SWB

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2009
Messages
264
I'm in the process of importing niche motorcycle accessories and replacement parts from South America and China.

The products are all priced within R300 to R800 and are the size of a shoebox and smaller, weighing anything from 1kg to under 5kg.

I've done all my market research and have already gathered interest for a these products locally. Next step is to bring in a low volume of these products and get some customer feedback.

I have a few questions concerning my next steps:

Should I avoid the SA Post Office after the whole strike issue? From all the posts I've read on MyBB, SAPO sounds like a big no no.

For my first order I will probably bring in a total of about 20 items(20 from China and 20 from South America). Should I avoid EMS/Postal Services and go the courier DHL/FEDEX route? Is it even worthwhile to approach a freight forwarder I have no experience with forwarders and my naive assumption is they handle large container size orders etc? If not are there any particular freight forwarders anyone can recommend I get in touch with?

DHL told me that I have to work through Postnet and they quoted me about R2000 international express to bring in an item the size of a shoebox(30cm height x 30cm length x 20cm height x 5kg) which seems utterly ridiculous to me as the item's retail value is about R400. Postnet said that express shipping, I assume this is air freight, is my only option.
 

itareanlnotani

Executive Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Messages
5,077
5KG airmail will cost about that, thats not overpriced. Shipping is typically more than product cost for airmail, unless you ship items that are high priced (insure, as high priced == stolen from shipment).

There are slower courier services available though - DHL has a 2 week service, and so do EMS (who I would consider a courier quality service up). China Post avoid like the plague.

Taobao also does an airmail like service for 2 weeks delivery, see if your suppliers can use that.

You should ask your senders to get pricing vs you getting pricing. Emphasise that you cannot use post, though, and have to use a courier service.

Another issue is that clearance pricing here is highly variable, and one shipment may get charges that another shipment may not, even with the same courier company. They're all overpriced.
 

SauRoNZA

Honorary Master
Joined
Jul 6, 2010
Messages
43,906
Any business not using a courier is going to fail. Simple as that.

SAPO is for consumers, not businesses that will make shipping and importation their primary reason for existing.
 

maxum

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2012
Messages
237
Lebump. Any more advice regarding this topic from veterans? I'm considering importing electronic goods from China. In increments under R10k. For resell.

This is to get a feel for it before investing more time and money. I've done some looking online and see tons of stuff regarding excessive customs fees etc.

Do you believe it's worthwhile trying to turn a profit with R10k's worth of goods when said goods need to be imported.

I eventually want to setup an online store.
 

maxum

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2012
Messages
237
Any pm's from people schooled in doing this sort of thing on a grander scale would be very much appreciated :).
 

Organic

Active Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2014
Messages
68
Any pm's from people schooled in doing this sort of thing on a grander scale would be very much appreciated.

There should be a forum entirely dedicated to this stuff.
 
Last edited:

LazyLion

King of de Jungle
Joined
Mar 17, 2005
Messages
104,713
Yes. You should factor in for border stops by the SAPS customs police. If they flag the container with yours goods inside then it will be pulled out for inspection. This will result in delays and additional storage charges for you. This can amount to R7000 per container per week. Currently the SAPS are pulling out a lot of containers from the East. You should take out insurance or set aside am amount to cover these instances.
 

LazyLion

King of de Jungle
Joined
Mar 17, 2005
Messages
104,713
Many of the shipping companies offer annual classes and training in the shipping process, terminology and incoterms used. Also your bank can train you in the foreign payments process.
 
Top