Buy from China: Complete Guide
Businesses have changed into dropshipping from orthodox selling. Thus, it has increased the importance of China in online shopping. Most dropshippers buy from China to sell in their dropshipping store. It allows them to sell products at a better profit without investing huge capital. Many new dropshippers find it complicated to get cheap products from China. Yet, it is incredibly simple when you know how to buy cheap products from China.
Let’s tell you everything about buying products direct from China.
What is Buy from China?
Buying from China refers to importing products from China. Many people globally buy products through different websites. These websites ship globally. You can buy one or as many products as you want. Besides personal purchases, buying from China has become critical to dropshippers. Online sellers buy products from China to sell to other parts of the world for profit. The Chinese government has created policies to support export trade. So, you can also build your brand by buying bulk items from China.
Why Should You Import from China?
Japan, France, Germany, and other countries manufacture high-quality products. The question arises, “why do dropshippers buy cheap stuff from China?” Here are a few common reasons why people worldwide are buying from China.
If you have high-quality products in other European countries does not mean China produces sub-standard items. Many people think that China does not manufacture good quality products. It is not true. There are hundreds of reliable suppliers and vendors in China. They make sure that you get only the best quality items. These high-quality items can help you scale your business soon.
Another reason is that the prices are very low compared to other places. Many sellers buy items from China as the products have lesser prices.Low wages in China and accessible materials are the main reason for low costs. They reduce manufacturing costs and receive the products at a lower price.
China is well-known for manufacturing products in bulk. They supply to different locations around the world. This is also beneficial to dropshippers. It allows you to take advantage of mass production in lesser time. You have access to fast production lines to ensure sufficient inventory.
Considering how huge the Chinese market is, the vendors are experienced in customizing products. They can manufacture new products for you or customize existing products according to your need.
How to Buy Products from China?
Buying products from China may seem difficult. But, it is quite simple when you understand the process. We have simplified the process for you. Here’s how you can import from China conveniently.
Choose a Product
The first step to buying a product is to choose a product. Choosing the right product is necessary to make a good profit. You can research a product online or take help from experts. There are various means of choosing the right product. All platforms have different criteria for picking the right product. Make sure to select a suitable niche and profitable relevant products. Some of the most popular dropshipping niches include:
- Kitchen accessories and appliances
- Car Accessories
- Women’s and children’s clothing
- Beauty and makeup
- Fitness equipment
You can buy good-quality cheap stuff from China after finding the right suppliers. A wrong supplier can cost you your whole business. It can be challenging if you do not find a vendor that takes care of your products. Here’s how you can find suppliers in China for your business.
Google is the perfect solution to all your problems. It is best if you do not want to rely on random resources. Google gives you information about all credible vendors dealing with your desired products. But, you might miss a few suppliers who do not deal online.
Trade shows are excellent for connecting with clients and vendors. They are more suitable for B2B sellers. Yet, you can also find a suitable vendor for your business through trade shows. You get to know about various suppliers first-hand by interacting with them. One drawback is that you will have to travel to the shows. So, it can be expensive and take more time.
Alibaba is a simple way to find suppliers online. Hundreds and thousands of vendors on Alibaba deal in B2B cheap products in China. You can find out about the right vendors and products by checking the ratings. Customer reviews make it incredibly easy to find reliable vendors.
Ask for a Quote
Next, you need to ask your short-listed vendors for a quote. You can find the supplier and their production line amazing, but it might be the best choice. A good way to check is to ask them for a quote. It will allow you to remove a few from the list. But you must remember that every vendor with a low quote may not offer the best product. Also, keep in mind that there is always room for negotiation. A supplier who wants a new client will try to offer you the best rates. These are the two quotes you need to ask for:
· Product cost
· Shipping cost
Product costs often depend on the number of pieces you buy. Yet, sometimes China suppliers do not include the delivery charges in the quotation. So, ask them about the shipping costs and if they differ for each area. They may also tell you about different shipping options.
Confirming the Vendor
You must not settle when you ‘think’ you have found your supplier. It is better to short-list a few vendors and vet them before finalizing two or three. You can use the following methods to filter them further:
- One method is to ask for samples. A reliable vendor will not hesitate to share their samples with you. They might ask you to pay for the shipping of the free product. It allows you to check the product of their quality and the customer service.
- The second way is to ask your vendor questions. Sometimes, you might not be able to communicate in the best way. But, make sure to convey your concerns. Talk to them on the phone, or it’s even better to meet them. Talk to them about their products, production lines, shipping, etc., in detail.
- Lastly, you can use the internet to search online. Google is not only good to find vendors but also to vet them. It is a good idea to dig into the selected vendors online before confirming them. It is also suitable to check about them thoroughly on Alibaba.
