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Selling Widgets By The Container Load

but customer is nervous

     
2:35 pm on Jan 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Assume you are a wholesale seller of widgets. Someone on another continent has seen your site, loves your style of widget and your prices and wants to order a 20 foot container of them. He is going to be your first customer.

Or not: he says he has never done business with you and for safety wants to withhold 30% of the payment until the widgets have arrived at his door, on his continent, and he has 'checked the quality' of your widgets.

What would you say and do?

2:45 pm on Jan 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Send him 30% of the package, and let him pay for shipping, when he's recieved them, ship the rest of the 70%.
2:47 pm on Jan 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I wouldn't ship without full payment in hand. Send him a sample of your widget in advance so he can check the quality. Sending a container half way round the world without full payment is leaving you very vulnerable to the whims of the purchaser if he decides he doesn't like your wares with very little (if any) recourse.
7:12 pm on Jan 23, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Definitely don't send it all - we worked for a guy who turned back an entire *boatload* of widgets back to China because he thought the quality was shoddy. He sure didn't get stuck with it. Not the nicest guy to work for, as you can imagine, and we didn't stay with him for too long.

You definitely need some detailed advice import/export advice here. I can only give you one "horror story".

Sounds like you need a broker of some kind, someone who will hold both the shipment and the money until the client inspects it. Shipping 30% is a good idea. Downside is that someone will incur double the shipment fees. Definitely a better route than risking it all for both sides involved.

8:47 pm on Mar 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

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There are export brokers to handle this type of thing, and a document called a "irrevocable letter of credit" might be what you need.

As you'd guess, full payment is made, but a bank holds the funds until all matters of the contract are agreed to be fullfilled by both parties.

Forgive me if that's already a standard part of your exporting routine, I had no way to tell how much overseas shipping you do.

Dian :)
who always hoped that logistics class would come in handy

4:29 am on Mar 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Yes, I now know about export brokers and so forth but not specifically. Do you know of any, or where is the place to look?

There is also escrow but unfortunately the country I am in is banned from it.

Just a beginner here, get a lot of enquiries from trade buyers, 8 yesterday alone which is good-going for this type of business. I made the site as a kind of hobby, grew out of a retail shop I started, and Googlebot fell in love with it at first sight, things started happening before I was at all ready or knowledgeable enough for them. People visiting the site must assume were a big company with a factory, churning out widgets, etc, when actually it's just me at home on the computer and some contacts.

David

5:41 am on Mar 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

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DavidT it sounds to me like you need to speak to someone who is used to dealing with large quantities of 'widget' transactions, especially focussed on exporting said 'wigets'.

This website [web.ita.doc.gov] may help you somewhat.

Also, assuming you are from ghana and you wish to ship to Taiwan (an example) then try a G search for 'widget broker ghana taiwan export regulations' and see if that helps you at all.

It certainly sounds like you have the beginings of a profitable venture, so best of luck with it. If you need any more help the people here at WebmasterWorld are the best people I know!

Sticky

11:44 am on Mar 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

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All the links I came up with on the fly were for import/ export with the US, but that link given looks like great info. And for sure, as suggested, a google search for your own country and product will get you exactly what you need.

Best of luck to you. Maybe you really ARE a huge company churning out widgets and you just didn't know it yet.

Dian :)

 

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