Online Tackle Shopping – Part 2

The What, Where, When & How of online tackle shopping.

Like I explained in Part 1 the advantages of online shopping is great. But it doesn’t help if you don’t know what, where, when and how to make your purchases. All the questions when opening accounts and declaring of credit card details to a machine can be rather intimidating.  In this piece I will try and explain how things work so you can put your mind at ease. If you are still unsure, ask your better half to assist, I’m sure they’ve purchased something online. (Come to think of it, maybe not… We don’t want them to know what our fishing equipment really costs!)

I prefer buying from the international online stores. Unfortunately some of the South African online shops just isn’t up to the standards of the international sites. The over seas tackle stores just have a bigger range and they are much more user friendly. They make buying a pleasure while the SA sites can make buying a bit of a schlep.

The overseas sites that I usually use are:

They are mostly known for selling regular priced items but you can also pick up some real bargains at factory outlet stores like for instance and (FFO is an outlet store for Pure Fishing with brands like Berkley and Penn). Even with the Rand currently through the roof you can still buy certain products cheaper using the above sites. Go have a look!

Just remember when buying and importing from abroad that there are some “hidden costs”. These costs include shipping, import duty, VAT and even delivery charges. Some items have import duty of 45% and others have none. Different sites have different ways of calculating shipping as well. Always make sure you READ and understand exactly what the extra costs are. I’ve learned a few expensive lessons over the years and have therefore compiled a list and calculation so you don’t make the same mistakes.

Import duty and VAT

• All shirts, pants, jackets has an import duty of 45% and on top of that VAT of 14%. It’s not worth it to import fishing clothes from over the water. If you really want fishing shirts you can buy them from your local store at the best possible prices.
• All shoes has an import duty of 30% and on top of that VAT of 14%. Again not worth it, the import duty throws the above items out completely and makes them too expensive. Except if you really want something that the SA market can not offer you, then by all means be my guest.
• All sun glasses has no import duty, but VAT of 14% applies. Worth a look!
• All bags has an 30% import duty and on top of that 14% VAT. Originally I couldn’t find a bag for my requirements and was forced to import. Today it will be too expensive and the bags available in SA now is much better now than 4 years ago.
• General fishing tackle and accessories is duty free, but 14% VAT applies.
• Fishing reels, Rods, Hooks, Lines is duty free, but 14% VAT applies. Even with the exchange rate you can still pick up some bargains.

Shipping fees

Also keep in mind that when you do an online purchase there will be shipping fees. This can vary from store to store. for example, have a straight 25% shipping fee on online purchases with a minimum fee of $25. Your total purchase should therefore never be less than $100. have a minimum shipping fee of $20 but there is no fixed % on purchases. Therefore the more you buy, the cheaper the shipping gets. In general it doesn’t make sense to buy equipment for less than $100. FFO uses UPS for shipping and they have an extra delivery charge of +-R100 on top of their 20% standard shipping charge, but your products are delivered at your door within a week.

A few examples to make things clear:

• Example1: If you buy $100 worth of shirts at Cabela’s, your “hidden” costs will be:

– Shipping of $25 (25%)
– Exchange rate of +-15 (US dollar vs Rand)
– Import Duty of 45% on total rand purchase
– VAT of 14% on total rand purchase
– Total import duty: ($100 + $25) x 15 = R1875 x 45% (clothing) = R843.75
– Total VAT: (R1875 + R843.75) = R2718.75 x 14% = R380.63
– Total cost: R1875 + R843.75 + R380.63 = R3099.38

(To put this into perspective. You can currently buy a Columbia fishing shirt at Cabelas for about $50, if imported that would convert to about R1500. If you buy the same shirt in SA it would cost R600-R750.)
• Example2: If you buy $100 worth of general fishing equipment at FFO, your “hidden” costs will be:

– Shipping of $20 (20%)
– Exchange rate of +-15 (US dollar vs Rand)
– Import Duty of 0% on total rand purchase
– VAT of 14% on total rand purchase
– Total import duty: $0
– Total VAT: ($100 + $20) x 15% = R1500 x 14% = R210
– UPS delivery charge: R100
– Total cost: R1500 + R210 + R100 = R1810

