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GOLD Sharing my lifetime experience in export/import. Product sourcing specialist.

Discussion in 'Product Creation, Inventing, Importing, Sourcing' started by Walter Hay, Sep 17, 2014.

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  1. Dan1el
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    Dan1el Bronze Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass

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    Thanks alot for your feedback Walter!!
     
  2. Roli
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    Roli Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Hi Walter,

    Thank you for your previous advice about saving face; I think it has gone down well, and I'm building up quite a nice relationship with my supplier.

    Just a small thing I've noticed (which may not be small!), is that when he is writing to me, he uses a small letter for his first name; for example (not real name)

    Regards
    brian

    However when he is talking about money, deliveries and such, he uses a capital letter.

    Regards
    Brian

    I noticed the small letter early on, and the capital more recently as things have been progressing. I have been mirroring him by using brian, or Brian, whenever he does.

    However I'm wondering what your thoughts are on this, should I go further and only use a capital for my name when we're talking money, or do you reckon that's taking it too far?

    Very interested to hear your thoughts on this one.

    Thanks
    roli :)
     
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  3. Walter Hay
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    Walter Hay Legendary Contributor Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Hi roli or is it Roli???

    I wouldn't read too much into his use of capitals or lower case in his signature. The consistency in his use of the two forms is interesting, but I've not seen that as a common practice.

    Walter
     
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  4. Roli
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    Roli Silver Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Haha, yes; I did wonder if I was reading too much into it. At first I just felt it was because of a difference between written English and Mandarin/Cantonese, then I started seeing meaning where there was none.

    Thanks again :)
     
  5. Denim Chicken
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    Hi Walter, could you point me in the right direction regarding custom manufacturing, not importing pre-existing products?

    I designed a product that's an improvement of a current product that I use. I know from personal experience how to improve it, I made a rendering on illustrator and photoshop illustrating the various components I need. It's a simple design.

    For the sake of simplicity, let's say I need 3 total parts, a square piece made of plastic sheet, some grip for non-slip benefits, and another part.

    I have contacted manufacturers of plastic sheeting and mass plastic manufacturers that only do plastic sheets. Haven't received a reply yet.
    Would most of these big-time, highly specialized factories like this also be able to accommodate the other components such as adding and assembling the grip on the plastic sheet? I plan on getting the components separately from different factories to protect myself but some things like the adhesive grip or handles may be better off done at 1 factory since the assembly with adhesive, screws, etc. would be an nightmare to do myself.

    Would it be better to contact the CATEGORY manufacturers? Instead of plastic manufactures of plastic sheets, (which is a component I need), I call up say a toy manufacturing factory that has experience making different types of toys and try to get them to make a more involved role in making the FINAL product?

    My product is simple but requires a few parts to be put together in some way. A major component of the product is the plastic sheet cut to a specific measurement. I figured the factory that specializes in plastic sheeting can give me the best rates and accuracy versus the latter option, BUT they aren't going to be as open to lower MOQs given that their units are priced by meter or by tons.

    What are you thoughts? Thanks Walter.
     
  6. Walter Hay
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    Walter Hay Legendary Contributor Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Many manufacturers in China tend to have tunnel vision, and that's probably why you've had no response from plastic sheet manufacturers. I doubt they would be interested in any kind of assembly work.

    Depending on what kind of plastic you need, it might be better to contact plastic fabricators who use that kind of plastic. For example, if you want acrylic sheet, look for stationery manufacturers who fabricate acrylic card holders or display stands. If you don't know which plastic to use, you could PM me with your requirements and I could probably suggest which plastic type you need.

    Chinese toy manufacturers would most likely not be keen to do part of the work, and if you get them to do all the assembly you will lose your confidentiality.

    For assembly I would favor local workers, and as I have suggested before, handicapped workshops can be a very good place for assembly work.

    It might even be possible to have a small component made in the US, with the plastic sheet being imported already cut to shape. The manufacturer of the small component might be more inclined to do assembly than would a Chinese manufacturer.

    Walter
     
  7. Denim Chicken
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    Thank you Walter. I looked up plastic sheet manufacturers who seem to have a more diverse catalog (various sizes, designs, etc.) and received a response from 2 of them. I sent them my rendering of the design.

    They followed up and asked what kind of material I would like. I was thinking ABS since is more rigid but one of them asked "POM, PA, or others"? I am guessing she means polyacrylic or something of that nature. I gotta do some research to make sure it doesn't have any toxic things in it as it'll be handled.

    They did say they were able to do the grip part and asked me more questions on how thick, etc. so we'll see what they say.

