Monthly Archives: July 2018

  • How to Write an Effective Product Listing

    How to Write an Effective Product Listing

    A product listing can either prompt greater interest in a product or depress it. The E-Commerce User Experience Study by the Nielsen Norman Group found that 20 percent of purchasing failures online are a result of unclear information in the product listing. As a business, it is important to create a clear and compelling perception of your products on each listing page to boost professionalism and avoid losing potential consumers. To do this effectively, there are several factors that need to be taken into consideration.

    The approach that your specific company should take regarding product listings is highly dependent upon the consumer audience, the product type and your brand persona. For instance, a new trendy clothing brand aimed at young adults will pursue a very different approach than an e-store selling automobile parts to mechanics. The style, format and content of each listing can differ slightly from business to business when such factors are considered.

    Despite these potential differences, there are universal concepts and tips that can be applied to every product listing to ensure a solid foundation for your business.


    Product Images

    This is the first thing that a consumer will see when considering a product, even before they decide to click on it. Depending on the product, there should be roughly 2-6 images in total. If the product being sold is a car, for instance, multiple pictures of the front, back, sides, top and interior may be necessary. Conversely, if the product is merely a pair of jeans or a t-shirt, 2-3 images could suffice.

    The quality of the picture itself is often thought by consumers to be an indicator of actual product quality. Avoid unusual angles, dark lighting or distracting backgrounds. The first image to be shown, or the “main” image, should provide a clear look at the product itself, preferably facing forward. For more complex products, a visual diagram of the product with labels and measurements can also be very helpful.


    Product Title

    When deciding on a title for your product listing, creating a standard format not only improves efficiency, but also eases the process in which consumers search for products. For example, the standard order of the title could be manufacturer, model and then size, or it could be brand, type and then color. Choosing keywords to put in the title about the model, brand or type of product optimizes search results and eases the process in which consumers browse even further.

    The length of the title will also impact it’s selectability; the title must be concise yet specific. If it’s too long, then the full title won’t be able to fit on the browsing page, but if it’s too short, then the viewer won’t know enough about the product. To avoid being lengthy or repetitive, try to minimize your use of conjunctions, such as “and” or “for”, in the product title.


    Product Description

    Once the consumer has developed a definite interest in the product, the product description validates that interest and persuades them to follow through with a purchase. To achieve this, the description needs to briefly summarize all uses and features, as well as utilize keywords and phrases that will draw the reader’s attention. For example, rather than saying “The jacket is waterproof,” you could say “The soft, versatile jacket is made from 100% water resistant material.” The style of writing and word choice in the description should reflect the brand persona you are trying to portray. Is it friendly? Informational? Funny?

    Refrain from writing more than 5-10 sentences in order to keep the reader’s attention. (Save the details for the product information section). Bullet points can also be used to create the appearance of a concise description and emphasize important features. To further optimize search results, your description should mention the specific product name multiple times throughout.


    Product Information

    This section should include specifics, such as size, weight and color, and provide the consumer with a clear understanding of the product’s appearance and function. If your business operates on an international scale, the specific measurements given in this section should be offered in various units of measurement to mitigate the need for conversion for the consumer. For more complex products, all technical information, such as operating speed and voltage capacity, should be included as well.

    To create an effective product listing, the product images, title, description and information should be clear, informative and compelling. It is important to not only inform consumers about your product, but also give them a better understanding of your company as a whole

  • How Will the Trade War Affect US Machinery and Equipment Vendors?


    In the midst of the looming trade war between the US and China, there is considerable dispute over what the real impacts of the tariffs are likely to be. However, one thing is certain: Not all industries will be affected in the same way. In this post, we’ll take a look at what these tariffs mean for US machinery and equipment vendors in particular.

    Standard economic theory holds that everyone loses in a trade war: Tariffs make goods more expensive, and therefore exporters will lose business. Indeed, there seems to be an acceptance on the US side that business will be lost, but Trump and his advisers argue that the US is sure to win in relative terms.

    The US tariffs on 818 items from China, largely machinery and equipment, average 25 percent. What does this mean in a supply-chain context? And what does it mean for US vendors of machinery and equipment?


    For certain machinery manufacturers, the positives could outweigh the negatives

    On one hand, the steel and aluminum tariffs increase the cost to manufacture equipment. On the other hand, there are now US tariffs on Chinese machinery and equipment but no Chinese tariffs US machinery and equipment. China’s retaliatory tariffs are largely around consumer goods.

    For example, the tariffs list covers injection molding machines, extruders, blow molding machines and thermoformers. While this isn’t great news for importers of Chinese-made plastics machinery or for companies that source substantial imported components, it could mean new machine sales opportunities for US-made machinery.

