E-Packet electronics delivery from China is really cheap for me, which is why I source my parts offshore whenever I can, even if I have to wait a few weeks longer.
If you are a ham or electronics “maker”, you probably source many of your parts or modules from China through eBay or other marketplaces. I certainly do, and it’s worked well. E-Packet electronic delivery is cheap, relatively fast, and avoids a whole bunch of import issues and costs.
Now the United States and other national post offices are threatening to withdraw from Universal Postal Union arrangements because they give unfair advantage to China. You might be interested to know that the “E-Packet Problem” was actually caused by the US Postal Service itself!
Here’s what happened. About a decade ago, USPS was looking to grow its e-commerce business. Managers wanted to offer Chinese sellers a quick and affordable way to ship smaller, lighter packages to the United States.
So, in 2011, USPS invented the E-Packet and its first customer was China. E-Packet added a number of services over and above regular mail. These included expedited shipping, first class mail service with delivery confirmation and tracking, which allowed USPS to charge more than regular mail.
Very quickly, other Asian countries adopted the E-Packet, which expanded its use to Hong Kong, Singapore and Korea. On the customer side, Canada and most European countries joined the E-Packet System.
E-Packet Electronics Delivery – Whoops
So, while E-Packet electronics delivery is great for consumers like me, caps on the UPU terminal dues prevent USPS and other domestic postal services from covering their costs.
Basically, an eBay seller pays $1.20 to $3.00 to send a 30 gram package to the United States or Canada. Vendors in Canada or United States spend $8.00 to $15.00 to send a small, light package to me. So, take a guess at where I am going to buy from? And prices for Chinese EMS shipments without tracking are even cheaper.
But the real advantage of these shipping systems in avoiding brokerage and other fixed fees from the Customs office and couriers. For small packets, the UPU systems are seamless. I won’t mind paying a bit more as long as it does not break the system.