• Importing Furniture from China: A Complete Guide

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    Planning to import furniture from manufactures in China? In this article, you will learn how to select the right supplier, how to customize design and materials, manage quality control, shipping and much more as a furniture buyer.

    • How to Select the Right Furniture Manufacturer
    • Factory Showrooms
    • Design & Material Customization Options
    • US and EU Furniture Regulations
    • Quality Inspections
    • Shipping Furniture from China
    • Furniture & Housewares Trade Shows

    Why you should not buy from a Chinese furniture wholesaler

    We often receive inquiries from small businesses in the US, Europe and Australia looking to purchase small volumes from furniture wholesalers in China. The reason many small buyers prefer wholesalers rather than manufacturers is that the former has lower Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ) requirements, compared to the latter.

    While it’s true that furniture wholesalers in China often have a low MOQ, sometimes starting from 1 unit per model, it’s rarely a viable option for importers in the United States, Europe, and Australia.

    Few Chinese furniture wholesalers are able to ensure compliance with applicable fire retardant and substance regulations. In fact, most are primarily, sometimes entirely, geared towards the domestic market in Mainland China.

    For natural reasons, such supplier has no profit incentive to ensure compliance with foreign regulations. With this said, I have explained why this article concerns furniture manufacturers, rather than wholesalers.

    Furniture suppliers on Alibaba

    Alibaba.com is the world’s largest B2B supplier directory. Here, you will find thousands of furniture factories, wholesalers and trading companies.

    In my opinion, you should narrow down your supplier selection to those that are proper manufacturers, rather than trading companies or wholesalers. The easiest way to be sure is by flying to China and paying the suppliers a visit. But, you can also use the information provided by Alibaba.com to narrow down your supplier list:

    • Registered capital: Minimum RMB 500,000
    • Product scope: Should be focused within a certain category
    • Company name: Should not include ‘trading’
    • Product test reports: REACH, TB 117, Fire safety tests
    • Company certificates: ISO 9001, BSCI, Sedex

    Some manufacturers also provide factory audit reports on their Alibaba.com profile, which are free to download. These are issued by highly reputable third parties, such as Intertek or Bureau Veritas.

    In addition, you should also look out for uploaded product test reports, or other compliance documents – especially if you’re importing outdoor furniture to the United States or Europe.

    How to Select the Right Furniture Manufacturer

    When sourcing Furniture manufacturers online, there’s a variety of factors to use when assessing potential candidate suppliers.

    Product Scope

    Manufacturers producing all sorts of furniture under one roof doesn’t exist. As in the case of every industry, furniture manufacturers are always specialized in a certain area – with the following being the most common:

    • Office furniture
    • Hotel furniture
    • Sofas
    • Beds
    • Bedroom furniture
    • Bathroom furniture
    • Living room furniture
    • Mattresses
    • Children’s furniture
    • Wooden furniture
    • Dining sets
    • Outdoor furniture
    • Metal furniture
    • Plastic furniture
    • Wicker furniture

    While you may find a supplier specializing in more than one category (e.g. Dining sets and living room furniture), you’ll never find a manufacturer offering the whole spectrum. If you need to cover more than one type of furniture, you shall, therefore, consider sourcing different groups of suppliers, rather than trying to find one that offers everything on your list.

    Registered Capital

    A low registered capital may indicate that the supplier is a small trading company. As there are no real benefits of buying from a trader, you want to avoid that.

    A Furniture manufacturer should have at least RMB 1,000,000 in registered capital, which is specified on their business license.

    Product Compliance

    a. Chemicals and heavy metals

    Compliance with applicable substance regulations, for example, REACH in the European Union, is mandatory in various markets. Fabrics, and even leather, often contain amounts of restricted substances, such as Glyphosate and Formaldehyde. Phthalates, a highly restricted plasticizer that is potentially cancerogenic, are also found in vinyl, wood varnishes, and lacquers. Even Flame retardants are sources of harmful and often restricted, chemicals (e.g. PBDEs).

    Most Chinese furniture manufacturers are unable to show documents proving previous compliance (e.g. a REACH compliance test report). While a substance test report is not indicating that all the supplier’s products are compliant by default, it’s a strong signal that the supplier is at least capable of controlling substances. That can, however, not be said about the vast majority of China’s furniture manufacturers.

    Substance control is a complicated issue, as all materials and components are purchased from subcontractors. These subcontractors may, in turn, use restricted substance without the furniture manufacturer’s approval, or knowledge. Thus, it simply takes a bit more than telling a furniture supplier to “only purchase REACH compliant materials”.

    A manufacturer that cannot show any proof of previous compliance may therefore not be able to control substances at all.

    b. Flammability and fire safety

    In the United States, there is no federal furniture flame retardancy regulation that manufacturers and importers must follow. However, California Technical Bulletin 117 (TB117) has become the de facto standards followed by the majority of furniture manufacturers, and importers, in the US. Further, the CPSC suggested the implementation of a nationwide standard, 16 CFR Part 1634.

    In the European Union, there are various compulsory fire safety requirements applicable to upholstered furniture, bedding and seats. Certain regulations also apply to specific applications (e.g. for use in trains and ships).

    Keep in mind that it’s always the importer’s responsibility to ensure compliance with all applicable standards, including those regulating substances. This responsibility cannot be shifted to a foreign manufacturer. Importing non-compliant items is illegal, and may, in a best-case scenario, result in fines and a forced recall. In case someone is injured, or if their property is damaged, the importer may be forced to pay millions of dollars (or Euros) in damages.

    Compliance with all applicable directives and safety standards must be verified before the cargo is shipped. Returning items to a manufacturer on the other side of the planet is not an option.

    However, there are plenty of quality inspection firms, and product testing companies, based in Mainland China and Hong Kong, that can help you verify compliance before it’s too late.

    Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ)

    The MOQ requirement is the minimum number of units a supplier is willing to sell. The MOQ in the furniture industry varies greatly depending on the factory and the product. For example, a bed manufacturer may only set a MOQ of 5 units, while a company making beach chairs may set it at 1000 pcs.

    Further, there are two types of MOQs in the furniture industry:

    • MOQ based on the number of units (e.g. 500 pcs)
    • MOQ based on container volumes (e.g. 1 x FCL 20” container)

    Factories are often willing to offer a lower MOQ if you’re willing to use their standard materials (e.g. wood type).

