Lunar New Year deals from Chinese shops

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In case you are so wrapped up in your own culture and didn’t know: Today 16 February is the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year. The year of the dog. The day is celebrated in various Asian countries as well. Why should you care? Well because like all holidays it means massive deals from Chinese shops something on par to Black Friday Discounts.

Being the good person I am I have compiled a list of some of the deals you might find compelling. As always you are free to visit any of these shops and find your own deals.


If you use PayPal to checkout of GearBest you are going to receive a sweet 8% discount on your order. Just visit the GearBest website and add whatever you want to buy to cart. During the checkout process enter the promo code PAYPALGB8% to your order and like magic the discount is applied. To take advantage you need to pay using PayPal which is something I would recommend anyway if you want to shop safely online.


Deals from GearBest

GearBest is offering a lot of deals but here are my picks:

NB Despite the temptation never ever buy clothes from these stores it is never worth the hustle. First ZIMRA will hit you with a punitive duty for buying outside SADC, then there is the size issue. Chinese clothes tend to be either too small or too big.

Deals from Geekbuying

While we have been talking about Gearbest since like forever Geekbuying is another awesome Chinese shop. I recently made a purchase with them and so far everything seems to be going smoothly. My friends have also had excellent experiences from Geekbuying. I would be writing my review on them based on my personal experiences with them in due course.

In the meantime here are some deals from them. I have taken advantage of some of them personally.

  • ThiEye E7 Real 4K Action Camera which comes with Electronic Image Stabilization at $90
  • Xiaomi Mi A1  4G Smartphone which has 4GB RAM and 64GB ROM for only $219
  • ZTE Nubia Z17 Lite with 6GB RAM and 64GB ROM at only $259. This amazing phone comes with 4K recording and playback capabilities. In my book it is the best mid-priced out there, the very pinnacle of Chinese engineering.
  • 64GB Samsung memory card for only $23. We will look at this in the future but not all memory cards are the same. There are memory cards from Gulf Complex and then there are those from Samsung

Is it really worth it buying stuff online

Here is a fact. The people who sell these phones locally have gone through the process of importing them at prices near equivalent to these. They don’t import these phones out of the benevolence of their hearts they do it as a business. You can be sure local prices are higher than the prices of importing the phone yourself.

How to pay for these deals

You need a Visa/MasterCard that can make international payments. Most banks these days require you to preload these with foreign currency. I recommend the FBC MasterCard and the Steward prepaid Visa. The later comes with higher limits compared with the usual $500 daily limit of the former.

Possible delays

Due to the Chinese New Year beware that your order might ship after the holiday i.e. next week. This is especially true for goods that are in Chinese warehouses. You order will most likely be shipped after people come back from the holidays.

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6 thoughts on “Lunar New Year deals from Chinese shops

  1. I got hit by zimra….Ali is better cause as far as I can tell they use volume to check packages…. This from 3yrs buying online….gearbesr puts all in one parcel so it gets bulky… Zimra will open…. Ali separates then so if they small they go through…. Case in point my brother used ali and got two smart bands no duty… I ordered a smart watch and added a toy in they…charged me 20 on a purchase that was 20…. Double… Careful on gear best

    1. Sorry to hear that. I have spent years trying to understand how ZIMRA charges duty. I have friends who work at ZIMRA and I am constantly hitting them for information. I also have the latest ZIMRA hand book so I have never had a duty surprise. I know precisely what I am going to pay in the end.

      One trick used by Ali sellers is to declare some goods as gifts being send to you. This is a lottery system as it might or might not work with Zimra. When it does work you get a $70/month rebate i.e. you might not have to pay duty if your item which has been declared a gift has a value below $70. It has nothing to do with Aliexpress at all though most Chinese sellers do it and it might seem you failed in that lottery.

      Also Gearbest can split your package you just have to tell them during the order process. you can also issue any special instructions you might have before shipping. Just log into your account click on orders, select the order and give them the instructions. You can even use this to tell them to hold off shipping and combine with other orders you might make later.

  2. I have faced the same problems from ZIMRA. The first time I bought a smartwatch from Ali Express for $23 and I was charged duty of $22. The second time I bought a smart band & a car charger from DX.COM and was charged $22 again. The total cost for the two items was $13. When I collected the parcel from the Post Office I noticed that ZIMRA first doubled the purchase amount from $13 to $26 and also added “postage” of $3.90 and then calculated duty on the new purchase cost of $29.90. I am now thinking twice about buying a new smartphone online.

    1. The problem with smart watches is that Revenue Authorities deem them to be watches. Which means they attract more duty if you purchase them from outside the SADC region. Currently you will have to pay 20% import duty on FOB price i.e. Cost+Postage this is further made worse by adding 15% VAT. Normally ZIMPOST adds $9/handling fee to all dutiable packages of 1kg.

      I will do an article about the merits of buying online versus buying local to bring out these issues.

  3. Personally i once bought a Lenovo A916 Smart Phone i was charged $46 + Post Office Fees $10 i think it was acceptable. But i think its best to dispute some unreasonable duty charges if you have enough proof to show otherwise.

    1. You are right. You can always show them your commercial invoice or bank statements when you get an eye popping figure for duty. It’s like with those ZESA and ZINWA inspectors sometimes they guestimate. The problem with invoices from places like Aliexpress though is that they are absolute rubbish and fall apart easily when goods are opened for inspection. In those instances always login into your account and show them what you paid.

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