One of your foremost responsibilities if you have a business is to get your business out there. This means making sure your business has the right amount of exposure, and one way of doing it is by sending samples of your wares to regular and new clients or customers. When you send a sample of whatever it is you are offering, you are piquing the interest of your audience and letting them see first-hand how excellent and useful your product really is.
But if you are planning to send samples, there’s the difficulty of actually making sure they arrive safely at their destination. You wouldn’t want your samples to be stopped at any border and seized by customs, would you? More importantly, you wouldn’t want your samples to get damaged or broken whilst in transit. You want them to arrive intact and in perfect condition. So, are you planning to send samples to clients as a business owner? Here’s how to do it right.
The benefits of sending samples
First off, there are many benefits of sending samples, one of which you already know – it exposes your business’ wares to current or prospective customers. But sending samples also allows you to save money on marketing, because you may be able to receive concessions when you send samples as opposed to sending goods normally. With the sending of products for sale, there are taxes and duties you will have to contend with – not so with samples.
The basics of sending samples
· The proper product
Needless to say, many goods and items are restricted or banned, so you have to make sure that your product doesn’t fall into this category. Even common goods such as cleaning products or perfume can be restricted, so whatever goods you are planning to send should be appropriately checked. Whilst standard courier services (such as FedEx) may not carry some hazardous items, there are still some couriers who do. Some of these restricted goods include explosives, air rifles or firearms, furs, any product which is flammable, ivory, weapons or knives, live animals, aftershave, perfume, and some fragrances; and tobacco products. You should also remember that some items may not be accepted as imports in certain countries, so you should check the regulations for the particular country where you are planning to send your items.
· Proper preparation
The term ‘sample’ should be properly and legibly stated on the goods you are planning to send – this is very important. And here’s another thing: some countries, like the US and Italy, want samples to be ‘mutilated’ so they cannot be resold when they arrive. For example, if you want to ship textiles to the US, it’s best to place them in proper white postal boxes (for a good impression and ample protection), but you also have to mark the textile with the word ‘sample’ in ink that is indelible; make sure as well that the writing is at least an inch high. You can also ‘mutilate’ items by making a small tear or cut in the item.
· The right paperwork
Another essential detail when sending samples is the paperwork. The right paperwork can make a big difference, especially if you don’t want to end up paying taxes or duties on the item and you don’t want your clients to pay for any extra charges. You should clearly state that the parcel is a sample and be sure to note down if the item is mutilated. Include the phrase ‘sample, not for resale’ in the parcel, and your goods shouldn’t have any issues when it comes to clearing customs.