will this hurt Amazon?

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I ordered a product from Amazon on Jan 20...immediately after I ordered it the 'ship time' extended by 10 days... That told me 'shipped from China'.

I was given a false FedEx 'tracking number' on Feb 1 - meanwhile the seller updated the 'amazon tracking' little by little as if the package had been sent.

Last Monday the 'tracking' changed to 'delivery by Thursday 8 pm'....didn't happen. Fedex has never heard of the tracking number - no message from the seller about any problem.

Sent message to seller last night - answer today is below.

Affected by a novel coronavirus,Delivery time will be delayed, The first time we Incoming the product, we will use this waybill number to send you. Your understanding and support will be highly appreciated.
I'd be totally understanding about the delay had the company not lied to me for 3 weeks by providing false shipping information.

I can wait - this is a personalized item and eventually it will arrive or I will get a refund one way or another.

It seems some Chinese sellers on Amazon (a significant share of amazon sellers) are not warning buyers of delays - are not refusing orders if they can't ship - are giving fake shipping info to sellers....

Amazon (US, at least) is talking to sellers about delays caused by the pandemic - nothing is being done to alert buyers or require sellers to provide info about delay to buyers.

What effect might this have on Amazon's business - is it affecting YOUR Amazon business if you drop ship from Chinese suppliers?
#amazon #hurt
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
    Re: will this hurt Amazon?

    IMO, it will hurt Amazon if it becomes a major loss of profits and Amazon continues to let it happen.
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    • Profile picture of the author savidge4
      Originally Posted by Jeffery View Post

      IMO, it will hurt Amazon if it becomes a major loss of profits and Amazon continues to let it happen.
      And what exactly do you expect Amazon to do about it?

      For the most part there are no flights in or out of China.. Hasn't been for 2 weeks now? No flights means no mail. ( and lets not forget the country has been on vacation for 2 weeks regardless of the virus - so the same issue at lessor scale would have happened ) THIS issue is at such scale there is really nothing that can be done.

      I order way to much stuff from China.. and I am dealing with my wholesalers on just short of a daily basis to re-assure them that I understand the situation and as soon as they are able to ship the orders... and I keep placing orders.

      The bottom line is there is not a dang thing they can do, or that I can do to make this any better.

      A better level of communication maybe? Amazon knows damn well which products are coming from China and could site wide place a banner warning of escalated ship times. But in the world of commerce this equates to customers going else where to order. In the end there are only 2 options here, get the order and ship when they can, or say they are unable to ship and lose the sale all together.

      So the solution that seems to be in the majority is to do nothing - and play it out and hope the receiving end understands.
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  • Profile picture of the author IGotMine
    What effect might this have on Amazon's business
    If it has any negative effect they will spin it into a positive for Amazon. Masters of spin and manipulation of the masses they are. It will probably include a "donation" of some sort.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    And what exactly do you expect Amazon to do about it?

    I would expect Amazon to post an announcement about the shipping problem to avoid buyer complaints....or to require sellers in China to post accurate shipping information or statements about delays. To me, that makes sense. That would be a pro-active way to manage a situation Amazon can't control.



    I understand the delays - it's a valid reason - But that doesn't excuse false shipping dates given - invalid tracking numbers sent to buyers, listing 'delivery time on XX day' when the sellers know the product has not left china.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
    Originally Posted by Jeffery View Post

    IMO, it will hurt Amazon if it becomes a major loss of profits and Amazon continues to let it happen.
    Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

    And what exactly do you expect Amazon to do about it?

    For the most part there are no flights in or out of China.. Hasn't been for 2 weeks now? No flights means no mail. ( and lets not forget the country has been on vacation for 2 weeks regardless of the virus - so the same issue at lessor scale would have happened ) THIS issue is at such scale there is really nothing that can be done.

    I order way to much stuff from China.. and I am dealing with my wholesalers on just short of a daily basis to re-assure them that I understand the situation and as soon as they are able to ship the orders... and I keep placing orders.

    The bottom line is there is not a dang thing they can do, or that I can do to make this any better.

    A better level of communication maybe? Amazon knows damn well which products are coming from China and could site wide place a banner warning of escalated ship times. But in the world of commerce this equates to customers going else where to order. In the end there are only 2 options here, get the order and ship when they can, or say they are unable to ship and lose the sale all together.

    So the solution that seems to be in the majority is to do nothing - and play it out and hope the receiving end understands.
    True, Amazon cannot control the virus, but that is not the point. I repeat.. that is not the point!

    The point is Amazon can control who they allow to sell on their platform.


    You are a savvy and educated businessman and IMO after following your posts on this forum, if you owned Amazon and your sellers intentionally deceive your customers resulting in loss of brand equity and became a major loss of profits you would not allow it to happen.

    I also believe that you would not allow your sellers to intentionally deceive your customers for any reason.

    Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

    I would expect Amazon to post an announcement about the shipping problem to avoid buyer complaints....or to require sellers in China to post accurate shipping information or statements about delays. To me, that makes sense. That would be a pro-active way to manage a situation Amazon can't control.

    I get what you are saying and stand with you 100%.


    True, Amazon cannot control the virus. However, Amazon can control who they allow to sell on their platform.

    Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

    I understand the delays - it's a valid reason - But that doesn't excuse false shipping dates given - invalid tracking numbers sent to buyers, listing 'delivery time on XX day' when the sellers know the product has not left china.
    Exactly and that is also exactly how Amazon's customers would feel about it. People simply can take their business elsewhere.


    Don't get me wrong. I am not an Amazon hater. If anything, I am a Amazon advocate.
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    • Profile picture of the author savidge4
      Originally Posted by Jeffery View Post

      The point is Amazon can control who they allow to sell on their platform.

      if you owned Amazon and your sellers intentionally deceive your customers resulting in loss of brand equity and became a major loss of profits you would not allow it to happen.

      I also believe that you would not allow your sellers to intentionally deceive your customers for any reason.

      Don't get me wrong. I am not an Amazon hater. If anything, I am a Amazon advocate.
      There is literally, probably a 10 minute programming fix to this issue - a banner that states to the effect that ALL orders that would ship from China given the current situation will be delayed. - its literally that simple.

      However... the business side of me totally understand why this has NOT been done. Not only on Amazon, but eBay, Alibaba, JD, and AliExpress just to name a few. These are probably the big 5 in terms sites that sell Chinese goods - from Chinese sellers

      Put yourself into the seat of your average consumer... they want to purchase a whatever it is, and they goto a site and there is a warning that the item will not ship right away... what does that consumer do? they go to the next site where the waring does not exist and make the purchase.

      What does Big Corporate America / China do in this case? Get the sale now, and deal with the process later - that is exactly how business at scale operates, and we are seeing that in full effect now.

      Because I am obviously more familiar with eBay... I am curious how this is all going to play out. I am wondering if eBay has not sent its Chinese Sellers an e-mail with some type of "Pass" in regards to time frame of shipping. It would seem to me there should be an awful lot of Chinese sellers with their store set to "Vacation" - and that simply is not the case.

      I believe you are allowed 3 packages in 6 months to be sent out of shipping time frame before eBay would impose an infraction on an account. The infraction includes loss of "Top Seller" rank, which means a higher shipping rate and elevated fees. It decreases your ability to rank in eBay search - and I have heard there is actually a penalty fee per item of an additional 4% that is imposed

      Keeping this in mind - we again look at what is actually happening on the platform and there simply has to be an amount of reassurances by eBay to its China based sellers.

      And again I think this goes back to my point that the big boys are just in it to get the money right now and deal with it as it happens vs not taking the money and potentially losing not just the sale now - but future sales down the road.

      And let me add... I'm really not disagreeing with you per se, I GET what you are saying, but that simply is NOT how it is playing out - and the way that it IS playing out I understand that side of it as well. There is simply the "Micro" look at me I'm a consumer vs the "Macro" 100,000 consumers a day.
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  • Profile picture of the author IGotMine
    However, Amazon can control who they allow to sell on their platform.
    And just like they did with their affiliate program, Amazon will eventually (when the negative feedback gets to the right level) flush their system. They will do it in a way that will make it look as though they are super-concerned about their customers.

    "In an effort to protect you our valued customers we have removed a bunch of slimy, cheap China junk sellers (who made us billions) from our platform. We are also donating 5% of anything you buy for the next week to those poor unfortunate Chinese people who are suffering. Just because we care so gosh darn much!

    Anyone care to give me odds that's how it will go down?

    Again,
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    • Profile picture of the author savidge4
      Originally Posted by IGotMine View Post

      Anyone care to give me odds that's how it will go down?
      I think its going to go down quite AF - nothing happened
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    However... the business side of me totally understand why this has NOT been done. Not only on Amazon, but eBay, Alibaba, JD, and AliExpress just to name a few. These are probably the big 5 in terms sites that sell Chinese goods - from Chinese sellers

    Will be curious see when or if my product arrives. I think it goes a bit deeper and often simple issues like this are the reason used for legislation down the line.


    Several of the suppliers you mention have comments on their sites - reassuring buyers that 'shipped packages are safe and do not carry the virus'....but medical experts say the length of time this particular virus might remain viable on the outside or inside of a package has not been fully tested yet. My guess is the sites are correct - but if they aren't...won't be pretty for drop shippers or suppliers.


