In general this page is to give our SUPPLIERS some guidelines and inform them of our expectations
This is a general discussion of
International Purchasing, Credit Cards, International Money Orders, Wire Transfers, etc. for our customers.
SOME IDEAS ABOUT WHAT IS BEING PURCHASED
We have contacted many suppliers. We started with suppliers in the USA and then contacted suppliers outside of the USA. We have judged them on:
(1) Attitude toward us as our being their customer,
This all might seem backwards, but think about it. There are multitudes of companies supplying products worldwide. If we are the customer, then how they treat us before the sale could reflect how they treat us after they get my money, so attitude has to be first.
(2) Product availability,
We have customers. We want our customers to receive their orders in a timely manner. Therefore, our suppliers should get their products to us and to our customers in reasonable time. Custom made parts have to be considered for machining and labor time. Off the shelf parts could be much faster. We would like to know, up front, what the delivery time is. Long wait time or quick delivery: we want to know up front. It is not an issue, but we want to know. If they do not tell us, at least an estimate, even an estimate in months for fabrications, then we could wonder what is going on.
(3) Price availability (It is amazing, some companies seem to lothe pricing),
We have customers. When our customers ask us for a price, we want to be able to tell them quickly or get the price quickly for them. There is a concept called "Cost of Goods Sold," and since we are selling goods, we want to know our costs. With some suppliers; we have had to send multiple emails to and/or call many times in order to get a solid price out of them. This could make us wonder if they know what they are doing. This also could make us wonder if their own suppliers are giving them fits. It is amazing the fear that some people seem to have in deciding a price for something that they openly advertise for sale. Suppliers: Know your Cost of Goods Sold and MAKE A DECISION !
(4) Product quality.
So, you may ask, "Why in the world would 'Product Quality' be last on the list?" It is this simple: A great product, that we do not know the price of, which we have no idea when it will be available, being sold by someone with a bad attitude which might be a harbinger of even worse service after the sale is not worth buying. If you see products or services referenced on http://www.reasonablepower.com then they have gone through this filter. Last, but definately not least, we try to check out the product quality. If we use a product or reference it to our customers, then we prefer that it be high quality. We cannot guarantee someone else's quality, but we prefer it.
So, if you want to be on our suppliers list:
Build a high quality product.
Have a solid price for the product and tell your customers quickly the price.
Be very clear about how and where and when your product is available.
Treat your customers professionally.
SOME IDEAS ABOUT PAYING FOR THAT PURCHASE
Some companies are easy to deal with; they tell you the price up front. Some companies are not so easy to deal with; getting a price out of them is like pulling good teeth out by the roots.
But, after a thoughtful search of products, you finally have the price, and you have decided to buy the product. Now what?
Is the order local to you? Can you simply walk down the street and purchase it? Or is it clear on the other side of the planet, in some country where you only know rumors about?
If it is local, then that is not an issue. If it is in some other country, then you might consider some things.
Let's say that you have talked to the supplier and decided that they are legitimate. That is for you to decide. No one can decide this for you.
How do you get the money to them?
Here are some options that we have found. (Not all of the options; but some.):
Bank to Bank wire transfer. We do (yes) accept this type of order payment.
Probably the best. Your bank, or a bank, transfers cash to the supplier's account. This seems seriously secure. It can be extremely complicated and really time consuming but it can usually be done. You might have to hunt for a bank on your end that will do this, and you might have to hunt on the supplier's end for a bank that will do this, but in the end it can usually work well. It can be an eye-opening experience in international trade complications. But, usually it CAN work, if you do not give up. We have purchased a little item from Hong Kong this way, the item cost $30.00 and the processing of the Wire transfer by the bank cost us an additional $30.00. It worked.
For example: The GSA ( US General Services Administration GS02F0153T_online.htm ) lists "Payment via Wire Tranfer" as an option.
Western Union does wire transfers:
Western Union 1-800-752-6077
If you send via telephone it is $320.00 fee no matter what the amount is sent.
Maximum over the telephone is $7,500.00
If you send via a Western Union location it is $26.00 no matter what the amount sent.
Western Union has locations in general stores like Right Aid Drug Stores, Safeway Grocery Store, Stop n Shop Store, etc.
