This is not a review of double strollers but rather a guide on how to shop for one which gives you the most bang for your buck.
I am expecting a second child so I started looking for double strollers and one thing that is common of all double strollers is that they are expensive.
There are a lot available here locally. Brands like Peg-Prego, Quinny, Stokke etc are aplenty but when you look beyond that, you will see how we are actually being restricted to just a small pool of them as compared to what is available out there overseas.
If you cannot find anything you like locally, then you have to consider ordering one in. Even if what you like is available locally, ordering them in can actually save you a bit, maybe even up to 1/2 the cost. For example, the Phil&Teds Navigator is selling around $1.6k in an online store here. You can ship one in for $800.
Facts about ordering online.
1. It will definitely be cheaper ordering them from the source or origin of the manufacturer. For example, Graco, which made in US will be cheaper if you order them from there.
2. Many online stores do not ship them internationally which can be frustrating as some of them have really good deals. Try browsing through Tesco and you'll get what I mean.
3. Shipping rates can balloon up the total cost making them more expensive than local set.
4. Practically no warranty.
5. GST will be levied on orders exceeding SGD400 in total, including shipping etc.
So how you do know if it is worth it to buy from overseas and where do you start shopping?
The first thing you should do is find the origin of the manufacturer. For example, Jane (pronounced Ha-ne) is from Spain and Hauck is from Germany. Do take note that almost everything is made in China though.
Once you find that out, you can start to find online stores from that country. If you have no clue whatsoever, two best source that I can think of is Amazon and eBay.
For eBay, if the manufacturer is from a European country, go to eBay UK. From there make sure you choose the option "European Union" in your location filter. This will include all the available items by sellers in Europe. It is easier this way than shopping at the localised site itself as everything will be in English.
If the seller in eBay do not specifically state that they can ship internationally, you can try to contact the seller and ask if they can ship the items here and what rates will be like.
If you know someone living abroad, you can have your item delivered to them (as shipping is normally free to the same country) and ask for a favour to have them ship the item over. However, from my experience, this normally cost more but still, do make the comparison with shipping them directly.
Some sellers have their own website outside eBay. If they do, you can ask them directly, out of eBay. The reason why is because in eBay, they will not be able to exclude the VAT from the price (which can be as much as 19% in Europe and 20% in the UK) if the item is not shipped to a European destination. So if the item cost 300€, you will save about 50€, which is about SGD$80.
As mentioned, shipping can negate all the cost savings, so make sure you get the correct shipping rates and factor that in your final cost.
Some stores accepts payment by PayPal which can be a good thing as they provide buyer protection in the event the item was not delivered or different from what is described. Sellers or stores may also give you further discount if your make the payment through PayPal. Just take note that when paying through PayPal, change the conversion option from PayPal to Mastercard/Visa. PayPay conversion option will usually end up higher.
You may also want to buy insurance for your purchase. All costs needs to be totalled up and once that is confirmed, convert them to SGD (include another 7% (in SGD) for orders about SGD$400 as levied by the ICA. Payment of the GST can be found here) and compare the cost with the ones available locally to see if it is cheaper.
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