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

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  1. Walter Hay
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    Walter Hay Platinum Contributor Speedway Pass

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    Your questions are no trouble to me. I would much prefer you to ask rather than make mistakes. I have numbered your questions.

    1. When shipping via air courier you will usually get the best deal if the supplier arranges the shipment. They will almost always get much better rates than you can.
    2. NEVER pay via Western Union. It's as risky as sending banknotes.
    3. PayPal can provide an extra level of safety, but search my thread for PayPal to see warnings about how to make a PayPal claim if the goods are faulty.
    4. Photos can be sufficient for some types of product, but to be sure of quality and compliance with your specifications you would need a quality inspection. The big European based inspection services will usually charge about $300, but a number of my book users have had good results with a Chinese company that charges a lot less. You can contact direct the person that I deal with at safeimport@topwin.com
    5. Customs clearance is almost invariably included in the courier charge.Your suppliers were probably thinking you meant payment of duty, not the clearance work.

    Walter
     
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  2. exclusives88
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    exclusives88 Silver Contributor FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass Summit Attendee

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    Hi @Walter Hay

    I am doing a full container shipment from Pakistan to the US. I am calculating my total cost but I'm having a hard time estimating what the exam fee will cost (assuming there is one). I know there are various levels of exams from X-Ray such VACIS exam, Tail Gate, or even CES exam. Are there anything I can do to minimize the chances that my cargo will be examined? Is there an average cost of how much these various exams may cost?
     
  3. Walter Hay
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    Walter Hay Platinum Contributor Speedway Pass

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    I know what a worry these examinations and their cost can be. Although random exams are most common, many shipments are flagged on the basis of the importer's history or the history of the supplier/s. Others are flagged because of intelligence received, but that is not usually a worry to legitimate importers unless it is an LCL shipment. One of the smaller consignments in the container could be suspicious.

    VACIS exams, carried out using gamma ray technology, only take about 90 seconds once a container arrives at the head of the queue. The problem is that some shippers are certified under C-TPAT and their containers get preferential treatment. This can cause delays for ordinary shippers. Cost for a 40 foot FCL VACIS examination is $350 but there can be extras that can't be quoted in advance. These can include any transportation/trucking to the exam location, plus any PGA fees, if applicable.

    Tail Gate, also known as Back Door exams, cost at least $100, but the final cost can't be known until the exam is completed. If nothing suspicious is found, the tailgate is shut and resealed for delivery.

    CES exam. This is the scariest of all. The good news is that by shipping a full container load you will have minimized the risk of a CES being required. They are usually only a result of a suspicious scan in a VACIS exam. If for example a secret compartment is seen inside the container, a CES will be carried out. Delays can be weeks, and costs can range upward from $500, plus the cost of the VACIS, which must always precede a CES.

    Ensuring your shipper is registered under the C-TPAT scheme is the best way of reducing the risk of CBP examinations being carried out.

    You can find more information about C-TPAT here: C-TPAT: Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism | U.S. Customs and Border Protection

    Walter
     
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  4. RahKnee
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    @Walter Hay , once again I'd like to say thank you for this thread. It's literally priceless.

    I've been importing products from around the world and reselling them in the US, and making a nice return on them. But the entire process has been death by a thousand cuts. One here, two there, maybe a "large" order of five units that I pack up and ship myself. All of this small stuff is really a drain on my time. I started seeking out larger chain stores to carry my products a while back, basically harassing their buyers for weeks and months on end, and some are finally starting to show interest.

    As far as I'm concerned, that's the goal. Get a large retailer to buy large volumes of my products and put and end to the small orders and the time and effort of fulfilling them. The only issue now is that I've been asked for a comprehensive list of product sheets for everything I carry.

    Any guidance or suggestions on what goes into a product sheet? Any tips on how to make it look professional? Is there an industry standard that I need to consider? Any input on this would be much appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Ron
     
  5. Walter Hay
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    Walter Hay Platinum Contributor Speedway Pass

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    When operating my importing business I was selling B2B, and I generally avoided selling to retailers. My main reasons were:
    • They demanded too big a slice of the pie. The rule of thumb was always 50% off the RRP, but it was not unusual to find some that expected more, often in the form of subsidies for their advertising.
    • Big stores expected extended credit, and I was not willing to act as an interest-free bank for them.
    • Small stores were generally in my opinion too big a credit risk.
    • Getting the sales at big stores was far too time consuming, and I preferred to spend my time making much higher margin sales to other businesses, government authorities, clubs and charities, where repeat business cost me only courtesy calls.
    • The few small retailers I sold to were willing to pay COD for a small extra discount and re-ordered automatically, so risk was absent and effort was minimal.
    • I preferred to sell bespoke items and this meant that I carried no inventory except for those few retailer customers. This business model was very attractive to my franchisees, because it required so little capital.
    Sales resulted from advertising in print YP, later progressing to online, by direct mail, and by personal calling at the businesses either myself or by using commission reps.

    I used product sheets in my first major business, and they were sales sheets, describing the product and setting out the product's virtues, but they were very industry specific and technical, unlike the product sales sheets you would use if selling to retailers.

    For more expert help than I can give, I suggest you look at posts by @G-Man and @amp0193.

    If you want to make sales in bigger single orders with high margins, I suggest you think about B2B.

    Walter
     
  6. hatzil
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    Hey Walter,
    My product is a clothing product that requires embroidery, cloth labels, etc. after talking with Asian suppliers because my initial order is small the prices are high. I would like to buy a wholesale or stock out in the USA to save set-up and shipping costs but mainly because of speed.
    1.Because I am buying from stock out- my product comes with different ready designs. If I embroider my brand name to it for resell at retail price- Am I violating any copyright/design law?
    2.Some wholesale products look great but have a brand name on it. Is it possible to remove this brand embroidery and put my brand on it instead? Or usually, it will just look bad?

    Thank you :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017 at 7:49 AM
  7. Walter Hay
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    Walter Hay Platinum Contributor Speedway Pass

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    I would first do some more searching for suppliers in the USA who could have blank items of the kind you are wanting to use. I have sent you a link where you will find over 100 suppliers, some of whom definitely supply blanks. Among them you will find some who will embroider with your brand name.

    In answer to your questions:
    1. The design of the clothing product itself would not be covered by copyright or design laws. I can be confident about this because I know what the product is. Adding your own brand would be normal practice.
    2. Removing existing embroidery is not an option because that is a very labor intensive procedure and also the stitch marks would remain, and might not all be hidden by your embroidery.

    Keep in mind that most will also supply other related products, so if you get them to do the embroidery for you, ask them to keep the program for possible use on other types of products. For ideas, see my labeling book Chapter 7.9 where I suggest that.

    It is unlikely that they will offer the type of labeling that I deal with in Ch 7.11.

    Walter
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017 at 4:14 PM
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