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Roli

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I appreciate others chiming in with helpful comments. Time zone differences prevent me from answering fast enough sometimes.

One important factor regarding DDP is that suppliers generally hate it. This is because it involves more work and risk for them.

They have to get a customs broker to work out duty and taxes, then they have to outlay the money for those, including transfer costs. If the broker made a mistake, or if Customs think a different duty rate applies, they could be out of pocket.

Walter
Awesome, DDP it is then; if I'm going to take this hit, I might as well make him work for it.
 

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Roli

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OK, so here's the latest in the fiasco, I have been given a DDU price of $598 this is on top of the $350 I have already paid, he told me to add 20% to make the price DDP.

I have written back and pointed out that with the $540 cost of the air freight, this comes to practically the cost of shipping the entire thing by air (he quoted $1600 door to door). I have been writing under the guise of Purchasing Manager and so now I'm putting pressure on him to do the honourable thing; I have said that I am very sad about the situation (true) and that my boss is very, very angry with me (kind of true seeing as I'm my own boss) and that I don't know what to do about the situation.

Hopefully this leaves him enough room to save face with me. If not then I am basically going to tell him that my job is under threat, which will hopefully jolt him into some kind of action. If it doesn't, then I will set up another mail and pretend to be somebody else from the company, saying that "Roli has been sacked", which will at least mean I can start again with him on a much sterner, more businesslike tone.

I think ultimately this comes down to my overly trusting nature, I just want to see the best in people and I tend to like most people very quickly when they are nice to me. I often make the mistake that my warmness towards people is reciprocated when it is not. I hope I'm wrong, but I think he just thinks he has got one over on another sucker.

I'm not sure what the best I can hope for here is. I think I'm going to have to pay at least another $300 at the very best, which he may offset by sending me some more free stuff, though it would have to be a hell of a lot to make up for that. It seems the only leverage I have left in the situation is I still owe him 70% for the first product and 100% for the second.

What do you think @Walter Hay, am I just a sucker looking for an even break, or is the situation rescueable ?
 

CommonCents

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What do you know about product liability from overseas suppliers? If you import products you are pretty much screwed with no recourse should something happen with mfg defect? I always get additional insured certs from suppliers. Are there any mitigation strategies? Thanks!
 

CommonCents

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As far as samples, I ended up paying 400 bucks total for one box of samples from a supplier via UPS#, the next supplier I said give me a total for samples and shipping to my door and I'll paypal you......$60 bucks.
 

Denim Chicken

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Has anyone received a tracking number that starts with "V" and 10 digits? I know this isn't a fake company I'm talking to, I ran it by Walter and they have 2 locations. But you can never overlook the possibility of a bad employee.

Minor issues I've had so far:
- responds kind of slow, around 2 days.
- said mid last-week of april, he'll send the samples after May Day holiday which was fine. I sent sample payment of $60 on May 1. He said he received and will update with tracking. No response so I emailed him on May 4 just quickly inquiring if it was sent.
He replied within 24 hours (few hours ago) that it has been sent and gave me a tracking. But, the tracking doesn't show up on Google (0 results) for any carriers and it starts with Vxxxxxxxxxx. From what I understand, if he sent it UPS (that's what he told me), then it should start with a number or 1z.
- he asked for my whatsapp when I asked for the paypal address and sent it to me thru that. Thought that was weird. The paypal he gave me was his personal email. I knew this and said we only send to company paypal, to which replied that it was his financial director's paypal and they normally don't take paypal because it's too risky for them.

OK, understandable. But.. the name on the paypal account is the same as his name.


These issues are very minor and the only reason I continued is because they seem to be a big factory, the catalog they sent me was extensive around 300 pages and they have 2 locations all over 5 years old established. The selection of product is the best so far out of the suppliers I've contacted, and I doubt he would try to scam me for $60. However, all these minor issues are making me hesitant to send the order amount via bank transfer. Perhaps I'm being paranoid.
He did send me a picture of the sample and some extra products hes throwing in and they are what I asked for so I know he has them in stock.

