The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success

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

LPPC

Bronze Contributor
Mar 6, 2016
298
252
129
27
Hello @Walter Hay ,

I hope you are doing well. I am planning to ship this product that is made from PLA (Polylactic Acid) with the train from China to the Netherlands. The product will be in transport for 3 weeks in the train.

My concern is that the PLA material has a glass transition of 45 degrees Celsius. This means that if it gets hotter than 45 degrees Celsius, it might start deforming. The product has a component that is a sphere shape, so any deformity will be really noticeable.

I have sent my forwarder an email regarding this (and the manufacturer too), but I thought it might also be good idea to double check by asking you since it is a big and expensive shipment.

Could you tell me whether this will become a problem or give me a way to find out about this? I will also be asking this on forums about chemistry.

Thank you!
 

Become a Fastlane INSIDER to view the forum ad free.

OP
OP
Walter Hay

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2014
2,157
8,758
1,953
World citizen
www.provenchinasourcing.com
It is strange to learn of a PLA material with a glass transition so low. The minimum for various types of PLA is usually 60 Celsius.

Just in case the PLA your supplier is using does have such a low glass transition level, the best suggestion I can make is to ship in well insulated packaging, preferably in an insulated container.

Before you go to all that trouble, take note that 45 Celsius is equal to about 113 Fahrenheit, so maybe the problem doesn't exist, because PLA is stable at temperatures up to the glass transition level.

Walter
 
Last edited:

LPPC

Bronze Contributor
Mar 6, 2016
298
252
129
27
It is strange to learn of a PLA material with a glass transition so low. The minimum for various types of PLA is usually 60 Celsius.

Just in case the PLA your supplier is using does have such a low glass transition level, the best suggestion I can make is to ship in well insulated packaging, preferably in an insulated container.

Before you go to all that trouble, take note that 45 Celsius is equal to about 113 Fahrenheit, so maybe the problem doesn't exist, because PLA is stable at temperatures up to the glass transition level.

Walter
I actually got the 45 degrees Celsius from a site and I thought I would take that number to be sure. I asked the manufacturer and the glass transition level is indeed 60 degrees Celsius.

My forwarder told me that the train will go through the following countries: China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany and the Netherlands. Right now these countries are extremely cold, so high temperature is not an issue. The humidity level is really high though, up to 100%. Also the temperatures can get to -20 degrees Celsius. Would this be a problem for the 23 days it is being transported? Also it would be stored in the Netherlands for months. Right now there the humidity level is also 100%. Would that be a problem?

I researched on google and the humidity could be an issue, but they all talk about the PLA filaments before 3D printing and not the end product.

Any tips on how to store and transport it? Should it be stored and transported in airtight containers? Sealed containers or unsealed?

Thank you very much!
 
OP
OP
Walter Hay

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2014
2,157
8,758
1,953
World citizen
www.provenchinasourcing.com
PLA is not water soluble though it is completely biodegradeable. If immersed in water it would take months break down.

With this in mind I would doubt that the humidity would degrade it, but sealing the containers would be a safeguard. Humidity is not likely to penetrate even a sealed cardboard carton.

Walter
 

LPPC

Bronze Contributor
Mar 6, 2016
298
252
129
27
PLA is not water soluble though it is completely biodegradeable. If immersed in water it would take months break down.

With this in mind I would doubt that the humidity would degrade it, but sealing the containers would be a safeguard. Humidity is not likely to penetrate even a sealed cardboard carton.

Walter
That is very good to hear. Do you mean to seal only the flaps of the cardboard box with tape like in this picture? -->


Or completely wrap it in plastic foil?

Also let's say it is summer time in these countries, where temperatures could get up to say 45 degrees Celsius. Would it still be safe to transport it with train with a glass transition level of 60 Celsius? Or is the chance of deformity too big for it to be a wise choice? Ofcourse, all is at my own risk ;)

Thank you!
 
OP
OP
Walter Hay

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2014
2,157
8,758
1,953
World citizen
www.provenchinasourcing.com
That is very good to hear. Do you mean to seal only the flaps of the cardboard box with tape like in this picture? -->


Or completely wrap it in plastic foil?

