• Importing Auto, ATV & Motorcycle Spare Parts from China – The Ultimate Guide

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    Looking for Auto, motorcycle or ATV spare parts? Chinese suppliers might have exactly what you’re looking for. While this is a product that can be purchased both from manufacturers and “off shelf” from Trading Companies, the industry is infested with unscrupulous and disorganized suppliers. In this week’s article we look into the do’s and dont’s when buying vehicle spare parts from China.

    Buying from a Manufacturer

    Buying directly from the manufacturer comes with some obvious benefits. The product selection is wider (I explain why in a minute) and the prices are lower due to the lack of middlemen. However, it’s not viable for most small businesses importing vehicle spare parts from China. The reason is spelled “MOQ”, or “Minimum Order Quantity” Requirement.

    A supplier must produce a certain minimum quantity of a product in order to make the production run viable. This “minimum quantity” tends to be 300 – 500 pieces for each part. Assuming that you wish to offer a wide range of different parts, the required investment can skyrocket to several millions of dollars if you would buy every single spare part directly from a manufacturer. However, there are other ways to do this.

    Advantages when buying spare parts directly from a Manufacturer

    • Lower prices
    • Product certification compliance (when required)
    • Full product availability

    Disadvantages when buying spare parts directly from a Manufacturer

    • High MOQ requirements (300 – 500 pcs per part)

    Buying from a Trading Company

    While it’s in general not possible to find “off shelf” products in China, vehicle spare parts can be purchased “off shelf” from Trading Companies. A Trading Company offers smaller volumes compared to manufacturers. Sometimes the MOQ requirement is as low as 5 to 10 pcs per spare part model. However, these Trading Companies are not working for free. The prices are often two to three times as high compared to if you would’ve purchased the spare parts directly from the manufacturer.

    But that’s not where your trouble ends. I’ve had my fair share of dealing with auto, motorcycle and ATV spare part traders in China and it’s been far from pleasant in most cases. The main problem is that they are in general very disorganized. While the Trading Companies may have product catalogues, far from all are in stock at any given time. Basically, you get to buy the parts that are available. This can cause major disruptions in your supply chain and it can take months before you’re able to restock on certain spare parts.

    While it would be fair to assume that a Trading Company should be able to deliver spare parts faster than a manufacturer (well, the parts have to be manufactured before they are delivered, right?) – it’s often the opposite Trading Companies often purchase spare parts from other traders. In most cases it takes at least a month before the Trading Company has gathered all the ordered parts.

    Advantages with buying spare parts from a Trading Company

    • Low MOQ requirements (5 – 10 pcs per product)

    Disadvantages when buying spare parts from a Trading Company

    • Limited product availability (you can buy what’s in stock. That’s it)
    • Major risk of missing, used or damaged parts
    • Higher prices (x2 to x3 times the price compared to manufacturers)

    Why it makes sense to buy spare parts from both factories and traders

    A major issue shared by most small businesses importing from China is that they can’t reach the MOQ requirements for more than a few products. Since you’re interested in importing vehicle parts, you probably want to stock up on more than two types of carburetors. You might need 50 different types in order to be a serious player on the market.

    Instead of choosing between placing a big bet on a manufacturer or get stuck with a disorganized trader, I suggest that you go for the middle way. Buy from both! One of my clients, an importer of ATV spare parts from China, does exactly this with great results. Like everyone else, they need to have a wide product selection to offer their customers. This is what they use the Trading Companies for. They buy 5 – 10 pcs of each product in order to ensure that they can offer as many different spare parts as possible. In return, they accept a lower profit margin on these “small volume” products.

    However, certain parts are in much higher demand than others. These are the products my client buys in larger quantities for very low prices, directly from the manufacturer. I’d say that this strategy is not only viable when importing Car, motorcycle and ATV parts – but when importing small volumes of any product.

    Common issues and how you can avoid them

    As I implicated earlier in this post, my experience tells me that issues of various kinds are more likely to occur when purchasing spare parts from Trading Companies than Manufacturers. It’s common that certain parts are missing. It’s also quite common that traders send used or dirty parts. Neither of this acceptable. Solution? Ask your supplier for product images before you settle the balance payment. However, these can be faked so it adds a very thin layer of protection at best (even though we’ve discovered a lot of issues this way). The best thing is always to hire a quality inspector that checks the cargo prior to the delivery.

    Low quality export cartons are another issue. Spare parts can be quite heavy, and those plastic gas tanks are easily crushed. I’m yet to find a vehicle spare part trader that understands that overloading cartons is not a good idea. Solution? Again, hire a quality inspector and refuse to let the supplier ship cargo in thin and overloaded exporting cartons . At a minimum, the cartons should have five layers and be wrapped in bubble plastic.

    Another issue that’s not really a quality issue, but still a major headache, is the shipping restrictions for certain spare parts. Oily and magnetic spare parts often require additional customs clearance, and certain parts must be cleaned prior to shipment. Tell your supplier to pack any oily or magnetic parts in a separate carton. This reduces the risk for serious delivery delays.

    Manufacturing clusters

    Most metallic spare parts such as carburetors, fuel pumps, fuel tanks and exhaust pipes are manufactured in China’s southern Guangdong province and the eastern provinces of Zhejiang and Jiangsu. Chongqing in the inland, and Shandong province in the northeast, is also becoming more prominent in the industry. The manufacturing base is in other words quite spread out. However, if you have to choose one city when sourcing metallic spare parts, Yongkang city in Zhejiang might be your best choice.

