The Best Websites For Online Shopping In Switzerland

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The Best Websites For Online Shopping In Switzerland

These days, a lot of shopping is done online. It is so practical to shop for something online. It can save you a lot of time. And it allows you to compare many different websites to get the best deals easily. Shopping online can also save you some money.

Of course, online shopping also has its dark side. Since it is convenient to shop online, some people are buying many more things than they should. It is so easy to press a button and get things delivered at home. I am sure it happened to many of you. At least, it happened to me!

If you are only buying things you need, online shopping can be a great thing. But you still need to know where to shop online. Even in our small Swiss country, there are hundreds of websites where to shop. And let’s not forget that sometimes online shopping is not cheaper than shopping in a normal shop!

In this post, I am going to list the best online shopping websites in Switzerland. This list should allow you to shop for the best prices!

Clothes – Zalando

If you want to shop online for clothes, you need to check out Zalando first. It is the most used website for clothes to this day. Women mostly use Zalando. But they also have a wide choice for men. I have myself ordered a few things there. Every woman I know is aware of Zalando.

Zalando has a vast choice of clothes, shoes, bags, accessories, and excellent prices. They also have a 30-day return policy. If what you ordered does not fit you, you can send it back for free.

Shopping for Dresses on Zalando
Shopping for Dresses on Zalando

And even though they have a lot of cheap clothes, they also have some luxury clothes. And they have brand products as well. It should be your first choice. If you are not in urgent need of clothes, you should try to wait for sales.

Now there are other choices as well. I hate shopping for clothes. But when I do, I generally go to EMP Online. They are more expensive. But I only buy one or two pieces of clothing a year, so it is not that bad. And I have not bought anything more expensive than 25 CHF in many years now.

Electronics – Digitec

If you need to shop for electronics, your first choice should be Digitec. They have a massive choice of computers, phones, laptops, monitors, and every electronic you would ever need.

Shopping for Monitors on Digitec
Shopping for Monitors on Digitec

I am quite a geek myself, and I have bought many things at Digitec (probably too many). For 95% of the things I needed, they had the best price. And they also have excellent customer service. I had to return a few items under guarantee, and it was a great experience, no problems at all.

Over the years, I have bought pieces for several computers on Digitec and all my current accessories and monitors. I also bought my TV and my multimedia system there. Digitec is my website of choice for this.

Now, sometimes, you can find slightly better prices on Galaxus. But I have had issues with the customer service of Galaxus. It was much more challenging to return something. In the beginning, the website of Galaxus was terrible to search for, but now it seems they have improved a lot. Nevertheless, I generally start with Digitec first. If it is expensive, I will check with other Galaxus and sometimes other websites as well.

These differences are a bit weird because they are both parts of the same company, Galaxus Digitec. And for information, Migros has a majority stake in Galaxus Digitec.

While Digitec is strictly for Electronics, you can buy almost anything in Galaxus. There even have office furniture. It is currently the largest online retailer in Switzerland. I would also go there for home appliances, for instance.

Second-Hand – Ricardo

If you are frugal, you may want to buy many things second-hand instead of buying them new. There are so many things that are fine when you buy them second hand.

Shopping for a standing desk on Ricardo
Shopping for a standing desk on Ricardo

The best website to buy second-hand things online is Ricardo. It is an auction-based website for second-hand shopping. There are also some new items on it, but I rarely use this site for new items. What is great about Ricardo is that most sellers will send the item to you. You do not have to go there and pick it. But sometimes, you also have the option to pick it yourself if it is not too far.

Sometimes, you can find cheaper options on Anibis. However, almost nobody will send you things. And a lot of the advertisements are out of date. Another issue is that sometimes people will not answer you. But it is still worth it to look if you need something quite specific.

If you need to sell something online, these two websites are probably the best too. I have written about online selling in Switzerland before.

Groceries – Migros and Coop

There are also several options for shopping online for food.

