Cheaper to buy tech products from Amazon US than Amazon South Africa

A MyBroadband analysis has revealed that many technology products sold on Amazon’s South African marketplace are more expensive than those purchased from Amazon.com in the United States.

The international online retail giant’s local marketplace officially launched on Tuesday, 7 May 2024. It offers customers free delivery on their first order and all subsequent orders over R500.

At launch, it supported a network of 3,000 pickup points, and customers can get status updates for their orders on WhatsApp.

The company offers 24-hour support via email and live chat. Its call centres servicing South Africa operate from 06:00 until midnight each day.

Amazon.co.za promises hassle-free returns within 30 days. Customers returning items can choose from several options, including home pickup and self-drop.

According to Amazon Sub-Saharan Africa CEO Robert Koen, the company’s secret to success will be its focus on consumers rather than its competitors.

“We don’t focus on what our competitors are doing. We’ve found that a successful formula is if we really obsess about our customers,” he said.

“They want great products, great prices, and real convenience when shopping online. If we just focus on that and listen really carefully to what’s working and maybe what’s not working, we can tweak the experience.”

However, following its launch, some South Africans voiced their frustration at prices and its seemingly small catalogue of products.

“They finally released Amazon in South Africa, and there’s quite literally nothing here,” one user said on X (formerly Twitter) a few days after its launch.

“Amazon South Africa is quite disappointing for me. None of the products we hoped for are on the site, and the ones that are available are overpriced,” another user said.

Amazon price showdown

To establish what consumers complained about, MyBroadband compared prices for ten tech products available through Amazon’s South African and US marketplaces.

Our analysis found that it was cheaper to order six of the ten products from the US site and have them shipped to South Africa.

We observed the most significant price differences between Amazon South Africa and Amazon.com for computer components like CPUs and graphics cards.

It costs R7,777.47 to order the Intel Core i7-13700KF processor from Amazon’s US marketplace for shipment to South Africa. The same CPU costs R15,315.93 on Amazon.co.za.

The two graphics cards followed a similar trend. However, the differences aren’t as significant.

South Africans can order the XFX Speedster SWFT210 Radeon RX 7600 GPU from Amazon’s US marketplace for R6,135.19, compared to R11,096 in South Africa.

Amazon sells the MSI Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 8GB Ventus 2 x Black OC edition GPU on its US site for R7,628.36, while those ordering from the South African marketplace will pay R9,321.69.

The US marketplace was also cheaper for the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra 256GB, Samsung Galaxy A55 256GB, and the Razer Naga V2 Pro Wireless gaming mouse.

Amazon’s South African marketplace was markedly cheaper for four of the ten items compared.

Its best deal is the Xbox Series S 512GB, available for R5,399.10 on a limited-time deal. The console costs R8,929.60 to buy from Amazon’s US site.

The Xiaomi TV Box S 2nd-generation was roughly R500 cheaper in the South African marketplace, the Sony WHCH720N Wireless over-ear headphones in black were around R800 cheaper, and the Garmin Venu 3S smartwatch was nearly R5,000 cheaper.

The table below compares pricing for ten tech products available on both Amazon.co.za and Amazon.com.

Amazon South Africa vs Amazon US tech price comparison
Product Amazon South Africa Amazon US (includes all taxes and shipping)
Xiaomi TV Box S 2nd Gen 4K Ultra HD Streaming Media Player R1,049.00 R1,588.11
Sony WHCH720N Wireless over-ear headphones R1,999.00 R2,805.75
Razer Naga V2 Pro Wireless R4,370.00 R4,318.11
Xbox Series S 512GB R5,399.10* R8,929.60
MSI Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 8GB Ventus 2 x Black OC R9,321.69 R7,628.36
Garmin Venu 3S R9,999.00 R14,995.35
Samsung Galaxy A55 256GB R9,999.00 R9,562.91
XFX Speedster SWFT210 Radeon RX 7600 Graphics Card R11,096.00 R6,135.19
Intel Core i7-13700KF R15,315.93 R7,777.47
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra 256GB R25,999.00 R23,635.85

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Cheaper to buy tech products from Amazon US than Amazon South Africa