Why our overseas shipping costs so much (and why Chinese companies can ship for free.)

There’s nothing I can do about it. It’s a cost imposed by USPS, a cost that was already expensive but increased by 50% in 2012 and has been rising steadily ever since.

The charge on US international post subsidies China to ship products to the USA almost for free. Chinese packet post is actually owned and operated by USPS and operates at a huge loss, which is recuperated by massive charges on shipping OUT of the USA. 

Donald Trump’s new tariffs on Chinese importing will do nothing to help US manufacture while Chinese packet post exists. It is hypocritical (no tariff on clothes, his daughter runs a clothing line) vote garnering spin. 


If you want to know why this situation continues to exist, it’s tied into international agreements to support developing nations to build on manufacturing industries and exports. Developing nations’ postal systems are already heavily subsided by first world nation postal services. Politicians and manufacturing organizations lobby government every year to disallow China from these agreements, but China is actually subsided more than most other nations. You can lay the blame for the continuing situation almost squarely at the feet of EBay, who have a lot of bargaining power to lobby for this situation to continue, as it lines their pockets. This is no conspiracy theory but a fact that anyone who sold in any great volume on eBay has been aware of since 2012. It’s another big reason for us wanting to get away from eBay.

If you’re a seller in the EU, like most our competitors for hand produced cabling are, you can ship out a single SCART cable via non tracked letter post which maxes out depth wise at 1 inch thick, a limitation that can accommodate a single SCART. We’re well aware of this because we used to ship out of the UK. When I moved to the USA, I was shocked that the limitation on letter post is 2/3rds of an inch. This does not accomodate even one SCART cable. This brings shipping one SCART from about $4 from Europe to about $12 from the USA, tracking is mandatory and we (you) pay for it even if your country lacks internal shipping once the packet hits your country. We can’t possibly compete, and we’re pretty ok with this, the US market has grown in leaps and bounds and is enough to keep us going. We still get the odd customer from outside the USA nevertheless and we actually take it as a huge compliment when we do. Believe me we do see it as a big deal. It’s surprising that anybody would want to support a US company that struggles under such an insane system, and pay over the odds to do so.

Quote from the above linked article:

 ”[3] The funny fact here is that the USPS actually makes an operating profit on this kind of international mail. (That is, it makes more than the marginal cost, but not necessarily the total cost including infrastructure and other operations.) Whatever it loses on underpriced inbound mail, it recoups through what it charges Americans for outbound mail. In a way, those who mail stuff abroad are helping to pay for other Americans to get cheap shipping on purchases from China.”



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