In this article I will cover how to order products online from Papua New Guinea. Because currently the influx of fake products sold in the supermarkets and stores in Papua New Guinea is a serious and real issue. Most of the reputable, household company names in Papua New Guinea also carry certain brands of products that are of low quality mixed with the their quality brands ones. Also, most products in the Asian and other shops are very similar or same, as these products ordered in containers and distribute to different outlets in the towns and cities with their own distribution network. Items found in one store is very much the same in another store, despite their location, price and name differences.
So, if you are looking for something unique that is of quality or brand good, then it’s good to order it online via the internet. E-commerce is the buzzword for doing business online with so many dimensions to it. So, in this post, I will cover the basics of how to order products online from Papua New Guinea at individual level. Here are the steps:
No# 1: Apply For a Debit Visa Card with your Local Bank
First step is to apply for a Debit Visa Card through from your local bank. Debit Visa card doesn’t require you to open another account for it. When you apply for it, you only have to indicate or nominate your existing account to which the Visa Card transactions can be connected to. However, I recommend that you open a second account and nominate that in your visa card application. This is to protect your money from any visa card related crime. You can transfer money to the VISA account only when you want to order something and once you are done, you maintain a minimal balance in the account. Check with your local bank like BSP, Kina and Westpac Bank (PNG)for their Debit Visa card services and fees and other Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and answers on their websites.
Westpac Bank PNG Debit Visa Card
Bank South Pacific Debit Visa Card
Without a Debit Visa Card, you cannot purchase things online for personal use. So, first and foremost is to have a Debit Visa Card. Once you have got your Visa Card, you are now ready to shop online.
No# 2: Have a Personal Email Address
The most common method of communication online is through email. Therefore, second requirement in order to place orders online using the internet is to have a valid working personal email address. If you are working, have an organizational email you can use it but i recommend you have a personal web-based email address. The three most common or popular web-based email services are;
Microsoft Outllook from Microsoft
Each offers a free email account for personal use and that is sufficient for online shopping related or other personal email communication. Follow the instructions on website to create yourself an personal email address. Once, created, do not use that email to fill up any popup requests for email while on internet. Use this email for important personal communications only. otherwise, you your email might end up having lots of unwanted emails (spam).
No# 3: Look for Reputable Online Store
One frequently asked question most people have when it comes to shopping online in Papua New Guinea is “Will the supplier send the goods I paid for online from the supplier website? This is a very good question because it will lead you to do a bit of research to find the best place to order the product.
First thing to understand is this. When it comes to individual online shopping, you are looking at two types of online stores. Firstly, international Online Mega Stores or shopping malls and individual supplier websites.
Best and Famous Online Shopping Sites.
Famous online shopping sites include the following and host of others. Almost all the countries in the developed countries have similar websites too.
www.amazon.com, (US based)
www.ebay.com, (US based)
www.alibaba.com, (China based)
Their business model is that, they allow individuals and companies to create their online stores on their website or platform and sell their products to the online shoppers. The sellers than pay them certain agreed fees based on product sales amount like in sales percentage or flat fees. They become the link between the supplier and the consumer or the customer(us). Good thing about them is that they, select and screen the different sellers that meet their standards or requirements on fulfilling the order (actually sending the ordered products to consumers), shipment, and etc.
To the average online shopper, these mega stores make it easier to find the products they want and then selects and pays them online. The mega store than collects the payments from customers, advises the seller to ship the goods, and then pays the seller.
Individual Company Online Store Websites
The second type of online store is owned by a certain company or individual and sells their goods or services direct to the customers. For example, a retail company may have an online store and sell things online as well as selling them over the counter in their stores. A very good example of this type is by FoneHaus, a company specializes in selling Mobile phones and accessories in the country. Its website is www.fonehaus.com.pg. There are millions of such stores available on the internet in every country. These websites work with Payment Gateway companies (eg Stripe, Authorize.Net, Square and etc) which allows them to integrate payment options within their online store, so that customers can checkout and pay for the products securely using their cards (eg Visa, and etc).
No# 4 Factors to Consider When Shopping Online From Papua New Guinea.
When considering to shop online from Papua New Guinea, consider the following factors.
