The Entrepreneur Forum | Financial Freedom | Starting a Business | Motivation | Money | Success

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

Learn how to build wealth and win financial freedom the Fastlane way!

Say "NO" to mediocre living rife with jobs, ascetic frugality, and suffocating savings rituals— learn how to build a Fastlane business that pays both freedom and lifestyle affluence. Join more than 70,000 entrepreneurs who are making it happen.
Join for FREE Today
Get the books
Remove ads? Join Fastlane INSIDERS
(Registration removes this block)

Gentlegiant

Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
May 25, 2020
22
30
Canada
This might be a stupid question, but do manufactures usually answer e-mails over the weekends? I was communicating with one but they suddenly stopped answering.
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2014
3,088
12,395
World citizen
Businesses in China sometimes work 7 days a week, but the English speaking employees who handle exports will usually take one day off. Sometimes they will take two days break, so it is quite common for them to not answer emails on weekends.

Walter
 

Sethamus

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Unscripted!
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2019
425
736
Northshore area, New Orleans
Thanks so much for your reply, I appreciate your time. I decided to start sourcing on made-in-china.com instead, as I've heard good things about them. I'll remain on the lookout for fake manufacturers though. :)
You will still have questions, but just go ahead and buy his sourcing book if you haven't. Will open your eyes to the multitude of places you can source and has useful links for countries along with tips and things to look out for.
 

James90

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
Jul 2, 2019
77
121
Hawaii
A lesson learned today. I was in the process to import plywood from China into the U.S. Before they were about to send samples, I was made aware by the suppliers of an “anti-dumping” duty which I've never heard of.

I was just aware of the duties via HTS codes

With a bit of research, it’s a duty of 44.77 %:wideyed: on imported plywood because of low-cost competition from China.

I was fortunate the suppliers aware of this before ordering samples and hiring an inspection audit.



Question: Is there reference/resource you can point me to, that I can catch reforms on findings like that?

I'd like to conduct as much of my own due diligence before hiring an inspection agency.
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2014
3,088
12,395
World citizen
Question: Is there reference/resource you can point me to, that I can catch reforms on findings like that?
I deal with the matter of anti-dumping duties in my safe sourcing and importing book, along with countless other things that you need to know.

My AMA is not like the blogs and YouTube shows by people who make themselves out to be experts. It actually provides accurate answers to questions, and as the thread title says, it is based on a lifetime of experience.

I have helped many people out the mire they have found themselves in after following the misleading advice from those online "experts."

Should you think it's worth paying under $100 to avoid costly mistakes, see my marketplace link below.

Walter
 

Veloman

Bronze Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Speedway Pass
Feb 10, 2018
89
113
Austin
As you will see from my reply to your PM, I am less than impressed with the company you are dealing with. They raise a lot of red flags, mostly with inconsistencies in the various companies that are supposedly part of their organization. The links to those companies are not working.

Also by checking the Bills of Lading for their shipments to the US (3 only) I discovered that one of those shipments consisted of a product totally unrelated to what they claim to be their specialized product line. The recipient of all 3 shipments is clearly a front company. That company's delivery address, supposedly head office, is different to the head office address their website displays.

I am sorry to say that I think you have lost what you paid this time.

Walter

Turns out I didn't get scammed. I got my product as ordered, a month ago. Just took longer than promised.
 

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2014
3,088
12,395
World citizen
Turns out I didn't get scammed. I got my product as ordered, a month ago. Just took longer than promised.
I am very pleased to know that the outcome was so good for you.

Walter
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.

5holiday

Contributor
Jun 7, 2012
106
67
This thread is amazing, thanks Walter.

My question is - how do you work out what you should be sourcing?

Do you recommend following the winds of opportunity, or starting with a category you're interested in and then trying to sniff out something there?

Same thing for the markets (to and from)

Apologies if you already answered. I tried a few searches among the thread and on posts you've made to find the answer but haven't found anything yet.
 

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2014
3,088
12,395
World citizen
This thread is amazing, thanks Walter.

My question is - how do you work out what you should be sourcing?

Do you recommend following the winds of opportunity, or starting with a category you're interested in and then trying to sniff out something there?

Same thing for the markets (to and from)

Apologies if you already answered. I tried a few searches among the thread and on posts you've made to find the answer but haven't found anything yet.
Several years ago, I quoted from a thread by @Vigilante in which he strongly recommended choosing a product that had not previously been imported into the country where you want to sell.

That is very sound advice. Most people seem to look for "hot selling" products, even paying good money to services like Jungle Scout to provide them with data that if followed leads to massive competition and a race to the bottom on prices.

