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My Product has Shipped + A Couple of Updates – Part 11

Hey everyone, I am back with another update in my Amazon FBA case study and I am very excited to tell you all that my product is on it’s way to Amazon right now!

Yup, that’s right it has been shipped from China and I will be selling on Amazon in no time. Before we get into all of that good stuff, make sure you are all caught up with the previous updates below. 

Aside from talking about my product being shipped, I also wanted to talk about some of the things that I am doing to prepare for my products to arrive at Amazon.

Let’s get to it!

My Product has Been Shipped

A couple of updates ago, I talked about how it was going to take my supplier around 25-30 days to make 1000 units of my product. Production began on July 1st and it was fully finished on July 23rd, which means it took only around 23 days!

Everyday that my product is not selling on Amazon is another day where I am not making money, sales or getting reviews. So I really appreciate my supplier finishing production earlier than expected. 

Once I was told production was finished, my supplier emailed me 7 pictures of the final product. These images included pictures of the labels, cartons, the product itself, the product polybagged, the product within the cartons and various other pictures.

These images were sent to me as proof of the final product and to make sure that I liked everything that I saw. 

Luckily, everything looked good and exceeded my expectations. Now that production was complete, I could then transfer the last 70% of the payment to my supplier.

The Payment Plan

I already touched on some of the details about how I am paying my supplier, but I wanted to fully break it down here.

First, I sent a 30% down payment to my supplier before they started production. Once they received my down payment they began making my product. 

My 30% down payment costed around $780 and made the payment by going into my local bank to make the transfer to my supplier.

Once the production was complete and I was happy with the final product, I transferred the final 70% to my supplier.

This time around it cost me close to $1820 and instead of going into my local bank, I made the wire transfer online. Making the payment online was much easier and more convenient. 

The only reason why I went into the bank to make the payment the first time was to make sure it was done properly. Now that I understand how to transfer money to my supplier it can easily be done online without wasting too much time.

In total, I paid my supplier $2600 for them to make me 1000 units(1008 to be exact). 

This type of payment plan(30/70 bank transfer) was very fair and safe for both parties. Worst case scenario, I make the 30% down payment and they don’t make my products.

This would be TERRIBLE but at least I wouldn’t lose all $2600. 

How I am Shipping my Product to Amazon

In the 5th update I told you all that I would be using my supplier’s freight forwarder to handle all of the shipping and logistics, things have changed just a little since then.

Instead, I decided to go out and find a 3rd party freight forwarder on my own.

Why would I go look for another freight forwarder when I already had one?

There were a couple of reasons behind my decision:


The Strict Amazon Shipping Guidelines

I know that Amazon is extremely strict in terms of the different requirements that they have for incoming shipments. From scheduling an appointment with the appropriate FBA warehouse to applying all of the correct labels to each pallet/carton.

All of these things are brand new to me since I have never gone through this process before. I figured to make my life easier and a lot less stressful it, would be a good idea to find a freight forwarder that is familiar with shipping to Amazon.

This way I can know that my shipment will arrive correctly and without any problems. 

My supplier said that their freight forwarder knew the Amazon guidelines but I wasn't comfortable with relying on my supplier's word. 

I wanted to actually talk to my freight forwarder and confirm for myself that they know what they are doing. The bottomline, tt came down to me not 100% trusting my supplier's freight forwarder and wanting to find one that I could trust. 


Communication Reasons

I didn't like the fact that my supplier was the middle man when communicating with the freight forwarder. 

I wanted to be able to talk to the freight forwarder myself and have full access to them.​ This way I could ask whatever questions I had, whenever I had them and I didn't have to wait for my supplier to forward my question to them.

I also had no clue who the freight forwarder was.​ I didn't know their company name, website or anything. I would like to be able to do some background research of my own before trusting them with my shipment.

You might be wondering why I didn't just ask my supplier for their email, I will explain in the next section below.​


Checks and Balances

Checks and balances? Whaa?

Let me explain.

I didn't like how my supplier and their freight forwarder were like one company and worked together.

I wanted to work with two separate companies so that​ if my supplier told me to do something and it broke Amazon's guidelines, then my freight forwarder would catch it and make sure I did it correctly. 

