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10 Tips and Things to Avoid When Importing Latex Mattresses - Latexbear
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10 Tips and Things to Avoid When Importing Latex Mattresses

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(Last Updated On: July 18, 2018)

Latex mattresses are one of the mainstays of the mattress family and over the years they have steadily grown in popularity for a number of reasons. If you’ve got your eye on importing latex mattresses, then you’re surely in the right place.

Here’s the bottom line, they are popular, easy to import and the current market for them makes them easy to resell.

However, there are still a lot of things that you have to take into consideration, especially during the importation process. Here are the top things that you have to keep in mind when you want to import latex mattresses.

Why Latex Mattresses To Begin With?

They are easy to mark up, they do not expire in your warehouse, and there is a constant demand for them. They make for a budget-friendly, high-quality mattress for any prospective buyer. They are one of the standards in bedroom furniture and their reputation for comfort precedes them.

  1. Know What You Want (Ask Questions!)

First and foremost, before starting any trade arrangement or even considering picking out the different suppliers that could cater to your needs, you have to determine what it is that you really want out of the deal.

Think about the product horizon and how you’re going to market the goods that you want to order. How many do you need? Are you looking for a one-time deal with a supplier for a large bulk order, or do you want to maintain a relationship with a reliable supplier and set the stage for an ongoing partnership?

There are plenty more questions, but more often than not, transactions get botched due to the buyer not being able to decide.

Here’s the good news.

Say you have limited knowledge with regard to latex mattresses, instead of spending countless hours on search engines, you can ask an industry professional or even your prospective supplier for help. They can provide expert advice and might even share a thing or two about the business.

  1. Selecting a Supplier

This is technically your first step in starting the import and export business that you have always dreamed of, but it can be such a daunting task, especially for those that are new.

The basics of selecting suppliers are pretty standard. The supplier should be able to provide you with the amount that you need, have the goods ready to be delivered after some time, and they should have high-quality products.

However, there’s more that goes into it.

Remember that selecting a supplier is literally choosing whom you would want to be in a relationship with. So, consider these other criteria with regard to supplier selection.

  • Can they provide you with their transaction history with other clients?
  • Are they transparent about the things that happen in their organization?
  • Do they have any international and national achievements?
  • How are their affiliations?
  • How many trade shows have they been on?
  • What is their biggest order so far?
  • Are they interested in a long-term relationship?

As you can see, selecting a supplier goes beyond the latex mattress per se and transcends to other things that are still indirectly related to the consistency of their operation. Keep these factors in mind and you’ll get a great supplier in no time.

  1. Get a Sample

One of the biggest mistakes that you can do during a latex mattress import or even importing other goods in general is not being able to obtain a sample before ordering a large batch.

Yes, samples do cost money and the reason you are importing goods abroad is so that you can take advantage of economies of scale. However, how about if the good is not what you were expecting?

There are a number of stories of goods that arrived that did not turn out the way the importer thought they would turn out. These are usually nightmare stories that you wouldn’t wish on anyone!

Getting a sample would allow you to test the product out for yourself and determine if it’s the right item for your business.

Here’s the other great thing about ordering a sample: You will be able to test the ease of the import process from the supplier to the destination country. Think of it as a trial or practice run so to speak. You will get important firsthand information in case anything surprising comes up (customs does get surprising at times) and you will be able to prepare for your main, and larger, shipment in the future.

 

  1. Know How Much To Order

Alright, let’s say you’ve assessed the sample and you are ready to order. The first thing you have to note in this process is that there is something called the MOQ.

The minimum order quantity is the minimum order that a supplier will be able to provide you with. Although, they did allow you to purchase a sample, you cannot order just one item and expect a large discount.

If you are unable to afford a large quantity of an order just yet, you have to remember that the MOQ can be negotiated. There is no fear in letting the supplier know how much you can actually afford.

This way you can both adjust and end up with a deal that benefits everybody involved.

  1. Get The Quote Right – It’s Not All About The Money!

There are different types of quotes but let’s break it down to the things you need to remember. If you’re ordering a wide range of products, be sure to get a sample of each of the products from that range and ask for a sample order quote.

You also have to make sure that you know how much the production of one unit is going to cost you. This will help you with your accounting in the long run and allow you to adjust to economies of scale.

