Pros and cons of buying from Europe

One of the major benefits of the digital age in which we live is the huge range of shopping opportunities that are presented to us. In particular, the ability to quickly and easily browse and purchase products from continental Europe can reveal some amazing products at some very tempting prices.

However, shopping from Europe is not always as simple as it seems. And here are a few things to consider before you next add a European product into your online shopping basket.

Delivery costs

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On sites like eBay there’s an almost endless range of goods that can be easily browsed. And thanks to the site’s method of translating different currencies from different countries, we can enjoy international shopping at just a click of a button.

But a word of warning – be sure to factor in the delivery costs on any purchase made, as these can significantly raise the overall cost. And as the recent Guardian article stated, even the most seemingly failsafe European delivery systems can pose problems.

Size differences

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One of the biggest headaches to strike international internet shoppers is undoubtedly the different weights, measures and sizes to translate. The imperial versus metric debate has been running for many years now and shows no signs of being settled.

This can make shopping for a European bargain a little confusing. Especially with clothes and shoe sizes featuring vastly different measurements in the UK compared to mainland Europe.

And with the advent of European furniture retailers such as IKEA, even bed sizes have become confused in the UK. However, the bed retailer Bedstar now supplies a range of European sized mattresses, and this trend for including dual-systems of measurement is something that we can expect to see a lot more of as we become more tightly bound with the European Union.

Language barrier

It’s an unfortunate fact that compared to our European neighbours, the majority of UK residents are fairly hopeless at learning a second language. And whilst there are various apps such as Google Translate that can do a passable job at translating a piece of online text when we’re communicating via email in a foreign language, there can be a few things that can frequently get lost in translation.

And whilst most online transactions can easily be done with just a few clicks of a mouse button, it’s worth always bearing in mind what to do if something goes wrong. That’s why it’s always good to ensure that any shopping site has clear and accurate customer service details because even though your chosen shopping location might be far away, they are still contactable.

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