An example of this was when my supplier sent me pictures of my cartons with the shipping labels on them. I have no idea if the labels are in the correct place on the carton ​but my freight forwarder does. 

I sent my freight forwarder the images that my supplier sent me and asked them if the labels were applied correctly. Sure enough they were but I like to be able to double check things like this.

If the labels were applied incorrectly and against Amazon guidelines then my shipment would be at risk of being denied by the FBA warehouse. This is something that I do not want to risk. ​

Now, I am sure my supplier know what they are doing but I don't want to take any risks. That is a reason why I went and found my own freight forwarder. ​

The bottomline here is that I felt more comfortable using my own freight forwarder then relying on my suppliers freight forwarder. When I am investing thousands of dollars into something I want to make sure I am confident in how I am doing it.

I am not saying you shouldn’t use your supplier’s freight forwarder but for me it was the right decision to find my own.

The Freight Forwarder That I’m Using

After a couple days of researching I ended up choosing Forest Shipping as my freight forwarder. One of the biggest selling points was the fact that they were advertised as a shipping company specifically for Amazon FBA sellers.

This means that they know all of Amazon’s guidelines and restrictions like the back of their hand. Being able to trust my freight forwarder to get my shipment from China to Amazon’s warehouse safely was very important to me.

Checkout the image below of Forest Shipping’s home page. They say it themselves, “Experts in Shipping Goods from China to Amazon FBA Warehouses”.

Sweet! Exactly what I need.

Matter in fact, that was the main reason why I switched from my suppliers freight forwarder to this one. I needed to know my freight forwarder was comfortable shipping to Amazon’s warehouses because I do not know all of the ins and outs of the shipping process yet. 

New Shipping Quote

Since I decided to change freight forwarders that meant my shipping quote changed as well. The quote I originally received from my supplier’s freight forwarder was $1,400 and the new quote I got from Forest Shipping was $1428.

Only 28 bucks more and I feel a whole lot more comfortable using my new freight forwarder. Well worth the extra $28!

Forest Shipping has Been Awesome

I wanted to take a minute to explain how great Forest Shipping has been to me since I started working with them.

I have asked a handful of different questions to their customer service and they have walked me through each question I had. I have asked them about shipping labels, carton labels, what certain terms mean, bill of lading questions, import record questions and many more.

Each time they politely explain it to me and make sure I am doing everything correctly. They have worked VERY well with my supplier and it was easy to coordinate the pickup of goods from my supplier’s factory.

Overall, they have made the process very easy for me and went the extra mile to help me understand the process as well. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for a 3rd party shipping company.

My Shipment ETA

I received a confirmation email from Forest Shipping on August 1st saying that my items have been shipped. 

The ETA to Amazon’s warehouse in Indiana is August 25th, so it will take around 25 days to get from China to the FBA warehouse.

The long shipping times are a major disadvantage for those selling larger/heavier items when shipping by air is not a reasonable option. The long wait time sucks, however, this gives me some time to finish some things up before it goes live on Amazon’s marketplace.

There are still some really important things I need to do before my product arrives. I will further explain these tasks in the next section below.

Unfinished Business

With only around 20 days until my product arrives at Amazon, I still have some important things to finish. 

Finish Product Listing

Completing the listing for my product has taken much longer than I had hoped. Filling out all of the product info is easy such as the weight, size, color, price, etc. 

The part that is taking the longest is trying to write a good description and optimized bulletpoints. I know how important it is to have both your bullet points and description fully optimized for conversion rates. 

I have been taking my time doing this and I am slowly making progress. Currently, I have my bulletpoints complete and about half of the description finished. 

I want to try and make the listing as good as possible so when my product goes live it will convert well. Having a good conversion rate is an important ranking factor to Amazon.

I will be finishing up my listing by the end of this week, hopefully!

Get Product Images Taken

This is another thing that has taken a lot longer than I had originally expected. 

I will be using a professional photography site to take my images and it will take around a week for them to be completed. I need to send my product in ASAP to ensure I get my images before my products arrive at Amazon.

For those wondering, I will be using Product Photography. I have heard good things about them and they are reasonably priced.

Get Family/Friends Lined up to Leave a Review

I want to have a good amount of family/friends ready to buy and leave a review for me as soon as my product goes live.