I emailed him asking him to double check the tracking #.

Anyway, if anyone has any info on tracking #s that starts with V or tracking # from China not being found, please let me know.

EDIT: He sent picture of the actual tracking slip from UPS. The tracking # is indeed correct. It is called the "Waybill tracking no". However nothing is coming up in Google still
 
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Walter Hay

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OK, so here's the latest in the fiasco, I have been given a DDU price of $598 this is on top of the $350 I have already paid, he told me to add 20% to make the price DDP.

I have written back and pointed out that with the $540 cost of the air freight, this comes to practically the cost of shipping the entire thing by air (he quoted $1600 door to door). I have been writing under the guise of Purchasing Manager and so now I'm putting pressure on him to do the honourable thing; I have said that I am very sad about the situation (true) and that my boss is very, very angry with me (kind of true seeing as I'm my own boss) and that I don't know what to do about the situation.

Hopefully this leaves him enough room to save face with me. If not then I am basically going to tell him that my job is under threat, which will hopefully jolt him into some kind of action. If it doesn't, then I will set up another mail and pretend to be somebody else from the company, saying that "Roli has been sacked", which will at least mean I can start again with him on a much sterner, more businesslike tone.

I think ultimately this comes down to my overly trusting nature, I just want to see the best in people and I tend to like most people very quickly when they are nice to me. I often make the mistake that my warmness towards people is reciprocated when it is not. I hope I'm wrong, but I think he just thinks he has got one over on another sucker.

I'm not sure what the best I can hope for here is. I think I'm going to have to pay at least another $300 at the very best, which he may offset by sending me some more free stuff, though it would have to be a hell of a lot to make up for that. It seems the only leverage I have left in the situation is I still owe him 70% for the first product and 100% for the second.

What do you think @Walter Hay, am I just a sucker looking for an even break, or is the situation rescueable ?
I'm sorry to say this, but I think the situation is getting out of hand. It seems that when he offered to cover your UK costs he might have acted without knowing what they might be.

Your idea to exert more pressure is probably your best option at this stage, but I wouldn't hold out too much hope because his job might be on the line if he agrees to being generous.

You have to now decide whether to abandon the first order and cut your losses. You can ask for a refund, but that is probably the best you can hope for.

Walter
 
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Walter Hay

Walter Hay

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What do you know about product liability from overseas suppliers? If you import products you are pretty much screwed with no recourse should something happen with mfg defect? I always get additional insured certs from suppliers. Are there any mitigation strategies? Thanks!
Generally your only protection will be to obtain product liability insurance locally. This covers you for loss or damage to your customers.

Maybe you are referring to faulty products being replaced or refunded by your supplier? If so, the first line of protection is to have quality inspections done before you pay the balance prior to shipment. To make that work you have to specify very precise standards that the order must meet. If the goods fail inspection, you don't pay the order balance, but if they don't rectify the problem, you will lose the deposit you have paid.

The second line is to build a good relationship with your suppliers, but in that case you are dependent on their goodwill, and you still risk losing what you paid as deposit.

Walter
 
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Walter Hay

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Has anyone received a tracking number that starts with "V" and 10 digits? I know this isn't a fake company I'm talking to, I ran it by Walter and they have 2 locations. But you can never overlook the possibility of a bad employee.

Minor issues I've had so far:
- responds kind of slow, around 2 days.
- said mid last-week of april, he'll send the samples after May Day holiday which was fine. I sent sample payment of $60 on May 1. He said he received and will update with tracking. No response so I emailed him on May 4 just quickly inquiring if it was sent.
He replied within 24 hours (few hours ago) that it has been sent and gave me a tracking. But, the tracking doesn't show up on Google (0 results) for any carriers and it starts with Vxxxxxxxxxx. From what I understand, if he sent it UPS (that's what he told me), then it should start with a number or 1z.
- he asked for my whatsapp when I asked for the paypal address and sent it to me thru that. Thought that was weird. The paypal he gave me was his personal email. I knew this and said we only send to company paypal, to which replied that it was his financial director's paypal and they normally don't take paypal because it's too risky for them.

