I didn’t choose Amazon (by mistake), paid double the price, and this is what I learned about optimizing costs and processes - and why it was still worth it!

There’s only a few things that are less exciting than placing an order. We live in a world of within-24-hours delivery thanks to Amazon Prime. But what if you chose the producer’s online retail store over Amazon? I tried it halfway intentionally and accidentally.

TL;DR: I bought the NOMAD Wallet Case for the iPhone X through their online store. Later, I saw that Amazon offered the case which would have saved me shipping costs, customs costs, many messages and waiting time. Why it was worth the lesson, read the whole story with costs and timeline ;)


NOMAD Wallet Case price in dollar in their online store

For comparison, the current price at Amazon is 34,41 EUR with free shipping.

NOMAD Wallet Case price in euro in the German Amazon online store


Process and costs at the customs office - and a big surprise!

The customs office was 1,7 kilometers away from my place, an easy 20-minutes walk. In the customs building I walked into the room (#309) but was made aware that I’d have to wait. This is how the process continued:

The customs office building in Berlin-Marzahn (east Berlin)

The customs office building in Berlin-Marzahn (east Berlin)

The whole process happened in 3 different rooms, and I still can’t get over the Modem speed. That was a time jump into the 90s, for sure.


The delay at the customs office in Frankfurt could have been prevented because from Deutsche Post DHL I learned that the sender’s package (NOMAD) was lacking customs information. I’m not sure what information was missing (I forgot to ask) but this is something that NOMAD could take responsibility for if their goal really is „to provide the best international shipping experience possible“ as Chloë wrote me.

About the case: It’s definitely robust and solid. A bit bulkier than I thought and would have liked but together with my screen protection it should prevent damages fine.

I paid 60,87 EUR (almost twice the Amazon price) in total, had wrote emails and tweets and waited 2,5 weeks instead of 2–3 days if delivered through Amazon. So what I can say? This case better last a decade or so to be worth the time and effort I had to put into it. All that because I accidentally decided to choose the producer’s online store and not the German Amazon store. At least, now I know what price to pay when wanting to „milk my own cow“ instead of using the warmed-up Amazon cow. However, using Amazon has its own price which is e.g. bad working conditions and partly inhumane salaries for workers dealing with packages. If you don’t pay the price, somebody else does. Always!

The customs office building in Berlin-Marzahn (east Berlin)

Happy photo cos happy end - after two and a half weeks

I think at the end what I did was conscious, ethical shopping. It’s expensive (twice as usual) but guilt-free if us hedonists actually feel guilt whatsoever.

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