Kenya’s Computer Retail Space is Far Too Broken

This article went live on February, Friday, 16.

It basically shares my experience shopping locally for a laptop. I am not a patient human being, thus sourcing one from Amazon would take a toll on me. I just don’t like waiting. For those too lazy to read the article, here are a few highlights:

  • There are too many refurbs being passed around as new laptops.

  • Everything is overpriced, from Jamia Mall stalls to Bright Technologies.

  • The Kenyan computer sales space lacks a lot of variety.

  • Online shopping for a laptop from shops such as Saruk and Bright Technologies only proves how much false advertising is an issue.

My big question is, have you bought a laptop locally? What was your experience?

Yes,I bought my laptop 2 years ago locally…my approach was simple,i generated my own list of specifications,then i went to OLX and started looking for sellers selling niche devices and laptops similar to my specs,then i called them to enquire if they have a shop or a local office then proceeded to visit one which was hidden in imenti house,they showed me the laptops they have on sale and i tested them before making up my mind to buy the one i have now,i negotiated and got quite a good deal/discount thus saving me a significant amount from my budget.I have not had to rely or call upon warranty ever since(i didnt care about warranty)…I recommend dell laptops for your computing needs.Personally i have had great experiences purchasing my devices locally but one really needs to know what they want and be open about places they can get it,there are sellers who are not so well known on nairobi streets who sell new high quality imported products,you just need to make extra effort to hunt them down.

Similar thread here - State of the PC & Laptop business in Kenya

I have bought a single laptop in Kenya. This was around 2015.

The thing had a 3rd generation processor (from 2012) and cost around 45k. There was nothing better at a decent price at the time.

I recently bought a new one late last year for around $1500 before taxes and shipping

It has a 17inch screen and an Intel i7-7700HQ paired with a GTX 1070. The thing is a beast.

Shipping insurance and freight costs totalled around 15k (8k + 6k)

US taxes were around 13k. This is almost unavoidable.

Oh, did I mention the GPU upgrade was free ($250 upgrade) and also got an extra $50 off the price of the laptop? :yum:

It has some sort of international warranty but I’ve not had to use it yet.

It took almost a month to get here although that was to be expected since I bought it during the holiday season.

It is not perfect (some slight light bleeding on the top left corner) but nothing too serious.

Never buying a laptop in Kenya again. Those things are outdated and overpriced.

I have noticed Amazon is shipping more and more stuff to Kenya. They handle all the shipping and taxes for you too and even refund you if their estimated tax was higher than the actual taxes paid. If it was more, they cover the difference.

They are currently working on their own international shipping service which should lower their costs dramatically.

New laptops have a 0% import duty.

Buying from Amazon might be easily accessible in a few years time.

And on that note, does anyone need an old HP touchsmart laptop?

15 inch touchscreen, i3-3110m, 6gb RAM, 500gb HDD.

It is still working but it has a crack somewhere. Just open it carefully and you should be fine.

It all this boils down to the demand-side of things, most guys aren’t that much into tech so ikuwe refurb ikuwe mpya they might not see the difference, ikuwe model ya 2010 au 2018 they might not care, all this means this means is no seller will bother stocking their stores with a wide variety of laptops yet guys are only interested in the cheapest option available. & the guys who stock a ‘wide’ variety of laptops are sure to price the pieces highly because of stuff such as the high cost of acquiring the units in small quantities(as compared to when they procure stuff in bulk) and to offset the cost of units that end up being obsolete while still in stock and can no longer be sold at a price higher than the cost incurred.
Simply put, demand ndo ‘shida’.
In my experience-& i’ve always found this rather amusing-macs in Kenya are almost always cheaper or priced the same as in the US.

Where? I often see markups of over 20% on new Macs.

A store in Westy called Sweech(there are other stores but this is the only one I can vouch for because I usually buy my stuff there),same goes for phones at their store.

I had this interest on a surface book was willing to pay the price till i visited jumia and saw they were selling the low end model at 150k i dropped the hopes and instead went for the core i7 7th gen model of dell xps 13 still waiting for my shipment to arrive end this month personally i haven’t bought any laptop in kenya i have been inheriting from my bros from abroad the dell xps 13 i am shipping is 78k and got all the features i admired from the surface book except that i cant detach the screen from the keyboard

I have seen this store. I will have a look and see.

It seems they do not update their online store. There is not a single laptop displayed there.

True, they never update their online store. The best way to know if they have what you need is to go to their store or call them. They don’t sell much stuff though, only flagships(S,Notes,iphones,pixels,1+ etc), macs and accessories/products from companies such as anker, belkin, jbl, wd etc. The phones & macs are fairly priced but the accessories & stuff such as watches tend to be abit on the high-side.

True, they dont, I just called them. pixels and V30s are available by placing an order and waiting for them to import. but I think they are a little bit on the expensive side… even on smartphones.

Genuinely curious, any other store you can recommend that has better prices and aftersales services when it comes to phones?

How much are they selling the Pixel 2XL? Ama hukuuliza?