The Process of Sampling in China

The Process of Sampling in ChinaOne of the most necessary, yet one of the trickiest aspects of importing, is making sure you get exactly what you want.  Miscommunications and other aspects of the trade can sometimes make this difficult.  In order to assure the product being made is what you want, before you waste a lot of money, is to request a sample from a supplier.  You need to be sure the product meets all of your specifications and is the quality you want.   This can be a difficult process especially for beginners in the import business.  Here are some things to consider that will help you get a good sample and find the best supplier for your needs.

  • Preparation:  Decide what you need a sample of.  If it is an original design, you should produce an exact prototype through a domestic source.  Domestic preparation of the prototype helps in these ways:
    • You will have greater control over the process and increase your chances of getting exactly what you want.
    • You avoid miscommunication problems for those reading your specifications.
    • It’s less expensive, because there are no freight or other added costs.
  • If you feel you should break the prototype down to its basic components, do it.  You can send the prototype directly to the manufacturer when you’re ready.

  • Selecting the manufacturer/supplier:  You’ll want to contact as many suppliers who do business in category and can meet your needs as possible.  An import sourcing company can help with this step.  A sourcing company can help you overcome language barriers and work with you while you are getting to know the manufacturers.

    After you’ve selected all those you feel can handle your needs, narrow the list to a short list of about six different suppliers.  Send a request for samples from the top three of them.  This will give you an idea of:

    • How quickly they respond to your request
    • The quality of the sample they send
    • How eager they are for your business
    • How well you can work with each other

    Since most suppliers charge a fee to prepare a sample, this stage can become costly.  This fee correlates to:

    • The uniqueness of your request T
    • Their costs in making the sample
    • The availability of materials needed to produce the sample including:  custom molds, requiring a certain Pantone Color code, the equipment the manufacture has, and the amount of time it takes to prepare the sample for you. 

    You’ll need to maintain good communication with each of the suppliers to get a high-quality comparison.

  • Sample making agreement:This document that consists of:
    • A comprehensive description of your product
    • The quantity of samples to be supplied to you
    • The cost of the sample-making
    • Shipping agreements or anything else relating to the manufacture of your product. 

    This document will aid in protecting both you and the possible manufacturers.  It does this by specifying the responsibilities each of the parties, and includes shipping, related costs, and the time frame.  It increases understanding between you and the manufacturer.

Choosing the right supplier is imperative!  You want to insure the end-product quality is exactly what you want.  That’s why good communication is needed with the supplier.  In the end, you’ll get the product you want at a price that will help you make a profit.  Since you need to find the right supplier, the sample product will give you an excellent idea of each supplier’s capabilities, and help you make the best decision for your business.


The Legalities of Customs and Importing Goods

The importation process requires you to be aware of the legal aspects of importing goods.  You must comply with the country’s rules and regulations.  If you’re a first-time importer, you should probably use a broker.  They will help things to go easier for you in the long run.

If your imports are lighter than 150 lbs or 68 kg—the maximum weight that the shipping companies can handle—you can pick these up at the post office.  Make sure Custom duties are paid.  If not, you may be notified that your goods are held up at a certain location and will only be released once the import duties are paid up.  They will tell you when and where the items can be picked up.  If you are importing heavier or larger goods in half containers, there are limitations placed by Customs.

Customs Limitations

Countries vary in regulations and restrictions.  Before ordering your products, you need to research the restrictions and license requirements for your product. There are some restrictions you may find common, like the banning of drugs or chemicals.  Others, you may find strange such as Italy disallowing the importation of shoes, and Australia disallowing the import of cultural and heritage goods.
If you are thinking of selling your goods to International buyers, you need to research the Customs regulations of other countries.
You can visit the Customs’ websites for both your country and the countries you plan to sell to.  If you can’t find the information you need, you can contact the Customs by phone or email.

