How to Import Products from China
Many businesses worldwide import their products from China. China has low labor cost and can usually provide your raw materials and supplies for a cheaper price. Since you can enjoy the low costs, you can sell your product with a huge mark-up and earn higher profit.
Coming up with the right product idea
Many people just look for any good product that they can get for a cheap price and sell it at a higher price. Although this approach is logical, it does not mean that it will work in a real business situation where competition is tight with a market that continues to evolve. A good product does not always mean the right product. Even if you have a good product, you can end up with lots of unsold goods lying around your house or office, because it may not be the right product for your market. Thus, to find the right product, you must consider if your market will buy it. Be particular of your niche or your target market.
Finding the right manufacturer or supplier
Once you have a good product idea, it is time to look for a legitimate Chinese manufacturer or supplier that you can trust. Thanks to technology, you can easily contact manufacturers in China from the comfort of your home. A good place to look for Chinese manufacturers is Alibaba. It is a famous company founded by Jack Ma (know more about Jack Ma’s 10 Rules For Success) . Be sure to filter your search, and only get supplies from the gold members. This is to increase the chance that you are dealing with a legitimate manufacturer. Make sure to read the reviews posted by other people. Of course, Alibaba is not the only placed to find Chinese manufacturers. You can also find them using search engines, but Alibaba is already an established and trusted place for doing this kind of business. It is also important to make sure that you deal directly with the manufacturer or supplier and not with a middleman.
Contact the manufacturers
Whether you use Alibaba or search engines or a referral from a friend, you do not have to limit yourself to just choosing one manufacturer. You can contact as many manufacturers as you want and negotiate with them. Then you can choose the best option.
Ask for samples first
Do not order so many products at the first instance. You should first ask for a few samples, so you can test their quality and to determine if you really have an existing market for your product. You may notice that many Chinese manufacturers will require you to purchase a minimum of 15 or even 50 units as samples. This is a good time to contact them and negotiate if you can just get fewer number of samples. Do not worry; this is normal.
Mode of payment and shipping
Before you order your samples, be sure to clarify the mode of payment and shipping with your manufacturer. Be sure that your mode of payment is safe and secure. This is another reason why you should use a trusted website like Alibaba where payment is only released to the supplier upon your confirmation that you have already received the order. If you do not want to use Alibaba, there are still many other ways to negotiate payment with your supplier.
Be sure to check the shipping cost and where you will receive your products. Shipping is one of the major problems when you choose to import products. Always clarify the fees and terms of shipping with your supplier. It is also wise to ask for advice from a lawyer regarding any law that may apply to the product that you import and sell.
Test the samples
Once you have received the samples, it is time for you to test its quality. Treat yourself as if you were one of your buyers. Is the product completely the way you expected it to be? Observe your own sample for days and see if it maintains its good quality. Of course, you can sell the other samples. Do not just sell to your family and friends, because they might not be the best people to give an honest comment on your product. Sell some samples to your target market.
Make a decision
Once you have tested your product and sold some samples to other people, it is time to decide whether you want to completely pursue your business. If you choose to continue, try to negotiate a better deal with your manufacturer. After all, you will be ordering a continuous supply of products.
Importing your products from a Chinese manufacturer may be your best choice. Do not rush, and avoid making decisions when under pressure. A good business takes time and proper planning. Be mindful of the product that you choose, and be sure that you have a market for it. Finally, always exercise caution and due diligence.
Free Book: Doing Business in China - Tips and Tracks
China has its own business culture and etiquette.
There are many things that a businessman from West needs to understand if he wants to enter the China market and succeed.