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Importing Gym & Fitness Products from China: A Complete Guide

fitness products

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Are you planning to import gym, health or fitness products? Then keep reading, to learn more about how you can find the right supplier and relevant product regulations.

We also cover trade shows in the fitness space, MOQ requirements and how you can make sure that you get the quality right – regardless of whether you’re importing protein bars or treadmills.

How do I find a qualified Gym & Fitness product manufacturer in China?

There are thousands of suppliers in the gym and fitness space the two largest supplier directories, Alibaba.com and Globalsources.com.

First, you want to avoid trading companies, which tend to offer all sorts of products. For example, if you find a supplier claiming to sell foam rollers, treadmills and protein powder, you can be sure you’re dealing with a trading company or wholesaler.

So, why should you stay away from trading companies or wholesaler when importing fitness and health products?

There are a few reasons. But, the main one is that traders cannot ensure comply with overseas product regulations, such as REACH or California Prop 65. I will get back to that in a bit

Instead, you should look for suppliers that are specialized. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they must focus on one single product.

For example, a factory can make both yoga mats and foam rollers. Continue Reading →

Importing Pet Products from China: A Complete Guide

Pet Product Supplier

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Are you planning to import pet toys or accessories from China? In this article, you will learn what you must know about pet products manufacturers, applicable regulations and how to find the right supplier on Alibaba.com or Globalsources.com.

This is covered:

  • Pet Products Manufacturers in China
  • How to find suppliers online
  • Product regulations
  • Quality control
  • MOQ Requirement
  • Trade shows

Pet Products Manufacturers in China

As in all industries, Pet Products Suppliers in China are to a varying degree specialized in a certain subcategory. Continue Reading →

Swimwear Manufacturers in China: A Complete Guide

swimwear suppliers

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There are hundreds of Swimwear suppliers in Mainland China. But how do you know which one is the right choice for your products?

In this article, you will learn what ecommerce businesses must know about importing swim and beachwear from China – including the following:

  • How to find the right manufacturer?
  • Why you should NOT buy wholesale swimwear
  • How to customize the design
  • How to select the right material
  • Buying private label swimwear
  • MOQ requirements

a. Manufacturers and Wholesalers

In this section, I will cover the different types of products in China, and what you should look for when sourcing suppliers on Alibaba.com and Globalsources.com.

What kind of Swimwear products can I source in China?

Most Swimwear manufacturers in China, specialize in a certain type, or material, of Swimwear. Some suppliers may be focused on making boardshorts, while others primarily make bikinis or wetsuits.

While there are not distinct categories of suppliers in the industry, a few product categories follow below:

  • Bikinis
  • Wetsuits
  • Rash Guards
  • Boardshorts
  • Compression wear
  • Swimming trunks

Some Swimwear suppliers are making related products in the broader sportswear category. For example, many Yoga wear suppliers also make similar compression wear.

Keep in mind that you should look for a supplier that is specialized in your specific type of textiles, rather than looking for one that is offering a broad selection. Continue Reading →

Drone Manufacturers in China: A Complete Guide

Drone Manufacturers

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Chinese companies have become the true market leaders in the Drone industries, with hundreds of Done manufacturers in Shenzhen and nearby cities.

Unlike other industries, that are mainly OEM focused, China is home to domestic brands, launching their products directly in overseas markets – including the United States and the European Union.

But, there are also plenty of OEM and ODM Drone suppliers in the country, accepting orders from Drone Startups around the world.

In this article, we give you a detailed overview of some of China’s leading Drone Manufacturers, including DJI, XIRO and Flypro.

In addition, you will also learn what it takes to get your own custom designed or private label Drone in the air.

DJI

DJI is a Chinese technology company based in Shenzhen, Guangdong. DJI, and also called Da-Jiang Innovations Science and Technology Co., Ltd.

It is best known for its high quality drones, but it also manufactures cameras, flight controllers, camera stabilizers, propulsion systems, flight platforms, and gimbals.

DJI was founded 11 years ago in 2006 by Frank Wang. It is ranked as the leading civilian drone manufacturer for videography and aerial photography.

