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Shipping cost responsibility and sampling fees.

What is the cheapest and most reliable method of shipping products I import from china to the US? Is the buyer responsible for shipping costs or can they be shared by buyer and seller? Do you normally pay for shipment of samples?



It’s best to ask a logistics expert because the cost of moving goods from China to other locations changes on a daily basis and is highly dependent upon the weight and size of your shipment. You would be wise to develop a working relationship with a freight forwarder or customs broker based at your local port, who has experience dealing with China imports. They also go by the name “3PL” for 3rd party logistics service providers.

New buyers often confuse International Commercial terms (Incoterms) with payment terms.  Please see the link below for further explanation.

Most suppliers don’t send out samples free of charge, but if you pay for the samples and mailing, it is normal to ask that these expenses be subtracted from the value of the order if you make a purchase in the future. But have that term agreed in advance to be safe.

Here are some relevant links to these question:

Asking About Shipping Costs First

Tips From a Chinese Lawyer About Incoterms

What is the Normal Practice for Requesting Samples from Manufactureers in China?

Gaining Samples to Test from Chinese Suppliers Before Placing a Purchase Order (PO).

Question answered by Mike Bellamy, an Advisory Board Member & Featured Blogger at the not-for-profit China Sourcing Information Center. Mike is also the author of "The Essential Reference Guide to China Sourcing" and founder of PassageMaker Sourcing Solutions.


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