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Importing With Aramex Global Shopper

Aramex Global Shopper (henceforth referred to as AGS) is a shipping service that enables you to buy items from online websites that don’t (or won’t) ship to a specific country, South Africa, for example. By signing up to AGS, you have access to 14 physical forwarding locations spread between New York, USA and Shanghai, China. When you buy any item from an online retailer, you simply have the item sent to the nearest AGS location, and when the item reaches that location, it is forwarded to the AGS facility in your country (Johannesburg in our case), and then delivered straight to your door. Well that’s the theory. Conveniently, it’s how the service works in practice too.

In October of last year, mystery gift box service Loot Crate started shipping to South Africa , and we rejoiced. We have come to expect that packages from the USA usually take some weeks to get here using the normal shipping channels, but there’s always the dread that the parcel will get lost in transit, or worse: get stuck in the black hole that is South African customs. This is what happened to a local whose Loot Crate packages took so long to be delivered that he cancelled his subscription.

So that got me thinking: could AGS guarantee a safe, reliable, convenient way to get one’s Loot Crate to South Africa? I decided to test this by ordering February’s Loot Crate (the 1 month plan) and getting AGS to ship it to me. For science, I kept track of the shipment.

On February 22nd, Loot Crate shipped the parcel from Los Angeles and it arrived at my selected AGS forwarding location, New York, on February 27th. AGS promptly notified me of my parcel’s arrival. It was put on a scale and shipping charges to South Africa were calculated based on the parcel weight. These details were clearly visible on my AGS online profile. Oddly and out of place, at the bottom of the page, there was a link to a randomly-numbered JPG file. That, as it turns out, is actually the photo of my parcel as it was captured at the AGS operations facility.

Aramex Global Shopper profile

I had an option to pay for the shipping at the time, or wait until the parcel arrived at the AGS Joburg facility. I opted to wait. The parcel got shipped regardless. On March 2nd, I was contacted by AGS customer support asking for a commercial invoice to have my parcel cleared at customs. AGS does provide the option to upload an invoice, but I had forgotten to do so, my bad. I e-mailed the required documentation to AGS, and *SIX* days later on March 8th, customs released the parcel. On March 10th, I was contacted by AGS customer support requesting payment for the shipping charges and the customs duties. There were NO duties, what luck! Payment was made, and the parcel arrived at my door on the morning of March 11th.

Let’s talk about the costs. I paid R339.16 for Loot Crate (including shipping to New York) and R274.00 for AGS to ship and courier the 0.7 KG parcel to me in Cape Town. There were no customs duties to be paid, so the total was R613.16. Bear in mind that using AGS is obviously more expensive than just having Loot Crate ship the parcel to me, and in this case I paid approximately R150.50 extra to use AGS. Personally, that is a price that I would happily pay for peace of mind in knowing where my parcel is at any time, having the customs process sorted on my behalf, and having it personally couriered to my home.

Aramex Global Shopper

If you’re looking for a reliable shipping service that gives you 14 18 personalised shipping addresses across the world, I would recommend Aramex Global Shopper. You’ll need to register once for a lifetime membership, which costs USD 45.00 (about R690 at the current exchange rate; just be aware that this figure will obviously fluctuate). If you’re interested, here’s a code that will net you the lifetime membership for just USD 10.00 — AGS10OLP (it expires on 31 October 2017).

For more info, check out

35 replies on “Importing With Aramex Global Shopper”

Glad I could be of help. If you’re interested in purchases from the far east, you may be happy to find out that three more locations have been added — Japan, Thailand, and South Korea. That brings the total to 18 shipping locations if I’m not mistaken.

Jansie, I haven’t used the service recently. I’ve gone down the rabbit hole that is AliExpress (and GearBest). They’ve got so much crap you don’t need but totally want.

From the experience I’ve had, and hearing from other people who have used it (a few members of the SA Gamer forum), I would still recommend it. I know there are other freight forwarders like MyUS but I’ve never used it so can’t comment.

What specifically are you looking to import from Amazon? You could try look for that product at RARU. They have categories for US imports and UK imports.

Hope this helps.

Thanks for your reply Prawn.

I’ve ordered a few items from AliExpress. Awesome site, but things take forever to arrive.

Bought some fishing line. AMAZING quality, dirt cheap. One thing though: don’t trust their clothing sizes. Bought an XL jacket. Turned out to be too small for me. Then bought an XXL jacket (different brand), and it was smaller than the XL. My wife now has two awesome fishing jackets.

I’ve been looking at outdoor gear, as well as Japanese woodworking hand tools. Time and time again I’m met with the “This item does not ship to” message. Just checked it again now.

