Online shopping has made our lives one click away from owning the coolest and latest gadgets with so many websites selling all kinds of fun stuff. However, have you encountered not being able to access an online store because of country restrictions? Life isn’t fair, but leave it to us to help you find workarounds.
(Image source: Fotolia)
And found them we did. We’ll show you how to first access these country-restricted websites using Tunnelbear. And once you’ve found the object of your desire, we’ll move on to the second part where we show you how you can get your purchases sent to your home, even when you order from sites that do not have international shipping services. After all, what are restrictions but opportunities for you to be creative?
Recommended Reading: Online Shoppers: Why Online Reviews Can Save Your Day
Certain websites will block access depending on the country you are accessing the site from. For example, the Google Nexus Shop webpage only allows access to a handful of countries while blocking the rest of the world. We previously wrote about 5 programs you can use to access blocked stores in the US.
For this post, we are using TunnelBear as an example.
Step 1 – Install & register
To begin, you have to download and install TunnelBear. Launch the program and register for a free account.
After registering, choose the free option. The free option allows you to surf 500MB worth of data, this is more than enough to purchase and pay for an item.
Step 2 – Confirm your Email & Login
Confirm your email, then proceed to login with the email and password you registered with. The program is very simple to understand. There is an On/Off switch together with 3 toggles that allow you to surf on a US, UK or Canadian internet proxy.
Here’s what happens when we turn on TunnelBear and access the same Google Nexus Shop webpage.
Note: Choosing a country then turning it on means you’ll be using up part of that precious 500MB of data. So use that amount wisely and remember to turn it off after surfing and purchasing the item.
Got your order? Awesome, let’s just get that shipped to… Darn it. They don’t ship to your country, do they? What’s a poor geek to do?
Use mail and parcel forwarding services like HopShopGo, that’s what. In the following section, we’ll show you how to make use of HopShopGo, as an example, to send an online ordered product to your desired address. Ready? Let’s do this.
To get an idea how HopShopGo works, we ordered a Blu-ray disc from Amazon.
Step 1 – Register with HSG + get an U.S. address
We will start with registering a HopShopGo account. Registering is free but a PayPal account will be required. Upon registration, login and find your U.S. address located at the top left corner as indicated in the screenshot below:
Step 2 – Shop and send to your U.S. address
When asked for a Shipping Address, you can use the US Address you have to get the package shipped there. Then, sit back and wait for your package to arrive at your ‘address’.
- Item cost: $15.09
- Shipping cost: –
- Order date: 12th Jan
- Estimated shipping: 2 – 3 days
Step 3 – Wait for HSG’s notification
You will be notified via e-mail (like the one below) when your package has arrived at your ‘U.S. address’.
Alternatively, you can also login to HopShopGo, click on the 3rd tab "Packages At U.S. Address" (refer to the screenshot below) to find out the status of your package.
- Order date: 12th Jan
- Arrival (at HSG) date: 15th Jan
- Shipping: 3 days
Step 4 – Ship your Items
If you’ve ordered multiple items, they may arrived at your U.S. address at various different dates. You can ship them together (grouped shipping) or individually. HopShopGo provides free storage of 30 days for each item you ordered.
To ship your packages:
- Select the 4th tab "Ship + Track"
- Declare the value of each of the items you’d like to ship.
- Click the read "Ready to Ship" button.
- Select your delivery address, delivery speed (Standard/Express) and make payments.
Upon successful payment, you’ll be given an order reference number to track the status of your package (refer to the screenshot below).
That’s it! You’ve just bought yourself something the merchant has not offered to ship to your country. Now sit back and wait for the item to arrive at your doorstep.
Let’s put things into perspective so you get a better idea of its cost.
- Amazon to HSG (domestic): 3 days, $2.98
- HSG to destination (international) : 8 days, $11.00