Introduction

Shopping around is beneficial while looking for things to sell in your small business. Your profit margins will be higher if you can source an item at a lower cost. As an alternative, you can use the low-cost price to minimize the final price charged to customers as a way to increase your market position.

China is one of the first locations small businesses visit when looking for low-cost inventory for their store because production costs are lower in Asia. If you own a company that sells products online or a small business, buying directly from China at factory pricing could help you become more competitive.

There are advantages and disadvantages to using e-Commerce because, despite its potential for being quick and inexpensive, it can occasionally result in unpleasant shocks. Here is a brief guide with some insightful suggestions on how to make purchases directly from China.

Chapter 1: Why Buying from China is Important for Small Businesses?

China is well known for its abundant resources. So, Chinese vendors might offer you a better logistical service when compared to other nations. You can get high-quality products from Chinese factories. In China, the cost of labor can be high or low. When you purchase products in China, the tax rate will be low.

The Chinese government has announced numerous programs to encourage export business. You can purchase anything you want, from a scrap of paper to machinery. Some of the advantages of sourcing goods directly from China are enlisted below.

Fast Sourcing of Goods

E-commerce and the internet have sped up the rate at which products are copied and trends emerge and fade, elevating the importance of speed-to-market. When it comes to accelerating your supply chain, China’s integrated supply networks constitute a significant asset.

About a broad spectrum of low-tech, mid-tech, and even high-tech items, its production ecosystems provide an unmatched concentration of input suppliers, qualified personnel, and service providers.

China’s Expanding Economy

China has established itself as the second-largest economy in the world. For the past two years, it has been acknowledged as the nation with the most significant industrial influence. The economy of this nation is expanding quickly. Therefore, sourcing the goods may be a wise move for a business owner.

The majority of foreign businesses recognize the strengths of the Chinese sourcing agency and create a selling-buying partnership to succeed in the market. Chinese sourcing agencies can give you the needed goods if you are still looking for suitable vendors.

Risk Elimination

When you buy products from China, you choose a carefully planned sourcing strategy that enables you to minimize any potential risks. You will be actively involved in every step if you buy stuff from China. It will help you in detecting early alerts of fraud risks, inflated profits, and late deliveries, enabling you to take effective action to mitigate them.

More Effective Scaling Capabilities

China has a robust, and well-established infrastructure. The majority of Chinese manufacturers also have extensive experience and knowledge of the global supply chain. These two elements provide them the flexibility to increase production as needed.

Additionally, the majority of manufacturer regulations do not mandate that customers spend a lot on Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ). Due to the significantly lower costs associated with MOQ, start-ups and small businesses can begin sourcing smaller quantities of goods. There is no better option than using Chinese manufacturing if you are a new business trying to build your brand.

Wide Supplier Base

Many of today’s successful enterprises import commodities like electronics, toys, textiles, and more because Western companies can benefit from a vast network of suppliers in China. You will have access to such an extensive supplier network at your convenience. Companies like these can assist you in importing goods from any country in the world by drawing on their extensive expertise, relationships, and understanding of other cultures. 

Expense

Finding good value at an affordable price still ranks highly when it comes to sourcing.  The effects of China’s rising labor, property, and compliance expenses are now somewhat countered by the country’s increasing productivity and quality advances.

Sustainability

Social and environmental responsibility is becoming essential for sourcing teams as a result of consumers’ increased demands for products that are manufactured ethically and the internet’s ability to instantly make or ruin a brand’s reputation.

Finding inspection companies and suppliers with experience in satisfying international compliance standards is very simple. All thanks to the developing export sector of China

Direct Procurement

Buyers frequently deal with many parties, or middlemen, while outsourcing, which results in causing delays and raising costs. However, you can interact directly with the producer when procuring goods from China.

Through online marketplaces, by physically visiting different merchants’ markets in China or with the assistance of an expert sourcing agent, you can quickly establish contact with a reliable supplier or their representative agents at international trade fairs.

Choose the Desirable Company

You are not free to examine the working conditions and policies while choosing local providers. All that is required from you is to let your supplier know about the specific product. You will obtain the desired goods if they can live up to your expectations; else, bad luck.

However, when purchasing Chinese goods, you have the option of visiting the factory in person to examine the working conditions. Additionally, you can choose from a choice of factories and talk about your needs. As a result, selecting the right products and the relevant companies to make the needed products is possible when purchasing goods directly from China.

