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  1. The entirety of an excellent article published a year ago. It explains in detail how the import of your EUCs, spare parts or electric scooters, Segway, happens … Big thanks @meepmeepmayer Author: Pierre Lecourt website original blog about high tech, computers... : https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=fr&tl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.minimachines.net%2Fa-la-une%2Fla-livraison-depuis-lasie-delais-prix-transporteurs-57204&edit-text= https://www.minimachines.net/a-la-une/la-livraison-depuis-lasie-delais-prix-transporteurs-57204 Pictures & text properties of Minimachines.net/ Pierre Lecourt ---- Time, cost, operation: understanding deliveries from Asia You have already wanted to order from Asia, you have already done or you would like to do, this small guide explains how the transport of your package to your home. Why it's sometimes long and how do local brands offer you the shipping cost. Asia has a lot of attractions for technology lovers. Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Shanghai ... So many destinations that speak to users of micro computers but also to lovers of electronics or gadgets of all kinds. With very low prices but especially references not found in France or Europe, the region often magnetizes the appetites of many buyers. Some crack, others are more reluctant. Between the After Sales Service and transport, the hazards of an import can justify these fears. This post will try to unveil the overall operation of delivery services. Why it's sometimes slower, sometimes faster. Why is the tracking so poorly updated and how do the Chinese stores offer free shipping charges. This post aims to unravel the mechanisms related to deliveries from Asia, to explain why it can be long, why it is sometimes the mess and how local merchants manage to offer completely free shipments on products sold a few euros only. You will not know all these mechanisms that are both complex and secret but it will give you a good idea of the basic principles put in place to ensure the transport of your packages. Imagine a school fair. Children run around, heckle, stuff themselves with candy under the tender eye of the same parents who forbid sweets all the rest of the year. Imagine a big kermesse very messy and in the middle of the stands of all kinds, that of the bowl and the ladle. It's a very simple game. Five meters separate a basin filled with water from a plastic bottle. The children have to fill the last one up to the small mark with the felt with a ladle in metal. All the difficulty of the game is to remain attentive enough to avoid spilling too much fleet of his ladle to make only the minimum of back and forth. Evidently on five meters there are dramas, children jostling, a lot of water that ends up on the ground, innocent precipitations that turn into watery dramas ... But, after a while, the bottles are filled and the flock of sparrows triumphantly leaves the activity to go running to another. Now imagine not five meters between the basin and the bottle but a hundred meters. With relay passages between the children to bring the ladle to port. In your opinion, how long would it take for the first drop of water to reach the bottom of a bottle? How many ladles would not even arrive safely? This ratio between five meters and one hundred is the same as between a classic delivery in metropolitan France and a delivery from Asia to France. We go from five hundred kilometers to ten thousand. And that makes all the difference. The distance explains a lot. A kind of new silk road, 10,200 km of rail, this is what your parcels do to leave from Chengdu in China to reach Lodz in Poland. This is the relationship between the two trials of the fair. The 5 meters of the base game and the 100 meters of the imaginary game. The passage of the ladle between the kids is the change of transport company, no less than 4 are in action on the way. Operators from China, Kazakhstan, Russia and Germany come into play. The loading of trucks carrying containers and other stages of loading and unloading also takes time. It is logical that the 10,000 km pose more problems than the 500 km of a Franco-French delivery. There are more players involved and your package stays in transit a lot longer. Surprisingly, the longest part of deliveries from Asia is often the least problematic. There is certainly a huge transport distance but on average the trains take 18 to 20 days to cover the whole thing. There is even a complete change of wagons and locomotives during the passage on Russian soil. The spacing of the rails is not the same ... But as a rule all this does not really pose any problems. Monsters rolling 34 containers, or 17 wagons, advance at their snail pace but they advance. There are weekly different operators who make the journey and on this number of convoys millions of dollars of freight circulate. All of this works rather well and we have gone from an average of 45 days per cargo to less than 20 by rail since 2014. The big advantage of the process is the security of the goods transported. For the simple reason that once your package has entered a container, it is sealed and will not be opened until it arrives at a sorting center ( 1 ) . This greatly limits the problems. That said, all it takes is a small glitch on a locomotive, a worry with a container or a train that fills up too quickly because of a sharp increase in orders to affect the delivery of thousands of parcels. Worse, just a worry about a package so that 50, 100 or 150 others are blocked and are behind. A package disemboweled by the passage of a Fenwick, a package that took water, an anomaly and it is the beginning of an irrattrapable delay. Keep in mind that millions of packages pass each month from Asia. Yours but also all or almost all the machines you will find in store. That the vast majority arrive safely without worry. They just need time. And time, it's what rushes from the moment we clicked the order button in our virtual shopping cart. At this precise second, an invisible chronometer snaps into our primitive brains. But how do merchants offer postage for a package that will travel ten thousand kilometers? Two elements of answer. First, the Chinese government is sponsoring local port fees since it knows that it will earn foreign currency. Prices are therefore very low at China Post, state enterprise. It is an important tool for the country's foreign trade. To give you an idea, the first 50 grams of a letter or parcel shipment ( 2 ) are charged 5 yuan - or 64 cents - for a shipment from China to France. As a reminder, a simple Green letter of 20 grams circulating in France costs 73 cents. Then count 0.09 yuan for each gram beyond the first 50 or ... about 1 euro cent. This gives us a package of 300 grams a tariff of 64 cents for the first 50 grams plus about 250 cents for the future. 