Over 80,000 online stores with the best prices on electronics, mobile phones, fashion items, office equipment, baby food and other items and yet you can’t get them to your door with crazy shipping rates from USA. Not even with the year round discount sale going on. You are definitely missing a lot.
Online shopping is a form of electronic commerce shopping, which allows consumers to buy goods or services from a seller over the internet using a web browser. The evolution of e-commerce has necessitated online shopping which consumers consider as an easier means of shopping compared to the painfully exhausting traditional shopping at retail stores, trust me, going from one store to another can be stressful, not to talk of looking for where to park your car, extra cash spent on food and drinks plus the tips and payment to be made at the parking lot. Some of the advantages of online shopping include:
- Competitive Prices: This is so because all year round in the United States of America online stores, retailers and wholesalers sell out products at a huge discounted price. This makes it quite lucrative if you are re-seller in your country or buying for personal use.
- Cost Comparison: Unlike the herculean process of moving from stores to stores searching for good bargains there are platforms like groupon which shows you the best prices, deals, coupons with discounted offers and promos from various online stores in USA without you leaving the comfort of your home or office.
- Convenient and Time Saving: With online shopping no time is wasted on looking for parking space at the malls or paying unnecessary bills when you go shopping. Stores are available 24/7 online. Shoppers can shop at their convenience using your mobile phone, tablet or laptop.
- Reviews and Ratings: Well this is one sure way to know more about the product/seller you are about to buy from; and these are genuine feedback from those who have already bought and tested the product. We will advise you select products with 5 star rating and detailed reviews before buying any item online.
For those who travel from Africa to the United States, online shopping isn’t much of a big deal and they can tell you first-hand how swift, easy and convenient it is shopping from online stores like Walmart, Amazon, Macys, EBay etc.
Not until about 7 years ago before some ecommerce stores began to spring up across the African continent. The level of awareness and exposure was not well appreciated, but with the rise of local ecommerce platforms like Konga, Jumia, Yudala etc, this has made a lot of people conversant with online shopping. Albeit, you cannot compare the amount of money you save buying directly from USA where you have those selling on the aforementioned platforms re-selling to you. Bulk of these items like clothes, shoes, handbags, perfumes, phones, televisions and more are shopped for personal and commercial use from USA.
We all want those huge discounts we see only on online stores like Zappos, Walmart, eBay, Amazon and others in USA. Such massive discounts of course we do not get in our local stores anyway.
So many ask, ” how can I get it delivered to my door when those stores don’t ship to Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya and other African countries? How do I know what it will cost me to ship these products from USA to my location? These are some questions you are already asking yourself.
There is no doubt that the best deals on products are available on top international stores especially in the US. However, such great deals become watered down with outrageously expensive international shipping costs. This has been the major setback to consumers in shopping and shipping from international stores.
Some of the challenges faced by consumers on shopping internationally as well as shipping their items will be discussed in this piece with the right solutions and guide.
INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING FROM USA
International shipping deals with the transportation of packages/cargo from one country to another. In this context, it describes shipping of items bought from online stores in the US to any part of Africa.
Many online stores don’t offer international shipping as lots of them are majorly created to serve their surrounding residents and environment. Shoptomydoor, a US based freight forwarding company with local offices in Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya offers a real time solution to hassles of international shipping of goods bought on US online stores. Basically, you are assigned a part of the 23,000 square feet warehouse which now allows you to shop like a US resident. Other countries can equally use the special addressing system to shop and Shoptomydoor through her logistics partners delivers stress-free across Africa.
Shoptomydoor has two methods for international shipping:
- Air shipping; and
- Ocean shipping (currently for just Nigeria)
International shipping could be via Air or Sea with different transit times. Shoptomydoor offers the following services that makes it easy to shop from USA:
- Air shipping from the US with guaranteed delivery in 5 business days to any country in Africa.
- Weekly ocean shipping to Nigeria that takes just 6 – 8 weeks.
- A FREE USA Warehouse and 14 days free storage.
