Guide to affordable online shopping in Ethiopia
Despite some prevailing issues around Ethiopia’s economy, shopping in Ethiopia still does not have to cost a fortune especially for the discerning few. From handcrafts such as beads, wood carvings, traditional attires and accessories to bags for men and women, the average shopper does not have to break the bank to dress stylishly and be comfortable in his skin.
When shopping in Ethiopia whether as a tourist, expatriate or resident, the best places to shop includes the capital city. At Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s commercial nerve Centre, the shopper will be spoilt for choice when buying.
Addis is a great place to shop among other fine places such as Harar and Dire Dawa.
With over 3 million inhabitants in the sprawling city, this numbers cannot but be leveraged for marketing and sales whether online or offline (physical retail outlets).
Though a safe city for shopping, there are still petty thieves around the nook and corners of the city that often rob shoppers of their valuables – this is a common feature in most parts of Africa even the world. This drawback is especially pronounced in crowded places like markets, upscale stores and malls where shoppers carry cash around to purchase commodities and have to in most cases stand for hours in long queues waiting to be attended to by a cashier.
Nonetheless, internet savvy Ethiopians do not have to worry anymore about the worrisome activities of the petty thieves since the emergence of Electronic commerce technology. E-commerce by definition is simply the buying and selling of goods and services online, the likes of online marketplace Kaymu and online Shop www.ethiosouq.com have changed the way Ethiopians should shop for items.
Shopping online especially using a secure connection erases the possibility of having the bags of customers snatched or their goods stolen since delivery is directly to the doorstep of the buyer. In spite of the prevailing problems that Ethiopia faced in achieving e-commerce, the country keeps growing steadily with the technology. The clothing accessories, shoes, paintings, bags, groceries sold at physical retail outlets in Ethiopia are now available online even at cheaper rates especially when discounted sales promotion runs – this is a common feature of online shopping. As a matter of fact, shoppers do not have to travel outside Ethiopia to buy goods anymore rather they can conveniently shop from around the world just by the click of a button. Whether online or offline, what counts is affordability and satisfaction for customers. A satisfied shopper is happy when there is value for his money judging by the affordability of desirable goods put up for sale.
However, all shoppers have choices to make when deciding on a shopping destination. There are classes. Shoppers must only decide which class they fall into whether middle, upper or lower class; albeit the key thing is to bargain properly even for the so-called classy products sold at places like Hilton and Sheraton. Such places may come across as upscale thus it will be safer to buy from other stores that will may be cost effective and still help the shopper in not squandering his wad of Birr notes. Again, with proper bargaining, being overcharged will be the least of the shopper’s worries.
Contrarily, Bole Airport shops have on sale Duty Free goods such as liquor, cigars, clothes, books and souvenirs for tourists. Some of the prices at the international terminal’s shops are ridiculously low. The secret is to initially window shop and then compare prices but that may be stressful except the shopping is done online where customers are presented with an array of goods that are indexed in categories to aid easy access and navigation.
Also, a visit to the ShiroMeda Market near the US embassy will see low-cost stuff in bundance for sale. Really nice and affordable clothes and shoes are available for sale there. For lovers of jewelries such as silver, gold, Piazza area is a good shopping area for a great buy. This is where the buyer will find cheap jewelries to purchase. As for book lovers, the Megabook shop is where they can get romance and academic books all at great prices.
Over all, shopping in Ethiopia can be a rewarding as well as a bad experience for customers depending on the bargaining power of the shopper not also forgetting the need to always compare prices before rushing to buy an item off the shelf.
In most cases, goods are not price tagged forcing the potential buyer to request for it.
When this happens, the seller can easily see through the buyer to know if he is a foreigner or so. A shopper at the marketplace must be wary of mischievous sellers that often inflate the prices of the goods to make some gains.
Buyers must often haggle the prices of whatever they intend to buy by more than half of what was quoted them by the sellers. Above all, it is advisable for tourists to visit markets with a guide to avoid running into losses.