Is Chinese goods better than USA
Ordering goods from China: You have to pay attention to this
Even the biggest bargain hunter's jaws drop at the low prices from Chinese online shops. The top smartphone for just under € 100 or the leather jacket of your choice for half the price? No problem! But ordering goods from China is more tricky than you might have suspected. We have summarized the most important facts about ordering from China for you.
Ordering goods from China: This is what the market looks like
Chinese online trade currently sees European consumers as a large, as yet untapped sales market. Since there is still no precise strategy as to how customers can be won here, the main focus is on Dumping prices set - and it seems to be working. In China shops you can find products up to 70% below the European sales value. These offers are intended to attract customers who then also buy the products of the Chinese manufacturers. These usually have low production costs and the dealers make an above-average profit. For example, the mobile phone manufacturer Xiaomi produces high-quality smartphones. Some of these are better than the latest model from the USA, but only cost half the price. The products are not innovative, but you can buy high-quality no-name products at a low price.
The “big players” in China
The fascinating thing: The China shops often have an amazing resemblance to the online shopping platforms we know like Amazon or eBay. The structure of the page is also mostly identical. However, the Chinese counterparts offer a much larger selection. However, most shops are very confusing and you have to click through a little to find the product you want. There is also a linguistic hurdle, because most shops are only available in English or in poor Google translations.
The largest provider currently out there is the platform AliExpress with a current annual turnover of 510 billion euros. The shop is very reminiscent of the Amazon we know. It is a large marketplace where different traders can offer their products. The process is quick and easy.
The online shop aliexpress.com is very reminiscent of Amazon.
If you are on a smaller platform, it usually becomes a little more difficult. The process here is usually more complex and you have greater problems asserting your consumer rights. You get what you pay for: a low level of service.
What to order from China: From the order to the return
In itself, the ordering process works like in a German online shop. Put the goods in the shopping cart and pay. So far so good. However, you often have to convert the price, as the platform prices are often only given in US dollars. The shipping costs are usually included in the price.
Many packages are sent from Hong Kong or the surrounding area. An order can take up to four weeks to reach you. I've waited seven weeks for a package myself. So you have to be patient here. In addition, some dealers offer so-called Warehouses in Europe. Then you have to pay a little more for the goods, but they will be delivered from other EU countries, i.e. within a few days.
Payment and returns
You can pay in most shops by credit card, instant transfer or PayPal. You have to be careful when it comes to returns. It is often difficult to complain about the products. The customer service usually does not respond to inquiries or speaks no German or only broken English. If the purchase value is less than € 10, the fight for the money is usually not worth it. But if you want to return something at a higher price, you need a lot of patience and assertiveness.
Beware of reviews
Just like in European online shops, be on the lookout for fake reviews. A frequent indication are no or consistently 5-star ratings. If in doubt, you should refrain from buying before you fall into a trap and lose your money.
Online ordering from China: This is what customs duties are like
Up to a shopping cart value of € 22, your purchase is out of the customs interest. However, you must note that the foreign sales tax but also any postage and transport costs must be included. If you order in a different currency, the official exchange rate of German customs applies. If you exceed the limit of 22 €, you have to pay import sales tax for your purchase. It could look like this, for example: You buy a product worth € 21.90. In addition, there are 5 € shipping costs. You now have to pay a total of € 26.90. Since the € 22 limit is exceeded here, you have to pay the additional import sales tax, which corresponds to the value added tax. However, you may also have to pay excise duty (for goods subject to excise duty such as alcoholic products, perfumes, tobacco and coffee products).
As soon as you have reached a value of 150 €, however, you have to expect customs duties in addition to the import sales tax (plus, if applicable, consumption tax). These are calculated according to the customs tariff.
Your purchasing, your responsibility
In fact, customs do not check every package. Possible import and customs fees are determined in random samples. Otherwise you are responsible for registering your purchase with customs. If this obligation is not fulfilled, you are committing a criminal offense and can be punished for it. In some cases, high fines are payable here. So that you are on the safe side, you should inform yourself accordingly at customs before making your purchase.
Ordering online from China offers both opportunities and risks
You can save a lot of money by shopping in Chinese online stores. If you are aware of the risks of a purchase and have informed yourself about the relevant customs regulations, it is worth taking a look at the online shopping world from the Far East. But even in European online retail you can often find real bargains and shop more conveniently and safely. In our over 30,000 certified shops, you can be sure that you will not be left at your expense.
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