I need to voice my opinion with regard to the treatment (or NON TREATMENT !) in the South African context and in comparison to the Australian camping scene.
Australia has +/-22 Million inhabitants, South Africa has 65 Million. Australia is camping mad , so is South Africa, albeit not in all segments of the population, so our economy of scale with regard to camping equipment is maybe not quite comparable to the Australian model.
We have many, many ,many businesses offering 4×4 and or camping stuff for sale on the internet and we have many, many caravan/camping businesses BUT if you as a customer is ready to spend anything upwards of R 3.000,- /R 4.000,- and more on a tent , awning or gazebo you are absolutely treated as an idiot by most of the businesses because they seem to think that the South African customer has a too limited brain capacity to comprehend a complete and exhaustive PRODUCT DESCRIPTION . If you look to buy a tent for example worth R 10.000,- Where to go to have a look at the item and scrutinize the finished end set-up Product ?
NOWHERE ! Instead you have to believe the “MORSE” Description which is offered by internet trading firms or you have to scour the internet to find some additional info supplied by the originating company…..Tough luck for you if the company is a Chinese one …..
My point is this: We have many caravan distributors showing lots of caravans and the customer can satisfy is curiosity and need for info on the spot …he (the customer) can also arrange a “test camp” if lucky.
But if you are into camping (tents, awnings, gazebos) you have to buy on the strength of photos and often insufficient and sometimes ridiculous descriptions. Australia on the other hand have some big retailers with a display of quite a large variety of tents, awnings etc in erected state, We in turn just see lots of iron pots, knives, batteries, etc etc etc till you puke……
It might be possible to convince a caravan / camping dealership to obtain a R 10.000 tent to demonstrate it to me (without a guarantee to buy) BUT I DOUBT IT VERY MUCH……..However the companies selling products on the internet need to sharpen their offerings with regard to detailed descriptions and related info, even if it means to refer them to another site , containing more info. The product descriptions I found during my recent search on the net were mostly horrendous and not informative at all but it is expected of you to take out your wallet and buy “blind”.
Come on, treat your potential customers with respect and more product info and also do tell them where the product is manufactured / coming from . To put the SA flag behind every product because the importer is a SA company constitutes a purposeful misinformation.