Shopping made easier..
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Every Israeli has experienced the frustration of shopping online only to discover that a site won’t ship to Israel. This problem is often even more acute for Western immigrants, who are used to shopping internationally and often look to keep up with the most modern technology.
Smartphones, tablets, laptops and now smartwatches are more expensive in Israel, and many American retailers, including the Apple store, don’t ship internationally.
A new US-based start-up calling itself Big Apple Buddy thinks it has the solution.
Founded by two former Australian lawyers, Phillis Chan and Ben Chaung, the company promises to provide international shoppers with access to American consumer electronics such as the Apple Watch, Microsoft Band or Jawbone UP3 fitness tracker which are currently not for sale in the Jewish state.
Speaking to The Jerusalem Post on Monday, Chan said she initially started the company when friends and relatives in Australia would ask her to send back the latest techno toys from America.
While the company’s target audience is people looking to buy “higher-end tech items” – and who don’t mind paying extra for the convenience of having it delivered abroad – Chan said she will help customers buy from any US store, with the exception of bulky items like furniture or large televisions.
Customers interested in purchasing products submit a request for a quote on the company’s website. For a single item, the price includes any and all relevant local taxes, shipping and handling and a $40 processing fee.
Larger orders consisting of multiple items incur higher processing charges.
A new 38 mm. Apple Watch Sport, which retails for $350 in the US, will cost just over $500 to ship to Israel with Big Apple Buddy, according to a price quote provided in response to a test request sent through the site by the Post.
While the service provides convenience and speedy delivery, however, it does not do anything to mitigate the fees levied on incoming consumer electronics by Israel’s tax authorities, which can be significant.