Also let's say it is summer time in these countries, where temperatures could get up to say 45 degrees Celsius. Would it still be safe to transport it with train with a glass transition level of 60 Celsius? Or is the chance of deformity too big for it to be a wise choice? Ofcourse, all is at my own risk ;)

Thank you!
A box sealed in the way you illustrate should keep out the humidity.

If the glass transition level is in fact 45 degrees Celsius it would need insulation or refrigeration if there was a risk of reaching that temperature. If, as I believe to be the case, glass transition level is 60 degrees Celsius there should be no cause for concern unless the package was in something such as a closed vehicle in which temperatures can reach 50 to 60 degrees.

Walter
 
OP
OP
Walter Hay

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2014
2,157
8,758
1,953
World citizen
www.provenchinasourcing.com
Well, I have, with the kind assistance of so many on this forum, come to a conclusion.

Here's my plan:
  • Open an FAQ thread with a reminder on at least every page, that it is not an AMA thread, and any questions should be posted on my AMA.
  • Create a marketplace ad, offering to source products, but I can't bring myself to set fees, so I will rely on the honesty box system. If I don't get paid, the only consequence would be that no further requests from that member would receive my attention. It will be on a first come, first served basis and if I am too busy I will simply have to defer or decline the request.
My decision is based on a number of factors, not the least of which is the helpful comments in this thread. I have also made allowance for my own personal preferences and limitations.

This means: No newsletter, no limit on number of sourcing projects (time permitting), no voice contact.

Thanks again to all who contributed. Time will tell if my plan works out.

Walter
 

Megaman9

New Contributor
Jul 21, 2018
13
4
14
Hi Walter,

I went through some of this huge thread, thanks for taking the time to answer all the questions and share valuable information with us.

Do you have any tips on how to find a Chinese manufacturer's website/contact info if I already have their name?
I found a few manufacturers for a product using websites like Import Genius. The thing is, when I search for the supplier's name on Google, I can not find a website or contact info.
Any tips?
 
OP
OP
Walter Hay

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2014
2,157
8,758
1,953
World citizen
www.provenchinasourcing.com
Hi Walter,

I went through some of this huge thread, thanks for taking the time to answer all the questions and share valuable information with us.

Do you have any tips on how to find a Chinese manufacturer's website/contact info if I already have their name?
I found a few manufacturers for a product using websites like Import Genius. The thing is, when I search for the supplier's name on Google, I can not find a website or contact info.
Any tips?
You won't find in my thread all you need to know about products sourcing and importing. For example there is a section in my book showing in detail how to go about finding and verifying suppliers by name. It is not straight forward.

You will appreciate that with 136 pages in the 2018 edition, and the soon to be released 2019 edition will be considerably more, I can't publish everything in this thread.

If you have a look at my website: www.provenchinasourcing.com you will get a good idea of what is included. If you decide to buy the book, I suggest that you don't buy from my site, because I am currently offering it at a discounted price. See my Marketplace thread link below.

Walter
 

Become a Fastlane INSIDER to view the forum ad free.

OP
OP
Walter Hay

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2014
2,157
8,758
1,953
World citizen
www.provenchinasourcing.com
Thanks for the reply Walter, I decided to purchase the book through the marketplace offer.
Thanks for letting me know. When you see the huge number of positive reviews on the ProvenChinaSourcing website you can be sure that you won't regret it.

Walter
 

JustWalkinAround

New Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Dec 10, 2014
14
7
18
26
Hi all,

I am in talks with two Chinese factories and almost ready to place orders for two separate products.

One factory has quoted me $278 usd shipping door to door to Australia. Roughly 31kg and dimensions are 52*36*32cm.

The second factory has quoted me $800 usd shipping door to door to Australia. They said they weren’t able to give me the dimensions as we haven’t finalised the order for them to start packing (I’m ordering 3-4 different things) but said it would be over 200kgs.

Would anyone be able to confirm that these are fair prices given the weight/dimensions provided?


Thanks!
 
