$$: How to calculate the item price of your oversea purchasing (purchasing agent)

I must say that I shop oversea a lot because I just can’t find those cute things in the local store.

I love to shop globally without having to leave my house. Of course, I’m really shopping on budget. I must  admit that sometimes I forget to calculate how much I’m really spending because a lot of times I get into the mindset, “oh, it’s not that expensive, since 1 dollar equals about 6.5 YUAN.”

Think again!

When using purchasing agency, like Panli,  to shop oversea, you really have to watch how much money you are really spending. It’s not necessarily cheaper to buy oversea and many times it’s more expensive. Most of oversea shoppers are either study-abroad students or those who are looking for something unique not necessarily for budget shoppers.   Of course, this applies to all purchasing-agent services.  I’m using Panli as an example because I’m familiar with it. It is better than many other similar services that I’ve explored.   I will write my experience with Panli later.

Usually when I do add money to my Panli account, I charge up about $50 -100 each time and that gives me about 300-600 YUAN. I go around thinking I have a lot of money and a shirt that costs 120 YUAN suddenly doesn’t appear to be a lot any more.  But hey ~ I could get a decent full outfit at local discount stores  for less than $50. I’m really reluctant to spend that much in the local stores/ mall, but I find spending in a CLICK is much easier than digging cash out of your pocket, you know…emotionally…

So…… even though I love to shop online and stuff….I need to give myself a friendly note~ thus….


This is post is also for my own reference as I sat there and figure out this calculation myself.

Really easy

First I need to calculate the total price of the merchandise I’m ordering, that includes the their domestic shipping fee to the agent’s location.

For example, I bought something on Taobao, let say, a hairband, it costs me 1 YUAN, their domestic shipping fee is 5, that is 6  total.

If I buy more than one item from the same seller oversea and they only charge one time, let’s say it’s still 5, and I got 2 hairbands at 1 YUAN each. That is 2.50 each you would add to the 1 YUAN hairband, that would make my hairbands 3.50 each instead of 6. OR use this formula if I’m buying merchandise different prices. By the way, I can enter everything into the google browser like below, without the brackets.

1.)Merchandise A+B=total


2.)Domestic shipping fee / total = C

[ 5/2=2.50]

3.) C * Merchandise X =  (CSF)

this gives  the correct shipping fee for that merchandise X in case the number is not easy to calculate, just plug the numbers in the browser, no need to enter an equal sign.


4.) CSF + Merchandise X



Second, I need to find the total price of merchandises in that shipment, Let say, that is 300.91 (that is the total of all the items you have in one shipment without their shipping & handling fee. Remember, do include the all the fees to agent’s location.

Thrid, I need to figure out the total price for shipping & handling, it’s usually given to you so you don’t have to calculate everything, but still needed to calculate the item price. Let say, my total shipping & handling for that shipment is 153.89.

I would enter like below [item price divided by total merchandise price plus shipping & handling to my location plus item price]


enter this into google browser

I’ll get this

((3.5 / 300.91) * 153.89) + 3.5 = 5.28995381

Remember, the 5.28995381 YUAN is still in Chinese currency, if  I want to know that in US dollar, I have to do another calculation.
just enter that sum * 100/ rate

let say that rate is 1 US dollars =  6.47 YUAN at the time of my exchange

I would enter

5.28995381 * 100/647.00

I would get

(5.28995381 * 100) / 647.00 = 0.817612645


So my  hairband for that shipment costs about $0.82


Remember, the price of the  item various because it depends on rate of exchange, the shipping, and many more.



BTW, although I wrote the formula for myself, you, my readers are welcome to use the formula if you need it. I know it’s long, but it works…LOL

It’s good to have an idea on  how much you are really spending on those items because you could possibly get it cheaper without having to purchase through an agent, you could check if ebay has them.


For me, I don’t usually buy cosmetics through PANLI, but I do buy Japanese style or Korean style apparel.





copyright ⓒ Sumiji888
Please respect my work & the copyright…No transfer of my matierals without notice or credit.
All transferers must have my consent or given permission to do so.
谢~(Since Feb. 28, 2006)