There’s something special about entering a shop in Hong Kong, smelling the perfume wafting through the air, and getting personalised service from attentive staff.
BUT, there are days when a walk through Causeway Bay’s narrow streets for a makeup refill or bumping elbows in Central in the sticky heat for a new pair of shoes is enough to make you want to turn around and go home. Thank goodness for online shopping, where you can be sitting in your kitchen in your bathrobe or happily adding items to your virtual basket on your phone when you’re on the move. More and more local stores are offering online shopping, and there is a good selection of international sellers that will ship to your Hong Kong address, many for free. We’ve broken it down in two parts to offer you just a tip of the online shopping iceberg, there’s a lot be snapped up until the next pay day rolls around.
Something to nibble on for your next online shopping marathon, or maybe you have a hankering for that certain chocolate from your home country? There’s sweets, tea and wine on this list, too, so dive in.
A & M Scores of US grocery items for those expats who miss their Hamburger Helper and can’t start a day without a bowl of Lucky Charms. They have a few locations in Hong Kong, so you won’t have to wait too long to receive your treats. Free delivery with a minimum spend that varies on your address: HKD $800 for HK island, HKD $1000/$1500 for Kowloon, HKD $1500/$2000/$2500 for New Territories (except outlying islands) and HKD $2500 for Discovery Bay residents.
Aussie Food Shop There’s more to Australian food than vegemite, and while you can get it and Tim Tam biscuits at most Hong Kong stores, some items Aussie expats crave can only be purchased at home. Tea, coffee, crisps, household items, even boomerangs (yes, really!) can be shipped to your HK home starting at HKD $12.25 – but that’s just for 500g worth of goods; the prices go up from there as they’re based in Sydney.
British Corner Shop With Hong Kong being a former British colony and all, there are many leftovers from the empire still floating around, including foodstuffs. But there’s always going to be something from home that you can’t find here. Small orders from this UK-based online supermarket cost GBP £5.99 (1 kg) or GBP £11.99 (2 kg).
Candy Hero For the sweets monster in all of us, this place is a goldmine of candy and chocolate from all over the world. They also sell crisps and soda but delivery isn’t cheap: prices start from GBP £7.14 for up to 100g.
Coffee Roasters Asia The sister company to Coffee Roasters Australia, these guys roast their beans locally in Aberdeen and ship to you. You can choose from whole beans or ground to your preference, with shipping fees as low as HKD $8.
EuroGoodies Good selection of European products that you’re used to, or would like to try, from all sections of the grocery aisles, including dairy, fish and meat products. But they’re based in Hong Kong so the items will arrive fresh! Delivery is free in the Tuen Mun area on minimum orders of HKD $500 and for orders of HKD $1000 or more in the whole of Hong Kong.
iHerb Amazing variety of vitamins, herbs, bath, beauty and food products at your fingertips. Delivery prices vary but a discount is available for orders over USD $40, which come straight from their headquarters in California.
Soho Wines You’ll need those vitamins after a good night of drinking courtesy of Soho Wines. Beer from all over the world along with spirits, sake and mixers can also be purchased and delivered for free on orders of HKD $700 or more (there is a HKD $70 delivery charge otherwise).
Sweet Secrets This Hong Kong-based shop bakes up delicious cakes, cupcakes and cookies. They also do cupcakes in gluten-free and eggless varieties and can gift package them for different occasions. Delivery charges start at HKD $130 and rise to HKD $550 depending on your Hong Kong address.
teapigs The team at teapigs really know their tea and have dedicated their time to growing and selling it since 2006. Based in Hong Kong with tea grown in Brentford, UK, they only sell whole leaf tea from selected estates, which they supply either as loose leaf or in “tea temples” (a biodegradable mesh tea bag). You can contact them locally if want to up your tea knowledge, and they deliver for free if you spend HKD $300 or more (HKD $40 otherwise).
We’ve rounded up a huge range of options for gourmet food shopping both online and in store in this post too.
Stock up the makeup drawer and bath with all the basics and must-haves to keep yourself looking and feeling good.
Adore Beauty Selling a good range of organic and sustainable products, Adore Beauty bills itself as Australia’s leading authorised online beauty store. More than 150 cosmetics brands and 10,000 beauty care products are available to be shipped to your door starting at AUD $6.95.
Beauty Bay Offering a huge range of more than 10,000 products from the best of UK and international brands, Beauty Bay has a great selection of items for your skincare, nails, and haircare needs. Standard shipping is HKD $21.80 or free if you spend HKD $168 or more.
Bonjour Avoid the congested aisles of your local Bonjour and buy their stuff online instead. Stuff your beauty drawer for cheap with tweezers, blotting paper, body lotion, perfume and countless other items for men and women. Delivery is free on orders of HKD $150 more or it will cost you HKD $25.
Crabtree & Evelyn You may recognise the bottles from your mother’s bathroom shelf, but Crabtree & Evelyn isn’t just for mum. Their hand cream does wonders for dry skin and come in great travel sizes, and their scented candles and diffusers make lovely gifts. Free delivery for purchases of HKD $750 or more, otherwise a HKD $35 fee will be added.