    Examples
    • Sofa sets: 1 to 5 sets
    • Bed: 1 to 5 pcs
    • Foldable chairs: 500 pcs
    • Dining tables: 20 – 50 pcs

    Quality Management System

    A Quality Management System, such as ISO 9001, is implemented to track and prevent quality issues. Why does this matter? Because it only applies to manufacturers, not traders.

    When buying furniture from Chinese suppliers, why is it important to first filter suppliers? Because the majority of Furniture manufacturers are not geared towards developed markets, offering the quality options and stability you need to compete.

    Factory Showrooms

    It rarely makes sense to buy furniture samples from factories in China. You’ll save both time and money by flying directly to China and visit factory showrooms.

    Factory Checklist

    a. Are they specialized in your product category? If you’re buying rattan furniture, the supplier should primarily manufacture exactly that.

    b. Are they manufacturing for other customers? It’s a good sign if they have regular orders from other importers.

    c. What kind of customers do they have?

    d. How do they manage defective units? Are they willing to show you where they store defective units?

    e. How do they pack the products?

    f. Is the warehouse full? Do you recognize any brands printed on the export cartons in their warehouse?

    Product Checklist

    a. Ask for a product specification or datasheet, with dimensions, bill of materials and material specification, for the furniture samples that you find in the showroom.

    b Can they offer other materials?

    c. Do they have design drawings?

    d. Can you customize the design? If yes, what design drawing formats do they prefer?

    e. Will design customization result in additional tooling costs?

    f. What is the MOQ?

    g. What is the unit price?

    General Questions

    a. What is their production time?

    b. Do they have any product test reports?

    c. Do they implement any quality management system? (i.e., ISO 9001:2015)

    d. Do they have an export license?

    e. Which bank account will you pay to? (ask for complete details)

    f. What are their payment terms?

    g. Which payment terms do they offer?

    h. Do they accept pre-shipment quality inspections?

    Design & Material Customization Options

    Drawings of furniture. Table, dresser, cupboards

    You can either create a new furniture design from the ground up or base your product on designs available in their online catalog or showroom. That said, you must create a complete product specification regardless of whether the design is an original custom design or a factory design.

    Further, furniture manufacturers expect their customers to provide complementary specifications even when selecting designs from their showroom or catalog. This is because the same product can be made using different materials, coatings and hardware parts – and the manufacturer simply expects that the buyers know what they want.

    Files

    • Design drawings or images
    • Logos, engravings and print files

    Bill of Materials

    • Wood type (i.e., German beech wood)
    • Fabric specifications (i.e., PU coated polyester, 550 gsm)
    • Hardware parts (i.e., 316L Stainless steel and ANSI number)
    • Foam (i.e., High-density fire-retardant foam rubber)

    Furniture Specification Example: Rattan Chair

    Use this template to better understand what you must include in your product specification:

    a. Dimensions: W60*D70*H86CM

    b. Frame: Aluminum
    – Tube dimensions: 35 x 35 x 1.3 mm
    – Powder coating: Yes (Anti-corrosion)

    c. Rattan: PE, 5 mm in diameter
    – Color: Black
    – Type: S5518
    – UV resistance: Yes (Up to 5000 h)

    d. Max load: 140 kgs

    e. Cushion: Yes
    – Thickness: 50 mm
    – Material: 200 gsm polyester

    Most suppliers in this industry are not that organized. They tend to lack standardized product documentation, and may not even know which materials and components their showroom samples are made of. As such, you need to identify all relevant product specifications and request the supplier to confirm each.

    Furniture Regulations

    United States

    APHIS

    Some types of wooden furniture are regulated by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) in the United States. Here are some of the APHIS requirements American furniture importers should be aware of:

    • You should only buy from APHIS approved suppliers
    • Heat treatment or fumigation is mandatory
    • Pre-import approval required
    Fire safety standards

    In many markets, there are mandatory Fire Retardancy Regulations, applicable to various types of furniture. In the United States, there’s no federal framework to which American importers must comply. However, California Technical Bulletin 117 (TB117) has become ‘de facto’ mandatory, as it is asked for by both retailers and customers.

    CPSIA

    CPSIA is applicable to all children’s products, including furniture for babies and children up to 12 years of age. Here are some requirements you should be aware of:

    • ASTM lab testing is mandatory
    • CPSIA tracking label required
    • Children’s Product Certificate (CPC) required
    • Testing lab required
    • Registration card required for some products

    European Union

    REACH

    REACH restricts chemicals and heavy metals in all products, including furniture, sold in the EU. While lab testing is not mandatory, we strongly recommend that you get your furniture cover (e.g. fabrics, PU or PVC) lab tested before importing from China.

    Fire safety standards

    Most EU member states still have their own national fire safety standards, rather than harmonized EU standards. However, there are corresponding EN standards:

    • EN 1021-1
    • EN 1021-2
    • EN 597-1
    • EN 597-2
    • EN 14533

    Note that the fire safety requirements depend on whether the furniture will be used commercially (e.g. hotels or restaurants) or in a domestic residential environment.

    Furniture laboratory testing

    Third-party lab testing is the only available method to verify if a certain material is compliant with substance and fire safety standards. Here are some accredited testing companies offering furniture testing services in Mainland China:

    • Bureau Veritas
    • Intertek
    • TUV
    • SGS

    Testing costs depend on the number of materials and colors (e.g. PU cover or PVC), but normally starts at around USD 300.

    Quality Inspections

    Given that you can’t return a container filled with defective or damaged furniture, it’s absolutely essential to book a quality inspection before your furniture departs the factory.

    Checklist

    Here are some crucial checkpoints to include in your furniture inspection checklist:

    • Visual inspection
    • Dimensions
    • Labels
    • Color comparison
    • Material comparison
    • Weight
    • Colorfastness
    • Water resistance
    • Fire resistance
    • Packaging materials

    Quality inspection companies

    Here’s a list of companies offering furniture inspections in Mainland China:

    • Sofeast Limited
    • Bureau Veritas InSpec
    • QIMA
    • Pro QC

    Most companies charge around USD 300 per inspection.