Chapter 2: Clear All You Need Before Buying from China

The first thing you must understand if you choose to import Chinese goods is the importance of quantity. The most significant way to save money is typically to purchase massive amounts. The method is relatively simple, and it is based on the market logic that arises between Chinese suppliers and their manufacturers.

To produce the items, both manufacturing businesses and suppliers are required to adhere to a minimum order quantity (MOQ). If the MOQ is not upheld, they will be unable to accept your orders.

Choose the Product Wisely

When choosing a product to import, consider purchasing compact and light items. Shipping fees for these goods will be reduced. Try to stay away from delicate and fragile goods. Choose products that you believe will not have the size or harmful difficulties.

Avoid purchasing products that are regularly purchased. Niche down in specific categories because there is so much competition there. Be as distinctive as you can. Consider buying items that consumers utilize all year long. Avoid choosing seasonal products because your window of opportunity to sell them will be pretty limited.

How to Contact Chinese Suppliers?

If you choose to purchase from China, you must keep in mind that it may take months for your order to be fulfilled. Consider that a freight package typically takes 45 days to complete.

Remember that production and delivery schedules are equally crucial. Therefore, it is a good idea to be specific and explicit when describing your needs, as well as the quantities and timeline for delivery.

Finding the Ideal Supplier: How to do it?

How to find suppliers is an additional issue that needs to be addressed. If you check for them online, you will see that there are thousands of suppliers for each product. How do you choose which one is the best?

You can send various vendors a written request for quotes along with the quantities and delivery dates for the goods. You should ask the provider precisely if they can handle the shipping and what kind of approach was taken into consideration for the quote.

Do read and thoroughly consider the supplier’s reviews, as well as the duration of his activity. Also, inquire as to whether such products have ever been sold in the EU or the US. Request the necessary certificates for the EU.

Things to Keep in Mind while Contacting the Suppliers

Even a devoted supplier will not be able to provide you with a unit pricing for the goods because the price greatly depends on the amount. When you repeatedly alter your requests, you run the risk of alienating the provider because a quote usually denotes a substantial amount of effort.

Chinese vendors are unconcerned about losing you as a customer because they get thousands of orders every day, particularly if you need fewer quantities of the requested goods. Always remember that with good communication, periods will be shorter, and suppliers will welcome you as a client. In addition, it will prevent misunderstandings from occurring.

Duties and Customs

 It is a good idea to research in advance the customs fees for the goods you intend to import because customs duties vary based on the imported items and can have a significant impact on the ultimate price of the goods.

Although VAT (Value- Added Tax) can vary from one EU country to another, custom taxes are constant across the board and cannot be exempted. Thus, they must be factored into the price of the product. 

Chapter 3: How to Buy from China? 3 Basic Ways for Trading Companies

Before purchasing from China, you should educate yourself on some fundamentals to have a long-term connection with Chinese suppliers. You can purchase any sort of product between the offline and internet markets in China. Following are the three primary ways for trading companies

Locate China Wholesale Markets and Make Purchases There

There are countless goods produced in China. Pet, clothing, electronics, computers, office accessories, kitchenware, outdoors, and travel products are the top six items to import from China.

a. Yiwu Wholesale Market

The Yiwu Wholesale Market is a well-known trading hub known as the largest wholesale market for goods in China. It is located in Yiwu Trade City and was developed in 2001.  A critical facility is the procurement service center for businesses engaged in foreign trade. It is located on the third floor of the No. 1 district.

If you are experiencing trading issues, you can contact this center. Thus, you must be aware of the primary goods produced in each district and determine what you want to purchase.

b.Guangzhou Wholesale Market

China’s largest commercial city is Guangzhou. You can purchase a variety of products from China in your nation. Here are well-known wholesale markets for clothing, medications, toys, tea, leather items, jewelry, and jade.

The wholesale markets are not consolidated. Thus, before visiting Guangzhou, you should make a plan.

c. Shenzhen Wholesale Market

Huaqiangbei Electronic Market is well-known in Shenzhen Wholesale Market and is known as the largest electronic market in the world.  You can get whatever technological equipment or gadget you wish.

There is at least one store here for each tech-related brand. Every day, a large number of individuals from all around the world come here to buy electronics. You must visit it once, and you can get what you need for less money. 

Discover Websites Where You Can Make Purchases from China

There are many internet platforms where you can buy directly from China including,

a. Alibaba

Alibaba is a global platform. It has 22 years of experience with millions of businessmen. The majority of the members are Chinese. You may locate suppliers for any product you can imagine. You can find almost any category of goods you require. Millions of suppliers and buyers from around the world use this site.