My suggestion is to look outside China. The latest edition of my sourcing and importing book provides links to manufacturers in nearly 40 other countries, who want to export their products.

There you can find unique products, and ones that have not previously been exported. It's harder work, but worth it to be ahead of the flock.

Often you will find products similar to those available on Alibaba, but prices are sometimes better and quality often is superior.

If you start down that road, you can always ask for help if you find difficulties. Just post your question. If it is confidential, PM me.

Walter
 

Ben Taylor

Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Dec 7, 2015
37
39
26
@Walter Hay, how do you go about getting an estimate for how much it will cost to import and source an invention? I read through the thread somewhat haphazardly, but I didn't see this, so I'm sorry if you've already answered my question.
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.
Last edited:

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2014
3,088
12,395
World citizen
How do you go about getting an estimate for how much it will cost to import and source an invention? I read through the thread somewhat haphazardly, but I didn't see this, so I'm sorry if you've already answered my question.
The first thing you need to know is that if you want to have a product made in China, your invention will almost certainly be copied. Many people have found that their product idea is on the market before they even see a prototype.

A patent does little to prevent this. I would recommend looking for manufacturers in other countries who will produce it for you.

In any case you should obtain a Provisional Patent which will cost you less than $200 if you do it yourself. Be careful about using patent development services.

You can ask more questions here, or for confidentiality you can send me a PM.

Walter
 

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2014
3,088
12,395
World citizen
My Q & A thread in which I have posted a lot of questions I have received over the years and my answers has now been closed, although still available for viewing.

I have decided that I should here add new questions as they come up now from time to time, together with the answers that I gave to the person inquiring.

This question came up on the Proven Amazon Course FBA FaceBook Forum and I have included below the answer that I gave:
Q. When a Government Agency is involved besides customs (FDA for example), how do I apply for approval and getting the inventory through? What are my actions?

A. You should check if FDA approval for your product is required. Customs brokers can often help for a fee. Approval is not always checked on imports, but you should have it in case your freight forwarder asks. You can also use commercial FDA services such as FDA Attorney In Washington D.C. And Portland, OR | 202-765-4491 or Liberty Management Group Ltd at FDA Registration - FDA Agent - FDA Certification. Don't make the mistake of using https://fdahelp.wordpress.com !!!

Once certain that you don't need to obtain approval, or that the product is already approved, just leave it to your freight forwarder, although informing them about what information you have would be a good idea.

Walter
 

Bora.s

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Fastlane!
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Aug 12, 2018
81
263
Austria
Dear @Walter Hay, please let me know what you would do. I ordered on 1.7.2020 a product form a new supplier via Alibaba, in our invoice we fixed the delivery date on 30.8.2020. The goods are still not finished. Tried to reach out to them and after begging them for many days they finally said that the order will be ready on around Oct 15 2020, this means they need for our order totaly 105 days for production = 6 weeks longer than agreed. This never ever happened before, normally our suppliers have been very reliable.
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2014
3,088
12,395
World citizen
Dear @Walter Hay, please let me know what you would do. I ordered on 1.7.2020 a product form a new supplier via Alibaba, in our invoice we fixed the delivery date on 30.8.2020. The goods are still not finished. Tried to reach out to them and after begging them for many days they finally said that the order will be ready on around Oct 15 2020, this means they need for our order totaly 105 days for production = 6 weeks longer than agreed. This never ever happened before, normally our suppliers have been very reliable.
I really need some more information. 1. Have you bought from this supplier before? 2.Have you paid a deposit? 3. If so what %of the order value have you paid? 4. What payment method did you use?

Even allowing for the delays caused by the Coronavirus epidemic I think such a long delay could mean that they are not able to pay their materials/component suppliers.

If you did proper due diligence and found them to be a reliable company I expect that you will eventually receive the products ordered.

Once I see the answers to the questions above I hope that I will be able to give some help.

Walter
 
Last edited:

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2014
3,088
12,395
World citizen
Hello @Walter Hay Where can I buy your sourcing and importing book? I am living in the Netherlands.
@SylvieNicole you can either go to my Marketplace Offer , see the link below in my signature, or to my new website: https://www.WalterHaysBusinessBooks.com and pay there through PayPal.

Let me know if you have any difficulty.

Walter
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.

Bora.s

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Fastlane!
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Aug 12, 2018
81
263
Austria
I really need some more information. 1. Have you bought from this supplier before? 2.Have you paid a deposit? 3. If so what %of the order value have you paid? 4. What payment method did you use?

