Exclusive Tips About Importing from China

That I Only Share With My Clients

Many people want to import goods from China, but always lacking confidence in trying it because of some worries, like language barrier, complicated international trade process, scams, or bad quality products.

There are many tutorials teaching you how to import from China, charging you hundreds of dollars as tuition fees. However, most of them are just old-school textbook guides, which are not suitable for the current small business or e-commerce importers.

In this most practical guide, it’s easy for you to learn all knowledge of the whole importing process from choosing profitable products to arrange shipment.

To help you understand better, a corresponding video course of each step will be provided. Enjoy your learning.

This guide is divided into 10 sections according to different import stages. Click any section you have interest for further learning.

Step 1. Identify if you are qualified to import from China.

Almost every new or experienced businessman will choose to import products from China to get a higher profit margin. But the first thing you should consider is that how much budget you should prepare to import from China. However, the budget varies from your business model.

Only $100 for dropshipping business

You can spend $29 in building a website on Shopify, and then invest some money in social media advertisement.

$2,000+ budget for mature e-commerce sellers

As your business becomes mature, you had better not buy from drop shippers anymore because of the high cost. A real manufacturer is your best choice. Usually, Chinese suppliers will set a minimum purchasing order of $1000 for daily products. Finally, it usually costs you $2000 including shipping fees.

$1,000-$10,000 +for brand new products

For those products that don’t need a mold, like clothes or shoes, you just need to prepare $1000-$2000 to customize products according to your need. But for some products, like stainless steel cups, plastics cosmetic bottles, manufacturers need to make a specific mold to produce items. You need $5000 or even $10,000 budget.

$10,000-$20,000 +for traditional wholesale/retail business

As an offline traditional businessman, you purchase products from your local suppliers currently. But you can try buying products from China to get a more competitive price. Moreover, you needn’t worry about the high MOQ standard in China. Generally, according to your business model, you can meet it easily.

Learn this step in deep (13 mins video, 7 mins read, real-life cases included):

Import from China? How Much USD Budget May Need?

Step 2. Learn what products are good to import from China.

After analyzing the import budget you need, the next step is to choose the right product to import from China. Good products can bring you a nice profit.

If you are a new startup, here are some suggestions for your reference:

Don’t import trending products

Trending products like hoverboards, usually spread quickly, if you want to make quick money by selling such products, you need to have a strong market insight into grasping the opportunity. Moreover, an adequate distribution system and strong promotion ability are necessary, too. But new importers usually lack such abilities. So it is not a wise option for new businessmen.

Dont import low-value but large-demand products.

A4 paper is a typical example of such kinds of products. Many importers think it must be profitable to import them from China. But it is not the case. As the shipping fee for such products will be high, people usually choose to import more units to lower the shipping fees, which will bring a large inventory to you accordingly.

Try unique ordinary daily-use products

In most developed countries, ordinary daily-use products are usually dominated by big retailers, and people usually buy such products directly from them. Hence, such products are not suitable choices for new businessmen. But if you still want to sell ordinary products, you can try adjusting the product design to make it unique.

For example, TEDDYBOB brand in Canada achieves success by selling their interesting and unique design pet products.

Try Niche products

The niche market means there are fewer competitors selling the same products as you. And people will be more willing to spend more money on buying them, accordingly, you will make more money.

Take the expandable garden hose as an example, several clients of ours have ever reached annual revenue of over $300,000. But the ROI(return on investment)of the products is too low from 2019, it is not worthwhile for them to sell anymore.

Learn this step in deep (15 mins video, 7 mins read, real-life cases included):

What Products to Import from China to Make Good Money?

Step 3. Verify if products are profitable & allowed to import to your country.

No matter what kind of products you want to import, the vital step is to do enough research about the product cost in advance.

It is important to learn the approximate unit price of the product in advance. The price of products with ready-to-ship on Alibaba can be a reference standard to grasp the price range.

The shipping fee is also a vital component of the whole product cost. For international express, if your package weight exceeds 20kgs, the shipping fee is about $6-$7 for 1kg. Sea freight is $200-$300 for 1 m³ including the whole cost, but it usually has a minimum load of 2 CBM.

Take hand sanitizers or nail polish for example, you should fill 2,000 bottles of 250ml hand sanitizers or 10,000 bottles of nail polish to fill up with 2m³. Evidently, it is not a kind of good product to import for small businesses.

