4 things you should know before buying alcohol online

Woman drinking while on laptop (PHOTO: Getty Images)
Woman drinking while on laptop (PHOTO: Getty Images)

On Sunday evening, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the whole country will be moving to alert level 3 from 1 June, which means that the sale of alcohol, among other things, will be permitted.

Read More: Liquor sales and tobacco ban: 11 things you need to know from Ramaphosa's speech

And while many are excited to be able to purchase some of their favourite beverages at their nearest liquor stores, others are committed to maintaining strict social distancing by ordering their alcohol online which, according to Business Insider, is a booming business.

But as with everything that has to do with shopping online, there are things one should always lookout for before making a purchase.

Take a look at 4 things you should consider before buying alcohol online.

1.       Delivery time

According to Business Insider, online alcohol orders may take up to seven or more days to get to consumers. This is due to factors such as where in the country the consumer is based and the time that it takes retailers to process each person’s order. So, if you’re way too thirsty to wait for about a week, you may want to head to the liquor store.


2.       Credibility of the website

As more businesses will be allowed to operate online, there will be a lot of scammers who will attempt to con people by posing as alcohol-offering websites. A few ways to ensure that the site you’re ordering from, according to Santam, is legit are:

1.       Saving/bookmarking some of your favourite sites to avoid typing in the wrong address when you’re ready to make a purchase.

2.       Asking for recommendations from people such as friends/colleagues.

3.       Reading online reviews to see people’s experiences of ordering from that website.


3.       Inflated/increased prices

Another thing to consider is that alcohol may cost more from apps such as Mr D or the Bottles app because the app charges the retailer for using it as well as the consumer for the delivery services. This results in the consumer paying a slightlyr more than they would in a liquor store. Some online retailers such as boschendalwines.com only sell their wines in cases, which means that the consumer will pay more than they would have if they only needed one bottle of wine.

4.       Safety of payment method

While some retailers may have the option for customers to pay upon delivery of goods in cash or by card, most require customers to make the payment prior to receiving goods. This may make some people nervous as they’d have to share their card details and CVVs with these retailers. And while this is risky, thebalance.com says that consumers should take these precautions when paying online:

1.       Consider keeping a card that you only use for online purchases – this will help you keep a closer eye on expenditure, and its charges once your statement comes in.

2.       Only transact on secure sites – look for the lock on the website. When you get to the page where you enter your credit-card or other personal information, look for an “s” after “http://” in the web address of that page – it should read: “https://”. The encryption is a security measure that scrambles your data as it is entered.

3.       Use strong passwords –  use an eight-digit password combination of uppercase letters, symbols and numbers, this will prevent hackers from accessing your details easily.

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