    This is an interesting case study to me - of what can go wrong that is unexpected and can quickly spiral out of control.
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    • Profile picture of the author savidge4
      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

      Several of the suppliers you mention have comments on their sites - reassuring buyers that 'shipped packages are safe and do not carry the virus'...
      But again they are making re-assurances of safety but they are not mentioning that but for a very few packages are not leaving China because Postal people in China are not working - there is no method of transport in or out of China ( with exception of the ones capable of sending to Taiwan first )

      So basically they are saying it OK to buy.. but not telling you that you will not be getting it anytime soon - take the money and deal with it later.

      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

      but medical experts say the length of time this particular virus might remain viable on the outside or inside of a package has not been fully tested yet. My guess is the sites are correct - but if they aren't...won't be pretty for drop shippers or suppliers.
      I think I saw somewhere that the life is 3 to 4 hours in its airborne state. I can tell you the packages that we have received that we are opening with rubber gloves has a very distinct "Odor" that I would presume is a disinfectant.

      IF this were to be an issue there would be outbreaks state side in Customs facilities and with delivery services ( USPS, UPS, FedEx, TNT, and DHL ) - and with this there would be package quarantining etc - it would be a mess

      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

      This is an interesting case study to me - of what can go wrong that is unexpected and can quickly spiral out of control.
      The shear scale of this.. the largest Quarantine in WORLD history, in the largest export nation let alone largest population nation in the world. interesting indeed
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    UPDATE:


    After sending a complaint to the company and to Amazon - the chinese company was told to refund.


    They have told me they are refunding $5 of the $30 cost - for a product never shipped - but also blaming FedEx in a poor-English message which basically says they didn't ship the product and FedEx didn't deliver it.



    Just told Amazon what I think of it - we'll see.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
    Yep, interesting. Hopefully, Amazon will force the company to refund the full amount.



    Foreign companies have to learn that if they want to do business on another companies platform then the company has to use clear communications and take care of the platform's customers.
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    • Profile picture of the author savidge4
      Originally Posted by Jeffery View Post

      Foreign companies have to learn that if they want to do business on another companies platform then the company has to use clear communications and take care of the platform's customers.
      The largest platforms in world level e-commerce is Alibaba and JD. Alibaba is so large that all the other big players combined still don't equate to the amount of commerce this company produces. Amazon and JD are about equal, and then eBay falls in about the 4th spot. Interestingly Shopify falls in 5th at about 1/3 the volume of eBay.

      Think about this for a moment On top you have Alibaba - Ali express is Alibaba but lets throw it into some amount of context... it is basically the eBay or Amazon of the machine that creates the worlds products.

      In regards to Chinese product you have this monsterous macro level Alibaba machine, you then have the micro level producer level outlet called Ali express. It is the micro level sellers from Ali Express that sell on eBay and Amazon... but keep in mind they are directly connected to The monster macro level Alibaba.

      What do you think happens if the Amazon's and eBays of the world say no more selling from China until this is fixed? I don't think anyone really wants to try and find out honestly - Watch some Jack Ma ( Founder of Alibaba ) interviews and you will better understand.

      There is just a ton at play here... obviously more than meets the eye. And yeah I totally agree it is turning out to be the worst balancing act ever... but I believe in the end that is what its coming down to... a Balance on the Corporate commerce end Vs balancing anything on the consumer end - At the end of the day consumers are lemmings and will continue to buy. ( sad but true )
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  • Profile picture of the author YALA YOLO
    AMAZON WILL NOT BE AFFECT BYE THIS WHAT SO EVER

    Amazon got 22,000,000 million people selling on there platform

    Remember amazon collects $40 a month from 22million people now do the math per month...
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    AMAZON WILL NOT BE AFFECT BYE THIS WHAT SO EVER

    I learned quite a bit from this small problem. A member here helped by locating a site that tracks FedEx before it reaches the USA. Explained the $5 'refund' is due to late arrival which makes sense but is not what the 'awkward English' messages explained.


    I don't care how many sellers Amazon has - if buyers lose trust, it's a problem. This current delay in getting goods from China could help sellers make plans for the next - and perhaps longer - disruption.



    What I learned from a drop shipping member in this thread could have been easily explained by the seller - or as a simple notice from Amazon.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jeffery
      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

      I learned quite a bit from this small problem. A member here helped by locating a site that tracks FedEx before it reaches the USA. Explained the $5 'refund' is due to late arrival which makes sense but is not what the 'awkward English' messages explained.

      I don't care how many sellers Amazon has - if buyers lose trust, it's a problem. This current delay in getting goods from China could help sellers make plans for the next - and perhaps longer - disruption.

      What I learned from a drop shipping member in this thread could have been easily explained by the seller - or as a simple notice from Amazon.

      Which, to me, that means neither the seller and Amazon were proactive meaning they did not have the foresight to identify the potential problem and take action to rectify the problem.


      Honestly, I think Amazon had the foresight, can't speak for the seller.


