Amazing FBA Amazon and ECommerce Podcast, for Amazon Private Label Sellers, Shopify, Magento or Wooc

Amazing FBA Amazon and ECommerce Podcast, for Amazon Private Label Sellers, Shopify, Magento or Wooc


Private Label Freight Q & A – Product Sample Costs, Importing to the USA from China & FBA Restrictions

October 28, 2020

Product Sample Costs, Importing to the USA from China & FBA Restrictions
 
Sample Costs
Question from Greg Field
I'm looking to get some samples for a product from a fairly reputable factory with the listing on Alibaba. The product is in their catalogue - with genuine pictures of the item in situ (no computer generation / photoshop etc.)

I've been very professional in my dealing, letting them know my intention is to place an order of 500 units if the product meets my satisfaction after testing samples, which I will pay for...

Now I hear back from them that samples will need to be made, so maybe this isn't a stock item? Moreover, 5 units will be $200, 10 units $300 dollars FOB "their company policy".

These are small'ish items / flatpacked wouldn't weigh more than 5 kilos so the shipping costs won't be high.

How should I play this? Just accept the high fees for samples as the price of doing business? (The manufacturing cost will be less than $3 dollars I estimate)

I would ask that the $300 be deducted from a future order

Am I being played there, and should walk away?

I've only found one other listing of a similar design / and it's not the same

 
Answer from Michael Veazey
It's fairly standard for factories to charge a high price for samples. Exactly why I couldn't tell you. But it's fairly obvious that they don't want to start producing micro-batches of 5 or 10 units at a price that anyone could resell for any kind of profit, so they want to make sure they place a barrier in front of such things.

You may also be right that they are not carried as stock; or maybe they just ran out

I would usually expect in normal times to pay up to $80 for a small item to be made/taken off shelf and shipped to me in UK (similar cost to go to rest of Europe or USA btw ). However bear in mind that last time I checked with a freight forwarder, the cost of Airfreight was up 300% (3x) compared to this time last year. That's because half of the world's airfreight is carried in passenger planes, a big % of which have been/are grounded. And because demand for ecomm is up at the same time.

So a 5 kilo package that might have cost $40 to send DDP (including all duties, import costs etc.) last year by air express (my rule of thumb was $8/kilo for DDP air express - ie by UPS, DHL etc etc) will now cost anywhere up to $120 just for freight.

In the light of that, the charge seems a little high but not terrible.

Negotiate a little by all means but I would still expect to pay say $150-200 range. In my experience highish sample costs from China are indeed just part of the cost of doing business.

Hope that helps and sorry again for ridiculous delay. We'll try to do a better job of catching questions!

 
Importing to USA from China, Freight Forwarders
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