When you order stuff on Ebay from China for a 1/10th of the price in Europe or Northern America, and that shipping included, you can assume that shipping costs are very low.
It wouldn’t be surprising if the Chinese Post or the Chinese Government put a lot of efforts to bring international shipping costs to a minimum so as to encourage exports.
China has had a long history of a high level of corruption and of low quality standards. For the most part it is still true today, but like it has been for the past 20 years or so, there are serious providers that do have a vision on the long-term, favouring a long-term relationship, than a short flash of money.
With the increasing exports, China has been bound to increase its level of quality and trustworthiness to allow itself to penetrate markets like the West where the safety and quality standards can be high.
However, I have discovered that there are tricks that some very serious providers may use, and the most perverse one in my belief is shipping costs.
If you are going to trade with China, KNOW THE SHIPPING COSTS of the shipping company you’re going to use, whether it may be UPS, DHL, EMS, Fed-Ex or other companies.
If you don’t know the prices. they will be happy to charge you 500 USD when the official price at the post office counter is 100 or 150 USD. Besides, these companies that export a lot have cut very good deals with the transporters. So you can assume that the price THEY will pay is somewhere between 30 and 70% of the price that individuals like you and I would pay at the China Post office counter.
If getting things shipped often from China, it is vital that you know the prices.
Websites like http://www.gets.cn provide a price calculator. You will be shocked to see what the actual prices are. We’re formatted to pay more and some Chinese companies will have no regret doing like everyone else: Charging you what you agree to pay. After all they try their luck, if you accept, it’s not like you were not ready to pay that price…
Good trading to you!