OK, understandable. But.. the name on the paypal account is the same as his name.


These issues are very minor and the only reason I continued is because they seem to be a big factory, the catalog they sent me was extensive around 300 pages and they have 2 locations all over 5 years old established. The selection of product is the best so far out of the suppliers I've contacted, and I doubt he would try to scam me for $60. However, all these minor issues are making me hesitant to send the order amount via bank transfer. Perhaps I'm being paranoid.
He did send me a picture of the sample and some extra products hes throwing in and they are what I asked for so I know he has them in stock.

I emailed him asking him to double check the tracking #.

Anyway, if anyone has any info on tracking #s that starts with V or tracking # from China not being found, please let me know.

EDIT: He sent picture of the actual tracking slip from UPS. The tracking # is indeed correct. It is called the "Waybill tracking no". However nothing is coming up in Google still
I don't think you are being paranoid. What you have written is cause for concern, even if it is just a result of sloppy procedures on their part.

I suspect that he might be defrauding his employer rather than scamming you. The PayPal situation is too far away from normal for my liking. Maybe you could just turn a blind eye, but it's not a good start to business if you find that your contact is cheating his boss.

Keep checking the tracking. If the number is correct it will show up, but there is always a slight risk that the waybill is a fake. I doubt that is the case, so I hope I am right.

The tracking number should start with 1z.

Walter
 

Denim Chicken

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I don't think you are being paranoid. What you have written is cause for concern, even if it is just a result of sloppy procedures on their part.

I suspect that he might be defrauding his employer rather than scamming you. The PayPal situation is too far away from normal for my liking. Maybe you could just turn a blind eye, but it's not a good start to business if you find that your contact is cheating his boss.

Keep checking the tracking. If the number is correct it will show up, but there is always a slight risk that the waybill is a fake. I doubt that is the case, so I hope I am right.

The tracking number should start with 1z.

Walter
Thanks, I thought about it for a while from different angles.

I contacted UPS and talked to their international rep and they said the tracking # is valid but it has not been scanned yet/shipped yet. His form is legit and he sent me the picture of it. The stamp on there of his company is legit. The picture he took is not the customer copy of the receipt but the UPS copy that he sent, meaning he took a picture while he was filling it out.

I'm going to give it a couple more days to see if tracking updates, after all I have no choice.

What is a possibility:
I'm the one who asked for Paypal, not him. I had to ask for the Paypal address 3 times before he told me to add him on WhatsApp if I have one, and then he gave me his own. He also prefaced it with the understanding that Paypal is only for the sample but the order must be bank transfer because it is risky for them to take Paypal. I imagine they may have been burned before. One possibility is that he/his management is accommodating me and they just agreed to let me send the $60 to his personal account as a means to working out my request for paypal as a payment.

He may have not shipped yet to make sure the Paypal deposit clears? Either way, only solution here is to wait and if the tracking does not update, then I will have to follow up next week.
 

Roli

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I'm sorry to say this, but I think the situation is getting out of hand. It seems that when he offered to cover your UK costs he might have acted without knowing what they might be.

Your idea to exert more pressure is probably your best option at this stage, but I wouldn't hold out too much hope because his job might be on the line if he agrees to being generous.

You have to now decide whether to abandon the first order and cut your losses. You can ask for a refund, but that is probably the best you can hope for.

Walter
Oh no, it was all going so well, and then that crucial mistake... So by getting out of hand, do you mean the costs are just going to keep on spiralling? He has reiterated his promise to "help me afford" and I've already paid him around $2000 for product and shipment. So do you really think I'm in a cut my losses situation?

It feels hard to walk away from all that money; however if I'm just going to be fleeced for more...

Is it worth getting the goods here, paying his original handling costs and then arranging my agent to pick the goods up from the port to deliver to my warehouse? Or have things gone to far for that?

