Courier service for a small online store

Sally-san

Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2018
Messages
12
So the question is simple what would be a good courier service for a small e-commerce store.

So more info:
- Based in Johannesburg
- Selling PC parts and board games
- As its a side project and i wont have much time to market it i dont expect to get many sales per month at first.

Lastly, do you guys have any ideas that could help me stand out as not just your average PC hardware store.

Thanks for any advice.
 

The_MAC

Executive Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2012
Messages
5,095
Just not Courier IT - I have used them twice and it was a disaster both times (I was the client buying from an online store)
 

acidrain

Expert Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2007
Messages
4,741
I have a friend that has an online store and he uses TCG. Every order I place is next day delivery and for cheap.
 

Sally-san

Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2018
Messages
12
Thanks for all of your suggestions. After looking at the options and talking to them, I've decided to go with The courier guy, seems like the best option.
 

Daruk

Honorary Master
Joined
Jul 18, 2008
Messages
38,473
The Courier Guy. Used by many online stores and other companies as well. I have used them for sending and receiving personal parcels as well. Very economical. Once you get bigger I am certain you can negotiate a better rate than the standard.
Was going to say this. They have a prepaid option where you deposit R1400 or so into an account and use them until you have to top up.
 

Daruk

Honorary Master
Joined
Jul 18, 2008
Messages
38,473
Just not Courier IT - I have used them twice and it was a disaster both times (I was the client buying from an online store)
Totally agree. I used them before TCG. Worst company ever. They tried to charge me thousands to send a laptop once.
 

Bryn

Doubleplusgood
Joined
Oct 29, 2010
Messages
14,472
So the question is simple what would be a good courier service for a small e-commerce store.

So more info:
- Based in Johannesburg
- Selling PC parts and board games
- As its a side project and i wont have much time to market it i dont expect to get many sales per month at first.

Lastly, do you guys have any ideas that could help me stand out as not just your average PC hardware store.

Thanks for any advice.
I highly recommend uAfrica. They've been mentioned a few times in the MyBroadband news section:

https://mybroadband.co.za/news/technology/260027-andy-higgins-the-ecommerce-pioneer-who-now-runs-uafrica.html
https://mybroadband.co.za/news/business/150243-6-south-african-tech-companies-to-watch.html
https://mybroadband.co.za/news/internet/301980-connect-ecommerce-summit-here-in-july.html

Check them out at uafrica.com.

Even if you only take a cheaper account out with them, you'll pay similar rates to what you otherwise would per-order anyway if you didn't use uAfrica. Except if you do use uAfrica, you get a snazzy portal to manage all your orders, you can choose between The Courier Guy, Dawn Wing and Courier IT on a per-order basis and you'll get waybills generated for you that look super professional. Their customer service is outstanding too.

If you exclusively use one courier, like The Courier Guy, that's fine. Makes no difference. If you organise preferential rates directly with The Courier Guy (or Dawn Wing or Courier IT), uAfrica supports plugging those new rates into your account.

Also, uAfrica integrates perfectly with Shopify and WooCommerce. I'm assuming you're using one of them.

The Courier Guy. Used by many online stores and other companies as well. I have used them for sending and receiving personal parcels as well. Very economical. Once you get bigger I am certain you can negotiate a better rate than the standard.
They do tend to have the best rates of the big couriers. But they don't support all areas in SA. I have used uAfrica extensively for fulfilling orders, and Courier Guy probably has the most limited coverage of Dawn Wing, Courier IT and Courier Guy. Courier IT has by far the best coverage, but they have their own agreements where they hand parcels over to smaller couriers for certain areas so it's not purely them.

Just not Courier IT - I have used them twice and it was a disaster both times (I was the client buying from an online store)
Totally agree. I used them before TCG. Worst company ever. They tried to charge me thousands to send a laptop once.
Courier IT isn't that bad. As I mentioned above, I've used uAfrica extensively for fulfilling orders with Dawn Wing, Courier IT and Courier Guy at my disposal per order. We definitely don't have a higher rate of failed deliveries with Courier IT.

Courier Guy tends to be the cheapest to those awkward regions that aren't technically a main centre and are somewhat unfairly classified as regional. For main centres, there is no difference between the 3 couriers for price or speed. Courier IT has by far the most comprehensive coverage, due to their partner network, so often you have to use them. Their customer service is no worse than Dawn Wing or Courier Guy tbh - they're all fairly poor but good enough to solve issues if you work around the fact that they will never call you back. And certain issues can be sorted out by uAfrica which is nice - they are awesome.

One of the great things about uAfrica is that you don't need to have allegiance to any single courier. Just go with the cheapest quote for each order and ensure you have the sleeves to package your orders appropriately.
 

arabianmaiden

Active Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2018
Messages
46
TCG, The Courier Guy, my favourite most economical and simplest courier company. Love their quick service. Sometimes I go with ECO road freight because it's the best price, and it arrives at the customer's the next day! Keep it up TCG :)
 

Daruk

Honorary Master
Joined
Jul 18, 2008
Messages
38,473
Courier IT isn't that bad. As I mentioned above. We definitely don't have a higher rate of failed deliveries with Courier IT.

Courier IT has by far the most comprehensive coverage, due to their partner network, so often you have to use them. Their customer service is no worse than Dawn Wing or Courier Guy tbh - they're all fairly poor but good enough to solve issues if you work around the fact that they will never call you back.
You are basing what you say on your own experience, as am I. Courier IT were the pits. I've had trouble with most services I've used but with CourierIT, the constant time spent phoning them to resolve things became too much for me. Again, just my personal experience.
 
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Bryn

Doubleplusgood
Joined
Oct 29, 2010
Messages
14,472
You are basing what you say on your own experience, as am I. Courier IT were the pits. I've had trouble with most services I've used but with CourierIT, the constant time spent phoning them to resolve things became too much for me. Again, just my personal experience.
I'm saying that my experience involved hundreds of parcels to every corner of the country. If Courier IT was worse than the other couriers it should have been pretty clear.

In fact, one area they have the edge over their rivals is collections. They have always been excellent with how frequently they stop by - several times a day compared to almost always once for the others.
 

Bryn

Doubleplusgood
Joined
Oct 29, 2010
Messages
14,472
In that case you can just as well use Pargo - way bigger footprint:
https://pargo.co.za/
For a small store, using only Pargo might be fine if your customers don't have an issue with it. But when you're sending a lot, Pargo is an absolute pain compared to uAfrica. The integrations are either poor or broken, so it's very manual.

Where I found Pargo to be a godsend is trying to get regional customers to use it. Conventional courier to regional areas is crazy expensive, so it made sense to double the shipping costs for regional users except for Pargo to incentivise it (options presented after entering delivery address). R75 ex VAT per regional order is just killer compared to Dawn Wing, Courier IT and Courier Guy.
 
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