3.14 € overall. Cheaper than a green letter of 250 grams in France in 2018 (3.20 €). But then and above all, merchants pool shipments from Asia Your package from Shenzhen is not injected into the courier service as when you send a postcard to your holiday tata. The various shipping services competing with the Chinese Post have understood that they could not fight in a traditional way with her. They invented alternative solutions. They pool shipments to offer a global price much more interesting for resellers than a drop shipping ( 3 ) . Several formulas exist. All are alike. This is to occupy as much space as possible in the transport tools of the various service providers. It is better to avoid having an airplane or an empty train travel. The most classic, the most cheap, is the bag. When I say bag, I'm talking about a real bag. A sort of big, solid pocket provided by carriers that can be literally stuffed with small letters or small packages but will always keep its bag volume. The sender does not pay for weight but for congestion a fixed price that corresponds to this bag. It is therefore incumbent on him to fill it up to the maximum to repay. And that explains a lot of things. For example, why in almost all AliExpress stores there are small products sold at ridiculous prices. Items sometimes unrelated to the rest of the shop and whose price rarely exceeds 2 or 3 €. These are the products that will fill the bag to avoid sending it half empty. With the sales of these products, the bag is filled easily and the 5 or 10 centimes of margin that they report each time are sufficient to pay the overall cost of the shipping costs of the whole. Margin final zero on a hundred letters, a lot of manipulation to be done but the workforce is not expensive and the objects selected in general have no chance of posing any problem of service. These easy-to-sell items ensure the profitability of shipping. You suddenly understand why this is a makeup seller that sometimes has the best price of AliExpress on an Arduino electronic component? It also happens that some dealers pool their shipments between them to fill the famous bag. The first begins to fill but fails to arrive at a viable total, he passes it to others. They end up sharing the cost by dividing the price of the port by the number of shippers and that's it. Muriel robin could make a skit ( 4 ) . The bags were chosen because they have this huge advantage of being stacked from floor to ceiling in a cubic volume. A big highlight compared to pallets for example. They are therefore treated locally to be directed to different countries or large regions: northern or southern Europe, Russia, the Americas. The provider sending bulk to Northern Europe obviously takes care not to mix everything. Packages to France are separated from those of Germany or Italy. This avoids the local platform to re-sort. Note that these bags are usually injected directly into the regular mail traffic. The different postal partners having mutual mail treatment agreements: You manage my mail locally, I manage yours. So we open the bag at the border of the country that will receive the packages and we let everything in a huge sorting center in the same way as that of a conventional post. This explains why tracking a small parcel at € 2 from the other side of the world will sometimes have excellent online tracking. Finally all, bags, it's good for small structures. For big shops, there are no more bags. There are pallets and containers. But that's basically the same story. A container tariff is negotiated with a carrier who will pay for it to a regional platform before redistributing it to other more local platforms. The merchant will put on pallets a few hundred or even a few thousand parcels and then entrust them to the care of a container that will pass through various means according to the wishes of his client. If the container costs him 5000 € ( 5 ) all expenses included up to the mailbox of the final recipient, it must accumulate a maximum in each cubic centimeter to amortize this cost. And that has a lot of consequences. For example, imagine that large objects are ordered regularly but only a few copies each day. A scooter whose package weighs almost 20 pounds and whose packaging is quite substantial. The seller exports, say, 3 or 4 per day to our beautiful country. The shipping costs are offered while the cardboard is not only heavy but is especially very bulky. The seller assumes and integrates these 4 orders on a pallet with other parcels that will leave every day, this allows to cushion their bulk in the mass of packages even if 4 boxes finally occupy a good third of the available space of a standard pallet ( 6 ) . Where this is complicated, it is when the merchant receives at once not 4 orders of this type of product per day but rather 250 to 300 in a short week. A test, a good promo, in short visibility and everyone wants to buy heavy and cumbersome. Shipping costs are, of course, free. Suddenly, one of the classic containers that goes on a daily basis and whose cost is diluted by small postage and the margin of hundreds of packages of various sizes it carries contains only a few large boxes. For example electric scooters really great, really cheap, products that tilt and put in appetite. In a classic 20 'container, 10 ISO pallets can be stacked. In a 40 ', we go to 21 pallets. Put on a pallet, we can secure 9 scooters. That's a 20 'container for 90 