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Online shopping in Belize

Hello everyone,

Shopping online can be far more convenient and offer greater choice than going into shops, be it grocery shopping or retail.

Are there options for online shopping in Belize? Which sites or apps do you use most frequently and are these local or international?

Are there particular products that are cheaper to buy online or that are perhaps not available in Belize?

What is the delivery process like — is it easy to receive deliveries and what are the costs of shipping? Are there any taxes to pay upon receipt?

Thank you for sharing your experience.

Priscilla

Pricilla- I wouldn't describe Belize as a country filled with modern conveniences. There's no McDonalds, Whole Foods, Walmart, etc. The grocery store in your community may not carry fruit, you might have to go to a fruit and veggie stall and get what is local and in season. You may have to go to a butcher to get the cut or type of meat you want in a neighboring town. Amazon Prime 2 day delivery or Uber Eats isn't gonna happen. Basically, if you want quick and easy then I think you're going to be frustrated. Depending on where you live impacts delivery service. For instance you might have something Shipped via fed ex to Belize City then transferred to your community or nearby town via weekly courier or Tropic Air where you then pick it up.

No modern conveniences?  perhaps that is a good thing.  I appreciate the open air market for fruits and vegetables...they are fresh !  not stored and shipped in like other countries.  Yes, for meats one goes to the butcher shops...if you live here for any time you know that Frank's gets fresh meats on Tuesday and you can get your meats cut as you prefer...no cut the way some store employee thinks they should be cut and pre-wrapped.  Yes, it takes longer to do grocery shopping but it is always not just shopping it is a social visit with friends you run into that you haven't seen for awhile. 

I only order things online that I think I need that I cannot find here...less and less as the years go by.  I have them shipped to a company in California that ships containers between there and Belize...fast? no but I have learned to order ahead of time .....

I don't want Walmart to deliver to my refrigerator when I am not home !!!!

Hi Bznorte, What shipper do you use? And do you then get it transferred to your town by another service?

Hey! Just thought I'd chip in a couple things. Priscilla works in Mauritius as part of the expat.com team. She periodically posts conversation starters if things get quiet, so she doesn't live here.
As far as shippers go, I use Joseph Freight, and we love them. We ship to their warehouse in Houston, and they deliver to mango creek which is less than 20 miles from here. For most they go to your house or close to it. We are just really, really remote, and no one goes down our road.
And I agree about fresh food. It's a bummer we don't get avocados all year long, but eating fresh, local food feels so much better.

But Belize avocados in season are so huge and so delicious  its worth the wait. I should imagine most retired expats remember as kids fruits and vegetables all had there own distinct season and we would be delighted when the new fruits came in.

It's true. They're amazing.

Thanks Monkey Town. I'll check out your shipper. And you and Terrific are right, the Belize avocados are amazing. I've been brought up with American grocery stores where food has no season but I'm trying to correct that and enjoy seasonal eating.

We use Marage Shipping in Corozal...but we ship to Reynolds Shipping in Los Angeles.  Our packages go from Los Angeles via container to Houston, then shipped to Belize and Marage handles all the Customs details.  We receive our packages in Corozal but Marage also delivers to all over the country.  We have always been pleased with their service and prices.  The only complaint is weather related and most certainly nothing Marage/Reynolds can control

I'm so happy to see this topic addressed. I'm totally onboard with the "no chain stores" and buying locally in season, but I have been concerned about things that might be hard to find and whether I could just go to Amazon and have it delivered. I seem to remember someone saying that they kept a Mailboxes Etc. type place in the states and ordered stuff online to be delivered there and then forwarded to them in Belize every so often (once a week, once a month?).

Splendid idea! Jolly good. Jolly good.

I am new here.  Me and my hubby moving to BZ in coming April.  Have a few specific questions on few grocery items:

1. Balck-eye beans, lentils, Pigeon peas, chilli powder - etc are available? Do we have to import them too?

2.  I have black and decker electrical rice cooker, want to pack.  If this is available then I can avoid packing.  Is electricity reliable to use this? or What about using pressure cooker?    cooking red-beans with pressure cooker is easy. But this requires gas cylinder, I tried to search on this forum about cooking options, could not find specific info.

3. if we shop on Amazon; using a PO box out of Texas; are there any shippers in BZ to deal with customs and then deliver in Cayo/ Belmopan?

Thanks in advance for any info.

Cooking options are 1 Gas  stove  using bottled gas or 2 electricity very expensive.  All american appliances will work fine  Mains power does have occaisional power outages, You can easily get a rice cooker in Belize I use a pressure cooker no problem, I have a gas stove. Most rental properties are likely to have gas stoves. Most dried beans and legumes are available often sold in Plastic bags as the stores buy in bulk and bag up for sale.
Never tried Amazon but whatever method you use you will pay customs duty on all imported items, the really annoying part is you also pay duty on the postage costs. Some of the Belize high prices seem more reasonable when you factor in  Item price and cost of postage plus up to 40% duty on item price and postage. If using a "service" to get things to Belize they are likely to add a fee as well. Its better to source things within Belize for the most part.