For me, the best option is Le Shop, from Migros. You have access to a wide choice of food products. You will have to pay for some delivery fees. Unfortunately, there is a minimum of 99 CHF per order. This is more than we spend every week on groceries. The basic delivery fee is 7.90 CHF. But you will only pay 2.90 CHF from a 200 CHF purchase.

If you prefer Coop, you will also have access to Coop @ Home. They also have a vast choice of products. The delivery will cost 17.90 CHF for a less than 100 CHF purchase and 9.90 CHF starting from 200 CHF. If you order at least 500 CHF, the delivery is free. Coop is slightly more expensive, the Le Shop, but not a big difference.

Now, there is a big problem with both of these options. It is one of the cases where convenience has a considerable price. First of all, you will have to pay delivery fees. But this is a small price compared to the big problem. Neither Coop nor Migros is the cheapest place to shop for groceries. I have talked about the best ways to reduce your food budget. You can save a lot of money by shopping at discounters like Lidl and Aldi. By shopping online for groceries, you will lose money.

Books – Amazon France (or Germany)

For books, I buy almost everything on Amazon. For instance, I bought my Kindle Paperwhite there and some of my favorites books like Deep Work and The Little Book of Common Sense Investing.

Amazon has a huge choice of books. And they deliver for free. You have to be careful about taxes. It used to be that you could circumvent the taxes with purchases below 100 EUR, but this is not the case anymore. Now, Amazon will compute the taxes for you, and you should not have any surprises.

Another option is Book Depository. I find it a bit more expensive in general than Amazon, but sometimes you can find some excellent offers. Interestingly, they actually belong to Amazon as well. They also have an extensive choice. You will have to pay for border taxes as well.

I do not buy paper books anymore. I buy almost everything on my Kindle. There are ways to get cheap ebooks on Kindle. When I do not find cheap books on my Kindle, I buy second-hand books. Second-hand books are significantly cheaper and are fine. You can find some in a near-perfect state.

I am using Amazon France mostly because I speak French. But if you are speaking German, nothing prevents you from using Amazon Germany (amazon.de). They also deliver many things to Switzerland.

Furniture – Ikea

Online Shopping for a bed at Ikea
Online Shopping for a bed at Ikea (Source: ikea.com)

You can also shop for furniture online. For this, my favorite shop is Ikea. They have good prices and good quality. I think they have the best balance between quality and price of all the furniture shops available in Switzerland. They generally do not offer delivery for free, but most furniture shops are the same. And if you buy something big, it will really be much better to receive it by post than to rent (or find) a big truck to pick it up.

Now, Ikea is not the only online shop available for furniture. I also found some good pieces of furniture at Lipo. They are often cheaper than Ikea, and most of their stuff is quite sturdy. And the last one would be Conforama. Now, you have to be careful about their stuff. You can find some very cheap stuff at Conforama, but you can also find some awful quality. Some of their furniture will not last more than a year. But you get what you pay for!

I am not often shopping for furniture online because I find it easier to see it in real. But you can save a lot of time by doing it online.

Almost Everything – Aliexpress

Aliexpress Home Page
Aliexpress Home Page

If you like online shopping a lot and want a wide variety of things, Aliexpress could be just for you.

Aliexpress is an online retail service owned by Alibaba. You can find almost everything on it. And you can sometimes find great detail for some small gadgets or home appliances.

The disadvantage of Aliexpress is that it will sometimes take a very long time to ship to Switzerland. You have to decide whether you want a very low price or a short delivery.

I do not use Aliexpress a lot, but I know many people that do. You need to remember that just because it comes from China does not mean it is cheaper than if it was from Switzerland! Some things are less expensive in Switzerland than in China. It is especially true if we take shipping costs into account. Nevertheless, you can find some great deals on Aliexpress!

Making the most out of online shopping

Regardless of where you shop online, you can try to get the most out of online shopping with two things.

1. Get some cashback

High Cashback
Swisscard Cashback

Swisscard Cashback offers the free credit card with the highest cashback!


Use the FC40XUXU4 code to receive 10CHF for free!

