SARS limitations don’t apply to local ecommerce imports

newby_investor

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I don't get what the animosity is. Obviously their listing is done on an algorithm, no sane human charges thousands for a bottle of vegemite. And no sane human buys them - they'll buy the stuff from WantItAll that they can't get locally.

Why is this so hard to grasp?
 

semaphore

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I don't get what the animosity is. Obviously their listing is done on an algorithm, no sane human charges thousands for a bottle of vegemite. And no sane human buys them - they'll buy the stuff from WantItAll that they can't get locally.

Why is this so hard to grasp?
The fact they price gouge, the fact they don't have better feeds for their prices, the fact that the ceo said there is no effort in fixing the prices as there is no reward for them.

They boast their 140M SKU inventory which is basically garbage because the data is essentially tainted with wrong prices.

As an e-commerce platform I would not come online as a CEO, boasting my inventory then in the very next proceeding discussions state my disinterest in fixing the very obvious flaws in my data, which at the end of the day effects the consumer.

Why is this so hard to grasp? :)
 

quovadis

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The fact they price gouge, the fact they don't have better feeds for their prices, the fact that the ceo said there is no effort in fixing the prices as there is no reward for them.

They boast their 140M SKU inventory which is basically garbage because the data is essentially tainted with wrong prices.

As an e-commerce platform I would not come online as a CEO, boasting my inventory then in the very next proceeding discussions state my disinterest in fixing the very obvious flaws in my data, which at the end of the day effects the consumer.

Why is this so hard to grasp? :)
Obviously it’s hard to grasp for some. You have a catalog of products with weight etc. There’s an algorithm that takes an item adds a markup, does a shipping calculation based on the dimensions and mass of an item and then adds duties, vat and local delivery etc and spits out a price. If the mass or volume is incorrect or it’s a heavy item it will skew the price and make it a very bad option.

Can you do it cheaper for yourself, probably? Do you want to do it for yourself, maybe not. There’s the gap, now grasp that there’s obviously a market.
 

newby_investor

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Obviously it’s hard to grasp for some.
Yeah, quite. They scrape stocks of overseas suppliers and list items based on that algorithm. How is that price gouging? Price gouging is when the customer doesn't have a choice but to go with a particular supplier. WantItAll is definitely not in that position, unless you prefer your Vegemite to taste extra expensive.

For hard-to-get stuff, though, they're hard to beat. I'll give you an example. Baader solar film for amateur observing of the sun (something I want but can't get locally), R1785 at time I look at the link:
https://www.wantitall.co.za/electronics/baader-astrosolar-visual-solar-filter-film-nd-5-a4-sheet-20x29cm-7-9x11-4-2459281__b002syd2em
Getting it on Amazon is about $73 + $82 shipping, totalling about R2215 as of today:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B072XPB9NS/ref=dp_olp_0?ie=UTF8&condition=all

So WantItAll definitely not price gouging in this sort of case, the one they actually target. I didn't find that by just browsing through their large catalog, I knew what I wanted and I put it in the search bar.

But if one wants to look for reason to take offense, that's one's choice I suppose.
 

Speedster

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Yeah, quite. They scrape stocks of overseas suppliers and list items based on that algorithm. How is that price gouging? Price gouging is when the customer doesn't have a choice but to go with a particular supplier. WantItAll is definitely not in that position, unless you prefer your Vegemite to taste extra expensive.

For hard-to-get stuff, though, they're hard to beat. I'll give you an example. Baader solar film for amateur observing of the sun (something I want but can't get locally), R1785 at time I look at the link:
https://www.wantitall.co.za/electronics/baader-astrosolar-visual-solar-filter-film-nd-5-a4-sheet-20x29cm-7-9x11-4-2459281__b002syd2em
Getting it on Amazon is about $73 + $82 shipping, totalling about R2215 as of today:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B072XPB9NS/ref=dp_olp_0?ie=UTF8&condition=all

So WantItAll definitely not price gouging in this sort of case, the one they actually target. I didn't find that by just browsing through their large catalog, I knew what I wanted and I put it in the search bar.

But if one wants to look for reason to take offense, that's one's choice I suppose.
You mean this one for R736?

Screenshot_20180825-070328.jpeg

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Baader-Planetarium-AstroSolar-Solar-Filter/dp/B002SYD2EM
 

Speedster

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Ok you got me... I had forgotten that Baader was a European company so getting it from the US is probably not the smartest idea... :X3:
It was just the first example I could think of, of something which you can't really get locally.
I hear you. I do think the point though is that whatever wantitall's algorithm looks like, it returns ridiculously expensive pricing. A very quick online search will in almost every instance find you a significantly cheaper alternative to source the product. I can only think that their client base consists of people a) totally ignorant of online shopping or b) wealthy enough not to care about pricing.
 