Negotiating for a Contract

After researching regulations and finding a supplier, you begin contract negotiations. The contract should cover items such as:

  • Price Per Unit
  • Packaging
  • Number of items per case
  • Shipping terms

Knowing shipping terms will help make the process flow more smoothly.  Here are some of the most commonly-used shipping terms:

  • Ex-Works:  You are responsible for the costs once the product leaves the supplier. 
  • FOB:  The supplier pays out all expenses from the very beginning to the Port of departure including export fees.
  • CIF:  Cost, Insurance & Freight—The supplier pays the costs, insurance and freight charges up to the port of destination.
  • DDU:  Delivered Duty Unpaid—The supplier disburses an amount for all the costs incurred in delivering goods, excluding the duties.
  • DDP/CARRIAGE PAID:  Delivered Duty Paid—The supplier pays all the expenses including the duties. 
  • FOB:  Freight on Board—This pertains to the freight expenses to the point of loading.

Some terms may cause you some confusion, so take caution.  Two of them are:

  • FOB FACTORY:  Freight on Board Factory—This is usually seen if the company is located inland.  It pertains to the payment of onward costs to the local port or airport.  It can cause price increases.
  • CI&F:  Cost, Insurance and Freight—This differs from the FOB price.  In addition, you are given the insurance and freight costs. This helps you prepare a good budget.  You may be able to have the price paid up when it is delivered.

More information on importing and exporting can be found by visiting the Export 911 site at http://www.export911.com/e911/gateway/gateway.htm.  There, you can find valuable information on the stages of the import/export process.  You’ll also find the requirements and importing terms.  This site is geared to exporters instead of importers, but most of the terms and processes are the same.

Magnitude of Shipment

The volume of shipment determines the cost.  The standardized container sizes of full container loads come in 20 ft X 40 ft lengths, and can hold whatever products you plan to load.  The shipping costs will include the container.  If you are planning on making regular purchases, you may decide to purchase a container. When you purchase from one supplier only, the container will be brought to the supplier’s location, filled up on site, conserved and gathered to be shipped to your country.  If you purchase from more than one supplier, you can have all the goods delivered to your chosen freight agent who will load the products at their location.

Full-container loads are great for shipping, because they can save on labor and money.  Since full-size loads are considered as a single transaction, import/export processing, handling, and haulage costs lower as well.  If you are not importing products in a full container load, your shipment is combined those of other companies which will be delivered to the same destination.  Lesser Container Load costs are computed by using the volume your goods take up in cubic meters. Lesser Container Loads are not as practical.  It can be an exhausting process to pack, load and unload the products.

Documentation and Proof of Purchase

When negotiations are complete, a seller will send you a pro forma invoice.  The cost you pay will be what has been agreed upon during the negotiations.

Pro forma invoices are generally advance copies of the final invoice.  You will need these when you apply for a letter of credit (L/C) and/or foreign exchange (import) allocation.

When the items arrive, you will receive a commercial invoice.  These are similar to a sales invoice.  They are used to clear the goods through Customs.  Unlike the pro forma invoice, the commercial invoice contains details needed for import/export purposes.  You can see an example of these by visiting http://www.export911.com/e911/export/docCI.htm#docCI.

Be sure to double check everything to make sure everything is what you agreed to.  This helps minimize miscommunication.

You can choose to have your own shipper.  You can easily locate your own shipping company by searching on Google.  Make sure to receive quotes from the companies and compare them.  It takes a little extra work, but you can save anywhere from $100-$500.


Step by Step Importing from China

If you look for them, you can find new business opportunities every day.  Importing from China could be one of those opportunities for you.  If you know how to navigate through the process, it could be an effective part of your business plan.  It is a complicated process, but the internet and advanced technology in international trading is making it easier all the time.   There are several steps to the process:

  • Decide Which Product You Want to Market:  You can sell any item you want, but make sure you research to be sure it is a marketable product.  You want one that will give you a profit.  There are many web listing services on line to help you locate suppliers for the product you want to sell.  You will need to register with your username, and inform them which product you’re interested in.  They will match you up with several suppliers.  You will get a lot of product supply information and possibly a price list.
  • Contact the List of Suppliers:  Look for a supplier that you feel best fits your needs and start a business relationship.  The best suppliers will already have a lot of business.  When you provide them with your company’s information, sell yourself in a way that makes them want a business relationship with you.
  • Research Suppliers:  Take the time to thoroughly check the supplier and be sure they can meet your specific needs.  You’ll also want to verify that they are a legitimate business.  Ask questions to find out how long they’ve been in business, the trade shows they attend, how long they’ve attended them, and the other companies they manufacture for.  Confirm all the details you possibly can.
  • Begin Negotiations:  When you’ve selected the supplier you want to use, begin negotiating the price and the relationship of the trade business.  You’ll want to become familiar with the Chinese methods of doing business.  During the negotiation process, request product samples.  Examine the sample and the packaging it comes in.  Review all the instructions that come with the samples.  Sometimes there is a fee for the sample, but you definitely want to inspect the product before contract agreements are finalized.
  • Determine Shipping and Terms of Payment:  Once the product meets your satisfaction, you need to discuss shipping and terms of payment.  Obtain all necessary information, and place a trial order.  Be sure to include all details when placing a purchase order.  You don’t want to leave any room for errors or misunderstandings.
  • Learn Trade Terms:  You’ll want to become familiar with various trade terms are and use them appropriately.  A few common ones are:
    • FOB – Free On Board or Freight On Board
    • CIF – Cost, Insurance, and Freight
    • Landing Cost Calculation – This is the total cost of a shipment that has landed.  It includes the purchase price, freight costs, insurance, and any cost the port of destination charges.  This may also include customs duties and/or other taxes placed on the shipment.
  • The terms of Payment must be agreed upon and understood between you, the importer, the supplier, and the exporter.  You may wish to complete a risk assessment.  This helps you clearly look at all levels of risk involved.  For assistance with the assessment, you can consult an import management company and a freight forwarder. Import management companies can also assist you in the negotiation of trade terms with your supplier.

  • Determine and Understand the Terms of Payment:  When you are making a purchase for import, it’s not uncommon to be requested to pay 30% up front and the remaining 70% when the product is shipped.  This provides your supplier the money that he needs to cover the cost of producing your product.  It is important that you understand the terms of payment when negotiating them.
    1. Legally speaking, you are the Importer.  You bear the responsibility of making sure the goods you receive meet the regulatory requirements for the country of destination.  Anything product which does not meet the requirements can be stopped at the border.  They can possibly result in law suits against you or your company.  Requirements vary from country to country, so make sure you know what the requirements of the nation of destination.  Make sure they are being met by the supplier.  In the United States, these regulators include US Customs and Border Protection, FDA, DOT, ATF, and USDA.  Each agency has a website to inform you of what you need to know and where to register.  They also have forms you can download.  

      Compliance regulations can be complicated for some products, like textiles.  Consulting a good customs house broker before you place any orders is a good idea.

    2. A forwarder organizes the shipment.  Sometimes, they act as a carrier.
    3. A Customs house broker is a person whose profession clears goods through the many Customs barriers.  The brokers prepare documents or electronic submissions.  They handle calculations of the taxes, duties and excises for you.  They can also assist in communications with importer, exporter, and governmental authorities.

      Listings for both services can be found at a local international trade organization or association in your area or at the customs office.  First-time importers should probably look for a service that is more individualized.    If you think you can save money by not using these services, you’re probably wrong.  You will need more assistance with the process than you think.  Once you learn the process, you can use an online service, such as AsiaCalculator.

  • Place a Trial Order:  Once you’ve completed the above steps, you’re ready to place a trial order.   In the purchase order, be sure to type out the description of the product in detail.  Include product requirements, packaging requirements, trade terms, required shipping documents, and any other necessary information to ensure the supplier completely understands and meets your needs.
  • Find an Inspection Company:  You’ll need to have someone check the product on site in the factory for you if you’re not able to be there.  They will provide you with a detailed report of their findings.  Provide them with clear details of what to check.  If vital components are assembled early in the manufacturing of your product, have the inspections begin early in the process.  This will avoid quality control issues.  Inspection companies will help you to avoid receiving defective goods, or receiving products that don’t conform to your standards.

    Even though your forwarder and customs broker will take care of the transport and clearance of customs, it is necessary for you to track them yourself.  You will need to provide your forwarder and customs broker any additional product information and the endorsed bill of landing.  A power of attorney will need to be issued to your broker.  You’ll also have to purchase bonds for your imported shipment.  