Sorry if I'm getting you to repeat, but I just want to make sure all is definitely lost before I abandon all hope.
 

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Denim Chicken

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I got UPS notification today that a package is on the way for tomorrow so I am guessing this is sample #3. The tracking # he gave me that started with V is not showing up but due to UPS Choice, I am showing a 1z tracking number scheduled for tomorrow. I am going to assume this is his package.

The shipping account from UPS is not the same name as the supplier I am talking to but might just be their registered general name. Either way, I'll report back on what I receive tomorrow.
 
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Walter Hay

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Thanks, I thought about it for a while from different angles.

I contacted UPS and talked to their international rep and they said the tracking # is valid but it has not been scanned yet/shipped yet. His form is legit and he sent me the picture of it. The stamp on there of his company is legit. The picture he took is not the customer copy of the receipt but the UPS copy that he sent, meaning he took a picture while he was filling it out.

I'm going to give it a couple more days to see if tracking updates, after all I have no choice.

What is a possibility:
I'm the one who asked for Paypal, not him. I had to ask for the Paypal address 3 times before he told me to add him on WhatsApp if I have one, and then he gave me his own. He also prefaced it with the understanding that Paypal is only for the sample but the order must be bank transfer because it is risky for them to take Paypal. I imagine they may have been burned before. One possibility is that he/his management is accommodating me and they just agreed to let me send the $60 to his personal account as a means to working out my request for paypal as a payment.

He may have not shipped yet to make sure the Paypal deposit clears? Either way, only solution here is to wait and if the tracking does not update, then I will have to follow up next week.
Maybe I am paranoid. It all could come together OK,n and we could have been worrying for nothing.

Yes I think patience might be all that's required at this stage.

Walter
 
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Walter Hay

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Oh no, it was all going so well, and then that crucial mistake... So by getting out of hand, do you mean the costs are just going to keep on spiralling? He has reiterated his promise to "help me afford" and I've already paid him around $2000 for product and shipment. So do you really think I'm in a cut my losses situation?

It feels hard to walk away from all that money; however if I'm just going to be fleeced for more...

Is it worth getting the goods here, paying his original handling costs and then arranging my agent to pick the goods up from the port to deliver to my warehouse? Or have things gone to far for that?

Sorry if I'm getting you to repeat, but I just want to make sure all is definitely lost before I abandon all hope.
It's a matter of weighing up the possible loss V the possible gain.

I'm not a gambler, but in your situation I would be inclined to gamble that you are not being scammed, and it is all a result of his blunder.

Walter
 

Denim Chicken

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Maybe I am paranoid. It all could come together OK,n and we could have been worrying for nothing.

Yes I think patience might be all that's required at this stage.

Walter
The samples came today as posted above about the tracking #. He included extras, about double what I had asked for which I am pleased with, gave me a lot of variety to choose from.

I think so far so good. Payment for the actual order will have to be T/T
 
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Walter Hay

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Its
I got UPS notification today that a package is on the way for tomorrow so I am guessing this is sample #3. The tracking # he gave me that started with V is not showing up but due to UPS Choice, I am showing a 1z tracking number scheduled for tomorrow. I am going to assume this is his package.

The shipping account from UPS is not the same name as the supplier I am talking to but might just be their registered general name. Either way, I'll report back on what I receive tomorrow.
It's great to get good news.
Walter
 

Roli

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It's a matter of weighing up the possible loss V the possible gain.

I'm not a gambler, but in your situation I would be inclined to gamble that you are not being scammed, and it is all a result of his blunder.

Walter
Yeah, he seems honest, and my other stuff came today by air, so all gravy there. Worst comes to worst I can break even on the stock I have. I just want to nail down costs. We'll see what he says tomorrow...
 

Roli

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The plot thickens!!

So after various back and forths whereby I made it clear I wasn't happy and that I was now facing a bill hundreds of dollars more than what I would have been with my own arrangements. My supplier said "So you want us to make it $412 (my original quote) DDU?"

