FAQ for Users from India

Payments, Commission, Shipping Cost:

1. What is the service Commission Rate?
The commission rate can be 3%-10% of the total value of item cost and domestic shipping cost. For small orders, we charge 10% to non-VIP user, and 8% to VIP user; For large wholesale orders, we offer Special Offer rates of 3%-8% and the detailed rate depends on your orders. You can check more information about our Special Offer conditions in this document: http://freeshoppingchina.com/Special_Offer_For_Regular_Buyers.zip

2. Do you accept Paypal payment?
Sorry, we have stopped accepting Paypal since 2012. Paypal's conditions and terms are different from FSC's. Paypal's terms are more suitable to direct sellers instead of purchasing/buying agents.

3. What payment method do you accept?
Visa, Mastercard, America Express cards are used in most orders. Also we support Western U-nion and Bank Wire Transfer(T/T). In India, it's not possible to use Western U-nion, but Bank Wire Transfer(T/T) is no problem. However, due to the Chinese VAT and India custom limitation, only Bank Wire Transfer(T/T) under personal name from India is supported. 

4. Is visa, mastercard payment safe?
Yes. We are currently using Alipay and DHPay payment gateway to accept Visa and Mastercard payment. When you are making payments, Alipay or DHPay cashier page will be called out to collect your card information instead of our pages, which means the card information is not exposed to us at all but only collected by Alipay or DHPay, and your card information is fully secured. As for what is Alipay and DHPay, you may want to google it.

5. Can debit card be used for payment?
As far as we know, if your debit card is Visa or Mastercard, it can be used. But in some countries, we also received reports that debit card are denied. You may want to try it to see if it works. In India, some of our customers successfully used debit cards to make the payments. If you see failure, you can also try call your card issuer bank to see if there is any limitation. Some issuer limits the international and USD payment by default, so you need to call them to enable it.

6. Is there escrow to protect my payment and order?
Currently we are only running our service in our website http://www.freeshoppingchina.com and we are not utilizing any escrow service on our website. Usually escrow service is used in platforms like alibaba.com, ebay.com. As we are independent website and running for many years, you can always do some investigation and research on our site before you feel confident in our company and our service.

7. Can you give me a total quotation of the items I want to buy, including shipping and custom taxes?
Sorry, we can't because we don't know the total weight and volume which decides the shipping cost. Usually users know much better than us to the items they purchase and can make better estimations on the weight and volume. Once the weight and volume can be estimated, user can use our Cost Estimator tool(http://www.freeshoppingchina.com/page.php?action=estimates) to estimate the shipping cost. The tool can also be found in top right or bottom right of every page in our website. The custom tax is about 30% of item value in India, but the detailed fee depends on what items you purchase. However, if you use GATI Special Line, you don't need to pay any custom taxes. It's tax free special line.

International Shipping

8. How much does it cost to ship to India?
Usually we ship to India via GATI Special Line. It only takes about one week and most importantly, it's custom TAX FREE!! Which means you can save the custom taxes, which is usually 30% of the item value. The shipping price is in our system and you can get the cost estimation with our Cost Estimator tool: http://www.freeshoppingchina.com/page.php?action=estimates. If you are a wholesaler purchasing a lot and want to further cut down the shipping cost, you can also find your own shipping forwarder to get much cheaper shipping. As far as we know, there are some.

9. Can you offer cheaper shipping?
Currently we ship to India via GATI Special Line and China Post which are safest with high reliability. If you want to find cheaper shipping, you may want to find your own shipping forwarder to have them ship your goods for you. In this way, we will focus on the purchasing and inspection jobs and later ship to your forwarder by domestic logistics or have your forwarder come pick up to finish our job. After that, your shipping forwarder will ship to you. For more details, please refer to: http://freeshoppingchina.com/wholesale_large_order.php.  This topic is for large LCL and FCL orders, your orders may not be big order, but you can still read it as the process is the same as long as third party shipping forwarder is engaged. For short, FSC work for you under EXW term.

