If you are the industrious type who is always looking for a way to make a buck, you could potentially set up a very lucrative business importing goods from China at a wholesale price and selling them for a decent profit. Or, maybe you own a company and want to find out whether or not it would be importing from China compared to sourcing in your own country. Regardless of your reason for being curious about importing goods from China, this guide will tell you everything that you need to know about importing from China. If you do it right, you can set up a successful business importing goods from China and reselling them in your own country.
Follow these steps to figure out whether importing from China will be a boon or a bust for your business.
Step 1. Pick a product
Picking a product to import is the very first step in this detailed process. You have the freedom to pick any product you want, but you will find that you will be much more successful if you are importing goods that you are knowledgeable about or that you care a lot about. If you are not familiar with the product you are importing from China, you will not be very good at determining the quality of the product. While this factor is important, you also need to pick a product that you think other people are passionate about, and therefore, will want to purchase. Finally, importing goods from China can get pretty expensive because of the hefty shipping fees. Try to pick a product that can be shipped in large quantities, since the more you ship, the more you can save.
Step 2. Choose a handful of exporters
Picking exporters from China is easier than you think. There are a lot of resources online that provide lists of Chinese exporters for people who are interested in importing goods from China. If you are having trouble finding an exporter on your own, you can take advantage of a professional sourcing company that can help match you up with an exporter that specializes in your product.
Step 3. Narrow Down your list and choose an exporter
While it is good to establish good relationships with several exporters, the reality is that you will only be able to work with one or two suppliers. When you finally select your primary suppliers, you want to make sure you have done all the background research necessary to make sure you are importing goods from China using a reputable exporter. Once you make your decision, you have to negotiate a good deal with your exporter so that you begin importing from China right away.
Step 4. Decide how you want to sell your product
Now that you are importing goods from China, you can either find resellers for your product or set up a store and sell the product yourself. If you are going to take on the role of the middle man, you will work very hard for less of a cut. The upside to this is that once you wholesale the product to a reseller, it is no longer your responsibility to sell. If you keep product to sell yourself, you might get stuck with a product you aren’t able to move. This is where your product choice becomes really important. If you have a product that nobody is interested in buying, you will have a very hard time convincing resellers to stock your product. Importing from China will only work out for you if you have a desirable product that you can source cheaply and turn around fast.
Step 5. Place orders with your Chinese exporter
Now that you have determined what your plan is with the products you plan on importing from China, you can start placing orders with your exporter. Since shipping internationally requires a lot of red tape and can be quite expensive, most exporters require a minimum order amount. There are a few different shipping options you can choose from when importing goods from China. The most popular services are Express Mail Service, DHL, and Free on Board (FOB) shipping.
Step 6. Handle your duties and clear your product with Customs
Whenever you are importing goods from China, there are a few hoops you are going to have to jump through in order to get your product into your hands and onto shelves. The first thing that you need to do is get in touch with a port of entry located near you and speak with an import specialist who can assist you in handling the details involved with importing goods from China. These import specialists can help you fill out any paperwork you have to submit and answer any question you might have. No one expects you to know exactly what you are doing, especially if this is the first time you are importing from China, but it is still important to import your products according to the law.
Step 7. Arrange for the pickup and transportation of your product
In order to get your product, you need to contact a commercial transportation company that specializes in moving cargo. It should be pretty easy for you to find a cargo transportation company by searching online or taking a look in your local Yellow Pages. Once your product is in your hands, it is up to you to turn a profit quickly so that you can continue to submit orders with your Chinese exporters.
If you follow these 7 steps, you can be importing goods from China before you know it. If you establish good mutually beneficial relationships with a select few Chinese exporters, you can have a very lucrative business for a very long time. The key to being successful at importing goods from China is to be respectful, yet stern with your exporter contacts. Business relationships in China are based on trust and respect. If you can set up a good relationship with your exporter, you will definitely enjoy the benefits of importing from China.