Importing from China

MJG

Active Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2015
Messages
77
Hi.

I have a range of products that I want to import from China.
I need to get quotes and get in touch with the factories that produce the products.
I don't trust Alibaba at all.
I am looking for advice on how to go about this or otherwise who can source these products and prices for me.
I understand that I will probably have to go to China in person and am willing to do this but wouldn't know where to start re sourcing the products and getting accurate quotes.
Any help would be greatly appreciated
 

itareanlnotani

Expert Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Messages
4,094
Honestly alibaba will be your first port of call.

What are you looking for?

Don't forget, QC, QC, QC.
 

saor

Honorary Master
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Feb 3, 2012
Messages
28,053
I don't trust Alibaba at all.
Employ a Chinese speaking person to contact various companies and get quotes for you? Some factories have people that speak limited English but generally you're not going to get far without someone who's fluent enough to engage them properly, especially if you want to negotiate and have a discussion.
 

MJG

Active Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2015
Messages
77
Honestly alibaba will be your first port of call.

What are you looking for?

Don't forget, QC, QC, QC.

Take away food packaging, straws, cups etc.
I did get quotes from Alibaba but have been warned off using the site.
 

MJG

Active Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2015
Messages
77
It seems easy but have been told that most of the people there are just agents and not the actual factories.
Just worried that I wouldnt be getting what I want. It is a whole container that I am looking at so no room for error.
I thought that using some sort of agent would be a good option?
 

The_Traveller

Expert Member
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Aug 9, 2008
Messages
3,378
nothing wrong with Alibaba if you know your shyte.

I've got an agent there, if you want his info, PM me.
 

Frequent visitor

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Apr 5, 2018
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It seems easy but have been told that most of the people there are just agents and not the actual factories.
Just worried that I wouldnt be getting what I want. It is a whole container that I am looking at so no room for error.
I thought that using some sort of agent would be a good option?

Yes, you are quite right in thinking of using an agent. You may well need several to meet your various needs. As this is a large commercial importation you will need an agent to prepare import documents - and that is just at the end of the transaction!

The traditional way of making sure that your goods were sent before you paid was to use the services of such as a bank, and one of the many procedures that exist to meet the needs of commerce, such as 'cash against documents'. I have seen cases reported where these arrangements have fallen down, but do not think that will be the norm. I think in your position I would look for a reliable Shipping and Forwarding company, and take advice from them.

However before that you will need to identify a supplier. One possibility is to use the services of a procurement agency. Many of these were set up in colonial times (the UK Crown Agents was one such - but that is not a recommendation) to seek out suppliers for colonial governments. Many claim expertise, but of course expertise costs money, and you need to be aware that as ever there are sharks in the game. You could do with a trusted friend in the business who can sort the wheat from the chaff.

In the field of your interest there are many possible considerations and risks. For example there seems to be a present shift away from plastic items. If you were supplying McDonalds and importing plastic items you could be left with unsaleable stock. Then hygiene in manufacture needs to be looked at. You might want to avoid sweat shop operations to avoid possible negative publicity.

I am not sure why you settled on China as a source, although I suspect that it might be a perception that China is a low cost economy. That is less true today than it was. It could be prudent to expand your search to other countries. The effort you put in will to some extent be governed by the extent of possible future importations.

Some suppliers will transact on a delivered basis, and stand any import costs as part of the deal. Most, I expect, will not.

Make sure of the licensing requirements before you commit yourself. I would think the DTI might help there. You will need to work out the effect of duties and taxes to be paid. You are entering into a field where you will find many hands out looking for a cut!

If you are registered for VAT the import VAT will be deductible, but then you will have to add on the VAT when you sell on at the current rate on your selling price.

Good luck!
 

MJG

Active Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2015
Messages
77
.

In the field of your interest there are many possible considerations and risks. For example there seems to be a present shift away from plastic items. If you were supplying McDonalds and importing plastic items you could be left with unsaleable stock.

It's alternatives to plastics that I am looking at.
 

itareanlnotani

Expert Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2008
Messages
4,094
I have a friend who does compostable plates, cups, and packaging can pass on your info if needed.
 

touch_stone

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2007
Messages
425
Hi.

I have a range of products that I want to import from China.
I need to get quotes and get in touch with the factories that produce the products.
I don't trust Alibaba at all.
I am looking for advice on how to go about this or otherwise who can source these products and prices for me.
I understand that I will probably have to go to China in person and am willing to do this but wouldn't know where to start re sourcing the products and getting accurate quotes.
Any help would be greatly appreciated

Budget around 20K and and book yourself a 7 day trip to the Canton Fair - usually around May & October each year.

This is where they all congregate like one gigantic supermarket to show off their stuff.

It's overwhelming so the expo is broken down into different industries over about month long period. Research to make sure your trip coincides with your particular product niche.

You can PM me for more details
 
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