If you are shopping online, you are very likely to use a credit card. Therefore, you want to make sure you are getting some cashback on each of your transactions.

Secondly, you also want to make sure you are using the free available credit card. Unless you are spending a lot of money with your credit card, you want a free credit card!

Think of it that way: All the money you can save on your credit card bill and all the money you are making with cashback can go towards saving (or buying more things online)!

To optimize your credit card usage, you can read about my credit card strategy for minimum fees and maximum cashback.

2. Avoid currency conversion fees with Neon

Great Swiss Digital Bank
Neon
Free

Neon is the best digital bank in Switzerland. And it is free!

Use the F9YMGT code to receive 10CHF for free!

If you are shopping on a foreign website, you will likely pay in euros or even dollars. You may not know this, but Swiss credit cards will charge you a hefty fee (from 1% to 2%) when you pay in other currencies. This fee is higher than the cashback they are giving you!

Fortunately, there is a solution: Neon is the only Swiss bank with free payments in foreign currencies! By using their credit cards, you will not pay any fees when you pay in another currency.

You could also use a Revolut credit card if you prefer. To choose between these cards, you can read my comparison of Neon and Revolut. Both cards are entirely free.

3. Be secure with online shopping

There are some risks with online shopping. But if you follow a few simple rules, you will be able to limit these risks:

  1. Always use different passwords for each website.
  2. Never store your credit card information with online vendors.
  3. Never use a website that you do not trust.
  4. Check your credit card statement to make sure everything is alright.

Comparator – Top Preise

If you want to be sure to get the best price, you can also use a comparator. The best comparator for online shopping in Switzerland is Toppreise. If you know exactly the item you want, this is a great place to find the best deal.

Here is an example of looking for iPhone X on Toppreise:

iPhone X Results on Toppreise
iPhone X Results on Toppreise

Strangely, the cheapest is at First Store, a shop I did not even know. This result shows that it is often worth it to compare!

Rules for online shopping

Now, online shopping is great! There is no denying it. However, it is so convenient that we often buy things we do not need because we do not consider the purchase.

Just because something is easy to buy does not make it necessary!

You need to think seriously before you buy something. You should already know what you are going to buy before you even start to browse online shops!

And there is another thing! Although it is often very competitive to buy things online, online shopping is not always cheaper! You can often find some excellent sales in a real store.

For instance, I buy all my second-hand books in a store in Fribourg, and I have never found an online alternative that is as cheap. I think that the most expensive things to shop online instead of in a real shop are groceries. All options for online grocery shopping are too expensive for now. And we have been able to find excellent prices for clothes as well at C&A. for both me and Mrs. The Poor Swiss. Just because it is easier to shop online should not make you complacent!

Conclusion

There are many great websites for online shopping in Switzerland. If you know what you want to buy, you can compare the prices on these websites to find better deals.

I used to shop a lot online, especially for electronics. Now, I shop less. But when I have something to buy, I generally try to get it online. However, I only shop online for things that are cheaper online.

Online Shopping is very convenient, and this convenience is double-edged. Yes, it is great to save time and avoid having to go to a shop. However, it makes many people shop more than they would if they had to go to a shop. And sometimes, it is significantly more expensive to shop online than it is to shop in a normal shop. Therefore, it is essential to compare brick and mortar shops and not only compare online websites.

If you are interested in selling things, I have also talked about selling things online in Switzerland.

What about you? What is your favorite website for online shopping?

Mr. The Poor Swiss

Mr. The Poor Swiss is the author behind thepoorswiss.com. In 2017, he realized that he was falling into the trap of lifestyle inflation. He decided to cut on his expenses and increase his income. This blog is relating his story and findings. In 2019, he is saving more than 50% of his income. He made it a goal to reach Financial Independence. You can send Mr. The Poor Swiss a message here.

