After the supplier sourcing and verification processes are complete, you will then need to request a price list and catalog from the nominated supplier.
The message to the supplier must be direct, short and ‘demand’ pricing information, in a nice way of course. It is incredible the amount of times that, whether it be individuals or businesses importing goods, they never seem to address the supplier in the correct wording and so end up never receiving a reply or receive a response from a very confused supplier.
You must keep in mind that once you are speaking to foreign suppliers, English is not their first language and so you must review your English when writing any messages so that the messages are simple yet to the point.
It is always good to create your own message templates and save them as a text file on your computer in order to use these to assist you in future communications with the supplier. Pricing information will normally arrive to your inbox in either a spreadsheet format (.xls file) or a PDF document file (.pdf file).
Most PC’s have software already built-in to read these types of files, if not however, you may find free services online that can read these files such as Google Docs (http://docs.google.com) for any spreadsheet or word process files or Adobe PDF Reader (http://get.adobe.com/reader) to read PDF files.
Some suppliers also send you pricing information directly typed into the body of the email they sent you or may ask you for further clarification of what you need or exactly what product models you desire from a catalog they may provide you or a web address they may ask you to visit.
This is done sometimes when a supplier has a vast range of products and cannot simply provide pricing for every product they have available, so make note of all the product models you are interested in, and email the supplier back with your choices.
At some point you may also have the supplier advise you that a certain product or range of products is out of stock. You have two options here and either you a) ask the supplier for another product or alternative product; or b) find another supplier that offers a similar range but remembering to observe all the Anti-Fraud guidelines outlined earlier prior to any transaction or further price list requests. It is certainly always better to be safer than sorry in any case.
The first step in analyzing your provided pricing list from your supplier is to open your attachment (if it was a file you received), and either save it to your PC or print it by your installed printer. Next, once your prices are viewed simply, do a quick internet search via Google and eBay for similar or related items to the products you are considering.
Observe their sell prices and whether or not the competitor’s products have less or more features. It is a good idea at this point to create a list of pros and cons of your product in comparison to similar products available online.
You’ll need to be able to firstly calculate the cost price, shipping costs to your country and times this figure by a certain multiplier which will be explained in a later topic when we learn how to create your very own price list. However for a rough estimate, simply times both your purchase and shipping costs you receive from your supplier by 2.5.
This multiplier factor will allow you to observe whether or not there is enough money to be made from the product you intend to import.
Please keep in mind that certain cheaper priced products for example $1-$2 items may need a larger multiplier of 3 times or even up to 6 times the product and shipping costs and sometimes a lower multiplier for larger priced items. You will learn more about the detailed issues of costing and creating a price list later on.