So I said, well that's what my original price would have been, if I paid $100 more than that, it's not ideal but it's better than almost $700 more, seeing as I've already paid $350.

He has now revealed that the stock is still in a warehouse in Shanghai! After telling me it was on the water and would be in the UK on the 15th, which sounded way too fast.

Anyway, I've told him that I would much rather my agent pick up for me instead and am awaiting his reply. This is potentially great news, and I'm really hopeful that I can arrange shipping from the UK.

I'll keep you posted.
 

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Hi @Walter Hay ,

since my orders are getting bigger I have a question about quality control. I've already read in this thread and your book about the companys you suggest, but I have a few questions left:

My last order was 750 pcs of a small battery powered device. I have a company in germany that re-packs the products into our own packaging and adds the product manual + does quality control, at about 1$ /pcs. This - not only costs time - but is also expensive.
With the last order we had about 50 faulty devices. The product does have a cap which the customer has to remove in order to use the product.
Of the 50 devices 14 were defective (e.g. broken display, no function). The remaining 36 devices does have some sort of salt covering the space behind the cap. My factory told me that this happens sometimes during production.

Last time I cleaned the 36 devices by myself since my factory doesn't wanted to replace them. They are functional but I can't sent them to customers in this condition.
Now I am wondering if it would be best to do the quality control right in china at the factory, so I could only pay for the sellable items.
My question is, do the reliable inspeciton/quality control services offer such an in-depth quality control. Basically every device needs to be turned on/off to see if display is working and the cap needs to be removed to see if there are any salts? Lots of manual labor. Is it possible to get this done and at what cost?


Also this would allow me to let the packaging be done in china, together with the manual and both also assembled in china. Before I hesitated to do this, since the risk of having a whole lot of faulty products already packed completely.

Let me know what you think!

Best,

Paul
 
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Walter Hay

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Hi @Walter Hay ,

since my orders are getting bigger I have a question about quality control. I've already read in this thread and your book about the companys you suggest, but I have a few questions left:

My last order was 750 pcs of a small battery powered device. I have a company in germany that re-packs the products into our own packaging and adds the product manual + does quality control, at about 1$ /pcs. This - not only costs time - but is also expensive.
With the last order we had about 50 faulty devices. The product does have a cap which the customer has to remove in order to use the product.
Of the 50 devices 14 were defective (e.g. broken display, no function). The remaining 36 devices does have some sort of salt covering the space behind the cap. My factory told me that this happens sometimes during production.

Last time I cleaned the 36 devices by myself since my factory doesn't wanted to replace them. They are functional but I can't sent them to customers in this condition.
Now I am wondering if it would be best to do the quality control right in china at the factory, so I could only pay for the sellable items.
My question is, do the reliable inspeciton/quality control services offer such an in-depth quality control. Basically every device needs to be turned on/off to see if display is working and the cap needs to be removed to see if there are any salts? Lots of manual labor. Is it possible to get this done and at what cost?


Also this would allow me to let the packaging be done in china, together with the manual and both also assembled in china. Before I hesitated to do this, since the risk of having a whole lot of faulty products already packed completely.

Let me know what you think!

Best,

Paul
There are inspection services that can handle the full inspections that you require. You would need to have the packaging and all assembly done before they inspect.

Cost would generally be around $300 depending on the number of items they can inspect and test in one day. If they have to take longer the cost will rise. You could use any of the inspection services I have listed in my book, or in posts on the forum.

One lower cost service that has satisfied a few Fastlane members is Topwin. You can contact them at safeimport@topwininspection.com
Make sure you specify every detail when you order from your supplier and pass on those details to the inspection service that you choose.

Regards,
Walter
 

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anthonyseoul

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Hi @Walter Hay

Thank you for this thread once again. I'm gaining so much valuable knowledge from it.

You mentioned a few times that you would avoid importing electronics, particularly from China. In recent years, I heard China has come a long way in terms of quality. Would this make you reconsider you stance on electronics?

