China Source Guide: How to Import from China in 8 Steps

China Source Guide

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Although many will say that import from China is “easier than ever”. In fact, doing each step correctly is still a complex job. The following instructions break this down into 8 easy-to-follow steps.

Choose a product that meets your requirements

The first step in a successful Import from China is choosing the right product. It’s a lot harder than simply picking the cheapest item or the item with the highest price tag. Some guidelines to follow when choosing a product include:

  • Choose a product you like. Enthusiasm motivates you, which is contagious, and when others see your enthusiasm, it’s easier to like your product.
  • Consider shipping costs. Products that can be shipped in bulk can be significantly cheaper than those that cannot. Carefully consider the size of your product and how much you can carry in one shipment.
  • Consider the uniqueness of the item. If you produce a product that is not that unique, you run the risk that someone else has already started mass-producing it.

Make a list of Chinese exporters, or suppliers

Make a list of Chinese exporters, or suppliers, who can supply you with products. You can find suppliers through online outsourcing directories or professional purchasing companies. Here are some good resources:

  • Made-in-China is China’s supplier guide, providing buyers with product catalogs, complete company information, contact details, corporate culture information.
  • Chinese Yellow Pages. The China Yellow Pages are outsourcing guidelines, including product listings and manufacturers’ websites and contact information. The URL of the China Yellow Pages is:
  •’s outsourcing guide includes thousands of Chinese products and provides buyers with complete contact information for each supplier. The site also provides buying and selling guidelines, trade fair information, and trade resources for buyers and sellers. The website is:
  • UNION SOURCE CO.,LTD is a professional sourcing company and provides various services to buyers, including assisting in identifying suitable suppliers, assisting in negotiating with suppliers, and quality monitoring before manufacturing and shipping. The website of UNION SOURCE CO.,LTD is: Email: [email protected] Wechat/whatsapp:+0086 18367916725

Import from China

Contact each supplier on your list

Once you have a list of exporters, you can start to narrow down the scope by consulting to find a supplier that is right for you. Some of the things you want every exporter to offer you include:

  • Information on operating licenses. You want to be sure that any companies you do business with are legally licensed and follow all applicable trade regulations to avoid future legal issues affecting your business.
  • Information about the factory’s experience in producing your product. When choosing a supplier, the cost is not the only consideration, quality is equally important, and the experience of the manufacturer is a good indicator of the quality of the work.
  • Samples of products. Unless you’re making your own new product, the supplier should be able to provide you with samples of the product to better understand its quality and know in advance why you’re paying.

Negotiate the deal with your favorite supplier

Remember that business contacts with Chinese exporters are influenced by Chinese culture and customs and require different negotiating skills and tactics.

Contact a distributor in your local market

Contacting a reseller for a product can be a laborious and time-consuming process, but you can increase your chances of success and save time by taking a few simple steps.

  • Call each potential dealer and introduce yourself and your company to decision-makers. Ask them if they would like to receive relevant information by email and confirm their email address.
  • Send a short email with a professionally designed attachment introducing your company and products.
  • Make a phone call a few days after the email and arrange a meeting. During the meeting, market your product and sign up so you can place an order.

Start ordering

Each company will have a minimum order amount and basic shipping terms. Common types of shipping terms exported by Chinese exporters include:

  • EXW, (ex-work) Ex-works. It means that the seller has the responsibility to deliver the prepared goods to the buyer at its location, i.e. workshop, factory, warehouse, etc., but usually is not responsible for loading the goods on the vehicle prepared by the buyer or clearing the goods. Buyer assumes all costs and risks of shipping the goods from Seller’s location to the intended destination.
  • FOB (Free on Board) delivery on board (designated port of shipment), means that the seller loads the goods on the ship designated by the buyer at the designated port of shipment or delivers the goods by obtaining the goods that have been delivered to the ship.
  • CIF (Cost Insurance and Freight) cost, insurance, and freight (designated port of destination), which means that the seller completes the delivery when the goods pass the ship’s rail at the port of shipment. CIF price = FOB price + I insurance premium + F freight, commonly known as “CIF price”.
  • DDP (Delivered Duty Paid) means that the seller completes the import customs clearance procedures at the designated destination, and delivers the goods that have not been unloaded on the delivery vehicle to the buyer to complete the delivery. The seller must bear all risks and costs of transporting the goods to the named destination, including any “taxes” payable at the destination when customs formalities are required (including the responsibility and risk of customs formalities, and payment of handling charges, duties, taxes and other charges)

Obtain the goods and pay the tax

Obtain the goods and pay the tax through the customs and border protection of the importing country.
For more convenience, contact a closer port of import. Request to speak with an expert in the category of product you are importing. Experts will tell you specific product requirements, estimated tax rates, answer your questions about import declarations, as well as assist you in preparing the required customs declaration documentation.

Arrange receipt and shipping

Contact a commercial logistics company to arrange for your shipment to be dropped off at the port of entry and shipped to your warehouse or a local distributor. Logistics companies can be contacted through local yellow pages or well-known online phone directories.

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