The delivery times from China are very unpredictable.
Sometimes parcels arrive in only a week and sometimes you need to wait for 50 days!

Why is this delivery time so unclear?

Did you know that:

The delivery time is calculated as the sum of the processing time and the transmit time.

Note that the shipping time is just a part of the transmit time. So, although a company can promise fast shipping, there are still reasons why the delivery can take much longer. Let’s dig into it!


What is this Processing Time?

The processing time is the time that a company needs to get your order ready for transport. If the product is in stock, the processing time can be within 24 hours. But if it is not, the processing time can be a few days—or even up to a few weeks.

For example, at Lightinthebox, custom-made products like wedding dresses have a processing time of 10-14 days. LED lights and wall art have a processing time of 3-15 days.

The processing time depends on various factors.

1            Your payment must be approved by your bank

Some banks need time to confirm your payment, especially with credit cards. This takes 0 to 3 days in case of a weekend.

2            Production time

Some products are custom-made, like costumes or wedding dresses. This will add 10-14 days to the processing time.

3            Shipping in China

Products might not be in stock and need to be ordered from elsewhere in China. Like the LED lights at Lightinthebox, which can take 3-15 days.

4            Packaging the order

Some shops take extra time for packaging and quality control. This is another 0-2 days.

Not all these factors might be appropriate to your order. And the numbers of days are estimations. The total processing time for a regular product that is in stock can be just 1 or 2 days. With a more specific order it can be 2 weeks.

What is this Transmit Time?

The transmit time is the time that it takes to get your order from the store to your house. The shipping time is a part of it.

There are many factors that influence the transmit time.

1            Chinese customs

Sometimes your parcel gets stuck at the Chinese customs. This might happen when the declaration papers are not correctly filled out. Most of the times the Chinese customs are of no concern. But sometimes your parcel can get stuck here and it can stay there for an undefined number of days.

2            International shipping (premium)

This is what you pay for with premium shipping. The promised 3-8 days.

3            Clearance at your customs

If your parcel exceeds a defined amount of value, for example 22 euro in Europe, your customs might hold the parcel to calculate custom duty and sales taxes. With premium shipping services, the handling can be very fast. With the free shipping this can take 0-10 days.

4            Delivery in your country

Your postman has a job too, calculate 0-2 days.

5            You are not at home

I hate this and it happens all the time! Another few more days

Please don’t get overwhelmed by this huge list. Normally you will never notice the separate steps. But if your parcel doesn’t arrive fast, it may have gotten stuck in one of these steps.

How fast can you receive your order?

It is almost impossible to give a good estimation on how fast you can receive you order. Based on my own experience, the fastest free shipping took only 7 calendar days.

This is really fast. But I also had some parcels that got stuck at the both Chinese as European customs. In general, the process from ordering till receiving takes 2 to 3 weeks. A few times it took almost 50 days.

Get more info on Buying from China

This article is an extract of the Safe Buying in China Secrets – eCourse.
For more information, click here >>>

In which country do you live and how fast do you – at average – receive your packages from China? Do you use free or paid shipping?

Write your answers in the comment box below.

If you think this blog is valuable, please share this blog with your friends by pressing the Facebook, Twitter or Google+ buttons on the right.

Thank you for your answers!



Founder of StartBuyingInChina. It all started as an hobby. I liked to categorize the few Chinese stores I knew. After 6 years over 150 blogs were published. I created a wonderful online course about Safe buying online in China, and served over 1.000.000 people. Thank you for being here!

    41 replies to "How fast can you receive a parcel from China?"

    • Giorgos

      Very very thanks for the guide!

    • Chigozie

      Sir thank you very much, may God almighty continue to bless you.

    • Lungile Perseverance Sibanyoni

      Do you know shipping

      is it safe

      • Bastiaan

        It’s not a Chinese company as far as I can see.

    • Lungile Perseverance Sibanyoni


      What is the fast and price reasonable way of shipping


      • Bastiaan

        Please read the blogs about shipping, there is no quick answer.

    • vick

      with free delivery i receive ma package from china on about 35days

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.