For a new project (more about this later) I needed a larger amount of illuminated rocker switches (approx. 3000st.). The problem was that in Germany there was no price quote for the project which would have made it affordable. Here for example almost 3€/piece nor did I find a dealer who could supply such a large quantity at once.
I often order parts in China and therefore know the platform Alibaba well. Through this platform you can easily get in direct contact with the producing companies.
But the whole thing is only attractive if you buy at least the minimum order quantities of the respective dealers, which are sometimes quite high.
After several inquiries I had contact to a producer from the east of China, who was able to omit the inscription of the switches and was quite attractive in price and very friendly.
The complete exchange of information was via Whatsapp and was super relaxed. After the production details (switch type, specifications, neon lamp type, switching cycle resistance, color, etc), the shipping (TNT) and the payment method (paypal) had been negotiated and I had paid for the goods, it took less than three days until the goods were handed over to TNT China.
Another two days later the package was in Germany, where unfortunately TNT did not have its processes under control. Eight days later, the parcel was at TNT and waited for the customs declaration, because supposedly documents were still missing.
I had already sent the customs authority for TNT, the invoice, a customs declaration for private persons and a proof of use (customs is sceptical if a private person imports such large order quantities) to TNT in advance in order not to lose any time here.
Only after almost 10 phone calls did someone finally notice that the package could have been declared for customs a long time ago and then took the matter into their own hands. Two hours later the parcel was released by customs and could continue its journey within Germany.
Previously, the Helpdesk’s statements were different each time:
-We need an EBIT number (I explained this to TNT in writing at the beginning, that as a private person I do not have an EBIT number and I need one).
-As a private individual, you need a proof of use for large quantities so that customs can allow the parcel to pass through (this was also already available to TNT in writing).
-You have to pay the customs duties in advance. TNT will inform you as soon as we have processed the package. – In the end, I had to pay the charges to the parcel deliverer.
-The package is in transit. I do not see what is missing… Please be patient.
It sucks how badly TNT depicts the processes here and nobody in the helpdesk could make a proper statement.
Very annoying with 112€ shipping costs and 25€ service fee for customs clearance.
At least I have now 3000 illuminated rocker switches at a very good unit price of approx. 14ct incl. taxes, customs and shipping (lowest comparative price in Germany 1.14€/piece).
Why do I need so many switches? That´s why