We use postal services to buy low cost spare parts for repair and maintenance, We buy a lot of brackets and screws so that when we refurbish laptop machines they are stable in mobile use.
We stockpile screws as they seem to be needed when machines come into the studio for repair. We also stockpile Wi-Fi cards which we use to upgrade a machine.
In our experience, less than 50% of items ordered from China on eBay actually arrive on time. We are concerned that close to 25% never arrive at all.
Recently we purchased some DDR32-1600 memory for a laptop. It took close to 30 days to cross the country but at least it arrived.
We order a lot of cables, mobile phone cables mostly. We also sometimes get video cables and adapters etc.
ORGANIZED LABOR & TECHNOLOGY
Unfortunately bar codes and QR codes are not universal from small packets out of China. Scanning the bar codes on a conveyor belt at least would be a trackable event at the frontier.
The problems seem to be driven mostly by the Canadian government and the unions with the Canadian Post Office and the staffing levels etc. Then there is the Canadian Border Services which slows down the already moribund domestic service even more. Blame on small packets is common as many cannot be read by electronic equipment and must be manually handled.