Sunday, 18 May 2014

Why Orlando shopping should be 1 of the 7 deadly sins ... you know .. if deadly sins are your thing ...

After 3 years of Mrs. Banks, I am less than a month away from jetting off to the USA!

Time for a bit of budget recalibration. Have I put aside enough money for this trip - and really - can you ever have enough??

When it comes to the shopping question, how long is a piece of string? or how long will the magnetic strip last on your credit card?

To go completely materialistic / commercialistic is one aspect of Orlando. This may not be a side of me of which I am outwardly proud, but that there is a hidden part of me that LOVES a bargain!

The prices on many items between Australia and the USA are shockingly different. Australia is a small market and we don't get the range, variety and bulk volume discounts of the USA.  If you are wondering about the difference between shopping prices and bargains between Orlando and Australia,  let me share my experiences:

Cost the same / gave me no real advantage

  • Vera Bradley luggage (but not available in Australia and SOOOO colourful! so I still bought it ...)
Ewww - my eyes! Clashing multiple VB patterns cause seizures
  •  My Portmeirion crockery pattern, Wustof knives and many other kitchenware products - esp if from UK or Europe - possibly goes for other UK dinnerware brands too.
  • Lego (although they do have the magic wall where you can buy individual pieces!)

Jam as many pieces as possible in a milkshake container
  • Disney products at WDW
  • Samsung Tablet accessories (Orlando appears to be an iPhone town)
  • Brand name handbags - only because Australian Oroton is excellent and WAY cheaper than the expensive big brands seem to sell well there.
  • Eyewear / glasses frames - couldn't even find my great European eyeware designers
  • Cheese and wine - and possibly a whole range of foodie products - probably just as good here.

Reasonably cheaper / had a greater range available / gave me a marginal thrill
For my niece - I love you but Orlando love is only 2/3rds Australian love.
Red Rover polar fleece opera cape - purchased at Winter Park

50% cheaper or more - go nuts in Orlando

Ummm ... the more recent of my purchases
  • Ladies suits from Ann Taylor, clothing in general.
  • Swarovski crystal at the Premium Outlet Mall
to remember my past little ones...... at a quarter of the price of Australia

  • Pandora jewellery at Mall at Millenia
  • Aveda shampoo / products
  • US brand cosmetics / skin care / make up like Estee Lauder range of brands and products
  • Cameras from the Sony shop at Mall at Millenia
UPDATE: My research is showing that Lindt chocolate are now running two outlet stores - Premium Outlet Mall and Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores - bringing extra discounts!

HINTS AND TIPS

  • On Qantas you can pre pay for extra baggage for $123/bag up to 23 kgs. Buy enough stuff and it is cheaper than postage. USPS postage for 23kgs = $263 or 9 kg for $123
  • Don't buy mobile phones or household electrical appliances. They won't work on Australian mobile systems and our voltage will make them explode!
  • Although many battery powered devices (laptops, cameras) come with variable voltage transformers and work fine - check for those.
  • Electronics, batteries and high value precious items must go in your carry on.  
  • Buy goods online in advance and have them posted to your hotel. Take advantage of USA free shipping within the USA - even with that pre-paid bag still cheaper than postage to Australia.
  • Shop for shoes first thing in the morning before your feet swell.
  • Remove all the packaging
  • Take less stuff and buy new and use immediately.

On this trip I will be looking for magnificent dress fabric in New York; a new pants suit for work; top up on my cosmetics; a Ted Baker jacket for my nephew; maybe tablet accessories? Of course my beloved Ferragamo shoes and chocolate supplies. Oh ... and am I supposed to buy The Ken Man a souvenir too?

What about you? What are your favourite holiday purchases?

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