Project update 6 of 6
I know, I know, the end of October ship date has come and passed. I’m extremely sorry for having missed the timeline I originally set for this project. For full transparency, the reason I wasn’t able to hit this was because of shipping and customs hangups. This is my first time ever shipping and coordinating internationally and truth be told it was a lot more difficult than I thought it was going to be.
Here’s the good news:
The boards are finished and are shipping.
Just take a look for yourself!
Orders will being shipping this January, after December’s holiday rush. Thanks for your patience!
Please take this time to check your delivery address, and update it through your Crowd Supply account if needed. Updating your shipping address helps avoid delays and get your orders shipped successfully. Once your order details have been sent out by our warehouse team for processing, it can be hard or impossible to re-route a shipment.
Please contact Crowd Supply Support with any shipping questions or concerns.
So let me talk a bit about the shipping hangups. It turns out it can be quite challenging to coordinate with someone on the other side of the planet and ship a box of components to China.
I’m going to give away some of the information I’ve gained on the subject for anyone who is willing to listen.
If you choose to do it solo through a company like FedEx or DHL expect to pay upwards of $300 for a 4 l.b. parcel. I eventually figured out you can use shipping services (I used Shippo) to get much better rates on international shipping. After I figured everything out I payed only $80 to ship my package to China through USPS. Also, a side note: USPS did a fantastic job of shipping internationally and I’ll most likely be using them exclusively going forward.
I tried to ship my components twice and got them rejected by outgoing customs (about a 1 week hangup each time) because I was missing some form or another. Before you ship your components you’re going to want to make sure you have a commercial invoice on the outside, a packing slip on the inside, and all required customs documentation.
This is the one that really got me, exports require some form of code categorizing what is going out in your package and the rules and regulations surrounding it are very complicated and not easily understood. An ECCN code is not necessary (I think?) if your package is under $2500 USD in value. I just put the text EAR99 as part of my customs documentation and, as I understand it, it’s more of a catch-all code for generic exports but I could be wrong.
To pass customs in China more easily, you’re implored to declare your package as a "gift" for the assembler and state that the value is below $700 USD. I took this route because I trust the assembler and even with everything I’ve listed above my package was still held in Hangzhou customs for about 6 days before finally being delivered to the assembler.
So that’s it, that’s everything I’ve learned about international shipping. I hope if anyone is reading this and planning to get some assembly outsourced to China in the future they’ll find it helpful.
I’ll keep everyone updated as I go through testing and final delivery of the boards.
Thanks again to all my backers.