Amazon is my second most favorite brand. The first is Google: personal assistant, map, dictionary, teacher etc.
I love the two brands because they are reliable and most helpful. With just a click of a button, Amazon literally brings any item I need to my door step saving me what could have been several futile trips to multiple stores or months-long wait. Here are two examples. I live in Los Angeles. Once, I was invited to be part of a panel to discuss cultural considerations in divorce proceedings in California. I got on Google, then Amazon and ordered a Family law text book I used in Nigeria during my law school days. It was the primary resource I used to prepare for that presentation. Imagine there was no Amazon, I don’t believe I could have found a store in Los Angeles that sold a textbook on Nigerian Family Law. My only recourse would have probably been to have family in Nigeria buy it for me while I endure a wait time ranging from weeks to months all the while praying it arrives in time for my presentation.
Consider also my back to school shopping for tens of items on my kids’ lists this past summer. What’s an easier way to find a “white 1-inch 3-ring binder” than Amazon. I ordered all the items on the lists, except one, from Amazon . My first grader’s list included this “green Plastic 2 Pocket School POP Folders with Metal Prongs Fastener Clasps”. When I tried to order it on Amazon, I saw it came in a pack of six. I needed only one. I saw a cheaper option that came with multiple colors in a pack. I went for it since my kindergartner needed a color other than green. But the cheaper pack had no green folder needed by my first grader. I figured the color did not matter. On the first day of school, I sent my first grader with a color, other than green, from the cheaper pack I bought. She came home that day with a sticky note from the teacher that stated they required a green folder. How do I pay $16 for six green plastic folders when I needed just one that should not cost more than a dollar? I am Nigerian. I am smart, the Abishola (of CBS’s Bob Hearts Abishola) way, who would rather go to work sick than use her sick leave so she could cash out her sick leave at the end of the year. So the next day, I sent my daughter to school with a $2 or so green folder that had no prongs but had pockets. Surely, the pockets would secure loose sheets as good as the prongs. The sticky note came again. The green folder had to have prongs. The teacher, a lovely lady, recommended I go to Staples, among other stores, to find the exact one she needed. I went to Staples and found a folder that met most of the specifications but was slightly bigger mostly for office, not school, use. It was back to school season and Staples had run out of the exact one I needed. I bought the office one anyway and figured the teacher would not complain because she referred me to Staples. I made sure to include a note it was from Staples. She did not complain. I will cut the long story short but must mention I eventually ordered the $16 “green Plastic 2 Pocket School POP Folders with Metal Prongs Fastener Clasps” from Amazon and have them sitting somewhere in the house as I write. The moral of the story is that Amazon has proven to be my best recourse when I want to order a unique item.
I love Amazon also because of the reviews. Oh the reviews! The same way I don’t order a book without checking it out on Goodreads, I don’t order anything from Amazon without reading the reviews, not just glancing at the stars rating. I also read the questions and answers for tips on sizing, etc.
Because of how enamored I am of Amazon, when I learned they ship to Nigeria, I was elated because I figured my friends and relatives in Nigeria will now discover the awesomeness that is Amazon. I have had to order a laptop from Amazon U.S for shipping to a Nigerian relative in South Africa. I figured that now that Amazon ships to Nigeria, it will be easier for Nigerians to buy quality products directly from Amazon to Nigeria. I had in mind not to recommend buying garden-variety products from Amazon, but slightly expensive ones and one-of-a-kind products that justify the shipping cost. But first I decided to attempt ordering in real time before recommending.
