How to import from GearBest and more

Joined
Aug 8, 2017
Messages
625
#1
Importing in SA (V1.6 Update 24/01/2019)
This information is given without warranty or guarantee and you use it at your own risk. It might be bias but this is my view on things, so use it if you wish.

We have learnt a lot about importing and would like to share this information. There are tricks to doing it and getting good response and quick delivery for cheap. This guide is for not bulk orders. Bulk is more complicated and not as simple to handle.

Full end to end quick guide
1) When ordering from overseas, do not ship by Sea unless it is heavy. Do not use "free" shipping like with Ebay or Aliexpress or Wish. "Free" shipping or cheap shipping normally is Airmail via HKPost (Hong Kong Post) or China Mail and normally takes 20-30 Working days. But once it gets to SA, it gets delivered through the Post Office and they are really unreliable and it can go missing. It can take over 1 month to move locally and to clear customs, as the Airmail is low priority so customs takes very long.You also get unregistered Airmail and Registered Airmail. Unregistered has a over 80% chance of never getting to you as there is no tracking number. Registered Airmail includes a tracking number which is better but not by much as it is still slow. Also do note that USPS (United States Postal Service) and Royal Mail (UK Mail service) might be quick to SA (7-10 days), but will also be delivered through the Post Office, so normal slow service can be expected. They also always bill you customs on everything no matter what.
2) When ordering, always pay the extra and ship with express (DHL, Aramex, TNT, Buffalo, etc). The trick is to get the express shipping for cheap. No point paying $50 for an item, and then $80 to ship (Most websites charge like that to ship to SA). You can get express shipping for cheap, but most sellers make money on shipping so the item price being the cheapest is not always the winning point on the sale.
3) When ordering, always ask for the CI (Customer Invoice) that was included with the package once the item has been sent. This might be required for customs clearance. Ensure the invoice given matches what is on the package itself when sent (You can call the shipping company to confirm this). Adjusting of value of invoices is illegal. Do not ask me about this. Please ensure that the mobile number on the order matches your number in case the shipping company does need to contact you. Use the international dialing code. Eg.
082 000 0000 is +2782 000 0000. Replace the beginning "0" of your mobile number with "+27". That's it.
4) Do note that for big mixed orders, they can take weeks to prepare the items and some items might be in stock or out of stock. Due to this, ensure you check the status and if they do split the order, they will send some of it now and some later.
5) Once it arrives, have the proof of payment and Customer Invoice ready so if customs choose to inspect your package, you can submit the documents quickly. Proof of payment has to be a bank statement.
6) Follow the tracking very carefully as they don't always phone when they require documentation so have the numbers available, and if you see anything customs related updates, call to follow up and email them if required. With most express companies, you have 48 hours to submit documents. They do try to attempt to call you. Most first time the import department will require to give their ID number so they know who the package is for.
7) If it is inspected by customs, expect to lose another 3-5 days.
8) If they ask for Importers code, tell them it is for personal use and give them your ID number. I would normally do this before it gets to SA.
9) Do take note of importing limitations such as not more then 5 mobiles phones in a box due to ICASA rules, etc. It is your job to know the rules around that. There are also battery issues when importing, etc. I do not know all the rules and which companies import what.
10) Copyrighted items or clones should not be imported. I am sure it will work for one or two, but if you bring in a bunch and it gets stopped by customs, it will be destroyed due to be fakes and your money is gone. Paypal will not cover you for these items as it is against the law for them to exist.

Payment guide
1) Don't pay directly with Credit card or any unknown method (EFT included). If it is to cheap, it might be a scam so chose a payment method that is trusted. Do not ever give a picture of your Credit Card to anybody (Front and back).
2) My advise is to pay with Paypal. There are fees, but they cover the total order if you pay specifying it is goods. Do not make a payment that states it is for mass payment. This is not covered. Aliexpress does have Alipay that I have used before.
3) When paying with Paypal, refer to below guide to be billed in seller currency. Paypal by default does the conversion to Rands and they charge an extra fee. We want to try keep the fees at the lowest so your bank is better at the conversion.
4) If you have made a mistake or think you might have been scammed with Credit Card payment, replace card ASAP, and call bank to try get a refund. You can't do this for every order though...

How to change Paypal currency conversation (New method updated on 28.02.2018)
Settings icon(top right) -> Payments -> Manage pre-approved payments -> Manage pre-approved payments (bottom left) -> See Available Funding Sources (or Set Available Funding Sources) -> Conversion Options (for card you'd like to change this option)-> Bill me in the currency listed on the seller's invoice -> Submit.

Website guides
1) I have used all the sites (Wish, Ebay, Aliexpress, Alibaba, etc). They pricing on shipping differs to much to safely use it and get the items quickly for cheap (Personal use items).
2) I suggest using the link below for items. The express shipping price is really cheap and it is a little slower the DHL/Aramex express, but still really quick and safe. If something goes wrong, they insure it to a certain value for free. Contact the companies directly for more info. Also, Paypal covers you.
3) I suggest using the GearBest link below to see their pricing. Also do research on items to ensure you don't overpay. Whichever way though, it is still cheaper to import. And the range is so much bigger and cheaper. And I am always doing reviews, coupons, giveaways.