According to some estimates, the company supplies 50% of the total global consumer drone market.

DJI also won the Emmy for Technology and Engineering annual award this year for its camera drone technology used in Hollywood and other film industries around the world.

Its camera drones are used by popular TV shows like Game of Thrones, American Ninja Warrior, Better Call Saul, and more.

Some of its most popular drone series are Mavic (latest foldable drones), Spark (mini drone), and Phantom (for aerial imaging).

The drones manufactured by DJI are sold directly through their website and authorized dealers under their brand name.

Therefore, you cannot private label or rebrand drones with your company logo if you’re buying drones from DJI. Continue Reading →

Importing Cosmetics & Personal Care Products from China: A Complete Guide

Cosmetics and Care Products

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Buying cosmetics, beauty and personal care products from suppliers in China can be extremely lucrative – and we’ve seen a surge in interest from Startups all over the world in recent months.

However, venturing into the cosmetics and personal care space can be complicated. Many of these products are strictly regulated in practically all developed markets, such as the US, Europe and Australia.

In this article, we explain what ecommerce sellers must know, before importing beauty and care products from China, including the following:

a. How to find the right manufacturer

b. Mandatory safety standards and labeling requirements

c. How to sell cosmetics and beauty products on Amazon

d. Trade Shows in Mainland China and Hong Kong

e. Questions & Answers

Beauty and Personal Care Products Manufacturers in China

The beauty and care industry is very diverse, and include everything from chemical processing plants and R&D facilities, to smaller workshops and manufacturers producing makeup accessories and other related products.

In China, you can find manufacturers within the following categories:

  • Hair extensions
  • Wigs
  • Hair Salon Equipment
  • Makeup Tools (i.e., Brushes)
  • Cosmetics
  • Skin Care
  • Lip Treatments
  • Electrical Beauty Equipment (i.e., Hair removal lasers)
  • Nail Art and Equipment
  • Cosmetic Bags
  • Jars and Packaging

Manufacturers in the beauty and care space are primarily located in China’s most developed provinces, including Guangdong, Zhejiang and Jiangsu.

Some factories have sales offices in Shanghai and Hong Kong, but most companies located in the two cities are traders – without their own production facilities.

How do I find the right manufacturer?

There are only two supplier directories that really matter; Alibaba.com and Globalsources.com. There you’ll find thousands of manufacturers and trading companies for all sorts of beauty products.

When you source suppliers in this space, you must look for the following:

  • Product focus: Are they specialized in your product category?
  • Product compliance: Can they comply with EU and US safety standards?
  • Registered capital: Is it more than 1,000,000 RMB?

Continue Reading →

Android Device Manufacturers in China: A Complete Guide

Android Watch

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Android OS has come a long way since it was first launched a decade ago. Today, Android is not only powering smartphones and tablets – but everything from Set-Top Boxes and Advertising Displays, to Smart Home and IoT systems.

In this article, we explain what importers must know about Android and technology licensing terms, product compliance requirements – and what you must look for when sourcing Android device manufacturers in China.

Overview of Android Enabled Devices

The Android OS is not just for phones and tablets. The Android OS has evolved since its initial launch, and is now used in the following products:

  • Tablets
  • Smartphones
  • Laptops
  • Smart Watches
  • Set-Top Boxes
  • TV Dongles
  • PoS Systems
  • GPS Navigation Systems
  • Radios
  • Car Entertainment Systems
  • Advertising Displays
  • Smart Home / IoT (Internet of Things) Devices

Continue Reading →

Buying Injection Molds from Manufacturers in China: A Complete Guide

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If you plan to import a custom designed or even private label product, chances are that you need get an injection mold manufactured in China.

In this article, you will learn when and how to order an injection mold, various methods of ensuring the ownership of the mold, payment terms and much more.

Note: While this article is primarily focused on injection molds, most principles can be applied to extrusion molds, blow molds, die casting and other tooling.

When is a custom mold needed?

If you intend to create a custom designed product, or make changes to an existing product design, you need an injection mold.

Injection molds are used for various materials, including plastics, glassware, ceramics, stainless steel and alloys.

