Delivering door-to-door

By Pauline D. Loh ( China Daily ) Updated: 2013-11-05 07:12:01

The more intelligent ones will deliver to the reception or maintenance office and then call or leave a cute message.

"Dearest, your parcel has been delivered with loving care. Please collect it at the reception. Till we meet again."

"A little bunny just delivered your precious package. Please remember to pick it up when you fly home to your nest."

I have bought everything from furniture to vintage fountain pens and I can tell you what works, and what doesn't.

Don't buy things that are fragile. Although there are guidelines on breakages, it is really hard to try to get compensated if an item is broken, especially if its value is less than the return charges you pay for sending the shards back to the seller as proof.

Given the volume of online sales that is going on in China every day, courier companies have increasingly less storage space and increasingly more parcels.

Also, I am pretty sure they send their storekeepers to learn from baggage handlers at the worst airports.

I have had a porcelain hairpin delivered in 10 pieces, all still carefully swaddled in bubble wrap. The only explanation must be that someone had stomped on it, really hard. I forgot to check for footprints.

Don't buy things you need in a hurry.

You need to be patient, especially when you order from a vendor half a country away. Sometimes, it needs to be sent from village to city to county airport to a receiving center over at your end and then to the regional distribution hub before getting into the hands of your friendly local courier, who will then call you from the bottom of your block.

I tend to click on the same city online shops. First, deliveries are quicker, and if there are any disputes on quality, size or color, you can pick up the phone and clarify purchases without having to pay inter-city telecom rates.

Buying online is more pleasure than pain certainly, and the experience has already improved tremendously in the five years I've used the service.

Our weekly organic vegetable basket is ordered online, and my cleaning supplies come from yet another e-supermarket.

My next order will probably be a ton of soil for my garden, and a bigger shovel - all the better to bury the next recalcitrant courier appearing at the bottom of my block while I am away at work.

Related : Beijing, Beijing, where are you?

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