Importing Small Volumes from China: The Ultimate Guide

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It’s perfectly doable to launch a custom designed and branded product on a low budget, it’s just that you’ll need to get ready to compromise on materials, colors and sometimes even quality.

In this article, I explain what can and can’t be done when importing products from China as a small volume buyer. Continue reading Importing Small Volumes from China: The Ultimate Guide

Yiwu Wholesale Market: 14 Facts Importers Must Know

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Suggestion: Watch the 10 minutes video tutorial before reading this article

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The Yiwu Wholesale Market is the largest in the world. Here, you’ll find thousands of Wholesaler offering all sorts of products at rock bottom prices.

In this article, I will explain the 13 things that every buyer must know before visiting the Yiwu Wholesale Markets, in Zhejiang province.

This is covered

  • What is the Yiwu Wholesale Market?
  • Why Yiwu makes sense for small buyers
  • How to get to the Yiwu International Trade City
  • Do I need a visa to visit Yiwu?
  • Do I need to find an agent?
  • Are Yiwu Wholesalers manufacturers or traders?
  • How do I know that the products are not fake?
  • How do I pay the wholesalers in Yiwu?
  • How do I coordinate the shipment?
  • Do I need a translator to talk to the Wholesalers?

In addition, we also added Part II: Yiwu Fair Guide

  • When is the Yiwu Fair held?
  • How do I get to the Yiwu Fair?
  • What kind of products can I find at the Yiwu Fair?
  • How do I get an invitation letter?
  • How do I get a trade badge?
  • What is the difference between the Yiwu Fair and the Yiwu Wholesale Market?

1. What is the Yiwu Wholesale Market?

There are in fact many wholesale markets in Yiwu city. Yiwu International Trade City is, however, the largest market – and often referred to when talking about the Yiwu Wholesale Market.

Unlike the Canton Fair in Guangzhou, the Yiwu International Trade City is permanent, and open the whole year, apart from national holidays.

The Yiwu Wholesale Market is gigantic, and mainly catering to buyers from India, Africa, and the Middle East.

Many e-commerce businesses also procure products from Yiwu wholesalers.

It’s famous for really low prices. Then again, you get what you pay for. Continue reading Yiwu Wholesale Market: 14 Facts Importers Must Know

Buying from Wholesalers in China: 5 Things Importers Must Know

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Suggestion: Watch the 10 minutes video tutorial before reading this article

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Buying customized goods from manufacturers can be a hassle. It takes months to even get a sample, and you need to buy hundreds of units per product design, or even color.

Long lead times and high MOQs are a major barrier of entry for cash strapped startups, looking to import from China.

So why not just skip the factory and go to a Wholesaler instead? For starters, there no MOQ to worry about. Pick and mix whatever products you want. And you don’t even need to wait for six months to see them.

It sounds fantastic.

But things are not always what they seem. In fact, buying Wholesale goods from China may not even be an option for your business. If you are based in the US or Europe – you can be quite sure that it’s not.

Keep reading, and learn whether or not ‘buying Wholesale from China’ is on the table for your business.

1. Looking for a Wholesaler? Go to Yiwu.

Wholesalers can be found all over China. However, if you are looking for one geared towards export markets, there is only one place to go – Yiwu.

Yiwu is an old trading city, in China’s eastern Zhejiang province. The city is home to thousands of big and small trading companies and wholesalers.

As it is established as a cluster for export oriented wholesalers, you will find that the ‘infrastructure’ is far more developed, when it comes to finding local agents, quality control companies and export agencies – all of which are needed to buy, inspect and ship products from the wholesaler, to your warehouse.

But, if you keep reading, you will find out why ‘buying wholesale’ may not even be on the table. Continue reading Buying from Wholesalers in China: 5 Things Importers Must Know

Chinese Suppliers – Trading Companies and Manufacturers Explained

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There are three main supplier categories to take into consideration when importing from China – Manufacturers, Trading Companies and Manufacturing & Trading Companies. While the type of company will not be the most important factor when selecting your suppliers, different types of suppliers will require a different approach during the sourcing process and have a major impact on the future of your import business.

Therefore it’s important to know what type of supplier you should look for when sourcing in China. Let’s begin with an introduction to the three major supplier types in China. Continue reading Chinese Suppliers – Trading Companies and Manufacturers Explained

Buying from Aliexpress: A Guide to Safe Imports

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Buying from Aliexpress

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Aliexpress.com is a transaction-based wholesale platform for importing small volumes from China. It’s a huge resource for innovative and profitable products that cannot be found elsewhere in low quantities. While ordering products from Aliexpress is simple, there are a few things you can do to minimize your risks and increase your chances for long-term success. This article tells you why!

Based in America, Europe or Australia? Read this first!

Many products listed on Aliexpress are manufactured for the Chinese domestic market. These products may be just fine, but most are not compliant with product safety directives in Europe, America and Australia. Importing non-compliant items is illegal, and may result in a forced recall or major fines, in case anyone is injured or damaged.

Notice that it’s always the importer that is responsible for ensuring that imported items are compliant with relevant standards and directives. Chinese suppliers, including those selling on Aliexpress.com are not responsible.

If you still wish to import items from an Aliexpress supplier, you shall consider a laboratory test before making a larger order. You must also confirm which standard and/or directive is applicable to your product, in your country.

But there is help to get. You can either hire a China sourcing consultant, or purchase our Starter Package – which includes confirmation of applicable product safety directives for your product, and sourcing of compliant suppliers. Click here to read more.

Step 1: Source products and suppliers

Aliexpress is home to small Chinese trading companies and unlike Alibaba.com, where you have a lot of verified information on each Gold Supplier, you have very limited information on a Aliexpress supplier profile. This makes the supplier selection harder to define, but Aliexpress ]compensates for this shortcoming with customer feedback. For this reason, the supplier selection shall be based on buyer feedback to a large extent. The positive feedback number is a good start, but you’ll get a more balanced impression of the supplier if you review the negative feedback as well. Continue reading Buying from Aliexpress: A Guide to Safe Imports

What to import from China as a startup?

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This blog has been quick to mention that certain products are harder than others to import from China. In this post I’ll focus on product categories that are a bit more suitable for startups and beginners looking for what to import from China. I begin by explaining what you shouldn’t do.

Avoid OEM / Customized Products

Products that are highly customized requires higher MOQ requirements. This is simply because the supplier has to purchase components and materials from a larger number of subcontractors. Each subcontractor has its own MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity) requirements and this can quickly add up to an MOQ that you cannot reach.

Instead of importing an OEM product (custom designed) you can purchase a “standard product” and achieve customization through branding, such as the following: Continue reading What to import from China as a startup?