Blog Importing x Buying Locally

Have you ever wondered about this? Importing my own slabs or buying locally? 
Sometimes you will find out that importing some of the cheapest colors, such as the staples (Ubatuba, New Caledonia, etc) will have a similar price to if you buy them locally, right? Sometimes this difference is no more than $1/sft. Then you might ask: Is it still worth going thru all the import process to save just a dollar?

The answer to this question has never been so clear: YES!
We will explain you here why importing to save sometimes just $1/sft is still very much worth it.

Let’s take a common staple color as an example: Giallo Ornamental
A common price to buy this material from local distributors in 1 1/4” (3cm) thickness is in the range of $6.50 per square feet (sqft), up to $9.00/sft in some regions.
When you import Ornamental Giallo straight from your source (Brazilian factories), you usually see prices between $3.00sft to $4.50sft. The big question here also is: how much would the freight cost to my door?


Freight costs

How much does freight actually costs to receive the materials at my company’s door? The price for the international freight usually varies from $2,500 to $6,000 per container depending on where you are located at. The closest you are to the coast in USA (close to a port), the cheaper. In order to calculate prices on the materials once landed at your door, you can consider from $1/sft (if you are very close to a port) to $3/sft (if you are too far) on top of the material’s prices.
To work on an average number, let’s consider a cost of $2.00/sft. It is worth mentioning that this cost of freight includes everything related to imports, such as customs clearance, import duties, delivery and insurance.

Import x Buying Locally

Time to look at the numbers:
Giallo Ornamental 3cm thickness
Buying Locally: $6.50
Importing: $3.50 (average price when importing) + $2.00 (shipping) = $5.50
Is just $1 worth your investment and time? Let’s breakdown this “just one dollar” to help us answer this question:
The standard slab size for Brazilian materials is of 112″ x 70”. So one slab usually has 55sqft. So saving a dollar on one slabs would save you $55 per slab:
Buying Locally: $6.50
Price per Slab = $357
Importing: $3.50 + $2.00 = $5.50
Price per Slab = $302
Okay, a saving of $55 dollars per slab sounds small, right? Let’s continue.
Every bundle of 3cm (1 1/4”) material is usually made of 06 slabs each.
In that case, the savings when importing a bundle instead of buying locally is of at least $330.

Container formation: 

In order to import direct you would need to buy a full container load (FCL). Each container usually has 7 bundles, with an average total of 42 slabs of 3cm materials. That’s for customers located far from the coast, which the weight limit is restrict. But for companies located close to ports, you will eventually get higher weight allowance, sometimes giving you the change to bring up to 55 slabs per container, which would drop the sqft price for freight to even lower! But for our example, let’s consider the number of 42 slabs per container for now.

Yes, the down side of importing direct is that you will need to import a full container at once. But let’s be honest, you will eventually cut more then 42 slabs per year, right? Sometimes you already cut more then that per month. For larger shops this is less then what you cut per week or sometimes even per day!

At first this quantity of slabs might seem high to buy at once, specially because you might think you will need to pay in advance for all these slabs, right?
When you first start importing, you will usually pay for your containers as 50% in advance (before loading the container) and 50% once the container lands into USA. So basically you are pre-paying for the slabs, yes. However, most of the suppliers in Brazil, including us, offer a special program for customers who buy in a constant base. That means terms for after arrival! Some importers are buying their slabs and paying only 90 days after shipping!
Now let’s get back to our numbers, shall we?
A saving of $330 per bundle x 07 bundles = $2,310 per container!
Now think of it per yer. Let’s say you cut 42 slabs per month of materials at your company. So now we are speaking of $27,720 per year if you were into imports!
Now this number is starting to make sense, right? We are speaking here of materials which you are saving just $1. But you can be sure the average savings when importing are way more then that. When importing exotic colors, these savings are imaginable.
More expensive colors, such as quartzites you will certainly see savings up to $10/sft or more! In these cases your savings would be of $277,200 per year! Now if you think of it in 5 or 10 year? I’ll let you do the math.
Many fabricators don’t realize that until someone shows them this number. So here you are! But price is not the only advantage of importing direct. Let’s look into other benefits when importing your slabs directly from source.

Color Consistancy

When you buy direct from the source, you are actually buying from the same quarry and by doing so you are able to keep the same color for future projects. So every time you buy one material from your supplier from overseas, the colors should be the same.

Better quality materials


When you buy from the source you will be able to choose actual Premium slabs or if you decide to save more you will pay much less for lower grade materials. When you buy locally, you are only being offered lower quality slabs but usually paying for Premium.

Keep customers in house

Without a doubt, one of the main benefits of importing your own slabs is that you can keep customers in your company. By bringing in a container you are actually building your own inventory. Your customers will now be able to choose from what you have in stock instead of going elsewhere.

Much less remnants

When you buy locally, sending your customers to the nearest distributor to choose their slabs, whatever is left from that project usually can not be used on a future kitchen. However, when you import bundles you can certainly combine that remnant piece with other regular slabs in stock for your next project!


Turnaround Time

Since you will have slabs on site, you can use Just-In-Time and have a better management in your operations!



Warranty / Brothers’ reputation:

Now you might be asking yourself: Ok, what if I don’t like what I receive or if I find any issues with the slabs?

First of all, we’ve built a special studio for pictures in our warehouse which show exactly the reality from the stone, without changing the colors when taking our pictures. With our high resolution pictures along with closeup pictures and even descriptions of the slabs shown in our website, you will get the chance to see details that you probably wouldn’t been noticing if you were looking at the slabs in person. We have a very good reputation of pointing out problems on slabs in case there is any. You will notice that any issues will always be described in our website at description and we will point them out again once you are done selection your 7 bundles in our website.

Also, once you receive the slabs and if any issues are still found we will take full responsibility on it by providing you credit for a future order or even refunding you back entirely. We stay behind the products we sell and you won’t be disappointed.

We are part of an association called Stone Fabricators Alliance ( from which the majority of our customers come from. This is an non-profit organization with main objective to share information and expertise about the stone industry in USA and Canada. Mainly formed by stone fabricators, most of its members know us very well and they would be happy to share with you about our reputation. Please feel free to send us an email at [email protected] and we will be happy to send you by email a list with some of our current customers so you can call and check references about us.

Let’s Rock’n Roll

We’d like to encourage you to give us a try. All you need to do now is to select 7 bundles of whatever you like from our website and let us take care of the rest.

If you prefer, you can even place a simualted order and let us show you with details how much you would be making by importing from us!

Access our register into our website and feel free to check on all slabs and to make your selection:

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