Wednesday, December 3, 2008

BubbleWrap Kenya

It looks like every day a new e-commerce site is born in Kenya. In some of my earlier posts, I already looked at Books First, Quick Flicks Store, and Crystallwear
And now I just discovered a fourth one: BubbleWrap Kenya. They focus mainly on gifts. The site is easily searchable or alternatively you can browse the categories, which go from books to wedding and couple gifts. 

Busy girls may like the thought of a 1 hour of spa re-balancing massage. But they may find a sensitive friend who could offer them much more for less than the KSh 5,000 advertised for this massage. Handy men may like the 4 Drawer Topchest with 142pc Tool Kit. But their wifes may not like the KSh 64,995/- price tag. Cooking queens may love the Stylish italian stainless steel cutlery. But their husbands may frown upon the KSh 61,800/- cost.

BubbleWrap guarantees that you will receive your gift within 2 weeks unless it is a customized gift then it is 2 months... They accept payment by Mpesa, cheque, Visa and Mastercard. Bubble Wrap aims to deliver within 14 days using Fargo Courier. The cost of delivery will be added to your bill.

In conclusion: Interesting website, but I really hope they can come up with some more attractive prices (most items appear more expensive than in the conventional shops), or otherwise they should just wrap up this bubble.

16 comments:

Des said...

Thanks for your discovery but I honestly have to make a comment about some of these Kenyan entrepreneurs. And don't get me wrong, I commend them for at least getting off their behinds and getting started, something not many of us can boast of. But why can't we just do our research and put in an extra mile with these things. I lasted two minutes on that website and I couldn't believe the stock levels, the prices, the photography quality,the organisation, categories, descriptions, I can keep going. The site needs a lot of work. If only more attention had been placed in the planning phase of this noble idea.

Rafiki said...

Des: I couldn't agree with you more. Have you come across any better Kenyan e-commerce sites? I continue to do my e-shopping with Amazon.

Shiko-Msa said...

Thanks for the sight. I'll take time and go through it.

Aaaii Rafiki there's a jerry can there going for 5k. Typo on their side? Ok I must admit I've never bought a jerry can but I doubt they're that costly?

Shiko-Msa said...

Lol Des, I clicked on Health & Beauty as a matter of priority. There are only 3 items! A bracelet, a sun-hat and Ladies survival kit. That was 1-3 of 3 products. Hopefully they're just starting out and will improve with time.

Des said...

Rafiki: I haven't ventured beyond Amazon.com either. I guess the search continues.

Rafiki said...

Shiko: You also have to take note of the sub-categories, e.g. under Health & Beauty, there is a sub-category Health (7 items) and another sub-category Beauty (2 items). Which sub-category do you actually need? I would think none of them, since you are both healthy and beautiful already...
Anyway, you'll find exciting things like bracelets, body wash, bath oil, manicure, pedicure. Not to mention the Wild Thing Bubble Bath at 400 bob...

Rafiki said...

Des: Beyond Amazon.com I have ventured into Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.fr and Amazon.de, which sometimes have better deals depending on the exchange rates and shipping charges to Kenya.

Rafiki said...

Shiko: Great find the jerrycan! Nice colour that red! But KSh 5,195/- is way too much indeed! I would still go for the massage with that kind of money.

neema divine said...

eer, quite expensive. and i agree with Des too, someone just rushed to do this.

Rafiki said...

neema divine: You are right about the prices. I think the only way for an e-commerce site to make a splash in Kenya will be to offer some items at prices cheaper than in Eastleigh, even if that would mean making a huge loss during the first few months of operation. How do e-commerce sites in the UK attract business?

Des said...

Rafiki: have you shipped anything other than DVDs and books into Kenya? Could you let me in on the process? How does the duty work?

pink m said...

You stole that comment right out of my 'mouth'. We're still not busy enough to order premium priced items online, when one can walk to Nakumatt and get it at a lower price, and better still board a mat to Eastleigh and get it at a tenth the price.
It's a bit tricky right now, to have an e-commerce site dedicated to high end Kenyans. They won't move the numbers they need to keep going. In an economy like Kenya's, one needs to think numbers for it to work. What I call the Equity Model.

I'm thinking, if someone could come up with a second hand bookstore / library (like BookVilla) and market it well, it would sell. Just an idea.

Rafiki said...

Des: I have used Amazon for books, DVDs and audio CDs. Amazon won't even ship electronics or toys to Kenya. Books are the easiest, DVDs or CDs sometimes get "intercepted" by customs, but usually you can arrange everything through the post office. The best thing to do is to order a DVD or CD together with some books, it will go in the same package, and most of the times, nobody notices. The most trouble I have ever had is with the DVD of "Blood Diamond". The packing list indicated blood diamond, and somebody must have thought I was trying to import a diamond. But in the end, the package was successfully cleared.

pink m: You are full of brilliant ideas! Actually, Book Villa should go online and offer home or office delivery. Maybe the best way to go is for traditional businesses to move online (like Booksfirst) rather than all these small start-ups doing on-line only.

pink m said...

@Rafiki, I think that would be a good way to go about it. The peculiar thing about these online businesses in Kenya, it's more expensive to purchase online than going to the store when you factor in delivery charges (Booksfirst). Should this be the case? I always thought stuff is supposed to be cheaper online? I could be wrong.

Rafiki said...

@ pink m: You are very right, it should be cheaper to buy online for it to become a hit. In the US for example, Amazon has a free shipping programme. I don't know why Books First can't do that in Kenya, it is not that expensive to hire a few messengers here.

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