As such, injection molds are used when making everything from phone cases and plastic buttons – to wristwatches and jewelry parts.

What what stage should I buy a mold?

Your supplier needs the mold before they can even make a sample for you. As such, you need to buy the injection mold before the manufacturer starts the sampling process.

That said, you can use the same mold, as is used to make the prototype or sample, for mass production.

Most molds can be used to make hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions, of units. Thus, the mold can be used for many orders – and may even outlast the product design itself.

Injection Mold

Can I expect my supplier to pay for the mold?

No, importing from Asia is like flying with a low cost airline. No extras are included, be it lab testing or injection molds.

As an importer, you must therefore finance the cost of the injection mold (and other types of molds and tooling for that matter) before you can start the sampling and mass production process.

How much should I pay for the mold?

That depends entirely on the size, complexity and material. For a simple component, say a watch case, the mold cost can be as low as $200.

However, for more complex products with narrow dimensional tolerance requirements (i.e., plastic pallets), the mold cost can be as high as $40,000.

That said, for most consumer goods, the mold fee is somewhere between $150 to $800.

As mentioned, the mold can be used for hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of units. Therefore, the cost per unit is often extremely low.

What are the standard payment terms for molds?

That depends mostly on the mold and prototype cost. If the total is below $1000, the buyer normally pays the entire sample and tooling cost up front.

If above $1000, you may pay 30% before they start producing the mold, and 70% upon completion and successful testing.

Keep in mind that most suppliers don’t make any profit of the mold itself, and therefore need to secure, at a minimum, a deposit before they order the mold and other tooling from their subcontractor.

Where can I find mold manufacturers in China?

Specialized injection mold manufacturers are present all over China, and its industrial cluster. However, there is a higher concentration of mold suppliers in Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Guangdong province.

Many mold suppliers are also based in Taiwan, even though a large percentage have moved production to the mainland.

That said, buyers rarely need to source mold suppliers on their own. Instead, the majority of importers use the injection mold suppliers, already used by their assembly manufacturer.

In the Watch industry, for example, none of the so called ‘Watch suppliers’ (they put the pieces together basically), manufacture injection molds for the various components needed.

Instead, they subcontract this to specialized mold and tooling suppliers.

For most products, it’s better to just use the suppliers existing network of mold suppliers.

That said, if they cannot match your technical specifications, you may want to consider contacting a mold supplier directly.

How can I protect mold ownership?

As you pay for the molds, you may assume that they are by default owned by you. That said, the ownership is practically impossible to claim, unless it is written on paper.

For example, you must state in the sales contract, that the mold is owned by your company, and can be collected at the supplier’s facility with short notice.

Does mold ownership equal IP ownership?

No, there is no relation between the two. Owning the mold doesn’t mean that your design is protected in any way. To ensure that your designs are protected, you need to file for a design patent (or design protection, if you are based in Europe).

That said, you can only protect a design that is ‘new and unique’. Hence, it’s not an option for most importers.

Where should the mold be kept?

The injection mold, and other tools, is normally kept in the supplier’s production facility, even when not used. This can pose a serious risk, as the supplier may use your mold to manufacture products for themselves – or other buyers – without letting you know.

To reduce the risk of this ever happening, you can store the injection mold at the premises of a trusted third party in China – and return it to the supplier before production, only to collect it once again after production completion.

Chinese Mold Sample

How can I prevent my supplier from making a copy of my mold?

The short answer is that you can’t prevent them from making a 2nd version of your injection mold. As explained above, there are ways to make it harder for the supplier to steal your design, but you cannot stop your supplier if they really, really, want to copy your product.

The only way to truly protect your designs is by filing for design and utility patents, and get your brand and logo trademark.

This costs money, but there are no shortcuts.

That said, I think many importers overestimate the supplier’s interest in replicating their products.

It’s good to be aware of it, and implement measures that will at the very least make it harder for the supplier to copy your products – but the risk of IP theft should not hold you back from launching a product.

Do I need a mold when buying private label products?

