What Really Happens When Shopping Online


Online shopping has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. On one hand, we get to skip lines at the mall and shop from the comfort of our home. On the other hand, it might arrive at our doorstep looking like it’s been really damaged during transport.

What happens in between ordering online and receiving the package is a mystery for most of us, but here’s a rundown:

The moment an order patches through from your regular shopping site to the hosted seller, we don’t have much to do but wait around for updates and tracking the package until it arrives. This is something all too common among people who have used online shopping. In reality, after placing your order online, a company partnered with your shopping platform does most of the heavy lifting: the courier.

Collecting from seller

It starts when the seller has prepared your order and the courier comes to collect it from wherever the seller is based. Things might get a little confusing when it’s abroad or when your shopping platform uses multiple couriers at a time.

Sorting at the courier depot

After the item is collected, it goes straight into a depot owned by either the courier or the shopping platform. This depot is where most orders come and go to be repackaged, accounted for, and redelegated to a particular courier with your location and package size in mind. These depots have more people working for them so don’t expect your package to stay here for too long.

Going in transit

Your order now goes through transit in bulk. Couriers usually have contracted logistics partners that equip their vehicles for both sea and air cargo loading systems for the loading of both ship and plane. Depending on how well-equipped both the courier and logistics partners are and how they perform, some of the packages may get damaged en route.

Going through customs

If your seller or shopping platform is based abroad, your order has to go through your country or state’s Bureau of Customs or some equivalent of it. These bureaus usually inspect each package to make sure that nothing suspicious is being sent to and from the area of jurisdiction. Depending on how your customs system, this can take anywhere from just a few hours to months at worst.

Delivery by courier

Receiving online order

The courier then brings it to a regional or state office to be able to distribute it. This takes anywhere from days to weeks depending on how busy your vicinity is when it comes to shipping. Some couriers ask for the contact number of the recipient so that they can call during the delivery.

Shipping can make or break your online shopping experience. No one wants a dented box or a damaged item, after all. In every stage, your package is handled by different companies and authorities that may have made your experience unsatisfactory. Although it may seem fitting for us to leave a scathing review, we have to try and direct these to the proper authorities so we can figure out what really happened.

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