Online Shopping Guide

How to buy anything online.

So you’re thinking about buying online. Well I don’t blame you.
90% of the products I bought last year were purchased over the internet, even banking.
But you have a problem. You don’t know the first thing about shopping online, and the Idea of doing international trade just to get that new smart phone is scary.

This guide is written mainly for citizens of Trinidad and Tobago and is meant to give you some key bits of information you need to take your shopping online.
It always amazes me how much you can save on almost anything you want even if you may have to pay duty and taxes when it’s delivered.

Hot to get an International Credit Card or Debit Card (Off Shore Account / Off Shore Banking)
The first thing you may think is "I don’t have a credit card". This is what prevents most people from buying online and it's where many people go wrong and get fooled by all the so called offshore bank services.
Luckily there are many ways a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago can get a credit card and avoid the scam artists.

You want either a MasterCard or Visa, because these are more widely accepted and you can use them offline as well. They also let you earn airline miles or cash back on your purchases.
The easiest to get is a prepaid debit card. These can be purchased at your bank and most can be used online. (Be sure to ask though) One example is RBC Royal Bank Right Notes. Get more info at

I have not seen regular debit cards offered locally, but they are available everywhere else. A regular debit card is linked to your bank account and the money you spend is taken directly from your account.
Credit cards may be a bit more difficult to get but one method is to allow the bank to put a hold on a portion of your account to cover the limit on the card. Therefore if you don’t pay they always have the option to take it from your account. Other options may be available.

If you have the cash but still cant get a card from a local bank you could always open an account in the U.S. This often solves a lot of banking problems experienced locally and is good for a lot more than just shopping.
If you are wondering why a foreign bank that has never seen your face will be friendlier to you than the one you used for years, I have no idea.
A U.S. based card is sometimes also the only type that will be accepted by some big online stores like

Get a U.S. shipping address.
Chances are you are going to do most of your shopping on US based websites. Some will ship internationally, but most will not. Some products also will not be shipped internationally. You need an acceptable shipping address within the United States for this purpose.

To do this you need to set up what is called a sky box. This is a service that provides you with a regular address to which you can send all your packages. When your packages arrive at your skybox address they are signed for and forwarded to your address in Trinidad & Tobago.
I recommend Tropical Express Couriers. They have the best rates and have been around the longest.

Tropical Express Couriers: Website   FaceBook   UWI Customers FaceBook  Contact Page

Below are other skybox service companies you could try.







285-4WEB (4932)

16, Trincity Business Park

Jet Box


#33 Picton Street, Newtown Port of Spain

UP Xpress/Aeropost

626-AERO (2376)

Building 30 Unit 2 Fernandes Industrial Centre Laventille




Unit 4, Building 4, Fernandes Industrial Centre Eastern Main Road, Laventille.




#35 O'Connor Street,



Once you have your new address you will need to call your Credit Card centre and have them add this address to your account.
If you do not do this most websites will not ship your order because they cannot be sure the owner of the card is the one making the purchase.

Where to shop
At first you should stick to the most reputable stores like or
As you gain experience and get more comfortable you will be able to judge for yourself which sites are risky and which are reliable.

PayPal is a payment method used by many online stores.
It provides a safe and convenient way to make purchases online without giving your personal information to every store you visit.
PayPal is owned by EBay and is the preferred payment method Used on EBay.
To get more information and sign up for a free PayPal account go to

This guide is a work in progress and will be updated periodically.

Also see our Free recipe site here

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