By definition, a private label product is an existing factory designed product, and therefore you should not need to invest in new injection molds and other tooling.

Reality, however, is often quite different.

In China, most suppliers are primarily OEMs. Hence, they manufacture products according to specification – rather than developing their own products.

They are, for the most part, not true private label suppliers. At best, you may find that they have some generic designs available off shelf, with ready made injection molds.

Many of the products they upload on Alibaba.com and Globalsources.com are ‘for reference only’. In fact, what you see on their supplier page is in many cases products they have never even manufactured.

There’s nothing wrong with that. They use these directories to showcase what they have made in the past, and what they can make.

But don’t assume that there is a complete set of tooling for every product they list.

Can I use existing injection molds to make my product?

Yes, but as explained above, don’t assume that they have an organized catalog of ODM products for your choosing.

At best, they have a limited number of designs you can choose from.

But even then, you may for any of the following reasons not be able to use their existing injection molds:

a. Design changes: If you intend t make even the slightest design change, you need a new injection mold.

b. Ownership issues: Buyer ownership goes both ways. There are loyal and trustworthy suppliers out there, and they will not rent out molds from their customers to other (especially new) buyers.

c. Material changes: Injection molds can often only be used for specific materials. Even if you find a design you like, you can only use it for the material (i.e., PP plastic or Zinc Alloy) that it was made for. If you want to change materia (i.e., to TPU plastic or 316L Stainless Steel, you need to pay for a new mold.

Can I take the mold with me if I change suppliers?

Yes, at least in theory, and assuming that you are the actual owner of the mold. That being said, don’t assume that your supplier will let you take the mold without putting up a fight.

They can make up all sorts of reasons, and some suppliers will not care about previous agreements.

If you plan to ‘break up’ with your supplier, collect your molds weeks or even months before you let them know.

You may even want to create a 2nd set of molds, to use as a backup, if you ever get into a dispute with your supplier (in which case, they are very likely to use your molds as a collateral).

If you would ever lose access to your molds, you will face a severe supply chain disruption, as you will be forced to source a new supplier and buy an another mold – a process that can easily take 4 to 5 months.

How long time does it take to make the mold?

That depends on the complexity and size of the mold, but smaller molds normally take around 30 to 40 days to produce and adjust.

Adjusting the mold can be both time consuming and unpredictable, which is why it takes such a long time.

In many cases, additional adjust are needed, even after the initial 40 days spent.

What should I look for when selecting an injection mold supplier?

As mentioned, you may not even need to source an injection mold manufacturer by yourself. For most products, it’s easier and even safer to use the supplier’s existing mold supplier.

That said, if you for any reason decide to try finding one on your own, use the following checklist:

1. Do they make molds related to your product?

2. Do they make molds for the same type of plastic or metal you plan to use?

3. Does their business scope include the term ‘mold’ or ‘tooling’?

4. Do they have a registered capital of at least RMB 1,000,000?

5. Do they have a quality management system in place? (i.e., ISO 9001:2015)

6. Do they have any references from customers in your target markets?

7. Do they allow you to store the mold with a trusted third party? (rather than keeping the mold in their own factory).

Can I find mold suppliers on Alibaba.com and Globalsources.com?

Yes, there are thousands of injection mold suppliers listed on Alibaba, and at least a few hundred of Globalsources.com.

Use can use their supplier filtering functions, and use the data, to ensure that the suppliers match the requirements outlined in the checklist above.

Can I find mold suppliers at Trade shows?

Yes, there are often molds and tooling suppliers present at the Canton Fair, and the various trade shows in Hong Kong hosted by HKTDC and Globalsources.com.

That said, most are specialized to make molds for a specific industry, so you will find them as part of the broader supplier spectrum.

Do I need to pay import duties, VAT or other taxes on the mold?

The cost of the injection mold must be included in the customs value. As such, you will need to pay import duties and other taxes.

This is the case even if the injection molds remain with the manufacturer in China, and never even crosses the border.

You can either choose to include the full cost of the injection mold in the customs value of your first shipment, or split it up over several shipments.

Notice that this is applicable also to samples costs and service fees paid to the supplier, and not only the injection mold.

