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If three years back, someone had told me so many Nigerians would be shopping online, I would probably have just laughed about it and not even bothered to argue my case. But like I said in my last post “And then we found eCommerce”, the tides have changed in favor of the tech savvy Nigerian, and all things eCommerce are blooming, well at least the serious ones are.But it’s no news that these sites can’t match what we hope to see just yet, the inventory of sites like Amazon.com and Zappos would take years to build, time not all of us have to sit around waiting. Its why Nigerians still prefer to go out of the local market and get the best eCommerce has to offer on the best eCommerce sites.
And that’s where the challenge sets in. Not all these sites would accept our cards, its challenges like these companies like Circuit Atlantic have set out to solve. But for those lucky enough to have cards they can shop with, logistics becomes a pain in the rear, and the excessive charges of companies like DHL and UPS just destroy the idea of getting it cheap, this challenge gave birth to Shippyme. With an easy to use interface, automated updates and precise charging system, I dare say it’s a huge step forward for the Nigerian US-to-Nigeria Logistics Industry. So my aim in this review is simple, give you a bird’s eye view of Shippyme so you don’t go in blind.

Shippyme – The basics

This is the typical journey of the first time Shippyme customer. You stumble on the site, or are referred to it, you sign up and activate your account. Once done activating, you get a FREE U.S. address to use as your personal forwarding address. I for one think this is a nice step, considering most other people charge for it, anything received at your U.S. address is logged in your Shippyme account and a notification is sent to you. So assume I am buying a phone from Tigerdirect.com, I make the purchase and use the U.S. address given to me as the delivery address, my phone is sent out to the Shippyme warehouse. Once done making the purchase, I make a booking on Shippyme, this basically says, I have a phone coming in soon, look out for it, charge me for shipping it when it comes. Once received, im immediately notified and my shipping cost is updated on my account, an automated mail is sent out to me to say “Hey, we got the phone, and this is how much it’ll cost to ship it..”, I paraphrased that though :). The item is sent out that same week, I get it the next week, during this period I’d most probably have already paid the outstanding balance. Then I have the option to pick up at the Lagos office, or have it delivered to me anywhere in Nigeria either through Trannex or ABC. Pretty simple right? OK, let’s take it apart and have a closer look inside.

Shippyme –The Costs

I know you were looking out for this one, so I’m gonna break it down real good for you. Costs for shipping have been designed to be dynamic, in a bid to favor business clients sending in a lot. So you start out paying $5.5/lbs(pound) or $12/kg and the system drops that rate as the shipping weight of the items being sent increases, so if you are sending a 20lbs item for example, you’d be charged $5/lbs. push that up to 70lbs and you are charged $4.5/lbs, it drops to as low as $4.25/lbs. For all my business friends only familiar with the kg system, 1kg = 2.2lbs, and if you need to know how I got all those figures, there’s an easy and quick way to get estimates, simply follow this link ‡ http://www.shippyme.com/quickestimate/select-package-size/
So let’s take a simple case study (I like case studies J), I recently bought 20 7” tablets to sell, and I used Shippyme in sending them down to Lagos after making the purchase on eBay, I ended up paying N18,900 for shipping. That’s N945 per tablet, if you know how chap tablets can get on eBay, you’d know I can get a really good markup on those tablets and make a lot on them. I guess that should clear the “money” air for a lot of folks.

Shippyme – The Pros

It’s down to pros and cons people and I’d like to start out with the interface, God I love the interface. Nigerians always have a way of making things look annoying, but the Shippyme developers took their time on this one. You think I’m lying? Check any similar company’s website, open a new tab and go to Shippyme, compare them. Go ahead, check them. I’m a designer so I love good design, please forgive me for being forward about it.

Next is the instant invoice. It’s always a good thing to get an idea of how much it’ll cost to do stuff before you actually get them done, the get a quick estimate button really helps a lot with this, surprises when it comes to money doesn’t always have a happy ending. And where you have no idea how much it’ll cost, you can select to be billed when the U.S. team receives the items. Right after all of that are the options you get to choose from, this kinda gives you control over what happens with the shipment. There’s the option to consolidate or ship items as they come in, although that wouldn’t save you money now would it. There’s also the option to strip the packages on delivery boxes, for example, Amazon sends a shoe, which by the way already has a box, inside a bigger Amazon box. Its like a setup to get all of us doing international shipping to pay through our noses! I mean a big box in a bigger box? Who does that? So the stip option makes the U.S. staff throw away all unnecessary packaging and send out the barest minimum so as to save on cost. Then comes the highly deliberated insurance cost. Knowing Nigerians, most wouldn’t select that option because its non-refundable, bad thing is, if anything goes wrong, Shippyme wouldn’t be held responsible. I think this option is best for electronics though, and other sensitive items.

