Right now Ergomech Store is offering two shipping methods:
- DHL/FedEx Express shipping
Since we're located in Vietnam, where shipping internationally is extremely expensive, we have to get creative, let's see what these all means.
These are pretty self-explanatory, we use DHL/FedEx to ship our packages. But the problem here is we don't deal with DHL/FedEx ourselves. We are a small business and even though we move quite a lot of packages every month, we're still too small for DHL/FedEx to take us seriously, thus, the rate they charges us is astronomical (twice or thrice what you can see on checkout). Of course, usually the customers pay for shipping, but nobody is gonna buy from us if we charge that much in shipping.
So what do we do? In Vietnam, we have a few of these shipping brokers, they combine packages from small business like us so they have large enough moving inventory, then arm with this quantity, they come to DHL/FedEx to get a huge discount, provided that they ship at the very minimum a set amount of packages every month. Through this brokers, we can reduce the shipping cost to a level, though still high, much more realistic for someone to pay. The broker we use is in another city from us, so it takes a few days for any packages to reach them.
This is a bit more complicated, it also causes us some pains, but then the price is so low, it might worth the trouble (We still might remove it completely if it's proven to be too much trouble).
This usually work in several stages:
- First, like with DHL/FedEx, we ship our packages to a shipping broker.
- Second, the shipping broker will bundle our packages with packages from many many small vendors, then they book an air freight to ship these items to their warehouse in the country of destination (they have 2 hubs that I know of: United States and United Kingdom). Unlike with DHL/FedEx, where they just use the negotiating power of a collective of small vendors, here they actually ship packages from small vendors together. At this stage, a tracking number is also generated, we can send this tracking to the customer, but it doesn't work yet.
- Once the package arrives at their hubs, a local shipping company will pick it up and the aforementioned tracking number is active and the customer can track their packages. This last miles usually last 1-2 days, by the time the customer can see the tracking active, they might have received the package the same day.
Now, we have been burned by this method several times. There was more than one occasion that the customers open dispute with paypal/credit card company because they cannot track the package. Most of the time the customers just cancel the dispute when they receive the items, but then the dispute has been lodged and our records with those gateways are tainted. We did lose money one time, though.
We would like to have cheaper, less complicated shipping, but that's not possible right now. So we'll keep trying our best to provide the best quality products with most affordable shipping methods.