As an online shopping addict who much prefers websites to brick-and-mortar stores at the mall, I would order regularly from US sites when I was still living in the US. Shipping and returns were often free, promo codes always made the deal sweeter, and I could avoid the crowds and try on the clothes in the privacy of my own home.
But after moving to France, all that changed. I had to majorly scale back my online shopping habits once I moved to France. Why? Buying from American websites and shipping to France was more of a hassle than anything else. Between shipping costs and duties and the long shipping delay, it just didn’t make sense financially to buy from American websites and have the order shipped to France. But my opinion has done a complete 180 after ordering from Victoria’s Secret and taking advantage of their international shipping. When something blows my mind, you can count on the fact that I’ll be sharing it with you!
International shipping and Victoria’s Secret
In my four years of living abroad, I’ve ordered from American websites and had the order shipped to France twice. Both times, I ordered from popular women’s clothing stores you’d find in a mall. The experience was messy both times.
Here are just some of the problems/hesitations I’ve had with ordering from US sites and shipping abroad:
— Duties/customs fees were too high and/or unknown until delivery
— Prices were in euros and marked up
— Shipping took forever and was often without tracking, not to mention expensive!
— Promo codes for US orders were not valid on international orders
Although I rarely buy anything from US sites these days, I still window shop! When browsing the Victoria’s Secret sport collection (FYI, stylish and good quality, worth it!) online a few months ago, I was intrigued that they offered a $12 flat rate for international shipping. That was reasonable!
I read more of the fine print and found out duties were calculated beforehand at checkout so nothing was due upon delivery. Tracking would be provided every step of the way. And, what always seals the deal for me, is that I had a promo code.
Unable to resist, I figured what the heck and placed an order for a few of the sport collection items. Mind. Blown. I was so pleased with the service, I ordered again last month before writing this post to make sure my great first experience wasn’t just a lucky fluke. It wasn’t.
You see, Victoria’s Secret uses a global eCommerce company called eShopWorld that handles everything from checkout to payment processing to delivery for their international orders. They manage the whole process and clearly know what they’re doing. If you’re looking for eshopworld reviews, keep on reading.
So let’s get to the specifics. This post is for you if you are a Victoria’s Secret fan, live abroad, and…
- Have hesitated in placing an order due to fear of the unknown
- Are curious about how the international shipping process works
Let’s start at the beginning
There’s nothing tricky about shopping online, so shop just like you’re used to and add items to your cart. In the top left-hand side of the screen, you can choose your shipping country and currency (most likely picked up by your IP address automatically) meaning you aren’t forced to pay in euros if you’d rather pay in dollars.
Once you’re ready to check out, you’ll be brought to a screen that looks like the one below where you can add your promo code and review your order before finalizing everything. As you can see, the merchandise total, shipping and duties are clearly outlined. You pay for everything when you place your order so nothing is due upon delivery or billed later. Depending on where you live and what you’re paying, duties and taxes will vary and can be a pain, but Victoria’s Secret and eShopWorld have no control over them. Paying duties is just a perk of living abroad! 😉
Keep in mind that if you use a promo code, you only pay duties/taxes on the discounted price. So if the regular price is $50 and the code lowers the cost to $25, you only pay duties/tax on the $25 amount. At the bottom of the page, you’ll see the total payment due and can pay with a credit/debit card or Paypal. Easy!
A few minutes later, you’ll have an order confirmation from eShopWorld in your email inbox. You’ll also be notified when your order ships, when it arrives in the destination country and another update email or two as it makes its way to you. There’s no guessing about where your package is because you’re informed every step of the way. I love that the customer is kept in the loop.
Returning an item
When you order clothes online, there’s always a chance that an item won’t fit or that you won’t like it. This was the case for an item in my second order, so I decided to return it. At first I was a little uneasy about the eshopworld returns process, but the fact that I ship the item back in the original shipping bag to a depot in France (and NOT back to the USA) made me feel better about the process. You initiate the return via eShopWorld’s portal for Victoria’s Secret, affix the sticker that came with the order and then head to the post office. You’ll be credited and refunded the purchase price as well as a portion of the duty/tax .
The only downside is that returns aren’t free — you pay the postage to return the item(s). For a small, light item, it was no big deal and cost 3.20 euros.
What surprised me?
I mailed my return at 4pm, and no lie, at 10am the next day I got an email confirming the return. I was shocked that not only did my item arrive in the Paris area in less than a day but it was processed as well! The day after, I got another email notifying me of the credited amount, and then a day after that the refund came through on my credit card.
How’s that for service?
So to recap, here are the pros of placing an international order with Victoria’s Secret:
- Duties/taxes/shipping are all clearly calculated and presented before you check out so there are no surprises upon delivery
- Shipping is reasonably priced (flat fee of $12) and fast (and promos that give you free international shipping from time to time)
- You can pick the currency you shop in and prices are the same as in the USA
- Coupon codes are valid (my favorite part!)
- The customer is informed about the status of the order every step of the way from processing, to shipping and even returns.
- Returns are fast, easy and at least in France they’re local. You don’t ship the merchandise you’re returning back to the USA.
Cons of placing an international order with Victoria’s Secret:
- This is a con for all international shipping in general, not just Victoria’s Secret, but duties and taxes can be a pain
- Return shipping isn’t free
I’m a discerning shopper and having a perfect international online shopping experience is rare. eShopWorld does a fantastic job handling Victoria’s Secret orders from ease of checkout, to communication with customers, to delivery and even returns. If you’re considering an order, go for it! I’m sure you’ll have a great experience. Two thumbs way up, so I hope you enjoyed my eShopWorld review of Victoria’s Secret.