how to buy from china
Work with Chinese factory.
This may be most helpful to people like me.
Entrepreneurs who need to obtain parts and raw materials from China to develop new products or start new businesses.
Although it is very humorous, I hope to have some useful suggestions.
It used to be hard to buy things from far away.
You have to send a ship to sail on the ocean for a few years, they may die from a storm or a robber attack, and finally, maybe you can exchange a few grams of pepper for a piece of gold. woot!
In a more modern era, international trade is not as expensive and risky, but it is not accessible because you have to know someone.
20 years ago, what would I do if I wanted to buy something from a factory in Mexico?
If I don\'t know someone, my best bet might be to go to Mexico and start driving around before I find the factory, buy some samples on the spot and write the address and phone number on a piece of paper, then drive home.
As you expect, the biggest change in our lives --the internet -
Play a central role here.
In the past 5 years, countless Chinese companies have found that if they make a web page and hire someone with enough English to process orders, they can bypass a lot of middlemen, making it easier for their potential customers to approach --YOU! So -
What are you going to buy?
How did you find it?
I suggest starting with some casual window shopping.
This will begin to make you feel the almost unintelligible scope and scale of the world\'s greatest stores ever. There are several large Web directories for Chinese companies and their products. .
These sites are the starting point for window shopping.
These are the biggest: Alibaba Global Sourcing, made in China, just put in some interesting content in the search bar of these websites.
For example: \"Electric Car\" \"mp4 player\" \"rgb led flex\" \"solar water heater\" \"led belt buckle\" \"laser cutting machine\" \"Electric Bicycle\", you can also find things through the theme: \"cute\" \"kitten\" and so on.
Have you tried a few?
Welcome to the red pill.
Once you find something in the catalog, look at some companies that sell it.
They usually display samples of their products in the catalog.
If you go to the \"contact information\" page in the catalog, they usually have a real website and there may be different product samples.
In both cases, the real product catalog is usually much larger.
If you see something you like, it is usually useful to ask for other similar items.
Also, you rarely find complete information about a project online and you need to ask them for complete information (product specs). Note -
The art standards of Chinese websites are much lower than you used.
I believe this will change in a few years but from 2008
A billion-dollar Chinese company may have a website that looks like your 17-year-old cousin\'s myspace.
So don\'t judge the company by their web page. yet.
OK, window shopping is fun, but let\'s say you really want to buy something.
Look at yourself. yes you.
Are you a 15 year old with an AC/DC T-shirt and $10 in your bank account?
You are not the one China wants to sell you.
You will buy from the factory and they are only interested in selling to professional buyers --
People who know how to buy things are likely to buy a lot of things.
But you can play the role because you don\'t have to buy a lot of things because of how the system works. ok -
You need something here:1)
Shipping account for FedEx, UPS, DHL or TNT.
Fortunately, these sites are easy to access and they all have free online registrations. (2)a bank account(3)
There are hundreds of dollars in that bank account.
This is the minimum amount to play this game.
You have to pay at least $60 for FedEx. (4)optional -a web page (
This will increase your response rate)ok -
You\'re ready to take risks. what next?
You can write an email or send a text messagechat direct. Alibaba etc. have \"in-
System \"email, or you can go to the company\'s\" contact details \"page and find the company\'s real web page (most have one).
On a real web page, you can usually find the real email address, phone number, and MSN or AIM chat address.
A large number of companies can chat in real-time text in English.
I \'ve never called, but it might be fun to try.
Your first contact should be short-lived.
Don\'t be too detailed until they reply.
You may receive a lot of these \"introduction\" emails and a lot of them from the company you contact.
I usually make my first contact via email and save the text-
Chat for more detailed questions and answers that may appear later.
Here is my standard introduction: \"Hello, I am looking for a supplier for ScoobyDoo Diapers.
Do you sell this?
Can you send the specification and price if you can?
Thank you very much, I. P.
FrehleyLeakyweiner LLCweb: www. leakyweiner. comph: +1-308-234-5266fax: +1-308-432-
2352 \"now, if I see some of the company\'s products on a website somewhere, I might change it to something like this:\" Hello, I\'m interested in your Scooby --
Can you send the specifications and prices?
