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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.

  1. amp0193
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    amp0193 Legendary Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR Summit Attendee

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    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.
     
  2. Kelley McEachern
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    Kelley McEachern New Contributor Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER

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    Walter,
    When will the 2019 edition of your books be available? Any carrots on what's new?
     
  3. Walter Hay
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    Walter Hay Legendary Contributor Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    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: Feb 2, 2019
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    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.
     
  5. Walter Hay
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    Walter Hay Legendary Contributor Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    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
     
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    vbr New Contributor

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    Thank you, Walter.
     
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    Hi Walter,

    Quite a generic question, but see if you can help. I was wondering what would have to be the shipment's size for you to consider using an air freight forwarding company, instead of air couriers?

    Any average weight or volume that could give me an indication of when I should start contacting freight forwarding companies to possibly save money on postage?

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

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    As a rule of thumb, once a shipment exceeds 30kg (66lbs) it could become cheaper to use an air cargo consolidator.

    A caveat is relevant, that is, both air couriers and air freight shipments must be on a door to door basis.

    That is almost always the case if using air couriers, but if you don't specify door to door when using air freight, the freight charge will usually only cover the shipment until it reaches the destination airport.

    The extra costs and inconvenience will far outweigh any possible lower cost gained by using air freight.

    Delivery times will be different, with 2 to 3 days being normal for courier shipments, but 5 to 10 days being common in the case of air freight.

    Walter
    P.S. Don't believe the usual advice given by importing experts, saying that you can pick up from the airport. If you have my book, see 3.8 and 3.9.
     
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  9. LPPC
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    LPPC Bronze Contributor

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    Hello Walter,

    Would it be possible to pick up a shipment yourself from a
    Hello Walter,

    Would your advice given in 3.8 and 3.9 of your book also apply to picking it up yourself from a railway station in case of shipment via train?

    Also I am importing this LED nightlamp and I've imported from 2 manufacturers/suppliers:
    A) 9 defects out of 153 units --> 5.88% defect rate
    B) 2 defects out of 40 units --> 5.12% defect rate.

    I have to choose between manufacturer A and B for my next order. What do you think of these defect rates? Are they ok or unacceptable?

    It's a hard choice because the defect rate of manufacturer B does not say much because the sample amount is too small.

    Thank you!
     
  10. Walter Hay
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    Walter Hay Legendary Contributor Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Yes, the advice in my book does also apply to picking up from a rail depot. If you particularly want to pick up at a rail depot or station, the best suggestion I can offer is to take a small child with you - no more than 7 years of age. If they allow you in with a child, you will almost certainly get better treatment.

    The reject rates you quote are high, and indicate poor quality control. It might pay you to arrange pre-shipment inspections by TUV. That could add $200 or $300 to your cost, but should eliminate the reject problem.

    It pays to tell your supplier at the time of ordering, that you will have an inspection done by ....(your choice of inpsection service provider.)

    Walter
     
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  11. LPPC
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    LPPC Bronze Contributor

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    Hello Walter,

    It seems like all the hassle is not worth the extra money saved. I will keep having the forwarder do it.

    With my previous order, it doesn't seem like inspection has helped much but it might be because of my own fault. I ordered 270 units and had inspection done. They inspected something like 80 of them and no major fault was found. Right now I have sold something like 30 units of this shipment and already 2 of them were defective because the charging plug did not fit into the charging socket. I did not have the inspection check the charging port explicitly, so it might have been avoidable had I put it into the inspection checklist. Lesson learned to all readers: think of all the defects that the product can have and let them all get checked by the inspection service.

    Would you recommend having inspections done always for orders over 3000 USD that get shipped via sea or train, even though you have ordered multiple times from a manufacturer and it has gone well in general? Because it might be the case that even though previous orders have gone well, one of the orders can get a very high defect rate and then you are basically screwed even more because you ship via sea or air. This could leave you with being out of stock for a long time (if shipping via air is not viable), not to mention all the hassle to get a refund etc. Do such cases happen often enough that it makes the inspection worth it?

    Also let's say you find defective items once the shipment has arrived in country of destination. Then you tell your supplier that and ask them to credit you for next order. Would you recommend also adding the shipping cost of the single unit to the credit you ask of the supplier?

    Thank you very much! + repped
     
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  12. Walter Hay
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    Walter Hay Legendary Contributor Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    @LPPC Thanks for the rep transfer.

    Yes the hassles involved in picking up from airport, sea port, or rail depot are substantial, as are the possible costs.

