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Stuck on Alibaba shipping + importing

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Zone

New Contributor
Feb 24, 2019
3
8
13
Hey Y'all,

I have an idea for a branded product that I'm looking to execute on. I got the idea after my mom had purchased the product and complained that it was expensive. I don't know if I can make it cheaper, but the point is that I think people will buy it anyways. I found the generic product on Alibaba and its not on Aliexpress which I think is a good sign. The products all seem to have good overall reviews on Amazon, and seem to sell well at a variety of price points. I have a creative brand idea that I think could sell well over the competition by targeting a certain age group, and I'm thinking of targeting certain facebook groups when the time comes. I have zero experience in any of this.

So far I have contacted a supplier regarding custom packaging/templates. My plan was to order samples with the branded packaging. The packaging options aren't great though and they're absurdly expensive, so I was a bit disappointed at first. But it's probably a blessing in disguise because if the pricing was good then I was ready to settle on subpar packaging. My new plan is to source packaging separately and make sure I check out a few options. This also means that I will package the products myself instead of having the supplier send directly to Amazon FBA, which will actually be good for quality assurance. Once I get templates for a few packaging options I like, I'll have a few artists sketch up my packaging/logo idea. Whichever I like best, I’ll have them sketch up multiple templates for the different packaging suppliers.

Todos:
  • Figure out shipping/importing
  • Source packaging options/templates
  • Hire artist for packaging
  • Order product samples
  • Order packaging samples
  • Set up amazon seller account
Questions:

1) I’m a bit stuck on shipping. Before I get product quotes from these suppliers, I want to know what shipping options to ask for. From my understanding I can ask about air shipping vs sea shipping costs. But does the Alibaba seller usually handle shipping directly to my house or would it just be to a port in Canada? I’m only vaguely familiar with incoterms like FOB destination or shipping, etc. I’m not sure what the common shipping methods are to get the product from the supplier in China to my doorstep in Canada.

Reading the Q&A excerpt below, Walter suggests obtaining a quote on an FOB basis and a door to door basis. What type of FOB is this? Should I look into having a freight forwarder?

2) Is there any setup I need on the regulatory side of things for importing? I have come across terms like classifying goods, getting a business number, etc. I want to make sure I'm not breaking any rules, and I want to make sure I don't get blasted by duties/fees.

3) Not as important right now, but still wondering. If I sent a box of my products to Amazon FBA, do they repackage it for the sender? Like if I sent them a box of my products would they put each of my products in a mailer before shipping it off?


Excerpt from Walter Hays Q&A thread referenced for question #1:
  • “Obtain a quote from the supplier on both an FOB basis and a door to door basis. This applies whether it is a large or small shipment.
  • When quoted FOB, you should then contact a local (US) freight forwarder but you ask them to quote you door to door.
  • If you decide to accept the supplier's door to door quote, you place the order and the entire process will be done for you until the courier contacts you to tell you how much duty and tax you must pay, if any.
  • Once you pay that, they will deliver to you. If there is nothing to pay, the delivery truck will simply arrive at your door.”

I'm a bit stuck on the shipping and importing stuff, and it's making it hard for me to accurately cost out my product. I appreciate your time, thank you.
 
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Dustinaitis

New Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane!
Read Unscripted!
Apr 8, 2018
13
6
20
Hey Y'all,

I have an idea for a branded product that I'm looking to execute on. I got the idea after my mom had purchased the product and complained that it was expensive. I don't know if I can make it cheaper, but the point is that I think people will buy it anyways. I found the generic product on Alibaba and its not on Aliexpress which I think is a good sign. The products all seem to have good overall reviews on Amazon, and seem to sell well at a variety of price points. I have a creative brand idea that I think could sell well over the competition by targeting a certain age group, and I'm thinking of targeting certain facebook groups when the time comes. I have zero experience in any of this.

So far I have contacted a supplier regarding custom packaging/templates. My plan was to order samples with the branded packaging. The packaging options aren't great though and they're absurdly expensive, so I was a bit disappointed at first. But it's probably a blessing in disguise because if the pricing was good then I was ready to settle on subpar packaging. My new plan is to source packaging separately and make sure I check out a few options. This also means that I will package the products myself instead of having the supplier send directly to Amazon FBA, which will actually be good for quality assurance. Once I get templates for a few packaging options I like, I'll have a few artists sketch up my packaging/logo idea. Whichever I like best, I’ll have them sketch up multiple templates for the different packaging suppliers.

Todos:
  • Figure out shipping/importing
  • Source packaging options/templates
  • Hire artist for packaging
  • Order product samples
  • Order packaging samples
  • Set up amazon seller account
Questions:

1) I’m a bit stuck on shipping. Before I get product quotes from these suppliers, I want to know what shipping options to ask for. From my understanding I can ask about air shipping vs sea shipping costs. But does the Alibaba seller usually handle shipping directly to my house or would it just be to a port in Canada? I’m only vaguely familiar with incoterms like FOB destination or shipping, etc. I’m not sure what the common shipping methods are to get the product from the supplier in China to my doorstep in Canada.

Reading the Q&A excerpt below, Walter suggests obtaining a quote on an FOB basis and a door to door basis. What type of FOB is this? Should I look into having a freight forwarder?

2) Is there any setup I need on the regulatory side of things for importing? I have come across terms like classifying goods, getting a business number, etc. I want to make sure I'm not breaking any rules, and I want to make sure I don't get blasted by duties/fees.

3) Not as important right now, but still wondering. If I sent a box of my products to Amazon FBA, do they repackage it for the sender? Like if I sent them a box of my products would they put each of my products in a mailer before shipping it off?


