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Amazon is the largest online store in the world. They have what seems like an endless range of products.
Thanks to the internet, we are all global customers and we see products from all over the world. You might see something that you want that can only be bought overseas
Here we will explain to you how to buy from Amazon from South Africa
Table of Contents
Create An Account
To create an Amazon account, start off by heading the Amazon website by clicking on the link below.
Once you are on the Amazon website, To the right near the top there is a tab that says Hello. Sign in. Move your mouse over it and when you do, you will get a dropdown menu that says Start Here.
Click on Start Here and you will see the page to create your account. Enter your name, email address and choose a password. Your account is now created. You can now buy from Amazon.
How to place an order on Amazon
- Go to Amazon.com store to place an order
- Browse through the storefront to find the items that you want to buy. If you are looking for specific product, search for it in the search field near the top of the screen.
- Add all products you want by clicking Add To Cart near the right end of the screen.
- When you are done shopping, click on Proceed To Checkout and input your address.
How To Pay
Buying on Amazon is a straightforward process but there are some limitations that you need to know about when you are buying from South Africa.
Paying with Debit / Credit Card
Paying with a card is the most common option. The process is staightforward and no different to paying with your card in South Africa. Simply go to the checkout area and under payment details you will need to input your debit card details and your address.
Paying with Payoneer
If you do not want to use your debit card or credit card for safety reason, you can use a Payoneer account. Payoneer allows you to make and receive payments from overseas. The great thing about Payoneer is that it is the official payment partner for Amazon. People who make money through Amazon’s Associate Program can only get paid through payoneer if they want a digital payment. You can read up about the benefits of Payoneer and how to create a Payoneer account on our article: How To Set up A Payoneer Account in South Africa.
Amazon Gift Cards
Another way to pay for product on Amazon is through gift cards. It can be a gift card that was given to you and comes with a code. You can also buy gift cards on Amazon through the website.
Does Amazon Ship To South Africa?
The short answer is yes. The long answer is that while Amazon does ship to South Africa, it does not sell all the products itself. Many of their products are sold by different vendors through Amazon and some of those vendors do not ship to South Africa.
When making a payment, make sure that you tick the “delivers to South Africa” filter in searches. This will simplify things by only showing you items that you can buy and have shipped to you. You will see in big red letters if it doesn’t ship to South Africa Also, you want a seller that ships with Amazon, i.e. fulfilled by Amazon. This means that the product has to be delivered by Amazon or one of their partners and you are guaranteed reliable service in having your package delivered. In South Africa, Amazon is partnered with Aramex for delivery. They are relatively affordable and reliable.
What’s great about Amazon is that they charge you import fees and state them upfront. This means that you know how much your purchase is going to cost from the start and you pay the price and import fees all at once. If the import fees are less than what was estimated, the amount gets kicked back to you, which is always a nice feeling.
When shopping for an item, it can help you to look across Amazon, Amazon UK, and Amazon DE. Sometimes a product can be much cheaper on one store than it is on the other. Just by taking the extra time to check the different store can save you a good deal of money, which is great, especially when you are buying products that are on the more pricey side. From my experience, products are usually cheaper on the US store and exceptions are when products are made in Europe.
Shipping To South Africa From Amazon
When buying on Amazon you have the choice to ship through postal or courier. Courier are companies like Aramex and DHL. They do not go through the post office and parcels usually fly through customs without any delays. They then deliver the package to your door. Aramex is the company that Amazon deals with in South Africa. Dealing with any other company will likely cost y ou a lot more, at around R400 at the minimum. The USPS option is postal so it goes to the post office. If you ship through them, they should send you a note to go pick up your parcel at the post office that is associated with the delivery address.
Avoid Post Office Shipping
South Africa’s postal service has a bad reputation and there are a lot of risks with shipping via postal. The best option is to ship products through a courier. It will cost more but you have the peace of mind of knowing that you will receive your purchase and in reasonable time. With postal, the package can make it to South Africa fairly easily. Once your package arrives in SA, you will get a new tracking number. The problem is that stuff can be stuck in customs for two to three weeks, although it’s not unusual for a parcel to take two months to reach you. There are even reports of packages taking two years to reach the recipient.
When you buy and there are delays, it is not the company that you are paying for the shipping, but rather with customs where the issues lie. All companies that ship through postal are at the mercy of customs and you can have a 2-3 month wait in the worse case scenario. If a site offers up a courier fee that is between R400 and R500 you should go with that.
Courier Shipping With Amazon
Aramex is the company that is partnered with Amazon for fulfilling orders in South Africa. The way it works is that Aramex have addresses all over the world that you can ship to. They ship to the place that is closest to the vendor from whom you are buying. From there the product gets shipped to you, wherever you are in the world.
So when you are buying on Amazon and you use Aramex for shipping, just use Aramex as if it was your own address. Aramex will know from the address that the parcel belongs to you and will notify you by email when they get it. So to summarize, the steps are as follows.
- Place an order on a desired site with the address that Aramex provides.
- When the order arrives, Aramex will notify you and you must then pay.
- After you have paid, Aramex will ship that package to you and all you have to do then is wait for it to arrive at your door.
How Long Does It Take For Amazon To Ship To South Africa?
According to the Amazon website, it takes 2 weeks or 10 to 14 business days for an Amazon package to reach you in South Africa. This is an estimated and I have had many packages delivered within a week of placing the order. When you view an item on Amazon, on the right side of the screen above the “Add to Cart” button, it will tell you that the item ships to South Africa and how long the product takes to ship to get here.
For Amazon to ship to South Africa is usually 1 week. Thereafter, there is the 3-5 days that it will take for the item to go from the courier (like Aramex) to your doorstep.
There are premium options like Expedited Shipping and Priority Shipping which can reduce the wait time considerable. Expedited Shipping estimated time is 8 to 16 days, while the estimated time for Priority Shipping is 2 to 7 business days.
The cost of Shipping
You pay shipping to the Aramex address, which is usually free. Then you pay Aramex to ship to South Africa. If you are a frequent buyer and are wondering if you can bundle products together, you can. To be able to do that you have to join Aramex’s flex membership programme which costs R1500 per year. You can stack orders from multiple places to have them delivered in one go to save costs. For more information on the flex membership you can read about it on Aramex’s website here.
Why Buy From Amazon?
Buying products that are not available in South Africa – Amazon allows you to buy specific products that you want that aren’t sold by merchants in South Africa. This is done in an affordable manner for the most part, so you don’t have to compromise on your buying needs.
Some products are cheaper – This is particularly true with electronics. Many of the products are cheaper than buying locally, even with shipping costs and import fees included.
Buy With Peace of Mind
And that is all the information you need to do to buy from Amazon in South Africa. If you follow the steps laid out above, you shouldn’t have any problems with buying and shipping
Thanks to companies like Aramex that have bridged the gap between us and Amazon, buying that desirable product that is not available in South Africa is not as difficult as it once was. Things will certainly get even better as Amazon supports South Africa more directly, thanks to the globalizing of online shopping. You can now place orders from Amazon with the peace of mind from knowing that you will get your order without issues.