While I was doing FBA I learned that; when you are sourcing your product from China to USA, it is important to know the different shipping methods and decide which one to use.
EXW (Ex Works)
This means that you are responsible all aspect of shipping. The seller will make the products available for you in their factory or location, and you have to -somehow- arrange to pick them up and ship them to USA. Not finished yet. Once your products arrived in USA, you have to pick them up from the destination port and pay all customs fees and ship them again to Amazon warehouse. To me, this is too much work. I rather pay more and have my seller to do all the parts.
FOB (Free on Board)
FOB means “Free on Board”. I have no idea why they call it that way. So if you choose this method, it means %50 of the shipping responsibility is on you. The seller will be responsible to send the shipment from source country to the destination country. Once he shipped it, it is done. It is now your responsibility to take care of customs paperwork, risks and the costs. You have to pick your goods from destination port and ship them to Amazon warehouse.
DDP (Delivered Duty Paid)
So this one is my favorite. All shipping responsibility is on the seller’s shoulders. You do nothing. You just lay down and watch your favorite movie while your products are moving straight ahead to USA. Of course much more costly than other methods. Your seller will take care all aspects of shipping from risks, costs, paperworks and every thing.
I made below comparison table to explain it in a clear way.
|Shipping Responsibility||%100 on buyer||%50 on seller, %50 on buyer||%100 on seller|
|Disadvantage||All responsibility is on you.||Some responsibility is on you.||You don’t see what seller is putting inside the boxes. Therefore you might end up receiving very good quality products because you don’t see the shipment. It goes directly from Chinese factory to Amazon warehouse.|
|Import License/Clearance||Buyer do it.||Buyer do it.||Seller do it.|
|Export License/Clearance||Buyer do it.||Seller do it.||Seller do it.|
|Risks||On buyer.||On buyer.||On seller.|
Whatever the method is, in all cases; seller pack the goods, buyer pay for the price.
So what about the cost?
I paid 560$ for sea shipping. Here is my box size and dimension;
Weight: 33.06 lb (14.9kg)
Dimensions: 15.7 x 17.7 x 19.6 (inch)
So i have total of 12 boxes. Which means 33.06lb x 12 = 396.72lb.
You can use below freight rate calculator to get an estimated figure about your shipments.