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semaphore

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Ok you got me... I had forgotten that Baader was a European company so getting it from the US is probably not the smartest idea... :X3:
It was just the first example I could think of, of something which you can't really get locally.
That is but one example. Bad pricing aside, its the CEO's remarks on the matter that are distasteful.
 

Jings

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Yeah, quite. They scrape stocks of overseas suppliers and list items based on that algorithm. How is that price gouging? Price gouging is when the customer doesn't have a choice but to go with a particular supplier. WantItAll is definitely not in that position, unless you prefer your Vegemite to taste extra expensive.

For hard-to-get stuff, though, they're hard to beat. I'll give you an example. Baader solar film for amateur observing of the sun (something I want but can't get locally), R1785 at time I look at the link:
https://www.wantitall.co.za/electronics/baader-astrosolar-visual-solar-filter-film-nd-5-a4-sheet-20x29cm-7-9x11-4-2459281__b002syd2em
Getting it on Amazon is about $73 + $82 shipping, totalling about R2215 as of today:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B072XPB9NS/ref=dp_olp_0?ie=UTF8&condition=all

So WantItAll definitely not price gouging in this sort of case, the one they actually target. I didn't find that by just browsing through their large catalog, I knew what I wanted and I put it in the search bar.

But if one wants to look for reason to take offense, that's one's choice I suppose.
How about locally?

http://telescopeshop.co.za/shop/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=6_77
 

newby_investor

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That is but one example. Bad pricing aside, its the CEO's remarks on the matter that are distasteful.
Disagree. I used to think exactly as you do, that WantItAll was for price-gouging the stupid, but the CEO's comments explained it quite clearly. I now understand their business model and I changed my opinion.

I can see how they add value. I know what I want, I don't want to bother shopping around at several international places trying to look for the best price. I don't know which overseas websites to trust and which not to. I don't know which are actually going to deliver my product and which are going to get lost in the Bermuda Triangle and when I get nothing then there's no recourse. I don't mind paying a premium for it if someone else handles all that hassle for me, and the parcel can be delivered to my door.

WantItAll scrapes lots of international retailers, if the input data is wrong (wrong weight, for the vegemite example) then the price will end up stupidly high on their website. Their CEO even admitted, it doesn't work perfectly and he's sure they lose business, but the cost of improving the outputs isn't worth the possible amount of increased business. The algorithm is probably fine, verifying the data would be the needed improvement, and if there's >100M products then that's going to be expensive. So purely an economical decision. Plus I think WantItAll probably assumes that potential customers aren't complete dolts, who would pay R4k for some vegemite, you've got to exercise a little bit of discernment.

FWIW, the spectrophotometry cuvette example he posted was quite reasonably priced, IMO. I've tried looking for such stuff locally for school science experiments etc. I never managed to find it in the end. If I ever need one again, I now know were to look.

There are other businesses that have this model as well. Woolworths for example. You can buy a pack of two avocados from Woolworths for R75 out-of-season if you want to. Or you can get them from a farmer's market for R15, but then you have to drive out there early in the morning six months ago when they were in season, but before all the bulk-buyers have taken everything, try and find someone who you can convince to sell you just two, you have to sort through and pick out two nice ones, package them in plastic and polystyrene, keep them fresh in a cold chain, display them nicely on a shelf, and advertise them in a glossy newspaper insert.

Before you do this though, you have to remember to log on to your favourite internet forum and moan about how Woolworths price gouges consumers for avocados. Or you could be reasonable, accept that it's a service they provide and that they do add value to someone who wants it. If you don't want it, that's also fine. The incessant attacks on the man for running what seems to be a sustainable business is what's distasteful.

You may have noticed the "out of stock" notices on all the items there... I have dealt with telescopeshop before. Good shop mostly, but some of the less-common items he very seldom has stock of.
 

Jings

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You may have noticed the "out of stock" notices on all the items there... I have dealt with telescopeshop before. Good shop mostly, but some of the less-common items he very seldom has stock of.
Why not enquire? Some shop owners go out of their way to order the stock for their customers and then let you know when the stock is available. Customer has the choice to decide whether to wait for the cheaper price. I know I would.
 

Speedster

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Disagree. I used to think exactly as you do, that WantItAll was for price-gouging the stupid, but the CEO's comments explained it quite clearly. I now understand their business model and I changed my opinion.

I can see how they add value. I know what I want, I don't want to bother shopping around at several international places trying to look for the best price. I don't know which overseas websites to trust and which not to. I don't know which are actually going to deliver my product and which are going to get lost in the Bermuda Triangle and when I get nothing then there's no recourse. I don't mind paying a premium for it if someone else handles all that hassle for me, and the parcel can be delivered to my door.