    Shipping Furniture from China

    Ocean freight is the only cost-effective transportation option when importing furniture from China. You can either opt for a full container (e.g. FCL 20”) or LCL, meaning that you’ll share container spaces with one or more importers.

    Export packaging materials

    High-quality packaging materials are essential when shipping furniture. Stacked units can easily crush those at the bottom, and sharp edges and cut through cover fabrics on the long journey on the sea.

    Further, furniture must always be loaded on ISPM pallets.

    It’s crucial that you provide clear visual and written instructions to your supplier, detailing how they should pack your furniture, and which materials they should use.

    Insurance

    Freight insurance is equally essential, as you cannot return damaged pieces to your supplier, or request a refund.

    Furniture & Housewares Trade Shows

    HKTDC Hong Kong Houseware Fair

    HKTDC Hong Kong Houseware Fair is among the most well-recognized and well-received furniture fairs in Hong Kong. In 2017, the fair was attended by more than 29,000 visitors, and around 2,200 brands and businesses displayed their products.

    The exhibition will take place in the third week of April in Hong Kong. The admission to the fair is allowed for only 18 years old and above. You also have to pay HK$ 100 which is equivalent to USD 15 to attend the show.

    Visiting Hong Kong for short-term business visits does not require a visa so you can attend this event without applying for a visa. Hong Kong allows visa-free entry to 170 countries, which also include North America, Europe, and Australia.

    You can explore a wide range of houseware categories in this event that include:

    • Art & craft items
    • Hardware & DIY projects
    • Bathroom products
    • Home appliances
    • Eco-Friendly products
    • Furniture
    • Outdoor & gardening accessories
    • Storage solutions
    • Kitchenware
    • Interior decor & handicrafts

    You can also find hundreds of exhibitors from Hong Kong, Mainland China and other countries in the region. The event is organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, The Chinese General Chamber of Commerce, and other partners.

    The event takes place once a year, mostly in April.

    Venue: Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Expo Drive, Wan Chai, Hong Kong

    IDFFHK

    International Design and Furniture Fair Hong Kong, also known as IDFFHK, takes place in Hong Kong after every two years. It is expected to take place in August 2019.

    The fair focuses more on interior design and hosts many top interior designers, in addition to exhibiting their designed products. The event is mostly attended by architects, property developers, interior designers, hoteliers and other professionals working in the design industry.

    In 2017, more than 10,000 professionals visited the fair.

    Venue: Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Expo Drive, Wanchai, Hong Kong

    Global Sources Gifts & Home

    The Gifts & Home Exhibition is another major fair in Hong Kong that will take place in April in Hong Kong.

    In 2017, more than 18,000 buyers visited the event from 121 countries. The event also organized more than 1,000 booths for different product categories and exhibitors.

    The exhibition also focuses on small order sourcing, as you can find more than 300 exhibitors who accept small orders, making the event a good option for small-scale online retailers and Amazon sellers.

    The exhibition also has a separate Online and Amazon Sellers center with hundreds of booths. Most of the exhibitors are from Hong Kong and Mainland China, but some are also from other countries.

    As there are many different product categories and exhibitors, the event targets both, large and small-scale buyers.

    You can also explore different product categories that include:

    • Home Living & Decor
    • Kitchen & Dining
    • Home Improvement
    • Design Corner
    • Creative Design
    • Gifts

    The exhibition takes place twice every year, mostly in April and October.

    The event also takes place in partnership with the Global Sources Mobile Electronics exhibition at the same place and at the same time. So you have an option to visit both at the same time.

    Venue: Asia World-Expo, next to Hong Kong International Airport

    Furniture China (Shanghai)

    The annual China International Furniture Expo will take place in Shanghai in September. The exhibition takes place once every year, mostly in the month of September.

    It is also one of the largest furniture expos in the world. More than 150,000 people attended the event in 2017 from 155 different countries.

    The event is organized by the China National Furniture Association and attended by hundreds of brands and furniture exporters from Mainland China, Hong Kong, and other countries. In total, more than 3,500 exhibitors are expected to participate in the event.

    As there are thousands of exhibitors and tens of thousands of product booths, you can explore many different product categories that include:

    • Contemporary furniture
    • Furniture from international brands
    • Office furniture
    • Outdoor & garden furniture and accessories
    • Table & chair
    • Children’s furniture
    • Mattresses
    • Chinese classical furniture
    • European classical furniture
    • Upholstery furniture

    Unlike Hong Kong (which is a special administrative region in China), you need a visa to visit Mainland China to attend business events in the country. Even though China allows visa-free entry to the citizens of 13 countries, including Singapore and Japan, but for Europe, North America, and Australia, there are visa requirements.

    Admission is limited to 18 years old or older only.

    The event takes place at the same time and the same location as FMC (Furniture Manufacturing & Supply) China exhibition. You can attend both events at the same time as both events are co-located.

    Venue: Shanghai New International Expo Centre (SNIEC), No. 2345 Longyang Road, Pudong New Area, Shanghai

    China International Furniture Fair (Guangzhou)

    In terms of visitors and exhibitor numbers, China International Furniture Fair is among the largest furniture fairs in the world. More than 170,000 visitors from all around the world visit the event every year, while more than 3,900 exhibitors take part in the exhibition.

    The event will take place in Guangzhou in March. It takes place twice a year, every March and October.

    The event also takes place in two phases at two different venues within the same city, each phase displays different product categories.

    The presence of a large number of furniture manufacturers, exporters, and international brands allows you to explore an unattached range of products at this event. Some of the popular categories at the event include:

    • Modern furniture
    • Classical furniture
    • Home Decor & textile
    • Outdoor & Leisure
    • Office furniture
    • Hotel furniture
    • Upholstery & bedding

    The exhibition is organized by the China National Furniture Association and China Foreign Trade Center.

    Most of the exhibitors are from China and Hong Kong, but you can also find furniture brands from other Asian countries along with North American, European, and Australian companies.

    Venue:

    1. First Phase: China Import & Export Fair Pazhou Complex, Xin Guangdong Road No.980, Haizhu District, Guangzhou
    2. Second Phase: Poly World Trade Center Expo, Xin Guangdong Road No.1000, Haizhu District, Guangzhou

    Canton Fair Phase 2 (Guangzhou)

    Canton Fair is also called China Import and Export Fair. It is a regular event that takes place twice a year in three phases. The second phase is scheduled to take place on April 2019 in Guangzhou.