scooters. And it's absolutely no longer profitable! The solution is quite simple. It is necessary to change provider for a shipping price more compatible with the contents of its container. And that's how we move from an average delivery in 30 days to the use of a cheaper freight system that will take twice as long ... If all goes well. We no longer choose a train that is only 17 cars and which is moving at a good pace, but rather a train that can carry more than 550 containers at a much cheaper price and far fewer departures. And he will leave Asia only once filled. Will more technical stopovers to change locomotive, should not interfere with the conventional traffic of passenger trains, which will circulate often only at night ... A modern logistics warehouse for parcel management and sorting in China All this to point towards a European country where it will then be distributed in parcel processing centers before being injected into another system of a local distributor. This change of carrier being more economical, it also makes a lot of sense during a huge influx of orders. These require a single blow a lot of available volume. A day of special discounts like 11.11 and you are able to charter in one fell swoop 15, 20 or 25 cars stuffed to the brink of tens of thousands of packages. The price of the delivery is so diluted that it then participates in the discounts granted by the merchant for this particular promotion period. And that's how we clog the system. The consequences of these changes are manifold. First they break the habits of customers who have learned to rely on a month of waiting for their orders from Asia and not two. Obviously, this creates concerns that will increase with the estimated "delay" of delivery. I do not have an algorithm to propose but I imagine that each day that passes after the usual period of delivery considerably increases the wait and nervousness of the end customer. And, worse than all, these changes in habits also concern the tracking of parcels. When your order enters the usual flow of the merchant, it enjoys a fairly complete follow-up. Some traceability. When the same merchant uses alternatives, this follow-up service is no longer provided in the same way. It is not especially one of the key points of the low-cost offer. On all the part where the parcels are in containers, the follow-up is still quite easy. This is a listing of package numbers that are assigned to a single container. It is enough for a control agent to scan the bar code of your container so that all the states of all the packages it contains are updated. A small gesture and 2000 customers are informed to clarify that his small box is currently in Petawouch, it reassures and it does not cost much. But as soon as the container is open, it arrives in a logistics platform of European redirect, it is the opposite. We must ensure at once the tracking of thousands of parcels and send them back to the different countries of destination. It takes time and it is obviously very expensive. That's why in general, it's the last trace that you will have of your order before the actual delivery. --- Example: A typical transport that passes through Poland Arnaud sent me this photo of a label of a parcel that happened to him on 19/12/2017. It traveled from China by rail to Lodz, Poland, and was then transferred to France at its destination by a UPS Standard service. This is a heavy and bulky package: A scooter Xiaomi M365 which explains this choice rather than an injection at Colissimo for example. The scooter was ordered on 7/11/2017. The expedition took place on 9/11 as shown on the label. Interestingly, the package seems to exist at UPS since 9/11 and it is then located in Poland while the scooter is on this date just shipped to China in a train that will take 35 days to travel to Poland. But UPS is picking up the process that started with its online tracking. Lastly, the UPS tracking code was known to the recipient only upon receipt of the package by reading it on the package label. Between 14/12/2017, when the package is actually taken care of by UPS upon arrival in Poland and 19/12/17 no notification is made to the customer. It's still going because it's relatively fast. But for a delivery with a slower service this "gray" zone can last 15 additional days without any news. --- Deadlines and gray areas in the delivery Arriving at the last stage, local distribution, it is no longer necessary for the last carrier to complete the package tracking to deliver. He could update the tracking, but to be very honest, it does not matter to him. It's expensive, it's not in the contract with the carrier across the way, and it's absolutely not essential then ... Between the arrival of the package on the European platform that will give a final laser shot on the barcode of your pallet with a message of the type "Your package is going to be entrusted to the carrier [NAME OF THE CARRIER]" or "Your package is arrived at the country of destination "which will be automatically updated and the deposit in your mailbox, there will be nothing, nada, no follow-up. When we know that a pallet can remain several days on a loading dock due to a management concern, it sometimes takes a long time for the European sorting platform to deliver the parcels to the local distributor and that the latter must in turn, sort parcels to its various regional platforms. It can happen 15 or 20 days without you having any news of your package. Just the message that it will be delivered to the carrier. Anxiety. Unloading container carrier trains in Lodz, Poland If the surprise of discovering a package or a notice in your mailbox while you think it is still thousands of kilometers away can be appreciated, many would be much better if the follow-up was ensured in a more complete way. indicating all the stages of transport. All of this can of course be avoided. It's even pretty simple. Just pay a different delivery service. A service that will guide your package out of the circuit of pallets and low-cost containers. As part of our scooter, it just very often has a small flaw. A slight extra cost that can range from forty to more than eighty euros. But merchants