      Business decision? Take the money and let chips land where they may? Its a sad world when that decision is made.
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      • Profile picture of the author savidge4
        Originally Posted by Jeffery View Post

        Which, to me, that means neither the seller and Amazon were proactive meaning they did not have the foresight to identify the potential problem and take action to rectify the problem.
        This is very true when looking at this from a buyers perspective. As a seller the last thing you want is a middle man IE Amazon or eBay to become proactive after the sale. Reactive yes - proactive no.

        In part, some of this issue is actually a fault of the platform ( Amazon ). When you order product that comes from an Amazon warehouse ( FBA - Fulfillment By Amazon ) a Tracking number is provided from a shipment provider that most people know where to track from. When sellers provide the shipping the system falls apart quickly - and then add the fact that Shipment from China is - well - confusing at best.

        Just a quick interject - eBay on the other hand, only provides seller based fulfillment and their tracking system is built in and much easier to use. Granted with China based sellers the tracking number provided is not always trackable on the China side of movement, but generally once it hits the States it pops up.

        So back to Amazon... Because of the Seller Fulfillment aspect once the order is made it is then up to the seller to provide any and all information. Amazon will only enter the picture "Reactively" if the customer contacts them in regard to the sale, as seen in this instance.

        I personally am a very customer service oriented person / business owner. In general in terms of e-commerce if there is any kind of hick-up with delivery, we will send an e-mail.

        I find business' from China that ship items to lack the same amount of detail. A simple link to the site that actually tracks the method of shipment they are using ( and they have like 100 options btw ) would go a long way. In the last 6 months we have made over 500 orders from China and not a one have included this.

        The flip side of this - and Kay correct me if I am wrong - is most deliveries from China requires at a minimum of 2 carriers. You can look at the label on the package and you will see where there is a label on top of another. I believe the lower label gets it to a port internally ( within China ) and the second is the from China to destination lag of the trip. Throw in Fed-ex smart post and there maybe 3 labels in total IE 3 tracking numbers could be possible.

        So from the sellers perspective, YES they could help this process - by including a link to 17track.net as an example. I believe all of Kay's issues - well would not have been an issue by adding this little step. ( this very idea will make very good content for my new website LOL )

        Now onto the whole $5.00 thing. I don't think most Sellers know about this. I don't think not only your average but better than average buyer knows about this. I have never had this situation play out before personally ( delivery outside of expected delivery ) - but I believe it is Amazon and eBay that actually pays the $5.00 and they do not recoup that from the seller.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    The flip side of this - and Kay correct me if I am wrong - is most deliveries from China requires at a minimum of 2 carriers. You can look at the label on the package and you will see where there is a label on top of another. I believe the lower label gets it to a port internally ( within China ) and the second is the from China to destination lag of the trip. Throw in Fed-ex smart post and there maybe 3 labels in total IE 3 tracking numbers could be possible.

    So from the sellers perspective, YES they could help this process - by including a link to 17track.net as an example. I believe all of Kay's issues - well would not have been an issue by adding this little step. ( this very idea will make very good content for my new website LOL )
    ..and thank YOU for sending me a link for tracking and explaining some of this to me. It doesn't matter what anyone has done 'online' - there are always things we don't know. At least that's true for me...a lot.

    I received the product today! I think you are right about THREE labels. There is one from China to US - then an 'entry point' with another label...and THAT label is used by Amazon/ebay/etc a 'shipped from' point.

    Then third label 2-3 days before item is received It's amazing to me that people come up with such convoluted systems.

    This particular sender is now sending 'notices' to those who order about potential delays out of their control - they sent me a message agreeing that buyers need to be informed. Kudos to them.
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    • Profile picture of the author gyar29
      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

      This particular sender is now sending 'notices' to those who order about potential delays out of their control - they sent me a message agreeing that buyers need to be informed. Kudos to them.
      The lesson we should take away from this discussion:

      We, as consumers, frequently jump to the most extreme negative motivation when attempting to explain the action(s), or lack thereof, of businesses we deal with.

      As evidenced by Kay's assumption that he was being lied to by the vendor about actually having shipped the package, and that the vendor, Amazon, or someone should notify the world that packages coming out of China would be delayed due to a world wide epidemic. Which was apparently started in China.

      Did the vendor even know there would be an unusual delay? Before you answer give some thought to the timing of this situation. It feels like we've been under quarantine forever, but it has actually only been weeks. How long ago did Kay's transaction originate?

      The bottom line is that we as business owners can look at this situation and take away from it some things to remember when interacting with our own customers.

      Can we expect our own customers to be different than us? Kay isn't Joe Everyman, he knows about business and how it works. Yet he went straight to the worst scenario possible to explain the source of his frustration. They lied to him in order to safe guard future sales, steal his money, or whatever.

      Many of the responses here pointed out that big brother Alibaba, Amazon, et al. were nothing more than corporate fronts to hide the nefarious doings of the really bad corporate big wheels. And they too own businesses.

