Amazon.com is the world’s largest online marketplace where you can purchase a wide range of
products at prices much lower than you may find in the local Kenyan stores. A case in point is books, mobile phones, tablet computers, Amazon kindles and much more. For example, a book or textbook on Amazon would cost much less as compared to buying it in a Nairobi bookshop which has to adjust their prices to reflect running costs and markup. Unfortunately, many Kenyans do not take advantage of this fact mainly because they do not know how to make online purchases and have goods shipped to them in Kenya. Buying online on amazon.com, ebay.com or any other online marketplace is actually quite easy.
- Visit Amazon and browse the category listing for the items you are looking to purchase. For example, if you are looking for a book, browse the ‘Books’ category or ‘computers’ if looking for a Tablet computer.
- Once you find the item you want, register an account and log in.
- Select the item you want to purchase and check out. You will need a credit/debit card to make payment. This is the point that most ordinary Kenyans find difficult. To find out how to get a credit/debit card to make online payments or to use your existing credit/debit card, read this article.
- Enter your shipping address. This can be your PO Box address. The items are delivered to Posta by USPS (United States Postal Service) and you can pick them up at the Haile Selassie Post Office (near the railway station). If you want faster and more secure delivery, you can opt for courier delivery. This will, however, cost you more. At the time of writing this article, the standard Amazon shipping rate to Kenya was $6.99 per shipment and $39.99 for Priority Courier Shipping.
- Important update: Amazon.com is no longer ships the majority of items to Kenya due to warranty issues and manufacturer restrictions. If an item you want can’t ship to Kenya, you will need a US Shipping address. There are a number of companies in the US that can provide you with a US Shipping address for a small fee. You will add this as a Shipping address in your Amazon account. Amazon will then send the item to that address and the item will be couriered to you in Kenya. To get a US billing address, try MyUS or Shipito. They both offer US shipping addresses at very fair terms.
Tips and Warnings
Take note that unless the item you are importing is zero-rated, you will be required to pay tax upon collection. Find out your tax liability by visiting the KRA website.
How to buy on Ebay in Kenya