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Battle

Crazy things to waste your money on

Over the past few weeks, South Africa has experienced a turbulent time. President Jacob Zuma reshuffled his cabinet and fired finance minister Pravin Gordhan and his deputy Mcebisi Jonas. The rand plummeted, and within days the ratings agencies S&P Global and Fitch downgraded the country’s credit rating to junk status.

This is bad news for the country, with the rand expected to stay under pressure and the country’s economic growth expected to slow. Before Zuma messes up the rand even further, it may be time to blow your hard-earned cash on cool items which you do not need. Wielding a rubber band machine gun in Batman suit is a good place to start.


24 Carat Gold Toilet Paper – AU£ 1.6 million (R16 million)

This is the most expensive toilet paper roll in the world[1] – enough said.

Gold-toilet-paper


Rubber Band Machine Gun – £59.95 (R825)

The rubber band machine gun[2] offers rapid fire – 10 rounds per second – and holds 63 rubber bands to ensure you do not run out mid-battle. Rubber band


Armoured Batman Costume – £1,200 (16,500)

To stand out at a party, you cannot do much better than a Batman cosplay costume[3] from “Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice”.

Batman suit


BajaBoard Off-Road Electric Skateboard – £3,999 (R55,000)

Why use a normal skateboard when you can use a powered BajaBoard[4]?

Bajaboard


G1 Virtuoso Transparent Pool Table – £46,000 (R633,000)

The G1 Virtuoso’s[5] integrated ball runner system, minimalist floating pocket design, and striking aesthetics make this a perfect centrepiece for your living room.

Transaparant-pool-table


Now read: This is why I am still broke[6]

References

  1. ^ most expensive toilet paper roll in the world (www.toiletpaper.com.au)
  2. ^ The rubber band machine gun (www.amazon.com)
  3. ^ Batman cosplay costume (www.etsy.com)
  4. ^ powered BajaBoard (bajaboard.com.au)
  5. ^ The G1 Virtuoso’s (www.eliteinnovations.com.au)
  6. ^ This is why I am still broke (mybroadband.co.za)

Takealot vs Bidorbuy – South Africa’s big marketplace fight

Bidorbuy has held the title of South Africa’s largest online marketplace for years, but is facing a challenge from the country’s largest online shopping website, Takealot. Armed with R960 million[1] in new funding and a drive to dominate online shopping, Takealot is an 800-pound gorilla nobody can ignore. Several online shopping sites, like Makro, have also launched marketplaces, but it will take time for these platforms to gain momentum.

The battle between Takealot and Bidorbuy can be compared to Amazon and eBay in the United States, which are fighting for market share. While Amazon is much larger than eBay, the latter still serves millions of users each month. Many commentators predict that Amazon and eBay will continue to coexist as competitors for the foreseeable future.

The same may happen in South Africa, with Takealot and Bidorbuy – but it will depend on how each company reacts to changes in the market.

Takealot vs Bidorbuy – Finances

When looking at the market position and financial situation of Takealot and Bidorbuy, there are several differences. While Takealot has deeper pockets than Bidorbuy, it is burning through cash and still has to prove that it can turn a profit. Takealot’s major shareholders – Naspers and Tiger Global Management – may stop funding the company in future.

When this happens, Takealot will be under financial pressure, which may remove some of the competitive advantage it currently enjoys. While Bidorbuy’s finances are not public, it is believed it is not losing money and is more financially stable than Takealot. Bidorbuy has also used much less money to establish itself in the market, which means it faces less pressure from shareholders to deliver massive profits.

Takealot vs Bidorbuy – Delivery

One of the biggest advantages which Takealot’s marketplace offers is the experience it provides buyers.

Takealot holds all sellers’ products in its warehouses, which means shipping is done through a trusted network. Takealot’s controlled environment is typically preferred by buyers, who often have to deal with Post Office deliveries when dealing with Bidorbuy sellers. While Takealot’s system guarantees better delivery times, it does create inefficiencies and additional costs for sellers.

Takealot vs Bidorbuy – Fees

One of the biggest benefits to sellers on Bidorbuy is the lower fees charged by the platform.

Takealot’s fees[2] are around double that of Bidorbuy[3], which means many sellers prefer using the auction platform.

