In the lead up to festive season, Oliver Facey, Vice President Operations for DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa has urge consumers who are increasingly turning to online shopping portals instead of visiting physical stores to be careful.
Oliver Facey said shopping online not only offers consumers access to greater selection of products with easy to compare prices, but also allows individuals to purchase products that may not yet be available in their own country.
According to a statement signed by Megan Collinicos, Head, Advertising and Public Relations, Sub-Saharan Africa DHL Express, internet penetration in Sub Saharan Africa is below the world average of around 30 percent. “The numbers are increasing as Africans become familiar with online shopping,” read the statement.
He warns though that while there are many motivators of why to shop online, consumers must be aware of the do’s and don’ts of online shopping to avoid possible drawbacks. Consumers should also be aware of the regulations involved with purchasing from international retailers, in order to avoid incurring additional expenses, thereby making the product less of an attractive buy.
He however warns that consumers should be conscious of Customs’ import duties and taxes. “Consumers are often caught off-guard when their shipments arrive from international retailers with unexpected additional charges. It is therefore imperative for consumers to be aware that they may have to pay customs duty for their online purchases, depending on the country that they are buying the goods from.
All shipments transported across international borders must be cleared through Customs, where, depending on the type of goods being shipped, they may also be subject to additional charges. Import duties and taxes differ in each country and are usually calculated as a percentage of the item value. Import shipments may also be subject to interventions by Customs where the price, contents and country of manufacture are often investigated to mitigate a wide range of risks. This could result in delivery delays as well as additional costs.
When purchasing online products as a gift, check on the receiving country’s regulations to avoid the recipient being held liable for additional charges,” the statement read.