Sunday, April 8, 2018

My fancy China Packaging Machine

I posted this video up on YouTube a week ago, but I never got a chance to post my corresponding blog commentary about it.

For the past 5 years, I have been purchasing my hardware in bulk, sometimes up to 10,000 items per style. I know that is a lot, but I found my calling. When I first started, I would sit there and count out each item package individually. Lets just say that was not very efficient with my time. Do you know how many road trips I spent counting out inventory in the passenger seat of the car?

You'd think that my husband would have told me he had a better way for me to deal with counting my inventory earlier, but after about 2 years, he shared his method with me. "You know you can buy a counting scale to do that for you?"

Mind blown! There was such a thing as a counting scale? Yes, my husband had used them years ago. I guess sharing this with me late was better than never sharing it with me at all. This soon sped up my process, helping me grow the business incrementally.

For the last few years, each bulk purchase became larger and larger, but the time to package them took longer and longer. I had one shipment take me 3 months to package, only to get to the point I had to reorder again, placing me in this constant loop of packaging every day and night.

For the past year, I have dreamed of an even more efficient way to package my stash. I didn't want to spend all my time packaging anymore. I wanted to get back to doing fun creative stuff again. I started to research packaging machines. I search Alibaba, Aliexpress, Google and Ebay. I got quotes from American factories and quotes from Chinese factories.

I found the perfect machine from an American factory that not only counted and bagged, but also printed directly on the bags. That was about $50,000. Ideal yes, but WAY out of budget. I decided I had to get a Chinese machine instead. I found one for about $1700. It could package up to 200 grams in a package. I was excited. The lower model was only $1400, but after a lot of back and forth with the factory, they assured me that the $1700 model would do the trick.

After moving into our new house in Florida, we decided it was time to welcome this new machine into our family. Three weeks later it arrives. The machine actually was two machines that tie into each other. The top part did the counting/measuring and the bottom did the bagging.

It took a few hours to get it all set up and about an hour to determine that this machine would never count and measure my products correctly. Upon further research, I could have purchased just the bottom half for about $900. The top portion is now a dust collector, although I do have hopes to one day use it. I complained to the factory and they were gracious enough to refund me $150. It didn't make up for what I could have saved purchasing the correct machine and I feel I was completely deceived by the machine's capabilities.

Anyway, here is the official review of my new toy. And for the record, the bottom half is awesome, so it almost makes up the fact that I have a very large paper weight of a machine I'm storing for one day's use.


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