7 Steps On How To Import From China
Posted: Nov 10, 2014
You have a retail store and you are interested in adding to your inventory. With the low labor costs and massive number of items available in China, importing goods from there sounds like a profitable decision. Once you go through all the channels and learn exactly what you need to do it will be easy to import from China. Here are seven steps that will help you with your first purchase.
- Decide on the item or items you would like to import. Don’t base your decision solely on price because it could backfire on you. Select something that you personally like. Smaller and lighter things should get higher preference because you will have to add shipping charges to your bottom line.
- Find the companies from China that export their products to the United States. Do an online search and you will find several directories that list exporters and suppliers from China that you can contact.
- Make sure that the companies you contact are professional and reputable. Check out their website if they have one. Ask for proof of their business license. See if they will send you a sample of the product so you can see the quality of the item before you purchase it.
- Be aware of how to negotiate with a Chinese exporter. Doing business with another country is usually on their terms and much different than in the US. Make sure that you contact the correct person because overlooking the correct pecking order could create problems for you. Carefully read through the contract before you sign it.
- Once you have all of your paperwork signed and the deal is sealed you are ready to
order your first item. See what the minimum order is and then you will have to investigate the shipping charges. There are three basic ways to import your items from China:
- Express Mail Service, or EMS, ships worldwide using the USPS (United States Post Office). You can use this system when dealing with several other countries as well.
- DHL is another international shipping company and is often used by Chinese exporters and suppliers who deal with the United States.
- Free on Board, also known as FOB, works in conjunction with freight shipping. The seller is the one who pays the price to send the items to the port of loading. The buyer is responsible for all of the costs once the items leave the port. Make sure to find the closest port to your location.
- Get in touch with the person at your port of entry who deals with Customs so you know what is required and how much the duty rates are. For more information you can go directly to the Customs and Border Protection website: http://cbp.gov/xp/cgov/toolbox/contacts/ports/.
- If your items are small enough for you to transport go to the port of entry to pick them up. If you need to contact a company who deals in large shipments.
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