    Many American companies have their supply chains built around Chinese machinery and equipment. Reducing Chinese vendors from these supply chains will take time and are likely to be costly for US machinery importers and various manufacturing businesses, and perhaps ultimately a bump in prices of final goods the US consumer. However, this is good news for domestic equipment and machinery vendors.


    Is there a verdict? It depends on your supply chain

    In the end, it all comes down to supply chain. For smaller US industrial companies without operations or partnerships in China, these tariffs are likely a positive. And for vendors who source components from China, the increase in components costs may be leveled in part by the tariffs on competing machinery from China.

    If you're an equipment or machinery manufacturer who's looking to take advantages of new opportunities, we're here to help. Whether you're looking to start selling your equipment online or export to China, we can help you make it happen. Reach out to us through our contact page to learn more.

  • More Than Just Manufacturing: 6 Commercial Uses of Industrial Equipment

    As an industrial e-marketplace, we know that often it’s not exactly intuitive for the average online shopper to navigate the wide array of industrial equipment available and understand their respective uses. This is particularly true because while some types of equipment are used by a broad range of industries, other categories cater to a specific industry segment in manufacturing or processing.

    Categories sometimes also overlap in their functionality, but one process might be slightly favored in certain applications over others. Even if you’re familiar with the processes and systems used in your own line of business, perhaps you’ve wondered about other industrial products.

    Person Holding Black Pen and Book Near Pink Ceramic Mug

    Industrial product catalogs filled with specs and industry-specific technical terms may seem overwhelming at first blush, especially if you’re not in manufacturing, but we believe that knowledge of common uses of equipment and machinery can be accessible to anyone. In this post, we hope to demystify a few of our best-selling categories.


    Our selection includes equipment that can…


      • Move heavy inventory from one place to another Any business that deals with heavy inventory needs equipment to move their goods around. Many of our best-selling products fall under the category of materials handling. Broadly speaking, that includes equipment to move items across spaces, such as pallet jacks and forklifts, and equipment that gets items onto shelves, such as hoists and lift trucks. This happens to be one of our most comprehensive categories so far, with a wide range of vendors to choose from at virtually every price point.
      • Play a key role as part of a larger machine or system Another of our best-selling categories is pneumatics. Pneumatics and hydraulics refer to fluid power systems, so the products in this category can be thought of as components that can power a variety of processes. Some of our customers are even designers and inventors who use pneumatics products for prototyping. Check out this robot one of our customers built that uses our air cylinders in the robot's arms.
      • Help car specialists get the job done If you own any kind of auto repair shop or tire shop, you'll need various automotive-related equipment. Our top-selling category within automotive is hydraulic car lifts, the equipment that holds the car off the ground for maintenance and repair. Many of our initial car lift customers had a hard time believing the prices at first, but our prices are indeed a result of buying factory-direct, not from skimping out on quality. Also, although they’re in a totally different category, many of our sandblaster customers are also car-lovers – our sandblasters are great for restoration of old cars.
      • Boost food sales and/or ensure food safety Whether you own a convenience store or a fast-casual restaurant, we offer high quality commercial refrigerators at a low price. Read our blog post about about foodservice businesses and food safety to learn more about commercial refrigeration.
      • Cut just about anything We have equipment and machinery for a wide range of cutting processes, including high-end waterjet cutting. An interesting fact about waterjet cutting is that they are so customizable yet powerful that the same machines are used across very disparate industries. That’s right, that means if you’re a fab shop owner looking to expand into waterjet cutting capabilities, you could very well be looking at similar options as a company that uses waterjet cutting in frozen food processing.
      • Help bring operations in-house Perhaps you’re a company that traditionally usually outsources a certain process. With our prices, it may now be affordable for you to bring operations in-house. For example, many of our chocolate equipment customers are actual food brands looking for more control over the ingredients that go into the chocolate they use in their final products. Read here about how Wio Diet was able to do just that.


    As you can see, not all categorization of industrial equipment is entirely intuitive, as one product may be used across a wide range of industries while other products are in fact components of a wide range of machinery.

    Regardless of the industry or specific application, we are proud to provide US businesses, large and small, with the tools and equipment they need to keep their operations up and running. We’re particularly proud of bringing unbeatable prices due to our emphasis on buying factory-direct. That means reducing capital costs for new and existing businesses alike.

  • How to Tell the Difference Between a Trading Company and an Actual Manufacturer

    When buying equipment and machinery from overseas, comparing suppliers on sourcing sites like can be overwhelming due not only to the sheer number of vendors but also having to differentiate whether the vendor listed is the actual factory or an intermediary.

