How Sellers Can Afford to Send from China

Are you wondering how sellers can afford to send from China? We can’t afford the returns. It often costs more to send things back than the items cost to begin with. Countless people end up stuck with unwanted merchandise. It’s not worth taking a chance.

I recently asked a local post office employee how sellers in China can afford to send items to the USA. His answer was what I had feared. I will never again buy merchandise from a seller that claims to be in China or any other international location. Some have clever ways of getting people to keep unwanted things.

Where the Merchandise Really Comes From

You might wonder, how can someone in China can afford to sell to people in the USA. Some even offer free shipping on cheap items. This is how sellers can afford to send from China. They use American shippers! The item that you ordered didn’t likely come from China, at least not directly. It was probably made it China, and it likely looks like it came from there too. How can they do it? They slap a return address label that says it’s from China. That shouldn’t be allowed. It looks authentic right down to the Chinese writing, but that’s not where it was likely sent from. When the item doesn’t fit or arrives broken, you won’t be able to send in back using the return address on the label because of cost. That’s how they avoid returns.

One Billion Customers: Lessons from the Front Lines of Doing Business in China

View it at AmazonOne Billion Customers: Lessons from the Front Lines of Doing Business in China

My Experience with an Amazon Order from China

I ordered an American flag sweatshirt from China on Amazon. I figured that I could return it if it didn’t fit, but I was wrong. They gave me two options. I could accept $6 and keep the item that didn’t fit, or I could send it back at my expense. It cost $22 to return a sweatshirt that was only $13.00! They said that it worked out about the same. No, it didn’t! I didn’t understand how they arrived at that figure. It made no sense.

How Sellers Can Afford to Send from China – Using Shady Business Practices

They said that I needed to provide proof that it was returned and they would provide a refund. I asked if they would give me a shipping label. They replied, but they avoided my question. That’s when I went to the post office and learned the shipping cost. Of course, I chose their preferred option. What else could I do? I wasn’t about to spend $22 to send back a $13 item. That would have been stupid.

What is the Amazon China Post Scam?

When I found out that it wasn’t worth returning, I asked the postal worker how they could afford to send it to me since it was only $13.00. I was told that it was likely sent by someone they partnered with in the USA. They didn’t provide the address where it really came from. That’s why they avoided my question. They provided a response that didn’t make sense, but they knew exactly what they were doing, and they knew exactly what I was asking. If they had given me the American address, I could have returned their shirt. They didn’t want that! They would have lost the sale. Instead, they lost a future customer, and I’m sharing my experience with others.

SUNYIK Teardrop Rainbow Abalone Shell Tree of Life Pendant Necklace

View it at AmazonSUNYIK Teardrop Rainbow Abalone Shell Tree of Life Pendant Necklace

The Partial Refund Scam

I didn’t realize the scam until I agreed to accept $6.00 to keep the item that I couldn’t use. It was clear that they weren’t going to agree to accept the return through Amazon until I agreed to accept the partial refund. It’s what they wanted. When I agreed to the partial refund, they hit the magic acceptance button on Amazon. That’s when the real return address was provided. That’s when the scam became apparent too. If only I had that address in the first place, but all that I had was the Chinese shipping label.

The Savings Isn’t Worth the Risk

American sellers accept returns. What makes these sellers special? Shouldn’t they follow the same rules? I don’t know how many sellers from China use shady business practices since that was my first and only purchase and attempted a return to China. I don’t care either. I’ll never buy anything that’s supposedly coming from China again. I have no way of knowing who is honest and who isn’t. Unscrupulous sellers give a bad name to all. The savings isn’t worth the risk.

What to Do if it Costs Too Much to Return an Amazon Item to China

Now that you know how sellers can afford to send from China, you’ll know what to do if you want to return something through Amazon. If you run into the same problem that I did, demand the U.S. postal address right from the start, and keep all correspondence through When they refuse to give you a shipping label, or if they avoid your question, it’s time to involve Amazon. File a dispute.

For me, it wasn’t worth the effort at the time. I don’t even know if I would have succeeded. As for my daughter’s tiny sweatshirt, after I have a sewing machine, I’m going to make it into a handbag. They have a clever scam going, but they won’t fool me twice. My sewing machine will come from a seller in the U.S.A.


Kimberly Dalessandro (a.k.a. Crystal Ray) began her online writing career in 2005 with PageWise Incorporated and went on to become a top writer for both Associated Content and Yahoo Voices under the pen name Crystal Ray. In early 2017 she launched Blue Crystal Sky ~ Everything Under the Sun. She is continually coming up with new ideas to share with the world.

4 thoughts on “How Sellers Can Afford to Send from China

  • May 12, 2016 at 4:56 PM

    @kimdalessandro Thanks for posting this. I think, I was scammed like this a couple of times but just didn’t fully realize it until after reading your article.

  • April 29, 2016 at 6:50 AM

    I handled sales and purchasing for many years in the Philippines. I know local and international shipping costs that is why I never buy things online for personal use.

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