Have you obtained the best handling method for sending samples in foreign trade work?

2024-05-17|43 views|Development skills

In foreign trade, handling sample fees and courier costs can be a tricky issue. Sending samples is an important step before closing a deal, but it's common for customers to disappear after receiving free samples. A couple of instances are normal, but it becomes prudent to be more cautious over time. So how should foreign trade businesses handle sample requests from customers?

It is not recommended to send free samples because items received for free are often not valued. However, it is also not feasible to reject all free sample requests entirely. Cooperation is mutual, and different sample shipping strategies can be devised based on specific situations. Here are a few different approaches:
Seller Covers Sample and Courier Fees
This method is most likely to attract customers who disappear after receiving the sample. This approach is not infeasible, but it requires thorough communication with the customer to confirm their purchasing intent. If your product value is not very high, this method can be considered.
Suggested Communication:
Although we typically do not provide free samples, due to our keen interest in collaborating with you, our company is willing to assist you in applying for complimentary samples this time.
Seller Covers Sample Fee, Customer Covers Courier Fee
This method is suitable when the sample fee is lower than the courier cost. A customer willing to cover the courier fee can indirectly show their cooperation intention. This is considered a relatively reasonable approach.
Suggested Communication:
We will promptly arrange for 1-2 free samples each. To ensure timely shipping, please provide your courier account details. Your understanding is greatly appreciated.
Customer Covers Sample and Courier Fees
This method is usually applicable when both the sample and courier fees are high. Although customers may find it difficult to accept, offering discounts or refunding the sample cost can make it more acceptable.
Another approach that customers are more likely to accept is showing willingness to cover half of the courier fee to demonstrate our sincerity. Most customers with a genuine intent to cooperate would find this acceptable.
Suggested Communication:
1. Typically, our sample price is 15% higher than the wholesale price. However, to show our support for you, we have decided to offer the sample at our wholesale price. Please find attached the sample Proforma Invoice (PI) and kindly arrange payment for the sample and shipping costs. Thank you.
2. Please don't worry, after you make a formal order, we will refund all sample costs to you.
3. Last year, our company dispatched numerous samples. However, upon thorough calculation by our accounting department, the incurred costs were substantial. Consequently, we regret to inform you that we are unable to continue this practice this year. Nevertheless, to assist you, we are offering a reduced payment option. Following your application, you are required to pay half of the sample cost. Please find attached the Proforma Invoice (PI) for your reference. Kindly confirm your acceptance by return. Thank you.
Customer Covers Sample Fee, Seller Covers Courier Fee
This method is suitable when the sample value is greater than the courier cost. The advantage of this approach is that it shows the company's sincere service while ensuring the company's interests, making it a good sampling method.
Sample Sending Precautions
1. Be cautious with customers who are unwilling to pay either the sample fee or the courier fee. However, do not dismiss them outright. You can check the customer's identity information through their official website, analyze their procurement volume, frequency, and trade partners through customs data, and judge the customer's authenticity and potential. If you find they are a high-quality customer, you might consider waiving both the sample and courier fees.
2. Ensure that the customer arranges their freight forwarder or courier company after placing an order to avoid situations where the seller has to cover the costs due to non-payment by the customer.
3. If the customer is unwilling to pay either the sample fee or the courier fee and customs data shows their past orders are not substantial, it might be best to abandon such customers, as the potential value of securing their orders might not be significant.

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