Home – New Forums Starting your journey Should I pay for product samples???

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  • #968012
    Promotional King
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    Hi I am in the middle of starting my own promotional products business, and I am searching for manufacturers and distributors of the products I want to seil.

    Most suppliers I have chosen to use are based in China or the USA, this is not deliberate but as they are so much cheaper than any local supplier I have no choice but to buy from these countries.

    The question I have is, should I pay for samples? or should they send them out for free of charge?

    I expected they would post them out for free of charge with the off chance I would decide to use them as one of my suppliers. I have chosen most of my suppliers but I do not choose them until I see the quality of their product.

    What does everybody think should I have to pay for my sample? Or should it be sent out for free?
    Thank you

    #1030290
    abacus
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    I source product from China and usually get my samples free BUT and it is a BIG BUT I have to pay the DHL bill. This can be quite expensive.

    #1030291
    danb
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    Like Abacus, I have never paid for samples but have (more often then not) paid for shipping. Something to keep in mind should you want to get a bucket load of samples rather then one or two small items.

    I doubt you’ll have any problems if you use Australian based providers (support local industry)… but we all know sometimes thats just financially feasable!

    #1030292
    Burgo
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    Never have and never will pay for samples or shipping either.

    You want me to test your product, then yes send it to me otherwise miss out on a possible sale or multipel sales your choice.

    #1030293
    blackdog
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    HI Promo King.

    I have been operating in the industry you wish to join for 10 years +

    Should you have to pay for samples?

    Yes & No.

    Put it this way, what will YOUR policy be re: sending out samples? When you have prospects like burgo, will you simply send out multiples samples every time they ask?

    When you take into consideration the cost of samples, delivery, handling, admin etc etc – you may find you will actually charge for samples too.

    Here is my policy, it may help you a little.

    I like to send samples for free to prospects, it’s good service. I’ll send pens, keyirngs , caps a few lower cost samples for no cost at all, but ONLY after a i have gone through a qualification process with the client – i ask for payment of samples if they are a tyrekicker, not my ideal target client type, or i think they are simply a freebie hunter (yes, there are forums out there dedicated to searching out and publishing links to sites like mine – http://www.ezypens.com.au – who offer free samples- tight wads)

    On some occasions, i ask for a “samples deposit”. Say for example the samples requested are a higher cost item (shirts, higher end corporate gifts) I aks for a smal deposit (say $25 to cover costs). If the client retruns the samples in good order then i do one of two things –

    1 if they make an order, i credit the samples deposit in full to their order = free samples

    2 If they dont make an order, i refund the deposit less a small delivery & handling charge (30-50% depending on the item)

    You are new to this industry, but i am sure you are researched and knowledgable of it. I assume then you know that there are a LOT of start ups and subsequent failures in our industry – much higher than average. Therefore suppliers , wholesalers, importers and exporters can be wary of new distributors. You will have to put a certain amount of effort into gaining thier trust at which time they will help you more and more.

    They are wary to send free samples out because (no offesne to you) they have seen more start ups and failures and been left out of pocket more times than they care to remember – it’s not you, it’s just the industry.

    So, yes you should expect to have to pay for some samples, especially if you are brand new to the industry. Having said that, if i were you, i would ALWAYS ask for free samples, why not? A lot of them will send them free. But if they dont, it doesnt mean they are a bad supplier.

    I will say two more things –

    1 If you cant afford to buy a few samples to market your business, you dont have a business, you have a hobby. A few samples is just another cost of business you have to allow for, like filling a new retails shop for the first time.

    2 @ Burgo – Good to see someone so 100% dedicated to a personal policy like sampling.

    Burgo, post: 36430 wrote:
    Never have and never will pay for samples or shipping either.

    You want me to test your product, then yes send it to me otherwise miss out on a possible sale or multipel sales your choice.

    So Burgo, i have a house, and office, and lots of freinds and relatives. I want to test your service, so can you pop over and clean all the carpets in my office for free? Its only three rooms, and if you do a good job you will be my “carpet guy” and you can come do the bedrooms at home (paid then of course) & i will refer you to all my freinds relatives – all you have to do is work for nothing for the first time :-) Of course, once i tell them about you, they will probably want 1-2 rooms done for free too (so they can assess your product & service)

    Promo king, if you want to have a quick chat about any part of the industry you are not sure of, i’d be happy to assist if i can, just call.

    Bren

    #1030294
    Anonymous
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    Hi Bren

    Welcome to FS.

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but your detailed post certainly changed my perspective on this issue. Thanks for taking the time to write it, and for joining the forum.

    All the best,
    Jayne

    #1030295
    Redcat
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    Thanks the great post of Blackdog, it speaks out actual thoughts/worries in those manufacturers or suppliers’ mind.

    Most manufactures are NOT curmudgeons while they have to consider cost of developing new customers. If you can make them believe you will be their prospect customer with BIG orders, you can have the chance to get samples free, even shipping cost free during your initial business.

    But before gaining their trust, you have to pay a little money to start up your import business.

    #1030296
    martin.moyano
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    Promotional King, post: 36329 wrote:
    Hi I am in the middle of starting my own promotional products business, and I am searching for manufacturers and distributors of the products I want to seil.

    Most suppliers I have chosen to use are based in China or the USA, this is not deliberate but as they are so much cheaper than any local supplier I have no choice but to buy from these countries.

    The question I have is, should I pay for samples? or should they send them out for free of charge?

    I expected they would post them out for free of charge with the off chance I would decide to use them as one of my suppliers. I have chosen most of my suppliers but I do not choose them until I see the quality of their product.

    What does everybody think should I have to pay for my sample? Or should it be sent out for free?
    Thank you

    King, hello there, this will be entirely up to the supplier to decide if they are willing to do so some do that some others dont.
    Remember that shipments below AUD 1000 being sent by Post dont pay any duty/GST when they get here and they get delivered to your door. Also normal post is always cheaper, so dont use couriers
    If you need further help let me know, cheers martin

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