The South African Rand has taken a bit of a battering lately having lost over 45% of its value in the last two years. The opportunity to by down South has been screaming louder and louder by the day, something I have been taking heed of for some time now.
With a stronger United States dollar, Zimbabweans are able to buy stuff in South Africa, import it, pay duty and still land it at prices that are cheaper than what goods being sold here cost. This could point to the high price of doing business in Zimbabwe or that retailers here are out to make a killing, and if they could to suck our blood out.
Well, I’ve been shopping in South Africa, from well established stores like Game, Mr Price, Jet, Edgars and even the online shop Zando, without a passport (no, I’m not border jumping) or even getting out of my house.
I share all the ‘how to’s’ today, so that you too can get to experience the weakened Rand and the convenience of shopping online.
Zimboshopper call themselves a shopping club. Basically, to join them, you will need to pay a subscription (hold on a sec, it’s just a few bond coins) and that will entitle you to get quotations for the items you want in SA.
Some time ago, they say, they were faced with enquirers who just came looking for quotes and costing them valuable time in either searching online, or going store to store looking for a quotation. To mitigate that, they started a subscription service, where they will only get quotations for paid up members.
In my past experience with them, they are not out to make the most out of you but would rather see to it that you get the best deal available. If there is an upcoming sale, sometimes they’ll advise you to hold your order as there is a better deal on its way.
If you know of a product being available at a certain place they are also willing to make the trip to establish the products availability and the cost.
How They Quote
There a four items that make up the cost of an item bought through Zimboshopper:
- Cost of the item in SA. They divide this by the bank exchange rate of the day
- Their commission. They charge a flat rate of 10% of the cost of the item
- Transport. The cost to ‘ship’ the goods to Zimbabwe vary and are largely based on its size – weight and volume
- Duty. Everything that they bring in is declared and customs duty is paid. This is done as they are a legit organisation and abide by the law. Don’t we all? You too were going to pay duty for the items if you went to get it yourself, as bus passengers no longer can enjoy traveller’s rebates.
Once you have recieved their quote and you’re happy, there are two methods of payments, which are highly convenient from my experience:
- Ecocash Merchant – You could pay through an Ecocash Merchant number, though this method will see you incurring the cost of payment; Ecocash transfer charges
- FBC Bank – They have an FBC bank account that you can deposit the amount in, this is somewhat cheaper (in cost) but has the added expense of going to a banking hall.
Whichever method you prefer, a simple notification to them of the details of your deposit/transfer will see them procuring your order and having it sent to you between 3 – 5 days. There is no online tracking, but your order does come through. However, you can check through the person whom you’ve been dealing with what the status of your order is. It’s a whole lot faster than buying through AliExpress.
Shipping is mostly to Harare and Bulawayo (large appliances) but you can check with them how much it costs to deliver to a town that is not these two.
Zimboshopper have offered me the best service yet when it comes to buying from South Africa. Should your goods not arrive or come damaged they are known to make sure that you get the right things, in the state that you expect them, so there are no worries here.
Have you used Zimboshopper? What has your experience been like?
How do you bring stuff in from South Africa?