N-Soko Deals is a recently launched ecommerce service that is dubbed ‘Kenya’s Favorite M-mall’. Apart from the occasional gaze I gave to its adverts that are predominantly on NTV, i was not that interested on what was on offer at the N-Soko Deals website. This was however until one of their sponsored ads appeared on my Facebook timeline.
It was a deal on an external hard drive, something that I was specifically planning to purchase for some time now. I followed up the link to the N-Soko Deals website just to gather more on what these guys are really about. For starters the site is affiliated with the Nation Media Group therefore I was quite optimistic of what this may lead to.
The registration process was swift and they use your mobile number to verify your account at the site. As it is the norm for most e-commerce sites, you have first to create an account on the site before any transactions.
Okay, with that done, I proceeded with my core attraction to the N-Soko deals website. The layout of the site is quite good and navigation is a breeze. If you search product, the search results will include all the items related to your search term and with their retail prices.
To proceed with the purchase you have to reserve the items you wish to purchase. Reserving an item you wish to purchase basically implies that you pay a percentage of the retail price listed to an Mpesa Paybill number. Sincerely I was quite in a dilemma, Isn’t paying for an item you actually haven’t seen and are unaware of its physical location a bad idea, right?
I choose to think it overnight but finally since the amount wasn’t exactly an MP’s salary, decided to give it a try. Fingers crossed, I sent over the amount to the Paybill number provided. Characteristic with the stereotypic feeling you have with any Kenyan online deal, I hoped for the best but expected the worst.
Hardly a minute had I sent over the cash over, than I got a confirmation text of the payment plus the contacts of the of the physical location of the hard disk. The text also directed that I pay the balance of the stated price at the shop.
I called the number, a lady picked up and we arranged when we I can come to pick up the hard disk. Things were looking quite good and this raised my hopes on what to expect.
I waited with bated breath on whether this will actually happen or am I set to play the lead role in the sad episode of ‘A Fool and his money are soon parted’ of life. The day came the deal was in Nairobi just around the Central Business District so it wasn’t much of finding a needle in a haystack affair (I had Google Maps).
Met the Lady at her shop and she herself was not that very optimistic of something good after signing up for the N-Soko Deals Service. We got down to the business of the day, paid exactly the balance on the item and with that I was the proud owner of the Samsung External Hard Disk with a receipt of payment to prove ownership and claim warranty.
This was just awesome, as I am the kind of the buyer that hates spending time shopping around for the best prices in items. In less than a couple of clicks of the mouse on the N-Soko Deals website I had actually found what I wanted in a scam free and legal way.
One thing by the way could be helpful is N-Soko Deals to state the physical location of the items on the site. It will be kind of waste for someone living in Eldoret or Kisumu to pay a sizeable amount as a reserve fee of an item that is physically located in Nairobi. This is because the price of the item is exclusive of the courier charges.
One thing to note is that the reserve price isn’t actually going directly to the seller of the item. But rather is a N-Soko Deals commission that has been pre-charged to the seller.
Otherwise, it a good service that with some refining and buyer protection program could as well become the Kenyan inspired replica of Ebay or Amazon.
What’s your experience with N-Soko Deals?