Importing Console Games (beat the price increase)

Iwojima

Expert Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2007
Messages
3,468
Many foreign sites are offering prices on console games that are much cheaper than what has been projected that SA gamers will be paying in 2009 (even with shipping charges factored in). This thread serves as a guide for those wanting to avoid the recent increase and import games instead.

Rules:
- No console bashing
- Try to keep to the topic (i.e. suggestions for new sites to buy from/specials available at sites already listed)
- Feel free to contribute and I'll edit the original post with the relevant info.

Sites to buy from:
http://www.play-asia.com/
http://www.shopto.net/
http://www.game.co.uk/ (forwarding from a UK postal address may be required)
http://www.amazon.co.uk/ (may not ship games listed by Amazon itself, but smaller retailers selling on the site may be willing to send to SA)
http://www.dvdcrave.com/
http://www.ebay.co.uk/
http://www.dvdboxoffice.com/ (mostly NTSC region games)
http://www.cd-wow.com/
http://www.ishop-america.com/ (use this site to buy from any US based online store and have your goods shipped to SA)
http://www.tronixweb.com/

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
- How do I pay for my order?
Most sites will accept major credit cards such as Visa/Mastercard. Some will also accept Paypal transfers and others even direct deposits into their bank accounts (this can be quite costly and time consuming so consult your bank first)

- How long will my order take to arrive in SA?
It depends on the shipping method used. Usually the cheapest option will be Air Economy (or similar) which can take anything from 1-6 weeks (usually somewhere in between) to arrive at your nearest post office. You can of course pay for < 1 week delivery, but the price increases exponentially. In most cases SA's customs department is to blame if your order takes longer than average.

- Can I track my order?
The more expensive shipping options will give you both a tracking number and link to their online tracking service. Not exactly a very useful service as most times you wont see any movement on the tracker after it enters the country as it is being held up at customs for a while.

- Will there be any extra charge when my package arrives at the post office?
Depending on the size or value of your parcel an extra charge may be payable to the post office on collection. When buying multiple games at one time try separating them into their own individual orders as this seems to work in either avoiding or reducing the import tax. At the end of the day it still seems to still come down to the luck of the draw in most cases.

- Will these games work on my console?
PS3 - all games are region free.
360 - games come in multiple flavours: NTSC-J, NTSC-U/C, PAL (SA consoles) or Region Free (any console). Be sure to check you have the correct one before placing your order.

- Are there any services that will receive my package at a UK/USA address and forward it to my SA address? (in order to buy from sites that do not ship to SA)
Yes. A number of services exist that will give you a UK/USA based address to use for your orders and will then forward your package onto SA. Usually these services will either charge you a subscription fee for use of that address over a period of time or will charge you per package (if you don't plan on using the service frequently)

For the above try:
http://www.my-uk-mail.co.uk/
http://www.ukmailforwarders.com/
http://www.myus.com/index.shtml/

General Info/Tips:
- When shopping from eBay (and others) paying via Paypal will give you the option of insuring your package. Credit card payments do not offer the same facility.

- Work out how much the actual game is going to cost is by using the free currency converter www.xe.com/ucc/

- When buying something from a smaller online shop (like these found on Amazon and eBay), don’t forget to rate the seller afterwards. The rating system helps a lot in terms of deciding who to buy from.

- Don’t just limit yourself to games but check out the pricing on the actual hardware, figurines, game guides, game posters and limited edition bundles you can’t find in SA.

- Join mailing lists where possible to take advantage of time/stock limited discounts.

- Some sites offer discount on the games and shipping when buying multiple items. (www.play-asia.com is one example)

Contributions:
DarkWater, Fudzy, doobiwan, feo, Kerrrang
 
Last edited:

DarKWateR

Expert Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2005
Messages
2,556
Here's my 2c

In terms of www.amazon.co.uk, AFAIK Amazon does not directly send stuff to SA but you can get some stuff from the smaller shops on the Amazon site itself.

I also recommend using www.ebay.co.uk since I actually get most of my stuff there and also games you can't find anywhere else.
 
F

Fudzy

Guest
CD-WOW.com used to ship games for free, not too sure if that still applies though, might be worth checking out.
 

DarKWateR

Expert Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2005
Messages
2,556
CD-WOW.com used to ship games for free, not too sure if that still applies though, might be worth checking out.

I think they still do...will check it out later.

No problem. I think I've got most things covered in there. I hope :p

I'm at work know so I'll add the other sites a bit later but here's some suggestions for the folks new to importing that you can add to your guide if you want.

1.) When shopping from ebay (and some other sites) try to pay via www.paypal.com since they offer insurance which AFAIK is free whereas the credit card payments don't.

2.) An easy way to work out how much the actual game is going to cost is by using the free currency converter www.xe.com/ucc/

3.) When you buy something for a smaller online shop (like these found on Amazon and Ebay), don’t forget to rate the seller afterwards. The rating system helps a lot in terms of deciding who to buy from.

4.) Don’t just limit yourself to games but check out the pricing on the actual hardware too. I’ve heard of people buying 120GB Xbox 360 drives online for like R750 as well as the odd stuff like figurines, game guides, game posters and limited edition bundles you can’t find in SA.

