Import From China – Quick Start Guide

I doubt anyone in the Australia, or even in the world for that matter, doesn’t have at least one item in their home that has the “made in China” label on it. Importing from China can be a complicated task to start, but there are a few steps that can make it a lot easier for you.

1. Select the Product You Want to Import

Not every product suits every person. To be successful, you want to select the right product. Everyone wants profit, but there is more to selecting the product than just selecting the least expensive item available, or the one that allows for the highest mark-up. When considering your product, here are a few things you should consider:

  • Always choose a product you love. It’s easier to stay motivated if you are passionate about something. When others see your passion for something, they want it more (this also makes it easier to sell the products too!
  • Consider the cost for shipping. If you select something you can ship in large quantities, it will save you money. Always consider your product size and how much you can fit into one shipment. If its large, bulky, expensive to ship with small profit margins you may want to change your product .. on the other hand if it’s small and can be transported by air and has high ticket price and high margin (maybe a small tech gadget) then you may be onto a winner. That’s not to say that anything bulky wont make money.
  • Originality is important. You don’t want to produce something others may mass produce. You want something others will want/need, and have to come to you to get. If its in Woolworths, Coles or Aldi then reconsider your product as these big companies will have the market share over this product (unless you market the product with a new feature and you market/advertise it differently!)

2. Write Down Those that Can Provide You with Your Product

Suppliers can be found by looking online for trade directories or professional sourcing companies. There are several good places you can look to find them:

  • http://www.made-in-china.com. This is a directory of Chinese suppliers who provide buyers with company information, product listings, contact details, company culture information and even factory photo tours.
  • http://www.chinayellowpages.org. This is an outsourcing directory which contains listings of products with website URL’s and contact details.
  • http://www.china.cn. This is an outsourcing directory which has thousands of Chinese products, buyers who provide it, and contact information for each buyer. In addition, this website also offers buying and selling leads, tradeshow information, and trading resources for buyers and sellers.

There are so many places to find suppliers – alibaba.com, Global Sources, HKTDC and many more. After doing some searching you’ll discover that every many and his dog will claim to own a factory in China – which is why you tread carefully and attend one of my events to know how to save yourself hours and weed out scammers and ‘middle men trading companies’.

3. Make Contact with Each Supplier You List

When you’ve completed your list of exporters, you need to contact them and ask questions in order to prepare a “short list.” This is a list you narrow down after talking with them. It will help you select the supplier who is best for your needs. Be sure to include things like:

  • References—A supplier should be able to give you a list of client references if they are a reputable supplier. When they give you references or testimonials, it is imperative that you check them. There are fraudulent business listed online, and you want to make sure you aren’t dealing with one.
  • Licensing Information—All reputable business will be properly licensed and in compliance with all trade laws. Make sure any company you is to avoid any future legal problems. Ask if they have an export license!
  • Manufacturing and staffing—You will need information regarding the exporter’s relationship to the manufacturer. Ask if they manufacture the products themselves, and if not, do they get paid by the manufacturer or only work for you. This only applies if you’re dealing with a sourcing agent.
  • Location and Name of Factory that will be Producing Your Product—Ask the supplier to give you the name and address of the factory where the product is manufactured. You’ll want to make sure they are a reputable supplier and that the factory exists! (we show you more on this at our seminars)
  • Experience of the Factory for Producing your Particular Product—There is more to consider than just cost when choosing a supplier. Quality is also important. The manufacturer’s experience producing your type of product is often an indication of the quality of work they do. So ask if they have produced your item or a similar item before as there is also a good chance of saving you costs on moulds (if your item requires a mould).
  • Product Samples—If you are not manufacturing your own product, you’ll want to see samples, so you’ll know the product meets your standards and requirements. The supplier you select should be able to show you samples of the product. You want to make sure you get exactly what you are paying for. When you receive it be sure to STRESS test it for durability, heat, moisture etc

4. Negotiations with Selected Suppler

Chinese customs and culture are the basis for how they negotiate a contract. They don’t negotiate the same as the Western world, so certain tactics are required. To be prepared for Chinese contract negotiations, remember the following things:

  • Relationships—Each business deal creates a new relationship with the person you are doing business with. In China, they aren’t negotiating with a business, but with a person. Chinese exporters will take things slowly until to get to know you better.
  • Moral Influence not Legal Practice—Chinese think of the actual contract as a formality. The relationship and moral integrity seal the deal. It is more than just a legal practice. Forget about how quickly you want the contract signed. You definitely do want a signed contract, but good negotiations rely on the relationship.
  • The Chinese feel in the relationship both you and they are morally obligated to perform, even without a signed contract.
  • Hierarchy—The simple mistake of calling a high-ranking executive by their first name or shaking a low-executives hand first can affect your interpersonal relationship and the willingness of the Chinese executive to negotiate with you. Pay close attention to how executives address each other and follow their lead.

5. Find Resellers for Your Product

This process can take a lot of time. It can also be difficult at times. Doing this process, however, can decrease the time you spend and increase your chances of success. These simple tips will help:

  • Contact the decision maker for each potential reseller by telephone. Take the time to introduce both you and your company to them. Check to see if they are interested in receiving information by e-mail. This will help you to verify their email address.
  • Send an e-mail that is brief. Attach something professionally designed to describe your company and your product.
  • A few days after the email contact, you’ll want to follow up with a phone call. Request a meeting with the supplier. Be prepared to both sell your product in order to get a signed contract. Then, you can begin ordering product.
  • You can sell your goods online with your own web store (we show you how at our bootcamps for under $250)
  • Brick and mortar business (not recommended for newbie’s)
  • Selling via eBay is a good option to attract brand awareness and sell old models and last season stock – however there are so many BETTER ways than this.
  • Become a wholesaler! This is an awesome and fast way to sell a lot of product to only a few customers! (we show you how at our events)
  • Coupon sites like spreets groupon and scoopon and all the other sites ending with “on” (there seems to be one popping up every hour!) these sites get TONS of traffic.
  • Many more ways! I cover how to sell your goods in much more details at the bootcamps.

6. Begin the Ordering Process

Shipping arrangements vary from supplier to supplier. Each one will have a basic shipping agreement and a minimum order amount. There are several common types of shipping from China to the Australia.

  • EMS–Express Mail Service—This is a worldwide shipping service that works with the United States Postal Service to deliver goods from other countries to the United States.
  • DHL– International DHL—This is a global shipping company which provides shipping services commonly used for shipping from China to the AUSTRALIA.
  • FOB–Free On Board—This is used for freight shipping, with a port of loading. This means that the seller has to pay both transportation costs of the goods to the indicated port of loading or shipment and the loading costs. The buyer must pay the costs of transport, insurance, unloading, and transportation from the port of arrival. The buyer takes ownership of the goods as soon as they leave the port of shipping.

7. Customs, Border Protection, and Duties

A service port of entry near you can help you with this. Simply ask for the CBP import specialists for your port of import. They can give you specific product requirements, duty rates, filing entries, preparing and filing all required paperwork. We have good customs agents and shipping agents we can connect you with who have done work for many of our clients, at our live events we connect you with them.

8. Pick-Up and Transport

You will need to have your shipment picked up at the port of entry. It will then have to be shipped to your warehouse or to local resellers. A commercial cargo company should be contacted and all arrangements made prior to shipment. You can find one in your local yellow pages or online, shipping agents and logistic companies handle this for you – learn more at this at our events.
The import/export business to China is not an easy one for beginners to learn. You’re dealing with another culture on the other side of the world. If you follow the above steps, however, you can learn how to do it and turn your questions like, “China, how?” into “China, Wow!”


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