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Starting to Import from China

 
 
Reply Wed 13 Oct, 2004 04:41 pm
Hi all:

I guess this message is for Craven who should probably start a 1-900 phoneline and make a profit from his expertise:)

I am a nearly new importer of textiles from Nepal (about 6 months in now). I usually use Fedex to deliver direct to my customers, and a customs agent for very large orders, although I have not needed to yet:) I have made a mistake at about every turn of the way but had forecast that risk and made it through alive at the other end with a pretty good system in place now.

One of my clients has asked for 10,000 tote bags and 10,000 items of baby clothes. I am contacting Chinese factories through Alibaba.com. Can I trust using online Trade Resource centers such as this? How can I ensure I am getting the best price possible? Can I negotiate the price down or does that become offensive at some point?

I will use a customs broker when the shipment is made. Do I need to be ready for duties due to the size of the order? How can I calculate this to ensure I pass the cost on to my client? Using Fedex for Nepal shipments, we have not run into duty issues yet.

Regarding samples, due to the expensive items I import from Nepal, often a sample must be created to ensure the customers confidence. For the totes and baby clothes, can I ask for samples from the chinese bidders? What happens if I know the order will be vey big and reoccuring in the future, but we need a small order to start for test marketing?

Any advice anyone can provide will be greatly appreciated. I am about to take the big step of leaving my Consulting position with IBM to pursue Importing Textiles full time as I have more work than I can handle right now with what started as a small business to make extra money. I want to be careful not to make foolish decisions during this critical point.

This is a great chat room, very useful. I wish I found it 6 months ago when I ended up eating all of my profits through shipping costs on my first order:) Live and learn!
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canadas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Oct, 2004 09:27 pm
Will be importing soon as well
HI!!

Your story sounds very much like mine! I have had a product produced in China,,..... Literally by email to China. I am almost at the stage to get the product here.
I read a number of really helpful posts. We know about some of these things but much to do yet.
I still need to confirm label requirements for our product. The manufacturer doesn't know anything about this. WE have to ensure everything is labelled correctly for customs .
Does the custom broker know this or do we have to approach some sort of government custom regualations?
I'm sure you have found some good info here as well by now.
I know we are going to contact a Frieght Forwarder and find out all the details from them.
The one thing you need to figure out your costs is package size, wieght etc. Where from -to? port to port or not?
Good Luck
canadas
0 Replies
 
Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Oct, 2004 05:01 am
Re: Starting to Import from China
Sorry, I just saw this. In case you still need answers.

dakiniimports wrote:

One of my clients has asked for 10,000 tote bags and 10,000 items of baby clothes.


For logistics advice, the volume (in cube), weight, and total invoice price are the best things to give.

I, for one, have no idea what those numbers mean when it comes to logistics as I am not familiar with your product.

Quote:
I am contacting Chinese factories through Alibaba.com. Can I trust using online Trade Resource centers such as this?


Not if you mean to trust them to only refer you to businesses with whom you will not ever have any problems.

You need to build mechanisms into your proceedures that eliminate risk, such as agreeing to safer payment terms.

One common method I used was FOB terms, with payment happening by wire transfer when the bill of lading needed to be surrendered.

Basically, the product would arrive in Chicago or Milwaukee, and before it could be released to the warehouse I would need to surrender a bill of lading to the steamship line.

I would not receive said bill of lading from the manufacturer until payment was made.

Quote:
How can I ensure I am getting the best price possible?


The same way you do this anywhere. Compare, and learn about the market.

Quote:
Can I negotiate the price down or does that become offensive at some point?


I have negotiated in the past, but with the products you mention there usually isn't a premium built into the price, and reductions can usually only come with other concerns like volume or exlusivity.

Quote:
I will use a customs broker when the shipment is made. Do I need to be ready for duties due to the size of the order?


Probably. In my experience duties were pretty low.

Quote:
How can I calculate this to ensure I pass the cost on to my client?


