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Buying bicycle parts from China

Old 09-08-22, 07:35 AM
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Keefusb
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Buying bicycle parts from China

I'm not sure that this is the appropriate place to post this, but I couldn't think of a better forum. I'm certain if it's not, a mod will put me in the right place!

What has been your experience ordering/buying bicycle parts/components from China? I know many here have used Alibaba and other websites, and I wanted to get a feel for how long the shipping process has taken.

For me I ordered a used saddle from an individual seller in China. I ordered on the 18th, got a tracking number for China Post EMS parcel service (supposedly the best and most reliable service from China), I followed the shipment from place to place in China, and now the tracking sites tell me that on the 3rd of the following month the item arrived in the US, but no status update for the last 5 days.

I have read that items coming to the US via China Post will be picked up by USPS for the "last mile" delivery. I also read that items coming into the US from China may be tied up in customs for a while for reasons like unpaid VAT taxes, or other weird reasons.

So far the process from order to now has been about 22 days. How does that compare to other's experience buying direct from China?
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Old 09-08-22, 09:09 AM
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I don't think I've had anything lost coming from China.

But, I usually budget about a month for shipping. There are often some odd pauses in the movement.

One thing about post office scanning. They may either scan your package, or put your package into a container, and scan that container as representing everything that is supposed to be inside.

This may well also apply to ports. So if a 40 foot conex box arrives, they may simply scan the manifest with that box, but it could take a few days to empty it.
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Old 09-08-22, 09:25 AM
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In my experience, the party at fault in delayed delivery has been more often USPS than not. The item lies there at the airport, past the customs, and USPS does not pick it up for 2 weeks or more. When items have been coming in from UK or Germany, they got picked much faster. These delays started as the anti-Chinese rhetoric was ramped up during the previous presidency, but they did not go away with the current.
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Old 09-08-22, 09:30 AM
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DHL Express takes a couple of days.

If USPS is part of the delivery, it can take 2 months but 3 weeks has been typical. It has nothing to do with politics as the previous lovely person said.
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Old 09-08-22, 10:00 AM
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Here is a screen grab from the tracking app:

Looks like the hold-up is here in the US.

Other China Post tracking sites show the same status. I would think that having it be here in the US would be a good sign, but I don't have a lot of faith in the USPS or their leadership these days.
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Old 09-08-22, 10:27 AM
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My guess is the 13th to arrive in VA, assuming it is on the train heading East already.



Originally Posted by Keefusb View Post
Here is a screen grab from the tracking app:

Looks like the hold-up is here in the US.

Other China Post tracking sites show the same status. I would think that having it be here in the US would be a good sign, but I don't have a lot of faith in the USPS or their leadership these days.
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Old 09-08-22, 10:37 AM
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I've ordered various stuff from China or other Asian markets. The tracking documentation is many times useless. Frequently you won't know anything for certain until the package is released by US Customs and the carrier that is actually handling the shipping on this side of US Customs actually gets it. Sometimes I knew nothing until the package arrived on my door step.

Typically I expect a month. It has sometimes been six or seven weeks. And just recently it was only two weeks... the fastest yet!
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Old 09-08-22, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
In my experience, the party at fault in delayed delivery has been more often USPS than not. The item lies there at the airport, past the customs, and USPS does not pick it up for 2 weeks or more. When items have been coming in from UK or Germany, they got picked much faster. These delays started as the anti-Chinese rhetoric was ramped up during the previous presidency, but they did not go away with the current.
There have been pauses for a while. I don't think it is due to any one administration or another.

Packages coming from China are shipped dirt cheap. I don't know the exact charges, and how it is distributed between China and the USPS. However, they appear to come in at about half the cost it would be to ship a package within a single city in the USA. Potentially at a loss for the USPS.

It may be that the USPS puts lower priority on Chinese shipments than other shipments.

One might note. Some Chinese vendors on E-Bay and Amazon may have local USA warehouses. Not necessarily without delays, but they may be quicker than coming from China.
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Old 09-08-22, 11:16 AM
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It may be unloading the shipping container, it may be pickup, it may even be customs clearance. I generally give it about 2 weeks from when I see it hit the US port from when I expect to see it moving again.
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Old 09-08-22, 02:00 PM
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I appreciate all the thoughtful input. It would seem like the consensus is about a month from the time the order was shipped.
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Old 09-09-22, 09:05 AM
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Transit times can be quite variable for stuff bought from China. I've had things take 45 days or more if sent by the slowest, cheapest way. Sometimes they come via really odd countries like Azerbaijan. i buy all of my China sourced items on eBay. The thing to look for is "shipped by Speedpak" The last thing that came was a special type of remote control wall switch. It was small and lightweight so arrived within 7 days. I didn't expect it to ship that fast. Yours arrived in the US within 11 days so was shipped by one of the faster methods. Unless the item was over $800 (pretty fancy bike saddle!) it should have no duty added. The US does not have a VAT which stands for value added tax. That's common in Europe but not here.
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Old 09-09-22, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by VegasTriker View Post
The US does not have a VAT which stands for value added tax. That's common in Europe but not here.
AliExpress now collects sales tax based on the US shipping address.
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Old 09-10-22, 12:22 AM
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FWIW, Royal Mail from UK or Canada is really good. But same issue with tracking. I think the stuff gets scanned at port or office, so it looks like it should have arrived. Days later it shows up. That said, good service on their end
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Old 09-10-22, 01:01 AM
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Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
AliExpress now collects sales tax based on the US shipping address.

And wrongfully so for us non-profits,

At Ebay/Paypal we have a tax exempt status and also Alibaba recognizes we are tax-exempt but for the life of me I can't get AliExpree to recognize it no matter how many sessions with their "customer service" agents
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Old 09-10-22, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeTBM View Post
And wrongfully so for us non-profits,

At Ebay/Paypal we have a tax exempt status and also Alibaba recognizes we are tax-exempt but for the life of me I can't get AliExpree to recognize it no matter how many sessions with their "customer service" agents
Thanks for the info. It pertains to my hat on the professional side, not having ordered there yet from AliExpress, but pondering. I presume that by 'sessions' you meant those on chat. Right? I managed to resolve a dispute by getting help from their chat agent who was quite patient.
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Old 09-11-22, 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
Thanks for the info. It pertains to my hat on the professional side, not having ordered there yet from AliExpress, but pondering. I presume that by 'sessions' you meant those on chat. Right? I managed to resolve a dispute by getting help from their chat agent who was quite patient.
Yes chat sessions, getting help on a dispute usually is not too bad but trying to get them to understand that your organization is sales tax-exempt seems to be near impossible. I have even submitted back to them their form along with our Florida exempt certificate. I don't get why this is so hard for them.
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Old 09-11-22, 01:43 AM
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Originally Posted by JoeTBM View Post
Yes chat sessions, getting help on a dispute usually is not too bad but trying to get them to understand that your organization is sales tax-exempt seems to be near impossible. I have even submitted back to them their form along with our Florida exempt certificate. I don't get why this is so hard for them.
I just spent over 1 hour on the latest chat session with them, they promised all they have to do is review my documents (again) and they will get back to me. This will be my last time doing this because if they can't get it right this time I am done with them. It just not worth the time and effort.

Edited to add >>>> And a waste of our money as we have paid about $150 to them so far this year (2022) in sales tax.
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