By: Sam Sokol – Jewish Telegraphic Agency; jta.org
Walk into an Israeli post office or one of the many local stores that have lately been serving as ad-hoc delivery centers and you’ll be confronted by a jumble of boxes sealed with the telltale black and blue packing tape from Amazon.com.
Orders from the American online retail giant have surged here in recent weeks, following the launch of the company’s Hebrew-language online storefront and the offer of free shipping from the United States.
American immigrants to Israel have long relied on sites like Amazon to purchase products unavailable to them in the Jewish state, but the available evidence suggests a surge in purchases of the kinds of everyday items that were previously not cost-effective to have shipped in from abroad.
“I bought toys for my grandchildren at a fraction of the cost, makeup, hair products. My friend bought saline,” Ronit, a resident of the Jerusalem suburb of Beit Shemesh, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “It’s good for my wallet because a lot of stuff is just so much cheaper: ziploc bags, shampoo, makeup.”