Communicate Shipping Details
Let’s suppose you offer 7-day delivery, but your vendor does not send in less than two weeks. What will you do then? Dropshipping agents like Wefulfill can help you improve shipment efficiency when you buy from China. Still, it is important to talk to your vendor about the estimated product delivery time. Do not opt for quick shipping over quality products. It is an advantage but not a significant element of the dropshipping process.
Check Import Regulations
You may check them before finalizing your supplier, as there might be issues. Alternatively, you can confirm after you talk to your vendor. It will also give them clarity about any specific rules or regulations. It is quite easy to import products from China. However, some products like weapons, tobacco, toxic chemicals, agricultural products, and food items may not be allowed in certain regions.
Some of the common import regulations in different parts of the world include the following:
- Examination of the product at the point of entry
- Proper documentation of the transaction of goods
- Duties to allow entry of the products into your country
Moreover, the rules and regulations in the USA, Europe, and Canada are as follows:
Importing products to the US requires an employer’s identification number (EIN). You may also use a social insurance number. The EIN is necessary when you buy products from China for a registered business. Individuals importing products for personal use do not need the EIN.
People established in Europe can import products using their EORI number. You will need the EORI number to be able to bring international products into the EU. Residents of the UK can also import products with their EORI number. It allows you to bring in products without being established in the UK.
Canadian import rules and regulations are a little different from other places. The most important document is the import/ export business license. It plays a major role in processing your customs documents.
Where to Buy Products from China?
Now that you know how to buy products from China, it is time to know where to buy them from. If you are looking to import products from China as a dropshipper, there are three basic options:
- Buy from B2B or B2B platforms that cater to your needs. Alibaba is the most popular website to buy items from China in bulk.
- Connect to a product sourcing agent in China to negotiate prices and offer you the best rates.
- Visit trade shows, as we mentioned already. It is a good way to contact factories, manufacturers, suppliers, etc.
You can also get in touch online with China suppliers to talk about their services. The most popular wholesale supplier websites for dropshipping in China include Alibaba, AliExpress, DHgate, Made in China, and DIYTrade.
Common Problems when Buying from China
It is common to come across problems when doing business in a different country. Finding and dealing with vendors from China can be difficult too. There are various reasons you may find it difficult. Let’s tell you a few common issues when buying bulk items from China.
Language can be a major issue if you do not speak English. People of China typically speak Chinese and study English only at school. It allows them to communicate with others in English. Yet, they are not fluent in the language. Thus, it is better to talk slowly and in clear words. It will reduce the time you spend explaining your point. However, they are better at reading than listening to English. So, you can try that as well.
If you travel to China for trade fairs, you will experience a wide difference in culture. Their way of dealing with clients is different than many other places. They are generally more polite and may agree to you even if they do not understand what you are saying. It is better to ask them directly to avoid misunderstandings. They might not tell you themselves out of courtesy.
Alterations in Contracts
While people in most parts of the world consider contracts final, Chinese people do not. You may be surprised to know that the written contracts in China are not final. They might change any day if necessary. It is better to opt for a written agreement than just drafting a contract.
Tips to Buy from China
Did you think that we would only tell you about the possible issues? We have a few tips for you that can come in handy when you buy cheap stuff from China.
The language barrier can be a huge problem if you are also not good at English. The best choice is to have a local or English speaker with you. But, if you do not have the opportunity, play safe. Be straight and talk in simple, easy words. It will be easy for both of you to understand the other person.
Explain Your Specifications
Often you have some specific requirements when importing as a dropshipper. So, make sure to communicate your specifications to your supplier. You may discuss it before finalizing them. Or mention it to the vendor before they dispatch the first order.
Learn the Terms
When buying bulk items from China, you might confuse different terms. But remember that factories, trading companies, manufacturers, sourcing agents, and suppliers are different. Factory refers to the manufacturing unit while the supplier sends the product to you. Sometimes the manufacturers may be direct suppliers. Mostly, factory and manufacturer are synonymous.
Moreover, a trading company is a middleman that finds the vendor for you. They make little profit on the product they buy from the supplier. Sourcing agents are similar to trading companies but help you find the best price.
Don’t Always Pick the Cheapest Product or Shipping
Most dropshippers follow the rule of thumb to pick the lowest quote. But, as we mentioned, it is not always the right option. Always check the vendor and product thoroughly before choosing. Ask them to send samples and share pictures.
Take Care of Shipping
It is important to mention this as many sellers forget about shipping aspects. Shipping plays a major role in your customers’ view of your business. If you do not ship within the given time, you may lose customers. Thus, you must always clarify the shipping charges and time.
Discuss FOB Terms
FOB translates to “free on board.” It means that the vendor does not pay any charges to the shipping company. They mark the shipment as “sold” in their record. So, it is good to talk to your vendor about the method they prefer. FOB gives you more control of the shipment with lesser delivery costs.
