It has been an exciting weekend. For the first time, ever Kenyans have been able to take advantage of Black Friday deals with Paypal Kenya and Jumia Kenya.
For the past 2 weeks, I have been excitedly looking forward to taking part in my first black Friday and Cyber Monday. For those who don’t know what black Friday is, it is the biggest shopping day in the US where massive discounts are given on items and things go crazy as people literally shop until they drop. Sometimes there are even fights as people try to get the last item off the shelf.
I like many other Kenyans had heard of Black Friday but couldn’t stop because it would be a problem to pay for those items and also to ship them. What was different this time? I had money in my PayPal account and I was able to get a US address where stuff can be delivered.
At first, I thought I would only be able to take advantage of US deals but then Jumia Kenya said they would be having Black Friday deals so I started checking out their website to see what I wanted to buy. By Thursday I was pretty clear on what I wanted ready for Friday. Jumia also had some great pre-black Friday deals that were on offer but had nothing that I wanted. But for Friday there was a Toshiba tablet, a toaster and one of those weight losing belts that I wanted to try out. I was also looking forward to getting stuff from the bath and body works (which I love) in the US.
When I went to the bath and body works site I was able to get some pretty amazing deals. There were buy 3 get 3 free deals on perfumes and lotions among other products. I think I went crazy and bought 6 different body sprays to get another 6 free. I also managed to buy another small bottle of a different perfume. The process was pretty easy. I put everything I wanted in my shopping basket and paid for it with my PayPal account. The only complicated part was the shipping but I had my US address which I put in. hopefully they will ship my things to the US address then the US address will let me know how much I will pay to ship my things here. I was able to monitor my transaction on PayPal which showed me the whole process so that I could dispute the payment if it was a fraudulent transaction.
There were very many PayPal Black Friday deals that I wanted to take advantage of but sadly I was on a budget so the heart was willing but the pocket was weak. It was a great experience and I look forward to doing many more black Friday deals or taking advantage of other offers with my PayPal account.
My experience with Jumia was horrible. I don’t think they were prepared for all the customers who wanted to buy. The website kept hanging all the time when I was checking out or putting in my voucher or trying to pay. I woke up at about 4 on Black Friday to take advantage of the deals. Unfortunately, the tablet I wanted was going on sale from 10 am. So I had to wait until that time. Luckily when I went to the site at about 11 the Toshiba tablet was still there. I put it in my shopping basket. But by the time I got to check out which was hanging the item was no longer in my basket. I went back to look for it again and found the items were sold out. I spent the whole day trying to get other deals to go through but they kept on hanging and I could not complete my transaction.
To be fair to Jumia after I had complained severally on Twitter they called me and asked me if they can manually finish the sale of the slimming belt for me. Unfortunately, this meant that I would have to pay with cash, not PayPal which is what I was trying out so I decided not to take the item. On Sunday I tried to get an item again only to find that the PayPal method of payment was not available. I tried to call them to find out only to be told by a recorded message that they don’t work on Sunday. This was a disappointment. I wish just for this weekend they had people to deal with enquiries because I know there were very many frustrated customers like me.
The experience was a 50 – 50 one for me. Buying in the US worked better than buying from Kenya. Hopefully next year Jumia and other retailers in Kenya will be ready for black Friday and all its craziness. Then I can buy stuff to my heart’s content.
Paypal really came through. I was able to buy what I needed and I am now awaiting my shipment. It was a great experience because I was able to shop in a fast, secure way. There are still some great deals in the US for the next couple of weeks so take advantage of them with PayPal. A great place to start would be bath and body works.
Potentash Founder. A creative writer. The Managing Editor at Potentash. Passionate about telling African stories and stories about the inclusion of minorities. Find me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We're all stories, in the end.” ― Steven Moffat