Is there a similar model? . . . .
\"Please note that we did something even in the first introductory email: You have to use simple English when writing.
The delegates you are talking to usually only know enough English to handle orders and they often learn Special English, a simplified form developed by VOA.
Here are some tips. (1)
Short sentences of simple words. (2)
A concept of each sentence (3)be respectful!
You are talking to smart people, they just don\'t understand English very well.
Check out your email sig: it includes some backup information.
Since the companies you contact only want to work with professional buyers, they often try to check your website.
There are some things there that don\'t have to be too much.
It is not uncommon that you will not receive a response from the company.
There may be many reasons for this.
The company may be too busy right now, or it may be that they think you\'re 15 years old, wearing an AC/DC T-shirt for $10.
I found something :-
Some companies are only going-
E-mails from Alibaba, etc. -
Other companies will only reply to their real email
You may only find other companies through AIM.
Very casual! -
Many companies will check your email address or the domain name of the website you listed in sig.
It\'s almost the only thing they know about you.
If you only have Yahoo.
Com email, in addition to that, you may not get such a high response rate as you did when you received an email from IBM.
And match the website.
OK, you may want to get it once you find something completely rad.
This is how it works: \"Hello, we are very interested in your product: uranium control rod model XF-23.
Can I send a sample?
Please ship to: Thank you very much using our FedEx account number: 142234423P. Frehley. . .
\"So, one of two things could happen here:1)
2 days later, \"Uranium control rod model XF-
23 \"appears at your door. (
And your FedEx account is $60 light). (2)
They will write back to you: \"Dear sir.
Sorry, but the uranium control rod model XF-
The sample price for 23 is $425.
I have attached the PI.
Your true, Daisy Chen \"* sales reps always have an interesting English name that they pick out from a children\'s book about flowers.
The idea of the sample is that you want to check the quality and applicability of the item before ordering the truck.
Since the cost of FedEx shipping anything to you is at least $50, the company you want is happy to send you anything cheap for free.
Usually, you can get a product for about $20 for free without any problems.
If one or two items you want are expensive --
Electric cars, for example-
You have to pay, but you can buy a sample.
There is usually a surcharge for this small batch sample order. But so what?
With the exception of $ 10% in electric vehicles, the 300 surcharge is still a huge deal.
For items that are particularly cheap, you can usually buy 5 to 10 pieces.
But you won\'t be able to get the quantity that doesn\'t make sense to the quality check. So -
You won\'t get 100 of the same LED because no one needs a 100 LED to decide if they want to buy more.
They may need five.
Anything more expensive than $20 or so, you need to buy it.
If the item you want is above the free sample level-
You usually want to ask a few other questions :-\"leadtime\" -
How long will they ship after you pay?
If the item is in stock, they should be able to ship it within a day or two after receiving the payment.
Items that are not in stock must be manufactured and if in this case their interest in selling samples or a small amount of items will be much smaller.
Only once, I had a company accept my payment but did not ship it, and I believe that in this case, an incentive was that I ordered about 20 different items in a very low quantity, most of them are not.
Standard, need to be manufactured. so -
If you want a lot of small things, choose something that is in stock. -
\"Minimum order quantity\" or minimum order quantity.
Usually when you ask the price, they will tell you the minimum order quantity in advance.
Although a small surcharge is often charged, you can order less than the minimum order quantity (
They usually provide a uniform fee or percentage).
Several times they told me that their sales would not be less than the minimum order volume and I just provided a modest surcharge (
When I bought it much lower than the minimum order, their offer was 20% higher)
Accepted all the time.
Find out what you\'re buying :-
Requirements \"specification sheet \"-
It should have most of the details but not always accurate.
Another reason you need to test the sample. -
You can text a lot.
Chat with them and ask a lot of questions where there may be communication difficulties. -
Let them send you a picture.
I found this particularly useful when I wanted to see a small detail on the product. For example -
\"How does the power cord connect to your waterproof electric box?
Can you send photos?
\"It\'s a bit of a hassle to buy things, mainly because the only way to pay is by wire transfer.
