By Tony Lam
ePacket Service is a trilateral agreement between US Postal Service, eBay China and Hong Kong Post office to offer China and Hong Kong eBay sellers a fast but low cost shipping option. This service offers local pick-up service, label printing, online tracking and pre-customs declaration for a 7 to 10-day guaranteed delivery period at a 30 to 50% discounted price compared with many equivalent.
Using this service, China sellers can now ship small packages weighing up to 2 KG with co-branded shipping labels marked with China/HK post and USPS. Upon arrival in United States, these packages received USPS First Class Mail service with delivery confirmation service. To let you have a clear picture of this special post office shipping rates, I searched for a long time and finally find the latest price information in a Hong Kong Post Office Webpage. To view the English version, you can open the webpage with Google Chrome and translate it to English. Below is the comparison of ePacket rate with domestic post office shipping rates.
In the table, you can see that ePacket provides better shipping rates for light weight packages from 1oz to 4 oz and 1 lb when comparing with USPS domestic shipping rate. With ePacket, China sellers can offer incredible low selling price at eBay; for example, an iphone case is selling at US$1.99 with free shipping, a guitar strings set of 6 at $1.51 with free shipping. Regarding to this low cost shipping option, buyers and sellers on eBay have different reactions and raised a lot of discussions.
US Buyers and China/ Hong Kong Sellers
US buyers and China sellers are the direct beneficion of ePacket shipping service. Because of ePacket, US Buyers buy more items at very low prices. China and Hong Kong sellers really love ePacket since they can sell light weight items directly from manufacturing sites in China with tracking information and delivery confirmation notifications. According to a EcommerceBuytes article, in 2011, nearly 40% of China eBay sellers are using the ePacket Service to U.S. with over 80% of items delivered in 5 to 10 days.