Online shopping in Switzerland Get it right!

Issue: 4/ 2014 (updated 2019)
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. brings together around 300 stores for an easy shopping experience.

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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.




Swiss stores are usually in the local languages. Fashion Friends (now Best Secret) and Zalando are popular for clothing.

Our favourite Swiss stores in English are Koala for shoes, Zara for clothes and coop@home for food & drink. Check out our special deal for coop@home, valid only until 30 June 2019.



Myexpatshop, Jim's British Market, and American Food Avenue offer Anglo-Saxon favourites direct to your Swiss doorstep.

Be sure to check on the Post website, the last possible days for delivery, especially around Christmas time. 

Image: © Tim Reckmann /

Author: Mike Tomsett - Hello Switzerland

Hello Switzerland helps you to live and work in Switzerland. Discover upcoming events and Swiss culture, or contact our Relocation Helpline for free advice and professional support on housing, moving, financials, telecoms, vehicles, career advice and much more! Call +41 58 356 17 77 or check our Helpline page.

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