Back home I used to do 75% of my shopping online since it was so convenient in so many ways and I usually had more choices online than offline. In Germany, I do most of my shopping offline but still some 40% online. In this week’s post, I will show you how to shop online.
Most German online stores do not offer free delivery and several only do so if you purchase above a certain amount i.e. €30 in one order. This is a bit frustrating because I hate paying for delivery.
Most of your usual brands and outlets have online stores and here’s how it works.
You get on the website, make an account and fill in your personal details i.e. name, address, telephone number, then you proceed to browse through the website and pick what you like, put them in the shopping cart and when you’re ready, go to the check out.
In the shopping cart you can see all the items you want to purchase. In my case, I want to buy this pink pen and I can see the total cost (including delivery which is nearly €5).
When you’ve checked your cart, you can then click on “Zur Kasse gehen” which will take you to the check out. Here you get to choose your method of payment. Normally there are several options. I usually use SOFORT (this is a service that allows you to make an instant payment through your bank) and “Kauf auf Rechnung” (in this case you don’t pay until you receive the goods. In the parcel is a receipt with the online merchant’s bank details. You then transfer the money to their bank.)
In this case, I have picked the “SOFORT” payment method. And here is how it works.
- You enter your bank details as instructed.
- Then you receive a mobileTAN on your phone through SMS. This is a string of numbers and you will be asked to enter this into the webpage to complete the payment.
- Once you have entered this you will get a notification that your order has been successful.
You will also receive a confirmation email with details of your order. Then you will just need to wait for your parcel to arrive and this can take between 3 to 7 days or more depending on which store you are buying from and what type of delivery you have chosen (i.e. standard or express).
The returning policies can always be found on the store’s websites and since I am a person who finds returning items very troublesome and the only thing I have ever returned is a pair of Jeans, there is not much I can tell you about this. However, you have two return options: you can either send the parcel back to the address given which will not cost you anything or you can send the item back to any local physical outlet – however in this case you do not get your money back but will get a gift card instead (i.e. if the item you are returning costs €20, you will get a €20 gift card; if it costs €1.5 you will get a €1.5 card and so on…).
While shopping online, all information regarding payment methods, delivery and return policies can be found easily and it is best to go through these before making a purchase.
Happy Shopping! 🛍️🛒