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Importing From China and Dealing with Fakes

Importing from China opens up excellent opportunities for companies to realize profits from offering a variety of products at very attractive prices. You can source out products at a low per-unit cost and sell them for a considerable profit at home.

What to Import?

The first step is to determine what to import from China.

Evaluate your home market to find out what products are in high demand, or what products can be in demand, as well as what kind of customers will want to buy them. The first rule of business, after all, is to know your market.

Avoid becoming a “me too” business. Importing products for which there are already too many sellers can drive your profits down.
 
Learn how to spot trends. There are no clear-cut guidelines, but to succeed in this business you will need to combine your business experience, observation skills, and sense of timing to be able to tell a winner and get in the act before the rest of the crowd catch on. Fortunately, the Internet abounds with tools that you can use to forecast trends. Regularly combing the forums on eBay, Amazon, and other online retailers can give you clues and insights. Google and Yahoo are also a good source of ideas.

The China Connection


The next step in importing from China is to find the right manufacturer. One of the best ways to do this is to attend trade fairs, where Chinese manufacturers and worldwide buyers gather together. Throughout the year, several trade shows are scheduled in Hong Kong and mainland China.

Trade show schedules for the entire year can be found in the following site:

Biz Trade Shows

These events are excellent places to get a feel for what’s hot in the markets, and allow you to meet and establish contact with prospective business partners.

Contact and Follow-Through

Send an inquiry with detailed product specifications, the quantities desired, and a request for samples to your pool of prospective suppliers. Make sure you clarify price, shipping, and payment terms.

After receiving the responses and samples, select your supplier. You should also find a suitable customs broker and freight forwarder. Your local trade association and customs office should be able to help you with this. You also need to find out import compliance regulations imposed by the relevant government agencies. Visit their websites to obtain this information.

Placing the Order

Prepare a written purchase order and place a trial order with your selected China supplier. Make sure you include a detailed description of the products, transaction terms, and a list of all the necessary transaction and shipping documents.

The Final Stages: Receiving Your China Imports


Issue a Power of Attorney to your customs broker, allowing him to act on your behalf when your China imports arrive. Your broker and freight forwarded should take care of customs clearance and delivery, but you may be called to provide additional information.

Assuring Quality and Dealing with Fakes

Keep in mind that your success depends on maintaining the quality of your products. This includes dealing with fake merchandise, which cost little, but can negatively affect your business. Here are some pointers to assure the quality and authenticity of your China imports.

  1. Quality control starts with your selection of supplier. Be wary of supplier commitments. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  2. Never consider prices quoted at a trade fair as final. Things may change later, and they often do.
  3. Never make decisions before receiving the product samples.
  4. Find out as much as you can about your prospective supplier. The last thing you want to be is a victim of an incompetent factory. If your budget allows, inspect the factory yourself, or appoint a company that specializes in this.
  5. Get the services of an inspection agent to visit the factory days before the shipping date. A good agent can spot defects and insure high quality goods.

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