      The point I'm trying to make is that the next time one of your customers accuse you of doing something underhanded, immoral, or just plain stupid remember they are no different than you. Sometimes customers are idiots - we've all said it - and it is true, even when you're the customer. So don't get pissed. Fix their issues as best you can and move on. You'll be the winner. Your customer will now feel as if they've wronged you and owe you something. If nothing more than word of mouth positive recommendation to their friends.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    Just so you know - 'kay' is a she


    Did the vendor even know there would be an unusual delay?

    The vendor did know - at that tme they had opted to say nothing...this was at the very beginning of the current problem mid-february.


    For any other purchase I would have been more patient - but sellers must remembers buyers have PAID and that is a contributing factor when there are delays. Add in this was a commemorative stone - emotional purchase - somewhat time sensitive.



    In the end - all that was needed was COMMUNICATION in a way that was clearly explanatory. The first couple messages responding to my question were in English that was not 'awful' but also not informative.


    Since that time I've had a couple products shipped from china (amazon purchases) - they took longer than I liked but in both cases the sellers sent me international tracking links...made a big difference.
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  • Profile picture of the author Monetize
    I typically only purchase items that are sold and shipped by
    Amazon, occasionally buy FBA things, and from third party
    sellers only if it is an established business within the USA
    like Sally Beauty Supply for example. I do not buy overseas
    items anymore, I don't care what country it is from. A couple
    of years ago I bought a CD from the UK, because it was not
    available from anyone else at Amazon or BN, it took forever
    to get here and the seller marked it as a gift to skirt customs
    fees which was unprofessional and probably illegal. I am just
    more comfortable buying directly from Amazon because if
    there is ever a problem they will take care of it right away.
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  • Profile picture of the author Importexport
    Amazon have brought this on themselves and the current pandemic has only served to highlight the problem.

    They saw a vast number of businesses in China that were supplying importers who were selling products for much higher prices than those businesses were getting from their US customers. In what I regard as a betrayal of their existing sellers Amazon figured that those Chinese sellers would be willing to pay lots of $$$$ for the privilege of getting retail prices.

    They not only signed up a huge number - Ka-Ching!!! and made a fortune out of it, but they convinced many Chinese businesses by going to China and running training sessions to teach them how to open accounts and how to list products for sale.

    One thing they failed to teach them was the basic ethics of Western business. In referring to ethics I have in mind the OP's complaint about being misled regarding shipping.

    I would not attribute that misleading activity to lying, but rather to simply that the seller failed to consider the normal expectations of a Western customer.

    I have conducted business in China both as an exporter and as an importer since 1978, and have visited that country countless times, and I have learned the way Chinese people think.

    There are many cultural differences between Chinese and Western society, both business and personal. One simple example is the use of the word YES.

    Failure to understand the different way it is used in China can be a source of great frustration to Westerners. Yes can mean YES, Maybe, Perhaps, Definitely, Absolutely Certainly, or quite often it can mean NO.

    This is not intended to deceive. It is not lying. It is part of the culture that considers it rude to say NO.

    To help importers learn about another important word, GUANXI, I will explain it in another post. Without a proper understanding you will be missing a highly valuable aspect of how to deal with Chinese business people.

    WalterHay
    Importexport
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    Walter - Good to see you back here - it's been a while.


    I was wondering what your 'take' on this would be. When I had messages from this company - they were extremely polite and I fully agree with your comments that Amazon walked into this one. Not everyone does business in the same way and these are not 'drop shippers' (in my opinion) but Chinese companies selling in the US Amazon market.


    Yes can mean YES, Maybe, Perhaps, Definitely, Absolutely Certainly, or quite often it can mean NO.

    Rude to say 'no' - actually, that makes sense in a strange way.



    Had to laugh at that one. Not familiar with Chinese practices but i've seen countries where "I swear it will be done" - means 'unless it's inconvenient or too hard'...A friend riend who spends a lot of time on business in Hong Kong had a similar explanation last week.
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  • Profile picture of the author Importexport
    GUANXI. Iwrote that I would post an explanation of Guanxi.

    New importers have a tendency to be impatient, wanting quick replies to their emails, or repeatedly sending emails asking for the answers that have not yet been given. In Chinese business culture, that is regarded as impolite.

    Those who have experienced bargaining in markets in Hong Kong and other places will assume that to get the best prices they need to haggle. This also is seen by the Chinese business person as rude.

    Once you understand and learn to apply Guanxi, you won't tread on toes, and this will result in far better outcomes in your business dealings in China.

    Put simply, Guanxi is all about relationships. The Guanxi approach to life has its roots in ancient Confucianism, but I won't be going that deep. Instead I will show you how in modern business relationships it can be of immense value to you.

    In effect, by applying the right approach you will be developing a relationship that builds ties between the two parties, based informally on an obligation to maintain that relationship honorably. No formal written agreements are necessary.

