Fifa World Cup 2018 has helped millions of people around the globe discover Russia. Many common myths about this large country with great history and culture have been dispelled during this planetary football event. Popular English Youtube vlogger @Thogden has even made a 16 minutes long video, comparing what he had been told about Russia to what he actually experienced while staying there.
It is really fantastic that people from all over the world had a chance to explore Russia and its magnificent nature, get to know friendly and open-minded Russian people, taste delicious cuisine rooted in many cultures, and of course, find many unique gifts and souvenirs. Some people say that everything in Russia is expensive, but they most likely have never been to Russia. You can actually find thousands of high-quality and reasonably priced goods in Russian stores!
But how can you ship from Russia if online Russian stores don’t ship to your country? How to shop Russian stores if you don’t speak the Russian language? In this article we have compiled a list of lifehacks for everyone who wants to buy goods from Russia.
How to shop online Russian stores
There are several things you need to know when shopping a Russian online store.
If you prefer PayPal payments or need help paying at the Russian store, you can always ask a Russian package forwarder to pay for your goods and shipping from Russia. It might take some time before PayPal transfers the money to the forwarder’s bank account, but paying through PayPal ensures transaction safety and protects you in case the forwarder is unable to deliver your package from Russia.
Most Russian web stores don’t have English language website versions. Even such giants as Ozon.ru or Wildberries.ru are not available in English. To overcome this obstacle, you could use the Google Chrome Translate extension . It lets you translate entire pages or selected text only. If you need to communicate with the store regarding placing an order, you can use a Russian personal shopping service that will deal with the shop to place an order on your behalf.
Russian currency is the Russian Rouble (RUR, p., руб., ₽). The current Russian Rouble to United States dollar exchange rate is 0.016 according to the Russian Central Bank, which means that 1 USD is equal to 62.44 Russian Roubles. So don’t panic when you see a ‘shapka-ushanka’ (traditional Russian hat with ear flaps) for 850 roubles. In fact it’s only around 14 USD!
Here are some of the most useful phrases that you need to know when shopping Russian online stores:
- ‘В корзину’, ‘Добавить в корзину’, ‘Купить’, ‘Положить в корзину’ are equivalent to ‘Add to cart’,
- ‘Корзина’ - shopping cart,
- ‘Помощь’ - help,
- ‘Оплата’ - payment,
- ‘Оплатить’ - make a payment,
- ‘Контакты’ - contacts.
Not every Russian store accepts PayPal payments. However, many Russian online stores do accept bank cards. Apart from bank card payment, some big stores accept cash-on-delivery, Apple Pay, e-payments through such solutions as Yandex.Cassa, Robokassa, WebMoney, bank transfer, PayPal. However, smaller stores will most probably accept card payments and cash-on-delivery only. Just about 8% of online shops in Russia accept payments via PayPal.
If you prefer PayPal payments or need help paying at the Russian store, you can always ask a Russian freight forwarding company to pay for your goods and shipping from Russia. It might take some time before PayPal transfers the money to the forwarder’s bank account, but paying through PayPal ensures transaction safety and protects you in case the forwarder is unable to deliver your package from Russia.
Most Russian online stores do not ship internationally. Besides, there’s a great number of Russian shops that deliver within local areas only. For example, if a store is located in Moscow, it might offer delivery within the greater Moscow area only. To overcome this obstacle you can order international shipping from Russia through a parcel forwarding service based in Russia. At Parcl, you can find a reliable Russian package forwarder, who will buy the goods from the Russian store for you and arrange cross-border delivery from Russia.
Where to shop online in Russia
If you are only thinking of buying something from Russia, you might need some ideas for which stores to shop in Russia. You might have heard about AliExpress (Alibaba’s online store in Russia), Ozon.ru and Yandex.Market. Besides, such global brands as Adidas, Apple, Nike and many other popular retailers have Russian divisions where you can find goods that might be unavailable where you live. To access these brands’ Russian store versions, you might need to do one of the following things:
select ‘Russia’ as your country on the brand’s website,
select the Russian language version on the brand’s website,
Google for the Russian divisions using this search pattern: Adidas Russia, Yves Rocher Russia, etc.
