It goes without saying that you shouldn’t place a large order without ever having seen a sample or product. You need to test your sample for function, durability, and more.
When ordering samples most suppliers will charge you. And the majority of those will charge 20-50% on top of the regular price, because making a sample is more “costly.” The actual reason they charge more is because they are afraid you only want to order a sample and then never come back.
Either way, this is an investment you need to make.
Insider Tip: Most suppliers will refund you the cost of the sample on the first order. So make sure to remind the supplier of this when you place an actual order.
Tips on sending/receiving samples:
1) When you ask for a sample, you don’t want it to be caught up in customs. There are a few items that may not be sent via airmail or courier, such as items with a built-in battery (e.g., power banks to charge mobile phones). Check with your carrier or local post office on that.
2) Ask the supplier to state: “samples of no commercial value” on the sample invoice that is packed with the sample. This way, customs will see this is a sample not to be resold and should therefore not be taxed.
3) Ask the supplier to lower the value of the sample cost on the invoice. BUT it shouldn’t be an amount that is too low; if it is it may sound not credible. For example, if you order an item that is sold to you at 9USD, then the declared amount should not be lower than 3USD. If you have an item that is obviously expensive then make sure you don’t set the amount too low (e.g., real value 99USD, but declared value 8USD).
4) In some cases large sample orders will be held at customs, mainly because samples with a value that is declared too low arises suspicion. You may have to pay the tax and duties.
5) Sometimes the supplier will ask you for your courier number (e.g. DHL/FedEx etc.). If you feel comfortable with him give it to him but NEVER give away a courier number to a supplier. It happened to me that they misuse it for their other clients.
When you order a sample with the factory make sure of the following steps:
- Send an email inquiry on how many pieces you would like
State the color and describe what the sample should look like (based on the supplier’s offer)
State the address it should be sent to
Make sure the supplier states “samples of no-commercial value”
Tell the supplier that you will deduct the sample charge from your first order
Declare a proper amount of sample value
There is an example sample invoice in our document section under: