As much as I blogged about being careful when doing online shopping, it’s a convenience I cannot do without. I don’t have time to physically browse through shops for electronics, clothes or books. I’d rather shop online at my desk, take in the wide variety, compare options easily, then swoop in for the
kill sale.. And not just shopping, online banking, investing, booking of tickets, checking in etc.
Some websites are fully integrated, you buy and pay for the goods using a credit/debit card. But some like OLX are like a market place, just bringing together the buyer and seller, and how you exchange payment is up to you. However, I recommend cash/M-Pesa.
Anyway, sometime ago, I was on the website browsing for laptops. My brother lost his and as a good big sister, I offered to buy him one. So the minimum specifications we were looking for are:
- 4GB of RAM
- Core i3 Processor (FIFA 2013 can only play on Core i3 and 4GB RAM minimum)
- 250GB of memory (for movies and series)
- Good battery Life (at least 5 hours)
- Bluetooth, Webcam, and other basics
First, we tried sites such as jumia and others that sell electronics, but the price was a bit higher than our 35-40K budget (and you can’t bargain on these sites). So finally, we checked out OLX and most of the laptops we could find were not new, which affected the battery life and warranty.
We finally found a shop listed at CBD and called the owner and set a date to visit the shop. We got a Lenovo laptop that was virtually new with the minimum specifications (and more memory, it had a hard disk of 500GB) for 36K.
(Say we’d get a similar one for 54K on jumia). We then decided to check out some computer shops in town to compare prices and the minimum we got was 45K. So we went back and took the Lenovo.
The reason why I trusted the guys is they ran a computer shop with a verifiable address. We met at the shop and it seemed legit. We tested the laptop, they installed Office and some other programs for us, and off we went.
So yeah, there are many success stories online, especially for buying. For selling, it’s been hard to find a platform but at least OLX seems to have enough buyers to ensure your item sells so try them out.
A fellow blogger too, talks about his online shopping experiences. Check it out.