I’ve been shopping on ASOS for a couple of years now because I find it really difficult to find cool clothing for women my height and size in South Africa. Apparently if you’re not a size 6 – 12 then you must be old and frumpy! Haibo! This is why ASOS has become my go-to for my favourite items of clothing – not only for fast fashion, but for some absolute classics as well.
ASOS in South Africa
You might be wondering how long it takes for ASOS to deliver to South Africa, and that really depends on the service you select. Having tried and tested a few shipping methods, here’s the cheapest, fastest and trusted services you can use to deliver ASOS to South Africa.
3 ASOS Delivery Options for Ordering to South Africa
October 2021 Update…
I have used all 3 of these services in the past, however, with the pandemic disrupting the globe, I’ve only used the courier service in 2021. Please see the updated information below.
The Fastest (my preferred service) – ASOS Courier
These days I go straight for the ASOS courier. It’s the fastest, least complicated and easiest way to get clothes to South Africa because its integrated within the website. When you check out of ASOS, choose the Express Delivery. This will cost you 20 pounds standard fee (no matter how much you order, but I’m sure that’s within reason) and will be delivered straight to your door in a few days – IF you pay the customs. If it takes you 3 weeks to pay the customs, it’ll take you 3 weeks to get your clothing.
Is It Trackable
Yes. This is one of the few options that is trackable. ASOS updates their app or site to tell you about where your items are. DHL then updates their website once it is in their hands. (I’ve included screenshots below of how it’s tracked.)
How Much Are Custom Charges?
There is a R200 DHL service see and 45% of the items’ cost. For example, if you spend R1000 you will pay R450 in custom fees and another R200 for DHL fees. If you include the 20 quid courier fee (I call it R400) all in all you pay R2050 – basically double the actual price of the items. This is why I ONLY shop on sale, to ensure I’m getting the most value.
Real Time Example
I ordered these ASOS clothes on Monday morning, first thing, and received it by Wednesday afternoon (around 3pm). This is because I ensured I payed my custom fees as soon as possible as I hoped to get the dresses for the weekend. Here’s what the paper work looked like:
1. Acknowledgement Mail from DHL
2) Customs Requesting Payment with Supporting Invoices
3) DHL Mail Notifying You of Customs Fees Required
4) DHL Confirmation of Taxes Having Been Paid
5) The Courier Is On the Way!
Confirmation that the courier will be with me today. Now, it actually said the 19th of October (I guess people usually take a few days to pay) but I paid immediately as I had made the commitment to pay and wanted the order ASAP.
And that’s how I got it by lunchtime! If you’d like to see what the tracking looks like, this is what it looks like:
The Cheapest Service: Standard Delivery (South African Postal Service)
EISH. This is probably the first word that comes to mind when most of us think about the post office. I’ll never understand a country that has so few jobs not being able to have a decent postal service when there are so many willing and able South Africans out there! None the less, they are the cheapest option, but they are also the slowest option…
Is It Trackable?
Unfortunately, once it leaves the UK there is no knowing where your parcel is. I’ve ordered on ASOS and sent via SA Postal Service and it takes 4 months to arrive. The proposed arrival date on the ASOS website is if you live in the UK or Europe NOT if your clothing is coming by boat from the UK.
How Much Are Custom Charges?
You will need to pay customs tax on your parcel should you wish to get it here. Customs tax is about 70% of the total value of the clothes. So if you spent R1000, expect to pay R700 in custom fees if you send it by regular post. So the total fee would be R1 700.
- For example: £67 [Cost of Clothes] x R20.45 [ZAR exchange rate as of March 2020] = R1 370.
- R1370 / 100 [to calculate what 1% would be] = R13.70 [1%].
- R13.70 [1%] x 70 [70% is the cost of the custom fees %] = R958.00
- Total Cost: R1 370 + R958 = R2 328.99 [For the clothes with custom fees, excluding any shipping costs.]
YES. The government is charging us a fortune to bring clothes into the country. But the clothes are so inexpensive on ASOS that I’ve often found it worth it. While it’s not cheap, the quality is great, lasts WAY longer than Mr Price and it totally unique to anything available in South Africa.
The No-Customs “Under R500” Fees Test
One day I bought a dress and sent it to my work office in London. On the same day, I bought a dress and sent it to my home in South Africa. This was to test the “If your cart is less than R500 then you won’t pay customs” rumour. It took 3 days for the dress to reach the London office and 3 MONTHS for the dress to reach South Africa.
I was still charged custom fees on the dress that arrived in South Africa, even though it was less than R500. So don’t bank on this, it’s likely you will be charged.
The Alternative Service: Postbox Courier
Update: 13th October 2021 – The Postbox Courier service was sold to new owners and I have no idea if they offer this service to the same level. I believe the man who left PBC opened his own business but I have never tried it.
It’s no secret that Postbox Courier has poor customer service when it comes to communication. They deliver well within time and get the job done pronto, but if you have any queries, they can be a total pain.
This is the service that I have used the most to get items from Kylie Cosmetics in the USA and ASOS in the UK. They work well as long and have never NOT delivered, but they can be a bit frustrating to work with if you need try to follow up on anything.
On the plus side, they are not a subscription based service like Aramex so you don’t need to pay each month to use them once.
How Postbox Courier Works
Postbox Courier will give you a postbox address in the UK. The clothes will then be sent there for them to collect and then ship to your front door (or whatever address you give) within 2 weeks. Sometimes ASOS takes a few days to fill your order, then it takes a few days to get to South Africa, then it takes a few days to get from the harbour to your door.
The great thing about Postbox Courier is that you can test the fees on their website and get a quote. When I quoted my last ASOS haul, they quoted £32.00. They do NOT charge agency fees nor documentation fees, however, this may be pre-calculated into their overall price. I’ve been happy with their service (queries aside) and they’ve never not send me package.
The only issue I had with them was that I had filled out my form incorrectly which incurred a R500 fine. Instead of asking me if I was happy to pay it they just processed it. I wasn’t impressed with that, but they did get the package to me none the less.
Finding Your Size
What I do suggest is looking at any other piece of clothing that you’ve acquired from the UK and making a decision from there. I know I’m an 16 UK top and 18 UK bottom. Sometimes the items are just a bit short for me, due to my preference as a gal in her thirties, but if you’re in your twenties and still want to rock the short vibe, you should be 100% fine.
I LOVE shopping on ASOS. It’s awesome going out and no one else is in the same outfit as you. PLUS, South Africa is so obsessed with sizes 6 – 10 that it’s ridiculous that larger women can’t buy clothes that are chic and modern just because they’re a) taller b) big busted c) have large asses d) might be a fit fat overall. Have better personalities 😉
I’ve not regretted anything I’ve bought on ASOS so I hope you enjoy it too. Happy shopping! 🙂