Here are some asked and anticipated questions from customers.
What is ZenKimchi?
ZenKimchi started in 2004 as Korea’s first food blog. It became the world’s first English language internet resource for Korean food, even pre-dating Wikipedia’s Korean food page. (In fact, ZenKimchi was heavily involved in the early creation of Wikipedia’s Korean food pages.)
ZenKimchi International runs tours in Korea and consults international media on Korean projects. Its mission is to spread the founders’ passion about this amazing place.
How much is shipping?
It’s free. We may introduce expedited shipping, but right now it’s more expensive than I’m comfortable with and super complicated to set up.
Why are the shipping times so long?
In order to keep the shipping free and costs low, we have to sacrifice something.
It’s slow shipping times.
A lot of our merchandise comes directly from suppliers in China. I personally keep track of all the orders and how long each one takes from ordering to fulfilling to doorstep. It honestly depends on how busy the processing centers in China are, how busy the carriers are, and how efficient each country’s customs service is. Since our packages aren’t expensive priority shipping, they only get on the planes when there’s room after all the other expensive packages have been loaded and once enough packages are put together to complete a full pallette. We’ve also found that U.S. Customs can slow things down, and we have no control over that.
No one does.
It used to take longer. Three months. In recent years, China and other countries have introduced the ePacket delivery service, which aims to make deliveries from China faster and cheaper by using air instead of boat. We primarily use that system. It’s not as fast as you can get from Amazon, but it’s also not as expensive. It’s faster than it used to be and is improving all the time.
The average time from ordering to doorstep is 19-25 days. These are for basically the same types of items going to the U.S. It truly depends on how busy the processing centers are in China, which is out of our control. The only things we can control is how fast the orders are fulfilled. Once they’re in the postal system, we’re on pins and needles, just like you, waiting for the packages to arrive.
Where’s my order?
To reduce fretful nailbiting, we work with AfterShip to send you notifications of your item’s journey at each point in its quest to your doorstep. It’s frustrating at times to see that an order has been sitting in a warehouse in Guangzhou for a week. But really, once it gets out of China, things go quickly.
Tracking helps, but it’s not consistent
In a perfect world, we would know where our package is at all times. It may get that way in the future. Until then, we have the technology and systems we have now. International shipments have so many variables going on. But they do make their destination.
We have the same tracking information as you
Once the postal service has picked up the order from the supplier, it’s out of our hands. Neither the supplier nor GeekDrink can do anything to speed things up or get more information than you get through your tracking code.
We use AfterShip to give you updates, but you can also use 17TRACK, which I find is the best service.
The best we can do is offer a refund if it hasn’t arrived after the 39-day deadline. None of the postal carriers have special phone lines for us to reach. And, of course, we can’t have any influence over any government’s customs department.
Please consider shipping times if it needs to be there at a certain date
We post all over the website and in emails that the shipping times are 15-39 days. We have no ability to speed things up for Christmas, birthdays, or anniversaries. It pains me when I get emails that an item has to be there in time for a birthday, and it hasn’t shown up yet. Unless the special occasion is 40 days after the gift was ordered, there’s nothing we can do nor be blamed for.
So far, all orders have arrived. Nothing has gotten lost.
Some items go faster
Some items come from suppliers in the U.S. and have shorter shipping times. Check the estimated shipping time in each product description.
My shipment notifications haven’t updated in a while
This is frustrating. It doesn’t mean the shipment is stuck or lost. It means it wasn’t scanned.
How does this happen?
It can be that the packing slip was put in the wrong position. It’s weird how it’s usually something like that. Other times, when it gets to the destination country, it’s not scanned and updated until it passes through customs.
Many times, there is a message like “Preparing Shipment” or “Despatched Sorting Center.” It stays like that for days–weeks–and then suddenly it’s delivered. Sometimes it’s delivered while the tracking says it’s still in China.
Can I get faster shipping?
Contact us, and we’ll see if we can get it to you faster. Keep in mind it can cost quite a bit, and it may still take a while because international shipments need to pass through customs. It may be cheaper for you to order it through Amazon when factoring in the shipping cost.
Our long term business plan is to get warehousing space in the U.S. to make deliveries faster, but we have to hit a certain net profit threshold before that part of the plan goes into action.
Why can’t you ship to my country?
We want to ship to every country we can. Geeks like us exist all around the world. Some countries have stricter customs regulations. Others don’t cooperate with the free shipping system.
I haven’t given up. I’m working on ways to expand the number of countries in our delivery sphere.
My item is broken or missing a part. What do I do?
This rarely happens, but it does sometimes happen. Glass. It can break. Other shop owners say I’m a fool for selling glass items, but come on! They’re so cool!
Can I return an item?
If you are not satisfied with your item, please contact us. If you still want to return it, we will give you an address to return it to. Keep in mind, we can’t pay for the shipping cost. As soon as the package arrives in new unused condition, we will issue a refund.
IMPORTANT: We don’t give refunds for slow deliveries if they’re still made within the timeframe in the product description. PLEASE NOTE the estimated delivery time and the cut off point before ordering, especially if it’s for a special occasion. We’re not one of those companies that throws in a lot of fine print legalese to trick people. We post delivery estimates all over the place and do all we can to make sure our customers know all they can.
Advantages of Shopping ZenKimchi
- Cheaper than you’d find on Amazon and major retailers]
- Unique hard-to-find items
- Free shipping
- Personal customer service
Disadvantages of Shopping GeekDrink
- Shipping times aren’t as fast as Amazon
- No gift wrapping available