For most US banks, to make a wire transfer, you need to actually go to the bank, fill out the form on the paper, and your bank will change you $40 for the remittance.
So it\'s not worth it for less than $200.
Last time I checked Citibank was the only bank in the US that allowed you to make an online wire transfer (
At least for normal people). Ok -
So how did you arrange the purchase?
Always have them send you a PI or proforma invoice.
This form is standard before you pay anything.
It shows your shipping address, the item you are purchasing and any other charges, bank information for the factory, shipping schedule (
Sometimes they will have to produce if there is no stock, which may take a month)
There are other important things.
You will send a wire transfer after checking.
Transportation: they are required to include express delivery (aka Courier)
Transport at price.
The term \"FOB\" means \"transportation not included\" and \"CIF\" means \"transportation and insurance included \".
Express/Courier means they will use any of the FedEx, UPS, DHL or TNT that they have an account with and their price is almost always better than yours.
Express delivery is obviously very expensive everykilo basis.
But FedEx makes it fast and simple!
You will get your stuff in two days, just like you ordered from Amazon.
Other normal methods are by air and by sea.
I think the best way to describe the shipping process might be-
It\'s like you pay taxes.
Forms, phone calls, fees, faxes, surcharges, more forms, driving, waiting in line, non-queuing, etc.
This is a truly classic experience of the bolorklata.
I tried shipping once.
As a result, sending around 120 of the garbage across the ocean only costs $100 kg, but when these boxes arrive at my doorstep, my time is another $450 half-day --
In this case, my door is only half an hour\'s drive from the nearest harbor!
I don\'t recommend this unless you want to ship at least one full palette.
The bulk is really cost-effective.
The whole box from China is only $2500.
A friend of mine told me that he had the same experience trying to send something by sea.
Air freight is not as bad as sea freight.
The difference between using FedEx and using air freight is that using air freight, you need to pick up the goods at the nearest international airport, you have to do the customs paperwork yourself.
The cost of air transportation may be 30% to 50% less than the courier service.
You can hire a customs broker to handle your paperwork for you and they may charge $50 to $100 for that.
Because the shipping process is so cumbersome, there are some companies called freight forwarders that can handle the shipping for you on your behalf.
Is there any other way besides express and freight?
China Post system.
China Post has Express Service (called EMS)
But like FedEx and other companies.
I\'m talking about regular air mail.
Air Mail through China\'s postal system is quite cheap --
It may cost $5 to send a 500g package to the US
However, since there is no insurance or tracking, no one will use it to send important items.
So you lose some credibility if you ask for air mail.
In principle, this will be the most cost-effective way to obtain samples so far, but since only sender can pay, the factory is reluctant to pay.
But don\'t give up yet!
I successfully convinced a very persistent sales representative to send me some samples by Air China Mail.
The reason is that I didn\'t care enough about his sample to pay for the courier, so I told him if he wanted me to try his sample so badly, he should send it by China Post and pay for it himself.
He finally did it.
Because cheap imported goods can damage the local economy, the government may impose import taxes on the goods you are trying to import.
For most countries, there will be no import tax on importing small quantities of goods as \"gifts\" or \"commercial samples.
Once you have items of greater or higher value, they will be subject to import duties.
How and when to pay for these depends a lot on your country, what is written on the package and what shipping method is used.
The courier company usually takes your package and calls you to collect any necessary import tax before sending it to you.
In the United States, import taxes depend on the type of goods, which you can check here: different types of companies: Usually you want to deal with a manufacturer or factory.
This is a company that actually produces the product.
And trade companies or import and export companies-
These are middlemen who do not run factories, but they may have products from factories that do not sell directly.
It is normal for the buyer to advance the smaller payment.
For larger purchases, any number of payment arrangements can be used.
Fraud: I have never been cheated, but Alibaba etc.
There are large FAQs about different things on their website to avoid fraud.
Fraud can be more common in things like branding, consumer electronics, and fashion accessories, which I didn\'t buy.
If your business is going well, you will start buying a lot. Be careful -
I suggest you do business with every new company, always start with small order first, expand order size after the company shows good quality and continuous developmenttime delivery.