You may be able to find a new business opportunity or profit growth by directly importing products from China, and other countries. Some say it can be complicated. I do not feel this way, and it can pay off in both immediate profit and long-term success. The process is becoming easier and easier thanks to the trend of globalization and advances in international trade technology.
Find several products you’re interested in. There are many sources to find your products. The Internet is the easiest one to start with. There are many web listing services, At these sites you can register your user name, post the products of your interest, and you will receive tons of products’ supply information and perhaps a price list.
Next, establish a relationship with potential suppliers. Pick a few potential suppliers to communicate with. Narrow down the ones that you really want to work with. Talk openly and honestly about the price and trade relationship. Many times the prospective supplier will send samples Free of shipping fees. Discuss shipping and payment terms. Gather all necessary information to prepare for placing a trial order. Remember everything is negotiable.
You will help yourself greatly by knowing and understanding the trade terms and use them. Before placing any order, you need to understand and confirm with your suppliers about shipment terms. Most popular are FOB (freight on board) and CIF, (cost insurance and freight), as well as payment terms. These are closely related to your landing cost calculation and risk assessment. You can consult an import management company and a freight forwarder for detail break-down on the costs and risks. You can also use an import management company to negotiate the trade terms. I prefer to do the negotiations my self. I love working with people.
Do your homework on compliance issues and always remember you have the option of talking to a customs professional. They get paid to know the laws and are bonded in most cases. You need to understand the relevant import compliance regulations beforehand. Besides US Customs and Border Protection, other government authorities like USDA, FDA, DOT, and ATF also regulate the importation. Go to the websites of these agencies to understand, register or download the forms. Compliance issues can be very complicated for some products. It is highly recommended to consult a good Customs House Broker before placing any order. Customs brokers are going to charge a fee for their services. So do not be afraid to let them do the work and make sure everything is legal.
Select a forwarder and Customs House broker. Go to your local international trade organization/association and Customs office to find the list. Visit them, and select the one you like. For the first time importer, because you are still learning how to import from China use more individualized services, because you need more attention than you would expect.
There are people who will tell you how hard it is to import and/or export goods. You need their expertise and services. For which they only charge a most fee. Please trust me as I share with you. I was not then, nor am I now a professional importer.. Anyone can do it.