Ask your customs broker, this type of question is what a good customs broker is for.

But remember, customs brokers make very little money to clear their shipments, so you may want to pay for an hour of consultation.

Quote:
Regarding samples, due to the expensive items I import from Nepal, often a sample must be created to ensure the customers confidence. For the totes and baby clothes, can I ask for samples from the chinese bidders?


Yes. They usually are willing to send sample products unless the costs for doing so are prohibitive.

A smart company understands that the samples can help you sell, which can only help them.

When I worked in logistics (I am not a web development manager) I always got samples before purchasing, as well as product packaged as samples for use by salesmen.

canadas wrote:
I still need to confirm label requirements for our product. The manufacturer doesn't know anything about this. WE have to ensure everything is labelled correctly for customs .
Does the custom broker know this or do we have to approach some sort of government custom regualations?


The customs broker should be able to help you.
dakiniimports
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Oct, 2004 11:23 am
Importing from China
Hi all:

Actually, my first large shipment of carpets has just arrived from Nepal and is in customs in LA. after researching exhaustively, I ended up using Fedex as my shipper. Yes, FEDEX.

They manage everything, including customs, and deliver direct to the customer. This works well fr the carpet business where I place an order at a time and direct the product to the customer's address.

This approach will not work when I ship in 40 carpets to a retail store though. That's when airfreight and the customs agent will come into play. Also, I will need to purchase a Continuous Bond that costs $550, but will save customs fees over time.

For China, I think I tracked a decent Chinese company who has agreed to send samples. I'll take it from there and probably reach out to this board again.

Also, advice to all starting in import, BEWARE THE FRAUDSTERS FROM AFRICA. Basically anyone requesting a large order with a phone number starting in 227, 228 or 229. The transactions look legit but they are typically not. I advise EXTREME caution or you will lose your shirt just starting out. Research "Fraud Nigeria, Togo or Benin" to educate yourself now.

Thanks
0 Replies
 
dakiniimports
 
  1  
Reply Sat 23 Oct, 2004 11:35 am
Canadas:

Did you obtain a sample of your product from China before placing you order and how are you ensuring quality? Can I ask what the product from China is? Did you try to pay using an escrow or did you have to pay the full production amount upfront? For us we are importing baby items with custom printing.

Thanks
0 Replies
 
Yet2know
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Nov, 2004 12:11 pm
Thinking about starting a business
Gurus, friends and business people,

I was doing google searches about import form china that i got to this page. I read your comments several times and was glad that i got to this page. I am a consultant in pharmaceutical industry which thinking to start a part time business. I have been looking at wholesalers and liquidations to buy stuff and seel them on ebay till i found this forum. Now i'm thinking about import. My question for your guys is,

1- How do you market your imports, and where do you sell the stuff?

2- Is ebay your gateway of exposure to customers or you guys actually have some stores?

3- Dikiniimports, how do you find customers for your import?

Thanks guys

Yet2know
0 Replies
 
xinh5201
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Jun, 2010 12:48 am
@dakiniimports,
hello, i am a newly exporters of baby clothes too. i am suffering simliar problems as yours, usually i found clients on alibaba.com,but few successful. if you want find suppliers on alibaba, you may compare prices between what information were issued, and it is possible to ask samples from them, but generally frieght collect. custom is different from countries, i don't know how much in Nepal, you may check it in your national custom website. calculate it on cost of each item.
0 Replies
 
BruceRRR
 
  0  
Reply Mon 12 Aug, 2013 02:51 am
@Craven de Kere,
Impressive! My company is a manufacturer in China, and i've learned from you, thank you.
kylelewispaul
 
  0  
Reply Wed 22 Oct, 2014 04:58 am
@BruceRRR,
Hello there,

I am a big exporter of Chinese products, may be some of our items has been sales on all over Asian countries, we are dealing in buttons, jeans shirt and 3 piece suites, which are very demanding once.
0 Replies
 
 

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