Even allowing for the delays caused by the Coronavirus epidemic I think such a long delay could mean that they are not able to pay their materials/component suppliers.

If you did proper due diligence and found them to be a reliable company I expect that you will eventually receive the products ordered.

Once I see the answers to the questions above I hope that I will be able to give some help.

Walter
Dear Walter, thank you very much for your answer. This is my first-time order of this supplier, I had to change the supplier because of quality problems in the past. I paid 30 % deposit and it was a Trade Assurance payment to an Alibaba account.

I am almost sure the supplier is a reliable company. I met in person representatives of a European subsidiary of this Chinese supplier on a fair in Germany.
 

Jay89

New Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Aug 6, 2020
15
11
Germany
Hi Walter, thank you for providing answers for the communities questions for so many years now. That's amazing.

I myself am sourcing from China on alibaba. I always wondered what the margin of the chinese suppliers is. For example if they offer me a backpack for 13 usd with a MOQ of 200, how much can I negotiate the price or are there other terms I should consider negotiating? Hope this makes sense, Greetings from Germany
 

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2014
3,088
12,395
World citizen
Dear Walter, thank you very much for your answer. This is my first-time order of this supplier, I had to change the supplier because of quality problems in the past. I paid 30 % deposit and it was a Trade Assurance payment to an Alibaba account.

I am almost sure the supplier is a reliable company. I met in person representatives of a European subsidiary of this Chinese supplier on a fair in Germany.
I am sorry to tell you that Trade Assurance does not give the protection that Alibaba want you to believe it does. I have outlined the problems previously in detail in this thread.

The main escape method used by suppliers to avoid honoring the refund rules is to procrastinate once their customer shows that they are likely to want a refund. The time deadlines are strict, and they repeatedly make promises to deliver but when the buyer believes them that just uses up the time until Trade Assurance protection no longer applies.

See my post #1748. I was referring there to a quality dispute but the important fact is that the 30 day limit on delivery time applies also to claims for failure to deliver on time.

Therefore Trade Assurance is no longer available to you on this order, so you are at the mercy of your supplier.

Walter
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2014
3,088
12,395
World citizen
Hi Walter, thank you for providing answers for the communities questions for so many years now. That's amazing.

I myself am sourcing from China on alibaba. I always wondered what the margin of the chinese suppliers is. For example if they offer me a backpack for 13 usd with a MOQ of 200, how much can I negotiate the price or are there other terms I should consider negotiating? Hope this makes sense, Greetings from Germany
Margins are insanely high, but that doesn't mean that suppliers will cut their prices to the bone.

Haggling is often recommended by so-called experts, but in Chapter 10 of my book I explain in details why you should not try that. Instead in Chapter 10.10 I reveal an incredibly simple trick of the trade to obtain the best price.

Chapter 10 covers nearly 12 pages, so I can't post it all here, but here is an extract regarding margins: "Recently, when conducting a product sourcing search, I found for sale with an MOQ of 100pcs., a medium quality item that was quoted at $2.00 FOB Port. I have seen such items retailing for between $30 and $60."

Walter
 

James90

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
Jul 2, 2019
77
121
Hawaii
Walter,

I have decided on a supplier and is currently receiving quotes from various freight forwarders.

Besides judgement by price and ETD, is there thing else I should pay attention to when deciding on which freight forwarder to go with?


Thank you in advance!
 

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2014
3,088
12,395
World citizen
Walter,

I have decided on a supplier and is currently receiving quotes from various freight forwarders.

Besides judgement by price and ETD, is there thing else I should pay attention to when deciding on which freight forwarder to go with?


Thank you in advance!
I suggest that you do a Google search for reviews on the freight forwarders that you are considering. If they are based in Hawaii you could call them and have a discussion about their processes.

Their attitude is very important because when shipping there will very often be little issues that need explaining, fixing, or requiring some help.

Be sure to get their quotes in writing. Also be sure that the quotes cover everything from the point of pick up from your supplier and delivery to your destination address. That should include any charge for handling the process of clearance through Customs and the payment of duty and taxes on your behalf.

Before delivery to you they will require reimbursement of the amount they have paid for duty and tax.

Walter
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.

James90

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Speedway Pass
Jul 2, 2019
77
121
Hawaii
Walter,


I'm hesitant on the quality of the samples I've received from the supplier, due to being the complete product is too large be sent over as a sample.

Would I be overreaching if I asked my supplier to provide me one of their customer's contacts so I could get a review of their product from them? Please advise if there's a better way of doing this. Thank you
 

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2014
3,088
12,395
World citizen
Walter,


I'm hesitant on the quality of the samples I've received from the supplier, due to being the complete product is too large be sent over as a sample.