WantItAll scrapes lots of international retailers, if the input data is wrong (wrong weight, for the vegemite example) then the price will end up stupidly high on their website. Their CEO even admitted, it doesn't work perfectly and he's sure they lose business, but the cost of improving the outputs isn't worth the possible amount of increased business. The algorithm is probably fine, verifying the data would be the needed improvement, and if there's >100M products then that's going to be expensive. So purely an economical decision. Plus I think WantItAll probably assumes that potential customers aren't complete dolts, who would pay R4k for some vegemite, you've got to exercise a little bit of discernment.

FWIW, the spectrophotometry cuvette example he posted was quite reasonably priced, IMO. I've tried looking for such stuff locally for school science experiments etc. I never managed to find it in the end. If I ever need one again, I now know were to look.

There are other businesses that have this model as well. Woolworths for example. You can buy a pack of two avocados from Woolworths for R75 out-of-season if you want to. Or you can get them from a farmer's market for R15, but then you have to drive out there early in the morning six months ago when they were in season, but before all the bulk-buyers have taken everything, try and find someone who you can convince to sell you just two, you have to sort through and pick out two nice ones, package them in plastic and polystyrene, keep them fresh in a cold chain, display them nicely on a shelf, and advertise them in a glossy newspaper insert.

Before you do this though, you have to remember to log on to your favourite internet forum and moan about how Woolworths price gouges consumers for avocados. Or you could be reasonable, accept that it's a service they provide and that they do add value to someone who wants it. If you don't want it, that's also fine. The incessant attacks on the man for running what seems to be a sustainable business is what's distasteful.


You may have noticed the "out of stock" notices on all the items there... I have dealt with telescopeshop before. Good shop mostly, but some of the less-common items he very seldom has stock of.
Fair enough. Keep paying R1750 for your R750 sun viewing filter, but don't be upset with others who have no time for such blatant daylight robbery.
 

Johnatan56

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Aug 23, 2013
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25,152
Disagree. I used to think exactly as you do, that WantItAll was for price-gouging the stupid, but the CEO's comments explained it quite clearly. I now understand their business model and I changed my opinion.

I can see how they add value. I know what I want, I don't want to bother shopping around at several international places trying to look for the best price. I don't know which overseas websites to trust and which not to. I don't know which are actually going to deliver my product and which are going to get lost in the Bermuda Triangle and when I get nothing then there's no recourse. I don't mind paying a premium for it if someone else handles all that hassle for me, and the parcel can be delivered to my door.

WantItAll scrapes lots of international retailers, if the input data is wrong (wrong weight, for the vegemite example) then the price will end up stupidly high on their website. Their CEO even admitted, it doesn't work perfectly and he's sure they lose business, but the cost of improving the outputs isn't worth the possible amount of increased business. The algorithm is probably fine, verifying the data would be the needed improvement, and if there's >100M products then that's going to be expensive. So purely an economical decision. Plus I think WantItAll probably assumes that potential customers aren't complete dolts, who would pay R4k for some vegemite, you've got to exercise a little bit of discernment.

FWIW, the spectrophotometry cuvette example he posted was quite reasonably priced, IMO. I've tried looking for such stuff locally for school science experiments etc. I never managed to find it in the end. If I ever need one again, I now know were to look.

There are other businesses that have this model as well. Woolworths for example. You can buy a pack of two avocados from Woolworths for R75 out-of-season if you want to. Or you can get them from a farmer's market for R15, but then you have to drive out there early in the morning six months ago when they were in season, but before all the bulk-buyers have taken everything, try and find someone who you can convince to sell you just two, you have to sort through and pick out two nice ones, package them in plastic and polystyrene, keep them fresh in a cold chain, display them nicely on a shelf, and advertise them in a glossy newspaper insert.

Before you do this though, you have to remember to log on to your favourite internet forum and moan about how Woolworths price gouges consumers for avocados. Or you could be reasonable, accept that it's a service they provide and that they do add value to someone who wants it. If you don't want it, that's also fine. The incessant attacks on the man for running what seems to be a sustainable business is what's distasteful.


You may have noticed the "out of stock" notices on all the items there... I have dealt with telescopeshop before. Good shop mostly, but some of the less-common items he very seldom has stock of.
Then they'd all probably just buy the stock off of amazon as it's type in, click the product, able to see reviews, see full price inc. of delivery and press buy. Works out cheaper than wantitall.
Do you think rich people just throw their money out the window? How do you think they got rich?

What Woolworths banks on is that they try and offer better quality and more convenience. They add a slight premium for it, but not a 33-50% one on expensive items like wantitall.

If you scrape online stores, you should be able to scrape and sell using dealer pricing, which I guess they don't as they probably don't have enough volume.
 
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