Online shopping in Switzerland Get it right!

Issue: 4 / 2014
International online purchases can be subject to surprisingly high customs duties and import/VAT taxes, due on delivery in Switzerland. Here's what we like and how to not get caught out.

As the festive season approaches, many of us will buy gifts online for friends and loved ones - from hard-to-find products to feel-good gifts from "home".



Nordstrom, Macy's, Bloomingdale's, Sears and many other US stores use the Borderfree system to make it easier to shop from Switzerland. Shipping, tax, and duties are included in the price, which is shown in CHF and is the guaranteed final price - so no further charges on delivery. It's not cheaper, but more transparent.



Online retailers like Amazon or E-Bay often offer free shipping within the EU but not to Switzerland. The service Deutsche Lieferadresse lets you ship your items to one of the company's many pick-up points all along the Swiss border with Germany. Pick-up is easy and the company's app makes using the service a breeze. It's only available to use in German, but if you can handle that, you'll find it very useful.





leshopSwiss stores are usually in the local languages. Fashion Friends and Zalando are popular for clothing. Our favourite Swiss stores in English are for food & drink, Koala for shoes, and Zara for clothes.



Myexpatshop, Jim's British Market, and Taste of America offer Anglo-Saxon favourites direct to your Swiss doorstep.



The Swiss Post recommends mailing festive packages as early as possible. The final post dates are:


20 December for Economy, 21 December for Priority, 23 December for Express.


International post

3 December for Economy, 10 December for Priority, 19 December for Urgent.


Image: © Tim Reckmann /

Author: Mike Tomsett - Hello Switzerland

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