Mailing Stuff to China

Matt | China Post (Mailing) | Sunday, March 16th, 2008

Some of my most frustrating experiences since coming to China involve the post offices (China Post).

I remember my first Christmas, living in a small town and trying to send gifts home. Trying to convince the postal worker that my $2 fake calligraphy was not a national treasure, was a challenge as she spoke no English, I spoke limited Chinese. We both showed each other our interpreter books and somehow it got sent.

Now, I don’t think it’s a Chinese postal thing only, as postal workers in other countries don’t have such great reputations. The frustrating part about in China is 1) the language barrier, and 2) the lack of customer service. China isn’t known for customer service.

Still, recently I’ve learned that I cannot receive packages to my apartment address and I don’t know why. So far, I’m missing…

  • Toastmasters manuals
  • Toastmasters manuals resent
  • Christmas package from my sister
  • Christmas package from my brother
  • Toastmasters order (yes, i’m that slow that i’d order again)
  • 3 books from Amazon.com

Now there are lots of reasons why there could be problems with these packages being delivered. The address I wrote was in English and this usually causes problems. Also, I may have wrote it out wrong.

Some weird things also are here too. Every month I receive a Toastmasters newsletter, but when I order a package it doesn’t arrive. Also, I ordered from Amazon.com before and got the package fine and actually a few days early. These addresses have not changed, but the result has. No packages.

Some key learnings:

  • Don’t mail stuff to your home address.
  • Mail packages to your work/school address. This way you are highly likely to get it. Also you have the business card in Chinese and English so you won’t mess up the address.
  • If mailing personal stuff from home, get a tracking number. In China, they have billions of packages in the mail every day and without a number they are practically useless in helping you find your lost stuff.

One nice tip I learned from was if possible make address labels for your family to mail you stuff with the address in Chinese. You could get the admin staff at your school to help you with the address. If you do this, there is a very high chance that you will have no troubles at all with the post. Good luck.

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