SARS limitations don’t apply to local ecommerce imports

quovadis

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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?
As per article - 3 items and you need an importer number which is being enforced more these days - whether you’re clearing it via amazon global shipping with Aramex or DHL etc. People shop around and will pay more for convenience or simply because it’s faster. Each to their own. Wantiall has been around for years and when they started almost everything used to be cheaper offshore - now i think it’s more niche purposes or because of lead times of most distributors being min 4 weeks.
 

Johnatan56

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As per article - 3 items and you need an importer number which is being enforced more these days - whether you’re clearing it via amazon global shipping with Aramex or DHL etc. People shop around and will pay more for convenience or simply because it’s faster. Each to their own. Wantiall has been around for years and when they started almost everything used to be cheaper offshore - now i think it’s more niche purposes or because of lead times of most distributors being min 4 weeks.
Way more for convenience is not a thousand. They'd probably go at most to 10% if there was an actual convenience involved. Remember Amazon also has the entire review system for the product baked in, so more convenience again, not to mention the fact that you can add quantity rather than spamming an add to cart button...
And you could probably pay someone to do your importer's code for you, will probably cost at most a thousand or so, that's if they don't have one already.

Literally one click away from their home page, it being the recommended product of the main home page recommended product:
R5k: https://www.wantitall.co.za/homegarden/farberware-5212677-professional-baking-set-23-piece-mix-and-measure-aqua-sky__b078rfnzs4
vs
$70, haven't added tax and shipping, but it sure isn't R4k: https://www.amazon.com/Farberware-5212677-Professional-23-Piece-Measure/dp/B078RFNZS4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1535207837&sr=8-2&keywords=Farberware+5212677+Professional+Baking+Set+23-Piece

Importers code service is instantly paid off with that. The only way I can see wantitall make money is due to gullible people via advertising who don't know better.
 

quovadis

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Way more for convenience is not a thousand. They'd probably go at most to 10% if there was an actual convenience involved. Remember Amazon also has the entire review system for the product baked in, so more convenience again, not to mention the fact that you can add quantity rather than spamming an add to cart button...
And you could probably pay someone to do your importer's code for you, will probably cost at most a thousand or so, that's if they don't have one already.

Literally one click away from their home page, it being the recommended product of the main home page recommended product:
R5k: https://www.wantitall.co.za/homegarden/farberware-5212677-professional-baking-set-23-piece-mix-and-measure-aqua-sky__b078rfnzs4
vs
$70, haven't added tax and shipping, but it sure isn't R4k: https://www.amazon.com/Farberware-5212677-Professional-23-Piece-Measure/dp/B078RFNZS4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1535207837&sr=8-2&keywords=Farberware+5212677+Professional+Baking+Set+23-Piece

Importers code service is instantly paid off with that. The only way I can see wantitall make money is due to gullible people via advertising who don't know better.
That product cannot be shipped to South Africa so you’d need to set up a forwarder too but for every shitty deal I’m sure there are examples of niche items which would be worth it. It’s a matter of consumer choice. Just like it’s probably cheaper to hop on a plane fly to an outlet shopping center overseas, buy an entire wardrobe of brand name clothing items, stay overnight in a 5 star hotel and fly back than buy the same clothes at the local shopping center. Why isn’t everyone doing it themselves? Niche. Gap. Opportunity.
 

Johnatan56

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That product cannot be shipped to South Africa so you’d need to set up a forwarder too but for every shitty deal I’m sure there are examples of niche items which would be worth it. It’s a matter of consumer choice. Just like it’s probably cheaper to hop on a plane fly to an outlet shopping center overseas, buy an entire wardrobe of brand name clothing items, stay overnight in a 5 star hotel and fly back than buy the same clothes at the local shopping center. Why isn’t everyone doing it themselves? Niche. Gap. Opportunity.
It is? You're also missing time costs money as well.

For e.g. suits, I know some people who flew to Thailand to have them made there as it was substantially cheaper.
The local version is usually within line of the cost of importing it + duties etc. + 5-10% on top, not an extra 30-50%.

We're arguing in circles here, we can agree to disagree. There are tons of better alternatives to wantitall for niche products, e.g. Scott's on this very forum.
 

quovadis

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It is? You're also missing time costs money as well.

For e.g. suits, I know some people who flew to Thailand to have them made there as it was substantially cheaper.
The local version is usually within line of the cost of importing it + duties etc. + 5-10% on top, not an extra 30-50%.

We're arguing in circles here, we can agree to disagree. There are tons of better alternatives to wantitall for niche products, e.g. Scott's on this very forum.
Missing the point but whatever. Also, genuine luxury goods like Coach, Hermès and major brands etc not tailored suits and yes savings way over 50%.
 

semaphore

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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.
That's great you entitled as is everyone else here, you just can't accept the fact we don't agree with you.