At this stage, you will have to determine – and ask – what quantity levels do the prices of the products start to change. Is it every extra ten that they produce? Or maybe they offer an even bigger discount if you buy fifty at one time.

The other thing that you can actually ask a supplier is the production time per unit or per batch of the mattresses that you will be ordering. This way you can adjust and make leeway for any inconsistencies or contingencies with regard to time that could come along.

  1. Make Sure You Are Aware of the Payment Terms and Methods

The payment terms are what pretty much kicks off the deal between you and your supplier. At this point, you want to make sure that everything is set to your standards and that you have reviewed everything before you send the money.

Here are a few things to keep in mind during this crucial stage.

  • Clear out the fine print if there is any, you both have to agree about the liabilities and the prices and anything in-between the lines, especially for deals involving a lot of money and the transfer of a lot of goods.
  • Escrow is great if it is an option that you and your supplier are willing to explore, that way you both are equally protected. A third party will hold the money until the order is fulfilled and you get the benefit of knowing you are secure, and the seller also benefits by the knowledge that the money is ready.
  • PayPal is another option. However, the fees can quickly rack up and it is not highly recommended for big orders.
  • Avoid Western Union unless you really trust the seller. A lot of scams have originated with this method of payment and it should only be used carefully.
  • Letters of credit are great if your order costs more than $20,000. However, these are complex instruments that are difficult to procure for smaller orders.
  • The standard wire transfer will cost you a down payment, but puts you at a disadvantage if you encounter a bogus seller. Use it only with trusted partners.

Take note of this, especially if you have requested for a sample to be air freighted to you, air cargo is really costly and you will also want an invoice for the sample product being shipped to you.

If you opt for a sea freight, it would be much more affordable, but it will take a lot of time to arrive compared to air cargo.

  1. Get Your Import Duties and Taxes in Order

Import duties vary per country and it is generally good practice to know how much you will be paying the taxman before your order arrives. There are some items that do not require you to pay any taxes, but we advise you to consult with your respective tax consultant beforehand.

Usually, duty is computed by multiplying the duty percentage by the price of the product. However, there are some countries that take the duty percentage and multiply it by the cost of shipping, insurance and the product price. This will be dependent on the country that the delivery will come through.

There are also various import duty and tax calculators available online that can give you a great idea of how much everything would cost. It may just be a ballpark figure, but they are really helpful.

Tax varies depending on the product, since latex mattresses don’t fall in the alcoholic beverage category, don’t expect to pay that much in taxes.

  1. Are You Actually Ready to Receive The Goods?

So, you’ve paid and you’re eagerly anticipating the arrival of all your goods. There’s one final item to keep in mind. Are you actually ready to receive your goods? Will you have transportation readily available to move your items from port to your storehouse?

Make sure that the facility that will be receiving the latex mattresses is in good shape. You do not want to have your precious imports hampered by excessive heat, damp or even cold. These changes in temperature could cause some degradation to your products.

This is actually a good time for you to hire a customs broker, if you are still pretty confused, they can arrange everything for you and in some cases even help you in figuring out your import duties.

  1. Third Party Inspection

Another good way of ensuring that you get the items the way you want them is arranging for a third-party to inspect the factory where your items will be produced. It might be pretty expensive, but it’s great insurance if you have really large orders.

This also helps the supplier manage your expectations. The buyers can pressure some suppliers, with a third-party inspection team, you can rest assured that you and your supplier are on the same page when it comes to the entire deal.

  1. Maintain a Good Relationship With Your Supplier

This is probably the most important tip that we can ever give you. If you are planning on doing this for an extended period of time, it would really help if you have an excellent relationship with your supplier.

Having a tried and tested supplier gives you access to better discounts, great deals, and even priority in some cases. Running low on your cash flow? They might even cut you some slack if you have been a longstanding customer with them.

Keep things cordial, don’t demand more than the deal at hand and keep it friendly to a certain degree. In no time, you could be the retail latex mattress king/queen!

Hopefully this covers enough tips on how you should go about the importation of latex mattresses to your country. Keep our advice in mind and try to avoid the various pitfalls we have discussed. You can even use these tips whenever you’re importing other items.

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