Shopee vs Lazada (Thailand)

Shopee vs Lazada in Thailand. Which one is best?

Shopee vs Lazada (Thailand)

Both Lazada and Shopee are online marketplaces that connect buyers and sellers. Think of it like Fiverr or UpWork but for ecommerce.

The difference with these marketplaces compared to Amazon is that you're always buying from a 3rd party seller and these marketplaces (Shopee or Lazada) simply exist to facilitate the transaction.

The marketplace provides support, reviews and each platform has a helpful app to allow you to manage your order and buy things. But support for wrong orders, returns and refunds are not as good as Amazon.

With that said, I've personally had good experiences with both marketplaces and it's been the only way I've been able to source my supplements (NAC, high quality magnesium and zinc that have been tested by, Vital Proteins collagen and Tongkat Ali).

So which one is better? Lazada or Shopee?

I've used both during my time in South East Asia and I will say that I prefer Lazada for one specific reason, cash on delivery. This is not to say Shopee is bad, but I like the piece of mind in knowing that my order will be delivered properly as I don't have to pay anything until it is actually delivered.

Online shopping is still a fairly new thing out here and the levels of security and trust when buying things online are not the same as using Amazon back home.

My friend Andrew used Lazada to buy an expensive TV with his credit card, the TV was stolen by the delivery guy and it became a huge mess trying to get a refund from Lazada.

My friend Lita bought a few beauty products from Shopee and the delivery guy dropped off the packages to the wrong location and then marked the delivery as complete. She had to go to the wrong location to pick up her order instead of it being conveniently delivered to her condo.

My experiences have been nothing but positive with both platforms. I only buy from highly rated sellers who have been recognized by both platforms for providing a quality service.

But because Lazada offers cash payments upon delivery, I favor Lazada whenever possible here in Thailand.

How does cash on delivery with Lazada in Thailand work?

When you order from Lazada you can choose to pay in cash upon delivery of your order (and a whole bunch of other ways to pay). This is very helpful because it allows someone to have greater trust that they are going to get the thing they ordered.

Once you have your account setup and are logged in, simply add whatever product you wish to buy and select cash on delivery as the payment option.

It's as simple as that.

Then, you'll want to download the Lazada app to your phone to track your order easily:

In the app you'll be notified of the progress of your order and the expected delivery date so you can plan accordingly.

You'll also be given a tracking number, the name of the delivery person as well as their phone number.

All you have to do is prepare the correct amount of cash when they arrive to deliver your products. They do have change so you don't need to prepare the exact amount.

The app will notify you that your delivery will arrive within one hour, then the delivery driver will call you 10-30 minutes before they arrive at your location to inform you they are on the way in order to give you time to meet them.

What if you're busy and can't be home?

The main issue with cash on delivery is that you need to be available to actually pay for your items in person.

You have two options.

If you know you're going to be at work during the estimated delivery day, then set the drop off location to your place of work and then pay in person when the delivery guy arrives.

The second option is if you have a Thai bank account and have transfer setup then you can tell the driver when they call you to drop off your delivery at a specific spot at your home (typically an office if you live in a Bangkok condo) and then pay for the item by bank transfer.

You'll have to be able to speak Thai however to do this as they will tell you the bank account number in Thai usually and the name of bank. Transfer the funds and then send them a screen shot that you paid.

Obviously I don't recommend this way as it's a bit convoluted, but if there is some reason why you can't be physically available then it's a good backup option.

What if you don't pick up your items?

They will attempt delivery again the following day typically. If again you don't pickup your package again it could be returned to the seller and your order canceled all together so make sure to not order items you're not ready to accept delivery of.

Refunds and returns

With both Lazada and Shopee you can return items within a certain period of time.

Here is Lazada's refund policy.

Here is Shopee's refund policy (sorry Shopee does not have a refund policy in English).

The seller typically sets the refund and return policy for a given product. I've noticed that most seller allow for a "change of mind" reason within 7-14 days. Meaning that the product is not defective in any way, you just changed your mind.

Other sellers require the item to be broken or defective.

A good rule to follow is to record delivery of the product and you opening it, particularly if the product you're buying is fragile. Having video support that you received a broken item helps you with the refund process.

To return the product you'll need to navigate to your orders and request a refund, then the seller has to agree to the refund and you'll ship the order back to them similar to how you return things to Amazon

Lazada vs Shopee conclusion

While both these marketplaces are no Amazon, they do allow you to get products that are more difficult to find otherwise (like my NAC supplement).

Both platforms provide good prices, fast shipping and an app to manage orders. I find the Shopee on desktop to be more user friendly than Lazada, but I prefer the Lazada app over Shopee's app.

Finally, I love cash on delivery.

If you're worried about your order not being delivered or your product stolen, then with Lazada have more piece of mind. It's not as convenient as having an item paid for and dropped off, but it does save a lot of potential future issues dealing with support.