Excerpt from Walter Hays Q&A thread referenced for question #1:
  • “Obtain a quote from the supplier on both an FOB basis and a door to door basis. This applies whether it is a large or small shipment.
  • When quoted FOB, you should then contact a local (US) freight forwarder but you ask them to quote you door to door.
  • If you decide to accept the supplier's door to door quote, you place the order and the entire process will be done for you until the courier contacts you to tell you how much duty and tax you must pay, if any.
  • Once you pay that, they will deliver to you. If there is nothing to pay, the delivery truck will simply arrive at your door.”

I'm a bit stuck on the shipping and importing stuff, and it's making it hard for me to accurately cost out my product. I appreciate your time, thank you.
To 3)

Each unit should be packed separately inside the whole delivery and have an amazon barcode on each single unit. They will put the product (inlcuding your packaging) inside their own amazon carton.

For the importing part Walter is definitive your right choice!
 

rsrs

New Contributor
Jul 19, 2020
6
3
12
Internet
Hey Y'all,

I have an idea for a branded product that I'm looking to execute on. I got the idea after my mom had purchased the product and complained that it was expensive. I don't know if I can make it cheaper, but the point is that I think people will buy it anyways. I found the generic product on Alibaba and its not on Aliexpress which I think is a good sign. The products all seem to have good overall reviews on Amazon, and seem to sell well at a variety of price points. I have a creative brand idea that I think could sell well over the competition by targeting a certain age group, and I'm thinking of targeting certain facebook groups when the time comes. I have zero experience in any of this.

So far I have contacted a supplier regarding custom packaging/templates. My plan was to order samples with the branded packaging. The packaging options aren't great though and they're absurdly expensive, so I was a bit disappointed at first. But it's probably a blessing in disguise because if the pricing was good then I was ready to settle on subpar packaging. My new plan is to source packaging separately and make sure I check out a few options. This also means that I will package the products myself instead of having the supplier send directly to Amazon FBA, which will actually be good for quality assurance. Once I get templates for a few packaging options I like, I'll have a few artists sketch up my packaging/logo idea. Whichever I like best, I’ll have them sketch up multiple templates for the different packaging suppliers.

Todos:
  • Figure out shipping/importing
  • Source packaging options/templates
  • Hire artist for packaging
  • Order product samples
  • Order packaging samples
  • Set up amazon seller account
Questions:

1) I’m a bit stuck on shipping. Before I get product quotes from these suppliers, I want to know what shipping options to ask for. From my understanding I can ask about air shipping vs sea shipping costs. But does the Alibaba seller usually handle shipping directly to my house or would it just be to a port in Canada? I’m only vaguely familiar with incoterms like FOB destination or shipping, etc. I’m not sure what the common shipping methods are to get the product from the supplier in China to my doorstep in Canada.

Reading the Q&A excerpt below, Walter suggests obtaining a quote on an FOB basis and a door to door basis. What type of FOB is this? Should I look into having a freight forwarder?

2) Is there any setup I need on the regulatory side of things for importing? I have come across terms like classifying goods, getting a business number, etc. I want to make sure I'm not breaking any rules, and I want to make sure I don't get blasted by duties/fees.

3) Not as important right now, but still wondering. If I sent a box of my products to Amazon FBA, do they repackage it for the sender? Like if I sent them a box of my products would they put each of my products in a mailer before shipping it off?


Excerpt from Walter Hays Q&A thread referenced for question #1:
  • “Obtain a quote from the supplier on both an FOB basis and a door to door basis. This applies whether it is a large or small shipment.
  • When quoted FOB, you should then contact a local (US) freight forwarder but you ask them to quote you door to door.
  • If you decide to accept the supplier's door to door quote, you place the order and the entire process will be done for you until the courier contacts you to tell you how much duty and tax you must pay, if any.
  • Once you pay that, they will deliver to you. If there is nothing to pay, the delivery truck will simply arrive at your door.”

I'm a bit stuck on the shipping and importing stuff, and it's making it hard for me to accurately cost out my product. I appreciate your time, thank you.
You are going in the right direction.

As for shipping, I’d recommend you find a freight fowarder in your country and ask them about regulations, I am sure they can recommend some company that does all the legal stuff regarding importing (some fowarders offer this services included). Talking to three of these companies is the fastest way to overcome your doubts.

For selling in Amazon it’s a lot more to digest. I can recommend ecommercecrew (blog and podcast) they have a lot of free and great content. The most important things I can recall now is to launch your product the right way (with great pics and copy).

Good luck!
 

Walter Hay

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
Sep 13, 2014
3,043
12,291
2,453
World citizen
1) I’m a bit stuck on shipping. Before I get product quotes from these suppliers, I want to know what shipping options to ask for. From my understanding I can ask about air shipping vs sea shipping costs. But does the Alibaba seller usually handle shipping directly to my house or would it just be to a port in Canada? I’m only vaguely familiar with incoterms like FOB destination or shipping, etc. I’m not sure what the common shipping methods are to get the product from the supplier in China to my doorstep in Canada.
When I read this I went ARGHH!!! You need to learn a lot more than what you have read so far in my Q&A thread.
My AMA thread: Sharing my lifetime experience in export/import. Product sourcing specialist. is 63 pages so far but still doesn't tell you all you need to know, because in the importing field things change frequently. That's why I revise my book every year.

I hate it when I have to say buy my book, but in your case, I can see that you are a total newbie, and the investment of $97 could save you from losing your shirt. As one of my book readers wrote in an email: "You have saved me $3,000." That's a pretty good ROI.

I suggest you have a look at my Marketplace Offer, (see link in my signature) where on Page 1 there is a full list of the contents, with brief notes on what each chapter provides.

Walter



 

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