By Imran Khan
In the past few years, online shopping has really taken off in Pakistan. Currently more than a hundred e-shops that cover the whole spectrum of what somebody could possibly want to buy are operating in the country. This has resulted in competitive prices and great add-ons like cash on delivery and other features. I’ve managed to create a list of parameters which can serve as a helpful guide while deciding which shop to pick when you want to order something.
Before buying anything, you need to check out the shipping charges policy of the shop. Most of the e-shopping companies in Pakistan offer free shipping service. However, certain conditions are applied for some stores like Daraz.pk which require that your total-checkout-bill be above 1500 PKR for free shipping service. It also depends upon the weight of item. If you are shopping internationally, there are more taxes and charges involved.
Cash on Delivery
Cash on delivery is a nice feature offered by some companies in Pakistan. You simply pay once the item is at your doorstep. In some cases, that is a bit complicated since the deliverymen require ‘tips’ to release the item into your care. It doesn’t happen that often but it’s something to keep in mind when doing business with an online shop that isn’t established per se.
Online shops are designed to get you to spend money. Sometimes a great interface affects your decision process and you might end up paying more than you should. That’s why I suggest you always do a price comparison before buying an item. And if you have access to the local market, check there as well since prices are often lower in brick and mortar stores.
Debit/Credit card information
If you decide to use your debit or card for shopping, always choose a secure connection for the transaction (SSL). I don’t think it needs mentioning but never ever send your debit card information to someone by email.
Credit card have a different process, as you can challenge any suspicious transaction. Personally, I use my UBL wiz card to shop online. The best part about it is that I activate a session for a limited time to make any online transaction. As I am the only one who can activate it, even if someone manages to get my card information, they can’t do anything with it. This scenario might not be the same in your case.
Check for Discount Coupons
With increased competition in the market, online stores are now tending to offer discount coupons for various kind of buyouts. For example, Daraz.PK offers its first time customers a 10% discount and another 12% discount for second time buyers. So its a good idea to check out if there’s any discount coupon offering for a particular store available or not.
Most e-shopping companies aim to deliver an item in 2-5 days. Some of them offer same day delivery but that usually comes at a slight extra charge. Sometimes a delay happens due to traffic jams, weather or some other conditions. So just to be on the safe side, ask for a tracking number. Lastly, always mention alternate posting address as well in case you aren’t present at the time of delivery of product.
When confirming your order via phone, do check with the store if they have the stock available or if they are going to arrange your order after the completion of order.
Online stores usually list all sorts of merchandise on their website, even those items that are available with them or even with their suppliers. If you are ordering a non-running item then your store might delay your shipment until your order is arranged from back-office or from another city in some cases.
Warranty of Product
Warranty of product really defines the “quality of service” of any company. Some e-shopping companies in Pakistan offer 7 days or above return policy, which is a symbol of quality. But your responsibility is that you will have to take care of that product. In case of any damage to product, they are not responsible to get that item back.
How to build trust
To buy anything, you need to be able to trust that company. Unless you have had past dealings, the best way is to check public opinion. There are many online forums in Pakistan where real customers review companies. That way you can watch out for any possible scams.
You should also always look for direct contact details of company, like mobile phone number and physical address. In that case, you can easily file a complaint about any misleading information.
I managed to create a database of online shopping websites in Pakistan with some useful information like shipping charges, delivery, products and warranty information that you can consult while researching your latest purchase.
- Always check shipping charges before buying.
- Prefer cash on delivery method and check “delivery time” as well.
- Compare prices with local market.
- Never send your card information to someone by email.
- Prefer warranty offering shops.
- Check customers review before placing an order.
Ver well written article and tips obviuosly .. Jab yehi future haii to na malo0m ho sb k0.. ThumbsUp !
So shopping in local markets is a lot easier than in emarkets.
It depends,,,, Online shopping method is an easy way,
Nice article.Process has been explained nicely.Online Shopping will prosper with passage of time.Its progress will be exponential.
Good to see that the number of eMarkets growing in Pakistan. This gives a huge convenience to majority of people living away from major cities.
you have great DB of online sites but it will be great if their is some ranking system in place which can help users to decide for which online site he can go for.
I agree with you,,,, Sooner, i will introduce ranking system,
Online shops are becoming quite the norm in Pakistan, and they aren’t just limited to clothes. http://www.sehat.com.pk is an online pharmacy delivering medicines nationwide. They currently only offer Cash on Delivery in Lahore
Sehat is an online pharmacy that also offers delivery. Shops aren’t just being limited to selling clothes in the Pakistani internet space
plz give some tips for international online shopping.
Very good article!!! You have tried to talk about all aspects. Well regarding your cash on delivery paragraph, I would like to say that If a deliverymen ask for tips just say no to him and if he try to misbehave or make fun of you then give a tight slap on his face, reject the product and bang the door on his face. Dont give a single penny. This will make his job in danger.
Haha,,, yes sir,
I’ve ordered many items from daraz.pk and never faced any problem!
Daraz.pk is a great online shopping service provider in Pakistan. But sometime, problems even occur in Amazon as well.
Sooner, i wll rank these shops according to user rating.
yes it will very useful for the online shopping users.
I’ve been shopping for electronics via homeshopping.pk for a few years now. They’ve vastly improved their website, it’s still not mobile optimised but beats the competition imo. Now they’ve even introduced shopping via Amazon, Ebay and two other websites through a URL quote system – haven’t tried that yet though. In fact, I have a new Chromebook being delivered from their US office at this time ?
An added benefit of homeshopping.pk is that they offer their own 1 or 2 year warranty. I’ve always liked that since claiming a warranty for a mobile device, (except Samsung), in Pakistan is always a hassle. Laptops generally don’t come with warranties here.
had bad experience with ishopping.pk, warranty claim kia tha xperia z1 or return mn screen damage mili or sth mn kisi ka fb a/c login mila.
Excellent! Great work Imran – and ProPakistani!
kia ap na complaint submit ki thi ?
Great article, @disqus_T1465xHtrj:disqus. Loved it. (y)
Great article, Imran. Loved it. (y) And, the database of whole Pakistan eCommerce industry you made is totally awesome.
Online shops are getting to be a remarkable standard in Pakistan, and they aren’t simply restricted to garments. http://shoppingbag.pk/ is an online drug store conveying solutions across the nation. They as of now just offer Cash on Delivery in Lahore
but is it a good idea to shop medicines online, that too in a country like ours where fake medicines are even sold at renowned stores?
But bhi Medicines will be very expensive to import from USA. I think Medicines are cheaper in India and if some how we can import from there??