    Electronics part manufacturers are on the other hand a bit more concentrated. While there are still some well established manufacturers of electronic spare parts, such as starting relays and ignition coils, all over China – Guangdong province is the place to go. Most industrial and consumer electronics used in the world today are assembled in Guangdong. Car, motorcycle and ATV spare parts are no exceptions.

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    Trade Fairs in China for Vehicle Spare parts

    Canton Fair Phase 1, April 15 – 19 2014

    • Motorcycle Parts
    • Engines & Spare Parts
    • Cooling
    • Lubricants & Fuel Supply Spare Parts
    • Transmission Parts
    • Steering & Brake Parts
    • Vehicle Dashboard & Parts
    • Auto Electric Equipment and Parts
    • Maintenance & Related Products
    • Vehicle Decorations

    AAITF 2014 – Automotive Aftermarket Industry and Tuning (Guangzhou) Trade Fair

    • Car Audio & Visual Products
    • Car Electronics Products
    • Car Modification Products
    • Car Decoration Products
    • Car care & Beauty Products
    • Auto Parts & Maintenance Products

    AutoTronics Taipei 2014 – The 9th Taipei International Automobile Electronics Show (TWTC)

    • Auto Parts
    • Auto Accessories
    • Tuning & Restyling
    • Engine Parts
    • Chassis System
    • Automobile Frame and Parts
    • Repair & Maintenance
    • Automobile Electronic Components & Parts
    • Automobile Electronic Products

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  • 18 Responses to “Importing Auto, ATV & Motorcycle Spare Parts from China – The Ultimate Guide

    1. سیاوش at 3:47 pm

      Hi I’m Siavash from Iran I’m going to come to China to buy car spare parts. I’m looking for Iranian car spare parts. I have to go to which city to save money and do all my shopping together.

      Thanks for emailing me

    2. Dean Kramersh at 1:41 pm

      Thanks for sharing this great information. We need to keep blog alive for the further information.

    3. Dennis Mugendi at 3:53 pm

      hi..Dennis from Kenya how can I get a reliable supplier of motorcycles spares without necessarily going to China .quality spares for serious player in the market here in Kenya

    4. Shashank Arora at 1:08 pm

      Hi Fredirk,

      This is Shashank from India looking for suppliers at China for motor cycle spares requirement for small parts,Kindly suggest.

    5. mazar at 6:30 pm

      hi.

      hope you well

      i have auto parts business in africa last 25 year. i want know about good manufacturers factories of toyota parts in china. like brake pad brake shoe shock absorber oil filter cluch disk rubber parts engine mouting suspention parts like tie rod end ball joint rack end.pl give me information about china auto parts manufacturers magazin. and i want know about which part of china so many manufacturers of toyota parts.

    6. Dan at 4:44 pm

      I am in the US and want to order ATV’s, I already wired money to one company and received nothing. Lots of communication up to the point of order placed then nothing. I don’t want to give up but don’t want to throw money away again. Can you help direct me?

    7. viv at 2:33 am

      Hi all,

      Great article. I’d like to venture into the spare parts business. It’s been a while I have been searching for information and this is the first time I’m able to find a comprehensive that tackles some issues.
      For a newbie, what parts would you recommend to start with?

      Thanks

    8. sachendra at 3:00 pm

      Hello,

      we are India based company and interested to import motorcycle Spark Plug and MC Batteries for our market in our own brand,

      Please let us know how we should move further to avoide frauds and cheaper quality ?

      thanks
      Sachendra

    9. john at 7:03 pm

      How do I get contacts of reliable suppliers without necessarily going over for the time being.

    10. Maryanto at 8:49 am

      Hi…. I am Maryanto from Indonesia, i want to ask how can i get supplier for spare parts motorcycles and cars without going to China? But the supplier is realiable

      1. Fredrik Grönkvist at 10:54 am

        Hello Maryanto,

        I’ve sent an email to you with more information!

        1. Maryanto at 2:55 pm

          I’m still not get your email now…. please sent again… thanks

    11. Hassan Jalil at 5:24 pm

      Sir, My name is hassan I live in Lahore pakistan. I want to purchase following motorbike parts from china. Sprocket with chain. Wheel Bearings. Piston kit. Valves and head cam.
      Plz tell me which is the largest china motorcycle parts and accessories market should I visit to purchase these products.

      Thanks an regards..

      1. Fredrik Grönkvist at 12:31 pm

        Hello Hassan,

        I’ll send an email with more information

    12. Zeeshan at 8:37 pm

      Dear Fredrik,

      I live in Pakistan, doing motorbike spare parts business. Now I want to make my own Brand in Motorbike Spare Part market.
      Initially starting from one Engine Part (may be sprocket kit).

      Is it necessary that I have to visit china for searching a manufacturer??
      Your guidance will be beneficial.

      Reagards.

      1. Fredrik Grönkvist at 9:33 am

        Hello Zeeshan,

        No, I suggest you begin with sourcing suppliers online and those who are of interest. There are plenty of MC spare part suppliers in Jinhua, Taizhou and Yongkang. All three in Zhejiang province. The easiest way to get there is by flying to Shanghai and taking the train from there.

    13. ABU BAKARR KAMARA at 1:42 pm

      i want to do business with company in china but can you send me invitation letterto get the chines visa to go there so we can able to arrange things

    14. Fredrik Grönkvist at 4:04 pm

      Hello Abu,

      No, we cannot provide an invitation letter. Doing would make us break the law in China. However, the supplier that you intend to visit can issue an invitation letter, that you can use in your M-visa application.

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