7 to dos for online shoppers


Buying and selling online has taken most working Papua New Guineans by storm! In fact almost 73,000 people are buying or selling on the Marketmeri.com website or  Marketmeri, Meri PNG, Buy & Sell Anything PNG on facebook.

Woman shopping online

Source: VideoBlocks
Working class Papua New Guineans who are unable to leave their offices for more than an hour daily, are opting to look online for almost all non-grocery products especially electronics, clothing and fashion accessories, property and vehicles.

Papua New Guineans are opting to do their shopping online because:

1) It is convenient - it is less time consuming and you don’t have to leave your desk nor do you have to worry about traffic jams that are an issue in all PNG centres now. With online shopping you can sit in the comfort of your airconditioned office and spend ten minutes browsing, reading, deciding and buying.
2) It is safe - you don’t have to worry about someone robbing you as travel or as you browse.
3) You can compare prices easier - no more spending time walking or driving from shop to shop comparing prices. You can choose and compare from hundreds of different sellers in less than 20 minutes AND you can make comparisons according to size, capacity, features, colours and you can be as specific as you want to in your comparisons.
4) You can access global markets - this means that you are no longer restricted to the variety and quality sold in PNG. You have a HUGE variety with limitless supplies and you can choose according to price, styles, colours, brands of whatever you are looking for. If what you are looking for is not available in PNG, you can search for it online.
To take advantage of online shopping it is extremely vital that you protect yourself from being taken advantage of. Protect yourself from scams, identity theft and other online dangers. At Marketmeri.com we make it our business to screen everyone using the platform. There is not always that same guarantee with other websites so we’ve come up with some tips of things you MUST do to protect yourself from as many online dangers as possible.

Things to Do:

1. Protect your privacy!
Check if the seller store your details? Is there a danger of a third party getting your banking or identity details? How much information do you have to give in order to make a purchase?
2. Research, research, research!
Find out as much as you can about the seller. Don’t just stop at looking at three websites. Read thoroughly through at least five different websites, search on facebook, search on linkedIn, search on Zoom, read reviews and ask as many of your trusted friends as possible about the company or the person selling. Find out how long that business/individual has been selling or operating. Is there a working phone number is something that reliable and trustworthy businesses will have too. 
3. Ensure that the product is not illegal in PNG.
You can go to the PNG Customs page Here or you can check with NAQIA as well. You do not want to be held liable for a genuine mistake.
online shopping
Source: Digitaltrends 
4. Check for postal tracking services plus refund or damage policies.
There is always a danger that the product gets damaged on the way to you. You don’t want to be spending hundreds of kina only to find that what you ordered is broken and the worst case scenario is that you can’t get a refund. A reliable online company will have some form of tracking or insurance of tracking. Ask the seller what postal or mail services they use, ask what they use to track the packages, ask if they are insured in the case of the package being lost or damaged and what will happen in the event that the package does not reach you.
5. Check for other costs (customs duty, import taxes etc) including correct exchange rates.
This is important if you are purchasing from overseas, you must make sure to get the correct exchange rates in case you end up making a larger dent in your account than you intended to. Find out import taxes there will be (if any) and who is going to meet those costs. If you are unsure - make sure you double check with the PNG Customs Services.
6. Check the compatibility.
This is very important when you are purchasing electronic items.There are some who have purchased devices that require a higher voltage to operate than what is offered in the average office or household in PNG and this can end up damaging the product or causing a fire. Check things like voltage, network (true 4G is only available in certain spots in Lae and Port Moresby), whether you need another part or software or hardware to be purchased to make the product fully functional. Research is vital for this as well.
7. Contact the seller.
As soon as you make a decision call or email the seller so that you already know how to get in touch with them just in case something goes wrong. It is also wise to have your bank’s 24 hour contact number to see if anything can be done to cancel a payment. You should consider creating a PayPal account to offer you just bit more protection as a buyer.
It is important that you pay attention and do as much reading, thinking and asking before you make a decision to buy something online. Just like with some shops where you are not allowed to return items after buying, some online shops will have the same rule. To avoid disappoint do your homework.


You can click Here to see what is on offer on Marketmeri.com. If you would like to get more tips on online shopping and to find out what items are hot, you can Subscribe to our Newsletter or you can email [email protected]

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