29 thoughts on “The Best Websites For Online Shopping In Switzerland”

  1. you might want to check out buchsuch.ch for printed books and the ebooks lending service called onleihe (which officially does not work with kindles however). also, tutti seems better in the german speaking part of switzerland than anibis. ricardo still being the best, their fees are rip-off

    1. Hi Ineai,

      Thanks, I am going to check them out.
      I didn’t know buchsuch. It seems that it’s working really well. I cannot read German books, but they also have English, that’s pretty cool.
      I will also check onleihe.
      I just wish these websites would have either French or English translations :P

      Yes, I have heard that from the German speaking part of Switzerland, tutti works well. But I have not had a lot of chance with it myself.
      And I agree that Ricardo fees are really bad. However, this is the only service I have been able to use to consistently sell what I needed.

      Thanks a lot for stopping by!

    1. Haha,

      This is really cool!
      I never would have thought of looking for that on Ricardo. This is a good way to make money for both sides.

      These coupons are not linked to a Supercard?

      Thanks for this cool information!

  2. before buying anything, I refer to the zero waste pyramid and always consider not buying something (refuse). If I really need something and unless urgent, I always try to find it second-hand, I use Marketplace or Facebook groups, or go to second-hand shops. At the beginning I invested some time to find the shops that suit my family’s needs, but now I’m pretty optimized.
    I thus reduced drastically the amount of things I have at home, I spend less time shopping and cleaning and my wallet is thicker: I only see benefits in the zero-waste approach

    1. Hi Pascal,

      Thanks for sharing your strategy! I didn’t even know about the zero waste pyramid before.
      I think it makes a lot of sense. To be honest, we are not really trying to reduce our waste. But we are trying to reduce our clutter and reduce our expenses. And in the end, these two concepts walk very well hand in hand.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  3. But many of the stores don’t have English as a language option which makes shopping online very difficult. Which online shops would you recommend for English speakers?

    1. Hi Anna,

      This is a good point for people that do not speak any of the national languages.
      It will depend on what you want to buy. Do you have something specific in mind?
      For instance, digitech.ch has an English translation.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Hello Mr. The Poor Swiss,
    Question?
    I would like to start selling typical artisanal (food and drink) products, like pie, cake or some real special sweets, also special (non alcoholic) drinks.
    I don’t know much about making or managing a webshop, so kan’t I join a ‘good functioning websysthem’ somewhere on the web, best a well known one in Switzerland of corse?
    Or would it be best to find someone to create a shop for me, but is this shop going to be found on the web anyhow then?
    Greetings,
    Walt

    1. Hi Walt,

      That’s a good question! And I am no expert.
      You could try with Free advertising like on Anibis and Facebook MarketPlace (and groups), but I do not know how far you can go.
      You could then set a shop on Ricardo, but the fees are pretty high.
      What I would do is create a simple website for the products and then advertise on Facebook Marketplace and (local) Facebook Groups.
      But it will definitely take time.

      I have never done that myself, so that’s all I got!

  5. Regarding the differences between Digitec and Galaxus:

    – Every product on Digitec you can buy on Galaxus
    – Prices should only be different for special promotions
    – If your shopping cart is below 50 CHF and it’s only electronics, buy at Digitec. Galaxus always has a minimum order surcharge (<50 CHF). This is weird.
    – Customer service is the same for both, sorry that you experienced problems

    Source: I work as an Engineer for Digitec Galaxus

    1. Hi Sven,

      Thanks for sharing this :)
      I did not know about the 50 CHF limit. Generally, I buy everything at digitec because the search interface used to be much better than at Galaxus, but I think they are using the same filters now.

      I did not know about the customer service being the same either. Has it always been like that?
      I may have a single bad unlucky experience indeed. I have returned many things to digitec without issues and only one to Galaxus and it was a pain. I may be biased then :)

      Thanks for stopping by!

      1. As far as I know customer service has always been the same for both sites. And weirdly enough, the same for the search interface ;) The search team added the filters from the producttype pages a few months ago, so that might add to confusion.

