Mapping The Project
So, I’m given a project to build a 55” inch Touch Screen (Kiosk Style) that will be an interactive selection tool for merchandise. The concept is to have the user click on thumbnails to bring up an enhanced image that is draggable, resizable, and a slide off screen effect that brings the selection of thumbnails back. I have already touched on the programming side of this in another article but I wanted to also explain the steps taken to acquire the actual unit used for the Touch Screen.
As I started the project map I realized all roads led to the device I would be using. The unit needed to have a 55” display and it should have a responsive Touch mechanism, something like an over-grown IPAD. Spending a good amount of time researching, I concluded the optimal solution had to be a Touch Screen PC. This would allow for the planned programming languages, the controlled environment, and the interactivity I required.
This is how my journey into the abyss of overseas buying began. My initial searches and phone calls provided a few options but the prices were way too high. I considered building the unit but investigating those costs yielded only marginal savings after I added the time involved to build it. I also knew future orders were a good possibility so I needed a consistent product at a somewhat certain price range and excellent quality.
So China It Is
During my journey I noticed a number of units from China that not only seemed to match my product concept but also offered a significant savings. Having bought smaller items from overseas, I wasn’t a prisoner to the prevailing thought of “if it sounds too good to be true…”. I knew it was possible to buy good quality merchandise direct from overseas at a fraction of the cost from inside the US. I also concluded that anything I bought in the US would probably be from China. With such a high ticket cost I also knew my research had to be more than just a cursory look at the transaction process.
I am born worrier so every bump in the road gave me an uneasy feeling of imminent doom. Of course all my worrying was in vain because I was able to order, purchase, and have delivered an excellent product. This doesn’t mean I didn’t have some scary moments, only that those moments of apprehension were not warranted.
Stay tuned for part 2 of “Buying from China” where I will give step-by-step details of how I investigated companies, learned about escrow, and learned to speak Chinese; not really, but I did learn a little about dealing with Chinese companies.
by Jim Atkins 'thedosmann'