And what would be your opinion on simple electronic devices which contain relatively simple circuitry and don't have much that can go wrong? For example digital clocks, personal alarms, digital weighing scales etc.

Thanks for your time and effort :)
 
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Walter Hay

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Hi @Walter Hay

Thank you for this thread once again. I'm gaining so much valuable knowledge from it.

You mentioned a few times that you would avoid importing electronics, particularly from China. In recent years, I heard China has come a long way in terms of quality. Would this make you reconsider you stance on electronics?

And what would be your opinion on simple electronic devices which contain relatively simple circuitry and don't have much that can go wrong? For example digital clocks, personal alarms, digital weighing scales etc.

Thanks for your time and effort :)
Such simple items certainly present less risks, but I would still not import anything in that category. That doesn't mean that if you make adequate allowance for returns you can't make good money on such products.

Walter
 

RisingStars

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There are inspection services that can handle the full inspections that you require. You would need to have the packaging and all assembly done before they inspect.

Cost would generally be around $300 depending on the number of items they can inspect and test in one day. If they have to take longer the cost will rise. You could use any of the inspection services I have listed in my book, or in posts on the forum.

One lower cost service that has satisfied a few Fastlane members is Topwin. You can contact them at safeimport@topwininspection.com
Make sure you specify every detail when you order from your supplier and pass on those details to the inspection service that you choose.

Regards,
Walter
Thanks Walter, I will get in touch with them!
 
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Walter Hay

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URGENT NOTICE REGARDING AN INSPECTION SERVICE SITE:

I am currently completing the 2017 revision of my book, during which I have checked all links in the book. One has been hacked.

It is for an inspection service by the name of Intecerma. DON'T CLICK ON THAT LINK!

Walter
 
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Walter Hay

Walter Hay

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URGENT NOTICE REGARDING AN INSPECTION SERVICE SITE:

I am currently completing the 2017 revision of my book, during which I have checked all links in the book. One has been hacked.

It is for an inspection service by the name of Intecerma. DON'T CLICK ON THAT LINK!

Walter
I posted urgently, but have since done more checking and found that although I am satisfied that the business is genuine, they seem to be under constant attack. One of their Italian sites is OK, and also their US site. Others are being redirected to sites bouncing around Australia, Germany, and Romania, so until things settle down I would avoid contact with Entecerma.

This is a pity, because on the one Italian site still functioning correctly there is a certificate checking facility. Oh well - this is the world we now have to live in and learn to cope with.

Walter
 

Dsnow

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Money wise, how much should one have to start investing in imported goods?

Still on page three but I'm liking what I'm reading. This is »giving« all the way.
 
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Walter Hay

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Money wise, how much should one have to start investing in imported goods?

Still on page three but I'm liking what I'm reading. This is »giving« all the way.
Many have told me how they have started off with very little, even as low as $300, but to do that they need other income to sustain them while they grow the business. They have to plow back everything they make until they are making sufficient profits to spend some on themselves.

If I was starting with $1,000 I am confident that I could build the business quickly, but rather than spend money on Facebook, Instagram, Google etc., I would pay Amazon to do the marketing for me. They have the traffic and their fees are half what I used to pay commission reps.

Walter
 

Denim Chicken

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Supplier #1 who I paid around $500 for custom samples has let me know they shipped the samples earlier this week with DHL and gave me a tracking #. However, the tracking # is showing the origin as Hong Kong, not China where their factory is located.

Also, the tracking has not been updated since the initial "Shipping information received" log since May 23.

What could be the reason for this? Could they have printed a label with a Hong Kong company or used a company in HK to help them ship?
(so it goes China > HK > US)


The latest update I received was pictures of the samples. They are custom samples so the color, drilling, etc were all custom. He sent me a picture of it about 75% complete. I asked him to send me a picture of the part I cannot see, and he said OK. He then follows up saying that he needs 2 more days as the logo is not printed on both sides as I requested. So I say OK.

Then a few days later I ask for an update and he says its been shipped and will send me tracking as soon as he gets it. He sends me tracking the next day.