OP
OP
Walter Hay

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2014
2,157
8,758
1,953
World citizen
www.provenchinasourcing.com
Hi all,

I am in talks with two Chinese factories and almost ready to place orders for two separate products.

One factory has quoted me $278 usd shipping door to door to Australia. Roughly 31kg and dimensions are 52*36*32cm.

The second factory has quoted me $800 usd shipping door to door to Australia. They said they weren’t able to give me the dimensions as we haven’t finalised the order for them to start packing (I’m ordering 3-4 different things) but said it would be over 200kgs.

Would anyone be able to confirm that these are fair prices given the weight/dimensions provided?


Thanks!
The price quoted by the first factory appears to be a good price, but the second one appears to be based on a per kg air freight rate, not door to door.

Make sure any quote includes all costs door to door, including Customs clearance. Duty and GST will be extra, and will be collected before delivery to you.

If you can get measurements and weight it would be worth getting quotes from your local freight forwarders.

Walter
 

JustWalkinAround

New Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Dec 10, 2014
14
7
18
26
The price quoted by the first factory appears to be a good price, but the second one appears to be based on a per kg air freight rate, not door to door.

Make sure any quote includes all costs door to door, including Customs clearance. Duty and GST will be extra, and will be collected before delivery to you.

If you can get measurements and weight it would be worth getting quotes from your local freight forwarders.

Walter
Thanks Walter.

I will try to get the measurements and weight.

The other thing I forgot to mention about the second option was that they said it’s $800 for 200kgs by TNT express. They then told me the cheaper option was $720 but could take 40-50 days to send, so I assume it’s by sea.

I just want to know if that’s a fair cost by sea or if they’re giving me a bad price to try and get me to accept the $800 option.
 
OP
OP
Walter Hay

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2014
2,157
8,758
1,953
World citizen
www.provenchinasourcing.com
Thanks Walter.

I will try to get the measurements and weight.

The other thing I forgot to mention about the second option was that they said it’s $800 for 200kgs by TNT express. They then told me the cheaper option was $720 but could take 40-50 days to send, so I assume it’s by sea.

I just want to know if that’s a fair cost by sea or if they’re giving me a bad price to try and get me to accept the $800 option.
yes, 40-50 days does mean it would be sea freight.

As I explain in my book, sea freight on small consignments can cost as much as sending by air courier.

There are exceptions, but the $720 quote does not surprise me.

Walter
 
Last edited:

LPPC

Bronze Contributor
Mar 6, 2016
298
252
129
27
A box sealed in the way you illustrate should keep out the humidity.

If the glass transition level is in fact 45 degrees Celsius it would need insulation or refrigeration if there was a risk of reaching that temperature. If, as I believe to be the case, glass transition level is 60 degrees Celsius there should be no cause for concern unless the package was in something such as a closed vehicle in which temperatures can reach 50 to 60 degrees.

Walter
That is very good to hear. Thanks a lot for clarifying it!
 

JustWalkinAround

New Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Dec 10, 2014
14
7
18
26
Thanks Walter.

Now I'm encountering the next weird thing...

I'm ordering samples with the 2 factories and on each separate trade assurance order they draft, they put the incorrect Product Details.

For example I've ordered balloon A, B, C and D. They've put listings for balloon E, F, G and H in for the Product Details section.

When I asked, the rep said this:

Because we don't have sample products, don't worry , I'll take your picture tomorrow

Alibaba cannot upload product demonstrations of individual samples
 
OP
OP
Walter Hay

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2014
2,157
8,758
1,953
World citizen
www.provenchinasourcing.com
Thanks Walter.

Now I'm encountering the next weird thing...

I'm ordering samples with the 2 factories and on each separate trade assurance order they draft, they put the incorrect Product Details.

For example I've ordered balloon A, B, C and D. They've put listings for balloon E, F, G and H in for the Product Details section.

When I asked, the rep said this:
I would be very wary of this supplier. Trade Assurance is IMO little more than a feel good scheme to convince buyers that if things go wrong they will be covered. The stories that I get, and the online reviews that I see, tell a very different story.