Thanks Terrific, your answer is valuable.  I have no option as my hubby wants to have this job.  So far we both never had any 'slow life' since we met 30 years back - different countries, stressful life.  Two years back we decided on 'slowing down our lives' in the best interests of our children.  even we  reduced/ stoppped watching TV for the last one year.  Mostly using internet for everything.  there is an improvement in children performance/ education; even in our health/ confidence etc.

We both will try hard to 'fit into BZ way' - your advice of "Its better to source things within Belize for the most part." - is the key -- thanks for putting this in perspective.   

This forum is very helpful; has amazing info.  Also found a few websites on local buying and selling.  There may be issues with transport and life-style, but it is our choice is to change the way we operate and live.  Challenge is - to manage my children when they come for the summer break!  Not sure how they react.

If you are based in or near to Belmopan, you are in the center for most of the tourist activity, your adult kids will have plenty to do. We have lived in many countries, and I can guarantee Belize is like nowhere else. We have a 30+ year history with Belize, when a few years ago looking for somewhere to actually buy or build our retirement forever home we searched many areas before almost by accident rediscovering Belmopan. We remembered the concrete  government center in the middle of little else which closed about 6 pm when the government workers went home. Todays  Belmopan has little resemblance to that city of 30 years ago.  We love the area the central location is wonderful. I still find it amusing that tourists base themselves in the  west Cayo areas to spend an extra couple of hours on every tour bus as they mainly need to pass by or through Belmopan to get to most of the popular attractions.
My biggest problem is still convincing my Husband that the world will not stop revolving if he actually retires. so we can be there full time and I am counting down the days to my next trip to my lovely Belize home in January.

Thanks terrific for the details.  Yes, we will be living close to Belmopan.   Up to last week, I was under the impression that Belize city and areas close to airport are kind of active places.  We both are reaching our 50s and kids are grown up; will find their ways in a few years.  First one is already working+studying.  Like every home; our kitchen is supposed to cater to wide ranging requirements - penut allergies to what not.  Hubby picking up this 1 year contract as he has 18 months of leave which has to be availed now; otherwise he will have to forego. I personally don't want to retire in Calgary, it is too much rat race.

So this will be a test for both of us and family re our readiness to adjust and recalibrate

I'm moving to Benque tomorrow!   Does this Joseph's ship there directly to our door?  Since I will be setting up house, I'm sure there will be some things I need to order online.

I would think Joseph will ship to your door. I suggest contacting them through messenger.

Almost on topic:

Last week we needed to quickly send a document from Placencia to a firm in Dallas Tx,
Although none of the big three US shippers directly serve Belize, I found Fedex has an agent they use in Belize City. I called them, and was told to take it to Tropic Air at Placencia airport.

Worked well, Tropic Air has the Fedex shipping labels, document envelopes and sent it out on their next flight. I dropped it off late Monday, it was delivered at 10:05 am on Thursday. Cost was BZ $68.

It went on an AA flight from BZE to MIA, transferred to Fedex system in MIA. Tracking number showed up in Fedex system early Wednesday.

for future reference worth noting, DHL have a full service office in Belmopan. It is the preferred carrier for passport renewals from Belize.

terrific :

for future reference worth noting, DHL have a full service office in Belmopan. It is the preferred carrier for passport renewals from Belize.

Yes I saw that they have a presence in Belize, and have used them in the states.

However I do not chose to use a company that cannot seem to publish their own phone number correctly. In two places on their website and when calling their main US number they have only listed nine digits......so the call will not complete. Their US office could not give me another working number and their own internal number list has the same error. Sad...

another question from me.  Please bear with me.

I looked at Courts website.  They do not have treadmills in the exercising equipment.  How to get one?  I am not sure how to buy stuff like this one - which is heavy equipment. There was an advt on Belmopan Buy/Sell, wrote an email; promptly received a response but it was sold out.  May be folks have to wait to buy such equipment?

The buy sell website is more like a craigs list, yes a few people sell as an online store but big things are usually personal one offs. Have you tried enquiring in Spanish lookout, I have seen at least one in the past.

I bought an electric motorized treadmill at Walmart in Merida. But they have them in Chetumal also. Was 300$. I dont know what the duty would be.

The duty is likely to be40% but could be different but that seems to be  the most used for electronics and machines not related to farming.

Does anyone know of a good place to buy craft supplies in Belize? Specifically, stained glass and jewelry making supplies? I'm not having any luck searching online.

Just a note regarding online shopping... I forgot to notify my CC company of my travel plans and although I've had no issues making purchases at physical places, I did get my account frozen while making an online purchase. So make sure your credit card companies are aware of your travel.  ;)  Another option is to use a VPN that allows you to access the internet through your home country. Ultimately, that's what I had to do in order to complete my transaction.

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