Despite almost everything is made in China, there's still things you can't get and you want your family or friends to send it to you from home. Your main concern and biggest fear is whether it actually gets to you and not lost in some postal void. Here are some tips to help you get your mum's homemade cookies or your favourite condiments to you in China.
Make labels with your address for the sender to print out
Make a Word document and type your address with one using Pin Yin (phonetics) and the other typed in Chinese characters..
Don't know how to type in Chinese, get a local friend to help you. Hopefully the sender's computer can display Chinese characters. My mother's computer had no problem, she was using at least Windows 8.
Half an A4 page should be a good size; not too small that goes unnoticed and not too big that might get destroyed en route.
Then just send them an email attaching the document.
The purpose for the labels; in English the sender can copy to put on the shipping forms, and in Chinese the handlers can see where it is supposed to go. Long time ago gave my mother an address but only in PinYin, never received anything.
When typing in English, make it clear for the sender to copy when filling in a shipping form.
Whose name and number to use
If you use your name and the package arrives at a China Post office, then you'll have to go and pick it up from there, you'll need to show your passport.
You could use a Chinese friend's name, but they will then need to show their ID card to pick it up.
You can use your name, but have tour friend's phone number so they call them, who will let you know, and then you can go pick it up using your passport.
How to pack
When the sender is placing the label onto the box, make sure they stick adhesive tape entirely covering the label. This will make it water proof and not tear off en route.
Get the sender to stick one on each side just to be safe, and with the labels displaying your address typed in Chinese characters it should not have any problems arriving.
Filling out the shipping form
Thanks to so many Daigou's (personal shopper) in Australia who buy baby milk formula from the local supermarkets by the pallet, Australia Post has a good connection with China post. However, I don't know how good other countries' post offices are like.
As long as city, province and China are clear on the form, then the printed labels in Chinese should help it get to you.
For the sender, they need to select "gift" and not "commericial goods." They might have to list everything inside the package, but I've never had any problems with customs. From Australia to China, and choosing the cheapest option, it only took around ten days to arrive. From other countries I don't know how long it will take. Hopefully, you'll get the stuff from your loved ones without any problems.
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