On Alibaba, you may purchase any product. Additionally, you can speak with them and request a discount.

b. DHGate

The leading vendors in China include DHgate as well. The market is interconnected between businesses worldwide. It links all of China’s factories to the rest of the globe. It is a B2B portal with more than 30 million products.

In addition to assisting you in locating qualified Chinese manufacturers, DHgate also offers safe shipping services. You can get assistance from the salesperson with the order problems. 

c. Global Sources

A well-known platform with at least 50 years of commercial history in China is called Global Sources. Due to the expert service, 1.5 million buyers from 240 different countries come here to look for what they need.

Every step of the process is done with professionalism. Additionally, getting a refund is simple, even if something goes wrong. All you have to do is adhere to the procedure and fulfill the requirements. You may shop at Global Sources with ease and convenience.

d. AliExpress

Another online retailer controlled by the Alibaba Group in China is AliExpress. It began in 2010, considering the infrastructure for small enterprises in China and other nations.

At AliExpress, there are seventeen different languages spoken. It is prepared for foreign customers. The business formats used by AliExpress include B2B, B2C, C2C, and others. Therefore, it can support your business regardless of the kind you intend to run.

e. 1688

Alibaba owns a platform called 1688. Here, wholesale, B2C, and B2B transactions are all acceptable. A lower price draws a lot of consumers. The only language supported by this platform is Chinese. If you do not speak Chinese, you might want to engage a sourcing agent to assist you in negotiating with Chinese suppliers.

You can save time by using sourcing agents. Chinese businesses frequently use 1688 to find goods. However, due to the cheaper pricing, several business owners have expressed interest.

Pay a Visit to China’s Export and Import Trade Fairs

China has a large number of trade shows every year. If you want to come to China, you must go there once. You get the opportunity to speak with Chinese suppliers in person. Additionally, products at exhibitions can inspire you. The trade show will assist you in locating relevant vendors. 

Import-Export Fair in Canton

Canton is one of the largest sourcing fairs in the world and is held twice a year in Guangzhou, usually in April/May and again in November. In fact, it is so big that it runs in three separate phases, each one encompassing a different category of products, such as electronics, consumer goods, and home decor.

Chapter 4: What You Should Notice Before Placing the Order when Buying from China?

Buying anything online is never risk-free, and we should take proper precautions before making big decisions. Business deals need even more care. Here we have discussed all the possible issues you can face while ordering goods from China.

Ask for Samples

Sample or small test orders are required to build trust in your provider. This will enable you to check the product’s quality. There are now two ways to check the level of quality. Either request a sample to be sent to you or have a factory audit performed with the aid of your sourcing agency.

You should email a possible supplier after getting in touch with them, either online or at a trade show, and request a sample of the products you are interested in. Most vendors will provide you with product images or catalogs without charge, but judging an item’s quality from a picture can be challenging.

You should get a trial sample of the product to confirm its quality. Samples may cost money, but it is usually a minor price to pay for assurance. Do not do business with vendors who just want big orders. If one provider is not cooperating, do not give up because there are many more.

Clear all the Details of the Order

Your supplier should be informed of your product ideas. They support you in creating products according to your choice. Customers prefer customized products more. It is better to request a product sample before making a large purchase. Additionally, request a test report. A sample of the product can be used to assess its quality. You will find it easier to do business in your country with test reports.

You should avoid placing a sizable order if this is your first time working with the supplier. Contacting the provider about minimum order quantities is possible. They will fulfill your MON requirements if you demonstrate your honesty. All the details must be cleared before and after placing the order.

a. Set a Final Price

The first thing is to set a final price for all of your products. You should finalize the price of your products once you have verified each component. The unit price, label cost, packing cost, and tax are all included in the final price of your purchase. Before sending your purchase order to the seller, double-check the product’s entire cost.

b. Request Purchase Order

All the confirmed order information is included in a comprehensive purchase order. You can request a paper copy of an electronic file from the supplier detailing your products’ deadline, packing list, category, price, quantity, and other details.

c. Sign the Purchase Agreement

When you submit your order, you are required to sign a purchase agreement. Every imported item will be transparent with clear contact. These things include the terms for orders, shipments, payments, and international business transactions. A thorough purchase agreement will ensure the security of your goods and possessions in China

Negotiate Payment Terms

The final cost and the terms of payment should also be negotiated. If the supplier does not accept the conditions of payment, you find them most convenient. You can always find another source. You can start negotiating the product’s price once the supplier you select has verified the details of your product. Make the complete cost known.