Shippyme – The Cons

Logistics sucks. After all is said and done, its so tricky a business even UPS wouldn’t give you a 100% guarantee on delivery times. That’s the life we have come to know in Nigeria, hopefully if there is a minister of customs or something like that, some smart person would be put there at some point to ensure things run smoothly. So even if delivery could be fast – take for example the phone I’m using right now, bought it from Amazon and got next day delivery to the U.S. address, this was a Wednesday, phone got to the U.S. address on Thursday, sent out on Friday to Nigeria, had it with me in Lagos on Thursday, just about a week – things are not always so smooth. I mean how can customs office go on break because their boss retired?! Isn’t that when they are supposed to buckle up and perform better or something? God help us. Companies like Shippyme are such that are not sufficient on their own, these dependencies on external parties, like the customs office, give way to marginal error. As such, I would advise business clients to always have a time cushion, don’t wait till when your deadline is in view before taking action, give +/- 4days of the estimated delivery time.
Next up is the fact that Shippyme as a company only supports U.S. delivery for now, there are plans to move into other international markets but as of the time I am writing this post, just the U.S. Let’s hope China and London are next on the list, that’s gonna be a huge bump.

Shippyme – My Conclusion

I love shopping online, as you might already know from all my previous posts about online shopping, so you would understand my excitement about a new channel that opens a wider market to do even more. Think of getting friends there to make in-store purchases for you at sales periods and sending them to your Shippyme address so you get them in Nigeria… the possibilities are endless. I think it’s safe to stop here, been getting wind of more improvements to come on the platform and you can be sure I’d highlight them here when they happen.

*DISCLAIMER* I do my best to write open ended reviews, but I was working with the Shippyme staff in some way as at the time of this review. I have done my best to write this with a free mind, even though it might not be completely unbiased. So if you want to probe me some more for things you think I left unanswered, feel completely free to do so, I’d absolutely love it, it’ll help the credibility of this post. But I hope it helped you in some way.

Share your thoughts on the comments below.

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21 Comments

  • Ojie Fabulous
    Posted December 9, 2013 at 11:09 pm 0Likes

    pls guys, how do I sign up or get the U.S address right away ? Thnks

    • ososoba
      Posted December 13, 2013 at 1:32 pm 0Likes

      Hi Ojie,

      Simply register on the Shippyme website and you’d get the US address.

  • Joanna
    Posted January 6, 2014 at 2:21 am 0Likes

    Nice write up.Wanted finding out how you were able to make purchases off ebay paying with your card.

    • ososoba
      Posted January 7, 2014 at 1:12 am 0Likes

      Hi Joanna,

      I’m not sure about using your Nigerian card on ebay… most of the sellers request a PayPal payment (which is quite annoying), so I really don’t know if it’ll work. But I’m 80% sure you’d find a similar item on Amazon and they accept our cards. Let me know how it works out for you.

      Have a great week ahead!

  • Paul Akpan
    Posted January 16, 2014 at 9:37 pm 0Likes

    pls how do I input shippyme address in my amazon account, I am really confused with the address options – address 1 and 2. Pls could you show me screenshot of your amazon(shippyme) shipping address? Thanks

  • sunday george
    Posted January 26, 2014 at 5:10 pm 0Likes

    hi,
    nice post, its really helpful.
    I have a big problem which I need someone with experience to solve.
    I made a purchase of an iPhone on amazon with my shippyme us address…I was told the package had been delivered but did not see nor receive any notification from shippyme.
    please, what are mine to do now?

    • ososoba
      Posted January 26, 2014 at 5:22 pm 0Likes

      Hi Sunday,

      I’d advise you send a mail to info@shippyme.com asking them to confirm they have received the package, sometimes those updates come a bit late.
      Hope that helps.

  • oluwatoyin akomolafe
    Posted March 17, 2014 at 6:03 pm 0Likes

    i registered online and i was told that activation code would be sent to my mailbox but didnt receive it. what should i do?

  • okoro
    Posted March 31, 2014 at 9:52 pm 0Likes

    ALL POSTS HERE ARE FULL OF LIES..

    business owners trying to forge a good testimony for their scams..i have so many proofs if you would like to discuss it even in http://www.nairaland.com come to a public forum to prove yourself right and i prove you wrong…

    • Osaze
      Posted April 1, 2014 at 6:29 am 0Likes

      Hi Okoro,

      I’m not sure what you mean by “all posts here”, and though the company has done poorly in delivering value in the last few months, it’s not a scam, a scam will mean there is no real shippyme, but I can assure you there is.

      If you’re referring to the poor service, I agree with you as of now.

