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Saturday, August 22, 2015

My $3.63 Incredible Brass Bicycle Bell (Chrome Plated!)

The last couple of months I’ve gotten my old fold-up bicycle out of the shed, aired up the tires, oiled the rusty chain and have started riding it again. We live next to the Jordan River, which has a really nice trail that runs north and south almost the entire length of the Salt Lake valley. It’s pretty popular with a lot of people using it, especially on weekends, walking, jogging and bicycling.

With the need to pass a lot of people and a few narrow blind corners on the trail with people coming the other way, I went on Amazon to look for a bicycle bell like the old ones we had when we were kids. I’ve gotten tired of having to call out a warning every time I’m approaching someone from behind, “bicycle on your left!”. Looking on Amazon, I found one for $3.43 that included free shipping and ordered it. We have been Amazon Prime members for a couple years and the convenience of free two day shipping and ordering from the sofa of home has won me over.

I ordered it on August 3rd and it shipped on the fourth. Today is the 22nd and I still had not received it, so I sent an email yesterday asking what is taking so long for such a small item?

Several hours later I got a response from a KongYiJi from Singapore! I assume it was a woman, I’m not sure, who wrote that the item left by Singapore Post and it takes 17 to 28 days to be delivered in the U.S. In somewhat broken English writing, she basically stated “don’t worry, it’s coming, you’ll be happy”.

This item was not sold by Amazon, but by an Amazon partner and it didn’t include the free two day Prime shipping. This KongYiJi, however, did include free shipping with the order. What I can’t understand is how there is any profit to be made shipping a $3.43 item from Singapore to be delivered to my home in the U.S.? Being curious, I pulled up and looked at their Bicycle bells and all were $5.00 or more with the exception of one that looked incredibly shoddy. The wonders of modern shipping, I guess.

PS, I just checked today's mail and the package has arrived! It's quite a small bell but it has a loud enough, pleasant ring. There's a link below if you want one of your own.

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