I do not make, sell, or traffic in bootleg/recast dolls or any other product.

I do not provide information on where or how to buy them.

Any recast information on this blog is for information purposes only, for identifying recast products on the second hand market.

Monday, February 10, 2014

How EMS Works and Tracking *USA BASED*

For some reason, you cannot get detailed tracking info through EMS Track Trace for packages leaving China. They say they cannot full integrate China due to technical reasons. So for contrast purposes, I'm going to post screen shots from an order placed with a Korean company.

I've edited my tracking numbers for privacy, as well as the detailed city information where applicable.

Most things you get from outside of the country will come without tracking, or EMS with tracking. This post covers how EMS works, how to track it, and what the updates mean.


What is EMS?
EMS is Express Mail Service. The US equivalent is Priority Mail International. It's expensive as hell, and all packages over a certain weight and dimension are required to be sent Priority Mail out of the States (this is why postal charges for mailing things out of the US start at a minimum of $30 usd).

How fast is EMS?
EMS is pretty fast. It usually takes around a week at most to ship from the origin country to US customs. Sometimes, weather, holidays, or other issues can cause shipping delays. Packages from Korea tend to arrive in the States within 3-5 days after acceptance at the origin post. Packages from China tend to take 5-7 days, occasionally more.

Who delivers EMS once it hits my country?
Once EMS passes through customs, the package is turned over to your post office, in my case the United States Postal Service (usps).

Why is EMS expensive?
EMS is expensive because it includes insurance and tracking. Packages sent out of the US and most countries are more expensive when sent with these options. Sometimes you can choose airmail options, which do not come insured or with tracking.

What is Customs?
Please read this post here for more information on Customs.

I always go for EMS- it's the best way to protect myself when ordering should something happen to the order en route to me.

To Use USPS Tracking:

First go to and navigate to the tracking menu. Next, type your number into the big box, and hit enter.

To use EMS Track Trace:

First go to the Track Trace site here

Type in your tracking number.

Hit either track with options or track direct. If you are tracking a package from China you will be redirected to this page: 

  1. In this box, retype your tracking number.
  2. In this box, type the numbers. If you see Chinese characters, they will change to numbers we can read when you hover in that box. Then hit track.

The Tracking Process:
This screenshot is the Luo package, tracked on EMS Track Trace site:

I've circled a few things and numbered them- read below to see what they mean!

  1. This is the date the package was mailed out.
  2. This is the date it entered US Customs. As you can see, it took 5 days from posting to arrival at customs.
  3. These are the various post office sorting centers in China. Packages from S/L start in Taihe, go to Jian, then Nanchang. They finally leave China through Shanghai.
  4. This means that they've taken the package to the postal center. If you don't see this, they either haven't taken it yet, or the post office hasn't scanned it yet.
  5. This means the package has left the sorting center and is on its way to the next center.
  6. Arrival at sorting center means it's made it to the next destination and will be scanned before leaving.
  7. This tracking shows that US Customs released the package. Sometimes it will say something else here, like detained by customs or something like that. It usually just says this for me.
  8. This indicates the point of entry for the package. For my state, packages pass through San Francisco first. Depending where you live, they could pass through here or Chicago or other places.
  9. In this box, you will see a verification code. Like on the front page, you need to type this code to make sure you aren't a bot.

Okay this is the USPS version of the tracking for the same package:

  1. Acceptance- this means Luo has dropped off the package.
  2. USPS only shows the final stop for the package out of China. You will not see any of the movement in China.
  3. This means it's getting put on a boat or plane to head to you.
  4. This means it's been dropped off, and US customs now has it. They may open the package to inspect it, or they may not.
  5. Inbound Out of Customs means that customs looked at it, and then they sent it on.
  6. This means USPS officially has the package, and it will be delivered to you within a couple days (usually 2-3 days for me from this point).

In contrast….

To contrast, here is an order I placed with nine9style, a doll clothes company and dealer based in Korea. There will be a review published on nine9style in the next couple of weeks.
This is the USPS tracking. Both packages were sent via EMS, yet the package from Korea is arriving far, far faster than the package from China.


This is the same package from nine9style, tracked on the EMS track trace site:

As you can see, there is a great deal more info available, but most of it is in Korean.

As always, I hope that helps and if you have further questions regarding tracking or anything at all, ask me here, shoot me an email (comments here preferred because I hate email), or ask over at the facebook group Recast Bjd Haven.

Happy collecting!


  1. this helps kinda but im still having some difficulty with understanding whats going on because yours was so close tgether in dates mine is kinda more spread out in terms of days. Like I haven't got anything else sense the 26th and its the 29th

    1. During holidays it seems to slow down. Sometimes the USPS sucks at updating tracking, and it'll update sporadically or even not at all! I once had a package update AFTER it had arrived at my door, and I got all the text notifications from the previous week at once. XD It's usually pretty consistent until it reaches US shores. If you had a big gap in updates from when it left the origin country and when it arrived at customs, that was probably it's journey over the ocean. I hope that makes sense!

    2. Anon, I accidentally deleted your reply instead of publishing it, I'm sorry! I'm very glad it arrived safe and sound. ^_^

  2. EMS from Korea to Pakistan takes so much time! I've a package on the way which was sent on 23 February and it's 9 March today but package still haven't arrived.

    1. I'm sorry to hear that :( It seems like the mail has been really delayed everywhere lately!

    2. hi! when did you receive your parcel in pakistan ? can you share your experience ? i am having the same problem. I sent it on 15th march and its 28th march but still havent received it yet ...

  3. Do you have to sign or show identification for small products under 500 dollars

    1. In my experience, I have had to sign for every EMS package, regardless of the value.

  4. This is a very informative post. I ordered something from Jolse at the end of last month, but it hasn't arrived yet. Also, I didn't know that you could use the international tracking number on USPS tracking, very cool. Hope it gets here soon enough. (tired of waiting for my package)

  5. I've order many things from China & items are always shipped EMS.but sometimes no tracking info is posted until it hits the US. Usually takes approx.15 days or so sometimes it get things in 7 to 10 days

    1. Lately tracking has been pretty screwy everywhere. Usually, there will be a several day-lull in tracking while it's crossing the ocean, but then it should start back up again. USPS is bad about it, and I've had packages not update for days even after I've already signed for them lol. It's definitely a system they need to kinda work on!

  6. I usually use Trackingmore to track my packages, it is much more easy to use than the official sites.Check this link:


Thanks for reading! <3 I try to follow up on every comment my readers make.