  • Receive Your Product:  When the process is complete, you will receive your product.  You’ll need to be sure to post and file your records.

    Now you’re ready to begin the process and import from China. Knowing the process will help you avoid intimidation and be ready to join the world of international trade.


Importing from China: Organizing Logistics and Storage

LogisticsIn the shipping process, for terms like Delivered Duty Paid or Cost, insurance and freight, there’s nothing you need to do but wait on their arrival.  For some shipping where you use terms like “Freight on Board,” an effort has to be made to keep things organized. Remember, even if you’re lucky enough to take on DDP or CIF at this time, it is not a guarantee.

Like any new task, organizing logistics can be complicated in the beginning.  If you do them well, however, you can save money, so they are worth the extra amount of work.

You must make sure that teach partaker in the process is one upon whom you can rely.   Remember that costs tend to add up as each phase takes place, so it is up to you to make sure that each phase is as easy on the budget as possible.  Do some research to determine the most excellent freight company, shipping and storage alternatives.  In the beginning, it may take you a little time, and appear difficult.  Once you learn the process, augmenting profits will be a breeze.  Here’s how whole process for the importer process goes:

  • Manufacture/Wholesaler/SupplierManufacturers receive payment for the cost of their goods and its packaging.  All documentation required for exporting is prepared by the manufacturer.  Shipping terms like Delivered Duty Paid (DDP) and Cost, Insurance & Freight (CIF) are preferred to Freight on Board (FOB).  The supplier undertakes the inbound risks and have the delivered products paid off.  Whichever shipping term you have, always verify insurance terms.  You need to insure the container for 110% of the FOB cost.
  • Road Haulage CompanyThe collecting from suppliers and delivering these to the docks/airport, is the responsibility of the road haulage company.
  • Sea Freight CompanyYou, or the supplier if CIF, DDU or DDP, will have to negotiate with the sea freight company to determine a rate for the process of having your goods transported.  If less than a container load is necessary, then you only have to contact a freight forwarder. The Sea Freight Company is responsible for verifying the goods, documentation, and loading them into the vessels. Usually, costs range between $1500 and $4500 depending on the volume of the shipment.   Freight associated charges are computed per kilo on the volume weight of your goods and small lightweight consignments are issued with the least charges.  Professional freight agents will advise you of these charges when the quote for shipping of your products is given.
  • Discharging of GoodsWhen you merchandise arrives, it is unloaded.  If your documentation is organized, the merchandise is usually quickly cleared as soon as you verify payment of the necessary duty and tariffs. If you have not established credit facilities with your selected shipping line and Customs ahead of time, you are responsible for paying everything before the goods are discharged.  If there is a delay, you must pay for additional storage fees.

    If you pay the shipping charges by check, it will take working days to clear.  While it is clearing, fees for storing the merchandise are added at approximately $0.14 per kilo per day. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but a delivery of 1000 kilos of merchandise that has to be stocked for four days can have additional storage fees of up to $560.00 of store charges, but the rates vary.

  • Payment Methods: You can choose from the following methods of payment:
    • Cash
    • Deferred payment— Importers with deferred accounts can avail of this payment.
    • Broker deferred — Agents with broker deferred accounts can avail of this payment.
  • Transportation to Warehouse and Warehouse Storage Once the merchandise reaches the docks or the airport, you must have the merchandise picked up and delivered by a freight company to a warehouse.

    For warehouse storage, yet another stage of the import process, you will need a few more hundred dollars, because you will have charges for:

    • Receiving the product
    • Cost of labor
    • Long-term storage costs
    • Broker and/or freight forwarder fees

    Bargaining about the cost of this step in the storage process is usually possible.  If you look and compare, you can probably save money.   You can’t just have your merchandise stored in a warehouse without considering its location.  There are a lot of areas in the USA that offer less expensive warehousing than others.
    You can obtain a breakdown of the sea freight costs, importing procedures, etc., by visiting  http://www.skymartworldwide.com/t_help_simpleguideimporting.htm.

