Import made easy
You may have heard that you cannot import small quantities of products and that you have to wait many weeks, even months, for the goods to arrive. Also, you may have heard of customs issues.
Well, this is all wrong! We have been doing this for years! It is so simple that it amazes me. It’s all a matter of knowing how to deal with these companies in Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and South Korea. It is very comforting to deal with them. I have never been ripped off by any of them!
Even companies that only state their minimum quantities in their advertising, such as a container, will ship small quantities. The trick is to call your request a SAMPLE ORDER! Now you may not know it, but these companies will accept the quantities for which you request prices in your sample order. Their hope is that I will come back and ship a large order. Plus, you can get sample order shipments over and over again.
Some companies are set up to ship small quantities without the Sample Order routine. You can tell from their price lists if they show small quantities. If not, you will ask them if they will send a small sample order so that you can present your products to your customer base. They have no idea how big your company is.
It is important to have the appearance of a successful company. Use letterheads, not handwritten correspondence. If you don’t have a computer, you’d better get one quickly. Join the crowd, or you won’t be on the same playing field. Email makes all of this work very well. In fact, you can email these companies in real time, when they are in the Hong Kong office or anywhere. Late at night here, it’s tomorrow there.
This means instant communications and instant action. You can request a quote by email, and they will email you everything you need to continue. They usually send you what’s called a proforma invoice, which is just an advance invoice. You are expected to transfer the funds electronically. This is easily done by your bank.
You can go to their website and see all the products and specifications. Very often, if you don’t see what you want, they will give you a price. You never know, prices are always compared. Some companies from the East represent other companies from the East. You want to buy from Prime Source, the manufacturer.
If you were to request a quote, it might look like this:
My company is dedicated to the distribution of security and protection products throughout the United States. I am very interested in getting prices from your most esteemed company.
Your product line is beautiful and I look forward to offering your quality products in my country.
Please give me the prices for a sample order of 10 of each of the following items.
Thanks for your help.
Very truly yours,
This is all it takes to get rolling. But a computer is essential. No business worth a penny doesn’t communicate at least partially with email. Especially when the companies you will deal with are abroad. The lyrics take too long to come and go. When you hear about a new product, time is of the essence.
These people you will deal with are very honorable. They appreciate your showing respect and will respond in a friendly manner. Even if they don’t want to send small amounts, they will very often do so if you suggest that you understand and are willing to pay a little more for each item. Your costs will still be a fraction of what you are paying now.
Let’s talk about shipping. You can ship very heavy things, like monitors, through Steamship. This is a bummer because you have to use a Freight Forwarder, who will pass it through Customs. Usually it takes up to 90 days. We found it more profitable to buy monitors in this country. We buy small 5 “black and white monitors from Taiwan and ship them by air freight because they are small and light enough to be cost effective.
Normally, you will request shipment via DHL, FedEx, UPS, or EMS. EMS is usually the cheapest and is an extension of the US Postal Service, all of these methods are air freight and will be delivered right to your doorstep! No customs hassles! It’s easy to connect and open an account with all of them.
Remember, a sample order can be one or 100 or any quantity. It’s a sample order because you call it a sample order. Don’t be afraid to transfer the funds in advance. Remember, these countries are not democracies, and they are highly dependent on foreign trade. If you reported one of these companies to your government for ripping you off, you could be jailed for life, or worse! Everything they do is vetted by their government agencies. We have transferred up to fifteen thousand dollars at a time.
The first time you try to import some things. Make it a small sample order just to get your feet wet.