Brooks Brothers Belt-019

Buying clothing, shoes and accessories from U.S.-based retailers remains one of the most convenient ways to build a wardrobe. Brands and retailers in the U.S. frequently hold promotions and sales that a good deal is only days if not weeks apart. U.S. brands almost always have a presence in the Philippines so it’s easy to figure out the sizing.

Unfortunately some of these retailers have tightened restrictions for shoppers abroad. This can be frustrating as there is no notice with the payment being rejected or the transaction being cancelled after ordering. I use two methods to get around these shopping and shipping restrictions.

Use a Virtual Private Network

U.S.-based retailers are increasingly checking where transactions originate by geolocating your IP address. GANT will not complete the transaction and Jack Spade will not show you items on sale if it detects that you are located outside the U.S.

There is a way around this and that is through the use of a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service. A Virtual Private Network masks your true location by making it appear that you are located in the U.S. I use TunnelBear which offers 500 MB of free bandwidth every month — more than enough to complete an online purchase.

Sign up for TunnelBear

Use GCash American Express Virtual Pay

I’ve had reports that California-based Unionmade is no longer accepting credit cards with a foreign billing address and shipping to a U.S. Address. I can surmise that this was not only done to combat fraud but also to force people to buy from stockists in their own country.

By using GCash American Express Virtual Pay the retailer sees the transaction as completely legitimate because it has the same billing and shipping address in the U.S. Of course you will have to use their partner freight forwarding service My Shopping Box but it is convenient and the rates are reasonable.

More info on GCash American Express Virtual Pay

If you have any questions feel free to email me: [email protected]