Thursday, January 14, 2010

Money, money, money - part 2

Quite a few of you asked on my last post if it would be cheaper to buy items online in the USA and get someone to ship them over for me. The short answer is…sometimes. The longer answer is that it depends on what it is. Some smaller things, like books and some clothes, would cost less. However, larger, bulkier items will not because getting things mailed to Australia is pretty expensive.

For example, the stroller we want that costs $399 in the USA but $777 here – I did look at getting this sent to my mom, and paying to have it sent to me. However, the cheapest option USPS offered for a package of that size was over $300, so we still would have ended up paying nearly the same price as if we bought it locally. And shipping an even bulkier, heavier item like a crib? Forget about it!

Other things like cloth diapers are trickier. The biggest price difference is in the all-in-one designs, like the BumGenius 3.0. They’re not heavy by themselves, but once you get a pile of them, they are relatively bulky for their weight – so even though the box would be fairly light, the dimensions may mean they'd still have a shipping price that negates any savings we’d get from not buying locally. I’m still not sure about this, and am trying to figure out how to calculate it before I commit by buying in one country or the other.

The good news is that we are finding SOME deals. For example, we just bought two cribs at Target’s annual baby sale:

Hardly the fanciest model out there, but they were marked down $100 from their original price, which meant that each cost only $229AUD – that’s $10 less than the rock bottom cheapest crib I’d been able to find up until this point, which was $239AUD for Ikea’s Gulliver. Plus, since there isn’t an Ikea where we live, this saved us a drive to a larger city.

And that stroller we wanted? We bought it, too. Amazon had a short lived sale on just one color (amazingly, the one we liked the best!), marking it down from $399 to $277 – a whopping 31% off! There was still the problem of shipping, so before I bought it, I asked my mom if she would be willing to bring it over with her on the plane when she visits in May. The excess baggage fee is around $100, but even so it’s still coming out dramatically cheaper than it would have if we’d gotten it shipped or bought locally. It will mean we'll probably have to go without a stroller for a month or so, but that's OK - we'll just use slings in the interim.

So at least we’re saving in some areas, even if it’s still costing us a good bit more than it would if we lived in the'll probably still hear me whine about budgeting, but hopefully I'll also have plenty of posts about what an amazing deal I got on something for the nursery!


  1. What about getting some of the space bags things that compress clothing to nothing and putting the diapers in that, then shipping them? It makes huge comforters small, and we always use them when traveling overseas to be able to carry more stuff.

  2. Ooooooh I hadn't thought of that! I will DEFINITELY investigate this, thank you!

  3. That's some expensive stuff. Glad I kept my baby stuff from baby number one. I'm pregnant, too. :)