What makes me even more wary than I would normally be regarding hoping for Trade Assurance protection is that if you accept those errors in the order, you will have NIL protection, which is slightly worse than the little protection sometimes actually provided. :rage:

Walter
 

JustWalkinAround

New Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Dec 10, 2014
14
7
18
26
I would be very wary of this supplier. Trade Assurance is IMO little more than a feel good scheme to convince buyers that if things go wrong they will be covered. The stories that I get, and the online reviews that I see, tell a very different story.

What makes me even more wary than I would normally be regarding hoping for Trade Assurance protection is that if you accept those errors in the order, you will have NIL protection, which is slightly worse than the little protection sometimes actually provided. :rage:

Walter
Hi Walter,

Thanks for the reply.

My question is then let’s say we didn’t go through trade assurance, therefore the supplier wouldn’t have needed to fill out the order and I wouldn’t have had the chance to see that they’ve messed up the product details.

What other information could I rely on to know that they’re trust worthy?

They’re a good supplier, verified, they have really good reply times and English has been very good.

The only thing that’s raised a red flag is that product detail thing, but if I didn’t use Trade Assurance I wouldn’t have known this.


Thanks!
 
OP
OP
Walter Hay

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2014
2,157
8,758
1,953
World citizen
www.provenchinasourcing.com
Hi Walter,

Thanks for the reply.

My question is then let’s say we didn’t go through trade assurance, therefore the supplier wouldn’t have needed to fill out the order and I wouldn’t have had the chance to see that they’ve messed up the product details.

What other information could I rely on to know that they’re trust worthy?

They’re a good supplier, verified, they have really good reply times and English has been very good.

The only thing that’s raised a red flag is that product detail thing, but if I didn’t use Trade Assurance I wouldn’t have known this.

Thanks!
That is about the only good thing about Trade Assurance, so you have been very lucky.

The fact that they are verified means nothing unless there is a reasonable amount of information provided by TUV or SGS. The various status badges do not give you much certainty.

If you search this thread for "Gold Supplier" you will find that I have provided a lot of information on this subject.

My instructions on assessing suppliers take up quite a few pages in my book, but for a quick assessment, do a Google search for the company, with the word Review added.

Walter
 

Become a Fastlane INSIDER to view the forum ad free.

amp0193

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
May 27, 2013
2,612
11,249
2,454
United States
Hey @Walter Hay, quick question:

I got a 40' container in October full of 95% damaged goods, that was mostly unsellable. We're taking most of it to the scrap yard next week.

I paid $20,000 in tariffs for that container.

Is there any recourse or process to get refunded any portion of that from the u.s. government?

My logic is that the HS code said xxxx.xx.xx.xx, but what I got was scrap metal. Could I file a fraud claim with CBP or something?


I've already written it off as a loss, but thought today that maybe there was something I could do. What do you think?


The supplier has replaced the container, and paying for freight/duties, so I'm squared away with them.
 

Raoul Duke

I'm not going to live by their rules anymore.
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Feb 26, 2016
1,365
4,831
1,135
Hey @Walter Hay, quick question:

I got a 40' container in October full of 95% damaged goods, that was mostly unsellable. We're taking most of it to the scrap yard next week.

I paid $20,000 in tariffs for that container.

Is there any recourse or process to get refunded any portion of that from the u.s. government?

My logic is that the HS code said xxxx.xx.xx.xx, but what I got was scrap metal. Could I file a fraud claim with CBP or something?


I've already written it off as a loss, but thought today that maybe there was something I could do. What do you think?


The supplier has replaced the container, and paying for freight/duties, so I'm squared away with them.
I do not know. You mentioned metal. Wire is metal. I found this with a quick search. So, if this is wrong, I apologize for sending you on a goose chase.

EXCLUSION GRANTED – How to Request a Refund of Tariffs Paid | AWPA
 
OP
OP
Walter Hay

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2014
2,157
8,758
1,953
World citizen
www.provenchinasourcing.com
@amp0193 There is a universally used protocol known as Drawback.

Briefly, it allows importers to obtain a refund on duty paid if the goods imported are re-exported (such as back to the supplier), or destroyed.

