There are several online market options, particularly OLX and Mercado Libre both of which have sellers that offer all kinds of stuff, new and used. They’re like Ebay but without the bidding. My experience is with Mercado Libre and for this post I’ll review it.
Getting started is easy, you simply create an account, provide your details, especially email address and phone number. After which you can begin shopping for whatever you want. It’s all in Spanish including the search so you have to know the proper local terms for products if you want to find what you’re looking for.
I’ve made several purchases and so far it’s been a pleasant experience. There is a “reputación” [reputation] indicator for both sellers and buyers but you need to have made at least 10 transactions for it to be active. The sellers will range from large companies to individuals. What I like most about it is that it’s very convenient as you can find something that is a bit difficult to get or far away from you. Many sellers also offer free delivery but this is for mainly for bigger purchases or purchases made in the same city.
These are the steps of a transaction, you click on “comprar” (buy) of an item that you want and after verifying it you will receive an email, after which a seller will call you to ask about delivery details. It’s as simple as that. To date all of my orders have been cash payment, so I make an order and the seller delivers it to my home where I pay them. Some will ask for you to make a deposit into their bank accounts, but I don’t go about that way as I select sellers in my city.
As I mentioned you can buy almost everything, there are some good deals for some items, and others no so much. There are decent deals for some electronics but be careful because some sellers might say they offer a guaranty but I don’t know how that’s possible when they are selling products out of their houses, and probably products they got cheapy from Ipiales (Colombia) or elsewhere. But there are others that have brick and mortar shops and I feel comfortable buying from them. An example is when I bought a laser printer for $80 that retails elsewhere for around $120. I also needed a very long LAN wire at my previous place to set up another access point as the wifi wasn’t reaching. I looked everywhere to no avail and simply decided to order it from Mercado Libre.
Anyone else feel confident shopping online within Ecuador?