A few things to consider or what I have learned about buying items from other countries...

Discussion in 'Dropshipping & Wholesale Hookups' started by giacomo107, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. giacomo107

    giacomo107 Newbie

    May 20, 2012
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    Sales and Marketing, several different offline bus
    Pittsburgh, Pa.
    First and foremost if someone could enlighten me if I am right or wrong and/or if I am actually on the right approach.
    I have been reading, researching a number of things about buying products from other countries. I have purchased a number of guides, (quite expensive) I have asked a zillion questions, I have researched with shipping companies and set up meetings with them many times and I have even purchased some products from Pakistan and China in the past. These are things I have learned and again I am just merely trying to help if I get some of this wrong I apologize upfront it is just what I have learned so far. I am sure I am NOT done learning yet of course (but I have never been ripped off so far) fingers crossed it stays this way. Importing goods to me is a complex process and YOU- YOU - YOU should do your due diligence to learn as much as possible before venturing into this.
    As I am still learning. Here is what I have come up with so far (not in any particular order)and if someone that "DOES" have more experience than me can reply to not only help me but help others it would be greatly appreciated.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The most important topic I am curious about and if I am on the right track and OTHERS should know is
    1. Brand able items (any items that are trademarked) Example: Nike- IPod- IPhone etc. you get the point from what I have read, researched, learned so far and up to this point have even been told is (tell me if I am wrong). You cannot buy authentic anything brand able items. Brand able items that are owned by real companies pay a lot of money and they protect their items heavily. If any company advertises to you that they can sell you brand able items they are not being truthful. Now the question is? Is this true? Because up to this point this is what I have been told so if it is TRUE then I have been doing good and the easiest way to put it is just realize not to look for any items that are brand able and stay away from companies advertising they can sell these items.

    2. Alibaba: I find Alibaba to be a very good site as long as you do your due diligence. (Homework)
    1. Ask them for references from other companies that have purchased their products. Contact the references and ask questions. If they are legitimate they will not have a problem giving you this as long as you are actually considering buying from them.
    2. Ask for a sample and sometimes realize it isn?t free sometimes it can be but if it is free meet them in the middle and pay at least shipping as they can give you a free sample but from what I have researched, learned and past purchases it is best to ask for a free sample/paid sample and good faith on your part to show that you are a serious buyer to at least pay for shipping.
    3. Always ask every question possible and understand everything before entering into anything. Sometimes even repeating back to the supplier what the terms are to make sure everything is correct.
    4. NEVER EVER pay western union period! PayPal is fine, escrow is good and going through your bank and getting a letter of credit from their bank is good.
    5. (I have not done it yet) but even consider hiring a inspection company to inspect their factory and/or inspect freight. It doesn?t cost a lot of money and I think if you?re going to be doing a lot of business it is worth it.
    One other note with Alibaba is most of the time (not all of the time) but most of the time you?re going to have to realize there is minimum orders (you can?t just order 20 items) it is production and production costs money the more you buy the less the price can be but there not going to give you a the price at 500 or 1k pieces if your only ordering 100 pieces if that makes sense.
    Ali Express is great too! I have purchased numerous items from there and you can buy in less quantities but if you want the best bang for your buck so to speak Alibaba is the way to go.

    (not going into detail) you can research it but you need to learn shipping terms fob etc. (Google it) Also finding a international shipping agent to handle from port to port to you. It does cost but worth it in my opinion for your items and they handle it for you.
    Last but not least Tariffs-vat fee?s, duties etc. (Google it) you need to know this and it is your responsibility to learn this not the supplier. The supplier can give you the hs code so you know what percentage the items you are buying are classified under and how much you are going to pay.
    If you are going to be buying a lot then paying for a import license is the way to go a flat fee once per year. In my state it is 500.00 per yr.
    Bottom line learn and do your own home work to learn this stuff if you don't and have all kinds of issues before blaming the supplier ask yourself did you do all your home work first.
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  2. el_capitan

    el_capitan Junior Member

    Apr 20, 2012
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    Los Angeles, CA
    Hey, thanks for the post. Can I ask what products you have bought wholesale from the aforementioned countries. And if you have asked for samples before the bulk was shipped.
  3. weepingwillow

    weepingwillow Junior Member

    Dec 21, 2012
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    I do not think he's going to tell you.