    I'm going to ask them for 1 or 2 samples possibly of the top types of plastics so I can decide which one is better, and hopefully they can send it with the grip as well as the custom color I want without a mold or branding to start.
     
  8. Walter Hay
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    I think POM might be an expensive overkill. It's and engineering plastic. Sure it is very strong, but it might not be cost effective. One benefit is that it can be cut very cleanly and accurately using lasers.

    By PA they probably mean Nylon which is the most common of the PA types. Again, quite expensive, and because it absorbs and releases moisture causing expansion and contraction, it might not be suitable.

    I would suggest Polycarbonate or ABS might be better.

    Walter
     
  9. Denim Chicken
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    Thanks, I spent some time on wikipedia. Looks like PA is polyamide for nylon and abrasive resistant textile. You're right on point!

    Any chance you would know the answer to this:
    Looking for a plastic material for a 35-40" rod with 1/2-5/8" diameter thickness that is rigid enough to hold its form without being floppy at that length and diameter (think silicone or rubber), but just enough to have some give (think fishing pole) so it doesn't break on flex.
    3/8" Fiberglass has worked out well so far but I don't want to use fiberglass, so a similar plastic alternative in flex strength while holding rigidity form would be optimal.

    ABS I'm seeing is very rigid with little flex but it's possible at this length it will flex some. So I am leaning towards that. I think ABS might break abruptly if given too much stress though and doesn't do well to UV.
    PVC is another because I imagine what a solid piece of PVC will do compared to a PVC pipe. Another option.
    Lastly, acrylic may work. I saw some acrylic rods for sale and it seems to be unbreakable which is good from a safety standpoint, bends but holds its shape.

    I haven't had a chance to test any of these.

    Would they find this overly rude if I asked the manufacturer to send 1 of each material without custom work so I can see and compare the properties?
     
  10. Walter Hay
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    Walter Hay Legendary Contributor Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    I think ABS is probably your best choice for the rod. UV resistance can be improved with additives. PVS will flex substantially but can break suddenly if bent too much. Acrylic is very strong and flexible, so it's worth considering.

    I suggest you go to a local plastic supply shop - look for Industrial plastic supplies, and ask for their comments too. You could buy some sample pieces of various plastics. I would do that before asking overseas suppliers for samples.

    Walter
     
  11. Denim Chicken
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    T
    Thank you Walter that's a good suggestion. I'll be going to a local store before I proceed with China
     
  12. StompingAcorns
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    Thank you for sharing your expertise!

    I'm about to import a wood product, and the supplier is asking for a fumigation cert fee. I did a little research and saw references to fumigation sometimes occurring on the ship, just before the container is closed. Is it ever appropriate to pay this to the supplier? Or only to the freight forwarder? I don't want to wind up paying it twice. :) But I don't know if freight companies might require something from the suppliers.

    Also, are there any health hazard concerns with unpacking items that have been fumigated, generally speaking? I suppose this might depend on the method used; but I imagine it would be very expensive to monitor whether any specific method requested had actually been followed, even if I were to specify one and they were willing to comply.

    PS - I went to purchase your book, from the landing page link you gave above, but the PayPal button is not working. I tried it in both Chrome and Firefox.
     
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  13. Walter Hay
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    Walter Hay Legendary Contributor Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    First, I am assuming that the shipment is large enough to travel by sea, but most of my answer will still be relevant if the shipment travels by air.

    There are a lot of variables in wood products, but there are some general rules. For example there are two main options for fumigation: 1. Heat treatment such as kiln drying, and 2. Chemical fumigation, most commonly using Methyl Bromide, but there is a worldwide move to reduce or eliminate the use of this greenhouse gas.

    Most if not all of the gas evaporates long before the wood products would reach the US, but if the items are sealed in plastic very soon after manufacture there could be some release of gas when they are unwrapped. This is a very unlike scenario, mainly because manufactured wood products don't have to be fumigated, but should it occur, unwrap in a very well ventilated space, preferably outdoors.

    No fumigation is required for things like furniture, picture frames, or carvings, but you need to be sure that the timber is not from a protected species of flora.

    Wood used in packing freight is another matter, and must be fumigated. It is usually best to arrange with your own local freight forwarder to organize the fumigation and certificate in China. It's much easier to work with someone who is just a phone call away. A freight forwarder can arrange everything for you from pickup at the supplier's premises through fumigation to delivery to your address. You must ask for an all-inclusive quote in writing, but there can still be surprises if for example your shipment is held up for inspection. Their charges will include a fumigation certificate if required.

