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Online shopping in Hungary

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 Hungary? 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 Hungary?

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

I want to support my local stores. I believe in supporting small, local businesses. But....

In Hungary I prefer to shop online. For one thing, due to EU distance selling rules, you can get a no questions asked return and refund, which is almost impossible to do in a brick and mortar store in Hungary. So now I shop online for most things. Let the world come to me.

Shipping is cheap. Reliable and easy. But remember to tip the delivery person. They really appreciate it. And they have a tough job.

I also prefer to pay with COD (cash on delivery) so my credit/debit card it not part of any insecure system.

For comparison price shopping in Hungary, the go to site is:

http://www.argep.hu/

klsallee :

I want to support my local stores. I believe in supporting small, local businesses. But....

Yes, agreed...... but I'm finding local stores aren't really competitive when compared to many online operators.  I can actually get stuff delivered from Germany cheaper.  I've even taken to picking up stuff in the UK, packing it up and sending it by parcel service to myself (and therefore not paying the HU 27% VAT but 20% UK).  I can get a 15kg box sent to Hungary, insured for say, £200, for less than £30 (about 30 EUR).  On some goods, this can be worthwhile.

Mrs Fluffy reminded me the other day, when we bought our boiler, we did it online because we saved 100K HUF by shopping online. 

I just looked at getting a new fridge and went to Electroworld (about as useless as Media Markt).  Saw the fridge, went home, Google'd the model and found I would save myself 30K HUF by getting it online.  And that's even paying for delivery as well!

Another site: www.arukereso.hu

We have bought a few small items on line here in Hungary over the years.
No big ticket items. usually vitamins or purchases that are under $50.
So far so good. Everything was delivered on time etc.
Clothing items I have not bought online yet.
I prefer to see and try on things before buying them.
I need a twin to wear all the glad rags I already have so clothing is just a impulse buy for me.
The only place I know for a fact that I will like my purchase and that the sizing is correct is a shop in the US which has a pretty steep international shipping charge... I wait to buy in person when I visit home.

I buy stuff on Ebay all the time. And either use US, UK or DE ebay and have it shipped to budapest no issues. Main issues is postal here at least at our building is slow. And yes many calls to the Hungarian Posta asking where is something but no big issues. I just look at what shipping costs is which is not high.

I have never used Amazon, never used it in usa did not like how it does not tell me the price of things right off the bat.

Clothes, i do buy many too much really from Forever21 which is a store that is in USA so i am fam with them size wise. But they have stores in UK and other parts of EU. So they ship to Budapest for 6 euros flat rate or many times they have free shipping. They use UPS and since Hungary has no stores they ship it to you door in like 2 days from the time they ship and you get total tracking. They ship from Netherlands to Budapest for the EU stuff. If they had stores here like in Germany they would ship the things from online to the store for free. But like i said many times they do free shipping anyway or free if you spend 21 euros stuff like that. I like them cause they sale womens clothes, plus size and also mens clothes. So me i am like a 30 or 31 for them jeans wise which is normal woman size but then with jackets or tops i like room so i will xl or the plus size. Bottoms normal as i think they run pretty big but i have no ghetto booty! he hee. But tops i need plus as i think they run small. Then my dad is not small guy and i order lots of stuff that fits him well.

USA has Forever21 and the stuff in the stores there was junk, and shipping was horrible! I let alone my dad ever bothered with that store, so being in Hungary online shopping with them is 100x better.

I also order much stuff from Etsy and have it shipped here with no issues. I have some friends in Lithuania that send me jackets and clothes every fall. They think i am still wearing my Florida clothes with shorts and flip flops! They have shops so they ship within EU and with full tracking shipping is not too much and quick.

I order much much more stuff here than i did in USA mainly due to postal in USA is so awful it was not worth it. So i shop online in Hungary more due to better access and and also if it does not come or is damaged thee is better recourse. In usa if something did not come or was stolen by the postman or damaged it was always oh well. I recall one time i shipped a book from me in florida to someone in new jersey and 2nd book to someone in Montana. The post clerk internally sent both to different states on purpose. Then other time at a different post office the clerk said he thought i was from Israel and shipped my package slower than what i paid for. When his boss asked him about what happened he said that he did not like how USA supports Israel so much and that is why he does not vote Republican. I could that type of thing. Sorry a refund does not solve this but whatever i do not work for usps. By the way i  am NOT from Israel but when people think you are something you are not you see how bias people are to that group.

