I can get free shipping on a $3 phone case from China, but to ship the same item within my country costs $10 or more. How is that possible? I mean, people buy a lot of stuff online these days, that difference in shipping cost has huge implications for the competitiveness of domestic online retail.

I wanted to buy a case for my phone, so I went looking on Ebay. I found one I liked from someplace in northern Canada for $10, but the shipping cost was $18. That's $28 for an item I could get for $3 from China. Now, I'd happily pay $10 for that case just to support a Canadian seller, but $28? That's a bit much. Now, you may say the seller is padding his profits by bumping up the shipping cost, but I recently sent a parcel of about the same size from BC to Ontario, and it cost me about $15, so $18 to ship something from up north seems plausible. .... What do you think? It seems obvious that Chinese sellers aren't paying the true cost of shipping items to North America, yet I've never heard it mentioned as an issue. I wonder why not? To me it seems like a HUGE issue.

Image for post I can get free shipping on a $3 phone case from China, but to ship the same item within my country costs $10 or more. How is that possible? I mean, people buy a lot of stuff online these days, that difference in shipping cost has huge implications for the competitiveness of domestic online retail.
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Mazes avatar Money & Economics
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@2685160

I encounter it all the time when I shop on Ebay, Chinese products that offer free or next to free shipping on items that cannot possibly have a big enough profit margin to account for it. I mean, that case I showed, less than $3 Canadian with free shipping for something where the shipping cost alone should be way more than $3. The only thing I can conclude is the shipping cost is subsidized, it has to be, presumably by the Chinese government. But in this wacky world, for all I know it could be subsidized by the US government or some international body. I'd love to know.

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@2685184

So then presumably the Chinese postal service doesn't charge them either. But naturally our postal services charge us, so you or I won't be offering Chinese buyers free shipping on $3 items. And if you want to send it to the next town over, it will cost you more than $3. That's a pretty convenient situation for Chinese sellers.

Imagine how the picture would change if those items had to pay their way from the port to your door instead of moving for free. No wonder it's so expensive to ship things in North America, we're paying for all the Chinese goods being shipped in, that stuff doesn't move for free, there are costs involved, costs that are reflected in us having to pay higher rates.

What a scam, absolutely class A.

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@2685222

It must be pretty expensive from the Chinese end to move all that freight for free and pay all those terminal dues, I wonder if that money comes out of general revenue or if it's added on to the cost of shipments headed into China? Because free shipping on a $3 package tells me it's being shipped basically for free, someone's paying for that.

If they wanted to level the playing field, all they'd have to do is make the buyer responsible for the cost of shipping from port of entry to destination. That would remove China's ability to make the cost of their exports artificially low. If the cost of shipping was fair, it would make sense for people to import quantities of items and distribute them locally, or even, dare I say, produce things locally.

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@2685258

I have no problem with China "developing" their economy, but why do they need to take our business to do it? What, not enough customers in China? No, it's economic warfare. China knows as well as anyone that industrial infrastructure can be turned to weaponry in time of war. Not just the physical infrastructure, but the intellectual infrastructure. The more of the world's industrial infrastructure is located in China, the more powerful they become. Trade is just a means to an end: Chinese dominance.

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@2685304

"The robbery of the wicked shall destroy them; because they refuse to do judgment."
Proverbs 21:7

I don't agree with taking unfair advantage of other countries, so I definitely don't agree with them taking unfair advantage of us.

The imbalance in the cost of shipping for imports vs domestic needs to be addressed. There's no way it should be cheaper to ship something from China to me than it is to ship the same thing from somewhere in Canada to me.

I have noticed a similar issue here. Recently I needed to buy a specific type of battery charger. Here it cost $35 plust $12 shipping, but online from china it cost $5.50 including shipping and the guy emailed me every day with status updates, I almost thought he was going to hand deliver it.

Well, why is it so costly travelling from Toronto to Winnipeg? It can be cheaper going to the UK....

@Sukiesnow Well, why is it so costly travelling from Toronto to Winnipeg? It can be cheaper going to the UK....

If I were to hazard a guess, I'd say it's because more people are flying from Toronto to the UK than from Toronto to Winnipeg, so it's easier to fill planes and there's more competition.

Moving stuff from one side of Canada to the other is always going to be a little pricey just because you're moving stuff a long way, so the costs are high, and the usage isn't always high because our population density is so low, so there's not much competition, and to cover those high costs, prices tend to be high too.

@Maze If I were to hazard a guess, I'd say it's because more people are flying from Toronto to the UK than from Toronto...

But maybe it's the same now about ordering from Asia...or at least they seem to be more encouraging us to order from them...

I've ordered stuff from places in the States...sometimes there's a huge outlay for shipping...and sometimes there's hardly a charge at all...someone told me it's about which delivery company they use.

Yes...I remember your story of that experience you had...

I wonder about this as well. I think it might have something to do with two factors.
1. This could be a case of "drop shipping" where you might order something from a company in China or Florida but the product is already stored at a warehouse in Kansas, boxed up ready to be shipped after an address label is slapped on and and shipped from there.
2. The big Shipping and handling fee. Usually this is advertised under something like , "Only 19.95 + S and H (Which might be another $19.95) I think these handling fees , be it $2 or $20, are just another way to make more money.

You people do realize/realise (from now on, I'm multicultural!), that I had a point and just as I had it in my grasp I sort of let it slip and now... It's forgotten. Stupid brain. I hate you. Anyways, happy days! Perhaps, having a phone case isn't the point, but how about having a dozen six-year olds to do stuff for you? I bet you can get those from China for the price of the silly shipping costs. What?

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