China is a popular sourcing destination for many businesses because of the country’s low manufacturing costs. However, shipping products from China to the United States can be tricky due to the distance and different customs regulations.
In this blog post, some of the best practices to help you source and ship products from China to the US efficiently and cost-effectively are discussed. Read on for more tips!
Table of Contents:
|Why Should You Source Your Products From China?
The benefits of Ordering Products From China outweigh the benefits of sourcing any products from the US or any other country.
|What Are The Requirements For Sourcing And Shipping From China?
The proper requirements for sourcing and shipping from China include proper legal paperwork, paying taxes, and certifications for being able to sell on Amazon.
|Which Products Are Best For Sourcing From China?
Any products that are high-quality, not technological, and are not knock-offs of existing products can be sourced from China.
|How To Find A Supplier In China Best Suited For Your Business?
In order to find the best-suited supplier, you can exhaust a number of options, including hiring a middleman company, using your competitors’ suppliers, ordering samples first, asking for Amazon Product Photography, and aiming for lower prices when negotiating.
|Types Of Shipping Options Available In China:
There are three types; air freight, water freight, and express delivery.
|How To Ensure You Are Getting High-Quality Products?
You should check shipments regularly and make sure to keep your supplier on their toes.
Why Should You Source Your Products From China?
The number of manufacturers in China is astonishing. According to a source, there are more than 2 million small factories with an annual production capacity of more than $100K, and another report says it’s closer to 3 million!
This means you can get your items made there at low costs. Considering this, it’s no wonder that many business owners want to import from this country, especially if they plan on selling them through Amazon. Here is a list of advantages to Ordering Products from China:
- The profit margins of sourcing and shipping your products from China are much higher than simply Dropshipping Amazon products which means more money and fewer costs.
- Sourcing from China and importing to the US is an easy process even for people who do not have an American Nationality.
- You are able to develop actual, tangible products in factories.
- No need to deal with the hassles of traveling to and from China regularly.
- The overall costs to manufacture and ship from China to the US are lower as compared to sourcing from a US manufacturer.
What Are The Requirements For Sourcing And Shipping From China?
If you’re looking to get into the selling game, it’s important that your first move is bringing in some cash. What is the general rule of thumb? You’ll need to bring at least $500 with you. If not more than that. Ideally, an amount ranging from $2000 to $5000 will do wonders!
To sell the products you shipped from China on Amazon; it’s also necessary to have an account on Amazon Seller Central. The cost of this service is $39.99 per month. Also, make sure you have a handle on getting proper Amazon Account Management otherwise your business may be at risk of losing money.
As your business grows, you will have more responsibilities and less time, so a few other things you should consider getting are; an inspection company in China, a Freight Forwarder (i.e., a company that would receive and ship goods on your behalf), a third-party logistics/ 3PL company (i.e., a service company for distribution, storage, transport, and fulfillment), and customs broker (i.e., an expert for arranging customs clearance process during a shipment).
Paperwork And Taxes:
When shipping a small amount, it’s easy to import into America without any paperwork, and you won’t even pay any tax. Shipments more than $800 can, however, require some paperwork.
Even then, the paperwork is simple for larger value shipments. It doesn’t matter whether or not the recipient is an American citizen; they can still receive their shipment without any problems as long as there are no complications during customs processing.
The worst part about importing goods is finding out that you need certain certifications before they can legally enter your country according to certain restrictions set by Amazon. Thankfully in 2021, the Compliance Reference tool within Seller Central made this process even easier.
This tool can be accessed here if you already have a Seller Central account.
Which Products Are Best For Sourcing From China?
Importing from China is called private labeling, which means you take an existing product and put your own branding on it for better sales results. This could also mean making some light improvements like adding new colors or changing up the design slightly- but nothing too drastic!
At the time of choosing which products to sell, here are the three things to keep in mind:
- Make sure that either there is no competition for that product on Amazon, or the competition is very poorly optimized. This means low-quality, blurry images and negligible use of paid advertisements.
- Look for products that have the potential to sell profitably.
- Watch out for products that can be easily improved or have a high potential for improving at low costs.
You also need to be able to identify good products from the bad ones, especially if you cannot visit the country. The problem with Chinese factories is that they make both excellent and crappy products. The best way to avoid buying a bad quality item? Import simpler products!
Technological products are a big no-no for importing from China. Instead, try to focus on labor-intensive products that don’t have any patents or trademarks.
Lastly, remember that there are a lot of knock-offs in China. You’ll find all sorts of counterfeit products that violate trademarks and copyrights. Importing counterfeit products can be a very bad idea. The reality is that they might get seized at the border, Amazon might have your account suspended, or even worse things could happen like a court case!
How To Find A Supplier In China Best Suited For Your Business?
