Post-Christmas online selling boom in South Africa

South African online classified websites were this week overflowing with post-Christmas offers to sell various goods. It was however unclear if they were unwanted gifts or attempts to make up for festive season overspending.

A white lion skin, 18-year-old Oude Meester Souverein brandy in a gift set box, a trained Yorkie dog, a “healthy” African Grey parrot, Ballito New Year’s Eve party tickets, a Bruce Lee DVD collection, A Guinness World Records book for 2010, and still in-the-box smartphones – were among some of the most recent posts on the OLX website.

The “unwanted gifts” on the Bid or Buy classified auctions site included a Fitbit – a wristband that monitors exercise – a Crazy Christmas Joke Book, a cervical massage shawl, and a Bounty Hunter Junior Metal detector.

On Gumtree’s South African page, unwanted gifts included a ladies golf club set, a drill kit and chainsaw, video games and cameras, a 9 carat gold tiger’s claw pendant, and a Medela free-style double breast pump.

The number of fitness watches for sale on various sites was perhaps an indication that many South Africans were not quite ready to get off the couch.

For those hoping to return the items to stores – familiarity with retailers’ return policies is a must.

Game stores declares on its website: “If we stock it, we’ll swop it”. No proof of purchase was needed. The item however had to be unused and in its original packaging.

Makro allowed customers to return most goods within 14 days of purchase – unless there were hygienic issues, applicable laws, or issues with “cost efficiency”.

Toys R Us was open to returns – with conditions. “Sale of reading material in whatever form” cannot be returned, it states on its website.

Incredible Connection offered a “change of mind/ peace of mind” return policy. According to its website, the public had 14 days to return goods, as long as they were in original condition. Due to copyright laws, licensed software and games could not be returned, unless defective.

If all else failed there were still two options: remember that it’s the thought that counts, or regift it, in line with the adage that one’s man’s trash is another man’s treasure.


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Post-Christmas online selling boom in South Africa