Buying Online from Abroad

Over the weekend, I tried to buy a book from a Brazilian vendor on a Brazilian website and despite my credit card, debit card and Paypal account, I ran up against a wall. The problem didn’t even have to do with international shipping as I was hoping to surprise a friend by shipping the book within Brazil, even within the same city as the vendor.

When the site didn’t let me proceed with my purchase because I didn’t have a Brazilian credit card or bank account, I attempted to go around them by dealing directly with the vendor (via his email address). When he replied a few days later, his response was that he wasn’t familiar with Paypal, which actually operates in Brazil. In fact, the Paypal logo is surprisingly absent from many major Brazilian retail sites like Ponto Frio, Submarino, etc.

In this day and age, I just find it a bit strange that such barriers exist. I wanted to give my money to someone in a major city in exchange for a simple product but I couldn’t. Something needs to change…and while I’m at it, I’ve got qualms with the postal service, too. When the book thing didn’t pan out, I thought about quickly sending one lil’ card through the mail to Brazil. The price? US$30+! I mean, really? Surely, the USPS had a bag of letters already going to a major distribution point in the US, and from there, to Brazil. What’s one more letter? (Btw, the non-priority price? US$1.50)


3 thoughts on “Buying Online from Abroad

  1. It’s been maybe 3 years since I last visited my bank agency, I do everything here in Brazil through internet. I buy books, dvd’s, plane tickets, bus tickets, pay my bills, restaurant reservations… Man, just about everything…

    Don’t blame on Brazil, internet sales grew 500% last year in my country, according to news.

    I myself tried a couple times to buy on some major USA sites with my credit cards and they were not accepted either. But 3 months ago requested an international flag card (trough internet service) and solved all my problems.

    About PayPall, I know lots of sites wich accept them here in Brazil, you probably were out of luck.

    Best regards from Brazil! Happy new year!

    • Thanks for the comment, David. Could you let me know of some sites that accept Paypal for future reference? I wasn’t necessarily blaming Brazil but moreso the fact that having a credit card, a bank account and a Paypal account can’t help me when I want to buy something online.


  2. I’ve used before and they didn’t have issue with my US credit card.

    I would try Livraria Cultura too.

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