Home – New Forums Money matters Importing from China – supplier wants to charge bank and handling fee

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  • #995392
    EricMulberry
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    Hi guys,

    Could use a little help here. I’m importing from China, received a sample to check quality (which was great) and signed off on a quote for the goods and paid 50% up front. Seller is now claiming that they only received the amount minus $33.40 which was taken out as a handling fee. For the second 50% payment they are now asking us to cover that 33.40 they missed out on (so $66.80 for both halves). The 33.40 isn’t in the quote for goods or shipping, and has never been mentioned before this point. When I disputed the extra they said the following:

    “This is the rule in oversea busness.

    Almost our customers when they make the payment, they will pay that handling fee to us.

    Even we don’t mention that.

    I understand this is not much money, but it is our company policy.

    If you don’t make the payment, our company will deduct the money from my salary.”

    Is that actually the rule in overseas business? Or is that heart-string pull just a cash grab?

    It’s a one off transaction so we also incurred a bank fee for paying in USD from our AUD bank ) which is fine). I’m not short paying them 22 because of that, so surely it goes the other way too right? Absorbing that is just part of business, right…?

    #1201622
    Johny
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    I wouldn’t say it isn’t a hard and fast rule, and isn’t black and white. I have been in the same situation and have asked the buyer to cover this, especially where the order quantity is only small. (Paying 2 x USD $30-40 for say a $1,000 order is quite a percentage). Admittedly I would generally include in my comments in the invoice, but not always.

    Normally I have always worked on the basis that I cover my bank fees and the buyer covers theirs, those of the initiator normally being the highest. Where it becomes a little grey is that anything that involves USD has to be routed through the US bank system, which also means using specific agent banks in the process. So both buyer and supplier say it’s not their cost.

    In my experience sometimes it is charged and sometimes it isn’t depending on the way the transaction is processed through the bank.

    In that regard it is not something that would always be put into an invoice.

    These types of fees, similar to postage etc are never truly “absorbed” anyway as they are included in the pricing somewhere. If they had just charged an extra $50 you probably would never have even questioned it.

    #1201623
    zayd687
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    Well, if the supplier only received the amount less the ” bank fee ” then compensate him for the bank fee incurred. Check the fee that these banks charge you so not to offset your suppliers, and pay more so to cover any fee’s that is charged. You can absorb the charge in your learning, Just say hmmm ok now i’ve learnt this happens and it cost me 70 AUD. Next time, i will remember. Its a lesson but try to keep your supplier on a good note ,to some extent they want your business, you want their goods. If you are having a hard time with them, get onto a friend or colleague that can speak mandarin to negotiate it for you. Give them a call and have a chat, if your long term, be prepared to go meet them, its the only way to secure a good price and long term partnership.

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