The country of China is one that has a lot to offer when it comes to safety. Their legal system and overall honesty make scams uncommon, though you should still protect yourself by buying from reputable sources as they may not steal your money but might send you low-quality products. The most commonly used big-name supplier finding platforms include the following:
- Canton Fair Trade show
Hiring A Middleman Company:
The sourcing and trading companies are a lot like the behind-the-scenes workers of your business. They find products for you, but these middlemen need some compensation in return; their services come at an expense. The key benefit of using them? You’ll get higher quality goods because there won’t be any lowball offers from suppliers looking only at minimum wage.
Use Competitors’ Suppliers:
Every company’s import records are public information by law unless they make a formal request to the government and pay an exhilarating fee. This means that if you want your competitors’ supplier or product info on file, all of these details can be found with just one search!
Be Wary Of Shipping Costs:
When selling on Amazon, keep the shipping costs in mind as well, especially if you are ordering your products directly from China. The Amazon Shipping Costs 650; therefore, you need to make sure that your supplier is extra careful with your products and shipments.
Types Of Suppliers:
There are two primary types of product suppliers in China; trading companies and factories.
Factories are where the products get manufactured. On the other hand, trading companies do not manufacture their own products but source them from various factories and then ship them to the US. Trading companies tend to have better quality controls and lower minimum order quantity/MOQ than factories, while the latter have lower prices.
When buying from a factory, you can expect to pay less money for the same product than if purchased through Trading Companies. However, it also has a few drawbacks, such as needing larger orders and a limited selection of products in their inventory; so it’s important that before making this decision on which type would work best with your needs, determine whether they’re primarily focusing on manufacturing or trading goods.
The prices will most likely also vary depending on who produced them because sometimes factories have lower rates while other times traders might be offering better deals – just something worth considering when choosing the right one for your business.
Order Samples First Before Agreeing To Anything:
Samples allow you to evaluate the quality of a product before making an entire purchase. You will most probably need to pay air shipping fees, but it’s all worth it for a chance to check out what overall quality of the product your supplier is offering!
Ask Your Supplier For Product Photos:
Make sure that your supplier can also provide high-quality Amazon Product Photography for your product. This will give your product the best chance of success on Amazon.
However, if you are not confident in the photos provided by your supplier, then consider employing an expert from a reputable Amazon Product Photography Service who can take pictures from all angles and produce clear, high-definition images which will show off all features of your product properly!
Aim For Low Prices And MOQs When Negotiating:
The foremost action you must take before trying to negotiate product pricing is to get multiple quotes from multiple suppliers. This will let you know the normal cost of your desired products, give you a better idea of where you stand, help ensure that your costs stay within reasonable limits, and avoid any surprises down the road!
When you see an exceptionally low-priced item, it’s important to be aware of the reasons why. A common reason for a discount is that quality has been compromised, having a higher amount of MOQs, or shipping terms are different from other items.
These days, the prices of goods in China are becoming increasingly rigid, making it more difficult to negotiate. Therefore, a 5-10% discount off the quote can make up for lost opportunities and give you that much-needed edge when selling your product or service abroad. On the other hand, you may be able to negotiate the supplier’s quoted MOQ down by 50% or more.
Types Of Shipping Options Available In China:
You can choose between three different shipping methods when ordering from China to the USA. These include air freight, shipping by sea, or express delivery services.
- Standard air freight can take anywhere from 8 to 10 days for most shipments.
- Standard shipping time for sea freight is between 20 and 30 days.
- Express delivery services take less than five days for most products coming into America with proper documentation and insurance coverage in place.
How To Ensure You Are Getting High-Quality Products?
Quality standards in China are much lower than those of other countries. This is one reason why Chinese manufactured products often have a bad reputation among international buyers. However, all this can be rectified easily.
Remember that inspection is the key to quality control. Be sure you or your agent inspects every shipment on a regular basis, so no defects slip unnoticed. Make sure the supplier is aware of any defects. You can’t be too careful when it comes to quality, so do everything in order for them not only to fix these problems but also to improve their service next time around!
As a business owner and entrepreneur, if you are on the lookout for a reliable and affordable supplier in China, it is crucial to do your research first. By following the tips we have outlined in this blog post, you can be sure to acquire a supplier that meets your needs and provides high-quality products. Additionally, by using Amazon Product Photography Service, you can take professional product photos that will help increase sales and better showcase your products to potential buyers.
Kamaljit Singh is the Founder and CEO of AMZ One Step and a former Amazon seller. Kamaljit has been featured in multiple Amazon podcasts, YouTube channels. He has been organizing meetups all around Canada and the US. Kamaljit has over 350,000 views on his Quora answers regarding FBA. Kamaljit also founded AMZ Meetup where he organizes conferences for Amazon sellers.