    An example of how it works is the case of one of my franchisees who ordered a product to the design provided by his client. The client insisted that it not appear in any online advertising, and the manufacturer agreed.

    As a result of the manufacturer slipping up and not passing on to a subsidiary company, details of that agreement, images of the new product were posted on the subsidiary's website.

    The franchisee requested my help, and I contacted the owner of the very large manufacturing organization, who in turn immediately ordered the removal of the images.

    Few Western buyers are able to enforce such agreements, but I achieved it without any "force" in a very friendly conversation based on the Guanxi relationship that I had built.

    That relationship obtained for me something else that was almost impossible. I was granted a monthly account! All the orders delivered during the month were sent without prepayment, and I received a statement at the end of the month, which I paid conscientiously within 7 days. That was my part of the unspoken honor that can be part of Guanxi.

    Although I have been retired for several years, that Chinese businessman and I still communicate. He keeps me informed about commercial news, and regulations affecting Chinese businesses.

    This post is growing too long, so later I will post on the easy ways you can develop Guanxi, and make your business relationships with Chinese businesses run smoothly.

    Walter Hay,
    Importexport
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  • Profile picture of the author Importexport
    Building Guanxi.
    As I wrote in my previous posts, Guanxi is all about relationships. Here are a few things you should do if you want to build a business relationship that will work to your great benefit:


    • Always be polite.
    • Don't exaggerate the numbers when saying how much you expect to buy.
    • Always send greetings (an online card is fine) for New Year, and for Chinese New Year.
    • When first communicating, don't start off with their "English" first name. Instead call them Mr..... or Ms..... Leave using their first name until they address you by your first name. That is always a valuable first sign of progress in building a very important relationship.
    • If a shipment has some faulty items and the cost is not substantial, take photos or in some other way show the fault, but be polite and suggest perhaps they could add some replacements to the next order.
    • Treat them the way you would like them to treat you.
    • Thank them when they have supplied exactly what you wanted and it's on time.
    • Mention that you are pleased that you are able to work so well together with them.
    • Don't overdo any requests for favors.
    • If at all possible, go and visit them personally. Ask if you could do so "sometime around......(date.) A visit now will cement your relationship.
    Walter Hay
    Importexport
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    I've noticed something that seems to be a 'pattern' - but then I could be seeing things where nothing exists.


    Product was ordered - i was told it shipped from California (I did ask) - but it's taking quite some time....listed as 'shipped' with no tracking updates for several days now.


    When I look at the website - I find it's registered in Toronto, CA...nowhere near california....which probably means nothing. Except - this is the third or fourth time I've looked into a site before ordering and found a site registered in Canada that claims to 'ship from' california.


    Is this a roundabout way to sell products from china without buyers knowing where the product is coming from?
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    • Profile picture of the author savidge4
      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

      I've noticed something that seems to be a 'pattern' - but then I could be seeing things where nothing exists.


      Product was ordered - i was told it shipped from California (I did ask) - but it's taking quite some time....listed as 'shipped' with no tracking updates for several days now.


      When I look at the website - I find it's registered in Toronto, CA...nowhere near california....which probably means nothing. Except - this is the third or fourth time I've looked into a site before ordering and found a site registered in Canada that claims to 'ship from' california.


      Is this a roundabout way to sell products from china without buyers knowing where the product is coming from?
      The round about answer is yes. When I order from eBay I do my very best not to order an item that originates from California. I made 2 orders last month from "California" and they came with China Post labels. Both cases took 10 to 14 days for delivery. I reported both users.

      The ONE thing that can be used as an indicator is the delivery time. From WV to ANYWHERE ( Alaska Hawaii, Saipan, Puerto Rico etc ) in the States it takes 3 days to deliver with USPS. I have not had a single package this year take longer than that to deliver. ALL of last year I had 3 packages that took 4 days. Anything outside of a 7 day delivery window is suspect of coming from somewhere else.


      Delivery times is a major pet peeve of mine. If I am ok with not getting it as soon as possible I will buy from "China". If I want it within 3 days I will order from eBay or Amazon or where ever... when I order from these places and it takes 2 weeks... I literally get bent.

      As a seller on these platforms when ever possible I ship same day. 90% of my reviews on any and every platform is "Super Fast Shipping" Do unto others I suppose LOL
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  • Profile picture of the author Importexport
    For several years there have been Chinese businesses setting up addresses and companies in Western countries and advertising on eBay and Amazon while pretending to be present in those countries.

    The Chinese "Diaspora" is vast, so it is a simple matter for a Chinese immigrant in a Western country to be found by a business in China, and paid to work as their front.

    One result is that price competition on those marketplaces has been magnified and genuine local business can't compete, except by better marketing and advertising ability.