10. What is the GATI Special Line shipping? Is it tax free?
GATI company may be well known in India. GATI has developed a special line to help users ship goods from China to India in fast speed, usually about one week, while the China Post shipping usually takes 2-4 weeks in most cases. More importantly, GATI can help you handle custom clearance completely and you don't need to pay custom taxes!! This is extremely helpful to save much more when purchasing from China, usually about 30% of the item value. All users from India purchasing with us like GATI. For more information about GATI Special Line, please read this topic: http://freeshoppingchina.com/help.php?action=view&id=151

11. Can you send my goods to my forwarder company in China(Chinese Address)?
Yes, it's suggested when you are purchasing bulk from 1688.com and later ship to your forwarder's warehouse or have your forwarder come to pick up. The most steps are the same as in common process, and the only difference is that when in 2nd payment, you need to fill your forwarder's Chinese address in the shipping information form so that we will ship your parcels with domestic shipping to your forwarder's warehouse. For more details, please refer to: http://freeshoppingchina.com/wholesale_large_order.php.  This topic is for large LCL and FCL orders, your orders may not be big order, but you can still read it as the process is the same as long as third party shipping forwarder is engaged. For short, FSC work for you under EXW term.

BTW, make sure you do the following when requesting FSC to send goods to your forwarder:
a.)  Fill the shipping information in 2nd payment page with your forwarder's warehouse address in Chinese characters(Not billing information). If you are not able to type or copy and paste the Chinese, please send the photo of image of the address to service@freeshoppingchina.com for help, or contact your forwarder for help.
b.) Remark the Marking Code in 2nd payment page. Marking code is usually used when third party shipping forwarders are engaged and is defined by your forwarder. If you are not aware of your marking code, please ask your forwarder for it. If the marking code is ignored, you parcel will probably get lost during transition and nobody is going to be responsible for it.
c.) Remark other additional packaging requirements per your forwarder, if any.

12. Can I pick up or have my forwarder pick up parcels from your warehouse?
Yes. But we will need to charge additional packaging cost and handling fee in this case. This cost is usually implicitly included in the shipping fee so we don't charge it explicitly in most cases. However, if you want to pick up or want your forwarders to pick up the parcels, this cost will be exposed to you. To make it, you need to select "China" as destination country in 2nd payment page and select "Pick up By Customer" option as shipping method. After that, notify your forwarder to pick up from our warehouse and notify FSC the date of picking up. 

Purchasing, Limitations and Domestic Shipping

13. Can you find the cheapest supplier/product for me?
This is actually a sourcing job. As sourcing is complicated, there may be a lot of additional communication jobs which take a lot of time while there may probably no deal in the end. Therefore, we don't offer free sourcing. If you still want us to source products for you, we will charge you 10USD/hour as value added service, which is out of the coverage of our commission. However, if you only want to get some search result with some keywords, you can just send us and we can do it for free as it won't take too much time.

14. Can you guarantee the product quality?
Good product quality may include the following: 1.) Surface is in good condition; 2.) Function and design are good; 3.)The material is good. We can only check the surface for you for free. We call it surface inspection or integrity inspection. For the other two points, we are not able to check for free. If you are still having the requirement to have us check for you, you will need to discuss with us as additional value-added service, which will be charged additionally. Be aware that we are purchasing/buying agent, not direct seller. We don't have the chance to select suppliers but just following your instructions to do the purchasing jobs for you by contacting the suppliers you specified.

15. Can you guarantee the products are authentic, original or genuine?
We are only purchase agent and can only help you purchase and perform surface inspection on the items. We can not identify if the item is authentic, original or genuine. We can only help you find defected, damaged, incorrect items for return and change or refund. For more details, please refer to our Purchase Limitation and Tips: http://www.freeshoppingchina.com/help.php?action=view&id=132

16. Can I return the item and get the refund if I'm not satisfied with the item?
Sorry, perhaps you are not able to return it for refund only because you are not satisfied with the item. We are purchase agent not direct seller, we only work for you to make the purchase from 1688.com and taobao.com possible, but not guaranteeing 100% customer satisfaction on the product as we have no chance to select the source and we don't add additional price on the item to cover this additional risk cost. Therefore, make sure you purchase samples first or check the item carefully before placing bulk orders. For more information about Return Policy and Order Cancellation, please check the terms in the foot part of every page.