Apart from the above aspects, there are also some other costs like sample cost, import tariff. So when you’re going to import products from China, you had better conduct complete research about the whole cost. Then you decide whether it is profitable to import the products from China.

Learn this step in deep (20 mins video, 8 mins read, all costs breakdown):

How to Do Product Research Before Import from China?

Step 4. Find Chinese suppliers online via Alibaba, DHgate, Aliexpress, Google, etc.

After selecting the product, what you need to do is to find a supplier. Here are 3 online Channels to search for suppliers.

B2B trade websites

If your order is below $100, Aliexpress is the right choice for you. There is a wide range of products and suppliers for you to choose from.

If your order is between $100-$1000, you can consider DHagte. If you have enough budget to develop your long-term business, Alibaba is better for you.

Made-in-China and Global Sources are wholesale sites like Alibaba, you can also try them.

Search on Google directly

Google is a good channel to find Chinese suppliers. In recent years. More and more Chinese factories and trading companies build their own websites on Google.


You can also search for Chinese suppliers on some social media, like Linkedin, Facebook, Quora, etc. Many Chinese Suppliers want to be widely noticed, so they often share their news, products, and services by these social platforms. You can reach out to them to learn more about their service and products, then, decide whether or not to cooperate with them.

Learn this step in deep (16 mins video, 8 mins read):

How to Find Chinese Suppliers Online?

Step 5. Find Chinese suppliers via trade shows, wholesale markets, industrial clusters.

Find suppliers at fairs

There are many kinds of Chinese fairs every year. Canton fair is my first recommendation to you, which has the most comprehensive range of products. 

Visit Chinese wholesale market

There are many wholesale markets for different products in China. Guangzhou Market and Yiwu Market are my first recommendation. They are the largest wholesale markets in China and you can see buyers from all countries.

Visiting industrial clusters

Many importers would like to find a direct manufacturer from China. So, the industrial clusters are the right places to go. Industrial cluster is area manufacturers making the same type of product are more likely to be located in so that it would be much easier for them to share common supply chains and hire workers with related experiences for production.

Learn this step in deep (24 mins video, 7.5 mins read):

How to Find Suppliers by Visiting China?

Step 6. Evaluate supplier’s background to ensure it’s trustworthy.

So many suppliers for you to choose from, you must be confused about how to identify the supplier as a reliable partner to cooperate with. A good supplier is a vital element for a successful business. Let me tell you some important factors you shouldn’t ignore

Business history

As it is easy for suppliers to register in a company in China if a supplier focuses on the same product category for a relatively long time such as 3 years +, their business would be stable to a large extent.

Countries exported

Check which countries the supplier has ever exported to. For example, when you want to sell the products in America, and you find a supplier that can provide you competitive price. But you learn that their main customer group focuses on the developing countries, which is evidently not a good choice for you.

Compliance certifications on products

Whether the supplier has relevant product certificates is also an important factor. Especially for some specific products like electronic products, toys. Many customs will have strict requirements for importing these products. And some e-commerce platforms also will make some requirements for allowing you to sell on it.

Learn more factors to evaluate suppliers (18 mins video, 6 mins read):

8 Aspects to Help Check Chinese Suppliers.

Step 7. Get product quotes based on trade terms (FOB, CIF, DDP, etc.) 

When you negotiate with suppliers, you will encounter the phrase, Incoterms. There are many different trade terms, which will influence the quotation accordingly. I’ll list the 5 most commonly used in real business.

EXW Quote

Under this term, suppliers quote you the original product price. They aren’t responsible for any shipping costs. That is the buyer arranges to pick up goods from the supplier’s warehouse. Hence, it is not advisable if you don’t have your own forwarder or you are a newbie.

FOB Quote

Aside from product price, FOB also includes the shipping costs for delivering the goods to the vessel in your appointed seaport or airport. After that, the supplier is free of all risks of the goods, that is,

FOB quote=original product cost + shipping cost from supplier’s warehouse to agreed port in China + exporting process fee.

CIF Quote

The supplier is responsible for delivering goods to the port in your country, then you need arrange to ship your goods from the port to your address.

As for the insurance, it doesn’t help if your products got damaged during shipping. It only helps when the whole shipment gets lost. That is,

CIF quote = original product cost + shipping cost from supplier’s warehouse to the port in your country + insurance + exporting process fee.

Learn more incoterms to get precise quotes (17 mins video, 6 mins read, good examples included):

How to Get Precise Quote? Which Trade Term Works Best?