    Each phase consists of several major industries. The second phase also exhibits many different industries that also include furniture.

    It is also one of the largest furniture trade exhibitions in the world based on the number of attendees every year. Around 7,000 exhibitors are expected to join the event along with more than 180,000 visitors from all over the world.

    The exhibition will take place in China Import and Export Complex, also known as the largest modernized exhibition center in Asia. It is located in Pazhou Island, Guangzhou, China.

    You can also explore a wide range of product categories here that include:

    • Kitchenware & tableware
    • Household items
    • General ceramics
    • Home decorations
    • Home, Office, School, Indoor & Outdoor, Hospital and other types of furniture

    You can find exhibitors in the fair from all over the world, but most are Mainland China and Hong Kong-based furniture manufacturers.

    Venue: China Import & Export Fair Complex, No. 380, Yuejiang Zhong Road, Guangzhou, China

    Do you want to launch your own Furniture brand?

    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 for furniture:

    a. Furniture Manufacturer Lists

    b. Product Specification Templates

    c. Furniture 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.

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  • 84 Responses to “Importing Furniture from China: A Complete Guide

    1. Neeta Dhoot at 5:14 pm

      Thanks for your blog… I have a question as well. We are the Interior designing company based in India & would like to recommend our Residential clients to purchase from China. would like to select the specific furniture to suit our individual client needs, prior to going to China & buy from manufacturer Could you suggest better way to locate good design furniture to select from. prior to visiting China.
      Regards

    2. Aurelien at 5:18 am

      Hi Fredrik.

      As usual, you again wrote a very informative article.
      I cannot agree more with you about all the points and the need to be careful and clear with your suppliers.

      Concerning the Fire Retardancy Regulations, there is no requirement of fire retardant treatment (that can be more dangerous actually) in EU for domestic use:

      https://chemicalwatch.com/61983/furniture-trade-body-welcomes-eu-warning-on-flame-retardants

      Continue. Best regards !
      Aurelien Hivonnet
      CEO Asiaction Furniture in China
      http://www.asiactionfurniture.com

    3. Radhika Patil at 2:49 pm

      Thanks for sharing great blog loved to read more from you.

    4. Birchi at 8:18 am

      Good post wedding planners purchasing furniture and to save money. Thank You very much for writing such a good article for wedding furniture suppliers and manufacturers they are offering for the furniture market. People always try direct method but most of time these trick don’t works. Your tips are helpful for the person to make good course. This content is so valuable and surely unique that people are happy and really helpful for them. there is no any other ways to get customers than posting the wedding photos.
      Thanks

    5. Ananth at 7:30 am

      I’m looking to import furniture items such as Coffee table, chest of drawers, small dining table with 4 chairs, bed side tables, wall shelves etc., to India for online sale. Could you please recommend some good manufactures? I’m also interested in joint partnership with a Chinese firm/individual to accomplish local formalities such as QC/inspection can someone please recommend?

      Ananth

    6. Makgotso at 8:56 am

      Hi I’m looking to buy furniture in China but the pics I’m being sent are not my style at all. I was wondering if I can send you pics of what I’m looking for and you can help with sourching right suppliers. The last thing I want is to go to Foshan and not find what I want. I was there last year and I couldn’t find most things I wanted.

    7. Gab at 3:54 am

      Hi Fredrick,

      I am an individual looking to start a modern furniture business here in Brunei, will be also be travelling to china some time in April. I would like to ask if you can provide me with guidance as to which location I can start with. Im looking for suppliers who are able to cater to small orders with a wide variety of products. I am aware that I will face competition from the big guys here in our local market who order in large quantities. Therefore I am also looking for manufactures who do customisation. Thank you in advance to you and your team.

      1. ChinaImportal at 3:43 am

        Hi Gab,

        If you’re going in April, you should visit the Canton Fair in Guangzhou. Just search “Canton Fair” here on Chinaimportal.com and you’ll find a couple of guides that will help you.

    8. Elena M. at 10:55 pm

      Hi Fredrik,
      Do you know anybody in USA who is importing furniture from china ?
      Like living room, dinning .. I need for my house and I found on alibaba.com beautiful furniture that I like but I need someone to share the container!
      Can you help me? It’s not urgent but I need the info!
      Thank you!
      Elena.

    9. Declan at 11:12 am

      Hi fredrik

      A very interesting post. I am very intreagued with the idea of importing furniture from India or China to Poland. I have been looking on line at the different agencies willing to help but finding it hard to establish an honest agency that will do as they promise. ( I have read some nightmare stories. Ideally I am looking for old rustic or reproduction furniture and a FCL. I am even willing to travel out before hand just to take a look. I have been in contact with yiwu amanda import export company have you heard of them ? Any advice/ help would be greatly appreciated.

      Many thanks

      Declan

      1. ChinaImportal at 2:06 am

        Hi Declan,

        No, we have not heard of them. We sent you an email last week so you should have received it by now.

    10. susan from Office Chairs Online at 12:42 pm

      very informative post.i have interest for importing Chinese furniture of good quality.and i think it will be perfect place for me.Thank you.

    11. Sohail A. at 1:26 pm

      Hi Fredrik,

      Thanks for your blog… I have a question as well. We are the Interior deisging company based in UAE & would like to recommned our Residential clients to purchase from China. Recently we have done Project & bought furniture from YUWI . Went their with Client for window shopping. for future would like to select the specific furniture to suit our individual clinet needs, prior to going to China & buy from manufacturer Could you suggest better way to locate good design furntiure to select from. prior to visiting China.
      Regards
      Sohail

      1. ChinaImportal at 8:27 am

        Hi Sohail,

        You should have heard from a sales rep by now

    12. raj at 1:28 pm

      hi,
      i am trying to import furniture’s from Canada, Can please tell me the procedure.

      thanks

    13. Amit at 6:22 pm

      Hello,

      We are importing a wooden mall kiosk (furniture item), made from wood and steel, from China.
      We would like to know the import duty, and the fumigation charges for the same.

