Sorry for my silence dear reader. May has been a busy month. First up, it was my birthday on May 8 and we went up to the North Island for a few days. Then I had to write some short stories for a competition I entered. And for the rest of May, I’ve been carried away with reading some excellent novels.

But I thought I’d show you what I bought myself for my birthday. Every year, I buy myself something and this year, I wanted a Rebecca Minkoff Hudson Moto Mini handbag. Not available in New Zealand, so it was off to eBay.

The problem with eBay for Kiwis is that some sellers won’t ship to NZ and, if they do, charge an arm and a leg for postage. If they ship via eBay’s Global Shipping Programme, eBay works out the Customs Fees due on the item. I find they are often way above what Customs would actually charge. In fact, my understanding is that if the duty payable on an item is less that NZD60.00, Customs will waive it.

So with handbags, the duty is generally less than this amount. My question is: who pockets the money? Is the money actually handed over to NZ Customs?

I find using NZ Post’s YouShop facility a really good way of getting items to NZ. You register, get a special ID number and use NZ Post’s postal address in the US (also in UK, China and Canada). The item is shipped to that address and NZ Post then charges you the postage to get the package to NZ.

I wanted the bag in a plum or burgundy colour, but didn’t find that. Instead, I spotted one in hot red. The seller was willing to ship to NZ and, because the postage was a bit steep, agreed to take USD20.00 less for the bag. It arrived in 5 days and it’s gorgeous.

Not much room but that’s what I wanted. I’m sick of lugging around stuff in my handbag and this is a crossbody bag, so bonus, hands-free.

I might do a What’s in My Handbag? post soon. That’ll be a short post hehehe!