You can’t do too much with your product until you have a solid base of good reviews. I need to get at least 10 reviews before I can start using Amazon PPC and a blasting service.


It has been a long, and at some times difficult, road to get to the point where I am at now. It has all been worth it because my product is only a couple of weeks from being live on Amazon!

I have been waiting for that to happen for the last 6 months and I couldn’t be more excited to start selling. It’s been a long time coming and happy you have all been here to follow along my journey. 

There is still a lot more to get done and even more to accomplish. I’m really looking forward to documenting my future progress as I begin to start selling on Amazon and helping as many people as possible that are in the same situation as myself. 

Thank you all very much for reading! As always, make sure to join our Facebook group if you haven’t already.

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Theodore Nwangene

Congratulations Josh,
I really admire your transparency. I’ve been reading a lot about this Amazon FBA program from different experts now but none of them has been as open as you are and that’s a great bonus for you.

Most of the things you’re saying here are really sounding like a song to me and that’s because i don’t understand them.

However, this is a business i will love to do soon when I’ve gathered s enough money to finance it.

I’m sure you will sell out these products sooner than you expect because you really deserve all the best so, start making plans for your next product :).

Thanks for sharing.

BTW: Thanks for your candid response to my comment on your previous post, even though you didn’t answer my question but you’ve answered it on this post. I appreciate that.


Thank you Theodore!

I was in the same position as you when I was first learning about Amazon FBA but you will start to understand in no time. When you get some capital to finance it you can email me whenever you have any questions and I would be glad to help.

Best of luck and talk soon!



Thanks a ton to share that much it’s so cool mate!

I have 2 questions if you don’t mind:

1. Concerning your freight forwarder, so you ask him to physically go to your supplier office to pick up your products and send them himself to Amazon, right?
Isn’t your supplier a bit upset since you told them you won’t use them for shipping (they could make margin from shipping …)

2. Isn’t it a bit risky to “ask” your friends and family to buy your product and review it? I know Amazon are very tough concerning reviews obtained this way, they can even know the customers are in fact your friends (I don’t know the magic they use).
So please be careful, maybe ask you friend to search naturally for your product on the site as they would do normally, consulting other products too, instead of directly go and buy yours 🙂

Cheers and all the Best for your adventure !


You’re welcome!

For your questions,

1. Yes you are correct. My freight forwarder goes to my supplier’s factory to pick up my shipment. My supplier was not upset one bit because they do not gain or lose anything by me using a 3rd part forwarder.

2. Ehh maybe there is a small risk here. I see it as any other business just starting out, their first customers are always their friends and family. But I will definitely try to be as safe as possible and I appreciate you bringing this up, thanks!



Hey Josh,

You’re on your way man! Pretty exciting stuff. My only question is regarding forwarding your shipment from China to Amazon, what were the criteria you had to follow and what did you have to ensure was set up before Amazon agreed to receive the shipment?

Keep it up fella



Hey Kyle,

It is pretty exciting! Cant wait!

My freight forwarder has to schedule an appointment with the warehouse on a date for drop off. That is the only thing that needs to be setup between Amazon and me before the shipment will be received. Luckily. my freight forwarder is handling all of this for me so I don’t have to worry about this!

Talk soon brotha



Nice man, very cool.

Check out that Jungle Scout Pro too! I’m definitely getting it soon.


Ill have to take a look!


Would really appreciate it if you could answer these questions. I might have miss something from your updates so some questions will probably be repetitive to you.

I have a lot so bare with me.

1. Do you think I can get started with FBA AMAZON biz with $1,200 in capital? (like it’s all I have)

2. Does your freight forwarding company do all the shipping work for you? I mean, like, get the product from your supplier to FBA warehouses?

3. Does your supplier did all the packaging, labeling, putting a brand name on product or boxes? How much id the additional cost? (your unit cost is 2.52 , does it include packaging etc.?)

4. How do you stay sane? My head is completely exploding just trying to understand the whole process haha.



Just to add in my question,

what method do you use to pay for your 1st product? (initial batch order)?

I’m from the Philippines and I’m not sure of what payment methods would be viable for this business.

Also, I heard that Western Union is suicide when it comes to importing payments.


