Gone are the days when you had to visit a major market and browse through stuff to buy something. This is the digital era, and you can now buy stuff online while sitting on your couch in your living room! Making transactions online is known as eCommerce. The eCommerce industry is a multi-billion dollar industry (larger than $100 billion!) and growing fast with an estimated annual of growth of a staggering 70%! Approximately, 75% of the transaction is the U.S. are made by eCommerce! Hence, the world is fast moving towards the online shopping culture. However, such services are limited in Pakistan. Which is why we will discuss about online shopping and eCommerce in Pakistan.
eBay is one of the Giants in the market. It owns Giant service PayPal through which a lot of the world’s eCommerce takes place. In fact, it is the leading online shopping company around, with services in a lot of countries. Unfortunately, Pakistan is not one of them. Last year, eBay included more countries into its list. But Pakistan still remains deprived of such services.
So does that mean we don’t have the luxury of buying stuff online like the rest of the world? Well, no. eBay might not like us (:P), but we have some alternatives which, although are no match for eBay, but still provide a great level of comfort and ease and are reliable as well. Here are some of them;
ShopHive is one of Pakistan’s largest online marketplaces offering a wide variety of new products for sale from Mobile Phones to Computers and Home Appliances to Hair Grooming products. In my experiance, it is the most convenient service in Pakistan. Shipping is available to most cities via TCS. Even some remote areas are included where products are delivered through other local courier services. For Lahore, items are shipped on the same day. For Islamabad, the next day of order, and the rest of cities, within 5 days of order, depending upon the size of the item.
One of my favourite things about Shophive is the convenient payment methods. I love the COD (Cash on Delivery) service where you pay the courier staff cash when you receive an item. That way, I don’t have to provide my bank information or go to a bank and write a bank draft. Some items, however, are not available via COD. For such, you have to make a down-payment of 10% via bank transfer to verify your purchase. You can then pay the rest upon delivery. Most banks like UBL, MCB, Standard Chartered, Western Union etc. are accomodated.
HomeShopping.pk is another great eCommerce website offering a very large variety of products from sporting goods, to Health and Beauty products to Solar Panels and Night Vision Devices and a lot more!
HomeShopping provides very flexible payment and delivery options. They ship products to over 1,500 destinations all over Pakistan! And you can either pay as per COD (Cash on Delivery) or COP (Cash on Pick-up). With COP, you can visit your nearest pick-up center and check out your purchase before paying for it. Like Shophive, HomeShopping also accommodates bank deposits in almost all the major banks. You can place orders online as well as via phone, fax or email. PayPal (for international customers) is also accepted.
BelisCity is also a very large online new product shopping service. Offered products range from latest gadgets to garments to books and magazines, and a lot lot more! It operated throughout Pakistan, and Internationally as well. The best part is, shipping throughout Pakistan is absolutely FREE! And they accept money via wire-transfer, credit card, COD and some other methods. COnsidering the range of products available, and the shipping services and easy payment options, BelisCity is one of the best eCommerce website in Pakistan.
OLX (On-Line eXchange) is the Biggest classified service in Pakistan. From mobile phones and accessories to vehicles, to real estate services, OLX has got it all! It’s your one stop shop for checking out any second-hand items, new or used. I use it quite often, sometimes only to check out new and used prices for various products!
OLX operates in most cities in Pakistan. Not only that, it operates globally as well, which makes it a very large service. If you want to sell anything, then OLX is what you are looking for. And you can find almost anything your are looking for at OLX.
Hafeez Centre is my personal favourite when it comes to computer accessories and gadgets. It is the leading classified portal for consumer electronics like Desktop Computers, Mobile Phones, Laptops, Accessories, Gadgets etc. And it also provides the best and most reasonable prices. Users can post free ads for any products they want to sell. Hence, Hafeez Centre deals with both New as well as Used items.
These were some of the main alternative services to eBay that you can use in Pakistan. Hope this helped you out. Do share any good or bad online shopping experiance with us so that others may benefit from your advice. Best wishes 🙂