Here’s what you can do now. Once they’ve agreed to the price, then we want to go back and work on the specs. These are some of the coolest things that you would probably never think to do in a million years when it comes to importing. Number one is to ask for special packaging. You can usually get them to print you a box, full color, with your images, your pictures, or whatever on the outside of the box for your product to go in. It will usually cost you nothing or very near nothing to have that done. You’ve been in Wal-Mart before and picked up a ceiling fan. You see the whole side of the box is full-color graphics. That stuff in China costs almost nothing. It costs a couple pennies more than a regular box. They’ll just give it to you. It’s almost no sweat off their back at all, but it can make a huge difference for you when you go to sell. Remember this: if they agree to that, you’re going to have to get artwork over there in enough time for them to get your box printed.
I also always request double boxing. I want my product boxed, then I want it put inside another box. That will eliminate as much as 90% of your damage in freight. Typically speaking, again, they’ll do that for free or very close to free. If you’re talking about a dollar item, they may not do it for free. If you’re talking about a $20 or $30 item, they’ll almost always do it for free because it costs practically nothing.
Then ask for free add-ons that you can then sell. We’ve had experience with heat sealers with that. When we were importing these heat sealers, they had a heating element. Over time, the heating element would go out. It’s normal. It wasn’t anything that was specific to our brand or the company that we imported from. That’s just what happens to these particular items. They were a cheap item, from a manufacturing standpoint. It was almost considered a throwaway cost item.
It was about $4-20, our cost and we sold them for $20 to $70. From a manufacturing standpoint, it didn’t cost a whole lot of money. Typically, people would throw them away and buy another one. However, we started getting a ton of calls asking for replacement elements in these particular items. What we were able to do here was to go back to the factory and negotiate individual kits of three or four additional elements in the package. We just complained to the factory that the elements were burning out. They said, “Okay. Next time, we’ll just put four extra elements in.” I said, “How much is that going to be?” They said, “No charge.” They cost two or three cents apiece.
Here’s what we’d do. When we would sell one, we would ask the customer, either on the phone or on the Internet, “You’re buying the heat sealer. It’s $29.95. Is that right?” They’d say, “Yeah, that’s right.” We’d say, “Sometimes the heat elements burn out in them. You can get four extra heat elements for them so it will last a whole lot longer, and you’ll never be out of heat elements, for another $9.95.” We’d say, “Most people,” and this is big piece of verbiage you need to remember. The vast majority – almost 70% of people – would say “Yes.” You’ve got to imagine this. We took something we got for free, and sold it for $9.95, along with the $30 item. Guess how much the $30 item cost? It cost us four bucks. The up-sell alone paid for the entire purchase and, in most cases, the shipping of the doggone item. We made 100% of the purchase price. If that doesn’t turn you on, I don’t know what’ll turn you on. That’s hot stuff.
You can do that in a lot of cases. We did it with rubber stamps. Through a rubber stamp manufacturing company, we were making rubber stamps. We’d sell people a rubber stamp for $12.95 or $13.95 that cost us about two dollars. We got bottles of refill ink from the factory and we would offer the refill ink for the rubber stamp for $4.95. Almost everybody took the refill ink, which paid 100% for the cost of the rubber stamp and the refill ink. If you grasp that concept from consumer goods, you will go very far in importing. I don’t care if you’re a little bit slow, but if you can sell products and make 100% of the money, you’re going to do okay.
It’s like a house builder: they don’t want to give you the home at a drastic discount because they’ve got other people who are basing their price somewhat off what you’re paying. However, they’ll be willing to throw in upgrades.