Originally Posted by StickyD
Also look into any customs, VAT and/or duties charged on importing goods from the USA, which will be added on top of the shipping fee. I can't speak for Japan, but in Europe you also need a business license and a custom's tax ID (connected to your businesses tax ID). This is free, but is a bureaucratic series of hoops.
As a small bar and restaurant owner myself, I can only agree with you on staying small and simple (for a 3 day op) until you have to inve$t in bigger and better equipment. Because of cash flow, we slowly built out our kitchen over a span of two years, and it's now pretty well suited to what the client-side demands of us. If we'd had a big loan and did the build out at the beginning, we'd be stuck with a kitchen that would not have been as efficient. Best of luck, it sounds like you're putting all the right thought into the process!
Thank you for the advice and encouraging words.
Imports fees and taxes are something I'm aware of but know nothing about.
Spicewine's reasonable quote of $763 shipping on a medium vertical means I may have to do some research on them now. I already have the business license as I've been running a small English school for a few years but I doubt that would be a big deal anyways because the smoker size I want is a typical backyard unit for most people. I can just say it's for personal use.
Glad to hear that your business has seen growth and I hope that trend continues!