Today is the day that I add a new category to my blog: Online Shopping Guide (whoop whoop!). Ever since I got my own bank card I’ve been going a little crazy with the online shopping. I mean, I can’t be the only one who spends hours browsing through online stores, adding and removing things from my cart, playing Secret Santa with myself? While we all know the popular online stores in South Africa, like Superbalist and Zando, there are a few hidden gems that you absolutely need to know about (and some you can forget about)! So, that’s what this guide is about: my personal experiences with various online stores and whether or not you should risk ordering from them.
The first online store to be featured is Raru. More specifically, it’s about Raru importing an item from the UK for me.
I first discovered Raru through a few popular “bookstagrammers” on Instagram. They all have these little figurines with giant heads in their photos (I now know that they are called Funko Pops!) and I wanted one too. I mean, have you seen the Harry Potter Funko Pops!? You can find a huge range of products here, from books and otaku to board games and musical instruments to coffee machines and notebooks! Then I saw their merch…
Here in South Africa it’s tough finding decent Harry Potter merch, so when I saw the “Property Of Gryffindor Quidditch” hoodie under “UK Imports“, I had a little fangirl moment. Usually I wouldn’t just pay nearly R700 for something without a little thought, but I basically threw my money at them without checking the measurements or anything (it’s Harry Potter, okay?).
As you can see, it says “Kids Children Hoodie“. I DIDN’T LET THAT STOP ME! I mean, the sizes range from 3-years-old to 15-years-old (where 3-4 Years is XS and 14-15 Years is XX-L), but I assumed that 14-15 Years would be equivalent to an adult XS or S, so I popped that one into my cart. There were a few colour options (maroon, black, white and navy blue) and I originally wanted a maroon one, but they didn’t have that available in my (assumed) size, so I settled on a black one. All sizes are currently R662. The order and payment was very easy (thanks, Capitec), and everything is in Rands. The shipping cost was R35, but I got a random shipping discount (maybe because I had just signed up?). I received a receipt immediately, along with a link to track my order on their site. During this time I was communicating with their customer service, who responded very quickly to my emails. Within 14 working days (5 May to 25 May) I received an email to confirm that my parcel would be delivered the next morning (26 May), which it was.
Now, let’s talk about the item I received…
The brand is called Eat Sleep Shop Repeat and they have a lot of merch on their site. This one goes for £12.99 (under R220), which is actually a hell of a lot cheaper than what I paid through Raru (over R600). Is an over R400 markup from Raru necessary? Maybe, if you consider shipping and things. I don’t know. It saves me the hassle of importing the product myself, so I’ll pay if it’s something that I really want.
The brand mentions “high quality” a few times in the product description, claiming to have “premium high quality kids hoodies” and that “the item you are purchasing is of very high quality“. Personally, I do not agree 100% with these statements because the hoodie is, in fact, pretty thin. However, it looks almost exactly the same as the one in the photo! The only difference is the print, which is actually not a shiny, metallic gold like the photo shows. Instead, it is slightly more brown and dull. I am okay with this, although I was initially a bit disappointed. The 14-15 Year (XX-L) hoodie that I chose is definitely not an XS or S (I was wrong)! I would say it’s an adult medium, which is really weird because I would have drowned in it six years ago. Again, I’m okay with this. I can work with something that is slightly too big for me, rather than something that is too small. If you generally wear XS or S I would recommend ordering a 12-13 Year (X-L) or even one size smaller. Perhaps look at the sizing chart because I didn’t really bother with it (my bad). I really do like the hoodie and I am glad that I bought it. If I could do it over I would only choose a smaller size, so no real regrets here!
Would I recommend ordering from Raru? YES! I know I will again very soon.