now offer premium delivery services from Asia totally free! Yes, it's true. But in fact, no. Premium services like DHL, FeDex or UPS have adapted to the competition of postal services like PostNL, ChinaPost, Singapore Post or others. Faced with these shared offers, they were obliged to offer the same type of services to their customers. And indeed, we can now benefit some merchants shipping costs almost offered on this type of premium transport. And it will be good for a few euros, just to mark the coup, a delivery in 3 to 5 days by plane provided by the same company from A to Z with a follow-up on the little onions. How is it possible ? It's pretty simple. If the merchant who ships the package has the opportunity to access a rate almost identical to that of other shared offers, he will hasten to offer it to its customers. For the carrier, it has even become something vital. To fly a plane half empty on 10,000 km because its classic offer is too expensive would be catastrophic. The large sales companies therefore allow to amortize these trips by slipping their parcels at a ridiculous price among the packages whose transport will have cost the conventional price to shippers without large contracts. 16 € VAT and 25 € administrative fees, profitable This does not mean that this type of premium carrier will ignore its margins. They found an easy parade with a payment on delivery via "management fees" and other "customs clearance fees". Imagine a premium carrier plane carrying 500 packages for an Asian seller in addition to its conventional packages. Each package is therefore invoiced at least via a mutualization contract. To make the 500 packages profitable, the carrier is asked for a detailed computer listing of all the customers. Their addresses, their phone numbers and their emails. With this listing, you can generate 500 invoices in one click. 500 invoices that are nothing more than a package clearance management fee. Hang on it will become spicy. 33 € VAT and ... 21 € fee "delivery customs" ie editing this invoice ... The carrier does not present anything to the customs services. Not a single parcel is inspected by the French customs agents. In fact, they do not leave the sorting center except at the express request of the customs officers who fortunately do not need the permission or the opinion of the carrier to do their job. No, the management fee is only used to generate, after the fact, the margin absent upstream, when the premium carrier has sacrificed its tariffs to the original seller. A contact with the customs office gives a very explicit answer: "Sir, In response to your email, I inform you that in the processing of postal parcels, the role of the customs administration is limited to collect the tax as declared and paid by the carrier . " This statement signed by a general inspector of customs says a lot. Clearly, the French customs are getting money from carriers without having anything to ask or, obviously, inspect anything at all. The carrier therefore declares sums sometimes totally fanciful or from the declarations of the sellers only to be able to generate the expenses of file which will refund their transport. Who did not have 5 € VAT on a smartphone at 400 €? or 10 € VAT on a 500 € laptop? Nobody in the carriers does not bother to treat parcels one by one, we generate taxes at the pifometer, we inform the Customs and we accompany the packages of their bills ... If the batch of parcels contains 1000 folds from sellers who have been discounted a price, there are 1000 file charges that accumulate ... With a fee of 20 to 25 € management fee for example, even by counting the ink and the paper of the invoices, one has enough to make profitable the kerosene. If I summarize, the edition of the expenses of files generates these expenses of file . Costs invoiced haphazardly but which make it possible to offer the transport to the salesman and to make it pay to the final customer 7 . It was already the case before but at least it was more frank. We paid for a premium service and we got a premium service. The big difference is that this type of carrier can not afford that a merchant posts a delivery via his services for 19 € when he sells the same service to companies for two or three times more expensive. The moral of this story ? That's why your deliveries from Asia take time. And above all, this is how some merchants manage to deliver a gadget of 5 grams to 2 € or a scooter of 17 kilos to 300 € without claiming a single penny shipping. The moral of this story is simple. Before ordering a product located 10,000 km away, make sure you have nerves strong enough not to crack after several weeks. Especially knowing that there is a good chance that a good part of the journey that will be offered around the globe will be done without a single sign of life. ---- Notes: Except exceptional border maneuver and extremely rare. China Post makes no real difference between letter and parcel. simply put his cardboard in an envelope ... Unlike La Poste which does not allow letters of more than 3 cm thick, it is also a subject of friction between the various actors. Which is why when a person starts saying that she has been commented, she is soon followed by several others in the process. I'm joking… I have no idea of the prices negotiated by the merchants for a container, it's secret. An ISO palette measuring 100 x 120cm For the anecdote, I have already been assessed by a specialized company for "Customs" fees issued by a carrier when I had not requested the package at the start. This unsolicited shipment from a wholesaler put me in a position where a service threatened me with lawsuits and seizures if I did not pay a large sum of VAT and management fees for a parcel that was already gone to the wholesaler. The carrier, so persuaded that it will pay whatever happens its "tax", had paid in advance the fees to the customs and was very annoyed that I do not want to pay it back. On the phone with their lawyers, I asked them to put a name on forcing someone to accept an unsolicited package and in addition to asking for a check ... They were a bit of a nuisance ...
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