Considering importing from China to sell profitably in 2023? You need to follow a series of steps to ensure a successful venture! This guide will provide you with all the necessary information to begin importing from China. It covers everything from product selection and supplier negotiation to finding the optimal shipping method for your items.

What makes China the World’s Top Exporter?

China’s dominance in the global marketplace in the 21st century can be attributed to several key factors.

Low prices of Chinese goods, compared to the rest of the international market. China is able to lower its prices, particularly in the manufacturing sector, to almost production-cost levels, making its products highly competitive.
Cheaper raw materials: By ordering in high volumes, Chinese companies can source them from manufacturers at significantly low prices, enabling them to charge a lower rate for their exports.
Mass production of goods: allows for economies of scale and further lowers production costs. This enables many of their products to compete with similar items exported at a higher price elsewhere.
Close relationships with trading partners, with Japan and South Korea being its leading partners due to their geographic proximity. China also exports sizable amounts of goods to the United States and European countries such as Germany. The China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, which came into effect in 2015, provided benefits for both Australian importers and Chinese exporters.
Lower taxes and duties: rebates for exporting, and subsidized facilities and utilities. China has implemented a Value Added Tax (VAT) system, where a tax is only applied to the “value added” to a product, which is then refunded by the government to Chinese companies.

These factors contribute to significantly cost-effective exports, further enhancing China’s competitiveness in the global marketplace.

Why Import from China?

If you’re considering importing products from China, chances are it’s because you’re interested in selling either on Amazon or your website. Selling on Amazon can be achieved through three primary business models:

Retail arbitrage: purchasing items at a discounted price from retail stores and subsequently reselling them online.
Dropshipping: buying goods from distributors and wholesalers and selling online
Private labeling: which involves importing products from China and selling them online with some product improvements, is the most popular business model for Amazon sellers. When you come across a product on Amazon with numerous reviews but an unfamiliar brand name, it’s likely from a private label seller who has listed their imported product on Amazon. While some sellers still use retail arbitrage and dropshipping, these models have become less popular over time.

Why China is a Popular Choice among Amazon Sellers

There are numerous reasons.

  1. The profit margins are high and significantly higher than those of dropshipping, allowing for substantial income.
  2. It’s relatively easy to import products into the United States, and Europe Countries.
  3. Developing tangible products and selling them can be an exciting venture.
  4. Traveling to China to find products, although not necessary, can be a fun and adventurous experience~

What You Need to Get Started Importing from China

To begin importing from China, the most crucial requirement is funding to purchase inventory. It is recommended to have a minimum of $500 for inventory, with an ideal range of $2000 to $5000. You will also need an Amazon Seller Central account if you intend to sell on Amazon, which incurs a monthly fee of $39.99.

Nice to have as you grow:

  • A Customs Broker
  • A Third-Party Logistics Company (3PL)
  • A Freight Forwarder
  • Quality Inspection Company in China

Can I Import from China if I’m not American?

Fortunately, the process of importing products into the United States and selling them is very EASY for both Americans and non-Americans.

For shipments with a value of $800 or less, there is no need for formal paperwork, and no duties or taxes are levied. Even for larger shipments, the paperwork involved is simple, and non-Americans can easily navigate the process without requiring a U.S. business.

Moreover, you do not require any proficiency in the Chinese language. Most Chinese exporters have English language websites and sales catalogs, with at least a few staff members who possess reasonable English language skills.

How to Find Suppliers in China You Can Trust

China is a remarkably safe country with a robust legal system, and instances of scams are rare.

Your primary concern while importing from China will be to ensure that you receive high-quality products. While Chinese factories are unlikely to defraud you, there is a possibility of receiving substandard goods, that’s why you might need an quality inspection company in China.

How to Find Right Products to Sell on Amazon

When importing from China, the primary focus is on private labeling products. In essence, this involves taking an existing product, rebranding it with your own label, and potentially making minor product enhancements.

When searching for products to import, there are three key criteria I consider:

  • Little to no optimized competition on Amazon
  • Products that offer profitable sales potential.
  • Products that can be easily enhanced or improved.

Top Places to Source Chinese Suppliers

Once you’ve identified the product, you’ll need to find a reliable Chinese supplier. There are several ways to do this:

  1. Online directories: Websites like Alibaba/Aliexpress, Global Sources, 1688.com (the Chinese version of Alibaba), and Made-in-China connect buyers with suppliers. These platforms offer tools to filter and verify suppliers based on certifications, reviews, and transaction history.
  2. Trade shows: Attending trade fairs in China, such as the Canton Fair or the East China Fair, allows you to meet suppliers face-to-face and inspect their products in person.
  3. Sourcing agents: If you don’t have the time or resources to find suppliers yourself, consider hiring a sourcing agent to connect you with reputable manufacturers.

Negotiate Prices and Terms

Once you’ve found a potential supplier, negotiate pricing and terms. Your negotiation should cover the following aspects:

  • Product price: Consider the cost of raw materials, labor, transportation, and other factors that may affect the final price.
  • Payment terms: Agree on payment terms, including the payment method, deposit amount, and payment schedule.
  • Lead time: Determine the production and delivery timeline to ensure that you can meet customer demands.
  • Minimum order quantity (MOQ): Many suppliers have MOQ requirements, which you should negotiate to avoid overstocking.

Quality Control and Product Inspection

To ensure that the products you import meet your quality standards, implement a quality control process. This may involve hiring a third-party inspection company to visit the factory and inspect the goods before shipment. It’s essential to communicate your expectations and requirements to the supplier clearly.

China Global Freight is one of the leading China sourcing agents for high-growth companies based in Canada, US, UK, Europe, Australia, and beyond. We oversee and finalize productions from the beginning & check the quality before shipping.

Tell us about the product you would like manufactured. We will source the best quality product and reply with a detailed Quote.

Shipping and Logistics

When it comes to international shipping from China, you have several options:

  1. Freight forwarder: A China freight forwarder can handle the shipping process for you, including customs clearance and documentation.
  2. Express shipping: If you need your products quickly, consider using express shipping services like DHL, FedEx, or UPS.
  3. Sea freight: For large shipments, sea freight is often the most cost-effective option.
  4. Air freight: It’s the preferred choice for time-sensitive or high-value shipments.

Be sure to factor in shipping costs, lead times, and potential delays when planning your inventory.

Customs Clearance and Duties

When importing from China, you’ll need to comply with customs regulations in both China and your home country. This may involve obtaining permits, paying duties, and providing documentation. Familiarize yourself with the import requirements and tariffs for your product to avoid surprises and delays.

Marketing and Sales

Once you’ve imported your products, focus on marketing and sales on Amazon(or your own platform). Develop a marketing strategy that targets your audience, emphasizing the unique selling points of your product. Consider using online marketplaces, social media, and other digital marketing channels to reach potential customers.

Wow, we’ve come along way going through the mega guide, now you are well-prepared to import from China and sell profitably on Amazon in 2023. With the right strategy and mindset, you can tap into the vast opportunities provided by the Chinese market and build a thriving business.

Do you have any questions regarding sourcing or shipping from China? If so, feel free to Contact Us. Need an instant freight rate quote?