Takealot vs Bidorbuy – Services and products

While standard “buy now” services are more popular than online auctions, many people still enjoy the latter. Takealot does not offer auctions, and Bidorbuy is the dominant player in the South African online auction market. Bidorbuy is also the preferred platform for sellers who deal in collectables – like stamps, coins, antiques, and art.

While Takealot is likely to dominate Bidorbuy on products like computers, electronics, books, movies, and games, it will not be as strong when it comes to niche products.

Takealot vs Bidorbuy – eCommerce experts comment

MyBroadband asked two of South Africa’s prominent eCommerce experts – who asked to remain anonymous – about the battle. The first commentator said Takealot and Bidorbuy are two different businesses, and both businesses are likely to be successful. The second commentator said Takealot is going to be the likely victor, especially with its latest round of funding, which will enable it to strengthen its marketplace.

He said many sellers who migrated from Bidorbuy to Takealot have seen a dramatic increase in sales, which does not bode well for Bidorbuy.

He said the erratic experience, especially related to delivery, associated with Bidorbuy will hurt the platform in the long term.

Takealot and Bidorbuy – No comment

Takealot was asked for feedback regarding its market position and plans, but it did not provide a reply.

Bidorbuy said it would prefer not to comment on the matter.

Now read: Takealot gets R960 million from Naspers[4]

References

  1. ^ Armed with R960 million (mybroadband.co.za)
  2. ^ Takealot’s fees (www.takealot.com)
  3. ^ that of Bidorbuy (support.bidorbuy.co.za)
  4. ^ Takealot gets R960 million from Naspers (mybroadband.co.za)

Vodacom to sell products through Shembe church

Vodacom and the Shembe church have entered into a “mutually beneficial” agreement that will see the church distribute the company’s products and services, they announced on Wednesday. Neither the mobile telecommunications operator nor the church, also known as the Nazareth Baptist Church, revealed the value of the deal or how it would benefit both parties. Shembe Family Trust representative Landile Shembe said he had met the leaders of both church factions – Vela and Mduduzi Shembe – on separate occasions.

Both had approved of the Vodacom deal, despite a previous one having failed. Church elders and other family members, including Inkosi Sizwe Shembe, were present at the announcement during a briefing at Vodacom’s offices in Umhlanga. “I went through a difficult time trying to get all the factions to work together, but because the family is the unifying structure, we were able to put our differences aside and work together.

The church might be divided, but the family remains intact. The deal will benefit both the family and church members,” Landile Shembe said. The leaders of the two factions were not present.

They had been involved in a lengthy high court battle over the successor to the church’s leader, Inkosi Vimbeni Shembe. Shembe died in 2011. At his funeral, it was announced that he had appointed Vela Shembe of the Thembezinhle temple as his successor.

However, a few minutes later, Inkosi Mqoqi Ngcobo, who is the chief of the area where Vimbeni was laid to rest, announced that Vimbeni had told him that he had chosen Mduduzi Shembe of the Ebuleni temple as his successor. The matter ended up in the Durban High Court, where the authenticity of the signature on a letter in which Vimbeni named his successor was disputed. In October 2016, the court ruled in favour of Vela Shembe.

The new deal comes nine years after a failed deal between Shembe and Vodacom. That deal saw Vodacom distribute starter packs bearing Shembe logos. The deal failed when the court battle and faction feuds began, Landile Shembe said.

They began negotiating the current deal with Vodacom about five years ago. Vodacom representative George Mendes would only say that one of the church’s main functions would be to distribute Vodacom products and services. “Of course those benefits will then flow through to church members.

It’s a mutually beneficial relationship,” he said. They were busy finalising the deal and how it would be operated. Landile Shembe told reporters that the church had 6.7 million members, of which about 2.4 million were Vodacom subscribers.

National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete, who has strong ties to the Shembe family, was a guest at the press briefing. She said that despite the court battles, the family was able to secure the deal. “We’ve heard that it hasn’t been easy, but today we’re here to witness something good,” she said.

News24[1]

Now read: Competition Commission will not prosecute Vodacom and MTN[2]

References

  1. ^ News24 (www.news24.com)
  2. ^ Competition Commission will not prosecute Vodacom and MTN (mybroadband.co.za)