Pay the price you see: Shop online at local sites


With a few taps on a digital device, you can now buy products from all over the world that were once available only to those who could travel internationally. If you didn’t live in a big city, even buying South African products could involve time-consuming trips to the nearest retailer, so online shopping has improved local shopping options too.

These days you have access to top global brands as well as the best South African products without even having to leave home. A smartphone and an internet connection can turn the world into your shopping mall.

Order online, pay online and have your goods delivered to your door – what could be easier?


Some financial benefits of shopping locally


In fact, online shopping can get even easier if you shop on South African rather than international e-commerce sites. On most local sites, the price you see is the price you’ll pay (apart from delivery fees). However, if you’re shopping on international sites with prices in a foreign currency, you’ll have to calculate the currency conversion to know how much an item will cost you in rands.

And don’t forget taxes on imports – not having to pay customs duties is another benefit of shopping on local sites.


Understanding custom fees and import duties


Tariff classifications are categories used to group imported products for customs declarations. The category will determine the duty rate payable on that item.

3 common taxes that may be levied on imported goods:

  • Customs duties
    When you buy any products internationally, customs duties will usually apply. Duty rates can be calculated as a percentage of the product’s value, or as cents per unit (for example, kilogram or metre) on certain products.

  • Additional duties
    These are levied on some luxury items, such as high-end fashion goods, electronics and other non-essential imports.

  • Anti-dumping and countervailing duties
    These are imposed to protect local industries from foreign competitors that have government subsidies that enable them to undercut local pricing.

When you buy items that are liable for any of these duties from an international site, you will have to pay the customs fees when the goods arrive in SA, before they can be delivered to you. Make sure you know how much the duties will be before you place an order.

You’ll also have to work out how much your order costs in rands to cover the payment, and any fees you’ll be charged for converting currency, so you will have to do a bit of maths whenever you buy from international sites. In contrast, working out the total cost of your order on local sites is simple.


You may be pleasantly surprised to find that the South African option offers the better deal


Different shipping modes: What suits you best?


When shopping internationally, you can choose the shipping mode that suits you, but the choice will affect the delivery cost. Air transport is fastest, so it’s best for perishable goods or urgent buys. However, it’s usually the most expensive, so it’s not affordable for large items.

Ocean freight is the most budget-friendly option for long-distance shipments, especially for large items like furniture. The disadvantage is that it takes longer to arrive.

Bear in mind that if an item turns out to be defective and you need to return it to the manufacturer, you’ll probably have to use the same shipping channels. So, the sheer distance involved may make a local supplier a better choice when it comes to after-sales service.


More reasons to shop on local sites


  • You support local businesses
    When you shop with South African online retailers, you support local businesses and help create jobs. You stimulate the local economy, and most of the money generated stays within that community. If you’re buying artisanal, hand-made items because they’re high quality and last longer, local products will often be more affordable than the equivalent items from international sites.

  • You reduce your environmental impact
    When you order locally manufactured goods online, they don’t have to travel as far as international products do. This should not only reduce your delivery costs, but also lower the carbon footprint of your purchase dramatically.

There are many other factors to consider when you’re deciding between local and international shopping sites. Is the product you want even available locally? Do you need it urgently, so cost isn’t really a factor?

When the same products are available on local and international sites, you may be pleasantly surprised to find that the South African option offers the better deal.


Proudly South African shopping with Nedbank


Whether you shop online locally or internationally, you can make the process simple with Nedbank Online Banking and the Money app.

For all your online shopping needs, from prepaid electricity and airtime to high-tech devices and household appliances, with a whole lot more in between, try Nedbank’s spectacular shopping platform: Avo SuperStore. With everything you need in 1 place, Avo proves that local is indeed lekker.