online shopping in indonesia 2023

indonesian online shopping guide

content updated: 21 June, 2024
online shopping in indonesia

online shopping in indonesia guide

orders and payments for online purchases

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.

Shopping online from foreign platforms
ordering goods from abroad

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

import taxes for abroad goods
  • 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
  • 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)
  • 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

can i order from amazon?

shopping locally indonesia

local online sellers
shipping online orders
delivery methods in indonesia

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

problems and complaints about products ordered online
Indonesian online shopping malls
online shopping platforms indonesia
  1. Shopee 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. BukaLapak. This site is similar to the above but shipping discounts are often not very good.
  5. 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.
  6. 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
furnitures and sport shops online

Article written by sir. Matthew Brealey

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