I want to start selling through Amazon FBA but I want to iron out a few details going about it as I am not from USA and it’s a bit more tedious.
When selling on amazon using FBA, do I need to file taxes in the USA?
I stay in Singapore so I may also need to pay taxes on the profits when I transfer the money to Singapore which means I may be paying double taxes.
Can anyone advise please?


Hi there,

I am no accountant and I am not sure how that would work for you. I don’t think you would get double taxed but I am unsure as to where you would get taxed, in the US or in your home town?

You could try posting this question in our facebook group, I am sure someone in there could help you! Link –


Congrats, thanks for all the info!
Is Forest taking care of customs clearance as well? There seems to be a ton of red tape for shipments valued at over $2500.00. You didn’t need a customs broker and/or a bond? Can you tell me the duty and port charges for your shipment.
The Forest website seemed to have some grammatical errors and misspellings. It gave me pause.



Thanks for doing this series of articles, I appreciate that very much as it gives answers to many questions I have about this process.

Seems like you have found a good shipping company, I might use them myself when I get going on this.

One question. When did you contact Forest for a quote? Didi you wait until you had planned the order?

I guess it would be a good idea to contact them right after placing the order, so that time is available to sort out any issues.



it should read “you had placed the order” not “you had planned the order” :O

Mr Smirf

Hi there,

Thank you for a great and informative blog.

I’m still a little puzzled about the shipping process, importing, and dealing with the paperwork for all of that.

Would be great if you could go over how you setup shipping label from china to FBA.

I mean did you put your chinese factory address as the ship from address? (in seller central)

If you didn’t how did you figure which FBA factory location to ship to? (amazon automatically assigned it?)

Basically would be great if you could go over in a post or reply here to how you did the shipping details to be able to ship it directly. Even if Forest Shipping handled it, I’m sure you must have had to login to central and create shipping labels. (when did you do this, and what did you fill out?)

Amazon won’t accept a direct shipment correct? So it must go through someone else in the U.S. continent first? So then you can create UPS labels?

Would be great if you could just give details on the whole shipping process, even if forest shipping handled it…you seem like the tip who wouldn’t venture blindly 🙂


Hey there,

The shipping process is the most confusing aspect of the whole thing in my opinion and I can understand your confusion. I was in the same place as you.

I put my freight forwarder’s address as the ship from address. Amazon tells you what warehouse to send your shipment to and the address of that warehouse. You give this address to your freight forwarder.

All of the info you are asking for requires a whole post (possibly even two) so I will try to make a post covering this info soon! I hope my comment clears a little bit of it. and you are right, I didn’t venture blindly and did a lot of research to get to the point where I am now. Thanks for commenting


Mr Smirf

Hi Josh,

A blog post detailing the whole shipping process would be real fantastic, its frankly one of the most confusing and also one the biggest barriers to getting into this. Choosing a product, and supplier being the other two most daunting tasks. Looking forward to this post!

Thanks Again!

Mr Smirf

I also got to a point once in the past that I contacted forest shipping, they were helpful and responsive, but when I googled around trying to find any reviews, or mentions of people using their service, all I could find is their shell/spam posts promoting forest shipping, on reddit and on the seller central forum.

How did you do your due diligence to trust them with your shipment?


It will probably be hard to find reviews for any forwarder, not just Forest Shipping just because this whole Amazon FBA thing is fairly new. But I chose Forest Shipping because after talking to them they were able to do everything I needed and for a good price.



I noticed you had to add poly bag packaging. How did that come about. Did amazon require it, your supplier? Thanks


Hi John,

Amazon doesn’t require you to have it polybagged but I would suggest poly bagging it if you can. It keeps everything together nicely and looks very professional when the customer gets it from Amazon. Hope this helps



I noticed you had to add poly bag packaging. How did that come about. Did amazon require it, your supplier, or some other reason? Thanks



Did your forwarder ask you to absorb their bank charges or commission fees charged by Paypal when they were asking for payment from you? Apparently, I have encountered this. Just want to know whether this is a normal practice when dealing with China forwarder/suppliers.



Hi Ryan,

Yes, I have dealt with this before and the best thing to do is ask your supplier or freight forwarder if they will split the fees with you. They usually don’t have a problem agreeing with this.



hi Josh,
Thanks for your sharing online, it helps a lot.
However i still have some question.
How do i know where should i send my products to amazon warehouse?
it seems that there are several warehouse in USA, and people won’t exact know the place(i saw some article says that on web)
I am the seller from Taiwan. And all of my products are ship from Taiwan.
Its important to me to pre know the address of warehouse to calculating the fee of shipment.
and to give the information to my forwarder.