5.) Join the mailing lists! www.shopto.net seems to have a special going with up to 80% reduced pricing on selected titles.

6.) Some of sites offers discount on the games and the shipping when you take multiple items so rather save up if you’re looking into importing more than one title.

Hope this helps :)
 

Iwojima

Expert Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2007
Messages
3,468
I think they still do...will check it out later.



I'm at work know so I'll add the other sites a bit later but here's some suggestions for the folks new to importing that you can add to your guide if you want.

1.) When shopping from ebay (and some other sites) try to pay via www.paypal.com since they offer insurance which AFAIK is free whereas the credit card payments don't.

2.) An easy way to work out how much the actual game is going to cost is by using the free currency converter www.xe.com/ucc/

3.) When you buy something for a smaller online shop (like these found on Amazon and Ebay), don’t forget to rate the seller afterwards. The rating system helps a lot in terms of deciding who to buy from.

4.) Don’t just limit yourself to games but check out the pricing on the actual hardware too. I’ve heard of people buying 120GB Xbox 360 drives online for like R750 as well as the odd stuff like figurines, game guides, game posters and limited edition bundles you can’t find in SA.

5.) Join the mailing lists! www.shopto.net seems to have a special going with up to 80% reduced pricing on selected titles.

6.) Some of sites offers discount on the games and the shipping when you take multiple items so rather save up if you’re looking into importing more than one title.

Hope this helps :)
Schweet! Thanks :D
 

iDenTiTy

Expert Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2007
Messages
3,899
I think they still do...will check it out later.



I'm at work know so I'll add the other sites a bit later but here's some suggestions for the folks new to importing that you can add to your guide if you want.

1.) When shopping from ebay (and some other sites) try to pay via www.paypal.com since they offer insurance which AFAIK is free whereas the credit card payments don't.

2.) An easy way to work out how much the actual game is going to cost is by using the free currency converter www.xe.com/ucc/

3.) When you buy something for a smaller online shop (like these found on Amazon and Ebay), don’t forget to rate the seller afterwards. The rating system helps a lot in terms of deciding who to buy from.

4.) Don’t just limit yourself to games but check out the pricing on the actual hardware too. I’ve heard of people buying 120GB Xbox 360 drives online for like R750 as well as the odd stuff like figurines, game guides, game posters and limited edition bundles you can’t find in SA.

5.) Join the mailing lists! www.shopto.net seems to have a special going with up to 80% reduced pricing on selected titles.

6.) Some of sites offers discount on the games and the shipping when you take multiple items so rather save up if you’re looking into importing more than one title.

Hope this helps :)

Schweet! Thanks :D

Both DarKWateR and Iwojima get my vote for most uber cool people ou there.
Way to go peeps.

:)
 

Iwojima

Expert Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2007
Messages
3,468
Both DarKWateR and Iwojima get my vote for most uber cool people ou there.
Way to go peeps.

:)
No problem. It's amazing what you'll do to pass the time when you're stuck in the office when everyone else is on holiday :D
 

Solidus

Expert Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2008
Messages
1,152
converting game prices from pounds to rands is whats keeping me awake today, work is DEAD! Shopto charges 4pounds delivery :)
 

feo

Honorary Master
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Messages
13,504
I see there's also an American equivalent of wantitall and have2have called iShopUSA (http://www.ishop-america.com/). Basically they allow you to purchase whatever you want from any American online shop and they ship it to you wherever you are and process payment as well. They accept international CCs, Paypal and wire transfer.

I'm gonna try them out and report back here. It looks like a VERY good option and I'm willing to bet that they'll undercut wantitall by a long way.
 

kds

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2008
Messages
246
Two questions from my previous thread that should be answered here:

  1. Do you guys pay customs + VAT when importing games? SARS told me that games carry a 5% ad valorum + 15 % VAT charge.
  2. Is there a way to avoid customs, like ordering only one game at a time, or asking them to wrap it in newspaper etc? :D
 

Iwojima

Expert Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2007
Messages
3,468
Two questions from my previous thread that should be answered here:

  1. Do you guys pay customs + VAT when importing games? SARS told me that games carry a 5% ad valorum + 15 % VAT charge.
  2. Is there a way to avoid customs, like ordering only one game at a time, or asking them to wrap it in newspaper etc? :D
Will there be any extra charge when my package arrives at the post office?
Depending on the size or value of your parcel an extra charge may be payable to the post office on collection. When buying multiple games at one time try separating them into their own individual orders as this seems to work in either avoiding or reducing the import tax. At the end of the day it still seems to still come down to the luck of the draw in most cases.
:)

In the number of times I have imported games (at least 10 times) I still cannot figure out what the rules are.

e.g. I ordered a discounted PS2 game a few years back for around R250 and got hit with a R40 import tax and then a few weeks later ordered a new release from the same place for around R400 and escaped the tax completely for god knows what reason. On another occasion I ordered a couple of discounted games (totaling maybe R600) and was nailed with a heavier import tax.

If anybody has insider knowledge on custom's methods for calculating this please let us know.
 
Last edited:
Top