      Regards

      Amit B

      1. ChinaImportal at 11:04 am

        Hi Amit,

        Which country are you based in?

    14. Ali at 11:51 pm

      Hi – I’m looking to import Morden design furniture items such as Coffee table, chest of drawers, small dining table with 4 chairs, bed side tables etc., into UK for online biz can you please recommend some good manufactures also I’m very interested to make a joint partnership with a Chinese firm/individual to accomplish local formalities such as QC/inspection can someone please recommend?

      1. ChinaImportal at 4:09 am

        Hi Ali,

        We will contact you later today

    15. Tommy at 7:27 pm

      Fredrick,

      Lets say I am meeting with a company that has their frames and upholstery made in China. They want to meet to discuss pricing. I am an American based company. Just to have an idea of what they may be used to paying, per chair, what should I expect?

      1. ChinaImportal at 5:20 am

        Hi Tommy,

        It’s impossible to estimate a price without a product specification, and pricing data, from a number of suppliers. I suggest you read this article:

        https://www.chinaimportal.com/blog/alibaba-rfq-request-quotation/

    16. Gerard at 3:20 pm

      Hi,

      I would like import some low-medium end furniture into Malaysia. But i do not have much more information and knowledge about this.
      Can you please help to advise.
      Thanks.

      Best Regards,
      Gerard.

      1. ChinaImportal at 3:51 am

        Hi Gerard,

        We will get in touch with you

    17. Devina at 6:14 am

      Hello fredrick, this is really informative. Thanks for that.

      However i wish to know if you already know some serious suppliers from there so that u can contact directly for the import of some personal furniture for me, without visiting China. Thank You

    18. Anulakshmiraj at 8:03 am

      Hello sir, I would like to import furnitures from CHina to CHennai, India. I would like to get your advise in this regard. Thanks & regards / Anulakshmiraj

    19. Elaine at 10:58 pm

      Hello,
      I’m looking into purchasing an executive desk and chair for my office from China. Do you have any suggestions on how I can go about doing that? Your help is greatly appreciated!

      Thank You!

      1. Kelvin at 5:32 pm

        Hi Elaine,

        I am writing on behalf DY Furniture, a company which focused on modernized furniture to be used in bedroom, living room, kitchen and office. DY Furniture currently holds a production line which involves 500 employees and 60,000 square meters factory area which receive multi-million of business each year from retailers and dealers all over the world. Satisfaction received so far has been overwhelming.

        Please let me know if you still need desk and chair from China. I can offer you more information on that.

        Thanks
        Kelvin

    20. eddie at 6:15 pm

      Hi Fredrick !
      You have been very useful to all questions asked in past from many people, I hope you can help me also
      I am about to order about 100 patio chairs and 40 tables from manufacturer from China to be shipped to USA , port of Miami. Total amount of purchase is about $ 6,000
      What shipping cost,taxes and custom fees I should expect to be . Or basically how much FOB should be
      Thank you kindly !
      Eddie

      1. Ellie at 9:44 am

        Hi,Eddie

        For shipping cost,taxes and custom fees,you can contact with shipping forwarder,they will quote you in details.

        For FOB price,it depends on the item you need.

        If you will keep buying them,then it is better to you to attend a fair to find a supplier as a partner.
        If just one shipment,you can check it in some B2C platform,such as alibaba,madeinchina,evcc,tradekey,,etc..

        Regards

        Ellie

    21. Michael at 7:47 am

      Hi Fredrik,

      I have just stumbled across this page whilst looking for furniture importers.

      I’m looking. At setting up business in NZ for Replica designer furniture. I’ve been put in contact with a few indian suppliers but wondering what the quality/availability of good quality replicas are in China. Any info would be appreciated.

      Cheers

      1. Kelvin at 5:49 pm

        Hi Michael

        I am writing on behalf DY Furniture, a company which focused on modernized furniture to be used in bedroom, living room, kitchen and office. DY Furniture currently holds a production line which involves 500 employees and 60,000 square meters factory area which receive multi-million of business each year from retailers and dealers all over the world. Satisfaction received so far has been overwhelming.

        Please let me know if you are interested in knowing more from us

        I look forward to hearing from you soon!

        Thanks and regards,
        Kelvin

    22. Vineet Goel at 7:13 am

      Hi Fredrik,

      Thanks for all the information you provided in your blog.

      I have a furniture showroom in New Delhi, India since the last 35 years. We have been selling home and office furniture quite successfully all this while. Now, we wanted to expand our product porfolio and add few Chinese Furniture products like Sofa-cum-Beds, Study Tables, Chairs etc, which are ready to assemble here in India.

      Therefore, would request you to guide me as to which province and area to travel for all these products.

      Thanks and regards

      Vineet Goel

      1. Kelvin at 5:50 pm

        Hi Vineet

        I am writing on behalf DY Furniture, a company which focused on modernized furniture to be used in bedroom, living room, kitchen and office. DY Furniture currently holds a production line which involves 500 employees and 60,000 square meters factory area which receive multi-million of business each year from retailers and dealers all over the world. Satisfaction received so far has been overwhelming.

        We are currently looking to expand market to southeast Asia. If you are interested in developing the market and walking to success with us together, please reply and I shall forward more information to you. Last but not least, feel free to let me know if you are interested in particular kinds of furniture.

        I look forward to hearing from you soon!

        Thanks and regards,
        Kelvin

    23. Wallace at 9:42 pm

      Hi Fredrik,

      Our company based in the U.S. is looking to buy new office furniture for our new office for about 50 employees. Here is a list of what we need:

      21 cubicles, 28 benching solutions, 7-9 L-shape desks, 2 U-shaped desks, 1 large conference table.

      Is sourcing from China for these furniture cost effective? If so, are there people in China that can help us do quality assurance, custom and shipping?

      Thanks in advance for your advise.

      Wallace

      1. Fredrik Grönkvist at 9:28 am

        Hello Wallace,

        No, if this is only a one time order, I don’t think the reduced cost motivate the increased risk.

    24. Shorya at 8:28 am

      Hello

      iam starting new company in india for importing chinese furniture of good quality . i will go to china but first would you help me finding a list of good companies to get in touch with before traveling there .

