Online shopping in Colombia

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 Colombia? 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 Colombia?

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.


In a word, MercadoLibre.  You'll find just about whatever you want there.

Priscilla :

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?

Is delivery available and practical with most Mercado Libre-offered products?

cccmedia near the Gran Plaza shopping mall in Ipiales, Colombia

It's a bit expensive, but for odd items that you can't find in Colombia, you can try ordering from Amazon or eBay and using a remailing service. These are usually based in Miami and are offered by some of the major shipping companies here in Colombia.  If you order less than $200 worth of stuff, the importation is drastically simp,ified, though there is a 10% flat duty.

Amazon or whatever mails your stuff to the box in Miami. They unpack it, ditch the Amazon boxes, keep the product boxesm and repack everything. I usually get little excess packing material, except I got some peanuts the last time.

Note: There are a few restrictions.  You can't get kitchen spices or vitamins or medicine this way.  These services do NOT permit importation of food, vitamins, dietary suppmements, pharmaceuticals nor most anything liquid, nor anything that could be hazardous like aerosol cans.  Of course, not anything illicit or firearm-related. 

I am sure there is a weight limit as well, but the $200 limit means you would not be importing big machinery or equioment anyway.

A couple of odd items that I ordered off Amazon and had shipped here were:

- Tension shower curtain rod.  I looked all over for these, but they are not sold here. Locals improvise using PVC pipe or curtain rod....
- Big springs suitable for screen doors.  Materials for the frames and screen are available here, but the springs aren't.
- Turnbuckle for screen door to prevent it from sagging.  Actually, we will use these on a couple of handmade interior doors that are sagging a bit. 
- Small roller tool to install spline and screen.  Never seen this item here.
- Books in English mostly bought used.

Good friends (Colombian) were fascinated when they saw the order. To them, the screen door springs were "new technology."  LOL.  They had never seen any of the products before, although they are very familiar with Colombian hardware stores.

The Colombian National  Post Office is called 4-72 with offices in most towns.

They offer a service that lets you send your online order to their address in Miami and they send to you in Colombia, here's a link:

I certainly use Mercado Libre, but I am very careful what I buy on the site, when I first came to Colombia, I missed using eBay, which was my home when living in Europe. I got stung twice, once badly, by a Thief, who had been reported to the site a number of times, but was allowed to continue his business. Things have certainly improved over the past six years, but I am still wary, and will not buy unless the Seller has a caste iron reputation.

For things, I can't get in Colombia, I use a third party company based in Miami and Bogota, it does cost more, but all taxes and duties are in on the price.

I still find it hard to accept using Companies who don't include the import duties and tax, I like to know how much an item is going to cost, and until someone can tell me how that works, unless you are prepared to pay an undisclosed sum, I will steer clear of those Companies.

Using 4-72 is fine if you live in an urban area, they don't deliver to rural locations, not around Medellin anyway, and even if you give an urban address for delivery, receiving the item is very hit and miss, in my experience anyway.

I discovered, when using 472 (and I live in La Ceja, near the Rionegro airport), I have to start bugging them, when it's getting near the time the package should arrive.  Also, outside of Medellin and yet in an urban area, like La Ceja and Rionegro, they won't deliver packages that weigh more than 2 kilos.  AND, if you've ordered something someone there "likes" you may never see it.

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