The Oculus Rift launched on 28 March, with a bundled package containing the headset, tracking sensor, remote, cabled, Xbox One controller, and Lucky’s Tale selling for $599.
However, Oculus does not ship directly to South Africa.
This did not stop the head of cloud solutions at Jurumani, Niel Malan, from getting his headset, though.
Malan explained that so long as he provided a US shipping address, Oculus was happy to accept his PayPal account which was linked to a South African credit card.
Services like MyUS and NYBox can provide you with a parcel forwarding service with an address based in the United States.
Once the package arrives in South Africa, the courier will typically send a bill for customs clearance.
At the very least you will be charged VAT. Depending on the type of goods, you may also be charged ad valorem and other duties. Malan said he only had to pay VAT on the Oculus Rift.
The steps and costs involved to order your own Oculus Rift from South Africa are summarised below.
Conversions were done at a rate of R14.26 per dollar.
Sign up for a parcel forwarding service
Total cost: $0 (R0)
Both services have free tiers available, and MyUS offers a free trial of its premium subscription service which offers cheaper courier fees.
NYBox lets you either ship to New York, or Delaware. While shipping to Delaware might take a bit longer, it also enjoys 0% sales tax.
Place your order on Oculus.com
Register and place your order on the Oculus website.
Using a Delaware address from NYBox, I was quoted $30 extra for shipping, for a total of $629.
Pay for your parcel to be forwarded
According to reports, the Oculus Rift box weighs 3.07kg. Using the MyUS shipping calculator, we got the following estimates for shipping prices:
|MyUS Shipping Partner||Average transit time||MyUS Basic||MyUS Premium|
|DHL Express||1 – 4 business days||R1,768.29||R1,473.60|
|FedEx Economy||5 – 10 business days||R1,824.50||R1,520.49|
|FedEx Priority||1 – 4 business days||R1,875.27||R1,562.80|
|UPS Expedited||2 – 8 business days||R1,846.30||R1,538.70|
|UPS Worldwide Saver||1 – 4 business days||R2,022.97||R1,685.84|
NYBox also offers a number of different carriers, and also has a premium membership programme.
|NYBox shipping||Average transit time||NYBox Standard||NYBox Premium|
|DHL||2-5 days||R2,513 ($176.21)||R2,106 ($147.71)|
|Aramex||4-7 days||R867 ($60.78)||R693.32 ($48.62)|
|UPS Saver||5-10 days||R1,872 ($131.31)||R1,657 ($116.21)|
Pay your customs bill
Once your item arrives in South Africa, your courier should send you a customs clearance bill.
Malan used DHL though MyUS and was only charged VAT on the import, which came to R1,355.
If no ad valorem or other duties are applicable, then VAT on imports from the United States is calculated at the item’s value with a 10% “added tax value” markup.
After you’ve paid your taxes, your goods will be released, and the courier will deliver it to you.
Total cost: an example calculation
There are five basic costs to keep in mind when importing goods from the United States: exchange rate, US sales taxes, US shipping, international shipping, and South African taxes.
Assuming we import an Oculus Rift using Aramex on NYBox, this is what the total cost might look like:
|Delaware sales tax||$0||R0|
|Shipping to Delaware||$30||R428|
|Shipping to SA (NYBox, Aramex)||$61||R867|
|Taxes in SA||R1,315|