A Papua New Guinean’s Guide to Buying on eBay
eBay is one of the world’s largest e-commerce websites and provides a portal for consumer-to-consumer or business-to-consumer transactions. It was initially established as an auction site in 1995 but has grown into a much larger and lucrative business. The site has almost everything under the sun you would want or need to buy.
A Few Requirements
As a Papua New Guinean, eBay opens up your choice of variety into a global scale. However, it’s not as easy as clicking a button and here are a few requirements that you may need.
The first thing you may need is a Visa Debit card. This is applicable if you bank with Bank South Pacific (BSP). If you bank with Westpac or ANZ then you have to have their equivalent. If you have a MasterCard or Visa then the above is not necessary.
- PayPal account. Most transactions on eBay now require a PayPal account. The service ensures that you bank details are secure when doing a transaction i.e., no typing of card number etc. If you need, you can create a free account here.
- eBay account. You also need to have an account on eBay.
Things to Consider When Buying on eBay
When you are buying on eBay, there are a few things of importance you need to consider.
The first thing you need to consider is if the device is compatible in Papua New Guinea (PNG). This is particularity important for items like DVDs and video games and electronic items.
DVDs and games from the US are in NSTC color encoding format while most equipment in the country that supports these media is in PAL. Electronic items have different voltage requirements depending on the region and an item from the United States may not meet the requirements here or vice versa.
You’ve also got to consider if any items you intent to buy are legal in the country. For example, radio equipment imported must meet a certain requirement.
Also items that are classed as contraband in the country cannot be imported.
Another important factor that you need to take into consideration is the available shipping. While most vendors offer free shipping it usually means standard shipping which does not guarantee that safety of any item you may have ordered.
I recently ordered a pair of split CV boots for my RAV4 (SXA10G) through standard mail and I have not received them yet. However, a keyboard for a notebook shipped through UPS has already arrived.
Items shipped through Express or Courier Mail will end up at their respective branches in country and you can pick them up there. However, you may also be required to pay a Customs clearance or import duty depending on the item.
If the shipping service does not have an office in country like UPS, then you will have to pick the item at the Post PNG Express Mail Service at Konedobu. Remember to bring an ID.
An important factor we missed is the exchange rate. Thanks to Ian Samol for picking that out. We appreciate it.
Ian posted a comment on Facebook:
“Unfortunately not a good time to purchase with the current exchange in US $….one key point also. Daily exchange rates.”
The exchange rate determines the actually price of an item in Kina so an item listed for US$20 could actually be approximately K60 (more or less).
So a tip is to consider buying only when the rates are in your favor.
If you order items valued beyond certain threshold placed by PNG Customs, then you will be required to pay import duty or tax on the item. It is usually a small percentage of the product you have bought.
I hope this has enlightened you on buying on eBay and happy buying.
If I missed out anything important or you have something to add, then please comment below.