Understanding Each Stage

Understanding Each Stage

A - Z Service

The A - Z Service can be broken down into 9 individual stages. We've broken down these stages, in an effort to provide as much detail as possible for all aspects of the service we offer.

Product Validation 

The Product Validation is a section of the report that is delivered within five business days of ordering our service. Everyone has great and seemingly winning ideas, but we want to make sure the products we are working with are going to meet and reach your expectation.

This section will give you a quick overview of the estimated costs to import your goods. This means, in the report, you’ll get high and low numbers for production costs. You’ll be given an estimate on shipping costs across various methods of shipping. We’ll notify you of necessary product certifications, import requirements, and possible import taxes.

By giving you a rapidly created report, estimating all the possible charges you may incur, profit saving decisions can be made early on. Ultimately saving you from importing a product that could turn out to cost a lot more than you’re able to make from it.

In the event, a product validation comes back and the numbers don’t look profitable, no problem! We’ll validate up to three individual products for you at no additional cost.

Please keep in mind, all information provided on the validation report is subject to change. We’re simply providing estimated prices after sourcing various types of suppliers, speaking with customs brokers and freight forwarders. 

Product Sourcing

The import-export industry is often thought of as non-transparent with everyone trying to profit behind your back. We are changing this paradigm. And the way we are combating it is by being as transparent as possible.

We will begin to work on the product sourcing report once you’ve confirmed the product from the validation report. After seven days, we will provide you with an even more detailed report, giving you factory information, initial pricing, product descriptions, and specifications. You’ll be given a full understanding of the suppliers we are providing, along with their contact information, available catalogs and websites.

We won’t stop there though! The product sourcing section of the report introduces up to five potential suppliers that we have deemed qualified.

This means they meet virtually all of your requirements and they have been vetted and checked to ensure there is no potential risk of doing business with them.

So what do you do with this information?

Well, that is absolutely up to you. However, we strongly suggest you allow us to handle 100% of the negotiation and production planning with the potential suppliers. We want to keep you in the loop the entire way, but our experienced team of local purchasers is working on your behalf to ensure you receive best possible deals.  

In other words, we continue to act as your project manager, delivering detailed reports that we go over in as much detail as possible. Presenting you with the next steps to keep the process moving and allowing you to focus on your sales and the growth of your business.

After you receive the product sourcing report, we’ll begin working on getting Samples and having them shipped to your door.  

Ordering Samples 

So you have a super detailed report of potential costs, a list of awesome, qualified suppliers that have been tailored to your individual requirements and detailed explanations on the benefits of each potential supplier.

Now it is time to get some samples in your hands so the real negotiating can begin.

The goal of early production samples is to get a basic understanding of the quality level each potential supplier is capable of producing. We want you to be able to inspect each option, test it beyond your most critical consumer, and determine which suppliers stay and which get the boot.

The sample ordering process is simple. In our report, we’ll notify you of additional costs that are charged by each supplier to purchase samples. We’ll assist you in purchasing the samples from all suppliers, we’ll have them shipped to our office in China, we’ll write up a quick report for you to look over and then box the samples altogether and have them shipped to you.

We handle all of the sample ordering, consolidation and preparing for shipment. The only additional costs on your behalf would be the sample fees from the supplier, and the shipping costs.

We can ship these samples to anywhere in the world too!

Once you have the samples in your hand, our support team will talk with you about your thoughts on each sample. We’ll assist you in choosing the best and the worst as we prepare to start negotiating with the suppliers we’ve shortlisted.

This is the stage where the real negotiating happens. 

Negotiations

Our number one goal is to be able to provide qualified suppliers that are capable of producing goods to your specifications. There are a lot of different kinds factories, and they all have their own pros and cons. We understand, as an importer, the most important number for you is the final number.

How much is this going to cost?

Our trained negotiators will work towards getting you the best possible deals. We are not miracle workers, and we know better than to negotiate rates that are impossibly low, but what we will do is ensure you’re getting to best deal possible.

In this stage, it is important for our team to handle the entire stage of the negotiation process. Our negotiations will last for a total of five days, and once the negotiation is complete, the production will be ready to begin.

One additional important thing we’d like to mention as we also stated this in our Terms of Use:

We require that Guided Imports handles 100% of the communication and negotiation with the suppliers. It has been our experience that when customers become involved in the negotiations with the supplier, even when done with the best of intentions, this often creates confusion and can lead to a breakdown in relationships with suppliers. In the event a customer negotiates directly with a supplier Guided Imports has provided,  Guided Imports reserves the right to terminate the agreement with the customer and all monies paid to Guided Imports remains the sole property of Guided Imports and customer will not receive a refund for those amounts paid.

Once negotiations are complete, it is time to prepare the order! 

Preparing the Production

Once negotiations have been finalized, now is the time to select a supplier and get ready to place an order.