Other reason why i shop more online here in Hungary is not a good thing really. It is due to i do not feel like dealing with drama and stupid people out in town. I do not mean mean per say just annoying questions! Like i had a woman ask me to cornrow her hair, i do not know how to do that sorry. Or some guy accused my dad of being like man on Color Purple and hiding letters from my Hungarian family and thinking "i do not want my daughter in a backwards country like Hungary, i wanted here in a good country like USA". This did NOT happen, i am NOT Hungarian in any way and no i have no secret family that was hidden from me! My dad just started laughing!

Or the hassle of finding something.

So sum total shopping online here is good.

I have mainly used online shops for specialised items like car parts. Sometimes the stuff actually comes from Germany, even though it is ordered on a Hungarian language website. The only downside of that is longer delivery times. Not done it lately but I have ordered quite a lot of stuff from Screwfix in UK. This enabled me to buy items not available in Hungary, such as compression type radiator valves. Above a certain value, delivery is free to EU countries.

I have also used German Ebay for one or 2 secondhand items. I tend to only buy secondhand stuff in Hungary if I have a Hungarian who can help with price negotiations etc. The biggest problem for me is that most online sellers do not tell you what delivery company they will use. From my point of view it is best if they use the post office. If I'm not there when the delivery arrives they will keep it at the village post office until I go to collect it. With the courier companies they will make 2 attempts to deliver then return the item to the sender. That did happen to me once but it was a cash-on-delivery order so it did not cost me anything.

In Hungary, online shopping is quite rare. I tend to use Shank's pony to get to the shops, but it is quite rare for people to shop online. They do, the missus does, for things from ABROAD ie not from Hungary but if it's available in the shops in Hungary then I go down the shop. I have never bought online in Hungary and I am a stupid Englishman who doesn't speak Hungarian. Ebay I think doesn't exist in Hungary because we have sold a lot in UK from there, but at that time there was no Hungarian equivalent. There is one now which we use occasionally it has a strange Hungarian name it is not villamos that means tram but something like that, to do second-hand sales in a Del Trotter manner. But it is not quite the same. People leave stuff out on the street if they don't want it but thiink other people might, I have picked up just the other day a couple of "pouffé"s  smalll chairs very nicely made for exactly 0 Ft fitted wheels on them so they can run around  More I would say in Hungary the habit is, people don't like second-hand stuff so they throw it out to get new stuff. Online shopping is not really done you take the car and go and stick it in the boot/trunk so it is quite unusual to shop online.

Me missus does, but only from abroad, not from Hungary itself.

Hmmm, not so sure about some HUngarians not wanting or liking second hand.
When they have those big throw out's once a year in different districts in Budapest, you can see people "camping out" to claim their goods,as we walked  on the sidewalk going about our business people try to sell throw out "junk" to us as we pass by.
I am usually not seriously interested in anything that is tossed out, I am married to a HU and Know from years of experience, if a HU throws something away, then there usually is little hope that it still works or can be used, If you are a DYS sort of person you may be able to ,"cannabilaize" a item and fix it so it works again.
I know my HU husband refused to toss out my "Hoover" in the US, he had the parts of 3 machines put together, More of a interesting hobby for him then making me happy. It ran , actually very well but it just didn't look pretty...
Not saying Hungarians are cheap BUT sometimes they seem to love to try to fix items that a "normal" human would throw out .
More like they are super practical then actually cheap... It hurts their little hearts to throw things in the trash.

Yeah those big throw-outs once a year are really good. The bin men here (XV district) are really good too, so that would be on the back of the cart in an instant unless you are quick. Me missus is Hungarian but works in an English-speaking job in Budapest, hence speaking in English. (I can actually speak a bit of Hungarian but was being modest.)  We have discussed this many times but her opinion, as a somone born in Budapest but lived in England for many years, is that Hungarians don't like second-hand or throwaway stuff. It's a matter of opinion, I guess, maybe it varies from district to district, but in the XV which is hardly posh people throw things out all the time and I am constantly coming home with a sackbarrow full of wood or furniture. Perhaps it is because people move frequently here in the panelház etc and just leave it behind, not sure. Anyway  I have furnished half my house out of what people leave on the street.

