ePacket: What it is, how it works (and more things you should know)

e packet

“Where’s my iPhone case? It’s been 5 weeks and still nothing. Give me my money back right now or I’m going to file a police report.
This is one of the main problems that he starts to dropshipping with Chinese suppliers (see Aliexpress).
It’s not nice for your customers to put you down just because the delivery time offered by Asian suppliers is a disaster. A customer sees a product that your website pays for and does not receive until two months later. It’s natural for them to get impatient and, at a certain point, start worrying if they’ve been ripped off.
When you shop at Amazon you don’t have this problem. You make your purchase and you can receive the product in just one day. And you get used to good things very quickly, don’t you?
But when you buy a €5 product and you have to import it from China, the delivery time is considerably longer. Some logistics operators, such as DHL or TNT, offer solutions to reduce these times, but the costs are going out of their way. And if a person buys a €5 item, they don’t want to pay €30 for shipping.
And this is where the ePacket shipment comes in.

ePacket: What it is and how it works

In 2011, the U.S. government decided to optimize logistics shipments from China. And so began the ePacket.
The U.S. Postal Service, Hong Kong Postal Service and eBay China realized that if they collaborated it could be very beneficial to all parties involved.
They established that packages from China and Hong Kong could be shipped via UPS. What does this mean?

  • This means that customers can trace the status of their order.
  • They don’t have to worry about it getting lost and never being heard from again.
  • If the order cannot be delivered, it is returned free of charge, which means you can issue a refund if something goes wrong and not reduce your profit margins.
  • It is MUCH faster and cheaper, which is what really matters to the customer.

The idea of ePacket was designed specifically for ecommerce. If you work with dropshipping, this is undoubtedly the best way to manage shipments to your customers.
Which countries can receive ePacket? Spoiler: United States and Great Britain is among them
Currently, there are 30 countries working with ePacket. These are as follows:

  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Croatia
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Great Britain
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Portugal
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United States

Advantages and disadvantages of ePacket

As in everything, there are good and bad things:

Advantages of the ePacket

It’s relatively cheap: Neither you nor your customers want to spend 30€ to send a 2€ spinner.
It’s faster: Another of the key points. The package will arrive sooner than with other types of shipping. Obviously, it will depend on what you are sending. We could be talking about 10-20 days. It’s not as fast as Amazon, but it’s not three months. Besides, people don’t mind waiting a little if they’ve bought something cheap enough. Fast shipping is one of the most important factors in optimizing the conversion of your store.
It offers tracking: And this is KEY. Being items that take longer than Amazon, the customer at least wants to know where their order is going.

Disadvantages of ePacket

Not all products can be shipped through ePacket, which means you will have to find another way to get it to the customer. Or you simply don’t sell the product (which may be a better option).
Some products only offer ePacket shipping to the U.S.
Not all countries are available through ePacket, as we told you before.

Why you shouldn’t use other shipping options

Yes, there are other options. But let’s be honest: on many occasions, they are a disaster.
They can be quite expensive (not always):
This shipment would cost you 37,68€, and the product costs less than 5€.
The ePacket, however, can be much cheaper. It is a clear choice most of the time.
Occasionally, there are different shipping options to ePacket faster. But ePacket usually has the best quality/price. In addition, tracking packages with methods other than ePacket can be greatly improved.

Some more details about ePacket

The price of ePacket

The cost varies from article to article. It is often “free”, which means that the supplier has simply incorporated the cost into the price of the item. Other times, it only costs a few euros per item:
An example of price difference. ePacket is 2 euros, and the next option already goes up to more than 20€.

ePacket delivery time

Like prices, delivery times will vary per item. It is almost always between 10 and 30 days.

Allowed sizes for package delivery

  • The maximum length of the package may not exceed 60 cm.
  • The sum of length, height and height may not exceed 90 cm.
  • The package may not weigh more than 2 kg.
  • The goods included in the package may not have a value greater than 400 dollars.

Can I use other alternatives to the ePacket?
Yes, of course you can. It’s all a matter of assessing whether it’s worth it. Generally, it’s not worth it.
The tracking of your package is very important. If the item you sell costs €10 and the ePacket is €2.50, a more advanced option, such as DHL, could cost you €15-20.
There are suppliers who offer free shipping, but it can take months and you won’t have the slightest idea where the item is.

How do I know if an item will be shipped via ePacket?

If you are going to place an order on AliExpress, go to “Orders” and click on “View details”. In the section “Logistics Information” you will see the column “International Shipping Company”. It should include “ePacket” as well as the tracking number.
If you are not making a purchase on AliExpress, you can be guided by the tracking number. ePacket tracking numbers usually start with the letter L. If there is no tracking number, the most logical thing to do is to think that the order will not be sent with ePacket.