17. Can you buy cell phone, tablet pc and power bank?
These items are with batteries inside which are not accepted by China Post. Therefore, we are not able to ship them via China Post. However, if you are going to use your own third party shipping forwarder, we can still purchase them for you and later hand over to your forwarder as long as your forwarder accept them and can ship them for you. Also, please be aware that we don't check the item's function so we are not responsible for any risk of electronic item's function disabilities.

18. I don't understand Chinese, how can I read the item information on taobao and 1688.com?
Of course, you don't need to know Chinese. Instead, you can use google chrome browser's translating function to translate the Chinese pages into English and make them readable. For more details, please read: http://freeshoppingchina.com/help.php?action=view&id=135 and http://freeshoppingchina.com/help.php?action=view&id=137

19. Can you negotiate the price with the supplier/seller to get the lowest price for me?
Usually the prices on 1688.com are already wholesale prices and different prices for different quantities are defined in the item detail pages. If you are going to wholesale in large quantity and you don't find the related price, you can ask us to negotiate with suppliers for you.  However, if you are going to purchase in small quantity or retail, we may not be able to do it for you as it usually makes nothing different but costing us a lot of time.

20. I want to buy from 1688.com, how can I do it?

21. Why my orders are taking so long time to purchase?
Usually normal orders will be handled within 24 hour by FSC purchasers. If the orders are paid by credit card, they will be handled within 48 hours. However, the following cases may cause delays:
a.) Users remark with improper information. For example, users remark with colors that suppliers don't not offer, or the quantity in the remark field is conflicting with the information in the quantity field. These improper remarks will stop FSC's purchasers from going ahead placing orders to the supplier. Instead, complex communication will be sent back and forth to confirm and correct the information, which usually takes days.
b.) Sometimes, the suppliers/sellers may send damaged items or incorrect items by mistake. FSC will return them for change or refund after surface inspection. And return and change process usually takes 5-10 days.
c.) The suppliers/sellers are running out of stock or need more days to prepare the items, especially for orders on 1688.com. This happens a lot, so you can't expect the supplier from 1688.com to ship your items right away with the speed of retail order on taobao. You need to give them some time.
d.) After submitting shipping, some users may want to change mind of the packaging, for example, the users may want to remove the shoe boxes to reduce weight, or to add more items into the parcels. This will cause more communication and duplicate jobs, and more days will be needed.

Therefore, make sure you always make appropriate purchase plans and give enough time to FSC and suppliers to make the purchase. Also, you need to try best to avoid improper remarks or changing mind, which takes more time.
22. Why is my parcel so heavy? Is there a mistake?
Sometimes, we were asked by some users this question because the weight data was higher that their expectation. And usually there was no mistake as FSC's warehouse always double confirms the weight and size data which will be used for calculating shipping cost. If there is any mistake which causes shipping cost difference, users can always take the photo evidence of the weight data and contact FSC's customer service for return of the cost difference.
According to FSC's experience, the following items may cause high weight data and you may need to think it twice before ordering: 
a.) Shoes. Shoes are heavy when they are with original package boxes. And the parcel's volume will also be large if original boxes are included, which may cause possible high shipping fee when the shipping company is calculating the volume for shipping cost. Therefore, if the boxes are not needed, it's suggested to remove them.
b.) Boots. Boots are always very heavy and the weight can be 1.5kg-2kg per pair, or even higher. Make sure you have enough profit margin when purchasing them for reselling. Of course, you also need to confirm if they are affordable if you purchase them for self-use.
c.) Electronic and professional items. Some of the professional items can be big and heavy, you need to estimate it with professional knowledge.
d.) Bags and handbags. Leather bags can be a little bit heavy when you are purchasing them in large quantity. Make sure you investigate and learn the data before ordering.
e.)Packaging materials. When FSC repacks your items, cartons and additional materials will be added to make sure the items will be safely protected during shipping process. These materials may cause some additional weight and volume. And it should be considered into the total weight when you estimate the weight.
23. Is there a way to cut down the domestic shipping?
There are two methods of domestic shipping: domestic express and domestic logistics. For small parcels under 30kg, you can only use domestic express; for large or heavy parcels above 30kgs, domestic logistics can be used. The domestic logistics' price for every kilo is much lower than domestic express. Therefore, the way to cut down the domestic shipping is to make appropriate purchase plan to consolidate the orders and make the parcels above 30kg. 

