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Dealing with China

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questccg
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Ok so recently I decided to open talks with a Chinese manufacturer that produces both Custom Board and Card games. They can do everything from card booster packs to printing of board with small parts.

I have seen some of their pricing and it is *discouraging* to compare with U.S. (domestic) pricing.

For example standard dice which cost $0.35 each in the U.S. only costs $0.02 in China. I am still waiting for my quote, but if that is any indicator, well I should expect a more reasonable cost for producing my game.

The thing that worries me is they accept "Letters of Credit" or "Western Union" or "Paypal". My *concern* is with SHIPPING to my door... As the buyer, I know I assume ALL costs regarding the transport of my order. The problem I have is in the details of shipping. Does the manufacturer make sure the order gets delivered TO MY DOOR? Terms are FOB (Free-On-Board).

So does the manufacturer make sure that my game is delivered to their port, put on a ship and then lands in the port of Montreal (Quebec, Canada) AND is subsequently taken by a courier service (UPS, Fedex, etc.) until it reaches my door??? My worry is the LAST part of the delivery... Who takes charge of the delivery once it reaches my port? Who makes the arrangements?

Also I believe that payment is made BEFORE shipping occurs. So I need to wait until I receive the order to verify that all is properly delivered... This is what *kinda* worries me.

If any designer has had direct communications with China and has dealt with shipping from there, could you please respond to this thread. I would like to hear from anyone who has done this before... And could maybe explain to me how their shipping was handled.

Thank you.

questccg
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Some more information

I was told by someone who used to deal with *imported* merchandise and they tell me I need a local *Customs Broker*. The broker has to be provided with all the information concerning the delivery and will make the arrangements to deliver the merchandise from the port to your door.

Obviously they also charge for the service of both *clearing* the merchandise and shipping it to your door.

This is probably a little bit more complicated - in having to handle details at a local level (instead of having an intermediary who handles all of the shipping).

Again, if you have experience with dealing with China, I would love to know details from you.

questccg
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FOB meaning

FOB (Free-On-Board) means that the SELLER will pay for the order to be shipping from their factory to their port. Included in this is the cost of loading the order. From that point the freight, insurance, unloading costs and transportation from the destination port to my door are all the BUYER's responsibility.

So some of the shipping is handled by the Chinese manufacturer and MOST is not...

I'm not certain how one goes about getting an agreement and the payment for the shipping costs assumed by the BUYER. Like I assume that I would have to pay the seller for the shipping, right?! Otherwise how do they know where to ship the order and more importantly, how do they get paid for shipping the order???

Still a little bit *confused*, I need clarification to better understand how this is all done...

BubbleChucks
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I'm not sure either, not

I'm not sure either, not having imported anything in bulk personally. However, what you are looking for is a freight forwarder. They deal with all the aspects relating to the movement of cargo. Not sure how this fits in with goods that have already arrived in a country though.

This is a very helpful read if you havent seen it already -

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/789423/game-design-and-self-publishing-a...

and a bit on freight forwarding

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freight_forwarder

I suspect that any difficulties won't be linked to the cost and payment side of things. My primary source of concern would be addressing the bureaucratic paperwork that usually accompanies such movements.

BubbleChucks
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and this gives a fairly

and this gives a fairly comprehensive list of what freight forwarders do

http://www.prospects.ac.uk/freight_forwarder_job_description.htm

questccg
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Thanks for those links

Thanks for that BGG link, it was a very informative read. $350 for a black plastic tray... That's fantastic!

Anyone else have something to add or have *personal* experience dealing directly with China???

BENagy
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To clarify, there are three

To clarify, there are three abbreviations to look at when shipping from China:

-FOB: Your products are sitting somewhere in China. Buy space on a boat, and bring them over!
-CIF: They ship your stuff to a US port, you go down to the docks and pick it up yourself, pay the duties and taxes, etc.
-DDP: The manufacturer pays all duties, import taxes, etc, and brings it to your door, as you stated earlier.

I live in California, in the US, so I can rent a Uhaul truck and drive to LA or Long Beach to pick my stuff up. With my research, I believe there are no duties on products tagged as "board games", so CIF is the price I ask for from manufacturers. From China, for my (very small) game, at about 1500 units, I'm looking at $100-500 freight to US. Not too bad. A $50 Uhaul trip means my shipping costs are near negligible.

Terms on payment are always negotiable. My tactic is that I make sure any "tooling" or "bit" costs need only ever be paid once, as long as I stay working with the same manufacturer (or else they're ripping you off), and though you can haggle the price, I'm more concerned with how much I need to pay when. I wouldn't pay everything up front. This is where a broker comes in. A broker protects you. He looks at the shipment, makes sure the products are the right quality, that they are being produced on time, get on the boat, etc. In other words, that you aren't being ripped off. Now if you're working with a big name manufacturer like LudoFact or PandaGM, not as necessary. But if the name of the company you're working with looks like you wouldn't be able to pronounce the Chinese if you tried, definitely invest in having someone look over stuff for you. Better to be safe than sorry!

questccg
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Thanks again... invaluable insight!

BENagy wrote:
But if the name of the company you're working with looks like you wouldn't be able to pronounce the Chinese if you tried, definitely invest in having someone look over stuff for you. Better to be safe than sorry!

Well they produce all of the BIG games (like Monopoly and Clue). A BGDF member has visited their factory and was impressed by their facilities. In addition to printing, they also have *on-site* facilities for wood working and plastics. They are pretty big, so far I have not heard back from them...

Thanks for the various types of shipping offered. I have read that it could take up to four (4) weeks to have a shipment delivered to port.

This kind of information is *invaluable* and I thank you all for posting it.

I will be dealing with a management/marketing company, they also have extensive experience dealing with China and importing of various types of game. Since I will be using their services, I hope they too can educate me as to how I can get my merchandise delivered from China if I do choose this option.

For now, I'm still waiting for a response to my e-mail (no word yet).

Zodiak Team
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FOB:

FOB: Fresh-of-Boat
^chuckles

This is actually important to know so I hope you can figure this out i na postive way.

-This also has me thinking about doing a documentary about developing your own game...I'll make a forum post so not to distract from your post's point.

questccg
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MedioEvo Universalis

Zodiak Team wrote:
...This also has me thinking about doing a documentary about developing your own game...I'll make a forum post so not to distract from your post's point.

Just do like Veldriss and "MedioEvo Universalis" (See thread: http://www.bgdf.com/node/13107)

Make you could ask him for tips... He has been documenting his game from the 1980s!

questccg
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BAD Quote

questccg wrote:
For now, I'm still waiting for a response to my e-mail (no word yet).

Well I finally got a *quote* from a Chinese manufacturer... But the quote is all *MESSED UP*. First of all, I asked for a quote of 1,000 units and they did it for 2,500 units. That's just the TIP of the iceberg. Next they divided each aspect of the game into a separate category and priced each aspect HIGH.

Their quote is MORE EXPENSIVE that a quote that I got from a U.S. manufacturer (including shipping!) That's right, it's cheaper to deal with an intermediary U.S. company who is dealing with China.

That was my first Chinese experience, I will try with another company to see if the pricing is better... We shall see if they can respond better to the *Request for Quote*.

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