The price to import tech vs South African prices

With the rand weakening against the US dollar in recent months, tech enthusiasts are bracing for higher prices.

The rand has gone from R11.66 to the dollar in March 2018, to R15.00 in September 2018.

The exchange rate change typically leads to the price of tech increasing in South Africa, as many of our imported products are priced in dollars.

Tech fans who look to import directly from places like the US also face increases, as items in the US are priced in dollars and shipping prices may increase after being converted to rand.

To see where consumers sit at the moment, we compared the prices of tech items on local ecommerce stores against the cost of importing the same items from Amazon in the USA – including shipping costs and import fees.


Tech prices

The table below shows the results of the test.

As you can see, from the items selected, a South African purchase is the better choice – except in the case of the SSD, which was significantly cheaper from Amazon.

Tech Prices
Item Import, Taxes, Delivery Fees US Price Final Price
Intel 8th Gen Core i3-8100 – Amazon $28.95 $119.99 $148.94 / R2,223
Intel 8th Gen Core i3-8100 – Local R2,129
ASUS RT-AC88U Router – Amazon $65.79 $228.40 $294.19 / R4,391
ASUS RT-AC88U Router – Local R4,466
Dell U2518D Monitor – Amazon $125.79 $318.44 $444.23 / R6,631
Dell U2518D Monitor – Local R4,999
Samsung 860 EVO 500GB – Amazon $23.86 $97.99 $121.85 / R1,818
Samsung 860 EVO 500GB – Local R2,229
Apple iPhone X 64GB – Amazon $190.71 $1,089.99 $1,280.70 / R19,117
Apple iPhone X 64GB – Local R17,499

Guarantees on imports

It is important to remember that while you can insure your import and pay for fast and safe delivery, when buying a product directly from the US you are essentially buying a grey import.

You will therefore not receive free local support and warranties as you would if buying the item locally.

Your items may also have US plugs on them, which means you have to change the plug or buy a US adapter to use the item in your wall sockets.

Lastly, tech items made for sale in the US – or other countries besides South Africa – can come with software made for the US. This means potential geo-locked services.


Now read: The best public DNS services to use in South Africa

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The price to import tech vs South African prices