  • Customs Duties and Taxes Duties and taxes of goods you import will vary from one country to another.  While importing from China, Hong Kong, India and others, you are likely have to pay import duties.  Of course, there are exceptions.  If the goods are items you can’t avail in your own country, usually the tariffs and duties are minimal.  For other goods which are subjected to FDA jurisdiction, you will need to have special licenses.  The process involved is complicated.

    To determine the charges, visit your country’s customs website for information.  Information such as phone and other contact information can be found at these sites: 

    Once you’ve been through the process a few times successfully, you probably can handle the process of importing on your own.  First-time importers, however, should obtain a broker to help with the process.  Classification is necessary, and if your products are not classified properly, you may end up paying inaccurate duties and tariffs.  Through the help of a broker, you can avoid paying the inaccurate charges. Your documentation must also be accurate.  A broker can help with that as well.  If it is inaccurate, it can cause delays and higher charges.  When this happens, you aren’t able to transport the products while obtaining correct documentation.  Items will need to be stored longer than the original agreement, so you are then responsible for paying demurrage.


Avoiding Fraudulent Wholesalers

Avoiding Fraudulent WholesalersSometimes intelligent businessmen who have worked hard and earned their own money lose it to deceptive, fraudulent wholesalers.  It leaves them feeling frustrated, cheated, and betrayed.  Like it or not, there are a lot of merciless people who present themselves as up-right businessmen.  You need to know what to look for, so you won’t fall prey to them.

Here are six signs to help you determine whether or not you’re dealing with a fraudulent wholesaler:

  1. Talk to the wholesaler on the phone.  If the wholesaler sounds unprofessional or doesn’t carry on business-like conversations they may not be what they claim.  Also, look for only simple answers like “Hello” without mentioning the business name or other simple answers like “Yes/No.”  These are indicators that you may be dealing with a fraud.
  2. During the initial contacts, request to see a business license or sales tax ID. Legitimate wholesalers will usually supply these. US sellers desiring to buy from US wholesalers need a tax ID.  If you’re living outside of the US, you no longer need one.
  3. Request product samples.  Sometimes, wholesalers may be suspicious. Usually, however, wholesalers don’t see anything wrong with offering a product sample.  Of course, it is at your expense, and the price is higher.  If your prospective wholesaler doesn’t offer one, be sure to ask for the reasons why.
  4. Be careful about unsecured payment methods.  At first, wholesalers say they only adhere to secured forms of payments like credit cards, Paypal and others.  At a later period, however, they may declare that only wire transfers or western union are accepted.  Not all wholesalers resorting to unsecured payment methods will be deceitful, however, many deceptive people operate in this manner.
  5. Look on the website for their physical addresses and contact details.  If their website doesn’t one, you should be cautious.  Request their contact details.  Ask if you can come in and check on their offices.  If they are a legitimate business, this shouldn’t be a problem. 
  6. Ask for photographic evidence of the supplier’s stock.  Some wholesalers will say that they don’t have stocks in hand, but continue to ask for upfront payments.  This could indicate a problem.

When looking for a wholesaler, it is wise to always keep these rules in mind. Be extra careful when you’re applying with a new wholesaler.  Research them thoroughly, and you should be able to tell if they are fraudulent, and avoid suffering for it later.


Business Plans And Home Import/Export Businesses

Business Plans And Home Import/Export BusinessesPlanning is important for any project you undertake.  The home import/export business is a big project, so it is even more important to have a plan.  The plan doesn’t have to be complicated.  All a business plan is really is just a basic roadmap to follow.  After all, if you don’t know where you’re going, it’s hard to tell where you’ll end up.  Often times, beginning entrepreneurs fail to realize the importance of a business plan until it’s too late.  When they do realize it, they’ve miscalculated funds, time, and effort they should have allowed for start-up.  This causes them to struggle, and sometimes even fail.

You may think putting together a business plan is difficult, time consuming and/or expensive.  It doesn’t have to be.  Any cost and time it may take is worth it, because a plan can prevent a multitude of start-up disasters.  There are several reasons to complete a business plan for your import/export business.

