With rehearsal packaging you can save yourself lots of money up front, and everyone who understands a bit of economics knows that money in your pocket is worth more than money in your wegobuy account, that you only get after a few days.
Follow this guide to learn about rehearsal packaging, the concept is the same for all agents, but the steps in the guide apply to Wegobuy and Superbuy. Part 1 is theory , why and when it makes sense, and part 2 is the guide.
Update November 2021
While lots of the thoughts and implications in this post are still correct and worth reading, in order to understand the theory behind it, the recommended procedure changed. It is now recommended to submit the item, without paying, and then choose the first option, instead of the second option as seen on the screenshots here. Please watch the YouTube video for details.
You’re wondering what we’re talking about?
Understanding why you have to give an upfront payment is a key to being a calm and collected customer
When you click together your parcel, the agent can only guess how much it will cost in the end, because just adding the weight of the items won’t do the deal, because every parcel comes with net weight and most shipping services use volumetric shipping. Given this situation, they can either ask you to pay as much as their honest best guess would be, with the risk of it being more expensive, taking the parcel back and asking you for more money. Or they could – and this is what they actually do – ask you for significantly more money, for which they can definitely send your item on the way and then refund the leftover money to you. You can then withdraw it or use it for your next purchase.
This concept is not understood by people, who commonly take the upfront cost as the real cost and get really upset because it is too high, as we discussed in this controversial post.
The advantage of rehearsal packaging
The concept is really simple. For a few cents the agent actually puts together your parcel, hence the name. This will allow them to give you a concrete price, not just an estimate. You can then pay this concrete price, saving you the overcharged upfront fee.
Another big advantage is that with the actual weight you can select shipping lines that were not available with the estimated weight that was set very high, for the reasons we explained before. If you pursuit a certain customs strategy, knowing the weight might also be an advantage.
Money in your wallet is of course better than money in your wegobuy balance, as you can use it for everything you want, including wegobuy. It gives you more flexibility and from an economical standpoint you could earn interest on it. And we’re not taking into account the time it takes for them to determine the refund and the transactional costs involved.
Is rehearsal packaging worth it?
The short answer: yes, unless you buy very frequently.
For the long answer we will use an example: The average parcel shipped is 3.5kg. For our calculation we estimate a cost of $70, without the upfront premium. With an upfront premium that’s usually around 50%, the total is $105 in this example.
Rehearsal packaging costs ¥20 which is about $3 USD.
The upfront charge is $105. These $35 extra come with a conversion fee of ~6% (source). For customers that don’t pay in USD this will be even higher.
|With rehearsal packaging||Without rehearsal packaging|
|$3 fee for rehearsal packaging||$2 conversion fee|
|2 days time||$35 stuck in your wegobuy account|
|? conversion fee for refund|
As you can see, you save yourself little money and bind lots of it to your account if you choose not to do rehearsal packaging. It also gives you peace of mind to know exactly how much it will cost beforehand. For heavier parcels it makes even more sense, as the numbers on the right side of the table rise.
If you are a frequent customer, having the money in your account might not bother you, and since you top-up your account frequently, you would need to pay the conversion fee anyways. In that case, rehearsal packaging might be $3 wasted. Unless it gives you more choices for your shipping route.
On the warehouse screen, select the items for rehearsal packaging and click “Apply for Rehearsal Packaging” in the top right corner.
For our way, you must select option 2.
The route for option 1 would be submitting a parcel, then choosing rehearsal packaging. The problem with that method is that it doesn’t allow you to use other shipping services or to change them, based on the results of the rehearsal packaging. You also won’t be able to easily add or remove items, or change the composition of the parcel, unless you cancel which brings you back to option 2.
You will be lead to a taobao item that you have to purchse to get the rehearsal packaging service.
On the shopping screen, which you already know, make sure option 2 is selected. Try to give them the logistics line you want to take, but you can still change it down the road. Then check out the shopping cart.
It is important to leave a note here. Tell them about your intentions, then it’s easier for them to help you. Then finish your payment
After a few days, customer service will send you a message like this. Now you can go to the warehouse page and submit your parcel.