- Online store type
- Product variety options
- Shipping costs
Online store type
If it’s your first time to try it, it’s good to go with mega stores like www.amazon.com, www.ebay.com, www.alibaba.com and etc. Because they have so many sellers under one website, which you gives you the ability to narrow your product search by category/department, type, size, price range and etc. You can also read Product Reviews and Ratings by other shoppers so you can read them. The good and bad comments before you make your choice on a certain product or the supplier.
If you want specific product which you really need for your business or personal use, it’s good to go direct to the manufacturer’s website and check whether they sell it online as well. For example, if you go to Brain Bell Group of Company store in Papua New Guinea, they sell so many brand items. Just check the product packing (boxes, packets, etc) on the products on display. Part of their marketing and consumer contact purposes, the manufacturer’s website can be found on the packing. Write them down and then go to their website on the internet and check out if they have an online store as well.
Individual company websites may sell only what they manufacture or they are a distributor of products, they may have only products from manufactures of products to which they are distributor rights. Therefore, it’s good option to use the mega online stores so you can compare different stores, their pricing and etc for the same or similar products. If you are thinking of ordering big quantities for commercial use than buying from manufacturer website is advisable.
One important factor is the shipping cost. Shipping cost is often passed onto the customer regardless of whether you are shopping online with mega or individual online stores. Most individual online stores will not ship to any country around the world and limited to their local customers only. Others might want orders outside of their country but require a maximum order quantity in order to ship them. Shipping is determined on weight, quantity, and the country of origin (where the shipment will be from). During checkout they will include the shipping to determine the total cost.
In mega stores, for example https://global.rakuten.com/en/ for registered shoppers(regular users of the site), they allow the seller to advice the customer on the shipping cost separately. Once the seller and customer agree on the shipping cost, then they allow the transaction to take place. So, advise is to read the websites shipping and order information page carefully. Rule of thumb is to order from countries closer to Papua New Guinea (Japan, Australia, New Zealand Malaysia, Korea, Singapore, etc). Further the distance the greater the shipping cost. If items are of very small sizes example, single shoe, watch and etc, then consider long distance based online store. For example from Europe countries.
Check the Equivalent Cost in Kina
Before, you agree on the total cost and checkout, check the Papua New Guinea Kina (K) equivalent so you are within your budget for the purchase. Have the current exchange rate information ready so you can calculate the PNG Kina equivalent at the time of purchase and to stay within your budget. Bank South Pacific (BSP) Exchange Rate page is one good page to do calculate exchange rate conversions. Have the page open in the browser while ordering so you have current exchange rate information. All most all online stores charge in US dollars for overseas customers.
No# 5: Tracking and Receiving Your Order.
For tracking of your purchase’s shipment, the following are important.
- Your Shipping Address
- Online Shipment Tracking ID and carrier’s online Website address.
- Carrier’s Agent in Papua New Guinea
Your Online Shipping Address
When you fill in the Shipping Address during checkout on an online store, make sure to use street address. Individual Post Office box is not accepted. So, it’s good to use your Company or Department Location address. In PNG it’s unreliable, that is why it is important to have the Shipment Tracking ID so you can track it well and receive straight from the Logistics company office. When you fill in your shipping address in with the online store, it is important to make sure you provide the correct email, phone and location details. They online store will rely on these information to ship it and to keep in contact with you.
Online Shipment Tracking ID
Once the payment and everything is completed, the online shopping site or supplier will email your Consignment Tracking ID Number. They will also advise you of the shipping carrier or logistics company through which the shipment is done. Also, it is important you read the shipping page on their website to see which Logistics Company the company uses to ship orders.
If the carrier or Logistics company is not clear, always ask the shop or supplier and confirm. Once the logistics company or Carrier (for example DHL, TNT, EMS) is confirmed then go direct to the carrier’s website and look for the shipment/Parcel tracking page. There you can simply type in your tracking ID number and keep track of your shipment until it arrives in PNG. If the carrier has local presence like DHL, TNT and EMS (Post PNG Ltd), you can call them and give them the Tracking ID to get update on the shipment. Once, you know it’s arrived, you can go and collect the item .
Other logistics company that doesn’t have a local presence, when you checking their tracking side, their local agent name will be displayed on the tracking information page once it reached Papua New Guinea. Otherwise, the local agent will contact you on the phone and email you provided as part of your shipment address details.