  • To apply for a loan or obtain financing— Unless you have your own funding, the initial product purchase from Chinese sellers can be costly.
  • Build a roadmap for the direction for the business to follow— Show where you’re starting, where you want your business to be, and how you plan to get there.
  • Define a new start-up— Show what your business is, what you plan to buy from your Chinese sellers, and how you plan to sell it.
  • Have a written agreement for partners to refer to— If you have partners in your business, this will help in case conflict arises.
  • Establish a value on a business you want to sell— This will be necessary for legal purposes should you want to sell.
  • Evaluation of a new product line new marketing promotion— If your product is an original one, this will help to show that the product is yours.  It will show the timeline of the products creation, and help to establish your legal rights should it be necessary.

If you need investors, financing, or want other business people to listen to you, a business plan is important.  A plan is basically a step-by-step guideline for you to use as you grow your business.  A plan shows:

  • Start-up Costs
  • What you operating costs
  • Costs of tasks you need to accomplish in order to reach your income goals

It helps you establish a budget for your business.  This will help you be less likely to overspend and run out of money.  One of the greatest reasons businesses fail is due to lack of funds.  This is something you don’t want to happen to your business.  While it is not required, and some companies do not start with a plan, traditionally, companies with plans do better and reach successful levels faster. Plans can help beginning businesses save money and avoid common disasters that many businesses encounter.
Many banks won’t even talk to you without a business plan, so it is an important step if funding is required.  If you’re not willing to take the time or make the effort to prepare a business plan, why should bankers take time to listen to you? 

When you write a business plan, focus on convincing investors and partners that your business idea is a profitable one. If you have enough data and research, a lender will feel comfortable putting his or her money into your business.  Just stick to the point, and keep it as brief as possible.  Don’t, however, leave out important details.  There are seven parts to a business plan

  • Executive Summary—This is a summary of the plan for your business.
  • Company Summary—This section is the description and history of the business.
  • Products and/or Services—In this section, you give a description of your company’s products/services and how they are unique in the marketplace.
  • Market Analysis—Here is where you show your market data research and your market growth forecast.
  • Implementation and Strategy—This area shows your plan of action, how products will be sold, and a timeline for task completion.
  • Management Summary—Here you list your staff and give key information about them.
  • Financial Plan includes information on sales, cash flow and company profits
    While writing a plan is relatively easy, beginners often need help guiding them through the process.  Here are a few ways you can get help with your plan:
  • Hire Professional Services—There are professionals who have experience as business plan writers.  You can hire them to handle the writing task for you. You still need to provide the writer with the information you want in the plan. 
  • Buy a Book—There are books you can purchase that will help you learn how to write a business plan from scratch.  If you’re looking for a step-by-step guide in language you can understand, you may want to go to Amazon and purchase “Hurdle:  The Book on Business Planning,” by Timothy Berry. 
  • Use Business Planning Software—If you’re looking for a quality business plan, you can also use templates or software.  They can give you a professional outline to follow which provide basic plan structure so that you don’t have to start from scratch.

All-in-all, a good thing to remember when considering whether or not to write a plan is: “If you don’t have a plan, you may be planning to fail.”


Buying Wholesale

Buying WholesaleAs your business expands, you will need to make sure you have a consistent re-stock system.  Sometimes, this may require two suppliers.  When purchasing large quantities, you need a whole supplier.  The two types of suppliers are:

  • Bulk Lots:  This means purchasing large quantities at regular intervals from the supplier. The goods are sent to you so you can store, package and post for selling.
  • Drop Shipping:  This means that you pay for goods which you’ve seen or touched.  Then, the goods are packaged and posted straight to the customer for you.

There are directories you can go to find wholesalers.  Legitimate wholesalers, however, do not go out of their way to find business from low-volume sellers such as eBay sellers.  They may not even have their websites optimized for generic keywords like "wholesale supplier."  Be careful, and make sure you do the research when selecting a supplier.  Sometimes, sites that may come up in a Google search for “wholesale suppliers” may not be legitimate wholesalers.  If you find a good, legitimate wholesaler, you can get very good deals.

When you contact a wholesaler, there are a few other things you need consider.