    I find it interesting that Canada seems to be a place where such ventures register their domains. About 20 years ago, when I was still importing and selling B2B, I found competitors popping up in Canada.

    I knew who they were because I recognized their product images as belonging to companies that I knew from my frequent visits to China.

    Why Canada? I have no idea, but it seems that this has been going on for a long time.

    Walter Hay
    Importexport
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    • Profile picture of the author savidge4
      Originally Posted by Importexport View Post

      Why Canada? I have no idea, but it seems that this has been going on for a long time.
      I think we can trace this back to the 70's? Chairman Mao? I believe the Canadians was the first REAL 1st world connection China had. I believe there is a Quote by Chairman Mao about having relations in the States "back yard"

      The relationship with Canada and its Billions in dollars worth of investments is what brought China into the greater world level political organizations.

      With the whole mess of things that is currently unfolding, I can see a single action being the turning point for China. That turning point would be Meng Wanzhou. She happens to be "detained" in Canada at the moment awaiting political wrestling to bring her to the United States for violating Trade Sanctions.

      Long story short for those that don't know, Meng Wanzhou is the CFO of Huawei (And also the daughter of the CEO ) She came to Canada as I think she frequently did, and at the request of the United States they ( the States ) asked that she be arrested and extradited to the United States to stand charges for violating Trade Sanctions with Iran.

      Canada was put in the middle of a very complicated political squeeze. I think due to recent events the squeeze is less complicated. In a fairly short time frame I see this playing out 1 of 2 ways... Meng Wanzhou will "somehow" end back up in China, or she will indeed be extradited to the States. I obviously see the later being what plays out.

      Canada and China do indeed have a very tight financial relationship... and I think Canada is starting to see the underlying price they really have paid.

      Interesting times!
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    • Profile picture of the author socialentry
      Originally Posted by Importexport View Post

      I knew who they were because I recognized their product images as belonging to companies that I knew from my frequent visits to China.

      Why Canada? I have no idea, but it seems that this has been going on for a long time.
      Prolly a relatively liberal immigration policy relative to the US (apparently it takes 10 years for a canadian to apply and get a green card --- can't even imagine the process for an indian or a chinese).

      In particular our investor visa program is (was?) generous, which is a common explanation given for our close economic ties with Hong Kong.

      Originally Posted by savidge4

      I think we can trace this back to the 70's? Chairman Mao? I believe the Canadians was the first REAL 1st world connection China had. I believe there is a Quote by Chairman Mao about having relations in the States "back yard"
      Yeah,our foreign policy has direct lineage to that era.Trudeau senior started the whole shebang. Jean Chretien was his protege and is the second most vocal pro-CCP voice in Canada. Obviously, Trudeau Junior takes a lot from his father.

      The Chretien crew was particularly pro-active: in the early 90s, he took the top 400 business leaders in Canada alongside the provincial premiers on a trade mission to China. And then an even bigger trade delegations in the early 2000s.

      All swell and good, but the Canadian electorate is famously uninterested in foreign policy (we did not have a foreign policy debate and our last election). I doubt those 400 were any exceptions and I doubt they had the foresight to foresee the long-term consequences.
      Fast forward 30 years later, and they've just personally invested too much prestige and money to dial it back in spite of Beijing's humiliations.
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  • Profile picture of the author savidge4
    @Importexport

    You will probably have a far greater grasp of this than I do.. but here in 30 days or so the first of 4 postal increases is due to take hold. I suspected to see some increases in either price or the addition of postage to items across say Ali-express, but have yet to really see anything. Your insights?

    Points of reference: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/25/post...ex-impact.html

    This went through - obviously and there are a total of 4 possible dates for increases Jun and Dec 2020 and the same in 2021. REALLY REALLY hard to find details on all of this stuff but from what I have gathered there is "Somewhere" an actual set increase for packages coming from China to the States and the total will be brought in across 4 incremental increases hence the June and Dec 20 and 21 dates.

    Just to fill in a bit there are 192 countries in total that have these "Agreements" that in essence pays the country of delivery, to actually deliver the package. I being a small importer am obviously most interested in the increase as it pertains to China, Hong Kong, Taiwan etc.
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    • Profile picture of the author Importexport
      Originally Posted by savidge4 View Post

      @Importexport

      You will probably have a far greater grasp of this than I do.. but here in 30 days or so the first of 4 postal increases is due to take hold. I suspected to see some increases in either price or the addition of postage to items across say Ali-express, but have yet to really see anything. Your insights?

      Points of reference: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/25/post...ex-impact.html

      This went through - obviously and there are a total of 4 possible dates for increases Jun and Dec 2020 and the same in 2021. REALLY REALLY hard to find details on all of this stuff but from what I have gathered there is "Somewhere" an actual set increase for packages coming from China to the States and the total will be brought in across 4 incremental increases hence the June and Dec 20 and 21 dates.

