Cheap prices from Hong Kong on e-bay

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United Kingdom United Kingdom
Ghostrain1234
Kudos: 24
Joined: Apr 1, 2015
Cheap prices from Hong Kong on e-bay
1 Apr 2015
I have searched through the net to try to find how these very cheap Hong Kong and Singapore e-bay traders are able to sell so cheap. Some who list the product location as the UK are lying and the trading warehouse is actually in Hong Kong or Shenzhen.
If I sell at their prices I would lose money on most products despite having good volume buying in China.
I have noticed that the products are mainly light and less than£15.00 in value.
I have been told that Hong Kong parcel service will post to the UK at £5.00 per kilo,a kilo can contain 30-50 lightweight items,maybe only 20p each. Royal Mail parcels UK are committed to delivering any foreign mail free of charge,yes that's correct,a 40 grams parcel- 20p from Hong Kong to a UK private addresses. HMRC do not collect duty and vat on any parcel of less than £15.00 value.
So,a shipper out of Hong Kong shipping say a £2.00 item needs only to add PayPal-ebay fees and the very low HK parcel rates,that small product may land UK for £2.40,selling at say £3.95 is a profit,not sure how legal that is and surprised that Royal Mail and HMRC don't try to stop it,they both must be losing a lot of revenue.
Compare this with a product bought in from China in bulk,to the £2.00 must be added duty,ship cost in container,Royal Mail postage cost-£2.02 plus vat minimum,higher e-bay PayPal fees due to higher value,20 per cent vat,profit. That same item would have to sell at about £6.00 to achieve the same profit.
If you attempt to compete with the Hong Kong traders you would lose money.
The threshold point seems to be weight max 0.5 kg and £15.00 value but of course if you don't issue an invoice the value can be under declared. Note that some of these traders refuse to issue a vat invoice,they cannot give a vat invoice because they haven't charged any vat.
It only works when the receiving country charges no parcel cost and HMRC don't collect the vat and duty,you have also minimal shipping costs.
But is it legal to ship goods from Hong Kong knowing that HMRC will not collect the vat/duty?
In conclusion the 40 gram product can be shipped for 20p from Hong Kong to UK,that same item will cost £2.42 to post internally in the UK and £3.80 to ship from the UK to Hong Kong.
This situation must be stopped quickly,we should all complain to HMRC and Royal Mail otherwise a lot of traders will go bust. The Chinese are expanding and are getting crafty as to how to keep the post costs low,sometimes shipping as 2 parts to keep the value below £15.00
The solution is for Hong Kong parcels to charge the same rates as UK Royal Mail but they are collecting the postage monies for almost no effort,Royal Mail are doing all the work....once again we are the mugs of the world. Note these sellers will not ship to any other country I suspect that the parcel service and customs in other countries are not so lax as the UK.
Comments most welcome
Herts, England United Kingdom
Andy
Kudos: 11,626
Joined: Jan 1, 2001
Re: Cheap prices from Hong Kong on e-bay
2 Apr 2015
Hi, welcome and thanks for posting! This is a good question to bring up.

Ghostrain1234 wrote:

Note these sellers will not ship to any other country I suspect that the parcel service and customs in other countries are not so lax as the UK.
Actually, it's the same situation in the US and Australia and almost certainly the whole of the Western world. I think you're seeing the effects of the Universal Postal Union, which sets the rules and costs for international mail.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Postal_Union
www.washingtonpost.com/news/st...ou-buy-cheap-stuff-from-china/

I'll leave it to others to discuss your other points!
Andy Geldman, Web Retailer
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United States United States
Dappled Moon
Kudos: 77
Joined: Jan 28, 2015
Re: Cheap prices from Hong Kong on e-bay
9 Apr 2015
I have also wondered how these cheap items can ship free like that. I want to add international buyers to my sale spots, but am a dunce on the cost of shipping to different countries. I studied some on it and got in $20 or more range for little items. I signed up for a shipping service like ebay has for international, but have not really figured that out yet either. I sell on Etsy, Ecrater, Ebay and am going to add on products to webstore. (Which I have a store on, but left it for ebay until I learned I could list in multiple places) I am going to list on there also and see how it goes. I like your post, but did not comprehend it totally.
Herts, England United Kingdom
Andy
Kudos: 11,626
Joined: Jan 1, 2001
Re: Cheap prices from Hong Kong on e-bay
14 Apr 2015
Just came across a good article on this topic at Practical Ecommerce:

www.practicalecommerce.com/col...merchants-ship-to-U-S-for-free
Andy Geldman, Web Retailer
Please follow on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+
United States United States
Dappled Moon
Kudos: 77
Joined: Jan 28, 2015
Re: Cheap prices from Hong Kong on e-bay
24 Apr 2015
@Andy Thanks for finding this article and letting us know.

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