Lifestyle, Photography and Digital Art

My First Lazada Experience: International

Lazada is one of the most popular online stores in the Philippines.

Just to give some context, Lazada partners with hundreds of local and international sellers, which makes Lazada like an online catalogue of various shops. However, there are products that Lazada handles itself, i.e. “sold and fulfilled by Lazada”. There are many legitimate local sellers that opt to sell their items via Lazada, so it’s not unusual that I get redirected to Lazada when I spot something interesting whether on facebook or the seller’s own website.

Despite having an account on Lazada since 2015, this would be my first time to push through with a purchase. Since creating an account, I usually looked through Lazada only for my own virtual window shopping pleasure.

The Item

In this post, I’m sharing my experience on ordering an item that is handled by a foreign store but sold through Lazada. It’s a camera case bag for my mirrorless camera. I’ve done a lot of searching on what kind of case to get (maybe I’ll talk about it in another post) and I decided to get this. It covers the camera well and I like the floral and butterfly prints on it. You’ll see later that it’s quite an expensive case, but since I want to really take care of my camera (a big investment for a fresh grad on her first job!), it was fine with me.

Here’s a photo of the item when you look for it in Lazada:

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The item: Flower Art Camera Case with Strap

The Platform

The Lazada layout is clear and informative.

  • Photos. The photos are highly accurate. Many of the sellers take time to get a high definition photo of their products.
  • Detailed descriptions. If you scroll down a little bit, usually you’ll see more specific details that aren’t found in the short description beside the photos.
  • Delivery options. If you register and get an account, you can enter your specific address and it would tell you if it is available for delivery in your area and the approximate number of days it would take to get to your doorstep. Depending on the total amount of your order, they may or may not charge a shipping fee. I live in Metro Manila so the shipping fee is always free; more details here.
  • You can see if the item ships from abroad, so that you can manage your expectations on the delivery time.
  • Payment options. Many people like the Cash on Delivery (COD) option because they can opt to not pay for or get the product if they are dissatisfied. So seeing the COD option can help buyers decide on the purchase. Personally, I usually like to pay for my online purchases through my debit card or coursed through Paypal.
  • Seller. You can see which company sells the product. This helps buyer decide whether to trust the store; you will see comments, ratings, and other products sold by the store.

In the previous picture, I editted out the price (which is supposed to appear above the “Add to Cart” button) because it varies a lot; the price at the time I ordered it versus the price when I took a screenshot are different. I think the price fluctuations are caused by constant changes in supply and demand. Also, there may be secret price drops so you really have to observe the price of the items you’re interested in so that you can get them at the lowest prices.

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More product details if you scroll down

Payment

It was quite simple actually. Here’s a quick summary on ordering then paying:

  1. Choose your product, then click “Add to Cart”.
  2. A pop-up window would come out. Click on “Proceed to Checkout”.
  3. If you have a coupon or discount code, you can type it in the designated box and it automatically deducts the discount. You can check for more discount codes and promos here.
  4. You will be asked to choose your payment options.
  5. Once you go through the payment procedures, your Order will be verified. You will get an e-mail verification and you will also be able to see your item within the website.
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The Lazada menu

To check on your order, log in and click on “Track My Order” found on the upper part of the website page. You will see the order summary and there’s a button that let’s you print out your invoice:

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The invoice

As you can see, the price of the product when I ordered is 1,316.68 pesos. This is my first order so I am eligible for the coupon code “LZNEW100OFF”, which gives me a P100 discount.

When I paid, there was something wrong with direct debit payment, which is why I opted to pay through Paypal. Paying through Paypal can be great because it’s an added layer of security for your bank account. If something goes wrong like a duplicated billing or other unwanted charges, you can ask Paypal to help you smooth it out.

Tracking

The Order Tracking will look somewhat like this:

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The Order Tracking page

Depending on the seller’s packaging procedures, you have a few hours or a few days to cancel your order. For international orders, you only have 6 hours to cancel. Otherwise, there is no other way to cancel. If you want to cancel your order within the allotted time, simply click on the “Cancel Items” button and follow the steps.

Because I’m makulit like that, I wasn’t satisfied with the three very generic steps in the tracking process (processing, shipped, delivered). I’m used to seeing the specific location of my parcels, much like in Shopee or in the tracking platforms of different couriers. So, I called up Lazada to see if they can tell where exactly my order is. They were able to answer me clearly (more details below).

Customer Service

via Phone

Thankfully, Lazada has an amazing customer support system. They usually pick up in less than five minutes. I called several times and I can say I was satisfied with all the calls. No empty promises or vague answers. The representatives seem to have been trained well and have direct access to the Lazada system, hence they can really look for the answer to your question or solve your issue.

Since there was no information about the seller’s origin in the website, I called them to ask if I can find out where (what country) the product came from. They said it was somewhere in China or Hong Kong. When the package arrived, I was able to confirm this because of the package label. Specifically, it’s from Shenzhen, China (an area very near to Hong Kong).

It’s a helpful thing also that after every phone call you will receive a documentation summary in your e-mail. This helps you keep track what went on in a specific conversation. According to their website, the Customer Service Team is available daily from 6AM to 12Midnight. Call them at (02) 795 8900.

via e-mail

Getting responses via e-mail can be convenient if you’re not in a rush. It usually takes 12 hours or up to 3 days if it’s in peak season.

Delivery

Overall, it took 7 days from ordering until I received it on April 23. The ETA is between May 3 to 8, 2017. It was 10-15 days earlier than expected. I’m not sure though if the long waiting period (supposedly 3 weeks) is only a ploy so that I would expect the package later than the actual ETA. This would make it feel like it arrived early, right? But this is just a thought. 🙂

The Timeline

So, how long did it take for me to get my order from China?

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E-mail from Lazada on April 21

  • April 16 – Ordered and paid online via Lazada.
  • April 20 – Called Lazada and I was told that the package is already in the country but still in customs. According to the customer service representative I talked to, most international orders come into the country within a few days, probably within 1-3 days. But Philippine customs review takes a while. For a consumer like me, it’s quite a hassle. But remember that this is our government’s way of capturing smuggled goods and protecting our local businesses.
  • April 21 – Received an e-mail from Lazada telling me that my order “is on its way”. The e-mail stated that “LEX CB” courier has already shipped out my order (see photo above). LEX simply means Lazada Express. When you get this e-mail, you can expect the actual delivery to your doorstep within 1-3 days, unless you’re from a provincial area.
  • April 23 – Received a text from delivery personnel: “Good morning po sa lazada po to ngayon po yung delivery naten pahintay na lang po.” I received the package from our lobby attendant when I got home. April 21 is a Saturday, which makes the next day Sunday (no operations). If April 21 was a workday, I would assume that the delivery would have occurred the very next day.

Here are photos of what the package looked like:

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Here are photos of the case when placed on my Sony a5100:

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Review

Overall, it was definitely a pleasant experience! Especially, considering it was shipped from outside the Philippines. I’ve experienced worse from online shopping. I guess I’m lucky that the seller was responsible in shipping quickly. Also, it was just April–it isn’t rush season, so there’s less likely to be any delay both in the customs and in delivery.

According to some blogs and reviews I saw on facebook, you still have to be cautious in buying through Lazada. There were alleged fakes and very low quality items. Check the seller’s reviews.  If you’re not satisfied, return it immediately or call Lazada for help. When you do your search, compare prices to see if you’re not being overcharged. Online shopping can be really exciting and convenient if you know how to be careful.

Wanna try Lazada? If you want a full step-by-step procedure or if you have other questions, you can visit them here.

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