Archive for March, 2013

Importers Should Know How Business is Done in China

It is much better for an importer to make sure that he has the necessary organization in place before any order is placed. Shipments including their documents, product quality and punctual delivery must be controlled on regular basis and for that you need your own specialists.

It is also important to build up some relationship with your manufacturers because that is how business is done in China.

One of the more often asked question by our clients is usually how to import goods and products from China  more professionally. Funny thing though because although they are committed they lack the necessary insider knowledge to give it a head start.

Newcomers to the import business believe that it will be a relatively easy job to do. Just visit some factories in China and select products from their showrooms or use one or more of the China products search engines and choose products that are on offer there.

Theoretically it might even work but unfortunately in most cases importers will fail if they proceed that way.

Factories in China do not have self-service shelves for you to select from but make products to order instead.

Many importers also think that only the lowest possible buying price is desirable neglecting quality, manufacturer’s performance and life cycle of certain products.

They also neglect their responsibility toward their own customers because not the factory in China but the importer will be held responsible if something goes wrong with an imported product.

Avoid too many “Me Too” products but look for unique products and even better if they have not been released to the market yet. You will never find such products during visits at one of the many trade fairs in China or browsing the China products search engines. Every manufacturer hides his new products and visiting him in person at his factory gives you the inside what he has in the pipeline.

Most importantly, go and do your homework first and learn the trades before you make your first steps into China. Greenhorns w/o insider knowledge will either not be taken serious or even taken advantage of which can be easily avoided if you prepare yourself accordingly.

Do not try to import products that everybody else is already importing

We have been often asked by our customers what kind of products they should import from China. Our answer always is what you might not expect it to be: “Do not try to import products that everybody else is already importing.”

Why is that so? It is because you usually will not have the chance to make good money with them and that is probably the main reason for importing goods and products from China.

You have to do some homework first and find out which products your customers want you to import for them from China.

Do you see the point? Do not try to import products that you consider best for your customers because you may be in for a big surprise when nobody wants your products that are sitting in your warehouse after they have arrived.

It is much better to look for products that have been already presold even before they arrive at your port. These could be products that are brand-new and nobody has imported them so far.

They are the real winners but they usually give you only an advantage of a couple of months or so until your competitors have followed. Our advice is to get out then and use the same strategy for other new products.

You will ask: “How do I find such products?” Don’t expect them to be shown on one of the China products search engines or at one of the numerous trade fairs in China. Manufacturers do not want to display real new products there because all of their competitors would also see them as well. The same applies to your competitors when they visit fairs or search for products online.

It may not be so convenient for you but visiting manufacturers in China is the only way to find these important new products. They may not even be shown in their factory showrooms but during your visits the factory’s managers are proud to introduce their latest products to you. It is most likely that they are only in the design stage at that time but that is exactly what you should be looking for.

With photos, specifications and perhaps some handmade samples you can already talk to potential customers in your home country and will have their immediate feedback.

If the first proper samples from the manufacturer are acceptable, you can start ordering these products and make money with them.