  • Adeniyi Badmus
    Posted April 1, 2014 at 6:21 am 0Likes

    This company is not at its best at all. I purchased two tablet, two keypads and one digital camera from amazon and on the eighteenth of this months my items did arrived at the so called warehouse, i had to send like 40 emails asking that the delivery of the good be confirmed, i tried calling the US customer line and Nigeria lines, there was nobody to speak to me. Till now i can’t say if my orders will arrive in nigeria, i was charged like 15k for all logistics to Ibadan, they 12 to25 days , i pray this doesn’t reach a month or more, this coy is pissing me off, the company is a virtual company with no enough efficient workforce.

  • Jmama
    Posted April 2, 2014 at 2:02 am 0Likes

    Hmmmm…I have been so put off by the ineptitude of the staff at Shippyme that I thought to go there and really tell them off but the reviews on this site have helped to calm me down because I now know that I’m not alone in this mess. Phewwwww! I have met three employees there and I can boldly say only one person impressed me and showed some good customer service…(that is Uche) the other 2, I would recommend for a sack or if they own shares in the company, their shares should be bought off them because they will kill this wonderful concept called ‘Shippyme’. I could live with their high pricing if they had good customer service! Honestly, most employees there should be selling in Mile 12 market…their service sucks mehnnn!

    Osoba, I had to seek you out because I received a mail from you when I signed on with Shippyme, I didn’t know you have left them. I appreciate your honest responses to the comments here.

    Could I get the email of the owners of the business? They need to hear from me. Gracias.

  • Michael
    Posted July 5, 2014 at 8:28 am 0Likes

    Thanks for this piece, it was worth the read. i have successfully registered on the site and got the US address just like u highlighted. I also want to commend the site’s developer for such a smooth and simple UI.

    My major concern however is the outrageous exchange rate being used on the site. as at the time of this comment, USD – NGN is $1=N162.7 but shippyfyme’s charge for $6.90 is N1,173 (that’s $1 = N170). How did they arrive at this rate please?

    • Osaze
      Posted July 5, 2014 at 8:51 am 0Likes

      Hi Michael,

      Most of these companies use the black market value for the dollar exchange rate. So that’s a possible reason.

  • JOHN
    Posted July 27, 2014 at 2:52 am 0Likes

    Never try to use this company again, here is my experience with them, I bought some goods on behalf of a guy and shipped to the guy with these thieves I mean shippyme, the guy went there on 24/7/2014 immediately he called me that some of the items missed, I asked him to let them know about this but he called me back that the staff in charge did not say anything than she would contact the US office but since that day we are yet to receive any reply from them. Now the guy went to command somewhere around ipaja to report this to his people there and he wants to go back to shippyme’s office with some military men but I asked him to wait for their response, he said the parcel that contains the wrist watch had been opened before he got there and two of the wrist watch are still missing and no where about, no response from these idiots, if I should travel to lagos because of this issue it will be beyond their control

  • amaka
    Posted July 31, 2014 at 10:47 pm 0Likes

    Just got registered with them today. Some companies grants free shipping if you buy a certain amount of items. When I do so, would shippyme still charge me for the shipping, or just the freight charge? Also, I’ve read d negative comments here, seems I have to change my mind, please does any1 know any other reliable company dat can get my stuffs down here without much hassles? Osaze please get back to me, k?

    • Jojo
      Posted August 4, 2014 at 11:37 pm 0Likes

      I use all world international and I must say they have never failed me.

  • sollape
    Posted August 5, 2014 at 9:08 pm 0Likes

    Thanks Osaze, love your write up. My questions are; 1.does shoptomydoor work in the same way as shippyme by giving u a free US address. 2. which is better of the two. 3.how do dey charge 4. Do they consolidate your goods too. Thanks in anticipation

  • cramwise
    Posted July 10, 2015 at 8:17 pm 0Likes

    fellow Nigerians….
    if you are reading this comment that mean you are about shipping a package from outside Nigeria to Nigeria…
    please i beg of you.. for the sake of you package, not mine…. if you don’t want to kiss your package good buy after paying a huge amount of money for shipment… or wait for a year for your package to arrive Nigeria and if you don’t want to hear lame excuses over and over….. PLEASE DO NOT USE SHIPPYME… OR YOU WILL REGRET EVER DOING SO.
    that organization is a child’s play believe me…. i have several evidence to show you about this claim i just made… PLEASE MY FELLOW NIGERIANS… DON’T BE DECEIVED BY WHAT IS ON THEIR WEBSITE…. NOT THIS ” IT IS ALL DECEIT” IT WILL LEAD YOU AND YOUR PACKAGE TO DOOM.
    i saw this and fell for it all so… please don’t fall for this . befor trying to use it please contact me through this email let me show you screen shuts of all the story you’ll receive after using them. .”nosafrankosawe@gmail.com”.
    please save your money and your package.
    don’t listen to all those advertising for them that they have use it without problems….. it’s all lies… this company is so deceitful….

  • Kinta
    Posted July 16, 2015 at 10:09 pm 0Likes

    Shippyme and all associated to them is a total Scam, stay off Errone.

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