    25. Areej at 12:10 pm

      Hi Fredrik, I’m agree with Lee.
      I’m in South Africa and I contacted so many chines suppliers ,they sent me quotations and all prices are more than locale suppliers. But after so many quotations it really seems impossible.
      what should we do? how can we get our target prices for same product? Thanks.Stay safe.

    26. Zanele at 9:50 am

      Hi Frederick I am in South Africa , I want to buy lounge suite and best bedroom suite for my home in China with best quality ,please get me the reliable suppliers and importers of unique furniture, don’t want to loose my money for nothing .

    27. Mina Raouf at 10:43 am

      I would love to send me an email with a background of your work.

      Thanks in advance,
      Mina Raouf

    28. Fred Mugambi at 10:03 pm

      Hi, I just stumbled on your website. I need house furniture from a good inexpensive company in China. I want the furniture to be shipped to Mombasa Kenya. Do you have any suggestions of good companies I can approach? Thanks in advance.

    29. Anne Kaiser at 2:55 am

      Hi Fredrik,

      thanks for your blog… I have a question as well. I’m also thinking about to import funiture from china. I live in New Zealand and It’s quite hard to find any information/regulations for importing funiture into the country. Do you have any experience with New zealand? I found a supplier I’m happy to import from. Have you heard from CLASSIC FUNITURE GROUP LTD/ COCO FUNITURE in Hongkong? They have this term for Products Inspection Policy:                                                                                                  
      Since we provide 36 months guarantee, hereby we kindly require no inspection because our warehouse size limited.  If new customer require to come to inspect goods, we can only provide the random inspection due to our warehouse size limited. Please kindly inform us one month in advance in case of the inspection is needed.

      my question is if that is quite common?

      thanks for your help
      Anne

      1. Fredrik Grönkvist at 5:22 am

        Hello Anne,

        a.) Yes, we have experience in sourcing products for Australian and NZ clients. Most products are regulated by the same product safety standards in both countries.

        b.) No, this is not common. The supplier obviously want to hide something from you. The reason they present is as ridiculous as the fact that they pretend to be a furniture manufacturer in Hong Kong. This is an empty shelf company, nothing else. Stay away or you face a major risk of losing your money.

    30. Jason Wang at 10:40 am

      Hi Frederik!

      Thank you for your article, it’s very informative.

      I’m a local Chinese based in Jiaxing and thinking to set up a e-commerce business to sell antique furnitures/home-decor direct to consumers in the US. Something similar to http://www.orientalfurniture.com. I understand you are specialized in the import end of business but do hope you could give me some insight. My doubt is that unlike established importers/retailers in the US, I am not in a capacity to stock big quantity in the warehouse US, rather the shipment can be very small depending on how many people order online, and this will bite into the profit margin, right? What would be your suggestions around this problem?

      Much thanks in advance!

      Regards,
      Jason

      1. Fredrik Grönkvist at 10:53 am

        Hello Jason,

        Yes, the problem is that LCL shipping results in a much higher freight cost per cubic meter. Selling directly from China to individual buyers in the USA is therefore not viable. You will not be able to compete with importers buying container loads.

        Another problem is that furniture is regulated by the CPSC. Product testing on small batches also runs up costs quickly. I suggest that you specialize in one or two types of furniture, rather than buying small volumes of a wide range of different furniture.

        If possible, find a partner in the United States that can manage distribution within the country.

    31. Lisa at 3:59 pm

      Hi Frederik,

      Just wondering if you have any tips for finding a manufacturer to create and ship our own furniture designs in China? We currently use local companies and are hoping to reduce costs by looking overseas, possibly China but quite intimidated on where to start?

      Thank you for your help,

      Lisa.

    32. sammar at 12:13 pm

      Hello

      iam starting new company in saudia arabia for importing chinese furniture with european qualities . i will go to china but first would you help me finding a list of good companies to get in touch with before traveling there .

      1. Fredrik Grönkvist at 8:11 pm

        Hello Sammar,

        We can help you out. I’ll send you an email with more information.

        1. sammar at 2:17 pm

          it’s a decoration company so iam going to need all kind of furniture like indoor ,outdoor , office & restaurant furniture , i need at list 2 or 3 companies for each one . also i want away to contact them before coming to china

        2. Mina Raouf at 11:02 am

          Fredrik i am starting a business of home furniture in Egypt specializing in living rooms furnitures. Would you please help me by recommending a list of good companies and manufacturers specializing in living rooms furnitures to contact them before traveling to china.
          Your help will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    33. Fredrik Grönkvist at 6:04 pm

      Hello Tahir,

      We can arrange a Quality Inspection in your suppliers factory. I’ll send you an email with a few questions.

    34. Laura at 11:31 pm

      Has anyone ever heard of ITI manufacturing I am just wondering if they are reliable.

      1. Fredrik Grönkvist at 6:02 pm

        Hello Laura,

        Sorry for the late reply. No, we have not heard of ITI manufacturing. Importers tend to be rather secretive about their suppliers and are unlikely to share their experiences.

    35. Sohail at 8:51 am

      Dear Sir,

      I am looking to import around four containers of office chairs of all varieties from a manufacturer directly. I am confused as to where to head to for this as I have noticed that there are many manufacturers in Anji county, Zejhiang and Hongzhou. Which is the best area to make my purchase and it should be of good quality and also they should be able to customize.
      Thanks in advance for the reply.

      Regards
      Sohail

      1. Fredrik Grönkvist at 9:05 am

        Hello Sohail,

        In fact, Zhejiang is the province which the cities of Anji and Hangzhou are located in. Most furniture manufacturers are located in the provinces of Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Guangdong.

        Keep in mind that there’s no universal definition of “good quality”. Chinese factories manufacture products according to your product specifications. Thus you shall begin with drafting your product specifications. This will then be the basis that your supplier selection shall be made upon.

        It’s the same thing when it comes to product customization. All manufacturers are able to customize products to a varying degree. It’s a matter of providing clear product specifications to your supplier. Don’t expect Chinese suppliers to take on product development for you.

        I think we’ll write a blog post about that topic quite soon.

