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What is Drop Shipping?

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The Wholesale Misconception

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Wolves in Wholesale Suppliers' C...

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get started importing - Far From Home - 4 Keys to Successful Importing

by Chris Malta

As your E-Biz grows, and housing large stores of inventory becomes feasible, importing emerges as a cost-effective product sourcing option. If you purchase in large volumes, the incredible deals you can find by purchasing directly from overseas manufacturers begins to outweigh the costs and complications involved. The key to importing profitably is to do your homework:

1. Research Your Suppliers
Peter Zapf, of GlobalSources.com and GlobalSourcesDirect.com, recommends taking several steps to find and select a manufacturer:

  • Locate suppliers. Look for online sites that deliver imported goods directly, or that list manufacturer names and contact information. If possible, attend an overseas tradeshow, visit their booths, and ask questions in person.


  • Verify suppliers. To ensure you're dealing with legitimate suppliers, find out what steps a web site takes to qualify the manufacturers they list.

    Also, ask the suppliers if they participate in any tradeshows, and then go to those shows' web sites and confirm their participation. Most tradeshows research their exhibitors; and companies that invest the money to take part in a trade show are probably genuine.

    Lastly, always be certain they provide you with the paperwork to prove they have all relevant certifications.


  • Evaluate suppliers. Suggests Zapf, "Notice the customer service you receive — how long does it take them to respond to your inquiries? Are their answers thorough and friendly? If they seem capable, try them out with a small order. If you're happy, go from there."
2. Take Steps to Ensure Product Quality
Refunds and returns are complicated, at best, so make sure that what you're expecting and what you're getting are the same thing:

  • Request a sample, and examine the product and packaging.

    Study the spelling and the information for accuracy. You want to make sure everything is correct, and that there are no language issues, such as instructions written in British English for a U.S. market.



  • Keep in constant communication with your supplier. Email digital pictures back and forth of any changes.


  • With a larger order, you may consider hiring a third-party quality control firm to inspect and count your products at the factory, and perform a functional check. A small order may not justify that kind of risk-management investment; but with a high volume purchase, you can more likely afford to pay for an inspection and still make a profit.
3. Confirm Your Shipping Logistics
Your shipping agreement will divide the various shipping costs and logistical factors betweem you and the manufacturer. Depending on the terms of your agreement, you may choose to use a Customs broker or freight forwarder to handle your end of the shipping logistics. A freight forwarder will give you a quote based on the shipment size, the ports you're going through, and the inland freight to your warehouse.

4. Plan Ahead for Duties and Customs
All imported products are categorized and assigned a duty rate, which you can find in the Harmonized Tariff Schedule, available online. However, Customs doesn't decide how to categorize a product until they see it, so you may not know the exact rate of certain ambiguous products until they arrive. Even though two-thirds of all products have no duty, you should always look up the code — never assume they're duty-free.

You don't want unplanned expenses eating away at your profits.

Enthuses Zapf, "When your e-business reaches a certain point, importing becomes a practical consideration — buying directly from overseas suppliers can provide your business with a steady source of low-cost, quality products."

 
Archive List

ARTICLE ARCHIVE LIST

 

What is Drop Shipping?

Sell what Sells, NOT what's Cool

The Wholesale Misconception

Don't Get Taken by a Fake Suppli...

Wolves in Wholesale Suppliers' C...

Working Within the Process

Is Santa's Sleigh Big Enough for...

Beware of Drop Shipping 'Agents'...

Direct From The Factory?

4 Strategies for Seasonal Sellin...

3 Tools for Product Sourcing on ...

Tradeshows the Right Way - How t...

Tradeshow Sourcing - When the Sh...

Preparing for the Holiday Season...

What a Wholesale Supplier Expect...

Product Sourcing Using Trade Pub...

Tips for Finding and Getting Goo...

Storage Units Auctions - Buying ...

Starting an Antiques and Collect...

How EBay PowerSellers Source Pro...

How to Build Your Online Consign...

Dangerous Mindsets - Changing th...

Sourcing Customer Returns - Buyi...

Product Sourcing Strategies - Ne...

6 Common Product Sourcing Questi...

Increasing Your Profits through ...

Importing Basics - What You Need...

Selecting and Changing Your Prod...

The Inside Scoop on Trade Shows ...

How to Make Product Liquidation ...

Shopping with Uncle Sam - A Brea...

One Man's Trash... Could Be Your...

Our Town - Sourcing Products Loc...

An Intro to Closeouts - A Produc...

How to Find Authentic Suppliers ...

Beyond Borders - Sourcing Overse...

Heads or Tails? - How to Find Yo...

Five Holiday Trends - What Every...

Seeing the Whole Picture - A Who...

Drop Shipping Pros and Cons - th...

Far From Home - 4 Keys to Succes...

Product Sourcing Strategies for ...

The Ins and Outs of Importing - ...

How to Choose Your Product Lineu...

The Fine Art of Product Sourcing...

Sourcing The Secondary Market - ...

Local Sourcing Techniques - Prod...

Global Sourcing - Importing for ...

A Foreign Affair - Preparing to ...

Choose Wisely - How to a Pick Pr...

Made in China - Importing Option...

The Color of Money - How Color T...

The Nuts and Bolts of Liquidatio...

How to Break Into Importing - An...

Trend or Fad? What to Ask Before...

What Your Country Can Do for You...

Opportunities Abroad - China Sou...

Trade Shows Year-Round - What Pe...

5 Product Trends for 2008 that E...

Successfully Negotiating with Yo...

5 Strategies for Safely Sourcing...

Informed Compliance for e-Tailer...

Locate Qualified Drop Shippers f...

What is Product Sourcing? The So...

Where Do I Find Products to Sell...

Tips for Finding and Working wit...

A Beginner's Guide to Buying Dir...