  • If it is a bulk order, make sure you have a good storage for your stock.  If you don’t, is using drop shipping possible?
  • Think about the quantities you need to purchase to insure that you have the proper supply to meet your demands. 
  • Smaller wholesalers will probably do business with you easily, because they need you as well.  If you use one, however, as your business grows you might have a difficult time to keeping up with peak sales seasons.
  • What will the duration of product re-stocking be?
  • Know the weight or volume of your items. If you’re business involves large items, or you require large volumes, it might be hard to handle things without a drop shipper.
  • Test the quality of the product yourself, by purchasing a few items.

If you’re a new customer, wholesalers may be hesitant to open an account with you.  There are a few questions that are easy to answer if your business has been around for some time already.  Try to confidently answer the following questions:

  • Are you selling other products, and if so, what are you selling?
  • Who are your customers?
  • What are your expected monthly sales?
  • How long have you been in this business?

Answer these questions as confidently and honestly as possible.  You don’t want to over-estimate and end up with an abundance of stock you can’t use, but you don’t want to be under-stocked either.  You should research carefully to answer the questions, and thoroughly check out your wholesaler.  This way, you can increase a good, reliable business relationship with your wholesaler.


Finding the Right Supplier

Is buying directly from a manufacturer instead of brand wholesaler a good choice?

What are the disadvantages and potential pitfalls of buying from a distributor?

Suppliers for products in each industry will have many different ways of delivering the product to the consumer. You must fully understand each supplier’s distribution channels before you can find suppliers. When you visit the SaleHoo directory, you will see that the suppliers are separated into four sections – Drop Shippers, Wholesalers, Liquidators, and Manufacturers – to make sure that you can find the source of supplier that you need.

Drop Shippers


Starting an Import Export Business

If you’re looking to get started in the import export business then congratulations and welcome to the game! We are delighted to be a part of your journey and looking forward to seeing you at one of our live events in the future.

Okay so let’s get started.

There are a few steps involved if you’re starting an import from china business, the first is finding a suitable product to import, finding Chinese manufacturers,negotiating the best price from the factories, conducting sample testing procedures and much more!


China-Based Company Strength

China-Based Company StrengthInternational business opportunity is alive and well in many Chinese businesses from manufacturing process technology to supplier consolidation.  It is also true from logistics to customer service.  China has built strong teams due to the influence of the Western world and the increase of China-based companies.  They have often used a multinational-trained staff.  They even hire non-Chinese with international experience into senior positions.  Hiring non-Chinese employees improves their foreign relations and eases negotiations when working with foreign-owned businesses.

In both formal and informal situations, Chinese companies enjoy strong support for their activities.  This has made them more competitive in bid situations for manufacturing of products, and given them an edge in key state owned industries.

In the past few years, the business environment has now become tougher for all businesses.  In many ways, Chinese companies are better able to manage the transition from lower margins and leaner operations than other countries.  They have a much lower overhead to begin with.  The business world has learned not to be surprised by Chinese companies.  They are good at changing the direction they take, and making rapid changes in their organizations.   The changes the Chinese make are successful, even though they may not be as well researched, or may be less sophisticated than those of Western businesses.  The Chinese work at a ridiculously rapid rate due to the whims of the Chinese consumer and the B2B market changes.   Sometimes, all that’s needed to gain market shares, is to put together a strategy that is well conceived.   Western businesses require strategic plans, but most mid-sized companies in China do not have one.  They do not have budgets or sales and marketing plans either.  Their way of conducting business, while being an easier method of conducting business for them,  often makes understanding their approach challenging for Westerners who they do business with.

There used to be a competitive, straightforward advantage for foreign businesses.   All they had to do was persuade people that the quality advantage was worth paying for, but that is now a thing of the past.  More and more businesses are operating from China, and Chinese companies now have a huge market share grab.   Now the Chinese companies are producing more and more quality merchandise at lower prices than foreign companies.  It is often impossible for other companies to compete.  Import/export to China has become a more and more accepted practice by foreign business.  At one time, China’s pharmaceutical companies worked on trials and kept results for other countries.  Today, because of the improvements in Chinese business, they usually are working on drug discovery and the improvement of manufacturing practices.

Understand the strategies of your Chinese competitors may be very difficult at times.  You may also find it difficult to do business with someone on the other side of the world.  Current challenges for all businesses, however, have led them to China-based companies as a method of survival.


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