So how much does it cost to ship to Nigeria? It’s about 9 pm October 25, 2019 Los Angeles time. Let me try ordering this currently discounted $900 Apple laptop to see what the shipping fee is… It’s now in my cart. I am shipping to Festac, Lagos Nigeria…..nine minutes later: while trying to check out, I received a notification the item could not be shipped to Nigeria at the address I provided. I was also prompted to provide a phone number, an identification number for recipient and tips, if any, that will help locate the address. Hmmm… did Amazon find it too risky to ship a $900 Mac air to Nigeria? I tried a $329 Apple Ipad and three minutes later got the same notification and upon clicking on “See More” link saw the following
Can’t Ship to this Address
This may be because:
- Dimensional shipping limits – standard shipping to these regions are limited by the overall shipping size which include a maximum length or girth of 108 inches and maximum weight of 70 lbs.
- Large and/or oddly shaped items may not be eligible for shipping.
- Hazmat – certain hazmat items (including but not limited to lithium batteries) are restricted from shipping to these areas.
- Restricted Product – Products offered for sale on Amazon.com must comply with all laws and regulations and with Amazon’s policies. For more information see Restricted Products.
- Address type – certain address types preclude shipping speeds, due to carrier capabilities.
- Amazon may be restricted from shipping to your country due to government import/export requirements.
- You are shipping to a U.S. freight forwarder but your order contains items that are restricted from exportation.
- Amazon may be restricted from shipping to your country or location due to manufacturer restrictions or warranty issues.
- You may have chosen an offer from a seller who doesn’t offer international shipping. Try looking for another seller.
- You may have chosen an offer from a seller who doesn’t offer shipping to your address due to the nature of the product (Perishable, Heavy/Bulky, Hazmat). Try looking for another seller or a similar product.
I don’t know which of the above reasons led to Amazon’s decision not to ship the Apple products. I tried to ship Omojuwa’s Digital: The New Wealth Code, which I have also ordered myself and hope to review soon and ..got estimated delivery date ranging from five to 38 days with corresponding ships fees. I proceeded and the shipping and handling fee came up to $13.98 for the $30 book, the cheapest shipping rate, with delivery date estimated from November 21 to December 2nd. I checked it all the way out and got the notification that it had been ordered. I cancelled the order. This was only a test. The ID was also required and the order would be cancelled if the ID is not provided within forty eight hours of the order.
Now that we have seen Amazon delivers some items to Nigeria, and for relatively reasonable shipping fee in my opinion, (I also heard Nigeria Vlogger Dimma Umeh, who frequently orders from Amazon, say in one of her videos that Amazon usually refunds part of the shipping fees after delivery as they overestimate the fees at check out to be safe, so it is safe to assume one may get a partial refund from the $13 shipping fee), what items could one reasonably order from Amazon to Nigeria. I will recommend items that are not readily available in Nigeria or you worry about getting a knock off version of in Nigeria. Attempt placing any order you would like and Amazon will notify you, before you make payment, if they can’t deliver it to Nigeria. I will also suggest ordering as many items as possible at one time as that significantly reduces the overall shipping fee. This Africa shipping rate from Amazon below makes it clearer.
|Product Category||Per Shipment||Per Item|
|Books, VHS videotapes||$6.99||$6.99*|
|CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray, Music Cassettes, Vinyl||$6.99||$4.99*|
|**Jewelry, Watches, Clothing Items||$6.99||$3.49/lb|
|**Automotive, Computers, Electronics, Home, Personal Care, Kitchen, Outdoor Living, Sports, Tools, Shoes||$6.99||$3.49/lb|
|Video Games Consoles||$6.99||$3.49/lb|
|Any combination of the above items||Highest applicable per-shipment charge||As above|
The link above also provides additional information for expedited shipping and priority courier shipping.
For Nigerians in the U.S, also know you can order your African food stuffs like this African Abacha from Amazon. You can also order top quality laces like this $50 5-yard lace for your weddings from Amazon. Same goes for books from your favorite Nigerian authors including Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart . Some of the items qualify for two-day shipping with Amazon.
I hope you found this blog useful. If you have ever ordered from Amazon in Nigeria, I will like to know what your experience was. See you in my next post.
PS: Please note that as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. All prices listed were current as of the time of the report.