General Question

DrewJ's avatar

What is a cheap way to ship items from China to Los Angeles?

Asked by DrewJ (383 points ) January 13th, 2012

Hey everyone. I’m not really experienced with this sort of thing (Entrepreneurship) but I have found a Manufacturer in China that will make a certain item for me that I intend to resell locally. (The item I’m talking about is not really important but think a simple plastic box about 13×13x2 inches). My first order will be for like 10 and then I plan on buying them 100 at a time.

If the manufacturer was right here in America everything would be perfect, the price is right for me to make a nice little profit and earn some extra. HOWEVER. The Manufacturer’s shipper is going to charge me $300 for anything between 1–100 items. So it doesn’t matter if I buy 1 of these items or 100 of them, it’s going to be $300 to send. Which kind of makes the whole thing pointless (almost).

I’m wondering if anyone had any suggestions for OTHER methods of shipping items of this type and quantity to the states. Even if it saves me $100 it could make the venture worth it. The Manufacturer has agreed that I am not locked into heir shipping method and can find my own so I am looking for other options and am not sure where to start.

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7 Answers

jrpowell's avatar

This is for the cases? You can buy a table-saw for a few hundred bucks and mass produce the parts and then you just need to find some locals to assemble them for cheap. They look like you could make them while you watch tv. I know tons of people that would do it for cheap while they watch American Idol.

Shit, I can cut cut all the pieces for you if you can find people to slap them together.

DrewJ's avatar

For those that haven’t seen my other question, @johnpowell is referencing my question here: http://www.fluther.com/137954/i-am-in-need-of-custom-plastic-cases-does-anyone-know/

@johnpowell It’s actually kind of hard to make them. It took me a half a day to make the one I have but I was able to do it with about $20 worth of supplies. Also, paying people to put them together, I could only really pay them $5—$10 per case to make it make sense financially.

Mamradpivo's avatar

@DrewJ I would recommend you touch base with somebody at Expeditors International (www.expeditors.com). They specialize in LCL (less than container load) shipments and will surely be able to help you out.

You should be aware that we’re going into Chinese New Year, which is basically a 3–5 week celebration (3 weeks, plus a week of travel on either side) during which very little gets done (in terms of Western productivity) in China, and after which many workers won’t return to the factory that’s made you the quote… So things will get complicated if you’re not on the ground during production.

If you have any particular questions about trans-oceanic shipping, feel free to message me directly: I’m pretty familiar with this situation.

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