Just in case you have any plans of importing products from China in order to resell them in your country, you are in the best place. This article has been composed specifically for you. It has some very important and resourceful information when it comes to importing from China. Take your time and carefully read each and every tip, step by step without any rush and save yourself from any unnecessary mistakes in the future.
1. Ask yourself why you would import from China and not anywhere else. This country has been the largest exporters of goods since the year 2009 and as of 2013, its exports were estimated to amount to $1.904 trillion. According to information from Investopedia.com, China is by far the largest nation when it comes to matters related to trade. China has an advantage over the other countries due to the fact that their cost of manufacturing is very low. Expenses such as rent and labor are very minimal in this country due to the fact that the Chinese government encourages a lot of export trade and the exporters have refunded the cost of taxes incurred. This, therefore, means that the suppliers in China provide goods to the rest of the world at a very little cost. Do not forget that they still compete with other manufacturing countries. Therefore as a seller, this is a spectacular chance to make money, especially when you manage to get a good supplier from China. The point here is that you are able to make very good profits when you sell the goods in your country since you acquired them at a very low price.
2. Make sure you get to deal with the product you are familiar with and very passionate about. Each and every business plan comes up as a result of having an idea. In this scenario, the product you want to import is the main idea. Some people already have plans, ideas and the products in mind and all they need to do is to get started. Question is, what if you do not have anything in mind? That means you need to follow the tips below carefully:
A. Pay extra attention to something you are sure you love. This is because it is impossible for you to lose interest in something you love and all that it comes with. More time and energy will be invested doing research. Follow your passion and you are guaranteed of success.
B. Think and think hard. If the product you want to import is profitable, it should have the following traits:
· Small and light in order to minimize shipping costs.
· Should be updated and unique in all ways.
· Cost between $10-200. That is the best range for a small or medium importer.
· Demand for the product should be endless.
· The selling price should be twice or more than the importing price.
As mentioned earlier, there is no time to rest, research should be done day in day out.
3. Once you get a supplier, you need to know them well. We normally have three kinds of suppliers. Who are they?
A. Factory/Manufacturer who produces and provides the product directly.
B. Trading company. As much as they buy from the factories and sell, they offer extra services.
C. Sourcing agent. Who help clients look for products at a fee.
Every seller normally wants to deal directly with the factory. Companies and individuals in China do all they can to make sure you believe they are the factory and yet they are not. Worry not, it is still possible to work directly with the factories in a legit way. This is what you need to do:
· Make a point of visiting their website and confirm if they offer different types of products. In most cases, factories do not produce more than one product due to the fact that the equipment, technology, and materials required are too expensive. If you get suppliers that deal with more than one product, they are likely to be trading companies.
· Confirm the Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ) of your supplier. Trading companies offer lower MOQ than factories. The cost of producing 600 pieces of a product might be same as producing 2000 pieces in a factory. Therefore, low qualities mean the factory is wasting its resources (labor and materials) and not making enough profit. This is the main reason why factories never accept low MOQ.
· The license of the business is also important. Checking the registered capital written in the business license is pointless because any company can claim to have as much as CYN 10,000,000 and in the real sense it has nothing. The most important thing is to check whether or not it is an approved factory.
· If you demand ISO certification and the supplier cannot give it to you with the details of the company on it, then probably that is a trading company.
· The factory audit report from either BSCI or Sedex, which are authoritative organizations is enough evidence that the supplier is a factory.
If you follow the instructions on the list above, you will most likely get to select correctly.
4. A trading company would probably be the best choice for you. The fact that prices are low is the main reason why people import goods from China. But then again, the question is, is a factory really the best place to get goods from? It may not be the best choice because of factors like:
· Language barrier. As unbelievable as it sounds, there are still factories who have sales representatives who cannot utter or understand a single English word. No one would want to invest in an area where communication is an issue.
· They might not know your market requirements. These are the standards set in the market and they vary from one place to another. For example food products. The market requirements for the U.S.A are not the same as those in Europe. The Chinese people in the factories tend to ignore that fact and ship the goods as they are, only to be termed as illegal on arrival.
· The MOQ for factories is far too high. They do not consider small scale orders, even if it is a trial order. These factories handle orders from big clients only and so they never see the point of taking small orders.
· Factories do not offer free samples to clients.
· So much time is wasted. Your order strictly depends on the schedule of the factory. For you to become their big client, you will have to wait for long.
· They check and inspect the goods themselves. This allows room for many silly mistakes. To get the best quality inspection, you have to pay someone else an extra fee.
What benefits do you get when you use a sourcing or trading agent that is based in China?
· The fixed products have no limit. These agents work with almost the factories in China and so they have a wide variety of products. It saves time because you get all your products from one source and they are all shipped together.
· MOQ requirement is small. This is good news for importers who are doing it for the first time or even to those importing small amounts. These agents have channels and so they have different ways of getting these products.
· Free samples. Since these agents get these products directly from the factories, sending you free samples for free is a very easy thing for them.
· Communication is better. These trading companies focus mainly on export. As a result of this, they have the right channels to reach to you as compared to factories whose main job is production. Working with trading companies helps importers understand the process of export well.
· Proper inspection of quality. A good trading company inspects the goods for you even if the factory claimed that it had done it earlier.
The decision is yours, the importer. But generally, a trading company would be a better choice, especially when you are not buying things in large scale.
5. Never opt for the cheapest option. The main reason why you want to import goods from China is the fact that the prices are low. When you find yourself in a situation whereby you find that the price of a certain good is unreasonably low, avoid it. There is the issue of scammers who offer prices that are lower than the market price. The moment they do this, they automatically get your attention. What they do is that they spend their money to get you a high-quality product that acts as a sample. The moment you place an order and send them the money, they immediately cut off communication. The other problem may be the issue with quality. There is the supplier who does not argue when it comes to price. What these suppliers do is that they replace your good products with fake ones just before the shipping process begins. You find that you have paid a small amount of money for fake and useless products. Just to be on the safe side, please ensure that you do this:
· Do some serious background check of the supplier. Google them if you have to and ask for legal certificates.
· Compare the prices you get from your suppliers with the ones in Alibaba.com. If it is 50% lower, that is a scam.
6. Use the most suitable approach to ship your goods to your country. This is the last step of this process and it is also the most important since it dictates the total cost, time taken and risks involved. There are four methods you can make use of:
· Regular post. Most people use it for checking samples. It carries products that are less than 2KG and takes 2 to 5 weeks to arrive. Charges are $15/KG.
· Express courier. Products are shipped to your doorstep. For importers who want to sample their sales, this is the best means and it carries goods less than 200KG. The most common companies used in China are DHL, UPS, FedEx, and TNT. It takes the goods 2 to 5 working days to arrive. Charges are $50/KG.
· Air freight. In a situation whereby your goods are too large for courier, air is the best alternative. Costs will be $5-10/KG with a duration of 2-10 days to arrive. With this process, goods have to be collected at your respective airport with documentation and clearance. The good thing is that there are some trucking companies that can deliver the goods to wherever you want them.
· Sea freight. This is by far the most economical way of shipping goods. The problem is that it might take 3 to 9 weeks, which is quite a long time. Similar to air freight, you have to go collect your goods with the documentations at the port.
Each of these means has its unique advantages. Costs incurred when shipping goods take up a big percentage of the full cost of the products and so they should be as low as possible. How you balance everything is what will actually dictate the amount of profit you will make.
Is there anything else you would want to know about importing from China?
What is your opinion shipping goods from China? Do you really think it is a good business venture?
Just in case you disagree with anything you have read on this article or you have any problem that requires assistance, feel free to contact us.