Sunday, 6 March 2016

YouShop: Review

Hi everyone!

Today I'm going to be giving a rundown and review of YouShop, which is a NZ shipping service that assists New Zealanders in buying things online from US, European, and Chinese companies. I've wanted to use YouShop for a long time but could never find any reviews about how it worked and how expensive it was, so now that I've made an order through them I thought that others might be curious to know how it all works. :)

YouShop (www.nzpost.co.nz/tools/youshop) is run by New Zealand Post, which is NZ's official post service. It has warehouses in the UK (which services Europe), USA, and China, and when you sign up you are given delivery addresses on the ground in each of these places. Basically, if you want to buy something from a brand that doesn't ship to New Zealand, you can buy it anyway and have it shipped to the country's YouShop warehouse, which then posts it to your real address in New Zealand. This is particularly useful for makeup brands that are otherwise extremely difficult to get hold of in NZ (I'm looking at you, Urban Decay!)

I recently made a purchase on Too Faced's website (www.toofaced.com), which does not ship to NZ. It is difficult to get hold of Too Faced's full range here, as the websites that do ship to NZ that stock Too Faced only carry a limited range, and at very high prices. So I decided to take the plunge and use YouShop, going in almost totally blind, and post an overview and review of the process.

I bought a Beauty Blogger Darlings makeup collection, which includes deluxe samples of the Better Than Sex Mascara, Chocolate Soleil Bronzer, Primed and Poreless Skin Smoothing Face Primer, and Shadow Insurance Eye Shadow Primer. It cost me $USD20, which at the time of purchase was $NZD32.88. Yikes. The exchange rate always kicks my butt. Anyway...

I bought this on the 16th of February from the Too Faced website, which was shipped and arrived at the YouShop warehouse on the 24th of February. I'm not sure why it took so long for it to arrive at the warehouse, but I'm not that knowledgeable about the American postal system, so this may be a standard wait time.

Email received on the 24th of February

I paid $NZD22 for this to be shipped to New Zealand on the 24th of February. My order was packaged in a pink Too Faced branded box, which had the following dimensions: 27x17x7cm, weight of 0.3kg, volumetric weight of 0.64kg. I had to enter in the value of my package, although I'm not sure if this impacted on the end price of shipping, as YouShop's shipping price excludes any GST that you might have to pay when the package passes through Customs.

I don't know much about the Customs process as I have never had packages shipped to me that were worth more than around $100, but this is something that you need to keep in mind if you're making a large purchase!

Email received on the 24th of February

My purchase was shipped the very next day on the 25th of February in the early hours of the  morning - yes, the email gave me the time that it was shipped! It arrived at the NZ post office on either the 29th of February or the 1st of March (it is a leap year this year) - it didn't specify when it arrived in New Zealand, just when it arrived at the NZ post office. It then left the NZ post office on the 1st of March at 4.00am, and I received it that day. I'm not sure what time it was, as it had arrived when I was at work. You can choose whether you want delivery to require a signature or not, and as I live in a very quiet place I chose to just have it left at my back door if I wasn't home.

I received very frequent emails that let me know exactly where my package was at all times. I liked this: it made me feel more informed and also reassured me that my package would actually arrive!

Email received on the 25th of February

Email received on the 1st of March

Email received on the 1st of March

From arrival at the warehouse to delivery, the process took six days. YouShop estimates that packages take five to six days to arrive in New Zealand, and my package just cut into the five day mark. The process was extended by another eight days because it took so long to get from the Too Faced warehouse to the YouShop warehouse.

So all up, it took 14 days for my parcel to arrive at my front door and cost me $NZD22 (this isn't including the small postage fee that Too Faced charged to send it across the USA).

My parcel arrived slightly dirtied, but not dented or damaged in any way. My products were in perfect condition - although I question Too Faced's decision to use crimped pink paper in the place of bubble wrap. Perhaps when they ship glass items they use better padding.

Overall I was very pleased with the service I received from YouShop, and although it was slightly pricey, I will be using them again when I buy from sites that don't ship to NZ.

The only downside of this service is that the US Sephora has cottoned onto them and no longer ships to their warehouse! So if you try to make a purchase and use your YouShop address, they will cancel the order. I've heard of some people's packages slipping through the cracks and still being delivered there, but I wouldn't count on it. So we're stuck with our own, vastly inferior, Sephora, unless you use other shipping services (which I have not personally used).

Have you tried YouShop or any other kind of shipping service? Let me know which ones you've tried - and if any of them will still work with Sephora purchases!


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