Online Shopping & Shipping to Kenya via

Ever since I did a review of the Xiaomi RedMi Note 4X that was shipped to me from GearBest, I have had a lot of people ask how to go about shipping an item through GearBest. Well, it is quite easy.

Step One: Identify the item you want to buy

Step Two: Ensure that You Have Chosen your shipping method

Registered Air Mail takes around between two weeks to a month to be delivered. It’s advantage is that you will get a tracking number to keep track of your item.
Unregistered Air Mail is similar to registered with the only difference being you will not get a tracking number.
Expedited is for those like me who are not patient enough, Delivery is made within a week.

Step Three: Check the Shipping Cost

This is where you will confirm the total amount due after you select your preferred shipping method. If you are not satisfied with the cost, then you can change the shipping method to fit your pocket.

Step Four: Payment

After all is done, you can select your payment method, either PayPal or directly using your Visa or Mastercard Credit/Debit card.

Step Five: Wait for your item


I have been eyeing the Xiaomi Notebook Pro but I am afraid to use DHL because they “may” exorbitantly charge tax. Someone was charged 9K for a flash disk sent to him.

What shipping method did you use? And were you charged any tax?

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To add on to what @sarunibm has posted.

  • Get Shipping Insurance for your order. It doesn’t cost that much. Your order is likely to be misplaced by the shipping guys and not Gearbest.

  • Use PayPal. All your purchases are covered by buyer protection. VISA and Mastercard offer similar facilities but dealing with Kenya banks is a nightmare. I discovered so many bank employees (Equity Bank) don’t know that it is possible to initiate a chargeback.


This is not the only reason to use PayPal, learnt this the hard way when a site I made a subscription to decided they aren’t accepting my request to cancel. They had the upper hand because they had my credit card details. My only option was to cancel the card and apply for another.



I have had my fair share of importing everything from Chinese Mega e-commerce sites like GearBest, Banggood, Antelife. I always pay with PayPal because of buyer protection (PayPal almost always sides with the buyer in case of disputes). These Chinese sites are very scared of people opening disputes with PayPal. But on the other hand, PayPal requires you to submit a claim directly to the seller to try to sort things out with them first. Here are a few pointers for anyone wanting to import stuff from these websites…

  1. ALWAYS link your payment (debit or credit) card to PayPal when shopping, choose the “checkout with PayPal” option. PayPal is the only one that gets access to your credit card information and is the one that charges your card (not the seller).

  2. Always purchase shipping insurance which is a tiny fraction of the cost of your items.

  3. Don’t use regular air mail otherwise your order may get misplaced (probably stolen) midway. Choose registered air mail because it is much safer. Also, you usually don’t get the option to buy insurance unless you choose at least registered air mail. Buying insurance in most sites usually automatically changes your shipping method to air mail register. Most paid shipping methods (including registered air mail) get you a tracking number which you can use to get the current location and status of your package.

  4. Choosing any post office shipping option means that your product will not be taken to your post office. It will be delivered to Posta City Square (if you’re in Nairobi) where you will pay VAT for your item at collection. Very tiny orders often don’t get charged tax and are delivered to your post office directly (usually inside an envelope).

  5. DHL, EMS, and other expedited shipping providers pay tax for your items before you go to collect them and seek reimbursement for that tax when you collect the items at their logistics center (which you choose during item purchase). Average shipping charges for DHL, and EMS ranges between $28 and $38 depending on the number of items being shipped and warehouse location (China Mainland or Hong Kong). NOTE: Any items on located in Hong Kong cannot ship to Kenya so you must find ones located in mainland China.

  6. Most Chinese sites recently stopped aggregating different items into one order (enabling you to pay shipping, insurance, etc for the entire order). They now charge these optional costs per item which can increase your bill quite a lot. On my last order which is en route, I was disappointed to see that registered air mail fee was the same ($1.3) for a $50 item as well as a $3 item. You will feel the pinch when you buy many cheap items because registration and insurance fees often surpass the purchase price for items below $2.

One final note…
PayPal or your bank reserves the right to decline payments to any websites that have many fraud-related complaints. You can not do anything about this because they are the final gate keepers of your money.

I recently bought many items on (which I have used severally before without issues) but couldn’t check out for the better part of a week. PayPal was throwing me ‘card declined… contact your bank’ errors. When I went to the bank (Equity), they told me the site was blocked for fraud. Nevertheless, I went to GearBest and found the exact same items and successfully checked out. The bank reviews the status of suspicious sites from time to time, blocking and unblocking so don’t be disappointed if you can’t buy from one site. Just go to another site and chances are that you will find all your items there.


The phone was delivered via DHL, charged 4,500 tax. Which I found to be excessive but there was nothing I could do since it was already here.

I think AliExpress is a better place for shopping, you get relatively lower prices and the merchants don’t receive payment until you confirm you’ve received the goods.
For those who want to skip paying taxes, you can try out Kenyan shipping agents in China.

Like which one?


Thanks so much peter this is very informative and helpful piece of information

Shardi Express is one though their minimum weight is 5kg and charge 8.5$ per kg.

@BoazKE and @sarunibm why don’t you guys try using this guys called Savo Store or Kentex Cargo? $15 per KG no taxes, Same timeframe. Just a thought.

Can’t recommend these guys enough. The service has some kinks they refuse to fix (no updates, disorganized, inconsistent ship out dates etc) but they always deliver.

Shipping is from US only. You’ll have to send your items to their Texas warehouse where they might incur taxes too.

who has ever used ? i find it cheap and legit, especially for Oneplus and Xiaomi devices

pale facebook there so many negative reviews i wouldnt vouch for them

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Do they ship from China or Hong Kong?

You’re welcome.

For the people talking about getting charged per KG, do you know the average gross weight of a smartphone is around 300 grams? Most people doing retail shopping don’t even get close to buying a KG worth of items.

Tried Kentex… Took forever to deliver and their communication is bad. If I’m to use any of those services, I’d rather go with Vitumob.

Anyone used Savo Store? Need genuine reviews.

Well I just recently made my first purchase online and lo and behold the item i ordered for via Banggood came in as fake.

My purchase order on Banggood

The Item that came in

I ordered for the item on 23rd January, 2018 and it took 29 days to reach my e-Njiwa virtual post office box.

This is way faster than Ebay since i ordered for the same item on the same date on both sites and up-to the date of writing this post (4th march,2018) the package from Ebay hasn’t arrived yet.

Ebay Dragging its feet

I haven’t seen this option in Banggood or Ebay, just wondering whether vitumob or savostore has it coz there are some items i need really fast, well atleast 7days fast. These two items are exclusively sold by their manufacturers on Amazon. The only other e-shopping site selling them is E-bay but by third parties at very exorbitant prices, no other e-shopping site has them in stock. Another hurdle i have with these two items is that they can’t be shipped directly to Kenya so i cant directly import them myself so Vitumob is the only viable option i have but i’d like to compare their prices with other like services. Any suggestions?

The items in Question on Amazon

Vitumob Quote