So far, I have not been sent a picture of the part that I requested to make sure it was done right. The tracking is not moving. So this leads me to believe that they are unfinished and he sent me tracking to without having finished the items to buy some time.


If you recall, I paid for these samples to be custom produced on April 18. It had an estimated 15 day time to produce. It's approaching almost 40 days now. I'm getting impatient but I understand that there could be complications.

He did send me some pics, and they got the custom color right. They also printed the logos and it looks good preliminarily and I already paid to have them custom produced. so I will wait longer before ditching them. But, it is frustrating.

To hint at the fact that it is taking too long without saying it, I basically asked "Can you give me an estimated time on how long it will produce the first order of 500 pieces based on the sampling production time?"

He replied "20 Days".

It's possible but my samples are only 5 pieces and its taking them 30+ days for it. The only reason I am giving them more time is because they are custom spec.

I replied "Is this estimate because it is faster to produce after the initial setup?" to which he replies Yes it is and it will be more efficient.


I sent him another email explaining the Origin of HK and tracking not moving today so we will see what they say.

Have you dealt with this type of delay before?
 
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Walter Hay

Walter Hay

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Supplier #1 who I paid around $500 for custom samples has let me know they shipped the samples earlier this week with DHL and gave me a tracking #. However, the tracking # is showing the origin as Hong Kong, not China where their factory is located.

Also, the tracking has not been updated since the initial "Shipping information received" log since May 23.

What could be the reason for this? Could they have printed a label with a Hong Kong company or used a company in HK to help them ship?
(so it goes China > HK > US)

The latest update I received was pictures of the samples. They are custom samples so the color, drilling, etc were all custom. He sent me a picture of it about 75% complete. I asked him to send me a picture of the part I cannot see, and he said OK. He then follows up saying that he needs 2 more days as the logo is not printed on both sides as I requested. So I say OK.

Then a few days later I ask for an update and he says its been shipped and will send me tracking as soon as he gets it. He sends me tracking the next day.

So far, I have not been sent a picture of the part that I requested to make sure it was done right. The tracking is not moving. So this leads me to believe that they are unfinished and he sent me tracking to without having finished the items to buy some time.

If you recall, I paid for these samples to be custom produced on April 18. It had an estimated 15 day time to produce. It's approaching almost 40 days now. I'm getting impatient but I understand that there could be complications.

He did send me some pics, and they got the custom color right. They also printed the logos and it looks good preliminarily and I already paid to have them custom produced. so I will wait longer before ditching them. But, it is frustrating.

To hint at the fact that it is taking too long without saying it, I basically asked "Can you give me an estimated time on how long it will produce the first order of 500 pieces based on the sampling production time?"

He replied "20 Days".

It's possible but my samples are only 5 pieces and its taking them 30+ days for it. The only reason I am giving them more time is because they are custom spec.

I replied "Is this estimate because it is faster to produce after the initial setup?" to which he replies Yes it is and it will be more efficient.

I sent him another email explaining the Origin of HK and tracking not moving today so we will see what they say.

Have you dealt with this type of delay before?
This type of delay usually results from either a scam, (but I doubt it in this case) or hasty promises made in trying to please. They might have been let down by a subcontractor, but they wouldn't want you to know that they aren't doing all the work themselves.

Samples will usually taker a lot longer to produce than production line versions, and that is made worse when it is not a standard product. He might have sent the sample without taking time to photograph the final step. Maybe I'm just being optimistic, but I don't smell a scam here.

Your question about lead time for a production line quantity was a good idea. That might even result in them actually giving you a faster lead time than the usual 45 days, but I wouldn't bank on it.

Shipping via HK is commonplace, sometimes even under a different name than the one where you placed the order. The fact that the tracking # is showing that it is being shipped via HK almost certainly shows that it has shipped, otherwise it would show shipped ex supplier's city. Couriers are often slow in updating tracking, so check periodically and you might find it has moved before you get a reply from the supplier.

Walter
 

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