There is an annoying Budapest habit that if you have any rubbish/trash you just chuck it on the street so I am also constantly picking up the back ends of fags. Er I mean cigarette butts.  But I disagree, I think Hungarian habit is to regard anything old as rather naff and chuck it out and go to IKEA or whatever. In England of course we regard anything old as something to be cherished and cared for. There is a slightly different mentality there, I think.

Hi Priscilia!
What I can say concerning my stay at Pécs for the past few weeks I have been here, is that it has been really tough.
All the shops, grocery, markets and anything you might be thinking of, they all sale the same stuff!!! Period.
However, I am still looking for a place that will certify my burning desire for my country food(AFRICAN DELICACY/ IGBO).
Until then I believe Pécs is a home for Chinese peeps(Lots of Vegetables!!!)

Scia!

SimonTrew :

In Hungary, online shopping is quite rare.

The van that delivers my orders has quite a few other packages and boxes in it when I get mine. So, from that, I would not call on-line shopping here rare. And those were all for orders made at Hungarian companies. Orders I get from abroad come via DHL or post office.

There is not much of a central "Amazon" like system in Hungary. Which I actually prefer. I rather like shopping directly at a company's own web site.

And do consider that Budapest is different, and not representative of the rest of Hungary. Not living in Budapest, I can not always walk (or even drive briefly) to a store that has what I need. They often simply don't have it in stock. And it is either have them order it (takes at least a week to get since they often only have weekly deliveries to the store) or order it myself on-line (take about 2 days to get). And it is often cheaper to order it on line (including shipping).

Online shopping is booming, it even grew when the rest of the economy was going downhill.

However, transportation capacity is at its breaking point. MPL, Sprinter, DPD, GLS all crumble underneath the outrageous amount of packages. Many packages that are given to them on next-day shipping get delayed for days. Deliverymen are long over their capacity, I work next to DPD depot, and the guys start around 5 in the morning, and still arent back here by the time I finish at 16:30.

Tesco introducing delivery only furthers the collapse of the small-store system, which isnt good. Though their services dont burden the shipping companies.

All in all, the booming of online shopping, the unacceptable working condition of drivers (and the general lack of drivers), means the growth of online sales will be broken down by the transportation issues. Transportation costs are already high, and while for more expensive items it is not an issue, it will force people to stop ordering the cheaper products. Paying 1-2000 for shipping is not economical, and it will only increase. The amount people spare on the products will go into shipping, so in the end it will be the same price as in the shop.

I order from Tesco online for all of my meats, water and as many things as I can think of when placing an order. It saves me from carting it home.

In Budapest, I use British Pantry for specialty items, though I am not a Brit, their handmade sausages are great.

When I was shopping for a slow cooker (crockpot) the only place to find them was a webshop. The same thing with cast iron frying pans.

Rawlee :

Deliverymen are long over their capacity

What you say is all true.

Which is why I tip lavishly on the delivery men*. They deserve it.

* The human level, not the corporate level.

klsallee :

What you say is all true.

Which is why I tip lavishly on the delivery men*. They deserve it.

I dont, at all. Because that is not going to improve working conditions for them. Like with truck drivers. They were exploited, and now that their compulsory exams mean they can freely work in all the EU, they were gone faster than a gold necklace in the ghetto. Trucker wages are growing, and companies must value their drivers, lest they want them gone the next day.

The wages must rise, for everybody. And the black income that tip reperesents actually harms this process, as people who get tips will be more content with their working conditions, if they get an other 10-20% from underhanded sources.

Regardless, to say something on topic, online purchasing is very good, so long as both parties are honest. Warranty is better enforced online (for some odd reasons), but the stupidity of the average consumer also causes large expenses for traders. If you buy something in a shop, and later return it, both times you physically go to the store, and you only waste your own time. Whereas with online purchases, while the returning of the product is your expense, the company must also pay back the transportation cost for when you received the product. So for the consumers' stupidity or rashness, someone else pays, and this is not fair.

Example: someone I know ordered a coffee maker online. The company delivered it the next day. Said person asked the courier if she can pay with card. Courier said no. Then she sent the package back. Company had to pay 2 transportations costs (sending there and back). Company offered no card payment in the first place. Does this sound fair to you?

For this reason, some stores actually try to go against the law, and try to hold back payments or even deny payment, or simply try to say they dont offer warranty.

Also, the way online stores follow costumer regulations is terrible. Missing, or incorrect language manuals is the main problem. My sister bought a washing machine from the largest online store. Came with only russian manual. We translated it ourselves, but this would never happen in a normal store.

