easy to navigate, quick and just bursting at the seams with gorgeous goodies! It’s a good thing that they have a free delivery option, or it might seriously cut into my shoe budget!
There are times when you feel like whipping out your credit card and taking it for a thorough workout. When you begin to feel the tingle in your toes, I have the site for you. Delectable goodies that fool me into thinking I am anything other than totally incompetent in the kitchen. Home décor that have me believing my house is straight from the pages of… well… BigCityLife, and the tools! The gizmo’s and the gadgets! My two favourite parts of this site have to be the Gift boxes and of course, the ‘How-it-works’ blogs. My mamma showed me how to do many things, but handling kitchen tools just aint one of them (however I can stitch a horse, change a tyre and do tequila shots, so it wasn’t an entirely wasted youth!)
I will confess I am new to this site. I have spent long ‘research’ hours browsing. I love their simple and affective customer dashboard, and I LOVE the fact that they are a ‘curated design emporium’ that represents SA designers. Their items are diverse and unique and one can’t help falling in love with the talent we have in our own back yard! Rock and Herr (one of my personal favourite bag brands) feature and The Detailsmith has the most gorgeous Piggybank with the words ‘Louboutin Choo Blahnik Savings Fund’ emblazoned along the side. Did I mention I have a thing for shoes?
Books, Music, Movies, etc.
Most of us introduced our credit cards to the world of online shopping when we purchased books through Amazon, or one of the other myriad sites with similar items, and many of those sites are still going today. I like to shop with more than one site open and compare pricing, because often one site has the item on sale, or in a cheaper bundle, than the other.
Books, appliances, movies and gaming. Great for creating and managing wishlists and getting your items to you quickly. They have great bundles on movies and blue rays.
A very similar site to Kalahari, Takealot also stocks movies, books, appliances etc. Great for quick delivery. For both of the above sites you can get someone (like a child) to create their own account, and add items to their wishlists, which are shared with you. I found this cut my shopping time for my 11 year old down by about 98%! (And limited the returns!)
For our more technical books (lots of ebooks) our development teams love Manning Press and Pragmatic bookshelf.
We love Manning because of their 50% off deal of the day, their MEAP Program (Manning Early Access, which allows you access to the books as they are being written. In fact Manning encourages you to write to the authors and comment on the content) and their online bookshelf.
This is a site that sells technical books for software developers from all over the world, so though it’s not very pretty, it’s certainly functionally driven!
More attractively laid out than Manning, but still exceptionally functional, the Pragmatic bookshelf is owned and managed by programmers for programmers. Again you have access to books as they are developed through the Beta option, and you can store your books on their online bookshelf. Huge props to Pragmatic Bookshelf for being the first ones to respond to our email requesting more information, despite the fact that they were the last ones to get the requests. Makes me believe that they truly do live the online ethos they preach!
Well of course you want to sell online, we keep getting told that we are nothing in the retail world if we don’t! But short of building yourself a world class platform, how can you do this the easy way?
This is a great site for selling your unique creations. Etsy has been around since 2005, and offers a fantastic platform, with solid search engine optimisation, and secure transactions. With more than $1.35Billion in total merchant sales for 2013, it’s certainly a prodigious force in the online sales environment. The cost is $0.20 to list an item and 3.5% of the sale fee once it’s sold. No subscription fees means a lower barrier to entry.
New compared to Etsy, Shopify is making it’s name as an online e-commerce store. Based on the premise of being able to sell through your profile, you have the choice of three environments. They vary in terms of monthly cost and storage size, but you can sell an unlimited number of products through the platform and the commission they take varies from 0-2%. All pricing is in US $$$$.