Do Not Underestimate Trading Companies
So far, you might have thought that factories offer the best rates. It is true in most parts of the world. But China is the center of production and supply to many parts of the world. Businessmen have also changed their way of working. Trading companies may be able to offer you better rates than the factories. The reason lies in the relationship of the trading companies with the factories. The variation in price results from the lack of trust in the factory. Connecting with a reliable trading company can help you crack a better deal than direct from China factory.
Best Buy Items from China for Dropshipping
Higher competition in dropshipping has led to more care when choosing products for your business. If you want to stand at the top in your niche, choosing the right products is necessary. It allows you to stand out and cater to customer demands. Keep reading to know about some of the best products from China for Dropshipping.
China is well known for producing affordable clothing. That is why many dropshippers opt for women’s and children’s clothing in eCommerce stores. You can sell anything from t-shirts to gowns and accessories at lower prices. Many sellers offer a wide range of products in their stores. But you can choose one theme and stick to it. You can reach an extensive customer base when you target the right audience.
Makeup and Beauty
Another related popular niche is makeup and beauty. The demand for makeup and skincare products is increasing every day. People spend a lot of money on buying the right products. The best part is that many products are economical for buyers. You may opt for affordable skincare and makeup. On the other hand, selling branded high-end makeup also makes good money.
While you might not have thought of it, ring lights are among the best-selling products today. Video makers globally use ring lights for video recording purposes. It gives them bright light anywhere, anytime. Content creators use ring lights on Snapchat, Tiktok, Instagram, YouTube, etc. You can find ring lights in different sizes and prices from vendors in China.
As most new moms prefer buying online, baby accessories are among the best-selling products online. The baby carrier is one of the top sellers. It allows parents to carry newborns and toddlers without tiring themselves. The baby also feels comfortable in the sling carrier despite staying in it for a long time. You can also buy other items like prams, clothing, and electric nail cutters for babies direct from China.
Adjustable Nylon Rope Pet Cat Leash
One more category among the top products is ‘pet accessories.’ The demand for pet accessories has increased massively in the past years. An adjustable pet cat leash is one of the most popular items. It comes in different sizes and colors to cater to all customers. It is equally good for cats and dogs. Many sellers sell it as a bundle with other products, increasing sales.
LED Kids Alarm Clocks
Online shopping from China is about buying functional and cute products. You can attract buyers to your store by offering these cute products. A cute LED kid’s alarm clock is one such product everyone loves. You can find various options to choose from. Pick your favorite for your store and bring more customers.
How Can a Dropshipping Agent Help You Buy from China?
Dropshipping agents and companies are good at what they do when you do not know much about the market. They can help you get better deals and import products effortlessly from China. Here’s what they do majorly:
- They order from Business to Business sellers and make sure the product reaches you timely.
- Your dropshipping agent may find better-quality products for you to increase your profits.
- They are generally in touch with factories in China that give them better rates compared to new buyers.
- They may also provide white-label and private-label services through the factory because of the trust they have developed.
- You do not have to visit China to connect to suppliers and manufacturers at trade shows. They can connect to them on your behalf.
Many dropshippers buy from China for their business. The products in China cost less and are high-quality. They also have fast production lines, ensuring you are never short on products. It is important to know the difference between factory, manufacturer, supplier, trading company, sourcing agent, and supplier. Buying bulk items from China may have a few problems, like language and culture barriers. Yet, you must be clear with them, be courteous, discuss FOB terms with the vendor, and ask for samples. You may also get in touch with a sourcing agent like Wefullfill to help you with the process.
Can I trust buying products from China?
Yes. You do not have to worry when buying items from China. But, it is important to understand how buying in China works. It is important to research the suppliers thoroughly. You can also connect to them through trade fair and their websites. Ask them about everything from production costs to shipping charges, delivery time, etc. Scammers do not typically take the pain of informing you about the details. On the contrary, genuine sellers try their best to do business. They answer all your questions and offer samples as well.
What are the most important things to know when I buy from a manufacturer in China?
Most suppliers and vendors in China are reliable. But, you must take care of detail on your end. It is better to take precautions than be scammed. Searching for them on different websites and eCommerce platforms may help find reviews. Old businesses are more likely to be better than new ones. The only reason is that you cannot be sure about new vendors. If you find good reviews about them, there is no harm in trying them. Other details that may help include their staff and the products they specialize in. Do not hesitate to ask about their terms and conditions (if any).
Where to buy products from China?
There are various options to buy from China, including trade fairs and online B2B and B2C websites. If you are looking for the best choice, Alibaba is considered the top name in B2B sellers nowadays. Besides Alibaba, other platforms include Made in China, AliExpress, and DHgate. Many drop shippers prefer 1688 over others as they are thought to have the best products. Moreover, Global Sources is also a popular name to buy cheap stuff from China wholesale.
shailesh is a Design Founder & Advisor, Berlin School of Creative Leadership Executive MBA participant, Zippie advisor, Wolt co-founder, and Nordic Rose stakeholder.