|Wed Apr 11 2012 20:53:04|
USPS Gives eBay China Sellers Competitive Advantage
By: Ina Steiner
I am a long time reader of AB blog, and a veteran eBay seller. Recently, there were few blogs on AB blog talked about Chinese sellers on eBay. As a 2nd generation Chinese American, I want to share some of the facts and my personal opinion with you about Chinese sellers on eBay.
1) Ship anything from China to U.S, is much cheaper than ship from U.S to China. Let me give you few example: ("China post ePacket" vs "USPS first Class mail International". Actually we are not doing apple to apple compare here, as USPS FCI does not have tracking, but the China Post ePacket does)
50 Gram ( 2 oz)
China - U.S: 0.967 USD (6 CNY)
U.S - China = 3.78 USD
100 Gram ( 4 oz)
China - U.S: 1.93 USD (12 CNY)
U.S - China = 5.34 USD
500 Gram (18 oz)
China - U.S: 9.67 USD (60 CNY)
U.S - China = 13.17 USD
2) If you ship small item to a U.S destination, it will be cheaper to ship from another side of planet rather than ship domestically. ( handle by USPS)
If you are a Chinese seller on eBay sell to U.S consumers, you would use the ePackage. (eBay requires Chinese seller to use that service, and it's a tri-agreement exclusively granted to eBay and China postal).
This is how ePacket works:
- 1) eBay taking care the user interface. When a Chinese seller sell something on eBay, they can easily generate the shipping label by click a button on ebay.cn)
- 2) China Postal taking care the package collection, and transport it to the U.S. Once the package arrive the International Mail Process Center, the USPS will take over.
- 3) USPS label those package as First Class Mail (with tracking of course), and put them into mail stream.
Either you ship by ePacket or domestic First Class Mail, the USPS do same amount of work - the domestic part, but the Chinese seller pay much lesser than U.S Sellers.
The current rate for ePacket is 120 CNY ($19.30 USD) per kilo, tracking service and return service included. I don't think the USPS gets all that $19.30, as matter as fact, I don't even think USPS get half of that $19.30, as the major cost of the ePacket is trans-pacific portion, and China postal would not do that for free.
3) The new eBay policy is a great new for Chinese seller. Why? It comes down to how the postage calculate for ePacket and First Class Mail.
The postage calculation for ePacket is per kilo base, and the domestic First Class Mail is per package base.
A Chinese Seller, who sell iPhone screen protector, weights about 50 grams (2 oz), sells about 100 a day, how much he need to pay?
50 grams x 100 pieces of mail = 5 kilo = $19.30/kilo x 5 kilo = $96 (the ePacket have tracking include already)
A U.S. Seller, who sell the same item, with the same volume, Because the new eBay policy requires tracking, he have to use first class parcel service instead of Flats or letter service. How much the U.S seller need to pay?
2 oz First Class Mail parcel = $1.95 /piece x 100 piece = $195
So essentially, once the new policy taking effect, the U.S. sellers will not longer have any competing edge to Chinese sellers. Specially those low-value, low-weight items.
So the same item shipping half way around the world, cost only half of the same item ship from 100 miles away!! Both handle by USPS, a U.S government agency.
As a Chinese myself, I have nothing against my own people, most of them are honest and just trying to make a living like you and me. As a U.S citizen and a tax payer, I do not like our own government agency, which is paid by U.S tax payer, align with a U.S. company, partnering with foreign government agency, literally give out money to foreign sellers to competing with their own people.
I think you should write a blog on AB, urge every seller who is effect by this, write a letter to their senator and representatives, to have a hearing and re-evaluation about the USPS-eBay-China postal tri-agreeement.