Online shoppers have a choice when buying from overseas websites - check on any hidden charges before clicking to buy, or wait a few months for the costs to become clearer.

Christchurch woman Evelyn Slape is one who has been caught out by unexpected extra costs. She placed an order on two weeks ago, spending about $380 on winter jackets and other clothes, but was shocked to find the parcel with her goods was being held by Customs, and she may have to pay hundreds of dollars to have it released.

"I noticed it was taking a lot of