But if you want to buy something unique or traditional in Russia, you need to explore smaller specialty stores, because they have some amazing goods to offer. Here are just a few Russian stores that we came across while processing orders for international delivery from Russia:
The store’s name can be translated as ‘Mom, buy me this thing!’. Here you will find mugs, T-shirts and other items with funny phrases and unique prints by young Russian designers.
Rite Wood is a small company in Siberia that handcrafts absolutely magical wood and resin jewelry and accessories.
Unique sneakers by Dva Myacha carry the Soviet Union spirit and are made of the highest quality materials. Try some good old soviet sneakers!
The Roza Vetrov store offers a good range of high quality equipment and accessories for hiking, hunting, fishing, etc.
The SKA hockey club official store offers a wide range of club-themed items for men, women and kids. You can also find players’ gear replicas here!
A young Russian brand supporting the graffiti community, active and creative youth. All items are produced in Russia in limited quantities.
Vse Mayki Ru
Vse Mayki Ru is one of the biggest marketplaces of goods with custom prints in Russia. Here you can order clothes, accessories, homeware and gifts with ready-made or custom designs.
The Offbeat store exclusively offers young Russian fashion brands, helping new designers find their audience and grow their customer base.
How to ship internationally from Russia
International shipping providers in Russia
There are many ways to ship a package from Russia to another country. The most popular carrier is Russian Post, a state-owned postal service with branches all over the country. It is the cheapest way to send items abroad from Russia, but delivery time might be long compared to commercial delivery services, such as DHL, FedEx, Boxberry, DPD, SDEK, Pony Express, and many more, that are also available in Russia.
Package forwarders registered at Parcl ship packages from Russia mostly via the EMS service provided by Russian Post. EMS comes with the tracking option, which makes it easier for international customers to track packages from Russia.
How much it costs to ship from Russia
Almost every shipping provider has an online shipping cost calculator. The examples below show shipping cost from Russia to the USA across 4 companies that ship from Russia:
|Carrier||Shipping cost from Russia to the USA (1 kg package)||Link to online shipping cost calculator|
Shipping time from Russia
If you ask Russians about their national postal service, most of them will complain about the shipping time and long lines at postal offices. While the second problem should not worry you if you don’t live in Russia, the first one related to shipping times is crucial if you need to arrange international delivery from Russia.
Russian Post shipping time calculator will estimate very rough figures, which can be quite far from reality, because international delivery is a complex process that depends on many factors. Those include the items shipped, delivery country and its import regulations, number of carriers that process the shipment along the way, etc. So if the calculator says that the shipping time from Russia to the USA is 2 days, you need to understand that the actual delivery will take longer. The real orders for cross-border delivery from Russia that we have completed should give you an idea of how much time it actually takes to ship items from Russia:
|Item shipped||Shipping from Russia to||Shipping time (from acceptance at the post office to receipt by the customer)|
|16 baker flavors bottles||Australia||15 days|
|Running equipment||United Kingdom||12 days|
|Numismatic items||Indonesia||19 days|
|Camping gear||France||7 days|
|Men’s ties||Canada||10 days|
|Jacket||The Netherlands||8 days|
|Bakugan toys||USA||9 days|
|Chess pieces||Germany||9 days|
Package forwarding from Russia
Most Russian stores do not ship internationally. If you want to buy products from a Russian retailer that doesn’t ship to your country, you can order package forwarding from Russia with Parcl.
If a Russian shop doesn’t offer shipping to your country, it most probably offers delivery within Russia. To shop at such a store you will need a Russian address and a reliable person who would receive and re-ship your package to you. At Parcl you can find a Russian package forwarder to offer you their forwarding address for shopping in Russia. Having a Russian delivery address allows you to buy from almost any online store in Russia. Just purchase items like you normally do and have them shipped to your personal Russian shipping address provided by a Parcl forwarder. If you need help placing your order at the Russian store, you may ask your forwarder to purchase the items for you.
Your personal bilingual shipping forwarder will receive, process and ship your buys from Russia to your address.