IMMEDIATE PICKUP & SHIPPING FROM TORONTO.



FAQ

  1. Why are you so expensive?

Perhaps you've asked yourself what, when, where, and how you are getting these items, and still could not justify it. Then, please read on…

All our items come (or Shipped from Kolkata to Toronto) by Air-Cargo. We'll never ask you, or anyone to bring a few packets of this and that - in personal luggage - for free - when returning from Kolkata. Then sell at a higher price and make money...That's not how we operate.

For every $10 you spend, $6 had gone to the Airline carriers on an average, to get the items from Kolkata to Toronto.

Apart from real (net) items, the cardboard cartons used for packing & shipping the items – everything is weighed and to be paid for.  

This charge has to be paid to Air-Cargo - even if an item is only Rs.10/Kg, or even Free in India.

Then there are incidents of damage, breakage, loss, spillage, leakage, delay (expiry) issues.

After all that, we want to stay in operations - and try our best to keep the price reasonable for all of us.

 

  1. Why don't you bring your items by sea then?

 Expiry dates, and quantity - are the reasons.

Many of our items have ‘very short expiry’ dates.

Bringing by sea would take nearly two months. After that it would have to reach you. That will not give us enough time to sell, and consume the products.

To be economical, Sea shipment needs much larger quantities (in Metric Tons) of “Every Individual Item”.

Our items are so specialized; bringing a container-full of a few items is not feasible at this point.

 

  1. Why not distribute these items to Indian and Bangladeshi grocery stores?

 Our items are known to, and wanted by a very specific group of people - like you.

Very few people from other parts of the world have heard of, or adore these items. They have their own favourites.

 Retailers also need time to sell their items. They are not interested to stock items which would expire in a few months or weeks.

 

  1. Can you work with manufacturing companies to make products with longer expiry dates?

 We need a mega-investor and risk-taker for that.

Companies will produce export specific items - only when the order is in ‘tons’, and paid in full. Then the whole risk is on us. If we cannot sell it, items will go to landfills upon expiry.

A-Bong’s core business is retailing (not distributing or wholesale – at least for now).

 

  1. Are your items cleared by Customs and other Authorities?

 Any shipment that crosses a boarder has to be cleared by customs and other authorities. Our items are cleared in India and Canada. When we ship items to a US customer, the package again goes through US Customs, and border services.

Please do not order anything that you feel can be questionable in your country of residence.

 

  1. Can you get me one or two Specific items or a package from someone in West Bengal?

That is very, very difficult.

Air-Cargo is very different from carrying something in personal luggage.

We need to declare each and every item, provide composition, description, safety-data - for cargo-handling, and customs-clearance in India and Canada.

Finding specific items also needs time, effort, and money in India. Sourcing an item could be a whole day job for someone there.

We import items by cartons (in volume). Therefore, it should be wanted by many, and sell quickly.

We welcome your suggestions about new items that can be added to the website.

 

  1. Why are your Shipping Charges very high?

Our shipping/delivery is handled by other companies. We try our best to select companies that would give you great service at a competitive price.

Being a small operation, our negotiating power with shipping companies is next to nothing – compared to Amazon, Walmart, or other Big-Box companies. Simply, anything and everything you pay for shipping - would go to them.

For larger orders (Free Shipping is not really Free) we pay for the shipping, often leaving us with a negative margin from the sale. Larger order means, heavier the box, and heavier ($50+) the shipping charge. We still do it because it’s more of a service to our Bengali Community – than a business.

Remember, that Pickup is always Free, and we recommend that you take advantage of our Free-Shipping Program.

 

  1.  Why don't you offer FREE shipping on purchases over $35, like Amazon, or even for $100?

Based on our business volume, shipping companies give us nearly no discount.

In the case of Larger orders and Free shipping, we would pay shipping companies $45-$50; or even more for heavier boxes.

Making up for that shipping cost (Free Shipping for you) - out of a smaller sale, would mean increasing prices of every item significantly and HIDE the 'Free Shipping' cost - in item prices.

For those of us looking for attractive-deals, it will then look like an expensive deal.

 

  1. Then why you are in the business?

We have difficulties calling this a Business. It is more of a passion to make impossible things possible. That is - getting these hard to find special things from West Bengal. It’s much harder than you think. That is why we have not seen or known anyone doing this ever.

Most of our customers become our life-long friends, and consider this operation as their own. They appreciate our efforts, tenacity, openness, and willingness.

After all communications, procurements, inventory control, preparing orders, shipping, website maintenance, administration, and finding ways to bring more value for your money - we barely can keep anything (about $2/hr).

Yes, this is an after-work operation. We have other regular jobs like most of you.

We know for sure that you can appreciate this.

 

If you have more questions, please contact us.