Guide to online shopping in Zimbabwe: buying from sellers who don’t ship to Zimbabwe

Garikai Dzoma Avatar

In this series I will look at tips and how-tos for prospecting and current online shoppers in Zimbabwe.

One of the most frustrating things, when checking out during online shopping, is finding out the product you selected to buy cannot be shipped to Zimbabwe. This is true with a good number of leading computer manufacturers and some merchants on popular storefronts such as and At best, you have to contend with some local middlemen or dealer who will of course have their cut at your expense or, at worst, the product simply is not available any other way.

The problem can be solved by using a package forwarding service that will receive the package on your behalf using a US address and forward it to your country of choice (Zimbabwe) using a courier service such as DHL or FedEx. There are several reasons you might want to buy using a foreign address:

  • The obvious one of seller not shipping directly to Zimbabwe.
  • To participate in deals that are exclusive to customers resident in a certain domain.
  • The seller limits the means of payment available when you use a Zimbabwean address. For example does not accept credit cards if you input a Zimbabwean address during the checkout process. This restriction is lifted once you have entered a US address.
  • To save on shipping costs by bundling several packages into one using the package forwarders’ repackaging service.

I would recommend two services and because they are popular and reliable, have been around for a while ( has been around since 1998), are cheap (free signup and no hidden costs) and I have used with great satisfaction. When you sign up for both services you receive a US based address that can be used to receive your packages.

Opening a account

  1. You will need a Visa/MasterCard, at least two forms of government issued identification (National Id, Passport, Driver’s license etc.)
  2. Visit and sign up.
  3. Login into your account and click on the given link to verify your account.
  4. Check your bank account and enter the exact amount deducted. This may take several days to appear on your statement for some banks.
  5. Once you have verified your account you can use their Florida based address instead of your Zimbabwean address when making purchases.

Once a package has been received in your mailbox, you will receive an email notification and you will be asked to send scanned copies of your identification documents to a given email address and as soon as your account is verified, the package is sent to you and your card is charged. The sign up process is pretty much the same for with the exception being that adds a phone number and allows you to request a quote before making a purchase.


  1. kmberi

    I personally use

    1. Muti

      How much do they charge?

    2. Lovemore

      Km can u tell me how can I shop online wana get my ecu from eBay but don’t know the procedure help

  2. Chris Mberi

    Gari you’re a life saver 🙂

    1. Garikai Dzoma

      Glad to be of service.

  3. DuwayneGoddard

    I have used this one when buying from the UK

    1. Garikai Dzoma

      Thank I didn’t know about this one.

  4. DuwayneGoddard
  5. DuwayneGoddard

    anything for South Africa?, i’m tired of paying runners 30% of the value of my order.

  6. Time

    Didn’t even know these services and their demand existed…its actually pretty innovative.

  7. Marshall Mahachi

    Does anyone know how much ZIMRA would charge me, say if I buy a laptop or cellphone…?

    1. Garikai Dzoma

      There will be an article on that but basically you dont pay any duty on laptops and any ICT equipment. You however have to pay 15% VAT. This is calculated using a mysterious base price that you will only know about once you have imported the item. You can visit and try and search the payable duty on the item.

      1. Marshall Mahachi

        thanks mdara …there is need for ZIMRA to open up..

  8. SADC's own Amazon. | Techzim

    […] and often times these happen to be the very items you are after. We have already covered how you can work around this but even if you are to implement the work around you will soon learn of the extortionist prices […]

  9. You can now pre-order you smart watch for only $200 | Techzim

    […] the party by using a VPN/Hola and ordering using a US or UK forwarding address as we have discussed countless times […]

  10. kudzie

    okay is it possible to purchase a phone on ebay and have it shipped to the usa box adressv after that have usabox ship the phone to zim…if any1 has done can i have some insight on how much it will cost to get an iphone 5s to zim

    1. Garikai Dzoma

      Did not do it with a phone but an LCD screen. It depends on the dimensions and weight of the device. Unless it’s a good phone and totally worth it don’t do it because it can end up getting expensive since most couriers will make you pay a handling fee.

  11. Thabani Dube

    Just read the .pdf containing the list of all VAT charges, and cellphones are at 15%. I want to import a phone which is not available anywhere in the Southern Africa but is not network locked and allows for international use. Given the value for money, the new Moto G 3rd Gen and the Google Nexus 5 are my considerations right now given the rate at which technology is advancing.
    If my calculations are correct, this would be a whole lot more for not a whole lot less but fair enough when compared to the overpriced Galaxy A3 which has very similar specs to these.

    1. fourwallsinaroom

      Thabani, let me know how this goes. I am in the same boat hence i dug up this article

  12. Ryan Mamura

    i want to buy a wristband digital watch that costs $9 on Howa mch would you think shipping to Zimbabwe would cost..i use

  13. Ryan Mamura

    i want to buy a wristband digital watch that costs $9 on How mch would you think shipping to Zimbabwe would cost..i use

  14. Gladys

    wow zvava zvitsva ozvi

  15. How To Buy Goods On Amazon From Zimbabwe… – Techzim

    […] has previously posted some work-arounds of how to go about buying from the American platform but of late there is another method that […]