Sure, you can order products from Amazon in the Philippines. Unfortunately, you’ll have to pay an import tax along with other fees and taxes. Lazada Philippines is based in the Philippines, so the only tax you have to worry about is the VAT and it’s included in the price.
Lazada Philippines is criticized as being nothing more than an Amazon clone. So what? It’s not like Amazon is actually competing in the Philippines.
I could tell you all about it or I could direct your attention to the Wikipedia article on Lazada Philippines. Obviously, I just chose the latter.
Lazada Philippines doesn’t have as much inventory as Amazon.com in the United States and that’s okay. It hasn’t been around that long (February 2012). It’s competing with physical stores that carry the same products. Where Lazada Philippines shines is it’s delivery services to provincial areas, far off the beaten track. Delivery services are free (to most areas) for purchases over 3000 pesos (around $66 USD at the current foreign currency exchange rate).
Lazada Philippines is the only online shopping mall I’ve seen that uses “cash on delivery” (or C.O.D.) as one of its payment methods. That payment method hasn’t been used for decades in the United States. Lazada Philipines has other payment methods as well, including credit/debit cards and PayPal purchases.
I’ve done a lot of “windows shopping” and that’s about it. One of my sisters-in-law wants to get new tablets for some of her older children and I’ve looked at various tablet prices.
I spotted some really good deals on older CKK Mobile tablets a few weeks ago. I checked again today and they’re all sold out. She’s saving to buy one tablet at a time and I’m sure I’ll find a good deal by the time she has enough money saved up.
One of my nieces, a god-daughter (living in my compound, separate from her widowed mother) wants a mobile phone with a touch screen. All she has now is one of the older types (a dumb phone). I may be inclined to buy her one for her birthday in October, without her knowing about it in advance.
If (and that’s a strong if because I live on a fixed income) I buy her a mobile phone like that, I’ll compare prices – local stores vs. Lazada Philippines.
I can’t say much about other areas in the Philippines because I spend as little time as possible outside of Olongapo. If I look hard enough, I can find almost everything I need these days in stores in Olongapo proper or at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone. I usually check the freeport zone before anywhere else because everything purchased there is tax-free and duty-free.
If Amazon.com ever expands into the Philippines, I expect it to set up shop at one of the three economic zones (Clark, Subic and some place in metro Manila). It’s the only way anyone in the Philippines would buy from them. Import taxes are horrendous when you combine them with a 12 percent VAT.
By: RT Cunningham
July 8, 2015
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