So buying online carries just as much risk, as buying in the store. In my opinion, if I can choose what I want in an online store, then the general attitute of the store staff is irrelevant, as I dont need their assistance, which is really the only downside of shops.


BTW, use google translate on smartphones. It can translate printed text live through the camera. Great to use in a shop. Saved my life in Barcelona in restaurants.

klsallee :

Which is why I tip lavishly on the delivery men*. They deserve it.

They're paid what the market decides their work is worth. Do you think it's your fault they didn't spend more time developing more marketable skills and looking for better opportunities? If you have money to give away, I'd suggest donating to organizations that target disadvantaged groups, treating the cause, not the symptoms, e.g. http://www.bagazs.org/en/our-mission/ .

atomheart :

If you have money to give away, I'd suggest.

Ah. An unsolicited "education" lesson. Because in some mind's eye I must be ignorant....

FWIW, the why, how and for what reason I choose to spend my money is my business. And I stress "business". Not yours.  ;)

klsallee :

FWIW, the why, how and for what reason I choose to spend my money is my business. And I stress "business". Not yours.

It's certainly your business. Not mine. If you share your opinion/conviction, however, others might reply with theirs, heck, they might even disagree with you or make suggestions. From that point it's again your decision what to do, take offense, try to school the other party, or, continue debating the subject even if your position is firm, because it's fun, it's a good thought experiment, and some of you might see the problem in a different light and change his mind.  ;)

atomheart :

If you share your opinion/conviction, however, others might reply with theirs

Which is no problem. Everyone has a right to an opinion and to express it.

But it crosses a line when replies try to educate.

For example, I find high fixed salaries can rather result in a uniform glacial lethargy as seen in civil servants. While tipping is the most direct form of interpersonal market capitalism. Good service gets a tip. Bad service does not. After all, CEOs get a "tip" of sorts for good performance in the form of numerous bonuses and stock options. So I can choose to do the same for the lowest persons in the company ladder. I would not, however, "suggest" you read a book on economics to prove my point, because that would be insulting. :)

Income difference is a common topic in hungarian forums, and the anger and lethargy of the lowest classes seems to stem from a lack of understanding of economics basics, of how supply and demand determines their wage. They see that and engineer makes 5x the money in the same time, but they don't see that the engineer has invested tremendous amount of time into his education, starting from elementary school. They reject the suggestion that they control their faith and are solely responsible for their future, they're convinced that the whole world conspires against them to keep them as slaves and exploit them.

Tipping makes a lot of sense in a restaurant, where yo don't go just to eat, but you expect to feel like a king for an hour or two. A waiter has plenty of opportunities to succeed or fail, and has to be incentivized. A delivery man either does the job or not. If you tip him, you just reinforce his conviction that the system is corrupt and people need to fix it, and that tips are part of his income, if it's low, you too are responsible.

"But it crosses a line when replies try to educate."

Oh, please do. And feel free to "suggest" anything as long as it's focused. I'd happily take a suggestion for a book that tackles income difference and its perception in Hungary.

Hello guys,

Just to remind you that this topic is about "Online shopping in Hungary".

Thank you,
Christine

Hi there.
I recently discovered thebritishpantry.hu run by a Brit called David. I was able to order dry and fresh goods including leg of lamb, loin of mangalica, sausages, bacon, steaks, lamb mince. If certain things aren't in stock he can get most things. Fresh meat is available to order. Have also seen the britishcornershop.co.uk which can deliver dry groceries from UK and is a Waitrose approved supplier. The latter is quite reasonable for large order while the former is a smaller outfit which makes delivery of a small order quite pricey but if something is important it will be worth paying for. £5 for 1KG, £10 for 2Kg and £21 for up to 30kg from UK which is pro rata far cheaper if you want to buy that weight of items. I will happily by online if I find items cheaper than in local stores Euronics/MediaMarkt. No problems so far with relatively small items.

I have bought sausages through David, particularly Italian sausage. I try to order in bulk when the freezer is empty to save on the delivery costs.

Many of the grocery items are targeted to Brits. I have asked him a number of times about various products that were foreign to me.

David is a great guy!

Wholly agree about David. He advised against delivery to me near Balaton because he couldn't find a courier with a freezer! Instead we met halfway with freezer boxes. The Italian sausages are wonderful and next time I will get some merguez as well. My freezer is full now so next delivery Easter time for the summer BBQs.

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