Would I be overreaching if I asked my supplier to provide me one of their customer's contacts so I could get a review of their product from them? Please advise if there's a better way of doing this. Thank you
I recommend asking for references, but Chinese suppliers are often reluctant to provide them. That doesn't necessarily mean that they have something to hide, it is just that the idea of giving references is not a part of Chinese business culture.

Explain that the reason you want to contact one of their satisfied customers is that shipping a sample for you to look at is too expensive and not practical.

Walter
 

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2014
3,088
12,395
World citizen
I did a brief search of this thread today because I knew that I had previously answered a question that had appeared today in a different thread. (Not one of mine.)

In doing so I found a couple of my posts that were obsolete, and consequently now misleading. I deleted them, but it reminded me that as I have done a few times, I should periodically post a reminder that in the ever changing product sourcing and importing field, old posts might not have the latest information.

A number of old posts are answers to questions about shipping terms. For newcomers I add that these are known as INCOTERMS.

Very recently the International Chamber of Commerce made a long overdue revision of those terms, so if anyone is searching for explanations or advice on whether to choose EXW, FOB, FIS, DAP, DDP etc..... please ignore any of my posts older than today.

Those changes were so significant that I have devoted an entire chapter to explaining INCOTERMS in my 2021 book revision. I also had to rewrite much more on other subjects due to this year's major changes in international trade.

Walter
P.S. Keep your questions coming and you can be sure the answers will be correct and up to date.
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.

Blackman

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Fastlane!
Speedway Pass
Dec 28, 2018
124
167
London, UK
To be honest, I think you should leave the old posts as they are, because they were relevant at the time of posting, so whoever is going through the thread should use a bit of due diligence and check the dates of posting as well as local import/export regulations to have the latest information.

It will be a never-ending job trying to keep up with all the changes and amending/deleting your own posts in the thread, so if I were you, I would leave them, but it's your call.

Thanks for your work.
 

Ronak

Gold Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2013
559
1,753
To be honest, I think you should leave the old posts as they are, because they were relevant at the time of posting, so whoever is going through the thread should use a bit of due diligence and check the dates of posting as well as local import/export regulations to have the latest information.

It will be a never-ending job trying to keep up with all the changes and amending/deleting your own posts in the thread, so if I were you, I would leave them, but it's your call.

Thanks for your work.

Agreed, you have already posted a disclaimer on the first post of the thread. Unless you're really feeling generous, you are taking on a lot of extra work. Or maybe just start a new updated thread with some of the changes?
 

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2014
3,088
12,395
World citizen
Thank you for your suggestions @Blackman and @Ronak.

I greatly appreciate your comments, and reflecting on them I realize that it really is unneccesary work.

Walter
 
Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum: Subscribe to Fastlane Insiders.
Last edited:

bossnfj

New Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Sep 30, 2020
4
1
Philippines
I am finaly done with reading the whole thread, i have put all the important things in a word document and then in google docs.
Here is the link for anybody who is intrested : Sharing my lifetime experience in export

Walter Hay this thread is one of the most helpful threads on import i must say. I am definitly going to buy your book. As a matter of fact i am going to do it right now.
Thank you for this!
 

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2014
3,088
12,395
World citizen
Thank you for this!
That document has unfortunately been given the wrong title by the compiler. This thread is all about importing, not exporting. A good example of how easy it is to use the wrong terms.

It is also important to note that although it covers most of this thread, it does not tell the whole story. As I wrote in my post #1855 above, many of the older posts are obsolete.

Some may have been brought more up to date when I have answered the same question a second time later in the 6 years since I started the thread, but it is likely that old answers are still all that a search on a subject will find.

In any case, readers should be aware that there is a very important reason why I have revised my book every year. The reason is that the whole sourcing and importing scene changes continually.

Anyone who relies only on the material extracted from the thread by is very likely going to make mistakes that can be avoided by following the information in the latest edition.

Small mistakes can be very costly. One Fastlane member wrote to me saying: "You have saved me 3000USD."

@Brentnal would be doing a bigger service to his readers by deleting his document.

Walter
P.S. Because the updates are so important everyone who buys my book is entitled to a free copy of every revision.
 

Post New Topic

Please SEARCH before posting.
Please select the BEST category.

Post new topic

New Topics

Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Must Read Books...

Explore books recommended by MJ DeMarco and other members of the Fastlane entrepreneurial community.
Fastlane Bookstore
Top