I made a little headway with iGear, got a few bulk pricings...
I've got a question though...their bulk pricing doesn't leave much of a margin over the prices they've got on their website.
However, I can price them way better than BBTS does.
My questions is - how does BBTS get away with pricing as they do, when the pricing is much lower directly on the 3rd party's site? Even with shipping costs factored in?
OH, and BTW, I've got a couple good friends fluent in Chinese =)
Good deal! Not a lot of people want to deal with iGears site as orders can take forever to even be processed, even with instock items. Punctuality isn't one of that companies best character traits. Not only that, but most fans here in the Western Hemisphere will pay slightly more for that "peace of mind" having domestic shipping and better communication regarding their orders. But they do deliver and with quality products every time, as they're one of the few 3PC's that you never hear about having QC issues.
On pre-orders, expect delays (goes with saying for ALL 3PC's...hell Hasbro/Takara too) as these companies a lot of the time share the same production factory. And that factory will cater to the highest profit contract a lot of the times, no matter who was next in line. Business morals over there aren't like what they are here.
Not saying they're the best here in the US, either...
BBTS has a brand new storefront building. Brand new HUGE warehouse, I'm sure a staff of at least 6-10 people. And I'm sure other factors that play into their overhead. They also have a rabid, loyal fan base that refuse to shop anywhere else simply because they offer the "pile of loot" system. Meaning, you can pre-order as much as you want and not have to pay anything up front until the pre-order comes into stock...they also hold your orders until you're ready to ship, which cuts down on shipping costs (as orders are combined). TfSource has just recently started doing this also.
But, if you can beat them and TfSource in pricing, you pretty much already know you'll have the USA market cornered. A lot of fans (myself included) would rather pay upfront, as I don't like unexpected charges to my debit card when something suddenly comes into stock....BBTS doesn't allow you to do this. Transformerlands store already has a GREAT reputation, so I'm sure fans won't even think twice about pre-ordering from here.
Good luck and if you need help with anything, I'd be more than happy to do so!