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

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Gentlegiant

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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.
 

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Walter Hay

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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

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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.
 

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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.
 
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Walter Hay

Walter Hay

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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

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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.
 
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Walter Hay

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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
 

5holiday

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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.
 
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Walter Hay

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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

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@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.
 
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Walter Hay

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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
 

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Walter Hay

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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

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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.
 
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Walter Hay

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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
 
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Walter Hay

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Bora.s

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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

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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
 
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Walter Hay

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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
 
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Walter Hay

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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
 

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