    I have contacted my support team about the PayPal button not working, and will get back to you soon.

    Walter
     
  14. StompingAcorns
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    This is what I was looking for. Thank you! Yes, this is an ocean shipment, about 2 pallets.

    Good to know - thanks for the tip!

    Sounds good! Thanks again for your help.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2017
  15. Red
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    Hey Walter!

    Believe it or not, I've managed to find another question that's yet to come up in the past 49 pages of ridiculously in-depth content....


    Part I: What do you do when you receive samples & they are just not up to par on the quality or what you're looking for? I have samples from 2 factories now (with a third on the way that I'm super excited about -this may be the one) & the 2nd shipment is just.... terrible. They're ugly, put together in a very unappealing manner & .... just.... yuck. I would never in a million years consider buying this product & wouldn't use it if it was given to me -they're that bad. I obviously can't tell my contact that. How do I respond to their inquiry about them & remain respectful/preserve the communication?


    Part II: One of the brushes that BOTH the manufacturers sent is the same. exact. brush. We're talking, down to the tiny scuff where you can tell the mold was poured. I'm positive they were poured from the same mold. And this is obviously confusing. Any insight into how/why this happened or the ramifications of it?


    Thank you, good sir!
     
  16. Walter Hay
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    Walter Hay Legendary Contributor Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Part I: If they can't send you decent quality samples you don't want to deal with them. It's as simple as that. Any business that sends out samples will send good samples. If they don't it's because they can't.

    Part II: If they are sending you identical samples, it's quite possible that neither one is the real manufacturer.

    If the samples are that bad, I see no problem in not even bothering to tell them. Just ignore them, lick your wounds caused by spending money on worthless samples, and move on.

    Walter
     
  17. Bigguns50
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    Bigguns50 Gold Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    Hey @Walter Hay .... So I didn't see anything in your book regarding Cambodia. I'm talking with a guy there about buying brand name clothing. Any experience or tips with this Country ?
     
  18. Roli
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    Hi Walter,

    I've just told a supplier what I want and confirmed the price with him, thinking that I was making an order. He then asked when I would send him the order.

    I thought that's what I was doing. Is there some formal way to send an order that I'm missing?

    Thanks
     
  19. Walter Hay
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    Walter Hay Legendary Contributor Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    I would be very wary of buying brand name clothing from any foreign supplier. Chances are very high that they will be counterfeits, and if so that could land you in trouble, the least of which could be confiscation of the shipment by USCBP.

    Cambodia is still learning about exporting, and it's not easy to locate manufacturers that are not tied to businesses in other countries. Most of the production for export is by Chinese or Taiwanese owned companies who find labor costs in China are getting too high.

    Quite a lot of their production of clothing is for big brands, and this is where the risk lies. It is extremely rare for the big brand owners to license Asian manufacturers to sell their products to anyone but themselves.

    Walter
     
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  20. Bigguns50
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    Thanks @Walter Hay . The clothing is Nike. I checked and they have 7 factories there...but I was thinking...why / how could this guy be selling Nike ? I mean...they're HUGE ! His minimum is 50 pieces which also seems low to me for that brand.
     
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  21. Walter Hay
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    Walter Hay Legendary Contributor Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    You're quite right. Selling 50 items wouldn't pay for the office coffee break.

    They might be:
    • Factory rejects that should have been destroyed, but maybe the trash disposal driver "saved" them.
    • Imitations that are made by someone who has access to designs and patterns, or is just good at copying.
    • Stolen goods. Big brand items often fall off trucks.
    Walter
     
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    I just thought you guys might get a kick out of a PayPal Invoice from China, haha. This was for one of the factories sending me a few samples. So far, I've paid $30, $40 & $40 for samples from 3 different factories. I just clicked on links hoping they were the right ones to pay & eventually muddled my way through, LOL


    ChinesePayPalInvoice.jpg

    Hopefully the 3rd time is the charm....
     
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    After 'practicing' for a while and reading your book which has helped immensely....It kind of boils down to three things for me: 1) Common sense 2) Due diligence and 3) having someone I can trust to ask a question if I'm stuck.

    Thanks again Walter !
     
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    HI Walter,

    I think maybe the issue with you replying me and me not seeing it may have happened again; or you just missed my question?

    It was regarding the fact that I told my supplier what I wanted, and then he asked when I would "send my order", which is what I thought I was doing. I'm just wondering if there a standard way of making an order that I'm missing?

    Cheers!
     
  25. Denim Chicken
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    Just tell him you're ready to order and send you a formal invoice
     
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