If you’ve bought a car from BeForward before (not too sure how many HAVEN’T) but you’ll be pleased to know the largest car dealer selling cars to Africa is now selling laptops.
Yes, you know them for being one of the largest (if not the largest) online used car sales websites, sending hundreds of thousands of vehicles to Africa annually and have undoubtedly gained the trust of users and followers. If you look at almost every Japanese car that is in Zimbabwe right now you’re bound to see a black and orange sticker written BeForward.
Well, they’ve decided to take it up a notch. BeForward have realised that the need is greater than just used cars (I haven’t seen a motorbike or quad-bike listed on their website, guess the Japanese are a bit cautious) and are now selling used laptops!!!
The well known car dealer has seen an opportunity to build on the relationships of their following by adding these digital products into the fray (hand clap).
How to buy laptops from BeForward
The logistics are a lot similar to how they sell their cars. You search for the product that you want, select it and add it to your cart, then you check out when you’re done choosing.
A proforma invoice is then emailed to you that requires you to make your way to the bank (no VISA, MasterCard or even PayPal payments just yet, even though we can now pay using PayPal in Zimbabwe we’ll have to wait for other services to start using our account) and do a telegraphic transfer. Once payment has been made within 48 hours from the proforma being sent, they “pack your product with insulation and shock resistance and hand in your goods to DHL“.
No mention is made as to how long it will take to get to Zimbabwe but they do state that they’ll give you the DHL tracking number once it’s left their hands so that you can keep track of your order. Fair enough.
Should you buy laptops from BeForward?
Though this is early days yet, my main reason why you should hold on to your cash and not buy laptops from BeForward just yet is pricing.
With laptops priced at between $200 and $400 at the former Ximex Mall-area (a shopping complex in Harare where cellphone traders buy and sell their wares) for second hand ones (I will not answer the moral blameworthiness of buying from such places) and $400 – $750 for a well spec’d laptop in Harare, getting a laptop from BeForward is very expensive.
Though on face value, it looks cheap, a low spec’d brand new laptop goes for as little as $350, but this is before the $30-$40 that banks charge you to do a Telegraphic Transfer (please someone briing BitCoin to Zimbabwe!), then they have a flat fee of $150 for shipping (they don’t really state what weight this is for, as it surely will be cheaper to buy them in quantity.
It is a great initiative to see BeForward (renowned for used car sales) stepping into the laptop arena. This didn’t seem an obvious to me, sure, car parts or car accessories is the way to go, no? This is an interesting pivot, though for now I wouldn’t recommend anyone to take up this offer, especially since these devices are readily available in Zimbabwe.
Would you buy a laptop from BeForward? How price sensitive are you? Any particular way that they should adjust to make this offer more lucrative? Are options for buying laptops like Zimbo Shopper better?