For a quick and easy calculation, if you buy clothes multiply the dollar price by 30 and when you buy fishing equipment multiply the dollar price by 20. This should give you a general idea of how much your total purchase will be. You might think then that it would be ridiculous to buy anything from abroad and that it’s just too expensive. But they sometimes have amazing specials. Stay away though from things with high import duty like clothes, shoes and bags, its just not worth it. If I can give you a tip, choose your shipping address as a street (home or work) address, delivery is quicker this way.

Regarding paying for your online purchase. You don’t necessarily need to enter your credit card details directly into a random online site. I would in any case not recommend that you purchase anything with your credit card online from “shaky” sites. Only use the best known sites, all you need to do is register an account. Although most “known” sites are safe, you can also register an account with companies such as PayPal and do your purchases through them. They then guarantee that your details are safe and it costs you as individual nothing. The seller, not the buyer, pay the admin fee. Another advantage of using Paypal is that if you don’t receive your goods within 45 days they will refund you (t’s & c’s apply though).

Overseas sites however isn’t everything, we have the internet in SA too. As stated the SA sites still has room for improvement but at least the price you see is the price you pay, so, no “difficult” calculations. Generally you will also receive your local purchased products much faster than from the international stores. Usually if you spend more than a certain amount on the SA sites your postage is free. Personally, I think the best online tackle store currently in SA is

But there are also others that are quite good, like: (Best prices in SA. They not really a online store, its better to view their products online and then phone them.)

I prefer “fishingstore” because of the whole look and “feel” of the site. It is set up very user friendly and professionally. It also compares very good to some of the international sites. The prices are very good and are generally on average cheaper than the other SA sites. The site loads quickly and is updated on a regular basis. There is nothing more irritating that seeing the same old special or ad every single time you enter a site for months on end.

Most of the SA online sites are very brand specific and you can only find a specific product (type of hooks or lures) on a specific site, so shop around. I suppose your personal preference will determine what you buy where.

If you are interested in buying second hand tackle you can have a look at sites like, or even the well known Just be careful with purchases from Ebay, there seems to be more chancers on there than honest folk. If you have to use them, make sure you use PayPal as your payment method so you have some sort of insurance. On many online forums like you can also have a look for some bargains under the buy/sell threads.

With the price of fishing equipment these days the second hand market is a good tool to have if you want to buy better equipment at an more affordable price. It is all based on an honest system where the seller will advertise his unwanted things for what ever reason. You will then approach him with a offer and some negotiation will take place over the phone until both parties settle on a price. After negotiation, payment and delivery or postage will be discussed.

Tips when buying second hand tackle:

  • Remember if things are too good to be true it usually is. If you see a Shimano Stella SW 10 000 for R1000, start running!
  • Avoid EFT payments. If you have to transfer money into a random account, try and gather as much information about the seller as possible. Most sites have some info about the seller. An Gumtree account that has been in use from 2011 is far more trustworthy than one that is a couple of days old.
  • If you feel at all uncomfortable at any time, give it a pass, no matter how good the deal is.
  • Most guys are prepared to drop a couple of bucks on the advertised price. Always negotiate a better price, its part of the game. But, make a decent offer! The art of a deal is that both parties should walk away happy.
  • Try to inspect the product before you hand over your hard earned cash. Meet at the sellers home/work, or even better in a public place, and have a look at the product. If it isn’t the same as in the photo’s or as described in the add, renegotiate or walk away.
  • Get the original slip. Usually when some one is selling something that is almost brand new it was an impulse buy and he will still have the slip. Without the slip you won’t be able to return the product to the manufacturer if something goes wrong. Not getting the slip isn’t the end of the world, but then you will have to consider the risk taken compared to the price you pay.

I hope this helps. Please feel free to comment and ask questions if anything is unclear.

There you go, not quite klick-klick, ding dong, but close enough. Happy tackle hunting!






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