Interested in Importing from China?

How to Import from China?

There are a number of ways to import from China:

  1. Use platforms like AliExpress and Alibaba to place orders and import goods
  2. Find and verify suppliers on your own
  3. Buy direct from trading companies
  4. Hire a sourcing agent or sourcing company


Different methods of importing provide a different result in terms of cost, quality and continuity. For example: Importing from China with the help of a sourcing specialist will allow you more flexibility than buying from Alibaba.


Generally, importers take the following steps*:

  1. Product development: Know your product, the materials required, the quality desired, etc.
  2. Creating a sample: In most cases, it is helpful to develop a sample to be able to show Chinese manufacturers for reference.
  3. Identify landed costs for your product. This includes doing your research on customs clearance, duties and tax, freight, warehousing, etc.
  4. RFQ’s: Request For Quotation. You’ll want to gather these from as many suppliers as possible for comparison.
  5. Request a Sample: You’ll want to request a sample for your chosen supplier.
  6. Production: If all looks good, place your order and start production.
  7. Logistics: Make arrangements for shipping your goods. Sourcing agents and companies usually help you make these arrangements. You’ll also need to ensure that your freight documents are in order (bill of lading, commercial invoice, packing list, etc.)
  8. Arrival: Make arrangements for your customs broker to clear your shipment through customs, and arrange pickup and warehousing if needed.

*Steps may vary.


How to get best results from importing from China?

The more you know, the better results your supply chain will yield. You’ll want to stay on top of the details:

  • Know your product – how much it costs, what materials you need, what it should look like, and how it should function.
  • Know your suppliers – are they qualified? Are they capable? Do they understand your product requirements?
  • Know your costs – This not only pertains to price per unit, but also landed costs including commissions or agent fees, shipping fees, taxes, and duties.


What are the advantages of importing from China?

Importing directly from China usually delivers savings in many ways. See our Buying Direct From China page. However, it will require an investment of time and resources. Some of the advantages of importing direct from China are:

  • Increased savings – on average importers save at least 10% by buying directly
  • More control over supply chain – pricing, quality, margins, etc.
  • Increased productivity


What factors will affect importing from China?

There are many factors that affect how you import from China. And they could make or break your supply chain. Those factors are:

  • Communication: This is the most important factor of any supply chain. Without constant, clear and effective communication, all aspects of your supply chain will suffer.
  • Quality: Quality assurance is essential to sustain a healthy supply chain. If you import direct from China, you are aware that one shipment of bad quality goods can often have major ramifications.
  • Pricing: The ability to negotiate optimal pricing is vital to maintaining a strong supply chain. This means not only securing the best price per unit, but also looking at the big picture and evaluating landed cost.
  • Logistics: Getting your product to your customers is just as important as securing the best price and quality for said product. Stay informed on all aspects of logistics to include costs, taxes and duties, and customs requirements.


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