online shopping in indonesia 2023
indonesian online shopping guide
online shopping in indonesia guide
Online shopping in Indonesia is not as easy as in most Western countries. Most items are sold by individual sellers via an online marketplace, and there is not really an equivalent to Amazon (though it is possible to also shop from Amazon).
First of all, you need to remember that you won’t be able to “link” your payment card to any of the sales platforms in Indonesia. Regardless of whether you have Visa or Mastercard.
The only option, if you do not have a card issued in Indonesia, are purchases with payment on delivery, or purchases with payment in one of the grocery chains, such as Indomaret, Alfamaret or Cicrle K.
When you make a purchase, you have to choose the type of payment, you will receive a code with a time limit and you have to go to one of the selected stores and enter your code there.
There you can pay with your card issued abroad, although sometimes the store may refuse to pay by card, and then you have to pay in cash.
Fortunately, the vast majority of stores have an ATM.
The Chinese government subsidises post from China overseas so shopping from China can be a good option. The main site is AliExpress, but you can also try DealExtreme and BangGood. Some goods are counterfeit, but there is usually a guarantee that you can claim to get your money back. Expect around a month shipping time from China from AliExpress — some other sites will be cheaper.
Shopping online from foreign platforms
This is relatively simple if your item costs $3 to $1500(before shipping costs) you must pay 7.5% income tax and 10% sales tax (for a total of 18.25%) including shipping. There will also be a handling fee from the post office of 10,000rp.
The exchange rates are set weekly https://www.beacukai.go.id/kurs.html. If you buy in another currency than $, beware of fluctuations that could cause it to exceed $1500, as the rate will be determined on entering Indonesia, not the date of sale
Under $3 and you only pay a nominal handling fee to the post office of around 5,000rp.
Exceptions to this are:
- used goods are not allowed to be imported without a special licence
- tobacco has a limit of 40 cigarettes, 5 cigars, 40g loose tobacco, or 5 capsules, 30ml liquid, 4 cartridges, or 50g/50ml for other forms of tobacco product. If this is exceeded, the excess will be destroyed
- alcoholic drinks must not exceed 350ml, or the excess will be destroyed
Certain printed materials are free of charge:
- 4901 — books, brochures and leaflets
- 4902 — newspapers, journals and periodicals
- 4903 — children’s books
- 4904- printed music
- but not 4905/4906 (charts, maps, and plans including architectural plans), 4907 (postage stamps, share certificates, etc.), 4908 (decals), 4909 (post cards and greetings cards), 4910 (calendars), 4911 (photos and pictures)
While others also attract import duty, income tax and sales tax:
- textiles, garments, shoes, socks — anything in HS codes 61, 62, 63, 64. For these you can expect to pay around 40–50% in total, rather than 18.25%
amazon in indonesia
Amazon have many worldwide sites but a European site will usually be the best option for purchase, as you will get VAT removed at the point of sale. They will pre-charge customs duty and delivery, and will refund you if the customs duty exceeds the actual amount.
shopping locally indonesia
The best option for shopping online is to find a local seller in your city. In this case ‘instant’ shipping via motorcycle courier is possible, and you can order perishable goods. Many sellers may advertise in your local area via Facebook Market/Facebook Groups and Instagram.
You will find groceries with delivery via apps such as GoJek or Grab.
shipping online orders
Shipping is usually not by the post office, but by private courier companies such as J&T or JNE. The price for shipping is a product of the origin and destination locations and is priced per kilo. For example from Jakarta to Surabaya might cost 20,000rp per kilo, from Jakarta to rural Sumatra might be 55,000rp kilo, and from Jakarta to a large city in Medan 40,000rp. For long distances such as Jakarta to Medan, which might take four to five days by road, the default option is air shipment. There is often a cargo option, which will be considerably cheaper per kilo, but the price might be priced on a 10kg minimum. Sometimes it is cheaper to find a local seller and save money (and time) on shipping, even with a higher sale price.
Remember that any electronic product may be refused air transport and must be packed in a wooden protective structure.
Counterfeit, damaged and faulty goods
Most sellers do not stand by their products. For certain products nearly all are counterfeit. For example laptop chargers are nearly all counterfeit in Indonesia. If you examine them carefully there is some small spelling error on them. If you have paid the price for a real one, send it back, if you just bought the cheapest, accept that in Indonesia it says ‘Lenovo’, whereas in another country it might say ‘Best Charger’ or something.