    I would never do it myself, although I used to. When exporting, I had my own truck, and I would deliver the 1 ton shipments to the wharf, and if I didn't take my very young son with me, I hate to think how long I would have been just waiting around.

    Thanks for your lesson offered to all readers. That is very valuable advice, and I hope they all take note.

    Quality inspections usually work well if the manufacturer knows the inspection will take place, but everyone makes mistakes, so I think an inspection should be part of your ordering process.

    Even in cases where you have a good relationship, and previous orders have been good quality, mistakes can happen. A change of staff in the supplier's quality control section can result in a bad batch getting through.

    Sometimes inspections on quite small orders can save you losing all the money you have paid. Try to allow for the cost of an inspection when working out whether or not to buy a particular product. Is the margin there?

    If you can provide photographic or video evidence of the fault, and you are very polite about it, any supplier worth having will credit you with the cost of the rejects.

    Try to offer a compromise so that both sides win. Maybe you could offer to pay some of the freight cost, or as much as half. You will lose that money but build a great relationship if you want to continue dealing with that supplier.

    I assume that when you wrote: "Would you recommend also adding the shipping cost of the single unit to the credit you ask of the supplier?" that you were referring to the original sample.

    If so, I would say no - let sleeping dogs lie.

    Sometimes, losing some money is the cost of building Guanxi.

    I am writing here from my experience, and can tell you that yielding the unexpected, resulted in great service and excellent quality control, as well as a no questions asked willingness to give a full refund whenever I reported faulty goods. Faults became rare.

    Walter
     
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  13. LPPC
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    LPPC Bronze Contributor

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    @Walter Hay Thanks a lot for your helpful answer once again!

    That is indeed a very good idea to include the pre-shipment inspection cost when deciding whether a product is worth importing, I have noted that for the next products to come. In this case the margin is there indeed.

    I actually meant the defective units in a big order and not the initial sample to decide on whether to order with this supplier. So let's say you have received the shipment worth of $5000 in destination country and some of them appear to be defective. Would you then just ask for the unit price as credit or unit price+ shipping cost for this unit?

    Your advice is taken. Building relationships is indeed very important ofcourse.

    I hope you don't mind me asking another question. I have until now ordered from 2 manufacturers for the same product:

    Manufacturer A) 9 defects out of 153 units, 5.88% defect rate. Price per unit: 12 USD

    Manufacturer B) I bought it from my supplier that acts as the middleman between me and the manufacturer. Price per unit is 9.5 USD. They have the most beautiful version of this product. They customized the product for me to have a bigger battery size. They changed the motherboard for this also. Those were all good points.
    My first order with them were 40 units. Defect rate was 5%. This batch was really bad. The battery capacity of the whole batch was 30% of what they promised, barcodes were wrong, half of the units came totally empty and had to be charged first etc. My supplier said that they just moved to a new building and thus they were really busy (around 20th of january) and on top of that they could not use their stable motherboard but had to modify it for me. That might be the reason for the bad batch.
    My supplier agreed to provide me double the amount (80 units) as refund with a proper battery. I agreed to this. The sample showed that the battery was indeed good, but the LED colors were off because the motherboard they ordered were not programmed well. I could either decide to have them produce these 80 units now or wait after CNY. I decided to have them produced or else I would be out of stock.

    Question 1: Would you consider giving manufacturer B another chance by ordering 3000 USD worth of products and having a pre-shipment inspection done by TUV?
    Up until now me and my supplier have not found a manufacturer that produces this product as beautiful as the version of manufacturer B. This manufacturer also has a very low price and they customized the product for me without a MOQ or a much higher cost.

    On the other hand they have been really sloppy until now, but that might be because of CNY and their change of factory/building. Maybe a pre-shipment inspection by TUV will eliminate a big portion of this risk. And since you recommended to have an inspection done for every big order, I could do this inspection for every order from them.

    If they can produce this product for me long term with an acceptable defect rate, then I might have a good product that differentiates itself by higher battery and beautiful finishing. So maybe it is worth the risk, or it might be very foolish to give them another chance.

    Looking forward to your opinion on this! Ofcourse, in the end I will take all the responsbility for whichever decision I take.
     
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  14. Walter Hay
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    Walter Hay Legendary Contributor Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    @ LPPC Your question and my answer could be very helpful to others also, so I am pleased that you have asked it.

    Knowing that your margin is big enough to allow for the cost of a pre-shipment inspection, and in view of their helpful attitude, I would not hesitate to order from the trader.

