China has been one of the most in-demand product suppliers and manufacturers all over the world. From shoes, electronics, clothing, and many more, China has since become a business hub and provided the world with products that is at par with other highly-industrialized countries in terms of quality and a wide variety of options. However, China’s advantage over the other countries is cheaper costs.
While importing from China is a logical choice if you are looking for quality yet affordable products, the importation process can be a challenge in itself. For first-timers, it can be a complicated and costly process. But once you get the gist of it, you can anticipate possible problems you may encounter such as delays and fluctuations in shipment fees.
However, this should not discourage you from importing goods from China. At the end of the day, China is still number one in terms of industrial and consumer goods importation all over the world. Moreover, it is not too late to learn the twist and turns of product importation in China.
That said, here are some things you need to know about importing products from China to the US (or elsewhere around the world).
Importing products from China to US
Contrary to popular belief, China-made products do not all come cheap, nor come cheaper than American products. Because of those beliefs, people think they can make more money when they import products from China. However, this is not always the case.
While importing in China can be a sensible choice, one should also be wary when doing such. As mentioned, cheap costs does not always equate to good quality although this is not pertaining to all China-imported products. Likewise, there are some China-made products that are not recommended to be imported in the US.
1. Branded products
For one, you may have to think twice when importing branded products. You might be surprised that American brands come cheaper in the US than in China, although some of these products are manufactured in the latter. Among these China-made American products include Apple products (iPhone, iPad, MacBook, etc.) and Nike.
Even importing Chinese brands may be complicated, as importation and sale of these products outside China may need legal requirements to do so. Also, importing in China may actually come expensive if you consider the quoted product costs, shipment costs, and many more.
2. Foods and health supplements
Experts suggest importing foods and health supplements in the US or in your home country instead rather than importing in China. For one, it may cause you headaches as you have to deal with several requirements such as food safety certificates among a few. Also, China actually imports foods and health supplements in the US, not the other way around.
Choosing products to import and sell
With so many products to sell, it can be hard to choose the best products to sell from among them. Choosing the right supplier is another story. In such case, here are some tips you can remember when starting out on a business and choosing to import from China to US:
1. Consider your interests.
China has a lot of products to offer, which can leave you overwhelmed which one to choose. In such case, you should ask yourself what your hobbies or interests are. For example, if you are a sports-minded person, you may want to consider selling sports apparel or sports accessories. Or if you are a mother, you might be more familiar with baby products like diaper bags or strollers.
2. Choose products that are sure to generate money.
If number one is not applicable to you because you cannot think of a specific hobby that interests you, you can choose any products that will surely generate profit. It can be anything from apparel to any other products – just search online for possible options.
There are some products in which you can put your own logo and label on – which can encourage more people to buy your products. However, make sure that your products sourced from China maintain its high quality so it won’t compromise your brand in the future.
3. Do your own research in finding the right supplier for you.
You can access suppliers easily via the Internet. After all, this is why the Internet exists – to make our searches easier and more convenient. However, this is a different case when choosing a product supplier. Aside from contacting your potential supplier online, you should see your potential products to sell in person.
That said, here are some options you can do to ensure that you only get a reliable Chinese supplier:
1. Meet them in the US
Some big time Chinese suppliers attend major trade shows annually, so make it a point to attend as well and meet them in person. Check their portfolio and exchange contact details so you can keep in touch after they fly back to China.
2. Meet them in China
On the other hand, China and nearby Hong Kong also hosts international trade fairs for those looking for suppliers and manufacturers. There’s the Canton Fair and Hong Kong trade exhibition where you can start your supplier search. Make sure to plan your itinerary so you can make the most out of your business trip.
3. Google them and schedule a company visit
Google is a friend for everything you need to search for, including Chinese suppliers. You can search for potential suppliers beforehand, and schedule a factory visit on your best supplier candidates. Through this method, you can already check out the factory and their manufacturing practices first hand.
Once you have already found your supplier, it’s time to know the basics of shipping from one country to another. First, it is important to know which shipping method you should choose – via air, sea, or express.
Choosing the shipping method depends on your preferred time frame and total weight of your product cargo. Express shipment may be suitable for smaller cargo weight and requires shorter delivery lead time, while sea freight are recommended for tons-worth of shipment but may have to wait for around a month to receive your items. It is also best to discuss shipment terms with your supplier to avoid hassle on your part.