Customs guide
1) Always have the CI(Customer Invoice) and POP (Proof of Payment) in case they ask for it.
2) No importers code required unless you order over 3 times a year.
3) If you are doing this for a business, get an import license.
4) Anything under R500.00 on invoice gets free clearance and no customs charge. (Value on CI converted into Rands). - Aramex only.
5) Be kind to the people clearing the package and they will assist. Try get them to email you feedback so you can always deal with the same person.
6) Always ensure your CI and POP match what is on the box. Customs will fine you an excessive amount if they don't match.
7) Once they invoice after clearance and the payment has been done, reply to all on the email and ensure to ask them for confirmation that payment has been received. Also do ensure to use the correct reference as on the invoice. Once they confirm, release will take a day or two.
8) If you want, you can contact Aramex (only for their packages) when the item leaves Hong Kong. You can ask them if they have the invoice and ask them to do pre-clearance. This will speed up customs clearance if you pay before it arrived. Also, if the invoice on the package is wrong, you can only update it then. Once it arrives, you cannot change the invoice.

How to order from GB
1) Use this link www.gearbest.com and find products you are interested in.
2) When selecting shipping, select either Priority Line or Expedited Shipping. Take the cheaper option as they both are quick. Unregistered airmail or Registered airmail should not be used as it is very very slow.
4) The more everybody orders, the more sponsored items GearBest will send to me for reviewing and to give away!!!

Post code issue
This has been resolved with the use of SAExpress (Buffalo Express) from GearBest Mainland China to South Africa.

No Shipping options
Shipping of certain items not supporting Priority Line or SAExpress (Mainly main brand electronics like Xiaomi, etc). This is due to the item being in Hong Kong instead of Mainland China. Due to this, only DHL is available. If an item says it cannot be shipped to your country, try alternatives on the website as sometimes, only the one item is limited.

Shipping times once tracking number is given
If the order says shipped but the tracking number says Shipping Info Received, do not stress. I have seen items take up to 2 weeks to start moving. This is due to the shipping company that GearBest use being an external company. The item is booked for shipping and based on how busy the shipping company is, it goes into a line for shipping. Sometimes it can be quick, sometimes slow.

Please note that this guide does not include bulk. Bulk is a whole different game and there are more options for shipping like Airport to Airport, and a few different options (port to port via Sea). I can assist in product hunting if bulk is required. Might be cheaper to go to China directly but that is also expensive and complicated if you do not speak Chinese.

My YouTube Channel is below so please subscribe.

https://www.youtube.com/zagadgetreviews

GearBest Coupons
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet...Wmu7QQA5v9ULpC5qB4-Q-BztcE/edit#gid=879322237
 
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Joined
Aug 8, 2017
Messages
625
#2
Customs clearance details:

Aramex(GB calls this Priority Line (Middle East Express)):
- Aramex is slightly slower on shipping.
- Anything under R500 is no charge.
- R50 fee for clearance for lower valued items (over R500 under R1500 [This is my guess]).
- Email ID and invoice to ALL_JNB_EXP_Clearance_ISD@aramex.com for pre-clearance.

DHL(GB called this Expedited shipping):
- DHL is quicker on shipping time.
- R250 fee for clearance. Even if it is a R100 customs charge, DHL will charge their R250 fee which is insane.
- Every item will be charged the R250 clearance fee by them

Buffalo(GB calls this SA Express):
- Shipping time seems to be decently quick for their price.
- No clearance fee under R500.00 as far as I am aware.
- According to GB latest email, they cannot ship items heavier then 2kg.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 8, 2017
Messages
625
#5
Those are all Chinese language laptops!
This is just a repost of the sponsored advertisement link on the home page. The only difference I can see with the Chinese version is the language pack included on the Windows OS. It does come with the standard US Keyboard layout.

Apologies for not stating that it is the Chinese release for the laptops. I will include the information next time.

KavZ
 
Joined
Aug 8, 2017
Messages
625
#14
Gift Card Giveaway!!!

Share the Facebook Post To Win A Gift Card to the value of $20 each (Free Purchase From Gearbest).

@ZAGadgetReviews will choose 5 winners for this competition. They will get $20 gift card to buy any gadgets within this price. You just need to share the post from @ZAGadgetReviews to your Facebook and like this page. You will have chance to be the winner. The more people to share the post, the more people can win a gift card.
 
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Sayf777

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2013
Messages
827
#15
I ordered a phone from gearbest but can't find out how to contact the seller? There's no description of how they price the invoice (Aliexpress mentions they underprice) which I don't want. If it's not mentioned can I assume they invoice properly?
 

Sayf777

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2013
Messages
827
#16
I found out how to contact them and this is the reply I got: "Unfortunately we cannot declare goods at what the item is truly worth.


We will arrange the shipment for you as soon as possible.

And when your order is shipped out, there will be an email sent to you about the delivery information.


Thank you very much for your patience and understanding.


Best regards

April"

That's messed up. What am I supposed to do now?
 
Joined
Aug 8, 2017
Messages
625
#17
I found out how to contact them and this is the reply I got: "Unfortunately we cannot declare goods at what the item is truly worth.


We will arrange the shipment for you as soon as possible.

And when your order is shipped out, there will be an email sent to you about the delivery information.


Thank you very much for your patience and understanding.


Best regards

April"

That's messed up. What am I supposed to do now?
I will contact them to have them resolve this issue.

Regards
KavZ
 

evilskaap

Expert Member
Joined
May 13, 2008
Messages
1,024
#18
I ordered a phone from gearbest but can't find out how to contact the seller? There's no description of how they price the invoice (Aliexpress mentions they underprice) which I don't want. If it's not mentioned can I assume they invoice properly?
I have always been invoiced properly.
EDIT: And the amount paid was always declared properly.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 8, 2017
Messages
625
#19
Invoiced properly and declared properly is not always the same thing. Their invoice is always correct, but the declared value for customs does not always match the amount paid.

KavZ
 

Aravose

New Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2017
Messages
2
#20
GearBestZA: Thank you for your advice. I ordered and paid for a phone on GearBest, following your guide. 6 days later they have contacted me to say they cannot deliver to my address using Aramex priority mail, as I ordered, but by regular post - please advise me what I should do.
 
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