ASA rules Takealot did not inflate price of imported boots

These boots were made for walking - and they’re a lot cheaper than buying them from the UK

12 July 2018 - 08:43 By Nico Gous
Image: 123RF/Nonwarit Pruetisirirot

If you are unhappy with the price on the South African online store‚ import it yourself - but you’re likely to pay more.

This is the gist of an Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruling that dismissed the complaint of a Takealot customer who claimed the online retailer was selling boots from abroad at an inflated price.

Joy Stewart complained about an advertisement on their website which stated among other things: “57% Off. Firetrap Ladies coven Snug Boots - Black. On credit: R144 per month. R1‚547 List Price R3‚656.”

She argued the advert was misleading because the same boots could be imported for less.

Takealot said the boots cost £120 in the United Kingdom (UK) if bought online from the manufacturer.

It added: “Takealot requires all items sold on their platform to be final landed price‚ including any applicable VAT‚ etc.”

Takealot said when they fulfill purchases from the UK they must “generate an appropriate and fair listing price based on a formula that includes the costs of importing the item into South Africa”.

This included the price of the boots‚ the exchange rate‚ bank fees‚ shipping‚ duties‚ excise and VAT.

“The Respondent [Takealot] noted that the customer purchased the item for R1‚547‚ which at the date of submission‚ at the exchange rate of R18.12‚ is £85. This demonstrated massive saving‚ even without factoring in all additional costs outlined above. As such‚ it is absolutely confident that its pricing is both correct and competitive.”

The ASA found in their calculations that Stewart would have paid R3‚550.83 for the boots if she bought them directly from the UK - R2‚174.40 for the boots‚ customs and excise rate of R869.76‚ VAT of R326.16 and shipping costs of R181.01.

“It is clear from this calculations exercise that the (Takealot) listing price is not inflated as assumed by (Stewart).”