Q&A Session: Freight Forwarding Basics for Amazon Sellers & Product Image Standards – EP38
In this Q&A Session we touch on the process to get your supplier to ship your products by boat and we talk about how to get your images to conform to Amazon’s specs.
MANNY: Let’s get to the first question.
GUI: It is a question that was posted for episode 27.
Q1: Nicholas wants to know how to ship products by boat. He has only sent his products by plane. He wants to know how to switch over to boat.
MANNY: We should probably get a freight-forwarding expert on the show as we get a lot of questions about this. I’m not an expert at this.
GUI: I also think we need to find an expert. We’ll look for someone.
MANNY: I’m going to try to answer the question with some basics: first of all, for those who do not know what freight-forwarding is – it is a company that takes your products for example from China, and coordinate those products typically via a sea ship, sometimes by airplane, and they get it over to the US through the importing process to Amazon or your warehouse. They take care of all the forms and the taxes, it makes it easier for you. You can also freight forward using airport shipping, they’ll ship it to an airport and you’ll have to coordinate the process to your warehouse. The pros to freight-forwarding is definitely reduced costs because you’re sending stuff by a container – I you fill it up, your cost is way reduced compared to sending it with boxes. Your costs can be a third of what it is with express air. Let’s say you’re doing 30-33 units per day, that’s 1000 units per month, that’s 12 000 per year. If you could save yourself $3, that’s $36 000 save. Disadvantages is that the wait time is a little longer so it’s not going to work of you need stuff quickly. If there’s some issue with the container, it can get delayed. If you can get to a point where you have a lot of inventory and you can wait for the product, that would be the best to ship by boat. Amazon lists a couple of companies they list on their website – Amazon uses UPS. I try to use multiple companies; the supplier sometimes has their own freight-forwarding companies.
GUI: You are saving money but it’s going to affect your cash flow, because you’re going to have money tied up, floating for a time.
MANNY: Yes, you have to pay the supplier in full before they ship. You can’t sell the first unit for about 6 weeks. There’s a lot of stuff – my freight-forwarder said it’s easier to get a bond but I don’t know all the details, classifying your products in the correct category because certain categories have a higher tax rate.
GUI: The second question is coming from Sierra; it was posted as a voicemail.
Q2: Manny, I was looking at the quick facts about you. I was wondering, did you finish college or were you a college dropout and ere self-taught in all the areas of business that you decided to go into?
MANNY: No, I did not go to college. I was going to go to college but got haired right out of high school for a finance job which I ended up getting, I became the youngest employee out of 6000 employees that ever worked for that company. Then I become the youngest manager for that company and shortly after that I quit and started my own company.
GUI: I have an associates, a 2-year degree – I discount the value of college degree but I don’t think it’s required to be successful. If you want to get a job – more companies seem to be hiring from experience more so than form a degree. There’s few situations that you will need to have a college degree for.
MANNY: If you want to get a degree from me, you can go to Manny University at ampmpodcast.com and listening to all the podcasts. Let’s do a third question Gui.
GUI: This one doesn’t have a name so let’s have it come from Bruce Lee.
Q3: My question is about a kitchen product that I sell – a customer wants to return a product to me and I don’t know if I should fight it. The customer says that my product does not include the knives that are in one of my pictures. Think of my product as a food processor and it’s on a chopping board with a couple of knives – it’s a kitchen! I don’t mention any knives anywhere in my product. What should I do?
MANNY: I always say that in at least one of your images, you should show your product in actual use. If it’s something to do with sleep aid, then show a person sleeping with it next to them. If the product is on their night stand, you don’t want to have other stuff with it. You hope people know it’s not included in your package. You’ll want to look at your listing and see why there’s that confusion. I would suggest that you only show your product on your main listing and that you try to not include any other things that could be mistaken.
GUI: I think it’s just a matter of the main picture that’s an issue. I would recommend that you take care of the root issue so that this doesn’t happen again, just give them their money back. You don’t want to blemish your account over one transaction.
00:41 – Episode introduction.
02:55 – First question to Gui.
05:58 – First Q&A question: “Nicholas wants to know how to ship products by boat. He has only sent his products by plane. He wants to know how to switch over to boat.”
12:56 – Second question to Gui.
13:43 – Second Q&A question: “Manny, I was looking at the quick facts about you. I was wondering, did you finish college or were you a college dropout and ere self-taught in all the areas of business that you decided to go into?”
17:23 – Third Q&A question: “My question is about a kitchen product that I sell – a customer wants to return a product to me and I don’t know if I should fight it. The customer says that my product does not include the knives that are in one of my pictures. Think of my product as a food processor and it’s on a chopping board with a couple of knives – it’s a kitchen! I don’t mention any knives anywhere in my product. What should I do?”