South African tech prices vs US imports

Petrol price increases, tax hikes, and a weakening rand – the list of items diminishing your disposable income at the start of 2019 is growing rapidly.

What this means for those seeking new hardware and gadgets is that budgets are more important than ever, and saving a few bucks becomes crucial.

One way to save money on tech items is to import them, with a quick and easy option Amazon in the US.

Amazon ships certain items directly to South Africa, and includes shipping and import duties as part of the total a user pays at checkout.


The only caveat that comes with importing tech from the US is that it may have a plug which does not fit local sockets – and it does not come with local support.

When buying a product directly from the US you are essentially buying a grey import. This means no local support or warranties: value-adds you receive if you buy the item from a local retailer.

If this is not a concern for you, however, then comparing prices and potentially shipping in an item from the US is something you should consider.


To provide an example of how prices compare, we selected a list of common tech items along with their pricing from online retailers in South African and Amazon in the US.

The exchange rate at time of writing was $1 = R14.28, and Amazon’s default shipping options were used.

Tech Prices
Item Price Delivery, Tax, Duties Total Price
Corsair K63 Keyboard (Local) R1,399 R1,399
Corsair K63 Keyboard (Amazon) $79.99 $21.79 / $13.20 $114.98 (R1,644)
Hard Drive
Seagate BarraCuda 10TB HDD (Local) R5,999 R5,999
Seagate BarraCuda 10TB HDD (Amazon) $339.70 $18.72 / $56.05 $414.47 (R5,927)
MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Ventus OC (Local) R5,599 R5,599
MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Ventus OC (Amazon) $279.99 $46.20 / $16.32 $342.51 (R4,892)
AMD Ryzen 5 2600 (Local) R3,449 R3,449
AMD Ryzen 5 2600 (Amazon) $164.99 $11.27 / $27.22 $203.48 (R2,908)
Intel CPU
Intel Core i5 9600K (Local) R4,850 R4,850
Intel Core i5 9600K (Amazon) $269.89 $7.10 / $44.53 $321.52 (R4,602)
Dell 27-inch 1080p Monitor (Local) R2,899 R2,899
Dell 27-inch 1080p Monitor (Amazon) $157.50 $97.79 / $25.99 $281.28 (R4,026)
Samsung 970 EVO 500GB M.2 SSD (Local) R2,499 R2,499
Samsung 970 EVO 500GB M.2 SSD (Amazon) $148.99 $6.90 / $24.58 $180.47 (R2,582)
Samsung Galaxy S10+ 512GB (Local) R25,999 R25,999
Samsung Galaxy S10+ 512GB (Amazon) $1,249.99 $116.00 / $206.25 $1,572.24 (R22,499)

Now read: The adoption of Android 9 is absolutely shameful

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South African tech prices vs US imports