    It is obvious that they have very good connections with factory that makes the product. This is a very good example of what can happen if you stumble upon a trader that has real influence with a factory.

    It also highlights the fact that what might seem a good price is not necessarily the best price a factory could offer.

    The problem of their sloppiness might be related to the CNY rush, but if not, it should be fixed when they know that an inspection could result in rejection of the shipment.

    Walter
     
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    It is good to hear that it is not crazy not give this manufacturer another chance. Hopefully it will turn out well this time and as you advised, I will certainly tell them in advance that a pre-shipment inspection will take place.

    My supplier/trader has indeed been very helpful and honest in this situation. She also told me that she has a good relationship with the manufacturer and that they indeed listen to her requests. I noticed that in my communication with her too.

    Thank you very much Walter, I don't know what I would do without your help!
     
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  16. Walter Hay
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    Walter Hay Legendary Contributor Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    My book updates.

    Importing book. The 2019 revision is currently being formatted, and should be available in another week - maybe two at the most.

    Labeling book. The 2019 revision is well under way, but might not be finished for another few weeks.

    The updates will be automatically sent to all who have purchased previous editions.

    Those purchased direct from the ProvenChinaSourcing website will receive a download link from my support team at PAC.

    Those who have purchased my Marketplace offer through Imagemodeuk will receive PDF copies.

    Walter
     
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  17. B. Cole
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    B. Cole In thine hand is power and might. Read Millionaire Fastlane I've Read UNSCRIPTED FASTLANE INSIDER Speedway Pass

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    Definitely looking forward to the revisions, and going to grab a copy of the newest importing book when it comes out. Thanks for all you do!

    Walter, do you ever see anybody consolidating shipments coming out of China to save shipping costs? Looks like it’d be a logistical nightmare trying to get multiple suppliers on one pallet, but sure would be nice to pay for one medium shipment crossing the ocean instead of 7 or 8 small ones.
     
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    @Walter Hay Looking forward to the new revision of the importing book and I'm going to grab a copy of the branding book soon too. Highly recommend the importing book and thank you Walter for providing such a goldmine of a book!

    @B. Cole I have consolidated 2 shipments together via train. The two products came from the same trader/supplier though. But I don't think it should be a big problem for your forwarder to manage it. Totally worth it.
     
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  19. Walter Hay
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    Walter Hay Legendary Contributor Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    @B.Cole, consolidation of shipments from different suppliers is a problem for many, because few forwarders are willing to handle it.

    Shiplilly, https://www.shiplilly.com/ based in Miami, have a huge worldwide network and they will consolidate shipments from different suppliers.

    Other forwarders will handle consolidation if they have warehouses in the country of origin. Most don't advertise the fact, so it is worth asking.

    Walter
     
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  20. Walter Hay
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    Walter Hay Legendary Contributor Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    Latest Update On My Books.

    The 2019 importing book
    has been delayed while a new website is built. The new site will be ProvenGlobalSourcing.com to reflect the big change from concentrating on China, to recognizing that there are now greater than ever global opportunities for importers.

    The 2019 labeling book is ready to go, but I prefer to delay release because so many have bought both books, and we will be sending out both to all those people. The work load for Imagemode will be almost halved.

    Walter
     
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    Hey Walter,

    Thank you for sharing your views and all of your experience here with us.

    Question: Shipping to Amazon, any reason not to go with a Chinese freight forwarder (one with Amazon experience)? have collected quotes from different freight forwarders and there is a price difference between 500-1500 USD on a small shipment (1000kg). The more expensive ones are from the US obviously.

    I got a couple of quotes from Chinese freight forwarders who claim to do take care of everything (i.e. I only have to pay duty and they will handle everything until the shipment arrives at the warehouse)

    What are your views on this in general?


    Gesendet von iPhone mit Tapatalk
     
  22. Walter Hay
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    Walter Hay Legendary Contributor Speedway Pass LEGENDARY CONTRIBUTOR

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    The short answer is DON'T

    As you will see in Chapter 4 of my book, I provide details of the increasing incidence of freight scams taking place.

    Most are perpetrated by freight forwarders operating out of China and Russia, and a few other places where the rule of law is not strong.

    There are various kinds of scams, including fake freight forwarding companies being set up, with an apparent long history, shipments never leaving China, with fake documents being provided to prove that they have, and a scheme that holds your shipment to ransom.

    I would spend a little more upfront rather than risk losing everything you paid for the goods + the freight paid.

    Walter
     

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