“You like this dozuki saw we have here? Well, you can’t have it.”

So I’ll definitely have to look at this service by Aramex, I think.

Will give RARU a look too.

Thanks for the feedback!

Yes, things do take an age. Use a “buy and forget” approach when dealing with sites like AliExpress and GearBest, then you can be surprised when the parcel does arrive, 2 months later! Here’s a tip if you don’t do it already – if your shipment has a tracking number, just chuck it into the SAPO app (Google Play link). Whenever there’s any movement on your parcel at the point it enters our SA postal system, you’ll be notified. It’s quite handy.

Oh, I never buy clothes from online retailers unless I can easily return them. So, I shop at Superbalist. I think I’ve returned far far more than I actually bought.

In some cases, Amazon says it will ship the item to SA but when you attempt to get an estimate on shipping, you get an initial error. People have said that if you still continue to checkout, you will be able to buy that item and have it shipped here.

Hey guys

Just thought I’d add my 2 cents. I recently used the Aramex Global Shopper to buy 2 items from abroad. The one was the Amazon Echo and the other a gift for someone. It worked like a charm, I had both items within 2 weeks from buying them.

I’d advise using Amazon Prime trial and then just cancel once done, so that you can get the cheaper prime shipping rate. But yeah other than that, go for it. Use the Aramex Global Shopper Protect Insurance if you can as well, it’s really not expensive.

Overall I’m very happy with the service from Aramex.

Shot thanks P! I spoke to my wife about it this morning. We’re both convinced this is the way to go. She orders knitting stuff from overseas. This should definitely streamline things.

Thanks again!

No worries. Thanks for popping by to chat.

I’ve asked AGS and they’ve confirmed that the AGS10OLP works and that it’s been extended to June 2017. The post has been updated as well in case someone else stumbles on it.

It does indeed work. I opened an account with them today. Had trouble with PayPal and emailed them about it. They replied that their PayPal isn’t working yet. Proceeded to pay with a debit card and got my whopping 35% discount, thanks to a gracious prawn! :)

Thanks dude, really appreciate it.

Weird about PayPal not working. When I last paid for a shipment back in July, it was via PayPal and it worked without issues. In any case, glad you’re signed up.

Do post back when you’ve got your first delivery.

I would highly advise against it. My experience will be posted in terms of an email I sent to the managers after 10 months of worry and stress.

Afternoon to the elusive managers of aramex global shopper,

Foremost permit me to thank Olivia on her wonderful service as she is the only employee thus far in the aramex team who has actually taken the time to listen and show a keen interest in my dilemma. Furthermore I would invite you to read the entire email most carefully as I do plan on sharing my story and experience across my social networks as well as any other platform I can possibly find that will hear and share my complaint even if that forum has to be a courtroom.

Forgive me if this email comes off as scathing but unfortunately I have absolutely nothing good that I can say about my experience. It began on the 30th of March 2016 whereby I received my package with waybill no. *********Upon being handed the package which was wet, and I do not mean damp but rather wet, I asked the delivery man as to the why it was wet, does aramex also do sea shipping? He responded by saying that it was received like this from the warehouse and that I should take it up with aramex global shopper directly, which is what I did. My parcel was water damaged and the products inside also damaged with water and definitely unusable. Yes the entire package was thrown away as nothing could be salvaged! I called aramex where I was sent around in a loop and eventually hung up on (which has happened countless time) and I sent an email complete with pictures of my damaged item to Dylan Benatar who promised to take it up with his risk manager on the 28th of April 2016. Why I had to wait so long for the matter to be pushed ahead is what the managers might be able to tell me. Throughout this email all pictures and correspondence are saved by me,so if you at any time need proof of the shocking service that I have received please feel free to request them after a courtesy call. On the 4th of May I sent another enquiry email to Dylan who responded by saying that he had just sent another email to the risk manager for an update. Why I had to call to follow up is beyond me as isn’t it the job of your employee to update me on my case regularly?

On the 11th of May I sent yet another email to Dylan as I had not received any email since our last correspondence and to my dismay I received no response.  To my utter horror I received yet another package from aramex waybill no:********** on the 17th of May where the products had been removed from the bubble wrap, taken out of its packaged box and not placed back, either in the box or in the bubble wrap and alas my products once again came shattered. At this time I had still not received any update on my previous package and so very patiently I sent another email on the 17th of May to Dylan requesting yet again another update and with information of this new damaged package I had just received. Dylan very quickly transferred me over to Vusi and thus began my correspondence with Vusi on the 17th of May whereby I sent pictures and details of how my damaged parcel had arrived. On the 31st of May Vusi informed me that he will be taking up both of the damaged parcels with his risk manager. On the 1st of June I once again emailed Vusi with regard to the packages and I received no response. So I decided to phone aramex and thus began my daily calls to aramex. One would think I had nothing better to do with my time. If your servers do not have the call log , do not worry I have my call log with aramex saved, complete with how many minutes I would stay on the line each time I called since the 1st of June. 

