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My Geekbuying Shopping Experience

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This article contains referral links from which we may receive some financial benefit. As a principle, we only refer and recommend products and services that we would ourselves be happy to buy.

So yesterday I got an sms from the Post Office telling me I could come and collect my parcel. It was that awesome 4K Xiaomi Mijia Camera I have been raving about. All in all it took a record breaking 15 days to come from China and being in my hand. That was a mere 17 days after placing the order on Geekbuying; we are counting weekends and everything here.

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Placing the order

Adding an item to cart

Buying from Geekbuying is no different from buying elsewhere online. You just find the item(s) you want, add them to the shopping cart and when you are ready click check out. Most items can be shipped to Zimbabwe freely, however, small items might not have the Registered Mail option which means you cannot track them. You will need to pay about $1.99 to get tracking for these. Shipping options are less confusing when compared to Gearbest  which offers a lot of choices, all you need to do is enter your address and you are done.

Making Payment

Geekbuying accepts Visa/MasterCard as well as PayPal. I would strongly recommend that you link your card with PayPal when purchasing things online. This service is free and you can protect yourself in case of problems. I have my card linked with PayPal and the payment process was intuitive. My bank has a $100 limit so I was lucky I could use Bonds in this instance.

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If you are not so lucky you should be happy to know that you can use your FBC Prepaid MasterCard/Steward Prepaid Visa to make purchases. I can also help with small purchases ($25 and below) see below for details.

Waiting for the camera

ZimPost sms

Geekbuying uses SingPost ( strictly speaking the division is called 4PX). Last time I tried SingPost in 2013 they took 6-8 weeks to deliver to Zimbabwe and boy have they changed that now. It took them only 15 days to get the parcel in my hand and it could have been faster but for ZIMRA who of course had to asses the package for duty purposes.

SingPost tracking numbers are issued when the package is shipped out. It takes about 3 days before the number starts working. You can use any number of sites to track the progress of your package. One thing to note though: Registered Mail tracking numbers are different from say Express Shipping numbers. Just because your package’s status has not been updated in a while does not mean it’s not coming. Some way points don’t bother with scanning.

For tracking I tested packageradar.com, 17track.net ( which Geekbuying recommends), track24.net and 4PX’s own tracking system. While all of these work well I would recommend Package Radar and 4PX’s sites as they offer more detailed and accurate information. I had a scary moment when the other sites told me the package was “held by Customs”. Turns out it simply means Customs clearance is in progress and there is nothing to worry about. Something my recommended trackers make abundantly clear.

Also for the first time I could partially track the package within Zimbabwe.

ZimPost and ZIMRA

Duty slip from ZIMRA

The package came with the usual strange invoice marking it as a gift with zero description. While this might work in other countries to ZIMRA this is an invitation that says open me please. After opening the package the guys at ZIMRA plucked the Value for Duty Purposes out of thin air. The usually 45% duty for cameras and 15% VAT was then levied.

Here is the thing while classification is easy, as shown in the image, cameras belong to the category 98090090 in ZIMRA’s handbook. Knowing the VDP in advance is hard. I think officers are told to use research as well as their own judgement. The Post Office meanwhile is very predictable with its $10 handling fee which is nothing compared to the fortune demanded by Express Couriers.

Unwrapping the goods

Below are a few pictures of the unboxing. I will be doing a couple of reviews but I have to wait for the accessories I bought from Gearbest to do this. I expect to get them on Tuedsday as PostNL has proven itself to be nearly as speedy as SingPost despite my first impressions.

Ecocash offer

If you want to make a purchase of $25 or below from Geekbuying and have no Visa/MasterCard just get in touch and I may be able to help you make your purchase via Ecocash.

  • Email me at garikaib at gmail dot com or WhatsApp message(no calls please) +263772473953
  • Send me the link to the product you are interested in and I will take a look and send you a quote if I have funds
  • Once I give you the okay you can then send the money, your name and surname as they appear on your ID, the address to which the item is to be sent and your phone number (the one ZIMPOST will send the sms to when the package arrives)

NB While I will make the purchase on your behalf it is dropshipped and sent by Geekbuying and not me. The prices I send do not include duty, you are solely responsible for that. Duty can be paid using swipe or Ecocash at your local Post Office when you collect the item.

Happy shopping.

ZIMRAEcoCashZimpost

The Zimbabwe Revenue Authority is a government department which is responsible for the collection of state revenue in form of excise duty, customs duty, road tolls, corporate and civil taxes. In addition, it also facilitates trade, offers fiscal advise to the government as well as... Read More About ZIMRA

EcoCash is a mobile money transfer facility which is run by Econet Wireless Zimbabwe. The facility has grown in leaps and bounds since its inception and is arguably the largest mobile money transfer agent considering the huge sums of transactions that the platform is said... Read More About EcoCash

Zimpost (officially Zimbabwe Posts) is a government owned postal and courier services company. The company was established from the unbundling of the Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (PTC), and it is incorporated as a public body in terms of the Posts and Telecommunications Act [Chapter 12:05]... Read More About Zimpost


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23 thoughts on “My Geekbuying Shopping Experience

  1. Very informative. Love Geekbuying. One of the most reliable and cheapest online shops for tech geeks

  2. I also recommend Geekbuying as opposed to Gearbest which you guys vouch for sometimes. I once purchased a set of Virtual Reality goggles on Gearbest but they never arrived. I enquired with them and they said we are resending. They even sent me a picture of the parcel they resent to me but again, it never arrived. You can also trust aliexpress for even cheaper prices than Geekbuying. I have over 40 orders on Aliexpress, all delivered successfully.

