Monday, August 11, 2014

Online Craft Stores

So..... there's something crafty you need and you just can't find it in Dubai- what are you going to do? Get online shopping of course! The slight issue is- not all online craft stores deliver to the UAE... don't worry I have a solution and some alternatives.

First off... there is a fabulous website based in the UK that does deliver to here... it's called Cuddly Buddly and they've been my saviour over the last year. They have a wide range of products and the prices are tons cheaper than here... which is great news! They cover everything including digital, papercrafting, hobby crafting and needlecrafts... so something for everyone. They also have a great blog with tips and tutorials which is great for some crafting inspiration.

The shipping on my orders usually works out at about 20 GBP... on an order of 60- 80 GBP... it all depends on the weight. This still works out cheaper than buying here and I get a wider range of products to choose from. They deliver through Royal Mail so you would be having your parcel sent to a PO Box address and NOT your physical location. The deliveries take about 2 weeks to get here and arrive in pizza size boxes... they are packing experts hahahaha!

I've had to contact them direct a couple of times about wanting to ship something a bit heavy and they have always been really helpful and quick. They sell all the main crafting brands like Ranger, Sizzix, Fimo, Tilda, Tim Holtz, Marianne Design and so much more. They have great sales a couple of times a year and are always getting new products in stock.

My score: 11/10 (sorry I just love them!)

Cuddly Buddly website>>
Cuddly Buddly Facebook>>

I've actually really struggled to find any others that will deliver direct to here- Crafter's Companion used to but then they stopped.

It really annoys me that we are living in a global marketplace and companies won't deliver to here. Surely they need to make money and with so many crafting supply companies going bust- you'd think they would want the business! We are prepared to pay for delivery as it still works out cheaper than shopping here. Sometimes I will contact a company directly to ask them to ship here but the answer is usually no... booooo!

So what's the solution? The answer is to get a PO Box delivery service like DHL's Borderlinx or Aramex's Shop & Ship. I personally use Bordelinx and have a PO Box address for the UK and for the US... so keeping my crafting options open!

It's still sometimes an issue shopping on some sites using a UAE credit or debit card but I seem to manage to muddle through.

What's great is you are effectively using a courier service so no trips to the post office- they will deliver to your physical location- be that office or home. I've found that shipping from the US is super quick- almost a next day service! UK takes 2 to 3 days. You can also compile orders before you ship- so if you have ordered from 3 places you can wait for them all to arrive at the depot and ship it all at the same time.

So, yes, this can be seen as a slightly expensive shipping option but still, the savings you are making in your purchasing abroad and the breadth of choice make up for that- plus you can do all your ordering from the comfort of your sofa :)

Find out more about Shop & Ship here >>

Here's more about Borderlinx>>

So far I have used Borderlinx to shop online with Hobbycraft in the UK... I love that shop sooooo much! They sell everything crafty and I always make my dad drive us to our nearest store in Preston when I'm home! They quite often have special offers and sales and get a lot of new products in as well.

The products arrived well packaged and in pristine condition- so I was very happy! It took about 3 days to get to Borderlinx then another 2 to 3 days to get delivered to me here- not bad considering :)

Check out their website

So that's all the info I have for now- let me know if you know of any more online craft stores that will deliver direct to the UAE and I'll add them to the list.

Happy Crafting :)

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