Maximum sent via Western Union to China per transfer is $20,000.00
Telegraphic Transfer (T/T): We do (yes) accept this type of order payment.
Might also be a best option. This might be the same as a Wire Transfer. American Express has a definition for it here, Google has search results for it here.
Credit Card purchase: We do not accept credit card orders.
We are not completely convinced as to their reliability. Call your credit card company FIRST and give them ALL the details on who is paying and who is receiving and what countries they each are in.
International Money Order: We do (yes) accept this type of order payment.
The US Postal service (better known as "snail mail") has international money orders. These work in some countries and do NOT work in some other countries. Probably not the best idea. Could work well between certain countries.
Cashier's Check: We do (yes) accept this type of order payment.
Yes. To get a "Cashier's Check" or sometimes called a "Certified Check" a person is required to be present in a bank (or similar situation) in order to get one of these.
Check: We do (yes) accept this type of order payment.
We expect that yes is the best answer if and only if waiting until at least 3 days after the check has cleared before considering the payment transferred.
Cash: We do (yes) accept this type of order payment.
Maybe. If in person to person with signed contract.
WHY DO WE EVEN TELL YOU ABOUT INTERNATIONAL SUPPLIERS?
"If WalMart can do it, then so can I" seems to be a good place to start. We decided to sell "low wind speed startup" Wind Powered Generators with lots of kilowatt output per blade sweep diameter. That was a big challange. We designed the systems and advertised them for sale. Our customers asked for accessories. We manufacture Wind Powered Generators. We decided to help our customers by finding reasonable prices for the accessories. We called on the telephone, and sent out emails, asking for prices, specifications, and more information on the accessories. We are now listing some suppliers that we can recommend.
Here is an example of a process: (Helping our customers with grid tie inverters.)
First let's look at what it takes to make a grid tie inverter:
To go from AC to DC is really simple; use a bridge rectifier. To filter the DC to a near straight line is not so hard; add coils and capacitors. To go from DC to AC is a little more time consuming but not really so hard; add a timer, add some switches (or relays if you like), step the process if you want to step the wave and smooth it out a little, add some capacitors and coils to further smooth out the stepped wave toward becomming a sine wave. Or we can use a completely different process and produce true sine waves. But the big issue for some manufacturers seems to be timing the inverter toward matching to the grid tie sine wave. That is easy again; use the grid cycle for a timer, and there it is. But, you could say, "The present grid ties on the market would burn up with all that high wattage that your Wind Powered Generators put out." That can be fixed very easily. Use IGBTs. Depending upon how they are manufacturered; Insulated Gate BiPolar Transistors can handle over 1000 amps and over 1000 volts, or over 1,000kilowatts, or over 1megawatt each.
Now lets look at what we found:
When we asked some of the current grid-tie inverter companies to supply grid ties for our Wind Powered Generators, they said "No!" We asked why. They told us, in long, drawn out discussions, that they did not care. Not all said that, but at first, the big advertised companies informed us of that.
So, what to do:
We know the prices of electronic parts. That was not hard to find. (For one example: DigiKey.com could send their big catalog.) We can design a solid state grid tie. That is not hard. If some suppliers will not sell, and our customers need the grid ties, then we look for other suppliers. Now we are talking to some companies that say (to effect) "YES! We can and we will build these for you." So, here we are, telling you where you can get grid tie inverters that are designed to be POWERFUL enough to handle the wattage from our Wind Powered Generators. Be sure to check the specifications, etc.
Kind of nice to know, "If WalMart can do it, then so can I."
Price on a grid tie inverter? After some looking world wide and further consideration, we conclude that the price could be from about $0.05 (five cents, United States dollars) per watt to about $1.50 (one dollar and fifty cents, United States dollars) per watt. It varies, but that is a reasonable expectation. If you are buying a Grid Tie Inverter and it is far over that, check around some more. An exception might be if your local utility company requires some special additions, etc. Also, consider that as market pressures vary, the price might go up or down.
Having even just ONE Wind Powered Generator from reasonablepower.com could be smart.
Our pictures on this web site are renditions for conceptional purposes only. The "Wind Powered Generator" that you order will definitely not look like that. The design may be similar, but it will be different in blade size, in sweep diameter, maybe in color, etc. This is to show you that you do have a choice: Those three bladed things are not your only option.