Faulty products will be difficult to return but in general you should inspect the product immediately on receipt. If it is obvious that the product is damaged in shipping then do not accept it from the courier without taking photographs of the courier with the item, that show that it is damaged. The courier is not responsible for the damage, but you should prove that damage occurred during transport. It is also a good idea to video the ‘unboxing’, especially on fragile or expensive items, to avoid any issues. You usually have till the end of the next day to report damaged/incorrect/counterfeit products, after which you will not be able to return the item. But it is best to open packages immediately.
In some cases the seller might try to refuse to accept responsibility for shipping damage. In this case you might choose a seller with insurance, or there may be an extra payment for insurance possible at the time of shipping. You should always try to report damage even if the shipper claims not to be responsible, but you won’t always be successful.
You will face rejections at first, but if you spend a lot of time, the chances of “winning” increase. Salespeople assume you’ll let go of your remarks quickly.
Indonesian online shopping malls
The sites available for shopping in Indonesia are:
- Shopee http://www.shopee.co.id/ You will need an Indonesian phone number. Shopee encourage you to use their payment system, ShopeePay. This is a pre-paid online wallet, so for example you can top up 1,000,000rp and use it over a period of time. Top-ups are best done using Indonesian online banking but transfer from overseas using TransferWise is also possible. Direct payment for each purchase using local debit card, local credit card or TransferWise or local bank transfer. Foreign cards are not accepted.
Shopee have many promotions to subsidise the cost of shipping. Usually there is a minimum sale price for this, and you might get a bigger shipping discount if you spend over 300,000rp or 500,000rp than 100,000rp. There are different ‘free shipping’ groups, such as ‘Gratis Ongkos Xtra’ ‘ Gratis Xtra’ so pay attention to which one is which. Many of the discounts are only available with ShopeePay payment. Shopee also offer services such as credit for mobile phones, electricity meters, etc.
Shopee is currently the largest online shopping site in Indonesia because of their many promotions to subsidise shipping, etc.
- Tokopedia. Mainly the same thing as Shopee, and with many of the same sellers. Sometimes the minimum spend on Tokopedia is lower for free shipping, so it can be worth checking as well. Some sellers are on one or the other site but not both, and prices can even differ slightly. Tokopedia allows the sale of alcohol, which is blocked on Shopee.
- Lazada. Although many ‘official shops’ such as Xiaomi are often on Shopee, Lazada is also a good place for official shops. It is often best to buy directly from the brand, as for example with mobile phones many sold in Indonesia are illegally imported and modified by the seller, so you should never buy a phone except direct from the brand or one of the few properly authorised retailers listed on the brand website. Sometimes there is stock on Lazada but not Xiaomi, or vice versa.
- BukaLapak. This site is similar to the above but shipping discounts are often not very good.
- Blibli. Blibli has different shipping prices from the main sites, and sometimes good shipping discounts as well. Many items are fulfilled directly by Blibli. This is not as popular as Shopee, but a good place to shop. They accept foreign credit/debit cards. Along with Tokopedia, they are a good place to look for alcohol.
- Zalora. Zalora is a fashion mall. They sell specific brands, which may be sold by Zalora or by the brand. The good sold here should all be authentic, which is not always the case on other sites. They have lots of discount vouchers also. This is a good place to look for branded clothes/shoes.
Platform similar to world known Zalando, and also have free returns possible.
online retailers indonesia
Ikea Indonesia has two stores in Java, and you can collect many goods in Java free of charge. Outside of Java you will pay per kg shipping. Sometimes it can be cheaper to buy Ikea goods on Shopee from resellers, because of cheaper shipping. You can pay using a foreign credit/debit card here.
Ikea have also an shop in Bali, but its more like a showroom, and anyway most products will be ordered from Jakarta.
Decathlon Indonesia has stores in the Jakarta area, and click and collect in Solo. There is shipping across Indonesia, charged per kilo outside Java. The range (sporting goods) is not as complete as Decathlon in Europe
Rodalink (bicycles — they own the Polygon and Marin brands) has stores across Indonesia but shipping is from Java. Shipping outside of Java is per kilo. Goods here are authentic.
Article written by sir. Matthew Brealey
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