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.
What a load of hogwash, if you can search for a website like wantitall you can find a website like amazon, and when I first saw WantItAll I thought it was a scam website.

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.
Yes they're not idiots, but his prime example of that DROK thing basically shafted a consumer an extra 600R.

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.
Any local supplier of spectrophotometry equipment will have it, give selectech a call.

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.
Yes people do complain about the pricing, twitter, facebook etc. So your point is moot.

WantItAll could at least scrape multiple sources and work out a more realistic median price, but nah, no reward in that. It would be interesting to know where these products are ordered from and when the order is placed its discovered that hold on we're charging like 600-800 more, but shucks the customer is not aware of that lets just pocket it.
 

semaphore

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Missing the point but whatever. Also, genuine luxury goods like Coach, Hermès and major brands etc not tailored suits and yes savings way over 50%.
Nobody is missing the point, we just do not agree with WantItAlls CEO asinine reasoning for their price gouging. Accept it and move on.
 

quovadis

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Nobody is missing the point, we just do not agree with WantItAlls CEO asinine reasoning for their price gouging. Accept it and move on.
You’re quoting out of context for the sake of argument. My point was that there are plenty of ways to get products cheaper if you’re willing to make the time and put in the effort to do so. If you’re not and you’re willing to pay then WantItAll fills a gap. Yes, there are problems where products may be comparatively overpriced or cheaper but the products are not curated they are driven by data feeds. Noone is forcing anyone to purchase anything from Wantitall - it’s a free market. So getting all bent out of shape and calling a ceo of Wantitall stupid and telling people, who have a different opinion to yours, to accept your point of view and move on is not a cogent or productive contribution to a discussion.
 

newby_investor

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What a load of hogwash, if you can search for a website like wantitall you can find a website like amazon, and when I first saw WantItAll I thought it was a scam website.
Yeah I can search on Amazon, and I regularly do, but ~70% of the stuff I have wanted says "This product does not ship to South Africa." At that point I usually just give up because I don't want it enough to go to extra hassle, or to pay that much more to set up some kind of forwarding service, or pay extra for it, like with Scott's or WantItAll. It's a hassle. For me, it's not worth it, for others it may be worth it. Then there's the whole topic of the thread, the importers codes and stuff. Sure, getting an importers' code from SARS is free, but it costs you a day during business hours to go and gather all your original, bank-stamped documents, stand in SARS queues, fill in forms, or it costs you R1000 to get an accountant to do it for you, either way it's still a hassle.

I'm not saying that WantItAll is the only way around this, nor that it is even the best one. But it's a legitimate business and it has a right to exist.

Yes people do complain about the pricing, twitter, facebook etc. So your point is moot.
My point is not moot though, complaining about pricing is one of the most childish, immature behaviours that has become commonplace nowadays. People do it everywhere and I hate it. Don't like the price? Don't pay it. (Note: there are obvious exceptions to this, if you're treated unfairly and you don't have a choice such as with municipal accounts, or medical bills, complaining about excessive charges there is justified I feel. These institutions can be rightly accused of price gouging when the consumer doesn't have a choice. But that's a discussion for another place.)

WantItAll could at least scrape multiple sources and work out a more realistic median price, but nah, no reward in that.
Yeah, they could do that. But that's also hard to get right. Have you seen Pricecheck lately? They scrape multiple local websites, and compare the prices to tell you the lowest one. But unless the retailers list the product using exactly the same spelling, it's hard to group them together to work out a meaningful median. I searched for "Nokia 8 64GB" on Pricecheck and the website couldn't even group the copper-coloured ones together because the retailers used the colour before the model name, or after, or added "Global version" or whatever. Sometimes it manages to group products together and show you which retailer actually offers the cheapest price but mostly not. WantItAll obviously does something like this in the background.

It would be interesting to know where these products are ordered from and when the order is placed its discovered that hold on we're charging like 600-800 more, but shucks the customer is not aware of that lets just pocket it.
This is actually fair point. It would be very pro-customer behaviour to phone up and say "We over-charged you by R600 for this product, we'll refund," or whatever. Maybe they do this if they notice that they've obscenely overcharged? I don't know, never bought from them. But if not, I think they are within their rights. If you've placed the order for R4000 vegemite and handed over your credit card details, that already indicates that you are willing to pay a certain price for the product, and they are allowed to charge it if they want to.

The CEO even said himself, they're not looking to become your main online shopping destination, it's low-volume stuff. The lower the volume, the higher your margins need to be to be able to sustain a profit. It's becoming easier and easier to import just about anything now though, as you rightly point out in various ways, certain hassles like SARS import codes aside. So perhaps WantItAll's business model dried up. But for the time, they've served a purpose, filled a gap.