      2. steven at 1:54 am

        hello sohail
        Follow my advice you have two choices. One is Anji in zhejiang Province, the word’s largest production base of office chair, many foreign buyers know where. Two is the Hebei province of Shengfang, where manufacturing capacity is also very strong, especially in the plastic chair folding chair, individual manufacturers scale also generally larger than Anji‘s factory.
        For customize, four containers of office chair is not many, the color or fabric or filling on the custom should be no problem, if changing the structure may be difficult.
        why not take a chinese professional people to help you,like me. 717445728@qq.com

    36. Scheherazade at 3:59 pm

      Hello Frederik,
      I read your article and I appreciate your advice.
      I’m living in France and I’m searching for differents suppliers for furniture for home.
      I know there is a lot of website like globalsourcing, madeinchina, or others but how you can find the good supplier. Is it more easier to work with an agent. How to choose the better ration product/price.
      Is it easy to work with chinese suppliers? And if we interest on malaysia or indonesia suppliers is the market the same?

      Otherwise, I know there is some standars for products on EU and I want to have a profitable margin on the products.
      Do you have some advices for the shipping.4

      Thank you for your answer.

      1. Fredrik Grönkvist at 7:30 pm

        Working with the wrong (that’s about 90% in my opinion) supplier can be a real nightmare. However, there are efficient and organized suppliers in China that are as easy to work with as any manufacturer in the world. Our job is locating those suppliers.

        While I know that furniture are also manufactured in South East Asia, we have no experience working with suppliers in those countries.

        Yes, furniture is also required to be compliant with certification standards such as B1 and REACH, when imported to the EU.

        Regarding shipping, I advice that you order a full container load. It’s safer than LCL shipping (especially when the cargo is furniture) and way cheaper.

        1. steven at 9:53 am

          Hello Frederik,
          I read your article and I appreciate to make friend with you and anyone who are interest in furniture .
          I’m a chinese. Steven is my english name. My famliy have a furniture mall in africa and i am resposible for export goods from china to africa. Each year i must purchase more than 10million $ goods and deliver it.
          There are three big furnitur market in east china. The biggest one is in guangdong foshan and it is well know to international buyer. The second one is in jiangsu province which is well know to domestic buyer. The thrid one is nearby tianjin city.
          although it is easily to find all kind of furniture on market, but it difficult to to get good price&quality for you, sometimes even for me . There too many reason impact on price&quality. It is difficult to communicate to chinese ,most of our people cannot speak english or other foreign language.
          Anyone who are interest in china furniture can send my e-mail 717445728@qq.com.

          1. Fredrik Grönkvist at 6:05 pm

            Steven,

            Thanks for sharing this information on furniture wholesale markets!

    37. Najat at 7:51 am

      Hello Mr. Fredrik;
      I read your article and I like your advice. In fact, I am trying to buy online from china some furniture for home, I don’t know what is the best way to do?
      Do you know a reliable site or supplier that I can buy from? and what is the best way to ship with?
      thanks a lot ..

      1. Fredrik Grönkvist at 1:15 pm

        Hello Najat!

        We cannot present any supplier references here since it’s part of our main service. Please read more on https://www.chinaimportal.com.

        Keep in mind that different furniture manufacturers are specialized in different kinds of furniture designs and materials. Your first step is to decide what kind of furniture you wish to import.

    38. Mayank at 5:34 pm

      Dear Fredrik

      We are interested looking for Complete Apartment furniture factories in China.

      We have to supply all furniture for 10 Nos. 3 BHK aparrtments.

      So it would be great if you can advise some factories who can help us procure

      complete furniture for these apartments.

      We are looking for factories in Guangdong.

      Regards

      1. Fredrik Grönkvist at 5:55 pm

        Hello Mayank,

        There are no single manufacturers that can produce everything needed in an apartment. It would require a huge manufacturing operation and cover everything from wooden furniture to plastic molding. It’s not viable.

        However, there are Trading Companies in China that has a decent product selection.

    39. Sajid at 11:01 am

      Let me know your contact details and i would love to talk with you. Thanks Fedrick to put this all up, really interested to source some chinese office furniture

      1. Fredrik Grönkvist at 5:53 pm

        Hello Sajld!

        You can email us on info@chinaimportal.com. We’ll get back to you within 24 hours.

    40. Ray Putra at 11:54 pm

      Hi Fredrik,

      Thank you so much for writing this blog! It’s very helpful indeed!
      I’m currently trying to import some stuffs from China and still trying to learn a lot of stuffs about it.
      I have some products that I really like and I know for sure they are made in China.
      Do you know how I can track down which suppliers these products are manufactured in?

      Cheers!

      Ray

      1. Fredrik Grönkvist at 2:51 pm

        Hello Ray!

        Yes, it’s possible to find the manufacturer of a certain product through Importgenius.com. However, as far as I know they only provide customs data for the US and you must know which (american) company imported the product from China. The customs don’t track any commercial activity within the US.

    41. Lisa at 11:06 pm

      Hi Fredrik,

      I am looking to purchase furniture from China for home use in the USA. Are fire retardant standards in the USA equivalent to The United Kingdom or European Union? Would their standards be allowed in the USA? Also, how do you make sure you are dealing with a reputable company? I am concerned about never receiving my furniture or the quality not being what I had expected? If I am purchasing replica pieces for my home, such as the Barcelona chair would I have a problem with US customs?

      Thank you

      1. Fredrik Grönkvist at 8:23 pm

        Hi Lisa!

        a.) While the US, EU and UK have different standards, a supplier that can pass one of them can in general pass the rest. However, there are outdated standards and the most important thing is not only to find a supplier who CAN pass the test – but a supplier who is routinely manufacturing furniture that are in compliance with the relevant testing standards.

        b.) There are many factors that depend whether a supplier is a reputable company. Way to many to summarize in a comment. However, the first thing you should look at are the following:

        i.) The amount of registered capital
        ii.) Product certification compliance
        iii.) Target markets (avoid suppliers who focus on the domestic Chinese market, find one who is already exporting large volumes to the US and EU)

        c.) Reliable supplier don’t ship empty containers. Scammers do. These scammers tend to offer “too good to be true” pricing. A price much lower than the competition is a warning sign.

