Shopping Online

14 Mar

Slowly we are becoming a virtual world, things are slowly moving from the age-old brick and mortar to digitized versions. Being as curious as I am with trying out new things I have some experience buying stuff online. Some of it good and some bad;


My first online purchase was through rupu, they had this amazing offer for some therapy by body contour. I decided to try it out and see what it is they had to offer. I bought the offer via Mpesa and I got an e receipt which I was to redeem at Body Contour. On the D date I went to Body Contour and surprisingly I got into the therapy (don’t ask me what therapy it was, I enjoyed myself though except for the steam bath, I hear such heat is bad for men who are still planning on having kids…)session straight away.

Rupu I must say really increase my confidence in purchasing stuff online, it set a good precedence.


This must be the biggest online store for books, you now know where I am going with this. There was this time I was commuting long distances to work and I decided what better way to utilize those 3 hours daily than through reading. I read reviews about e readers and settled on the kindle e ink display reader. The day of purchase I ensured I had some funds in my account (living hand to mouth means the account sometimes has 0 balance, so quit looking surprised), When put my Coop Bank visa card number, they charged 89 shillings instead of dollars! Several trials later and failed attempts to link it with my PayPal account I called it quit. I ask a friend if they may have dollars in their PayPal account (people are making money online, I think am the only one who never learned the ropes!) and they say they had just withdrawn everything.  My cousin tells me they have a prepaid KCB visa card which I can use if I want, and I load it and voila the transaction is successful, you should have seen the relief on my face. After I purchased my Kindle I think it took three weeks to ship using USPS (these guys are very reliable from my subsequent purchases). USPS provide a tracking number which helps know the movement of your package and reduce the time you spent going to check your post office box. What I had overlooked is that it had to go through customs, it came at a time when I was away and a friend was to pick it up for me. They were told they had to pay custom duty which was quite exorbitant (almost half the damn thing!). Anyway I got my kindle in one piece and I was quite excited that I forgot about all that. My commute was really made interesting, I was doing 500 pages a week, that is four books a months, let me brag, okay am done!


When Nation and DTB launched this card they mentioned that it could be linked with PayPal, that basically sold it to me. After the hustle I had gone through making payment with Visa, NationHela was Godsend. In my subsequent purchases I usually load the card and purchase via PayPal and has served me well. Their customer care is superb, there is always a guy on the other end when I call to have my password reset (yes I forget it quite often) or have him tell me my balance, however of late they cannot do that. I find it odd they never tell you your balance amount once you top up the card, you know like the way Mpesa does it, telling you your new balance.


I was just browsing stuff, when I came across this cigar barrel fountain pen. I loved it and two weeks later I had it in my mailbox.

Deal extreme

I bought a replacement battery for my iPod last year from these guys, they had a sweet deal with free shipping to Kenya. Well to date I am yet to see any package in my mailbox. They customer service is automated and a bit crappy. After reading reviews on the internet it seems several people have lost packages after buying products from I was to expect my package on 28th December 2013 from my inquiry with one of the online robots but that has kept on changing. They also don’t provide tracking for goods below a certain value ($12 I think), also it being based in China they do not have strict laws to protect consumers therefore you can get screwed, which I think I did.


After I moved into my new house last year, I did not have much in terms of furniture and having a laptop sit on my laps for long hours was burning my thighs, I also hear that the heat is bad for sperm production. This set me out to find a nice laptop table, after window shopping everywhere(read supermarkets) without finding anything to suit my needs I went online and started searching. I came across this portable and foldable laptop table which I instantly liked, I could then work from the bed comfortably. I called the guy who was selling the item and we agreed to meet in a public place, just incase, this is Nairobi you know, sure enough the laptop table was as he had described and I bought it. It has been quite handy since then especially due to its portability.

N-soko deals

These guys had these amazing offers on blu-ray home theaters with tall boy speakers that really got me interested. I decided to test they efficiency before getting myself screwed again (refer to deals extreme above). I booked something on offer too but of a lesser value. I bought the item later only to realize they do not have the items with them and their prices are not always updated. Now Nsoko deals works this way:

  • You place an order;
  • Nsoko deals receives the order and they send you a booking fee;
  • You pay the booking fee;
  • Nsoko deals contact a merchant who delivers the product to their offices;
  • You are given an option to have it delivered or go to pick it from their offices; and
  • You pay the balance when you get your item.

It took them one week to liaise with the vendor to get what I had ordered and at some point the guys at Nsoko deals confused me with the vendor and called me, that is how I got to know they had some loopholes in their Just In Time(JIT) system (I can’t explain what JIT at the moment but you can Google if it is jargon to you). When I got my product the balance I was told to pay was more than the price indicated on the website, after complaining about it and the IT guys going through their system they admit they hadn’t updated their pricing, another loophole. And with that I quit any thought of buying a home theater from Nsoko deals

And that is how my experience has been shopping online, both good and bad. How about you?


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7 responses to “Shopping Online

  1. Savvy Kenya (@savvykenya)

    March 18, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    Wow you’ve done a post most similar to mine. Here are my experiences online. Some, not all.

    I prefer online shopping, saves me a lot of time.

    As for buying things from abroad and having them shipped, customs duty is now so high, and I think VAT has been included, that your item will cost almost double! Such a tragedy. Even books are subject to the harsh taxes.

    • mackel9

      March 18, 2014 at 7:29 pm

      Seems we have been in the same boat of online shopping ey 😉
      Right now I am wary of shopping east (read / China) apparently there are no consumer protection laws in China, even PayPal warns you that you may not recover your money after transacting(there is a way you can lodge complains and the retailer is made to refund your account, not the case here with China), customer may not be king over there (I stand to be corrected, but from my experience with dx I don’t feel crowned or like anybody’s King!). Europe and North Americas have strong consumer protection laws, while products may be a dollar more in these, you are assured of their quality and delivery. They even have actual people not robots in the customer care(I am a picky customer so I know hehe). As for the Kenyan scene am still testing the waters.
      In regard to books just buy the ebooks, and you wont have to declare custom, only downside you can’t have an actual library with physical books, hence no autographs when the author visits Kenya say in 10 years or you attend book fair where they are in attendance….

      • Savvy Kenya (@savvykenya)

        March 19, 2014 at 10:00 am

        I know, I buy e-books too, and have installed a Kindle reader app on my laptop and Note 3.

        Sorry you lost your money to the Chinese.

        The Kenyan online scene is sloowly growing, especially considering the new model of pay on delivery. That way, you pay for what you have already seen as is the case with

        I know people who have been disappointed by rupu because you have to pay first, and the item delivered is nothing to close to the glossy pictures they put on the site

      • mackel9

        March 19, 2014 at 10:43 am

        I will survive, it’s a learning experience ey? We live we learn and we educate others… 🙂
        In the Kenyan scene I use the online store to window shops and know how far I can push my bargain when I go to an actual store, I have had to learn how to bargain and I am not ashamed to say so hehehe


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