I repeat: I'm not saying that WantItAll is the only way around this, nor that it is even the best one. But it's a legitimate business and it has a right to exist.

I for one am glad that the WantItAll guy was around to answer this discussion. I've learned something about the e-commerce scene that I didn't know before and it was interesting. Still doesn't make me any more likely to buy from them, they are still expensive. But I don't think that a tirade such as yours is justified or even productive.

Nobody is missing the point, we just do not agree with WantItAlls CEO asinine reasoning for their price gouging. Accept it and move on.
You kind of are missing the point though, but @quovadis already said it better than me.
 

semaphore

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You’re quoting out of context for the sake of argument. My point was that there are plenty of ways to get products cheaper if you’re willing to make the time and put in the effort to do so. If you’re not and you’re willing to pay then WantItAll fills a gap. Yes, there are problems where products may be comparatively overpriced or cheaper but the products are not curated they are driven by data feeds. Noone is forcing anyone to purchase anything from Wantitall - it’s a free market. So getting all bent out of shape and calling a ceo of Wantitall stupid and telling people, who have a different opinion to yours, to accept your point of view and move on is not a cogent or productive contribution to a discussion.
You mean exactly how you’re getting ? Ensuring you always get your opinion across, I never called him stupid, your comprehension skills are lacking, I said his remarks were asinine, no sane head of a company comes onto a public forum and publicly admits that they do not vet their data.
 

SauRoNZA

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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?
Because other companies offering import services manage to get it right...
 

SauRoNZA

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The moment Amazon lands on local shores businesses like Wantitall are dead in the water.
 

semaphore

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Yeah I can search on Amazon, and I regularly do, but ~70% of the stuff I have wanted says "This product does not ship to South Africa." At that point I usually just give up because I don't want it enough to go to extra hassle, or to pay that much more to set up some kind of forwarding service, or pay extra for it, like with Scott's or WantItAll. It's a hassle. For me, it's not worth it, for others it may be worth it. Then there's the whole topic of the thread, the importers codes and stuff. Sure, getting an importers' code from SARS is free, but it costs you a day during business hours to go and gather all your original, bank-stamped documents, stand in SARS queues, fill in forms, or it costs you R1000 to get an accountant to do it for you, either way it's still a hassle.
A hassle with Scott ? You tell him the item he gives you an invoice and you pay it’s done. It’s literally two steps.

I'm not saying that WantItAll is the only way around this, nor that it is even the best one. But it's a legitimate business and it has a right to exist.
Never said they didn’t, but equally people have the right to call them out on the prices. They do the same with takes lots daily specials.

My point is not moot though, complaining about pricing is one of the most childish, immature behaviours that has become commonplace nowadays. People do it everywhere and I hate it. Don't like the price? Don't pay it. (Note: there are obvious exceptions to this, if you're treated unfairly and you don't have a choice such as with municipal accounts, or medical bills, complaining about excessive charges there is justified I feel. These institutions can be rightly accused of price gouging when the consumer doesn't have a choice. But that's a discussion for another place.)
Okay so because you hate it everyone should just stop ? Delusions of grandeur much.

Yeah, they could do that. But that's also hard to get right. Have you seen Pricecheck lately? They scrape multiple local websites, and compare the prices to tell you the lowest one. But unless the retailers list the product using exactly the same spelling, it's hard to group them together to work out a meaningful median. I searched for "Nokia 8 64GB" on Pricecheck and the website couldn't even group the copper-coloured ones together because the retailers used the colour before the model name, or after, or added "Global version" or whatever. Sometimes it manages to group products together and show you which retailer actually offers the cheapest price but mostly not. WantItAll obviously does something like this in the background.
There are multiple ways to get matching on similar product names Levenshtein distance and soundex are two examples, there for wildly disparate matching you could have a small vetting process and exclude those from inventory.

This is actually fair point. It would be very pro-customer behaviour to phone up and say "We over-charged you by R600 for this product, we'll refund," or whatever. Maybe they do this if they notice that they've obscenely overcharged? I don't know, never bought from them. But if not, I think they are within their rights. If you've placed the order for R4000 vegemite and handed over your credit card details, that already indicates that you are willing to pay a certain price for the product, and they are allowed to charge it if they want to.
The mite is a poor example he boasted about that signal generator which blew up in his face, it was the first hit result on amazon at 100% cheaper than them including shipping , vat, duties etc

The CEO even said himself, they're not looking to become your main online shopping destination, it's low-volume stuff. The lower the volume, the higher your margins need to be to be able to sustain a profit. It's becoming easier and easier to import just about anything now though, as you rightly point out in various ways, certain hassles like SARS import codes aside. So perhaps WantItAll's business model dried up. But for the time, they've served a purpose, filled a gap.
You’d think as a CEO he would want to adapt his business model and actually become a primary source.