        To be honest, I too had my issues, having experienced the customer support from Amazon in Germany. Their attitude is more like “we really don’t care, every minute we talk to someone is more expensive than if you return the item and we refund the full amount, even after a year” and it required some attitude adjustment on my part..

        Thanks for writing this blog :)

        1. Hi Sven,

          Alright, thanks for clarifying. I must have mixed several things regarding the search interface.

          Yes, not all the websites have the same attitude towards customer service. Sometimes, it’s impossible to get refunded, sometimes it’s very easy. Sometimes, there is no way to speak to something else than a robot.
          But at least on digitec side, I have always had a great experience. And I spent way too much money there :P

          Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi JB,

      Thanks for letting me know. It seems that my information is outdated :)
      I will update the article.

      It’s a good fee if you do a monthly grocery trip to Migros. But, for us, we spend less than 100 CHF per week on our grocery trips (granted, not at Migros), so it would not be that interesting.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  6. I’m back in Switzerland and I want to transfer my account to amazon.fr but I can only choose amazon.de. Is the default Kindle store for Switzerland amazon.de? It also seems that ebooks are much cheaper in the Amazon France store…

    Can you buy ebooks on the Amazon US /UK store as well or are you restricted to Amazon France?

    1. Hi Steve,

      That’s weird. I was able to choose amazon.fr without an issue. Is the language for your account in German maybe?
      I cannot buy books on the Amazon US website, but I can buy all the books on Amazon France. All the English are available, but I pay them in EUR.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Hi, why promote companies that are not based in Switzerland and famous for being bad socially, not to mention the bad impact on the environmen?

    It’s obviously a personal choice but I prefer buying less stuff and make sure on the impact. Remember that Amazon or Zalando do not pay taxes in Switzerland nor hire people in Switzerland, which on the long term will affect you as well. Buying local is always best, small bookstores or clothes store around your place!

    1. Hi Lionel,

      In some cases, I would agree with you.
      But personally, I cannot justify paying twice more for the same book in a shop in Switzerland rather than ordering it on Amazon. If you know of a good online shop alternative to Amazon and Zalando, please let me know, I’ll check if it fits this article.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  8. for electronics there is only one place:

    toppreise.ch

    this is a price comparison tool, including shipping. Find the best deal and the best rated site…

    It is a must!

    1. Hi Sam,

      I have mentioned toppreise under Comparators. It’s indeed quite good, but the filters are pretty bad. What I do is use digitec to find what I want and once I know which model I want, I check on toppreise to see how does digitec compare.

      Thanks for sharing.

  9. I find the total experience and price to be better on BookDepository than Amazon… plus there is no shipping fee and the import tax is practically nothing (usually a few cents per book). Also the book comes in ten days or less.

    … But by far the best is the library (BCU) at Riponne! Free books… if you manage to turn them in in time… but if not, there’s now online renewal. Also the librarians will often buy a book that is missing from the collection if you recommend it. But you have to wait a month or three after having made the demand.

    1. Hi Kara,

      Thanks for sharing your experience. I have only purchased very few books on Book Depository (mostly since I am buying for my Kindle).
      But I will try them the next time I have some physical books to order.

  10. Oh and for secondhand, I prefer petitesannonces.ch . Maybe because I am also American and it has the craigslist allure. :)

  11. Neon doesn’t seem to have “no fees” when sending money from Switzerland to abroad. They charge a hefty 0.8-1.7%. That is insane considering I’m looking for a method to transfer a monthly payment to my Interactive Broker account (I want to start with about 2500/month -> at least 800/year just in transfer fees!). My best option so far is transfering CHF to a DKB account in germany, which gets converted to EUR. From there I can transfer the money to Interactive Brokers on their EUR account in germany.
    How do you do it?
    Are there fee-free alternatives with interbank rates?
    What would be the best method?

    1. Hi,

      It’s correct, international transfers are not free with Neon. They have a 0.40% fee on top of TransferWise fees.
      You do not need an international transfer for IB, they have a CH IBAN. You just do a national CHF transfer. I am doing that for free every month.

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