Please kindly assistant me to reply my questions.
Thanks in advance.


Hi Ellen,

Ill try to answer your questions the best I can below:

1. Amazon will tell you where to send your shipment when you create a shipment workflow, which is in your Sellers Central account.

2. Refer to the answer above

It looks like all of your questions revolve around knowing the warehouse you need to ship to. Like I said, Amazon will tell you when you create a shipment workflow.



Thank you sooooooooo much.
i’ll try it later.
Wish you make big money on amazon haha


You are welcome! And thank you 🙂



Thank you so much for this site! This was a goldmine for me. I am following your guideline for my journey. What is Amazon PPC and blasting services?


Hi, and congrats for doing this especially at this age! Just 1question: you said you are looking to build a legit business to be able to sell it lately…so did you register a new company and you are making an invoice for each sold product? did you register your brand? because if you did there are lots of taxes to pay which need to be taken into consideration. Also, if you send goods to other countries and you use couriers such as Fedex, UPS, etc….you need to have a contract registered to get small rates, and they only make contracts with companies. the way, you must have started selling since last update?


Hi Cosmin,

Thank you 🙂

To answer your questions:\

1. Yes, I have an LLC that is behind my Amazon business.

2. Yes, I have registered my brand on Amazon. Are you talking about brand registry?

3. Registering my brand doesn’t make me have to pay taxes. However, you are correct I will have to pay taxes on each item I sell at the end of the year.

4. Im not sending goods to other countries. I am only sending my goods from China to the US, nowhere else. But you are right, if you have a business account with Fedex, UPC, DHL you will get better rates. I am using a freight forwarder instead.

I have been selling on Amazon for over 3 months, you can see the 3 month update here –



Hey Josh,

Just to be clear – your freight forwarder also dealt with all the requirements for importing your shipment and getting it through customs? Essentially all you had to do is tell the freight forwarder what the product was, how much it was worth etc. So they could fill in their forms correctly. Then they just tell you how much import duty to pay, with instructions of how to pay?

I’m seeing a significant benefit in handing all this off to a freight forwarder – it can seem a little like you need to become an expert at everything to be an FBA Seller! Anything you can do to lessen the burden, handing off to the experts, the better!


Hey Ashley,

Yes, you are correct! My forwarder handled all of that stuff for me which made life 100x easier. LIke you said, there is a huge befit to this and a lot less worry as well as you know there are professionals handling it all for you.



Hi Josh,

Thanks for the great post once again!

1. Did you have to provide the HS code to your freight forwarder?

2. Did you managed to get a quote from forest shipping just by providing them the total shipping weight. As it is still in production, I can’t get the carton measurements yet.

3. I believe forest shipping handled the duties for you but did you have to include that to the shipping quote? If there’s a balance would they refund me?

4. I heard that you need to have an account created with DHL or UPS to pay the duties. Is that necessary?

5. Is the shipping from address going to be the manufacturer or forest shipping?

6. Do I need a Importer Of Record (IOR) or do you handle this for me?

Thanks again and sorry about the number of questions 🙂


Hello Josh,

I am adding a product on the amazon seller central.
Since this is my first product, I don’t know needs to be filled in these fields.

Manufacturer: (Since it is branded on my company name, should this be my company name or brand name)

Manufacturer part number: ???? Should this be UPC code ????

Hand Orientation: My product is not used by hand.. LOL should I just put Left, Right ?
GTIN Exemption Reason: No idea

Related Product ID Type and Related Product ID: As you suggested, I am using UPC barcodes from SpeedyBarcodes to get the FNSKU labels. Should I just fill, UPC and UPC Barcode, respectively?

Item Display Weight: ????

Weight Supported: ???

Display Maximum Weight Recommendation: ???

Shaft Length: ????

Thank you very much for all your help!
You have no idea how much I appreciate it.



