There’s a saying in marketing that goes, “Sell the problem you solve, not the product”. I used a service earlier this year that embodies this quality and I simply cannot let it go by without sharing my experience with all of you.
Along with the growing knowledge of photography and videography, I’ve acquired something else. Whether yours is documented in some way or not, every tog and tech lover (or even the general consumer) has one. I’m talking about that wallet startling wish list.
Oh, yes… Takealot.com, Orms, bidorbuy, you name it. I’ve got my wishlists set up and in some cases very neatly categorized. If you know what you’d like to be the next addition to your gear, then yip… that’s your wish list.
Here’s the thing though; unless I start earning serious bucks or get sponsors/endorsement deals, my wish list is gonna remain just that for while…
Of course if you compare our prices to those of retailers abroad, shopping there is a viable option as everything is usually less expensive. For instance, check out the chart below. It’s a compilation of some gear I’d like to have when I’m big (lol). Pricing shows local retailers’ vs. some abroad.
- Orms Direct
- D850 body – R54395
- Nikon 85mm f/1.4 – R31595
- Joby Gorillapod SLR Zoom – R1015
- Manfrotto BeFree R5295
- D850 body – R44712 ($3296)
- Nikon 85mm f/1.4 – R22569.83 ($1596)
- Joby Gorillapod SLR Zoom – R579 ($41)
- Manfrotto BeFree R2671.05 ($188.88)
Bad right? Check out the flagship phone prices and try not to cry.
- iPhone 8 plus – R18344
- Samsung Galaxy Note 8 – R17499
- Huawei P10 plus 128gb – R11499
- iPhone 8 plus – R14124.53 ($998.80)
- Samsung Galaxy Note 8 – R12571.79 ($889)
- Huawei P10 plus 128gb – R8527.04 ($602.98)
(Update – BTW, the iPhone X costs R30 000 in SA. Sms “loan” to 33516….)
So why not just order abroad, right? Yes, but there’s some things to consider. The duties & taxes that’s added to the goods ordered and shipping.
The former is not much of a deal breaker depending on what you buy,but the all too frequent cases of lost goods is enough to put anyone off. I mean, my sister was kind enough to purchase and ship a tie to me while she lived in the US for a while. This was meant to be worn on my wedding day. It’s two years later, my sister moved back to South Africa and I STILL have no tie. Wanna take that chance with a camera, phone or other more expensive goods?
That was my position on ordering abroad until earlier this year when, in my search for a solution, I came across an alternative means of shipping that is perfect for the South African consumer who doesn’t want to spend an almost senseless amount of money when the gear costs much cheaper on the other side of the world. So all hope is not lost, awesome people!!!
The solution… ARAMEX GLOBAL SHOPPER
<queue angelic sound effects>
Okay, so maybe it’s not “new, new”. Maybe you’ve known about it and now you feel like, “Mav, you’ve been living under a rock”…but even so, you probably fit into the minority of people who DID know about AGS before. For the rest of us, this is a breath of fresh air and potentially a really good alternative to buying the often overpriced goods, particularly tech, from our local retailers.
Props to Sam Wright from @techgirlza as I’ve come across this service on her website and decided to give it a shot.
You can find out a lot more by visiting their site, but in a nutshell this is how the AGS service works.
- You sign up and get 24 addresses (of AGS Warehouses) spread out across the globe.
- New addresses are added as time goes along.
- You buy online and send your goods to the address in the country of the retailer you used.
- In my case, I used Amazon in the USA and upon checking out, shipped my goods to the New York City AGS address supplied. If you were to buy anything from Germany, you’d use the Frankfurt address supplied. Simple, right?
- Once it’s been received AGS takes over and gets the goods to your door.
Basically, they’re the more secured middle man who ensures you get your goods.
I gave them a shot and was saving this post until the whole process was completed, which FYI, took less than 2 weeks. Yes, 2 weeks from placing my order online to having it delivered. NYC to NMB. There are faster shipping options available, but for standard shipping, that’s NOT BAD at all!
From when Aramex takes over, there’s constant updates via email with regards to your parcel(s) and actions that needs to be carried out on your end.
Let’s talk service Fees.
- Shipping to South Africa is calculated based on the parcel weight, with the first 500g being R195. If the combined weight exceeds 500g, the rest is charged at R95 per additional 500g. So for a parcel with the combined weight of 1.2kg, shipping costs would be R393 (195 + 99 + 99)
- Tip : When ordering multiple goods,save yourself R100 by making sure that the goods you order will arrive as one parcel at the AGS warehouse. If you have two items arriving as one parcel, you get charged R195 for the first 500g once as opposed to twice if they were to arrive separately.
[Update 6/11/2017 – AGS is offering each reader a discount code for 50% off shipping within one month of signing up]
- There is also a lifetime sign up fee of $45 (around R610 at the time of this post) . Unless you frequently ship from abroad this could be considered a hefty commitment. AGS allows you to opt out within a year of signing up with a full refund, no questions asked.
- Tip : FNB clients signs up for free. Yes, As an FNB cardholder, you can sign up via the FNB website and enjoy a free lifetime membership to AGS.
- If you bank anywhere else, fret not. Until the end of November, the guys over at Aramex Global Shopper were kind enough to offer the readers of this post a $5 lifetime sign up fee, saving you $40 (around R540). Just add “AGS5MC” when signing up. Your welcome! 😃
So who is AGS for?
For everyone shopping abroad? Not quite… but for the consumer who can’t find what they’re looking for locally; for whoever wants peace of mind knowing that they’ll get their goods delivered right to their door step and doesn’t want to fork out a small fortune for said goods or shipping. For THIS individual, Aramex Global Shopper is a perfect fit.
Thanks for being awesome and reading all the way to the end. Please feel free to share if you can think of anyone that would benefit from this.
Virtual high five!
(UPDATE – October 2018 : The FNB promotion has since been removed)