NEAC is not so much concerned about the initial size of its clients but about the long-term working relationship. Nevertheless, potential customers need to understand that even if we shipped items with no charge at the factory level in Asia, the cost to import them into the US would still be in the hundreds of dollars (we estimate it costs at least $500 per delivery to cover minimum expenses charged by shipping companies, U.S. Customs and domestic customs brokers). With these minimum expenses, even 100 “free” items would still have a cost basis of $5/piece and might not be cost effective to import. Not every product can be made competitively in Asia nor should it necessarily be done there. Also, even though a product is already made there, it doesn’t mean everyone can go buy 100 pieces and still expect to have the same costs as the company importing items by the container. There is a place in our economy for distributors and middleman and unless markups are extraordinary they are entitled to a profit for their expenses in stocking and distributing product. As a rule of thumb, we ask that potential buyers think in terms of starting orders of US$10,000 or more. Much less than this and the fixed costs of importing are unlikely to overcome any savings we achieve by manufacturing in a lower cost country.
As for product development, potential clients need to understand they should do their initial work in the USA and not overseas. Your first market is likely to be the USA and no one will know the market requirements better than you or your potential customers. Develop a product that meets a need then do your marketing homework to establish a price and the demand quantity at that price. If you try to do it overseas, a lot of time will pass, expenses will be high, and your samples going back and forth will be a source of frustration for you and us. When you have finished samples and blueprints for your products, we can follow up in obtaining a cost so you can decide whether it makes sense to proceed. Depending on the complexity of the project, we may have to charge for this costing but if you proceed with us, we will issue a credit for these sourcing expenses against your first purchase.
Overall, NEAC seeks customers who are professional and realistic in their expectations. Sales are not our strength; manufacturing is. We can assist in the importation and even in the distribution of products, but the creation and the selling of an item is not where we excel. We are also not in the business of collection and one way we manage to keep costs low is by minimizing risk. Typically, goods need to be paid for before they travel overseas; it’s no different when items are exported from the US or from Asia. However, depending on the credit worthiness of the purchaser and the size of the transaction, NEAC can provide domestic terms such as the commonly available net-30 days payments from delivery. Still, we strongly suggest that companies and individuals new to importing examine their finances to make sure they can manage the cash flow a start-up program requires. This includes money for tooling, typically 50% required to begin with and the balance payable upon successful creation of production molds.