It is usually best to have a Customs Broker handle the process for you. Some are experienced at this, but not all handle the process.

COMSTOCK C.J. HOLT The Duty Drawback Specialist since 1856 - Comstock & Holt have been doing it since 1856, but there are plenty of others who could handle it for you.

Walter
 

amp0193

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
May 27, 2013
2,612
11,249
2,454
United States
@amp0193 There is a universally used protocol known as Drawback.

Briefly, it allows importers to obtain a refund on duty paid if the goods imported are re-exported (such as back to the supplier), or destroyed.

It is usually best to have a Customs Broker handle the process for you. Some are experienced at this, but not all handle the process.

COMSTOCK C.J. HOLT The Duty Drawback Specialist since 1856 - Comstock & Holt have been doing it since 1856, but there are plenty of others who could handle it for you.

Walter
Excellent, this just made my day. Can't believe I hadn't considered this earlier.

We were able to complete some of the units with spare parts on hand. We sold some of the better ones as "demo units" with full disclosure. And we are keeping some around for good measure.

Going to destroy maybe 60% of it... so that'll be a nice boost.
 
OP
OP
Walter Hay

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2014
2,157
8,758
1,953
World citizen
www.provenchinasourcing.com
Excellent, this just made my day. Can't believe I hadn't considered this earlier.

We were able to complete some of the units with spare parts on hand. We sold some of the better ones as "demo units" with full disclosure. And we are keeping some around for good measure.

Going to destroy maybe 60% of it... so that'll be a nice boost.
Thanks for the rep transfer.

I used the drawback system a few times while importing. I handled the claims myself, but I had worked in a shipping company so I had a big advantage. I would not recommend DIY for something as complex as this. USCBP say they are working on simplifying it, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

Walter
 

amp0193

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
May 27, 2013
2,612
11,249
2,454
United States
Thanks for the rep transfer.

I used the drawback system a few times while importing. I handled the claims myself, but I had worked in a shipping company so I had a big advantage. I would not recommend DIY for something as complex as this. USCBP say they are working on simplifying it, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

Walter
I don't have time to try and figure this out. Already sent a message to Comstok & Holt guys. Want to get that money back as quick as I can.
 

Kelley McEachern

New Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
May 23, 2018
16
10
22
Cottage Grove, Oregon
Walter,
When will the 2019 edition of your books be available? Any carrots on what's new?
 
OP
OP
Walter Hay

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2014
2,157
8,758
1,953
World citizen
www.provenchinasourcing.com
Walter,
When will the 2019 edition of your books be available? Any carrots on what's new?
My target date is about three weeks away, but it is a massive task I have undertaken, so it could take longer.

The biggest "carrot" would have to be the massive expansion of products sourcing sites listed. The purpose is to make it easier and far less time consuming for readers to locate suppliers in countries other than China.

Searching for suppliers in other countries via Google can lead you up many blind alleys, but I have done the hard work to ensure that my readers aren't led astray by the countless pseudo sourcing sites found with a Google search.

I am listing sites in 41 countries, including China, together with site navigation instructions.

As with any revision of a book, there will be much repetition of the old content, but there will be hardly a page that doesn't contain some changes.

If you can't wait, you could buy the current edition. All who have bought previous editions are entitled to a free download of every revision.

Walter
 
Last edited:

vbr

New Contributor
Aug 1, 2016
8
4
11
49
Hello,

If there's a specific cosmetics product from Japan that I want to sell in the US, please advice how I can source the product. Thank you so much.
 
OP
OP
Walter Hay

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2014
2,157
8,758
1,953
World citizen
www.provenchinasourcing.com
Hello,

If there's a specific cosmetics product from Japan that I want to sell in the US, please advice how I can source the product. Thank you so much.
It would be almost impossible to find except retail. If you know who it is, you could try contacting the manufacturer direct, but if they have a distributor in the US they won't even answer you.

Walter
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Post New Topic

Please SEARCH before posting.
Please select the BEST category.

Post new topic

Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Monthly conference calls with doers
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Top Bottom