As most of us know, living in Cabo is as close to living in paradise as one can get, especially when it comes to lifestyle conveniences. Big box stores like Costco, Walmart, La Comer, Chedraui, and Soriana (these are not Big Box, they are big chains), as well as several malls and numerous boutique shops, provide the basics. Need to stock up on steaks and wine for company? Check. Too tired to make salsa or guacamole to go with your chips? Check. Invited to your neighbor’s party and need to bring a Tres Leches cake? Check. Pulled a Jimmy Buffet and blew out a flip-flop? Check!
But what if you realize whale watching from your ocean view balcony demands a high-powered spotting scope? What if you are a crafter who depends on unique specialty items? What if your beach hair can only be tamed by one special product? Your watch needs a custom piece or repair? When a greater variety of specialized items are needed, online shopping is a must.
Mexican Online Retailers
Online shopping from Mexican retailers is a choice for ease of shipping but will require a fairly good command of the Spanish language. According to Mexico News Daily, online shopping in Mexico accounts for just under 3% of total retail sales compared with more than 10% in the U.S. This situation is changing rapidly with initiatives such as the recent “HotSaleMexico,” a four-day Mexican version of Cyber Monday. The country’s largest retailers such as Walmart, Liverpool, Mercado Libre, Dafiti, Linio, El Palacio del Hierro and many others participate through their online shopping portals.
No discussion of online retailers would be complete without mentioning the mighty Amazon. Amazon Mexico is a viable online shopping option, and there is even Amazon Mexico Prime. Before you get too excited, note there is really no such thing as overnight delivery on the Baja. In addition, research will show you that many items available in the USA are not available in Mexico due mostly to Mexico’s trade and import laws Also be aware that some USA name brand items are manufactured with different components for the Mexican market. Amazon, who doesn’t skip a beat, intends to expand product lines, offer faster delivery times and make purchasing as secure as possible by building a million square foot mega-warehouse in Mexico. The facility will be located near Mexico City and is set to be completed sometime next year. The future indeed looks bright for amazon.com.mx!
That leaves us with Amazon.com, which is a common resource for Los Cabos online shoppers. The added consideration here is shipping, which needs to be handled by professionals who understand import laws, customs paperwork and taxes. You really don’t want to get caught in any of these types of tangles. Expect to pay anywhere from 20 – 30% of the value of your order depending on your shipping choice. Companies such as Daily Mail or Cabo Mail Boxes will ship for you whether or not you rent a monthly PO Box. There are also larger shipping companies such as Baja Nexos, Arnian Transport and ACV, who can bring much larger items, but charge the higher end of the percentage scale.
Either way, it is best to place your online order choosing the free shipping option and make sure to order everything you want in one shot, make sure you time it to arrive at a similar time to the import company, as opposed to multiple smaller orders that will result in surcharges. You will arrange for your online order to be delivered to your shipper’s address, and from there it can take as little as 2 – 4 days for small to medium sized packages. Items or those subject to added customs considerations such as tires, alcohol or tobacco may take longer to arrive and will command a higher percentage.
Online shopping has become a fact of life for many Los Cabos expats. Apart from personal shopping, you can order gifts for family and friends back home and simply have the items sent directly to them. So now, you not only get to live in paradise but can be a hero back home as well!