On-line gift-shopping ideas
July 19, 2004 9:13 PM   Subscribe

Is there any place online for finding interesting gifts and / or unique imported goods? Ebay is great, but I was thinking more along the lines of clearly defined prices, although I guess the items wouldn't have to be new necessarily. I am thinking along the lines of items not commonly available in the U.S. Old empty cigar boxes from foreign nations, handcarved items or artwork, french soaps, exotic chocolates, clothing or styles or fads that are popular in other countries, rare jewelry or items with mythical power like a blarney stone from Ireland, foreign currency, gum, stickers, decks of cards, shampoos, decorative letter openers, stationary, pencils, or other localized specialties. Just small items that would be relatively inexpensive. There are always interesting items in different countries that people come back with as souvenirs. I want to find these things without going there. Any import information, or information about specific products and examples of things you have found from your travels that are not generally sold in the United States would be appreciated.

Thinkgeek and Uncommon Goods (although a bit expensive) are two excellent suggestions I've had so far, that should give you a general idea of what I'm looking for.
posted by banished to Shopping (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Perhaps not exactly matching your description, but I have found some of these kind of things at goantiques.com. Check the contemporary collectibles category.

(p.s. consider the benefits of [more inside] for such a long description)
posted by milovoo at 9:45 PM on July 19, 2004

you can try eziba, but that may be too expensive as well. I love looking, though.
posted by evening at 5:37 AM on July 20, 2004

The Worldstock section of Overstock.com might be worth looking into.

Sometimes looking for specific countries yields results. J-List is one site that comes to mind, Shop Irish is another.

All of the above sell things not typically found in the US, without the encumbrance of international shipping costs.
posted by gnomeloaf at 7:46 AM on July 20, 2004

There is also Novica
posted by Sangre Azul at 8:12 AM on July 20, 2004

You could try Costplus World Market if there is one near you. They have interesting stuff, from furniture to biscuits; I buy Japanese candy there.
posted by carter at 10:54 AM on July 20, 2004

While I'm not British, I do enjoy shopping at Ex Pat Corner. Amusingly enough, they're in Canada.
posted by haqspan at 10:57 AM on July 20, 2004

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