I am always looking to exercise my frugal gene – inherited from my banker father. Now this gene loves deals, which can be dangerous at bulk stores and when passing sale items. But! My willingness to take the extra time to scout brick-and-mortar stores and online stores means I can find the best deal for the EXACT same product. One of my favorite money saving techniques is Amazon Prime with their free, two-day shipping! Read on to learn more about Amazon Prime and shipping to Hawaii and other remote areas.
When I found out we were PCS’ing to Hawaii, I was thrilled! I began daydreaming about the three S’s – sun, surf and seafood. Some of our colleagues had already moved to the island and told tales of feeling isolated, mostly because of the size of Oahu (you can drive around it in less than a day…) or the distance from family and friends on the mainland. I did not really think anything of these concerns because I knew the island was compact, and I was prepared for the separation from my loved ones back home; I just could not wait to live in paradise!
Oahu definitely is paradise, but as I began unpacking and settling us into our new home, the isolation hit me – but for an unexpected reason… Due to my previous professional career, my husband and I had spent a few years in separate households in separate cities, so while we had two of somethings, we had zero of others or needed to replace well-used items. “No problem!” I thought, “I will just drive around and discover the island while I shop for some must-have items.” After several days of scouting out stores and getting lost down oneway streets or getting distracted by gorgeous beach views and forgetting my daily task, I came to the realization that some quality goods simply cannot be found or have limited options available in Hawaii.
A little disappointed, because I love window shopping at higher-end stores like Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware, but undeterred, I opted to do some online shopping and have the items shipped to Hawaii. Unfortunately, shipping to Hawaii is a tad complicated! Several sellers from my go-to sites like Ebay, Etsy and Amazon do not ship to Hawaii. Sellers seem to think there is something complicated about shipping to Hawaii… it sort of makes you want to shake them and say “It’s a US state! Just put it in a flat rate box and send it!” But, since I can’t do that, I had to research other, more affordable options.
The solution? While I’m sure there are several options out there – I found Amazon Prime! You pay an annual fee and you get FREE, two-day shipping on ALL your items that are “Prime eligible”; I’ve not yet experienced an instance where I could not find a product with stellar reviews and competitive prices that qualified under Prime. What savings! The free-shipping also applies to items you send anywhere in the U.S., so gifts for the in-laws, nieces and nephews, and friends can all be purchased on Amazon and shipped free to their residences. This has already save me hundreds of dollars.
Though Amazon Prime doesn’t solve my shipping frustrations with some sellers on Ebay or Etsy, or cover the shipping expense when I absolutely had to have curtain rods from Restoration Hardware or that beach-y rattan basket from Pottery Barn, it does provide me an alternative for sourcing tons of household items and gifts at an affordable price.