Before placing the order, we like to prepare a Production Manual, which is a document written in both English and Chinese, that explains all the details we’ve negotiated. This is an added safety layer to ensure any bit of miscommunication is dealt with prior to the start of the production.

Production Manuals differ by product, but they will always include all the pertinent information required to produce a successful production.

Once the Production Manual is complete, we request the supplier to sign off on it and send a copy to you to do the same.

After the Production Manual has been signed off by both parties, we assist you in arranging the payment to the supplier. Remember, we are acting as your boots on the ground in China, so this means all payments run directly from you to the supplier, we don’t act as an intermediary.

Once the initial payment has been made to the factory, our team will begin managing the production. 

Managing the Production

Delays and errors do happen. Anyone who has imported for a substantial enough time can attest to this. We manage the entire production in an effort to stay on top of any potential error or delay.

Our team stays in contact with your factory throughout the entire production. We provide you with weekly reports on the progress of the order and notify you of any change or cause for concern.

But staying on top of the production, we’re able to catch an error that could lead to catastrophic problems if left unattended.

In the event our team notices issues, we’ll work with you to develop a plan of action to resolve any and all issues.   

Product Photography 

Once a production sample is available, we will have the supplier ship the sample to our office in China.
We will send the sample to our affiliated local photography studio to have eight, professional photographs taken.
The photo resolution can either be 4000*6000 pixels or 300DPI
All photographs will be taken against a white or black background with no additional props.
Once photography is complete, photos and copyright ownership will be transferred to you.

Inspection & Quality Control 

Quality Inspection Services

Included in our full package sourcing services is an inspection service. We offer four types of inspections to be chosen, while our sourcing team will always recommend the most ideal inspection for your production, we’d like to explain the differences between the types of inspections, and their benefits.

Quality inspection is a procedure wherein the goods are checked, tested, or evaluated to assure that a product has met the set of criteria defined prior to the start of a production.

There are four types of Quality Inspection Services that are offered are:

  • Initial Production Check
  • During Production Check
  • Container Loading Check
  • Pre-shipment Inspection

1.  Initial Production Check:

This evaluation is done before products are produced. This inspection is done to make sure all the components and requirements are available and approved, according to a importer's requirements. The Initial Production Check will inspect machinery, measurements, special features, meeting safety requirements for products targeted for kids’ or home use and the like.

Benefits: Saves time and effort for both client and manufacturer so a product can be created without sudden changes in materials, design etc. in the middle of the production.

Ideal For: Complex productions requiring precision tools and large productions required to meet strict safety standards.

2.  During production check :

This is done during the production of goods and inspects the products being made. This inspection acts as an on-site evaluation and determines whether or not the production is being done properly and according to the imports specifications.  

Benefits: Identifies potential delays and production errors that would lead to defects and poor quality. Further production improvements can be made once products that pass and fail are identified.

Ideal For: Time sensitive productions and new, or fully customized products.  

3.  Container Loading Check:

After production, the goods are packed and loaded to the container for shipping. This inspection provides assurance that the goods are handled properly, safely, and loaded properly in a container. Improper container loading can lead the dangerous imbalances and destroyed goods during transit.

Benefits: Prevents risk in damaging product during delivery. Avoids delay that can be caused by products being left behind in factories, if not correctly counted and packed.

Ideal For: Full container shipments of fragile and mixed weighted goods.

4. Pre-shipment inspection :

It is performed before shipment of goods.  This includes checking the total amount of goods, packing inspection,  consistency of goods control, and checking the documentation to make sure that before a product gets shipped out to a different country, all legal paperwork are done and requirements have been met. Inspectors usually request that 70% of the goods are to be packed prior to the inspection. This allows for an inspection of the packaging and product quality.

Benefits: Prevents potential financial loss from subpar quality and defective goods. This inspection is the preferred inspection as it covers multiple aspects of a production and determines if goods fail quality testing.

Ideal For: Private label products and other productions requiring an overall check prior to the goods being shipped.

Our support team will consult with you on the most ideal inspection for your order. Once we have decided on an inspection type, we’ll arrange to have an inspector visit the supplier. Once the inspection is concluded, we’ll send you the inspection report.

If the inspection receives a passing grade, the next step is to wire the final payment to the supplier in exchange for the goods.

In the event the inspection receives a failing or pending grade, we’ll work together with you, the supplier and the inspector to determine the best course of action.

Once the goods are fully paid for, the next stage is shipping!

Shipping & Logistics 

Shipping can be complex and confusing. Our support team will handle all aspects of the logistics process on your behalf.

We will consult with you on the potential methods of shipping your products, we’ll provide you with quotations of freight forwarders that you are welcome to use, or you may choose to elect your own forwarder. Either way, we’ll act as your logistics assistant and handle all necessary paperwork and planning.

We do ask that you act as the importer of record and you are required to pay any and all import fees. Our experienced team members will walk you through the entire process and assist you with anything you’re unfamiliar with. 

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