Once upon a time, it took a long time to ship things from other countries. And it cost a lot of money. At that time, not many people used dropshipping. Instead, they bought a lot of things from China at once, which is called a “cargo.”
By the time the shipment gets there, the store can now show its goods online and ship them from nearby. Shipping from China is now either free or cheap because of ePacket. Also, it takes less than 30 days to ship something now, while it used to take more than 60 days.
But what is ePacket? How does it work? Why would someone in the business of drop shipping use it?
Today, you’ll learn more about this shipping method and why dropshippers prefer to use it in their businesses.
What is an ePacket?
When there were no planes, a packet was a letter or a small, valuable package that was sent to a ship on a set schedule. Since the shipment had to wait, it cost less than “rushed” cargo. Packet ships were the ships that took people and goods to their destinations on time.
Even though we have planes now, people still used the sea to send things to China. Because of this, it took at least eight weeks to get the package.
Because the delivery dates were too long, the flow of goods and money between China and other countries was too slow. There must be a way out of this.
The ePacket was made in 2011. It is a way to ship things that uses third-party logistics providers. The USPS and Hong Kong Post worked together to make the first ePacket. It is called ePacket because e-commerce is the main goal of this move.
The first ePacket deal was made by the USPS, Hong Kong Post, and eBay China. Basically, USPS will use First Class Mail Service to send packages from Hong Kong, which means they will be sent faster than usual.
The ePacket was first used in the US, but China has been able to make deals with at least 35 other countries.
Because items can now be sent from China to other parts of the world in less than 30 days instead of the usual eight weeks, it is now easier to sell things online.
How does ePacket work?
ePacket can be sent by ship, train, or plane. How the items are shipped will really depend on the third-party logistics provider (3PL). The maker or supplier in China will work with a 3PL company, and the ePacket method will be chosen by the 3PL company.
No matter how the package is sent, the best thing that can happen is that the USPS will treat it as first class mail once it gets to the U.S. Because it is first-class mail, it will be sorted out faster at Customs, cleared faster, and delivered faster.
Mail or packages that aren’t first class will have to stay in the Customs warehouses longer until they can be sorted. Since ePackets are now considered special mail, the package will be treated as urgent from the very beginning of the shipping process.
What’s the point of using ePacket?
The ePacket was made to help countries trade more with each other. Because of this, the shipping logistics companies can ship the goods to the US and other countries for less than the usual rate.
Here are some good reasons to use ePacket:
- Trackable: means that ePacket packages can be followed. As a dropshipper, your supplier will give you a tracking number. The seller will also tell you where to look to find out where the package is.
- Coverage Around The World: ePacket is now in more than 35 countries. This is great if you sell goods around the world because it makes it cheaper to ship goods from China to these countries.
- Duties: The person who gets the package pays the Customs duties, not the person who sent it. When the items are picked up from the post office, the tax and other fees are paid. If you’re the seller, you have to tell the buyer so he doesn’t get surprised.
- Free Or Low Cost: ePacket is not always free or very cheap. Most of the time, shipping is free, but sometimes it costs between $1 and $2. Still, this is a lot better than the usual rates from China, which are between $20 and $40 per package. If you do some research, you’ll find that FedEx and DHL would charge up to $60 to ship the items quickly.
- Free Returns: It’s been done for a long time that if a shipment isn’t picked up, it’s sent back to China for free.
- Faster Shipping Time. The ePacket must arrive within 7 to 21 days, according to the rule. But we know from past experience that it takes more like 12 to 30 days. This is fine, since it is much faster than the average of two months without ePacket.
It has never been easier or less troublesome to dropship goods from China. You only have to think about how to tell your customer that they are responsible for Customs duties.
How long does shipping with ePacket take?
Even though the goal of ePacket is to ship items as quickly as possible, you shouldn’t expect it to work as quickly as Amazon. It is not possible to ship in one day.
The customer should receive the package between 7 and 21 days after it has been sent. The thing is, China also takes time off. The shipping window of 7 to 21 days almost never happens, since all shipping systems can experience delays.
Due to the delay, the average shipping time can be anywhere from 12 to 30 days or even longer. If the shipping was quick, the customer might get the product between 10 and 20 days after ordering it.
The best thing you can do as a dropshipper is to give your customers a fair idea of what to expect. Most dropshippers say it will take five weeks to ship, and some will even say that shipping can take up to eight weeks due to high demand. If a customer knows this, they will wait and not ask too many questions about packing times.
How much weight can I send with ePacket?
Yes, it was given the name ePacket because it needs to be small and is used for e-commerce. You already know that most things bought online are small, like phones and chargers. Because of this, you can only use ePacket if the size and weight of the items you want to ship fit the requirements.
The length of the package can’t be longer than 24 inches. The package can’t be taller than 36 inches all together. Same thing goes for the width.
If you think about it, that box could hold a pair of shoes. That size is big enough to fit a lot of small things you can sell online, like phone cases and small dolls or figurines.
The price of the item you want to ship can’t be more than $400. If you go over that, the item must cost enough for both the seller and the buyer to be able to pay for better shipping options. The most it can weigh is 4.4 pounds.
Because of all of these rules, we know for sure that you can’t use ePacket for high-ticket dropshipping. You can’t ship furniture, expensive drones, or electronics that cost more than $400 with this method.
List of places where ePacket works
Here is a list of all the countries that offer ePacket delivery:
- Austria Belgium
- Denmark Finland
- France* Germany
- Hong Kong Hungary
- Italy Japan
- Kazakhstan Korea
- Mexico Netherlands
- The country of New Zealand
- Saudi Arabia
- Great Britain
- The US
How do you find out where your ePacket is?
Tracking the package is one of the hardest things for dropshippers to do. This is a big problem with international shipping because things can get lost. If you ship something close to home, it’s easy to keep track of because the shipping company has its own systems.
There are a number of companies involved in international shipping. Good news is that this has already been fixed. If you send something from China to another country, the store will give you a tracking number so you can see where it is.
You can use this tracking number on the websites of the following companies:
- China Post ePacket
Depending on where you are sending the package, it might not be in English. If you send the item to Brazil, don’t be surprised if the language for tracking on the website is Portuguese. Don’t worry, you can always use Google translate to find out what’s going on with the shipment.
ePacket is one of the best things to happen to the business of doing business online. Without it, only very wealthy people who have a lot of money to invest could run a business. They have enough money to buy in bulk, ship the goods from China, wait for the goods to arrive, pay Customs, and then sell the goods in their own country.
Thousands of people from all over the world can start dropshipping with the help of ePacket. You can start a business with a small amount of money, and you can sell more items because shipping is either free or cheap.
With ePacket, Chinese manufacturers are happy, you’re happy, and so are your customers. The customer only has to wait a little less than a month.