Specially, if you are using your own shipping forwarder and wholesaling large quantity from the same suppliers, we can also have the supplier to ship to your forwarder's warehouse directly, instead of shipping to FSC then shipping to forwarder again. This can save one domestic shipping trip and greatly cut down domestic shipping cost for large orders.
24. What items can be purchased?
Basically we suggest you purchase the products which are small, light and profitable. Many of our users are purchasing clothes, fashion jewelries, electronic accessories. Usually as long as they are easy to ship, you can check the profit margin to see if it's worth to purchase and import to India market. Don't buy large and heavy item as later you will not be willing to see the high international shipping fee.

25. What items can't be purchased?
All of the items rejected by shipping companies are not able to be purchased. More specifically, they are: Dangerous items, chemicals, batteries, strong magnet, cosmetics, powder, liquid, biochemical products, fresh foods, foods, medicines,adult toys/tools, replica and items with patent issues. Be Aware: Battery items are also treated as sensitive items. Most shipping companies don't accept them. So as long as the item is including batteries, like cell phone, tablet, laptop, power bank, it will not be supported. If you insist to purchase them, you will need to find your own shipping forwarder to ship them. Specially, cell batteries are not in this limitation. 

26. How long will the item be delivered if I place order now?
This depends on the supplier's lead time. Usually most 1688 suppliers can ship out in 3-7 days, and the domestic shipping takes about 3-5 days to reach our warehouse. So usually it takes about 1-2 weeks for the items to arrive in our warehouse, and considering the international shipping to India will take another one week to delivery in India, the total time will be about 2-3 weeks. If the supplier is having longer lead time like 1-2 weeks, the total time will be longer.

27. What are the difference of 1688.com and taobao.com?
1688.com is only for wholesale.It's the biggest wholesale website in China and is also known as alibaba.cn. Yes, it's Alibaba Chinese site. It's not just a language difference, but completely a site for Chinese only for internal wholesale business, and the source price is definitely much cheaper than that on international Alibaba site. Taobao.com is just famous as the biggest C2C market in China, it's for retail in most cases. The speed on taobao is faster than that on 1688.com, but of course, the price is higher.

28. Do you have a guide to teach me how to place order on 1688.com and taobao.com?
Yes. The tutorial is ready. Please read this page: http://freeshoppingchina.com/help.php?action=view&id=13

29. Can I buy samples?
Usually there is MOQ in 1688.com. When placing orders, we need to make sure the order quantity meets the MOQ otherwise we are unable to place orders on 1688.com. Most suppliers on 1688.com set a very low MOQ condition, like 3 pcs. So if the item is not of high value, you can just place the MOQ quantity for samples. If the item is of high value, we need to contact the supplier to see if they can offer sample. But all in all, there is no free sample. Some special sample request for customized item, the sample price is much higher than the normal single price.

30. I have a lot of friends and followers, do you have referral bonus if I introduce people to use your service?
Yes, of course. Currently we are having an affiliate program running. Affiliate is the professional calling of this behaviour, which is part of the advertisement plan. FSC has opened the affiliate entry in member center and you can click the related links in the left column in member center to activate your affiliate privileges and check the related data. FSC offers bonus(commission) to you when the users you referred purchase products with us without time limitation. That is to say, as long as the users you referred are continuing make purchases, you will get bonus(commission) continuously. And the way to make it is also very simple. You only need to get the referral link in the affiliate page and send to your followers or paste it on your blog, facebook pages or emails to have them click on it to register as an user. And our system will automatically track it afterwards. 

Therefore, if you are having friends or followers who are seeking a way to purchase from China, especially for wholesale business, don't miss this Win-Win-Win chance!

Tags:FAQ for Users from India

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