How do they ship from Hong Kong for free?

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sb56637
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How do they ship from Hong Kong for free?

Hello all,

I was just chatting with Richard at http://mrlite.com, and he was very surprised that companies like DealExtreme ship extremely cheap items for free all over the world.  The shipping cost for Mrlite is approximately $30.00, possibly a bit less if they only shipped in bubble wrap and manilla envelopes.  But I wonder now, how is it that I can buy a $0.99 keychain from DX and they ship it to me for free?  I would have thought that since DX is so huge, maybe they have a special agreement with HKP.  But we have a huge list of (mostly small) Chinese sellers on this forum, most of which offer free shipping.  And even eBay is overwhelmed by small, individual Chinese sellers who ship anywhere in the world for free.  So what gives?

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Don
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My guess is that mainland China pays considerably more, Hong Kong (Two systems, one country) still has a lot of autonomy and I wonder if HK Post has the autonomy to be able to come up with next to zero postal rates. Not sure how that would work internationally, I believe there is some sort of international settlement regime run by the International (Now Universal) Postal Union - one of the oldest supranational bodies anywhere. It is now a UN agency but is 75 years older than the UN.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Postal_Union

 

Hong Kong joined in 1877, but very, very strangely China's membership was as a part of Taiwan's from 1914-1972 when the PRC got the recognition which means some real oddities with Taiwan's mail. Since HK is a separate member from the PRC and presumably uses different systems they can offer some cheap rates - but it must hurt when coughing up the differences via the UPU.

 

Which is a very long-winded way of saying I have no clue.

 

Have just found the HK Post bulk rates. These are presumably in HK$ and are incredibly cheap. 1 US$ is a hair over HK$7.76

 

http://www.hongkongpost.com/eng/postage/overseas/bulk/index.htm. A 200g article by airmail to the US or UK would be charged at 65HK$ per kilo so would be HK$13 or less than US$2

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

brted
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I think there must be a government subsidy in order to promote exports (I mean "gifts"). There is no way DX can be paying what it actually costs to ship a padded envelope by air mail. But I don't have any idea.

sb56637
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Yes, I also imagined that there is some sort of government subsidy to promote exporting.  But it must only be for certain tiers of businesses, or else Mrlite doesn't know about it yet.  Or maybe it's a tax deductable expense.

But you know I never knew that the currency in China is referred to as an HK$.  Now I understand why Kaidomain once sent me a $10.48 flashlight with $9.20 worth of stamps on the envelope, or US$1.19.

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Don
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sb56637 wrote:

Yes, I also imagined that there is some sort of government subsidy to promote exporting.  But it must only be for certain tiers of businesses, or else Mrlite doesn't know about it yet.  Or maybe it's a tax deductable expense.

But you know I never knew that the currency in China is referred to as an HK$.  Now I understand why Kaidomain once sent me a $10.48 flashlight with $9.20 worth of stamps on the envelope, or US$1.19.

 

HK has a different currency from the rest of China - the Chinese currency is called either the renimbi or the yuan.

 

HK is strange. Britain extorted a lengthy lease in the 19th century after beating the Chinese in more than one war (the Opium Wars - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opium_Wars) - when the Chinese got it back from us Brits on expiry of the lease in 1997, they changed surprisingly little - especially as there was little or no democracy in HK prior to 1997 and it is much the same now. The slogan was, and is, one country, two systems.

 

I think Mrlite is on the Chinese mainland and either doesn't want or can't afford an HK distributor. HK land prices are among the highest in the world so I imagine an HK distributor wants a hefty slice of the take. But it does mean the mainland has to pay far more for shipping. A pal of mine from college who used to be in the watch assembly business (Mechanisms were either Seiko or Miyota) for an HK based firm had the watches made in the Chinese mainland but organised his own air freight - back in the mid 90's it cost him 6 cents(US) per watch to Europe - but he was filling 3 747 freight aircraft a day so got good rates.

 

Doubt we're going to be in the business of doing group buys big enough to charter 747 loads of lights. Not at least till we're up to 100,000 members anyway.

 

The numbers from my light tests are always to be found here.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApkFM37n_QnRdDU5MDNzOURjYllmZHI...

sb56637
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Don wrote:

Doubt we're going to be in the business of doing group buys big enough to charter 747 loads of lights. Not at least till we're up to 100,000 members anyway.

 

One can always hope.  Wink  Interesting info here, thanks!

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gcbryan
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Hong Kong has never had the kind of democracy in the way we think of it as in you don't speak your mind regarding governmental policies (kind of like being on CPF...don't talk about the moderators) but other than that life was and I assume still is very free in many other respects. I've been there but not since the tranfer back to China but at the time I was there it was still escentially run by China. As they say business is the business of Hong Kong and that's what it's all about and they are left alone to do that more or less by mainland China.

I don't know the details regarding HKPost either. I do know there is Hong Kong, Shanghai, Guangjou (sp?), the New Territories and then escentially the rest of China. That's the "two systems". I'd much rather live in HK than in the rest of China.

This is off topic I know but...one of the most dense populations on earth is the Wenchai (sp?) district of Hong Kong Island and yet on the other side of that same small island is Stanley which isn't particularly dense and by comparision seems more like a quaint town. It's an interesting place for sure. It's very expensive land-wise on Hong Kong Island and much of the business we think of as Hong Kong is taking place in Kowloon just across from Hong Kong Island and then continuing toward what was Mainland China in the New Territories.

MolaMola
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pretty interesting information...
i was wondering the same thing as well Laughing