Hi Joe,

I will try my best to answer all of the questions:

Manufacturer: I left this blank

Manufacturer part number: Left it blank

Hand Orientation: Leave it blank
GTIN Exemption Reason: Blank

Related Product ID Type and Related Product ID: Blank

Item Display Weight: Blank
Weight Supported: blank

Display Maximum Weight Recommendation: blank

Shaft Length: blank

If they are not relevant to your product and not required then leave it blank! You don’t have to answer every single questions



People, do not use Forest Shipping! Here’s how I got screwed over by them for about $4,000 USD. Yea before they get your money they’re all friendly and fast to reply, but once they get your money, they’re going to do things that is most convenient for them, NOT what is best for you! Unless you are 100% sure your products will move without a hitch, then go ahead and use them but don’t say you weren’t warned.

So I was shipping a shipment of goods into the US, and it got detained by the FDA because it had health claims and was classified into a medical device. FDA issued an official notice with specific instructions to register 3 entities in my supply chain (which I only found out after this was all over), each registration costing about $4,000 USD. Instead of passing the document to me so I could follow the instructions myself, Forest Shipping decides they can email me the instructions with their version of English (and if you’ve communicated with them through email before, you will already know that only about 70% of their English is understandable). And so they advised me to register my own device, paid $4000 to the FDA, only for them to come back and tell me the registration is not done! Obviously I had no confidence in the communication anymore and stopped the shipment. When I contacted FDA directly, I was unable to be issued a refund for making a wrong/incomplete registration because it was my fault I did not understand FDA instructions as I should have read their notice. But yet, I had never even seen FDA’s document at all!

And guess what when I approached Forest Shipping about this? Basically their reply was “nah sorry, it is not our responsibility to forward any documents to you, too bad you lost money”. Oh really, an official document containing material information, from a government authority with instructions for registration that is worth more than $10,000USD, and Forest Shipping does not think its important enough for me to see it myself, and that I should rely on their interpretation of what FDA wants.

Guys, when you’ve handed your shipping money over (especially if you use TT), they will do whatever is most convenient for them from then onwards, which may not be what is best for you! STAY AWAY FROM FOREST SHIPPING! Tons of better shippers out there, like Shapiro and fbaforwarder, I was lazy to research on my own before and simply relied on this shipper that my supplier had connections with. Paid a heavy price for it, and I can’t sue them for it because even if I had 100% of winning, the legal costs would overwhelm my claims of $4,000USD.

If you’re like me and have lost money because of Forest Shipping’s negligence, drop me a message and we may be able to work out a feasible lawsuit claim together.

Don’t say you weren’t warned!

Good luck everyone on your FBA business, I am not giving up, but please don’t use Forest Shipping.

Disclaimer: All views expressed are my own and are true to my knowledge.

Stephen Hunt

Hi Josh,

I have a few questions around shipping, see below:

1. I got a quote from Forest Shipping but the price seemed a little high for what i’m selling. What was the size, weight and CMB of your product? My product is 73*32*36CM Vol 2.1CBM. packet in 25 cartons of 10Kg each so 250Kg total. Forest shipping having quoted me $1048 EXW and $842 FOB what do EXW and FOB Mean?

2. Does the shipment include insurance?

3. Do any suppliers on Alibaba ship directly to Amazon or only to sea ports?

4. Did you have to pay import duty and taxes? in the UK we have to pay both which eats up a big chunk of profit 🙁 My costs we’re around £300 ($420)

I’ve been following your FBA study case and i’ve been very impressed, and i really appreciate the posts you put up as they have helped me out a great deal 🙂

I’m going to be selling on Amazon EU since i live in the UK.

Thanks in advance.

All the best,


Hi Stephen,

1. If you feel like their quote is a little high then I would get some quotes from other forwarders and then compare them. Here is a good article that explains the differences between FOB and EXW –

2. I used trade assurance from Alibaba that insured my shipment

3. There are no shipments that go straight to Amazon, every single sea shipment goes to a sea port first before Amazon. However, I am sure there are suppliers that can handle your shipment all the way to Amazon for you.

4. Yes, I did. It was around $150 on a $2k shipment

Thanks for your comment and I hope that helps



Great work Josh! Really appreciate you sharing your journey and hope you’re experiencing a great deal of success now. After having performed this for a company over the last 7 years I am branching out to have a go myself. Have been based in China a few times so fingers crossed it works out for me too.
Keep up the great work!

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