Hello dear people!
My first online purchase was my camera back in December 2009. At that time, the local price of the same item was way more expensive as compared to what was being sold online. This is also applicable for numerous items that I have been purchasing online since then. If I had to name all of them, I will probably end up writing only a few of them because my memory is so bad. That’s why I like writing about special things so that it remains forever, while being beautifully indexed by search engines lol.
10 years later, things have changed a lot. With online shopping becoming more accessible and local competition growing feriously, several shops now offer competitive prices for a large variety of products, and most often, depending on products, you can grab very interesting deals, comparable to online products and on top of that, you can even get warranty on the items.
However, there are still some exceptions, as always.
Unfortunately, a large number of people still put exagerated prices on items purchased for nearly half the prices, and sometimes for peanuts. You can’t blame them, they totally have the right to put any price tag they want.
A few days back, I posted the following images on my Facebook page:
So, as you can see above, an item costing Rs 340 on AliExpress is being sold at Rs 750 here in Mauritius. While some people argue that the profit margin might be acceptable because of the costs associated to run the business, I nevertheless still find the price too high. Anyway, that’s not the point of this blog post.
So, Item 2 is the real motivation behind this blog post! I came upon the following item an hour ago:
So, a “Whistle Key Finder” is being sold at Rs200 while on AliExpress, the same item is available for less than a quarter of the price.
I really feel sad for people going to rush over to this seller to buy these items. At the same time, it is a shame that some people put such high profits on cheap items like the one above.
Let’s come to Item 3:
I have been regularly posting my Sonoff WIFI purchases on my page, so let’s talk a bit about some similar products for sale in the island.
With powerful Facebook algorithms running over the internet, I regularly find the product below showing up in my feeds. And when I compared the price to AliExpress, well, believe me, it is cheaper here, even without the “Mother’s Day” sale, advertised.
So, that’s the proof that the world is also full of good people ♥
This said, I should move item 3 to another section lol. I have not personally used the brand but I believe that they should do the job correctly. I can’t review any of them yet.
Wholesale shops in the island
Those working in Port Louis know very well what I’m talking about.
Port Louis is not only about Caudan, the Central Market, the offices and Champs de Mars. You can find real gems (in forms of deals) in Port Louis if you know where to look. And be ready to bargain if needed!
I’m hereby referring to the numerous wholesale shops you can find far from the hype areas. I really miss working in Port Louis.
Just to quote of these wholesale shops
- Snacks which everyone love eating (twisties, super ring etc etc).
You can easily save loads of money when buying large quantities. For example, up to Rs2 per SuperRing, if I still remember
- Plastic items (plates, glasses and plastic bags for bread, bins)
I usually pay a Rs50L plastic bag for bins at Rs2.50 each whereas in supermarkets, one similar bag (with a beautiful packaging and brand name) is sold for nearly Rs4.00 each!
- Spices, dried fruits, peanuts, cashewnuts etc
Instead of buying these in supermarkets, buy them in large quantities and store them carefully. Again, loads of savings possible out here!
- Toys. I can’t stop myself from mentioning the name of Lindsay Trading.
Some big shops and supermarkets (which I can’t name here) purchase their items from here and put them on their own shelves for twice the amount. I’m not kidding!
I still remember a guy buying a fidget spinner with a hawker for Rs150 while they were in front of Lindsay Trading. And few minutes before, the hawker purchased a bunch of spinners from Lindsay for less than Rs 50 each. That’s life and how our economy can continue running lol.
A visit to a famous toy shop
Some weeks back, I was looking for an electric vehicle (toy of course) for my kids and I ended up in a very re-known shop in Quatre Bornes. When I was asked about my budget and exact requirements, I was shown a variety of items which can be imported on request. And guess what web site was opened in front of me?
They imported their products from AliBaba!
For those who don’t know, AliBaba and AliExpress are “sister” companies, whereby AliBaba normally sells wholesale items whereas AliExpress targets particulars for retail shopping.
No need for credit cards
Some time back, online shopping was not possible for many because of a single reason : They did not have a credit card. This is mainly applicable to students or people working for themselves or even those who do not want to take risks by having a credit card.
Well, things changed now. You have prepaid cards which work perfectly online. You go to a bank. Buy a prepaid card, let’s say, for Rs5,000. Next time you are shopping online, just use that card as your credit card.
I know that SBM offers such a service to clients and non-clients. You can read more about the SBM Smile Card here. A quick Google Search revealed that MCB has such cards too.
Le client est roi
You as a customer, you have total control over what you are purchasing. So, instead of jumping on anyone selling items whether in a shop, a mall, on the road side or on Facebook, try to look for the same item on the net.
To make you feel better : Remember, the guy or shop doesn’t has a factory producing these items. At the end of the day, they also need to buy them from somewhere too and add some profit margin…
So, if you can afford to wait for some time, you will save loads.
What's your excuse now for not shopping online?
To those who might tell me : “B al asté to comissions online!“
My reply : “Oui, mo asté online meme, lo on winners.mu 😛” ROFL!
And if they reply back saying : “Et to fam?“
My reply : “Non, sane la ine faire 1 sel exemplaire, apres l’usine ine fermer!!!“
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Your posts are very interesting. Keep posting.
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Hi, really good blog here. Maybe you can do a topic on the custom clearing, when buying a big size product for example. Cause, I personally buy things online, small items which comes directly in mailbox or nearby post office. But what about buying the electric ride on car? Thanks, Keep it up
Thanks for your comment.
Well, i do not think that there are any restrictions on the size of item. I did not buy anything that huge but once, I did buy a set of rain shields for car and it was quite a lengthy (but thin) box. The item was held at the central parcel office and I had to go there, just for formalities.
The only thing which is important is the value of the item. If your parcel costs more than Rs30k (70% of shipping charges can be included in the total amount), then you will need a broker to clear your item out of the customs.
hello your blog is interesting and contains pratical info that are helpful, when purchasing online sometimes is the tax (duty )that would aplicable on the item , how do you get this info individually for your items so you know if its worthwhile to buy online as to purchase locally.
Sorry for late reply and thanks for the comments.
The list of duty applicable on categories of items is available on the MRA web site from this link : https://www.mra.mu/download/ImportedGoods.pdf
So, when calculating the total cost, do not forget to add the shipping cost, the vat (where applicable) and the duty (where applicable).