On the 13th of June after another telephonic conversation with Vusi I uploaded the invoices of the two packages he had asked for. Waybill no: ********** was worth $32 and waybill no: ********** was worth $37.50 . After a few more telephonic conversations that led nowhere and a few email correspondences over the course of 6 months my matter has led nowhere. Each time I was promised a follow up or a payment and yet I received nothing. On the 5th of September I received another parcel with waybill no:********** which arrived out of its bubble wrap and protective packaging. This for me was the last straw. I emailed Vusi once again and he was out of office. I phoned everyday until he was back and he promised to take it up with his risk manager and confirmed receipt of my email with the pictures. I had a few more email correspondences with Vusi on the dates 26th , 29th September, 3rd, 14th October, 4th, 8th , 11th , 21st November and telephonic conversations atleast 4 times a week beginning on the 4th of June right up until today.

Today I am finally exhausted of the terrible service your supposed world renowned company has shown. I have been waiting for a month for a manager to call but I suppose there are more important issues than a disgruntled customer who has been expending her time and energy since March for what is her right as a consumer and customer under the Consumer Protection Act. Due to your negligence with customers I stopped using aramex global shopper completely after the last damaged parcel. Before that, my account will attest to the fact that I was a regular customer who used your services several times a month. Since then I have found a company who is more efficient with their customer service and responds to all queries and concerns within 24 hours.

Hi Afroze, we’re sorry to hear about your experience with AGS. Thank you for bringing these incidents to our attention. We will escalate this and ensure that you are contacted today. Kind regards, AGS Team

@Afroze Bholat, @Aramex Global Shopper – when there’s more to report on this matter, please update us. I think we’d like to hear whether there was some satisfactory conclusion.

I just got off the phone with yet another manager from Aramex who was unaware of the lack of customer support I had received and was very gracious and apologetic. I am very happy that the matter was personally sorted out by a manager yesterday within a few hours of receiving my email which has me quiet relieved. Payment was made by the afternoon! They have assured me that they are going to work on improving their customer service which is the only issue at the moment with their entire programme in South Africa. I am definitely satisfied with how it was handled towards the end and would really like to thank Olivia from the aramex team foremost followed by Mr. Bruyns and Mr.Mahoney who helped resolve the matter so efficiently once they became aware of my plight.

Just a FIY for anyone still interested in using this service. If you bank with FNB you can more than likely get a free lifetime membership as well as discounted shipping costs. Just search for Aramex Global Shopper FNB and you will find the necessary information,

I’ve been using Aramex Global Shopper since 2015 and I have had zero issues from the Aramex side. I’ve had packages shipped from France, Canada, and the US.

I was fortunate enough to get an email from PayPal waiving the $45 fee back when they first opened up, but I’m an American and I don’t think it was sent to any South African PayPal accounts.

They also took my passport and temporary visa to clear things through customs, which is awesome, as I went round and round with DHL once trying to get them to understand that yes I am here legally and no I don’t have an ID number, and why must I bother my husband for his details because I’m the one who purchased this item???

Sometimes getting things to clear customs is slow but that seems to be a customs issue, and calling the local number in Joburg usually results in one of the Aramex team members following through and my package being released within 48 hours.

It is weird however how sometimes customs imposes the full fee and other times it is waived but again that I chalk up to customs being customs.

I do highly recommend Aramex Protect, it’s just a few rands extra per shipment but well worth it. Haven’t had any issues yet however.

Back in the early days they used to open packages looking for invoices but they won’t do that anymore. I suspect that’s where a lot of the issues were coming from….

Hey guys, Aramex Global Shopper is offering 15% off shipping fees. The offer is valid until 30th April 2017. Insert the following promo code when paying for your shipment.

Promo Code: AGS15OFFHCKK

From PayPal:
We’ve joined forces with Aramex Global Shopper to make your online shopping experience better than ever. Today you can enjoy your lifetime membership for USD 1, instead of USD 45* and get your favorite international brands delivered to your doorstep at rates that will blow you away.

Promo code: AGS1MAY

Hi there
I’m just about to embark on the Aramex Global Shopper experience, just wanted to check that everything is still good to use with them? Also, I see some of you have used AliExpress, besides waiting a while for your goods, are they all good too?

@AFROZE BHOLAT: hi there, I’m considering using AGS but would like to know which is the other service you’ve opted to use, thanks.

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