Some eCommerce Fun, Shipping Speedtest : Gearbest vs Geekbuying

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Recently I decided to personally review Geekbuying and bought the Xiaomi Mijia 4K Action Camera from off their online store. The device comes with zero accessories and that meant I had to buy things like a monopod/tripod, high speed SD card, silicon casing etc separately.

A shipping speedtest idea is formed

I always do my due diligence when shopping and I discovered that the accessories were cheaper on Gearbest by like five bucks. I never turn down an opportunity to save money but I hate split shipping. It means two trips to the Post Office to get my packages if they don’t arrive at the same time. That got me thinking though. Which shop is faster in terms of shipping Gearbest vs Geekbuying?

To find out I decided to do a little speedtest. I would buy items from both shops and try and see which package got to me first. To be clear we are talking about shipping to Zimbabwe here. The country is often bundled into the “other” category when it comes to shipping estimations. Now that is hardly useful.


Shipping methods

Unless you are buying a high value item like the DJI Mavic drone or Xiaomi Notebook DHL, FedEx and other express shipping methods are to be avoided like the plague. These services will charge you an extra clearance fee which starts around $30 no matter the price of the item in addition to the duty. On the upside if you buy something on Sunday you will have it by Friday.

The alternative is to use Registered Airmail (I never recommend anything else as you will not get tracking). Both Gearbest and Geekbuying claim a shipping time of 15-25 days for Zimbabwe. This is definitely slow than express shipping but it is cheaper, much cheaper.

Gearbest shipping options

Gearbest gives you the alternative to choose between Swedish Post, Netherlands Post and Belgium Post. Last time I bought something from them I used Belgium Post which took 35 days. On this occasion I selected Netherlands Post because it was the cheapest option.

Geekbuying Shipping Options

Geekbuying does not give you the option to choose between Registered Airmail providers. That is not necessarily a bad thing though. The Gearbest option can leave you with your head reeling the first time you encounter it. Having only one option makes things simpler. Geekbuying uses SingPost to deliver their parcels.

The race is on

So I started the race by placing an order on Geekbuying on 23 February. The order was shipped out two business days later on 26 February. On this day, the 26th , I placed an order on Gearbest which was sent out 28 February again 2 business days later. So in terms of dispatch time both have the same time 48 hours.

That is where the similarities end however. Gearbest uses a little triangle shopping where items are first sent to the European sorting centers of the post businesses that ship them before dispatching them to say Zimbabwe. That takes time. In fact my PostNL tracking number is not even working yet.

By comparison my Geekbuying package is already at Harare … errrrr Robert Mugabe Airport! It only took four days for the package to be sent to Zimbabwe and with any luck I will be able to receive it around late next week ZimPost and ZIMRA permitting. That is a mere 15 days after placing the order and that is simply spectacular.

Geekbuying is winning

Tracking information for both packages

Honestly even accounting for the differences in the order dates it seems this is a race between Usain Bolt (SingPost/Geekbuying) and myself pretending to be an athlete (PostNL/Gearbest). I will do a full comparison when both packages arrive but my advice for now is that price nothwistanding when faced with the choice Geekbuying seems to be faster.


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14 thoughts on “Some eCommerce Fun, Shipping Speedtest : Gearbest vs Geekbuying

  1. Thank you for the post. I learnt a lot. But would like to know more maybe if yu have some info. I bought something on ebay for the first time separately. Are these deliveries reliable to my address. And where would i pay the duty. I selected items that were marked free shipping

    1. Ebay is little bit tricky because despite the appearance it is not one huge market. Think of it as Mupedzanhamo in Mbare. There are several sellers selling their wares in there. It depends with each seller. Usually Ebay sellers have a rating showing how reliable they are. Also it’s anyone’s guess what type of delivery options they are offering until they give you a tracking number. Also a habit of some unscrupulous sellers is to create a waybill number (tracking number) before they even hand over an item for delivery. Only breath a sigh of relief once the tracking number starts working. Another thing is that a lot of Ebay sellers, but by no means all, are drop-shippers i.e they are not really selling anything they just buy the item from a Chinese shop at a discount and have that shop deliver to your address. So yeah Ebay is a different beast but hopefully you will get your items delivered on time.

    1. Yes and no. My bank has a low but sufficient limit unfortunately they are not opening new accounts right now unless you are some big shot, I opened an account way back with them. Besides that I earn a little forex from my Blogging efforts from Advertisers outside Zim which ends up in my Payoneer account. These amounts are usually inadequate so I do have an FBC prepaid MasterCard for when I need to make large purchases like the Camera. Accessories were bought using my local card the stuff cost me around $12 but it was necessary because it’s not available in Zim.

    2. Hi l use the Stanchart card to make small purchases almost every month and l don’t even need to pre-fund the card.

      1. Yep SC is great and comes with a $100 limit but like such great banks unless you are an NGO or a high value client don’t waste your time trying to open account with them as they have frozen new account openings for most people.

  2. Thanks for the post,l have always bought from Aliexpress and l choose the free shipping option and l get my stuff after 30 or so days.Another great site to buy from is and it has free shipping,expect yo goods after 30 days also.

    1. Yes I remember (used be a .com) I reviewed it here . Had few problems with them back then taking too long to process and ship items, then they switched to PayPal only when PayPal was not yet available for Zimbabweans, I do look at them now and then but their prices are higher than Geekbuying and Gearbest on average. I have used Aliexpress a couple times but one problem is that of lack of standardization. Individual sellers have their own requirements and some ship to Zimbabwe while some don’t. In fact what has made Geekbuying stand out is that they actually ship batteries! Most shops don’t and that was a deciding factor for me.

  3. I also recommend Banggood. I recently used it to get my staff when the item was out of stock at Gearbest and shipping was swift.

  4. Hi Garikai just bought something from Amazon Global with free shipping to Zim,hope to send u more info wen l get my goods

    1. That would be amazing actually. Amazon has always been a source of pain for me. Great stuff zero delivery.

    1. Do you want to choose these to deliver your product when buying online? Or are you a prospective seller

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