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What are you paying for when you shop with SGshop?

What are you paying for when you shop worldwide with SGshop? Here is a breakdown of where your money goes. This posts specifically mentions China because the biggest and most popular shopping platform SGshop supports is Taobao, but the same applies to the other sites we support from the USA.

If you have previously purchased with SGshop, you know that there are two rounds of payment.

For the first round, your payment is for the (1) cost of the product, and (2) domestic shipping in China. Let me explain.

(1) Cost of the Product
SGshop does not sell its own products, so we do not set the prices of items. The items sold and their respective prices are set by the individual sellers. When you pay for this, 100% of it goes to the seller on Taobao or whatever site your item is from.

(2) Domestic shipping in China
This goes to whatever mailing company the seller you chose to purchase from uses. The domestic shipping brings the products from wherever the seller is in China to our warehouse – which is currently in Guangzhou. For example, if the seller you chose to purchase from operates from a remote location in Sichuan, do account for the time and costs to mail the items from there to our warehouse. The fee for this also goes to the seller who is paying for the mailing. We do not take any of this money.

After your items reach our warehouse in Guangzhou (as of the time of writing, anyway), you have to pay a second round, inclusive of (3) international shipping, (4) service fees, and (5) optional local delivery. More explanation below if you are interested.

(3) International Shipping
The price you pay for international shipping depends on either the volumetric weight of your parcel or the product weight, whichever is heavier. This is standard practice across international forwarders. This is also the reason why your payment has to be done in two rounds – we do not know the volumetric weight or product weight of your items until they arrive at our warehouse. You have 5 options for shipping your items from our warehouse in China to Singapore:

A. Special Air
B. Express Air
C. Economy Air
D. Normal Sea
E. Economy Sea

As you may already know, special air would be the fastest mode but it will also be most costly. Economy sea is the cheapest but it also takes a longer time. You can read more about this at our Help Centre: https://www.sgshop.com/help?help=50

Sometimes we have promotions that takes knocks off up to 50% of certain shipping methods. Look out for them by following our Facebook page!

(4) Service Fees
You will have to pay a fee of 4 – 8% to SGshop if you choose to use our Buy-for-Me programme. This is in return for the administrative support we provide, such as liaising with merchants on your behalf because there is a language barrier between you and the merchants. For example, if you purchase a $2.00 item on Taobao, we only collect $0.16 in service fees. The service fees charged are where SGshop gets the funds to sustain itself and pay its employees, including the Facebook admin who is writing this.

Although, you can reap greater savings when you purchase during certain promotional periods when we give out service fee discounts. Make sure to look out for them by following our social media channels.

(5) Optional Local Delivery
As stated, this is optional. If you do opt for home delivery, you will have to pay a delivery fee as this goes into paying for our vans, the fuel for the vans, and the drivers’ salaries.

You can save on this by opting for self-collection or MRT collection.


Thank you, if you have read this far. This post is to help shoppers understand where their money is going. We value transparency, so we want to help you make informed decisions when you shop.

Do leave a comment if you have any questions, and we will get back to you as soon as possible!

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