    Trading companies are the most common type of intermediary appearing on sourcing sites. It’s important to know whether you’re placing an order with a trading company or an actual factory.

    Purchasing directly from a factory means:

    • Lower prices and shorter lead times
    • You can customize the product to fit your needs

    That being said, all of the overseas vendors on Toolots are actual factories, so the prices you see are true factory-direct prices.

    Unlike vendors selling through Toolots, many of the vendors listed on sourcing sites are actually middlemen: trading companies, wholesalers, and sourcing agents. The reason for this is that the actual manufacturers – the factories who produce the products – do not have a strong foundation for dealing with non-domestic customers. This holds particularly true in equipment and machinery industries.

    By Kyle Ryan / Unsplash

    Almost every supplier listed on sourcing sites will tell you they are a real factory. To really find out whether you're getting factory-direct prices, here are some tactics to help determine whether a supplier is a factory or a trading company:

    • Check the seller’s business license and ensure that the specific business scope reads “manufacturer”.
    • Ask a technical question. If the contact does not reply within a few hours, it’s likely they aren’t the actual manufacturer.
    • Request a factory visit. Factories interested in doing business welcome visitors they are genuinely interested in doing business with.

    These tactics can help determine which vendors are intermediaries aggregating equipment from various factories, as opposed to the factory themselves. However, particularly in this industry, you may find that your options for buying directly from factories are quite limited, depending on the type of equipment or machinery you’re looking for.

    Less than 1% of Chinese manufacturers attempt their own overseas sales channels, leaving room for English-speaking trading companies to set up shop on US-facing sourcing sites and take a cut of the profit.

    Less than 1% of Chinese manufacturers attempt their own overseas sales channels, leaving room for English-speaking trading companies to set up shop on US-facing sourcing sites and take a cut of the profit. Indeed, as is the case with any kind of intermediary, there are certain conveniences that come with working with a trading company. After all, if there were no upside, these companies wouldn’t be making a profit.

    But that doesn't mean you have to cough up the cash to pay these intermediaries.

    Toolots is cutting out the middlemen by providing a platform that alleviates the language and marketing barriers for Chinese equipment manufacturers. Our services thereby reduce the barriers and limitations that had traditionally kept the average overseas seller from attempting sales through the typical sourcing site. The buyer gets the variety and convenience offered by trading companies, but at factory-direct prices. Read more about how we’re revolutionizing the cross-border supply-chain here.

  • Business Spotlight: Food Safety in the Foodservice Industry

    From restaurants to cafeterias, the foodservice industry includes businesses that sell or serve food prepared outside the home. According to the USDA, the foodservice industry is a large and growing market, in which commercial foodservice establishments account for the majority of nationwide “food-away-from-home” expenditure.

    Commercial-grade refrigeration keeps ingredients fresh and looking their best.

    Particularly in a world where maintaining brand reputation can mean everything for a foodservice business, a top concern for business-owners in this industry is taking the the proper measures for ensuring food safety.


    Maintaining the cold chain

    In the US, several federal agencies oversee food regulation and safety. The USDA and FDA have published “best practices” guidelines for a number of processes up and down the foodservice supply chain. According to Food Safety Magazine, the common thread in all of these guides can be summed up as “maintaining the cold chain”. From farm, to transportation, to distribution, to ultimately the food service establishment itself, proper temperature control of perishables at every point in the "chain" is paramount.

    Food safety is often taken for granted by customers, but it’s a top-of-mind consideration for anyone who owns a foodservice operation. Restaurants typically use reach-in refrigerators and freezers to store their ingredients. Larger operations, such as grocery stores, typically have full walk-in coolers or commercial freezers. Many restaurants and convenience stores also use “merchandising refrigerators” to display ready-to-eat products.

    Merchandiser units invite customers to purchase items like salads and beverages, while keeping them cold and fresh.


    Shopping for a commercial refrigerator?

    Selecting reliable, commercial-grade refrigeration equipment is key to ensuring adherence to food regulation guidelines and the safety of your customers. We carry quality reach-in refrigerators and freezers at manufacturer-direct prices, so you can save money for your business without compromising on functionality or reliability.

    Seeing is believing: Our factory-direct business model cuts out the middlemen, passing on the cost savings to you. For example, our vendor Kalifon Kitchen sells a 43 cu. ft. merchandiser refrigerator for only $1,359.15 on Toolots. Meanwhile, several units with the same specs are retailing for hundreds more in markup, even though these retailers purchase their units from manufacturers just like Kalifon.

    Whether you’re looking to increase grab-and-go sales with a merchandiser, or simply need more storage room in your restaurant’s kitchen, you can count on Toolots for factory-direct prices with US-based service and shipping times.

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