By Hiba El Shafie
What’s better than shopping? ONLINE shopping!
Convenience, better deals and access to many hard to get brands, what’s not to love about online shopping? Well, if you live in Riyadh here is why: late deliveries, high shipping costs and unfavorable exchange rates can make the most addicted of us get discouraged from buying online.
So I have done a bit of digging and rounded a selection of the best online stores based in Saudi Arabia and the gulf that offer a wide selection of products including many well known international brands offered at much better rates, free or little shipping costs and fast delivery!
You might recognize their name from their witty television advertisements or their ubiquitous online ads. In a nutshell, Namshi means business. Their Saudi store offers a mammoth variety of products and brands ranging from Jeffry Campbell to Ralph Lauren. Not only that, the site is bilingual, they offer free shipping and cash on delivery. In my opinion, if you want to deal with the very best, then choose Namshi.
Another e-commerce giant in the region, Souq.com is one of the oldest entrants to the market (that survived). It is mostly popular for consumer electronics products. Souq.com offers free delivery upon online payments and the option to pay cash on delivery. Their constantly changing policies and slightly unreliable shipment deadlines can become slightly irksome though.
A personal favorite and arguably the most prominent Saudi online shop, Vanilla e-shop offers products from luxury brands like DKNY, Micheal Kors, Tory Burch, Marc Jacobs and Kate Spade along with unique accessories, apparel and a wide selection of perfume and makeup.
What I especially love is that residents of Riyadh can pay cash on delivery and shipping is within 5 working days. Once I ordered a wallet around noon and got by 8 pm!
Qurtasyah & Entagiah
These 2 shops specialize in cute stationary products from local and international designers. I love their price points and the good website design aesthetic, though their product selection is narrow.
MarkaVIP & Sukar
Ray-Bans for 50% off? Coach bags sold for less than a thousand Riyal? Believe me ladies, its true. MarkaVIP and Sukar (subsidiary of Souq.com) follow a discount-based model for mostly luxury brands, most deals are only valid for 72 hours so you better not hesitate before clicking that buy button!
Check out mothoq.com, which is a site that aims to list all trusted Saudi online shops via verifying their owners and services.