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fponzani
12-22-2004, 10:31 PM
My brother lives in Japan, outside of Tokyo. We've briefly discussed trying to do a little import/export. I initially was thinking Japanese woodworking saws, but now I'm thinking there might be a few bucks to be made by having him buy high quality inspection and measuring equipment and having him ship it to me to sell. Most things Mitutoyo seem to get quite a bit of action on Ebay. I'm not looking to start a huge multinational company, just trying to put a few bucks in my pocket and pass on the savings to others. Having a trusted partner on the other side of the pond would certainly make it easier (but not necessarily easy).

Does anybody have any thoughts, input, warnings, etc? Anybody ever try this? I'm open to suggestions on products and items to investigate.

jfsmith
12-23-2004, 12:30 AM
If it was for just you, things would be maybe easy. If you are thinking about importing a case or cargo container, you have to get all of the right import certificates, possibly pay duties and find out about tariffs. Then you may have large importers complaining to their sources in Japan about you getting into their act.

I import some thing for my business and I have to jump thru a lot of hoops sometimes at customs.

If you import a few of these in a gray market fashion, the warranties may not exist or may not be honored in the states.

Check all of this out thoroughly before spnding your cash, BTW many places want cash up front.


Jerry

Thrud
12-23-2004, 11:56 AM
Yes I would be very careful. Many items in Japan cannot be imported to North America for many reasons and vice versa. You cannot for example bring any magnetic Mitutoyo plates into Canada (prohibited) - only the mag bases sold by Mitutoyo can be sold here - none of their sine plates, blocks, or vises.

Evan
12-23-2004, 12:12 PM
Dave,

Although Mitutoyo doesn't sell their magnetic sine plates in Canada that doesn't mean you can't import them. You can import anything you want that isn't illegal. It just means you have to buy whatever it is in the US and have it shipped to a US freight forwarder, then to Canada.

JCHannum
12-23-2004, 12:29 PM
It will depend on the items you intend to sell. If you intend to deal on eBAy, micrometers and the more common items are not worth much. It would pay to watch several auctions of various types of tools over the coures of a few weeks to see which go best before investing a great deal of money on something that may turn out to be a dog. Something that sells on eBay for $100.00 today, may bring $10.00 the next six times.

The Mitutoyo magnetic plate thing is possibly a licensing agreement like Busy Bee and Grizzly have. You can sell used equipment anywhere, but cannot deal in new.

A niche item like the Japanese wood saws might not be a bad product to look at.

fponzani
12-23-2004, 12:51 PM
JC, that's what I basically plan on doing. Mics, rules, and the like are far too common to produce a profit. The high-end calipers, on the other hand, may be doable, as well as some of the other higher-priced more specialized tools. My brother has started checking for sources for both Mitutoyo and Nachi (drills). I'm real interested in what they go for, both new and used. I will NOT be getting full containers of this stuff, more like a couple peices at a time. A few extra bucks to support my hobbies would be great. It will all boil down to what we'll have to pay to get items to the states.

Are there any other Japanese machine tools and parts that are in demand here in the states?

DR
12-23-2004, 01:03 PM
Japanese items may be too expensive.

Now that we have Starrett and others making their stuff in China and I can go to my local Schucks/Cragen auto parts store and get a knockoff of a Mitutoyo digital caliper for $15.00, it's hard to imagine what could be imported in small quantities for profit.

Evan
12-23-2004, 01:08 PM
You might want to browse around this website for Lee Valley Tools Ltd. They are a Canadian company with a large selection of high quality tools, especially woodworking tools including imported Japanese tools and saws. They do not sell any cheap stuff. It might give you some ideas.

http://www.leevalley.com

Sailor
12-23-2004, 01:56 PM
Howdy Fponzani;
I dont know nothing about importing to the US from Japan but I exported for the past 25 years lots of hunting trophies from Canada and imported to Germany,Austria, Switzerland all which are now of course in the European Union with rules that can make your head spinn.

The paperwork can be dounting to the newcomer but really is not so bad once you gained a bit of experience. Custom Officers and other Officials are for the most part not difficult to deal with and at times suprisingly helpfull. Just do your part by dilligently filling out the forms preferably with a Typewriter so they can be read easily. One of the mayjor problems will be completing the forms in the required Language, perhaps no issue for you at all.

I also frequently import smal machine tooling for myself from the US to Canada and never had ever the slightest bit of problems. However I always try to immageine what could go wrong and make certain the week spots dont become a problem.

Do your research and then go for it.
Good Luck and Merry christmas---Sailor.



<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by fponzani:
My brother lives in Japan, outside of Tokyo. We've briefly discussed trying to do a little import/export. I initially was thinking Japanese woodworking saws, but now I'm thinking there might be a few bucks to be made by having him buy high quality inspection and measuring equipment and having him ship it to me to sell. Most things Mitutoyo seem to get quite a bit of action on Ebay. I'm not looking to start a huge multinational company, just trying to put a few bucks in my pocket and pass on the savings to others. Having a trusted partner on the other side of the pond would certainly make it easier (but not necessarily easy).

Does anybody have any thoughts, input, warnings, etc? Anybody ever try this? I'm open to suggestions on products and items to investigate.</font>

wierdscience
12-23-2004, 10:11 PM
My advice is just do it.It has been a few years,but we sent a Fedex triwall box(4x4x4feet)from Germany to here(US)and the shipping was less than $400 for 8-10 day service,it maybe different now.That may sound like a lot,but considering how many calipers and such will fit in a tri wall,it would be worth it.Might check them out.
Containers go from $5600-9600 depending on what port and what is in them.We have been looking into it for bringing in stuff from China and Taiwan.

I would look into the woodworking saws though,Lowes is selling them pretty cheap here,less than $18usd for a dovetailsaw,I think the brand name is Irwin or similar.

jfsmith
12-23-2004, 10:50 PM
Do some market comparison shopping and the see what the actual costs are for importing them and selling them.


Jerry

chief
12-24-2004, 03:23 AM
I live in Japan and shipping from here is higher than to europe, Forget the postal system,(also if your brother plans on using the military postal system,you'll both wind up in jail if ship a lot)
you will have to use FEDEX or another shipper and you will need a license and be prepared to pay customs.
The Japanese won't do consignments they want cash upfront and they probably won't cut you a discount unless you buy over 100
units.