    1. I am sorry to hear about your Gearbest experience.What I have learnt is that the experience a you had a year ago cannot used to predict what you will experience a year later. Sometime back in 2013 for example delivery took ages and DHL was the only option. I have also learnt that you need to check the insurance box when buying high value items as a certain percentage of items get lost every year no matter which shipping method/shop you buy from. I once had a U.S tablet from Amazon D.O.A and it was delivered using FedEx thanks to insurance I got my money back. I have been lucky, except for a damaged charger, when it comes to Chinese retailers. what I particular hate about Aliexpress personally is the lack of uniformity. You are dealing with shops and not one shop the site does not abstract this layer.

  3. I also recommend Geekbuying as opposed to Gearbest which you guys vouch for sometimes. I once purchased a set of Virtual Reality goggles on Gearbest but they never arrived. I inquired with them and they said we are resending. They even sent me a picture of the parcel they resent to me but again, it never arrived. You can also trust Aliexpress for even cheaper prices than Geekbuying. I have over 40 orders on Aliexpress, all delivered successfully.

    1. You don’t need to. It depends with your Post Office some support sms some don’t. Most Post Offices in the Harare CBD support sms.

    1. Stanchart unfortunately it seems they have since disabled international payments like everyone else. Cue a lot can happen in 2 weeks.

  4. I m in Hillside Bulawayo my post office also sends sms when parcels arrive.I first used everbuying then moved to gearbest left it when it added shipping costs no free shipping, then now using AliExpress.Hoping to try Geekbuying. On payments,i opened iSave account with steward bank,then applied for steward bank MasterCard which was then suspended, then moved to Ecobank Cashxpress which was suspended last year, currently on steward bank visa card.Fairy good so far.

  5. I’ve been using Ali express for years… Decided to give gearbest a try… Made two orders unregistered mail…. One came through but they put 2 items in the same parcel and you know zimra gets frisky with that… Ended up paying more than the value of the product in duty… Cause of the post office 10… The other parcel has not even arrived almost 4 months down the line. Not going to waste my time chasing it… You can’t be right all the time and definitely Ali express is better than gearbest…. Anyone else to recommend geekbuying

    1. Things to note:
      1) When buying online always choose registered even if you have to pay extra
      2) Depending with what you are buying bundling is sometimes a good thing. Every store has support where you can get in touch and tell them to split the order before it is shipped (might be charged extra
      3) There is always a percentage of packages that will never reach their destination it is usually the shipment company’s fault or because the item’s label falls. Google Aliexpress and you will seem some people ranting and raving.
      4) Buy online long enough and this will happen to you eventually. Doesn’t mean the store is bad
      5) A little insurance will always go a long way in preventing future problems
      6) There is no such thing as free shipping
      7) When asked to pay more than you paid, dispute this with ZIMRA remember the days when ZESA overcharged and estimated usage this is the same thing

  6. thanks a lot Garikai how did you deal with the Zimra guys, i have bought a phone and the seller told me they have marked it as a gift and put a value of $20 ( without me asking them to)

    1. Just let the phone come. If you are overcharged u can always dispute using statements if not then we’ll it’s your luck. ZIMPOST will handle the clearing for u

  7. Valid points but I was just taken by suprise that they would pack together… The think I like about Ali is the purchase protection… If it’s not delivered you open and refund initiated

  8. thanks Garikai,How did you deal with the Zimra guys? I bought a phone, the seller writes me an email “please write us a nice review we have helped you avoid tax by puting a value of $20” (without me asking them to) so now how do i prove the real value before ZIMRA slaps a crazy value on the phone? redmi 5 plus by the way bought for $169

    1. As pointed out by @Nice my strategy is simple. I wait until I receive an SMS from the Post Office telling me how much I owe before doing anything crazy. Usually they come up with a price that is lower than the invoice price so In such cases I just pay up and hold my peace. However with low value items sometimes they overcharge. In such instances just go to the ZIMRA offices with your receipts (Paypal issues these). your duty will be recalculated and you can go and collect the item from the Post office where you will of course have to pay the usual $10 fee.

  9. for the FBC Prepaid MasterCard do i have to put strictly US dollars into the account to be able to make international payments?

    1. Last time I checked the idiots there insisted on real USD. I hear there is a little bit of leeway with Steward were you can pay using Forex which will be converted to USD but I do not have experience with this.

  10. @rob just show them in the app how much you paid… If it’s 169 add 40% plus 10$.
    @zee I know you already know the answer.. You need actual usd

  11. @rob I estimate you’ll pay 250… Post it in the comments for all to see please… Admin leave it open

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