Many people don’t buy anything online because they don’t trust anything on the internet. That is, apart from Facebook, Gmail, Outlook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, bank apps, Google Maps, Waze, Shazam, all the mobile games, their iPhones and Android phones, and many other apps. We’re not judging, we all saw what Facebook’s been doing.
In 2021, with the coronavirus and everyone required to be indoors, here are our top six favorite online shopping platforms in Malaysia for everything other than and including groceries (you can get your groceries on some of the more general sites like Shopee and Lazada, though).
Our latest addition to the list and possible overall favorite online site to shop in Malaysia in 2021. We have noticed that prices on Shopee are generally always slightly lower than on other e-commerce platforms even for items listed by the same sellers/stores.
Their complex free-shipping promotion method needs some scientific knowledge to understand but it works great. You can get household items and even groceries if you are so inclined. Big shoppers can combine a service like Shopback with Shopee and you’ll be getting free stuff in no time.
This is actually a forum for discussions about almost everything, from cars to fashion to computers and mobile games to relationships but it is our go-to site for electronics—mobile devices, hard drives, and computer parts.
At least we check the prices here to have an idea what the range of local prices is before we go on to our next favorite platform. The shopping area is located in the Garage section at the bottom of the main page, with different categories for different items.
We like Lowyat Forum because, more often than not, you can message a seller directly on the platform or if they have their mobile number, agree to a meetup, and complete a deal within a few hours. You can also tell how long a person has been active in the system and see their reputation on the platform.
Your preferred method of dealing here should be Cash on Delivery (COD); you agree on a meeting venue and time with the seller (choose malls or places with people), get there and inspect the item, pay for it and go home happy if it’s what you want. Only available on the web. You can access it on the web browser on your mobile devices, however.
Our first choice when we’re looking for properties to rent. It has just as many options for other products and services, and you can get really good deals here for stuff like electronics, as long as the seller agrees to a COD. Otherwise, it’s a no.
If the price looks too good to be true, then it probably is. If the seller agrees to a meetup, make sure it is in a public space and inspect the item properly; you do not get refunds.
You also don’t get the option to pay directly on the site and have to deal with the seller directly, off the platform; which is where the risk is. Most times, you have to bank-in to the person’s account, they confirm and then send you the item. If they choose not, then your money’s gone. Available on the web and as an app.
We’re not a big fan of Lazada although we keep a long wish list on the site and we have bought more than a few things from here. One of the best things we like about shopping here is the COD feature.
You order as usual and select to pay when the item is delivered. This will be a plus for those who are wary of the internet. Or expats who don’t yet have access to banking facilities in Malaysia. One thing to note is that the option is not available for every product or every store on the platform. Some sellers choose to transact business that way, others don’t.
However, you still get your traditional payment options; credit and debit cards, online bank transfers, 7-11, PayPal, Maybank Instalment Plan, and when available, payment on delivery. The site does come with its share of frustrations, though.
We’ve ordered items from the site on several occasions, waited a few days without any updates, and had been suddenly informed that the order was canceled. We’ve heard from other people that this has happened to them too. You might also want to check the Reviews section of what you’re buying to see what other buyers have to say first. It is available as an app and on the web.
When we initially started using this platform in 2008, it was quite possibly the worst thing ever. Most of the items on the site were fakes and the sellers didn’t have to indicate the authenticity of the items.
Now, it’s one of the top online platforms for electronics, but it has sellers that have almost everything else. It has the option of transacting your business on the platform but I’ve realized a lot of the sellers want to deal externally. As usual, the risk is higher if you choose to deal outside the website.
Check for the verified sign on the sellers and stores and always look at the reviews and ratings on items that they’ve sold previously. Available on the web and an app.
Our favorite platform for bargain hunting, Carousell is available and more accessible in the app although there’s a web version too. The platform has almost everything, cars to pets, and one of its main draws is that it tries to get you to sell your unwanted items on the platform.
The site allows you to search by proximity so look for items closer to you first that you can request a COD with the seller. In case you don’t find any, proceed cautiously, ensuring that you’re transacting safely. Some common sense always works. Check for the seller (or buyer) ratings and reviews left by their other customers before you proceed with a transaction.
These are Other Expats‘ favorites and are not exhaustive reviews of these online shopping platforms but they should give you an idea of where to shop for what online in Malaysia and some things to look out for.