Cult Beauty The team of British and American beauty experts have picked out only the “cult” products of the beauty world and brought them to you here. Free international shipping when you spend more than GBP £50.
Lush Soaps that look like cakes and bath bombs that will smell up your entire bathroom for days are what Lush does best. Everything they make is handmade from organic fruit and vegetables, essential oils and safe synthetics. Delivery is free on orders of HKD $1000 or more; prices start from HKD $13 depending on the area if the minimum spend is not met.
Mankind Something for the men, as they like to look and smell good too, of course! Mankind is for “the man that isn’t afraid to take care of himself, and is even less afraid to show it”. Sound like you or someone you know? Take advantage of their online offers on hair, skin and shaving products, as well as fashion goods – a nice set of cufflinks to complete the pampered look, perhaps. Standard delivery on orders under GBP £15 is £3.99; spend more than GBP £15 and it’ll cost you a mere GBP £1.99.
Sasa We all know Sasa – hard not to with one on virtually every corner of the city. Like Bonjour, it has all you need beauty-wise, whether your eyelash curler broke or you ran out of nail polish. But the overflowing shelves are also stocked with shampoo, deodorant, fragrance and skin care for men and women. Free delivery for orders of HKD $150, otherwise HKD $25.
Sephora When the samples you’ve been hoarding from the Sephora counter finally run out, you can conveniently stock up on the products you love from home. The well-known French beauty brand sells highly-coveted lipsticks and eyeshadows and everything else for your beauty needs. Delivery is HKD $75 for orders below HKD $350 or it’s free.
Strawberrynet Based in Hong Kong, there are discounted skincare, makeup, haircare and perfume products from a choice of over 800 brands for you to peruse online. Free delivery (a small charge may apply when your order contains heavy fragrances or haircare).
Bits and bobs for your general and exotic shopping needs including books, tech products, party supplies and flower arrangements fashioned out of pineapple – because why not?
Apple Don’t be tempted to while away the hours on the hi-tech gadgets at the Apple Store – find what you want online, click and pay, and they will send it your door for free. Now go outside and explore the city.
Book Depository A regular seller on Amazon, they sometimes have cheaper prices than buying direct through the online giant. You can bypass Amazon altogether if you prefer and purchase straight from Book Depository’s site. You’re bound to find something you like, what with the 14 million titles they have for sale, and delivery is free.
The Candle Company We have to admit it is a more pleasurable experience getting these at their store in Central, but after an hour or so of sniffing and oohing and aahing at the heavenly scents, buying online probably saved us from a few stares. Founded in 2002 in Hong Kong, all their candles are drip-less and smoke-free and are either scented, unscented, eco-soy, pure beeswax or for the outdoors. Lemongrass! Ginger lily! Gorgeous scents that are sold alone or in gift sets, with free delivery for orders over HKD $200.
Edible Arrangements These fruit bouquets are a really eye-catching and fun alternative to buying flowers for a special occasion. The arrangement looks pretty on the table – until you eat it all up! Sticks festooned with delicious fresh fruit are beautifully arranged in a vase, with choices like chocolate-dipped strawberries, pineapple daisies, banana slices and more. Delivery starts at HKD $80.
Giftwell Gift cards need not be boring, as Giftwell doesn’t send you a piece of plastic glued to a cardboard backing. These gift cards come in elegant packaging and are super convenient when you just can’t think of what to get the pickiest of people. Send them to a fine dining restaurant or let them run amok in a wine shop with cards of various denominations, but be warned that cards expire two months from the date the gift is delivered. Next-day shipping costs HKD $100.
Le Creuset You know you’ve always wanted one of those ubiquitous, coloured pots in your kitchen. No need to lug them from the store as Le Creuset’s online HK shop will deliver your items free on purchases over HKD $1500 (HKD $150 otherwise). Bright yellow casserole dishes and red heart-shaped ramekins are available in quality stoneware and cast-iron from France.
Oliver Bonas The chic UK store that sells a bit of everything – jewellery, dresses, homeware and quirky novelty items. It’s a good online stop for fun, little gift ideas for parents and kids. All orders of GBP £50 or more qualify for free standard shipping, but some items, like fragile goods, are restricted. Delivery is GBP £11.50 for orders under GBP £50.
Pandora For gifts on the fancier (and pricier) end of the scale, Pandora should do the trick with their beautifully-designed jewellery for adults and young ones (the charm bracelets are adorable). Free delivery if you spend HKD $500 or HKD $50 if you spend less.
Party Boutique Planning a party is stressful enough with all the food to be prepped and invites to be sent out. The decorating side should be the fun part, and you can buy all the tableware, banners, party hats, balloons and games that you’ll need for various party themes in one place. Delivery prices start at HKD $100 depending on the area in Hong Kong it’s being delivered to.
Sooq High-quality products curated from popular markets and fairs are sold on Sooq’s online marketplace, ranging from baby blankets to tableware. Each product from various sellers is unique – the Hong Kong-themed gifts are perfect for those newly arrived or heading out, to give them something to remember this great city by. Delivery prices vary based on the seller and item.
Nancy Matos is a lifestyle and culture writer from Vancouver, Canada currently based in Hong Kong and London.