Anti Social Persons Guide To Shopping
I am inherently anti-social. When faced with the option of a party full of people, or a night at home with a good book, some red wine and the possibility of decadent chocolate cake, home wins every time.
I like my space, I despise having to be nice to people whom I will probably never see again, and (like all good Libras) I battle to make decisions on the singular belief that as soon as I make a choice, something better may come along. Which is way I am a passionate supporter of online shopping. No lines with a hairy, sweaty brute rubbing himself up against me and breathing down my neck, no wayward shop assistants either simpering and trying to ingratiate themselves or looking down their perfectly proportioned noses at me, and no running the gauntlet of hijackers and car thieves that seem to hang about exclusively at my local mall. Oh and no money-grubbing, greedy, soulless, crowded, overpriced malls, chockfull of people out on a Sunday meander. (Hang on let me clamber down off my soapbox quickly).
I thought I would introduce you to some of my fabulously favourite online shops so you too can enjoy the pleasure of indulging in a little retail therapy while in your dressing gown and slippers! Online truly does go beyond Amazon!
Spoils and Gifts
There is that moment of sheer panic, as you realise that you have forgotten a loved ones birthday, anniversary or thank you gift. But online gifting, especially one that requires their size or preferences allow you to do a quick online order and the mail appears in their inbox almost instantly making you look organised and together, as opposed to the forgetful mess you really are (or maybe that’s just me!).
Useful for gifts or for a self-spoil, Rubybox work on the same basis as many of the other ‘box’ type sites. You can purchase on a monthly subscription basis, or once off and you receive a box full of goodies. In this case, those goodies are make-up, perfume, hair products, beauty tools, in fact anything cosmetic-like. Generally the box cost per month is R169 with approximately R250 value in terms of samples. The cool thing about this site, is that you can earn credits towards your next purchase by writing reviews (check out two of ours here: http://rubybox.co.za/beauty-brands/a-h/essie/nail-polish-in-sexy-divide.html and http://rubybox.co.za/original-wax-strips-face.html).
Panties by post? Yes you can!
Pretty and often completely unique, you (or your lucky gifted person) can get gorgeous designer knickers delivered to your door every month. Out with your grey, 100% cotton, practical panties, and in with Chantilly lace, pretty bows on your bum, roses, ribbons and mesh. Monthly subs start at R99 and decrease the longer you subscribe
The Ooh! Box
This is my most decadent online find! Every month, like a fat little fairy godmother, I am delivered of 4 bottles of incredible wine (generally that I have never tasted before, but always simply delish), as well as something sweet (Turkish delight, fudge, rusks – all made in unusual places), a little treat (Rhubarb and Ginger preserve anyone?), something hot (our favourite so far is the French Vanilla Dilmah tea), Olive oil or balsamic (or another condiment). All of this for R515 a month. We have made notes of the stuff we love the most and then go on the hunt for it!
The League of beers
Not being a beer drinker myself, it took me a little while to get around to testing this site. My first inkling that it existed was when they arrived at my door, and were nearly eaten by Hera-the-overindulged-Rottweiler. It was a gift to my husband from one of his mates with whom he compares beer notes, on a regular basis. The monthly box arrives with 12 mixed beers from around the world. They are hand-picked and chosen to complement each others tastes. So while we can’t guarantee a sober experience, we can say that they are super tasty, and of course, thoroughly educational! The monthly box will run you to R400.
This particular review took me three times as long as the others, as I was ‘researching’ and had to hunt down my credit card. You know for research! Not to purchase a cool new IPhone cover, After Eden underwear or Nanoblocks as a gift. I can’t go onto this site, without experiencing serious pangs of ‘must buy’ retail madness. Delivery is free if you buy 4 or more items, and we are just positive you will find something to fill your basket here!
This is Why I’m Broke
The first of the overseas sites that I just adore. This is an aggregator site. Essentially what this means is that they source tons of products that they just love, and show them on the site. By clicking on the purchase item button, you will then be taken to the original site to buy (like Amazon, ThinkGeek – more on them below- etc.). One of the coolest sites in the history of the online shopping world, some of my favourites include: horror movie puzzles (Jason is a lot less scary when you have to put him together piece by piece), a Tron inspired Comaro, 28 port USB Hub, wrist mounted flame throwers, canned dragon meat, horror movie inspired garden gnomes, the list goes on and on).
My first purchase from this site, was a t-shirt that said ‘I love my geek’, an Einstein Superhero figurine and another t-shirt with “Guns don’t kill people, kids who play videogames kill people” emblazoned across the chest. Most of the toys and odds and ends you see in Big Bang Theory, can be purchased off this really amazing site. I love the periodic table shower curtain, the Hobbit slippers and the infectious disease stress ball! Delivery to SA can be tricky though, and you have to go with a courier.
Old Mother Woolies, as they are referred to in our house (probably because every time the kids ask if I made the cake I say, in all seriousness, that old mother Woolies made it for me), got all fancy and went online. Great for gifts, flowers, or those horrid weeks when you have no time and a full team of people coming for dinner, you can even order clothes through this portal. Delivery varies from R50 to R95 and the first online order is free. Food orders generally come the next day and clothes etc. take 3 days or so.
Pick ‘n Pay
We can say this for the Pick ‘n Pay site, it does work! Well! The trick is to convince the site to allow you to actually shop! If you log in via laptop you get booted to the mobile site (seriously development team!), which is not ideal for shopping. It’s immeasurably difficult to get to the right online site so it’s a good thing we thoughtfully provided you with a link!
But once you have fought the gremlins of the Pick ‘n Pay navigation system, you can set up your account easily. It’s fabulous that they allow you to build various shopping lists, and if you choose to shop online delivery fees are nominal, and vary depending on the delivery time slot you choose. Personally I also love the “Click and Collect” feature which allows you to place your order online, and they will prepare it for you. Then all you have to do is pitch up and collect your shopping! The proviso is that right now it’s only being offered at the Woodmead Hyper store and a PE store only.