Make sure the terms of payment are clearly stated in your order. When working with Chinese manufacturers, there is typically some space for price negotiation; however, be sure you have a written record of the agreed-upon pricing. Keep in mind that the total price includes taxes, customs, shipping, and insurance fees in addition to the price that is displayed on the order list.

a. Be Ready to Make a Down Payment

The majority of suppliers want a down payment, often approximately 30%, with the remaining balance due when the goods are prepared to ship. The majority of suppliers will not even consider your purchase until the deposit has been deposited into their account. 

b. Request a Catalog and a FOB Quote.

You can better understand the price of items with the use of a FOB quotation and a catalog.

c. Request a Discount

You should ask your provider for a discount. Your profit will come from every cent you save.

Prepare Deposit and Shipping Payment

After the confirmation of the order, prepare the deposit and shipping payment. It will help you avoid any inconvenience on the arrival of your order. Make sure to be precise and clear regarding the product’s shipping procedure and delivery time.  

Chinese providers frequently accept online transactions, Cash, Checks, and Credit Card payments. Chinese suppliers commonly use credit cards. Whether you pay online, on a mobile device, through an app, or in person, it depends on the supplier and your convenience.  

Remember that you must pay the deposit before receiving your imported products. You should take business security carefully if full payment is required before dispatch.

Shipment Requirements

Be specific about the delivery location. The location of delivery has an impact on the cost and timing of your import. You and the supplier must agree upon the delivery address.  

Make sure your goods are secure. The integrity and safety of the product are also aspects of product security. A high level of product security will eliminate post-sale issues and ensure profitability.

You should check the deadline with your provider, as it is crucial. You can trust your provider more if you can obtain your product by the deadline. You should pick an appropriate shipping method depending on your order requirements.

Typical ways of exporting goods out of China include:

  • Sea Transport

If you have larger purchases, sea shipping is a wonderful way to save money. The cheapest method of transportation is via sea. However, it takes a lot of time. 98% of all imports and exports worldwide are carried out by sea shipping. Additionally, there is no weight restriction in sea shipping, and you can bring as much as you like.

As with air freight, you will need to take care of the paperwork and customs clearance. Additionally, you will be responsible for the delivery of the items from the port to your location. A full container load (FCL) and a less than container load (LCL) are two components of the sea shipping method. Depending on the size of your order, you can select an appropriate shipping option.

  • Air Transport

For smaller orders and samples, air shipping is the best option but is also the most expensive. Air shipment is your best choice when your product is not extremely heavy, and you need it quickly. Based on airline schedules, transit times may vary. But often, it takes 2 to 10 days.

When shipping through the air, you have additional responsibilities, i.e.; You must manage paperwork and customs clearance. It could be a difficult process for beginners. On the other hand, you can always outsource it.

  • Shipping From Door to Door

Products can be delivered from the supplier’s door to your door with the help of a door-to-door shipping service. Your decision to use any mediumship service simply relies on your needs.

If you select “Door-to-Door services,” common in many nations, you only need to pay the freight costs. As you wait, your cargo will be delivered to your specified address.

  • Rail Transport

Rail transport is more expensive than sea freight but less expensive than air freight. This is appropriate for expensive goods like automobiles, electronics, and computer hardware.

Rail shipment is also an option for seasonal and promotional goods that must go quickly to their destination. Seasonal goods that need to be supplied quickly may be shipped by rail. You can select the rail service if you import goods from China to France, Russia, the UK, and other nations. The delivery period typically lasts 10 to 20 days.

Hire an Agent if Needed

Suppose you do not have time to go to the China market to buy goods. You ought to work with a sourcing agent to put all of your fears and anxieties to rest. The sourcing agent will handle all procedures requiring physical presence. In China, they will serve as your eyes.  

They provide effective service, great sourcing, a dependable supplier, lower-cost manufacturing, and secure transportation. They will assist you if you wish to buy from China.

  • Maintaining Business Security in China

The ability of a sourcing agent to keep your company secure in China is its greatest advantage. Before your products are shipped to your nation, they guarantee every step of the process. In this way, misunderstandings in communication will be eliminated, and the security of the items, payment, and shipment will reduce time and money waste.

  • Assist you in Defining your Source and Product

A sourcing agency is an excellent suggestion if you are still struggling to come up with a product idea. They support product customization. Additionally, they assist you in checking the quantity and caliber of your merchandise. They will offer you skilled suppliers at the best price. Your sales are getting more of your attention and effort.

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