Importing from China
Using a Chinese supplier is a fantastic way to boost your business. You
really can get some of the lowest prices possible on wholesale goods when you deal with Chinese suppliers.
While you can always use a local supplier, they are probably getting their stock from a Chinese supplier anyway,
so doing it yourself can save you a lot of money!
For first timers, the idea of doing business with a supplier a whole world away is a little daunting.
There is a lot to think about including making a safe payment to ensure the supplier gets their money safely,
dealing with Customs, and paying import duties. There's also the whole logistical side to importing when you have
to make sure that your shipment gets to the Chinese port, onto the boat, and shipped to your nearest port - without
falling off the boat!
But don't worry, I'm going to fill you in on all the basic stuff that you need to know about importing from
China. Keep in mind that all the hard work will pay off when your shipment of shiny new products arrives, and the
money starts pouring in!
The first thing that you should know is that the idea that all stock that comes from China is low
quality is an absolute myth! If that were really true, half the world's merchandise would be falling apart already,
as most of it comes from China.
Just like anywhere in the world, in China you can find top quality manufacturers, as
well as some who are a little slack on quality control.
So what types of suppliers can you expect to find in China? Well there is pretty much one for every need, and
Wholesalers are probably the most popular type of supplier. They are professionals in buying huge volumes of
stock from manufacturers, and reselling it to retailers like us.
Their business model is based on volume sales, so you can expect some very favorable discounts when
you buy in bulk from them.
Drop shippers are another option. These guys stock items on your
behalf which you list on eBay. When you make a sale, you let your drop ship supplier know, pay them for it, and
they send the item out to your buyer, and you keep the profit.
This is a great method if you don't have a lot of money to invest in a large order, or if you would rather not
fluff around with shipping items to buyers.
Manufacturers are the big daddy of the supply chain - they are where it
all begins. Manufacturers take raw materials and turn them into products. You can get some of the best prices
possible from manufacturers, but not all of them distribute items directly to retailers.
In fact, many only sell to wholesalers
because they aren't really set up to deal with smaller orders. Therefore, manufacturers are best for when you have
a few thousand dollars to invest.
Liquidators are suppliers who buy goods from manufacturers, wholesalers and retail store owners. Quite often
they buy factory seconds, broken or slow moving stock.
They also grab rock-bottom priced items from outlets that are going out of business. This can all add up to some
great bargains for you when you buy from a liquidator.
Just keep in mind that many liquidators have a no returns policy, and so even if the items are damaged or barely
sellable, you're stuck with them.
Getting in touch with Chinese suppliers can be a bit of a hurdle for first-timers. Most start with internet
searches, and while this can be a pretty good place to start, in doing so, you also open up the floodgates to the
thousands of scammers out there who are posing as supplier, and ready to pounce on new and unexpecting sellers.
These con artists make a living from taking your hard earned cash in exchange for a shipment of items that
doesn't exist. They often have fancy websites and irresistibly low priced goods.
One of the best ways you can protect yourself from these fiends to always pay using your credit card, or another
safe payment option.
Never use Western Union or other wire transfer services, because if something goes wrong, you haven't a hope of
getting your money back.
A better option to find suppliers is to use a reliable supplier directory such as SaleHoo.com or World Wide
Brands. These directories list some of the best suppliers from all over the world and make it easy for you to get
in touch with them, so you can get selling faster.
When it comes to dealing with Customs and the logistics side of importing, there are a couple of professionals
who can make this so much easier on first-timers.
Customs brokers help you with arranging all the legal paperwork involved with importing from China. They can
help you with filling out forms, talking with any relevant government departments on your behalf, and informing you
about any laws which may restrict the items you are importing.
While you have to pay for a Customs broker, they can actually save you money because they know precisely which
taxes and duties you need to pay, and which you can skip.
When it comes to getting your items from China to your doorstep, Freight Forwarders are the people you need to
talk to. Freight Forwarders are professional cargo movers. They master mind getting shipments safely from port to
port, onto the right ships, and to your doorstep.
Using a Freight Forwarder is a bit of a must for first-time importers. Without them, you can end up with long
delays or shipments going missing, not to mention a few extra grey hairs from the stress of it all!
Like Customs brokers, Freight Forwarders are paid service providers but they can save you money by getting you
cut price shipping.
I hope you enjoyed this newsletter article, stay tuned for the next edition where I expose everything you need
to know about opening an eBay store.
If you are ready to use a China-based supplier and get the lowest prices possible on some of the hottest
products around, so straight here: