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102 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 173791 6-Jun-2015 17:38
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Does anyone know how it works?
I buy from ebay or banggood something for say $2 and it is free shipping.
It would cost me $2.50 just for a postage stamp for a letter to China let alone a package!
I admit the item takes 3 or so weeks to arrive, but how does it work?
Thanks and curious.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1318377 6-Jun-2015 18:05
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I dont ask how it works I just love the fact it does :)  I buy from china all the time with free shipping, sometimes it can take 5 to 6 weeks though, but hey free shipping!

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  Reply # 1318385 6-Jun-2015 18:16
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I use it all the time on aliexpress I actually dont buy anything unless its free mail have no idea how it works but id does everytime




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1318419 6-Jun-2015 19:30
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Shipping is weight based, buy a screen protector (eg) it weighs almost nothing so postage is very cheap

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  Reply # 1318442 6-Jun-2015 20:56
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Only issue I ever had was with a PS3 controller cause it has a lithium battery.  They just resent it twice again until it went thru their customs.. 

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1318443 6-Jun-2015 21:04
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I heard shipping out of China with China post is subsidised by the chinese government, some things I have bought from aliexpress the postage would be almost the same as the shipping.

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  Reply # 1318450 6-Jun-2015 21:18
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it takes aaaaaages ... not sure why ... maybe it comes on a fishing boat? but so far everything have arrived in once piece ...




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  Reply # 1318452 6-Jun-2015 21:20
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Sred: I heard shipping out of China with China post is subsidised by the chinese government, some things I have bought from aliexpress the postage would be almost the same as the shipping.



This.
Chinese Govt subsidies.





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  Reply # 1318454 6-Jun-2015 21:27
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Largely, it's because of the way that standard international mail works in the world.  Simplifying a little, the sending country keeps all the money they get for sending an international parcel.  The receiving country delivers the parcel for free.  The sending country of course has to get it to the destination country.

When you send a package to China, NZ Post keeps the money, China Post delivers it for free.

When somebody in China sends to NZ, China Post keeps the money, NZ Post delivers it for free.

Of course, the sending country, since it has to deliver the mail it gets basically for free, has to use the income it gets from outgoing mail (the price you pay to send to China in this case) to subsidise that delivery cost of the incoming mail (the stuff you get from China in this case).

China Post is BIG, it's domestic delivery volumes are massive, labour is cheap, and there is not a lot of INCOMING mail to deliver, so they don't have to actually charge much on outgoing mail to cover delivering that incoming mail.  Now add in that there's a lot of air traffic out of China, and that your free-shipping packages are fine to sit in a freight pod at an airport (or quite possibly more than one) for days, weeks (months) waiting for an aircraft with some capacity to carry those letters...

The keywords for you if you want to learn more are UPU, the Universal Postal Union.






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  Reply # 1318580 7-Jun-2015 09:56
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sleemanj: Largely, it's because of the way that standard international mail works in the world.  Simplifying a little, the sending country keeps all the money they get for sending an international parcel.  The receiving country delivers the parcel for free.  The sending country of course has to get it to the destination country.

When you send a package to China, NZ Post keeps the money, China Post delivers it for free.

When somebody in China sends to NZ, China Post keeps the money, NZ Post delivers it for free.


That's not been 100% correct since 1969, when something called "Terminal Dues" was introduced.  Basically it means that the sending country sends a negotiated volumetric payment for the mail it sends (for China to US, it's $1/kg for example).  Though it's still quite low, and no doubt doesn't come close to covering the cost of delivery, it's still not free.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1318611 7-Jun-2015 10:32
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Buying from China with free shipping is great.

If you don't need the stuff in a hurry, China is much cheaper than paying the courier costs from Trademe sellers in NZ that don't allow pickups.



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  Reply # 1318779 7-Jun-2015 17:11
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Kyanar: 

That's not been 100% correct since 1969,
.


Yes I simplified, you have to with the UPU, because it's really complicated.  There are also agreements outside of the UPU between individual countries.  But anyway, the terminal dues, as you say, are very low, and it's commonly regarded that for "developed" (read: western, expensive) nations, the costs for delivery outweigh the revenue from the dues, by a substantial amount, to the extent where saying it's (still) delivered for free, isn't that far from the truth.

A brief article from Fortune which people may find interesting:
http://fortune.com/2015/03/11/united-nations-subsidy-chinese-shipping/




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  Reply # 1318888 7-Jun-2015 21:02
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I've had quite a lot of Chinese packages get here recently within 7 days. That's quicker than buying from most Trademe sellers!

I've been told postage in China is weight based for bulk mail, hence the small parcels probably cost virtually nothing to post.




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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1319316 8-Jun-2015 12:17
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Thanks to all who answered.
In my late 70s and still learning.
Thanks.

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1319338 8-Jun-2015 12:45
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reven: I dont ask how it works I just love the fact it does :)  I buy from china all the time with free shipping, sometimes it can take 5 to 6 weeks though, but hey free shipping!

From where?

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1319344 8-Jun-2015 12:51
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As someone above said its weight based (upto a certain volumetric size).

Once a mail bag is full it is loaded and shipped to destination country, hence why shipping times vary so much, ive had times where item comes within 2 weeks, and other times 6 weeks, just depends on how quickly those bags fill up, I find the quickest time is that ramp up to peak Christmas buying (mid October to late November)...ive had small items like car bulbs take 7 days.

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