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How to shop safely on Jumia

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Avoid Jumia online shopping scams & save money

I have seen many people complain about Jumia online shopping scams, and it is for this reason I am writing to share my experience and that of my friends. I have been shopping on Jumia for a while and have never faced some of the issues raised on social media. I know online shopping has its challenges, and this article is based on my experience up to now. If things change with Jumia after the publication of this post, then the advice published will no longer apply.

Some challenges involving Jumia online shopping

Some of my friends have raised issues, but the majority of the challenges have been posted on social media. Here are some of the issues raised by Jumia online shoppers:

Receiving an item different from what was purchased

When Jumia first opened shop in Kenya, many people reported this problem. There was even a meme dubbed ‘Jumia: what you order vs what you get’. It was showing a huge discrepancy in the item purchased (going by the image posted) versus the one delivered. People who were affected thought online shopping was a scam.

I have to admit, e-commerce requires that the photos posted are of highest quality possible, but it is important to post authentic ones. Personally, I have not had this challenge. But one thing you need to know is that most of the products displayed are sold by third parties, and each vendor is in charge of the photos they post.

Delayed delivery of items

A friend once told me that he was developing an e-commerce platform to address the challenge of Jumia. He said he was not happy with ‘buying an item, receiving it three days later only to find it was being sold by the vendor next door.’

Online shopping makes it possible for sellers to reach a wider audience, and Jumia has managed to reach a wide audience. When you open a shop, you will be able to attend to every customer’s needs. But as you grow, you will take longer to respond. This is what has happened to Jumia also. With a high number of orders, it is not possible to deliver to each person the exact day of delivery.

Besides, online shopping is a process. Once you order, someone has to confirm the order, another one pack it, deliver it at the warehouse after which it will be delivered to you. This process will take at least 24 hours and depending on your location, a few days to reach you.

Loss of money

Some people have complained about some Jumia page owner who asked them to send a payment for an item and disappeared with their money. Well, this is the most dump way to be conned because Jumia does not operate like this.

You need to beware of conmen. Everybody is trying to make a living out here, and some people will always take advantage of others. Ruining a company’s reputation is very easy for someone who is sure to earn their daily bread doing so. To avoid this, ensure you buy at the right page.

How to avoid scammers and shop safely on Jumia

The following tips will ensure that you evade online scammers when buying on Jumia:

  1. Check the website URL. Only buy from the Jumia official website or app, not from Facebook, WhatsApp or other funny groups.
  2. Verify the product specifications before placing the order. Check the specifications of the product you are buying and select the features you want, in terms of size, color, and specifications. The size of a product is not determined by the size of the picture on the website; a tiny product can fill an entire website, and a big product can look small on the website. Go by the standard measurement units whether in feet, inches, meters, or centimeters to determine size.
  3. Pay Mpesa on delivery. When shopping on Jumia, you have the option to pay during check-out or pay on delivery. It is always safe to pay on delivery. And do not send any money to anybody for an order. The only time you are required to pre-pay for orders is when buying from Jumia Global because returns are not easy.
  4. Pick up at their shop if you want it urgently. Jumia has partnered with some Kenyans for local delivery. You can either pick your order at their pickup stations or at the Jumia shop. Items get to Jumia warehouses first for inspection before they are sent to the pickup stations, and this of course takes time. If you want it urgently, do away with the middlemen and pick it directly from Jumia.
  5. Inspect the product before collection. Before you pay, you will get an opportunity to inspect your product. Check whether it is the same color and size you ordered. This is the right time to reject the product and have it exchanged.
  6. Check whether the product is sold locally or imported. Jumia has also listed global distributors. If you are buying on Jumia Global, you will see a message ‘shipped from overseas’ or so. You will also get the estimated arrival time of the item. Products that are shipped from abroad take at least 14 days to arrive so be patient or buy from local vendors.