Are there any regulations or safety standards applicable for molds?

Product safety standards are normally not applicable to the mold itself, but to the finished product.

Product regulations do affect the injection mold, in the sense that you need to ensure that the design is safe for the end consumer.

In addition, the material must also comply with relevant chemical and heavy metals regulations.

Do you want to launch your own private label or custom designed product?

It can be hard to go from a design drawing to finished product. To help you manage the entire process – from creating a specification, to sampling and quality control – we created a Starter Package:

a. Private Label & OEM Product Manufacturer Lists

b. Product Specification Templates

c. Product Label Samples

d. Tutorials, Video Walkthroughs and Task Lists that guide you step-by-step through the entire process

In addition, you can also book quality inspections, lab testing and shipping directly from the platform. Click here to learn more.

Clothing Manufacturers in China: How to Find the Right Factory

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Looking to design your own T-shirt or launch your a knitwear collection? Outsourcing to China, or other low cost countries, may be your only option. In this article, I explain what you need to know when selecting a clothing manufacturer, substance regulations, material quality and managing the product development and production process.

Regardless of whether you’re an apparel startup looking to try out a new product line, or consider yourself the next Karl Lagerfeld, this article is packed with actionable advice for you. But first, I’ll explain why buying wholesale clothing from China is rarely an option.

Apparel Process

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Buying wholesale clothing from China?

The Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ) of clothing and textile items is often 300 to 500 pcs, per design. That translates into a major investment, assuming you want to launch an entire collection.

Many importers assumes that the solution to this is by skipping manufacturing, and purchase off shelf clothing from wholesalers. Continue Reading →

Case Study: How We Helped a Customer Launch a Watch Brand in 4 Steps

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Lanna Watches AB (Sweden) contacted Chinaimportal.com in October 2016. In this Case Study, you will learn how they used the Starter Package 2017 to develop and launch their first product.

All the features and functions mentioned in this Case Study are included in the Starter Package.

Note: The process in this case study can be applied to any product category, not only watches.

All companies and names mentioned in this case study have been altered. The case study is based on email records, images and protocols.

1. Prepare Product Specification

Before even sending a first email to a supplier, the customer created a product specification. This exact process is outlined in Part 1: Create Product Specifications of the Starter Package.

a. Download template and create spec sheet

As all suppliers make products according to the specifications, John (co-founder of Lanna Watches) had to be sure that all technical details were covered. To make sure that they get their specification right, they followed the process in Part 1: Create Product Specification (Above).

To speed up the process, they used Template 1A: Product Specification Sheet, to list all technical details and quality requirements.

b. Research all applicable product regulations (using Module 7 of the Starter Package)

As Lanna Watches AB is based in the European Union, which is also their primary market, compliance with all applicable product regulations is crucial.

Failing to ensure compliance can result in the goods being seized by the customs authorities, something that would be disastrous to a small startup like Lanna Watches.

The problem, for John and his partner, was that they have no clue which regulations apply to Watches in the EU. Luckily for them, the Starter Package includes an entire module for product regulations, in the EU and US, for all the products we cover.


Continue Reading →

Buying Private Label Products in China: A Complete Guide

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Importing Private Label Products from China is a shortcut to success. How hard can it be to just pick a product, send over a logo file and start selling something on Amazon? Well, as I explain in this article, reality is a lot more complex than what many importers may think.

Keep reading, and learn why private labelling is not really what it seems to be in China, and why it can be more complex to get an ODM product right – compared to a custom designed product.

We also explain what Startups and SME’s must know about Intellectual property issues, printing specifications – and how much you should expect to pay a logo print! Yes, this is by far the most comprehensive guide on private label imports written.

Private Label

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What is Private labelling?

A private label product is manufactured by Company A, but with the brand name (i.e., logo and packaging) of Company B. In theory, Company A (the producer) provides a ready-made ‘product template’, to which other buyers can apply their own brands.

The benefit of private labelling is that you can create a branded product, without investing into all too much time and money in product development – and tooling. Hence, you can launch a product much faster.

Continue Reading →