      Just to fill in a bit there are 192 countries in total that have these "Agreements" that in essence pays the country of delivery, to actually deliver the package. I being a small importer am obviously most interested in the increase as it pertains to China, Hong Kong, Taiwan etc.
      The final decisions may have been made in China, but I have not yet seen anything published that would help importers with their planning, other than the fact that on April 28 China Post began imposing what they call an airline fuel surcharge on ePackets.

      The surcharge on packets to the USA is Yuan 90 per kg.

      What I am reasonably confident of is that the postal rate increases will be high enough to severely impact margins.

      In effect US taxpayers were subsidizing Chinese vendors, who were also being subsidized by the Chinese government.

      US manufacturers will be rejoicing that the changes are a small step towards leveling the good old playing field.

      Walter Hay
      Importexport
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      • Profile picture of the author socialentry
        Originally Posted by Importexport View Post

        US manufacturers will be rejoicing that the changes are a small step towards leveling the good old playing field.

        Walter Hay
        Importexport

        I heard it was much cheaper to ship raw materials to China, is this true?
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        • Profile picture of the author Importexport
          If you are referring to bulk raw materials such as iron ore, yes it is cheaper to ship that to China and buy the steel from them, rather than produce the steel.


          Despite that, there are still steel mills operating in at least two countries that have lots of iron ore: The USA and Australia.


          Walter Hay
          Importexport
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    Those posts above explained a lot to me - good to have experts to explain!

    Canada and China do indeed have a very tight financial relationship... and I think Canada is starting to see the underlying price they really have paid.
    Would not surprise me at all.

    What is very strange to me - and it may be the "chinese mindset" at work. I have avoided ordering from amazon chinese sellers....and it is so simple to avoid them.

    The English 'doesn't work'....the product descriptions always sound 'foreign'.....the chair is 'mostly comfort for your ease'....the dog toy is 'good play for dog chew'. The sellers spend a lot on ads - take the time to put their websites in western countries....and then assume the English they were taught is good enough to pass for native....it isn't.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    May be naive - but might Amazon rethink it's 'ship from' policies if and when the postage increases? Will cost them more for 'free prime' shipments - or perhaps they will cut those items OUT of 'prime'?


    I ordered a small item unavailable from US seller ($35 item) - knew it would come from china and expected a 3 weeks to delivery. It has been one month today since I ordered and the product only today is listed as having arrived in the US - no telling when it will get here.
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    • Profile picture of the author savidge4
      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

      May be naive - but might Amazon rethink it's 'ship from' policies if and when the postage increases? Will cost them more for 'free prime' shipments - or perhaps they will cut those items OUT of 'prime'?
      As I understand "Prime" it is when Amazon has the item in Their warehouse, vs delivery provided by the seller. I personally try to only order "Prime" when using Amazon.


      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

      I ordered a small item unavailable from US seller ($35 item) - knew it would come from china and expected a 3 weeks to delivery. It has been one month today since I ordered and the product only today is listed as having arrived in the US - no telling when it will get here.
      I think the issue here is the number of flights out of China. USPS does not have a fleet of planes and relies on Commercial passenger flights and other freight shipment companies. There are without question far fewer flights from China to the United States right now. And I thing the Freight Shipment companies are squeezing the USPS right now - which is amusing.

      Why this is amusing is I think everyone is forgetting this:
      Originally Posted by Importexport View Post

      The final decisions may have been made in China, but I have not yet seen anything published that would help importers with their planning, other than the fact that on April 28 China Post began imposing what they call an airline fuel surcharge on ePackets.

      The surcharge on packets to the USA is Yuan 90 per kg.

      What I am reasonably confident of is that the postal rate increases will be high enough to severely impact margins.

      In effect US taxpayers were subsidizing Chinese vendors, who were also being subsidized by the Chinese government.

      US manufacturers will be rejoicing that the changes are a small step towards leveling the good old playing field.

      Walter Hay
      Importexport
      Yuan 90 per kg is $12.72 so that works out to about $6.35 per pound which translates further to $.40 ( +/- ) per ounce.

      As I understand the Postage agreement this is increase 1 of 4 ( June and December 2020 and June and December 2021 ) that are supposed to be spread and equal increases. Meaning at the end of Dec 2021 the US price per kg should be almost $50.00

      THIS might explain the card that Trump appears to have up his sleeve in regards to the USPS - the exact same card that will be used to increase discounted prices with the likes of Amazon.

      To give you an idea of impact... the only "real" data I can find is dated 2012 where the USPS basically lost $79 Million delivering Out of country packages. The USPS was making $1.50 to deliver a 1 lb package. This new adjustment means they would be getting $6.00 ( roughly ) to deliver this package as of June 1st. I think the CCP can only subsidize this on their end for so long.. and at some point in the near future we will see a jump in pricing OR far less "Free Shipping"
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