I for one am glad that the WantItAll guy was around to answer this discussion. I've learned something about the e-commerce scene that I didn't know before and it was interesting. Still doesn't make me any more likely to buy from them, they are still expensive. But I don't think that a tirade such as yours is justified or even productive.
What makes your input any more meaningful than mine? Just because you support him ? Please get over yourself people are entitled to express whatever views they want here. If you have a problem with it stop replying/reading. Nobody is going to stop posting their opinions just because it doesn’t agree with your ideals.

And if you’ve learnt anything it’s about not how to come onto a site and admit your data is garbage and that you don’t particularly care if you over charge ignorant or people desperate for a product they can’t find.

You kind of are missing the point though, but @quovadis already said it better than me.
Nah, I’m not you just don’t like my view on this matter. You seem to be totally missing mine, I’m saying they can do things better, implement better procedures, hire engineers to come up with solutions, this is nothing novel that they’re doing takealot did it back in the day and their prices were wildly better.


Anyways this discussion has been beaten to death and I’ve lost interest. You can reply with another wall of text if you like but I’m bored and won’t be replying. At the end of the day you agree with this CEOs bullshit reasoning I don’t. I only hope that people who do use them see this guys remarks and decide to take their business else where.
 
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quovadis

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Ensuring you always get your opinion across, I never called him stupid, your comprehension skills are lacking, I said his remarks were asinine,
asinine
ˈasɪnʌɪn/
adjective
  1. extremely stupid or foolish.
 

semaphore

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asinine
ˈasɪnʌɪn/
adjective
  1. extremely stupid or foolish.
Yes when a word is cherry picked from anything it can mean anything, in the context of this discussion his reasoning was foolish and stupid. Continue to cherry pick away.
 

quovadis

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Yes when a word is cherry picked from anything it can mean anything, in the context of this discussion his reasoning was foolish and stupid. Continue to cherry pick away.
I didn’t cherry pick anything - read your own remark and re-evaluate the absurdity of it.
 

newby_investor

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A hassle with Scott ? You tell him the item he gives you an invoice and you pay it’s done. It’s literally two steps.
No, that's true, Scott's isn't a hassle, it's just expensive. Not as expensive as WantItAll it seems, and he probably has a better business model, but I only learned about Scott's recently. I've known about WantItAll for years, so obviously they must be doing something right.


What makes your input any more meaningful than mine? Just because you support him ? Please get over yourself people are entitled to express whatever views they want here. If you have a problem with it stop replying/reading. Nobody is going to stop posting their opinions just because it doesn’t agree with your ideals.
Two points. I don't support WantItAll or whatever his name is, but I do support his right to express himself. I also support your right to express yourself. I also support my right to make comments on your comments.

Nah, I’m not you just don’t like my view on this matter.
I think our views are actually more similar than you might think. I don't shop at WantItAll, I think they're far too expensive. I was mildly interested to learn a bit more about how that pricing came about. I think where we differ is that I'm content to accept that I'm not the kind of client that he's looking for, and you seem to interpret it as a personal attack on the consumer in general. Or something.

I’m saying they can do things better, implement better procedures, hire engineers to come up with solutions, this is nothing novel that they’re doing takealot did it back in the day and their prices were wildly better.
Now that was actually a reasonable statement. I agree, that's definitely something that they could do. You see, we can have a positive discussion without curses or insults.

At the end of the day you agree with this CEOs bullshit reasoning I don’t.
Or... maybe we can't. I also give up.

I only hope that people who do use them see this guys remarks and decide to take their business else where.
I really don't understand why you've interpreted his remarks in this way. I re-read them about three times before posting this trying to see what upset you but I really just couldn't. It sounds like a very small company offering a niche service to those who want to pay for it, according to an algorithm. It's not cheap at all, but then it doesn't have to be, and obviously the owners are happy with their current level of profits.

Contrary to what you might think, I'm not upset by people who disagree with me, I don't want them to stop talking at all. I need them. I do consider their opinions. That's how I learn, if everyone just said what I already thought that would be pointless. What I don't like is childish and asinine insults in response to someone trying to contribute to the discussion.

Anyway. Thank you for your contributions, you have made a few good ones. I learned about Selectech, Levenshtein distance and Soundex, all very useful stuff to know.
 

McT

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Wantitall are an appalling choice to cite in your article. Their prices are bloody absurd. One bazillion times the price of the next reputable online retailer.
 
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