        In order to further minimize the exposure to frauds you can hire an agent and get a container loading inspection. You should also hire a quality inspector to check the products while they are still in the factory. I suggest that you get in touch with Renaud Anjoran of Qualityinspection.org.

        d.) Regarding the Barcelona chair. Yes, you may have issues. I know that Barcelona chair replicas has been confiscated in the EU. While I havn’t heard of a similiar case in the US, I find it quite likely to happen.

    42. Rolf Oversier at 9:35 pm

      Hi Fredrik,

      Very interesting to read your tips. I am looking at China to buy new furniture and hospitality items for our resort. You say as one of your tips to contact the sellers and get quotations in advance. As far as I know the Asian/ Chinese market it is a lot about bargaining about the prices. What is your experience with price negotiation? How far do they increase their margins to begin with, how to get them as low as possible with the desired product. Let’s say we talk about furnishing 50 apartments of 60 sqm. How would you approach the negotiations in advance and at the moment you are in China?

      1. Fredrik Grönkvist at 12:50 pm

        Hello Rolf!

        Yes, Chinese suppliers are accustomed to price negotiation. However, a serious manufacturer is not very likely to add as much as 20 – 40% in the price. In general a price negotiation may reduce the price with 1 – 3%.

        The best way to find out whether you’ve been quoted the “market price” is to request quotations from at least 12 suppliers. Keep in mind that the products you want to get quoted must be rather similar, otherwise you’ll compare pricing on different products and that’s going to present a fair picture.

        I’ve already written a blog post on this topic that you can find here:

        https://www.chinaimportal.com/blog/get-a-better-price-from-your-chinese-supplier/

      2. steven at 11:41 am

        hello Rolf Oversier
        I am a chinese and a furniture buyer. I have a way to find the right price. When i want buy a kind of furniture, frist i use taobao the largest shopping websit in china to lookup the retail or wholesale price that is low and transparent, then i can estimate the wholesale price or factory price.

        1. Fredrik Grönkvist at 6:04 pm

          Hello Steven,

          Yes, but the problem with products marketed on Taobao.com is that they are not compliant with EU and US fire retardant standards. Products exported to the west cost more to manufacture than products made for the domestic Chinese market. Therefore a Taobao.com price may not always be a solid price indicator. However, for non-EU / US importers, it might serve a purpose.

          1. steven at 1:00 pm

            hello fredrik
            I agree with you. Standards include quality package and instruction is a problem especially to developed country. According to my experience, if you afford 20-50% additional money, the manufacturer will make it all.

    43. Meghraj Dhungel at 4:44 pm

      Hello sir,
      I am from Nepal. I am pleased to read your artical and i am planning to do some small business importing from china. Can u tell me the tantative cost to import furniture china? if you have any idea about impoting chinese home applieance in Nepal!

      1. Fredrik Grönkvist at 4:14 am

        Hello Meghraj!

        a.) The pricing is completely depending on the products you buy and in which quantity. I need to see a quotation from a supplier before I can make any estimations regarding the total cost.

        b.) I assume that land transportation makes sense when importing from China to Nepal. Getting a price shouldn’t be too hard. Ask a Chinese supplier to quote you a CIF Nepal price (well, you actually need to specify a city rather than a country, but I hope you get the point).

        I have to clarify that I have no experience whatsoever of imports from China to Nepal, but I try to answer your questions in the best way I can.

    44. Lee at 8:41 pm

      Afternoon,
      I am finding that to import a container of furniture is a lot more difficult than I thought. I am in South Africa and currently have a furniture buying my furniture from a supplier who in turn buys from their supplier in China.
      After Talking to a supplier in China and receiving my quote, I am amazed that the price is almost more than what I currently buy for. Together with Shipping costs, Customs Duty and VAT it almost seems impossible.
      Please advise me, as I cant understand why this seems almost impossible??

      1. Fredrik Grönkvist at 3:06 am

        Hello Lee,

        You need to contact far more than one supplier in order to get a decent understanding for the price level of a certain product. Some suppliers are more expensive than others.

        I have no idea about the cost situation in South Africa, but I’ve worked with several home furniture importers based in Sweden and they are able to make a decent profit of their business. However, South Africa have a lot more low cost labor available than most EU countries, therefore China might not be the right choice for you.

        Also, keep in mind that VAT is not a cost.

      2. steven at 10:18 am

        hello lee
        maybe you talk to wrong man who is not a real producer. or maybe the supplier are wait for your bargaining. i don’t know what kind of furniture you want and the price you can offered, i can give you an example. An office chair made in china usually cost 20-40 $, a office desk 1.4m long usually cost 100-150 $.

    45. Fredrik Grönkvist at 4:50 am

      Hello Jon!

      Honestly I am not the right person to ask about sales. However, from what I’ve heard from my clients I suggest that you try any of the following:

      a.) Attend trade fairs

      b.) Supply retailers in Ireland and the UK (keep in mind that retailers are rather likely to require proper certification and a test report that can prove certification compliance.) I’ve attended a few meetings together with my clients and from what I understand you simply pick up the phone and book a meeting with the purchasing manager.

      Don’t be afraid to contact larger retailers and chains. Most of them tend to purchase from local wholesalers rather than importing from China, and elsewhere, by themselves.

      c.) Get listed on an online wholesaler directory

      d.) Open an online store and sell directly to the customers.

      e.) Open a show room. This could work as a low budget alternative to opening a store.

      1. Sharon Page at 10:27 am

        Hello Frederick thank you for all of this information. I have been importing white American oak beds without posted headboards from China to the UK I have had three containers over three years but each time there is something wrong. Please can you get in touch with me for some help I have good shippers but it is then manufacturers and I need help with many thanks Sharon

        1. ChinaImportal at 2:05 am

          Hello Sharon,

          We will contact you by email in a couple of hours!

    46. Jon at 5:23 am

      Hi Fredrik,
      I enjoyed reading your post, it was very informative. You seem to know your stuff! I am starting to do some business with importing furniture into my country (Ireland). I have a contact in China who can do all that has to be done with the factories. However, I was wondering if you could make any suggestions to me about how to find clients, and where to look for them and what is the best approach etc.
      Regards,
      Jon

      1. john at 9:30 pm

        Did you start importing in to Ireland,I am looking for flat pack to retail here in ireland. Thanks john

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