- Consolidated shipping – that allows you shop from one or more online stores and allows you receive it all as one package.
- 24/7 tracking and constant update on status of shipment that gives you peace of mind, until packages are delivered.
- 100% guaranteed delivery or money-back in case of loss or damage on shipment.
CHALLENGES OF ONLINE SHOPPING AND SHIPPING
There are many challenges being faced by buyers shopping online from US stores, as well as shipping their items to their location here in Africa, such challenges include but not limited to the following:
- Little or inadequate knowledge on international online stores to buy from
- Little knowledge on what stores to get great deals on products
- Unreliable shipping company to bring goods from US
- Exorbitant international shipping cost
- Delays in delivery time
- Poor cargo handling by some shipping companies that leads to delivery of damaged items and even item loss in some cases
- Little knowledge on native country’s import regulations on products
- Skepticism of many at shopping with their Visa or Master card online
SOLUTIONS AND GUIDE TO SHOPPERS
Having served over 150,000 customers in the past 9 years, Shoptomydoor understands the nitty gritty of online shopping and international shipping. Below are some guides to online shopping and international shipping:
- Due to her presence in the US, Shoptomydoor have done rigorous grouping of trusted US stores based on the category of commonly shopped items. If you want a list of stores you can shop from using your VISA or MasterCard, send us an email or call 0700-800-8000.
- A friendly shipping rate cannot be overemphasized in the case of international shopping and shipping. Aside the super-normal profit by some major shippers that contributes to the high shipping cost, there are other important factors that makes shipping cost go higher. The Chief of it all is a situation where a low weight item but wide in volume pays higher shipping cost.
The following are tips on how to reduce the cost of international shipping:
- Shoe box removal prior to shipping – Buying shoe for personal use may not necessarily require that the shoe comes in its original box. Box size increases the volume of a shoe which typically causes the shipping cost of a pair of shoe to go higher.
- Checking the package dimensions online before ordering – Most sites will list the product dimensions of the item you are interested in. However, not all stores list the dimensions of the package that such items are shipped in.
Let’s take real examples from our commonly shopped and shipped items:
60 Inches Sony Bravia 3D LED HD TV
We are using this because it is one of the most purchased item and of course the dimensions will give you a guide on other TVs you can buy from Amazon.
Typically this TV has its dimensions listed as 56.8 x 2.6 x 35 with its weight measured as 57 pounds (lb). Now, this is the product’s dimension and cannot be used to calculate the shipping cost. By standard, all international shippers use the packaged dimension which is more accurate.
In the packaging box, the dimensions are 60 x 8 x 37 inches, and weighs 87 pounds (lb). Hence there is a difference between the shipping dimensions and the product dimensions, though not much in most cases; it can be large in some. In some instances, you will see items with smaller shipping dimensions but bigger product dimensions, if they are items that are shipped dismantled, and needing assembly before use. Hence you can verify from the store the shipping dimensions in order to have a good idea of the actual shipping cost.
On the other hand, checking the package weight and dimension is also important in checking on the estimated shipping cost before ordering. It’s important that one always check the availability of automated quote tool on shipper’s website for cost estimate verification before ordering any product.
- Setting the priority right for items you need for fast arrival – You know better how urgent or important an item is to you. While some might be needed for critical times others might not be urgent. Having this in mind, ocean shipping is always the best option in moving such items from the US if they are not urgent at a cheaper rate than shipping via air, which is more expensive but not as expensive as what major shippers give you. Typically you save an average of $120 using Shoptomydoor, and that is because you do not pay those extra charges like:
- Airline handling charges
- Clearing agent charges
Our weekly ocean, though not to all countries for now is a great way to save money if you are in Nigeria. You can buy bigger or bulky items and even automobiles (car, power bike, trucks, car parts etc).
If you have questions regarding shopping from US stores and how they can be delivered to you no matter your location in Africa, feel free to chat with us on our website https://www.shoptomydoor.com and we will clarify any doubt you have regrading shopping & shipping from the US.