Gearbest warehouses decoding: where do they ship from...

Jun 4, 2018


Some Gearbest products are available from various warehouses outside China or HK.
Such warehouses appear with the prefix "G-W-" which tells you nothing about their actual location.  

Choosing the right warehouse can dramatically reduce the waiting time and, sometimes, the final cost.
When purchasing from Gearbest web site, the default warehouse location is generally China/HK.
It always offers the cheapest price compared to the other warehouses and the free shipping makes those deals even more appealing.

China vs Euro warehouses
Buying from the right European warehouse, market as "G-W-" on the product page offers 2 advantages:
1. The most obvious: shorter shipping time.
2. Less evident: it may cost less in final. 
The higher price from European warehouses already includes the import taxes and there is no extra cost to expect.
While an order from China may sometimes makes its way through the customs unnoticed, it often gets held until the import taxes are paid, which process adds to the delay.
To make things worse, the courier often add its own "administration" fee on top, which is sometimes a percentage of the parcel value! 

There could have been potential for a 3rd advantage but unfortunately this is not available from Gearbest: 
Some shops offer an option to return defects to a local warehouse (sometimes for a small "insurance" fee), but with GB, these items must be sent back to China, regardless where they've been shipped from initially. I hope they'll review their policy one day.

Choosing the right warehouse:
European Gearbest Warehouses are located as follow:

G-W-2 : Birmingham UK
G-W-3 : UK
G-W-4 : Poland
G-W-5 : Czech Republic
G-W-6 : France
G-W-7 : Spain
G-W-8 : Italy
G-W-10 : Poland
G-W-13 : Alicante - Spain
G-W-15 : UK
G-W-16 : Spain
G-W-19 : Czech Republic
G-W-25 : Portugal

When several European warehouses are available for a product, it is important to check them all as the shipping cost can very a great deal.

Here's an example with a Android tablet sold for 128.13€ (at time of writing) with free shipping from China to Ireland.
If I buy it there, it would in fact cost me around 167.5€ once the 23% VAT and 10€ Post fee are paid!

Selecting G-W-16 (Spain) will bring the total to a whooping 181.94€ ...not worth it!

But...the same from G-W-5 (Poland) will cost 150.1€ (145.21+4.89 shipping). 
The extra 21.97€ (150.1-128.13) here will be in most case lower than the custom tax + courier fee if coming from China.




Recap: 
Shipping from China: 
free shipping takes time (over 1 month is not rare), with extra delay if intercepted by customs, and additional cost from the courrier is to expect.
OK for: cheap stuff you don't need in a hurry. (Currently in Ireland, VAT has to be paid if custom value exceeds 22€, check for your country)

Shipping from "G-W": 
faster, import tax already paid.  
Be aware of: 
- returns cannot be sent back to G-W, must always be sent back to China
- shipping time and cost vary greatly from a G-W to another.
- prices vary with the warehouse location
OK for: more costly things you need fast, despite the unfair return policy. 



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