ADVENTURES IMPORTING GOODS FROM
As many know, importing inexpensive goods from China and reselling them
here in the United States is a very profitable business.
Importers typically earn 300 percent or higher returns, but they
also suffer some steep losses if they are not careful
First lets understand how China is organized. A community of possibly 10 or 20 different companies will all
make the same product, or similar product.
When shopping, you have many manufacturers to consider and they are
all located in the same village in China.
Some are good and others are poor quality.
For this reason, it is important to have an agent in China to find what
you want and to negotiate your best price.
Also your agent should inspect the goods before they are shipped.
Frequently companies in China will unload their junk on
un-suspecting buyers in America because they know it is too expensive to
ship it back to China and you may never get a refund.
You have no recourse, unless you buy a gun and board a plane for
China, and I do not recommend that.
You need to train your agent on what to inspect for quality.
Your agent is your middleman between you and the manufacturer and
they handle a lot of different commodities, so you need to work closely
with your agent and let them know what you expect.
You also want your agent to make a profit off the transaction so
they will work harder for you. A 15% markup is not uncommon, but the range is open and you
need to negotiate the fee with your agent.
My agent buys the products from several different sources, then
ships them to the shipping company to be placed on a container.
The agents earn their money.
I found a girl named Polaris on Skype and she lives in Xi’an China and
has proven to be very trustworthy and a great asset. Her web site is FindChinaProducts.com. I buy magnetic beads, head massagers, monofilament line,
stage lighting and anything I need through Polaris.
I have had her research many other products. I even designed a product to be injection molded and she took
my drawing and got me some good prices.
I did not proceed because I did not feel the market was big enough
to waist our time. I have also found David who specializes in magnets and
I send him a lot of orders, but only magnets.
He just got married and has a baby boy that he pictures on Skype.
I have been working with Dave and Polaris for about 7 years now and
never had a problem. Both speak good English, but since they have strong
accents, it works best to use Chat on Skype when communicating with some
one in a different country.
Many importers travel to China and buy their products and have them
shipped home. This is because
they do not have a good agent in China, but that can get expensive with
air fair and travel expenses, unless you are going to invest $100,000 or
more in goods. My orders are
usually around $10,000.
When ordering items from china you run the risk of being rejected by
American customs, or the FDA. For
example I ordered 100 battery operated head massagers that make some
health claims. The FDA
required the product to have a Device Number that is obtained from the FDA
by the manufacturer. It is
their way of tracking a product back to the manufacturer.
Since the manufacturer was in China and shipping all over the
world, he was not going to get a Device Number for us, or pay the fees to
obtain one. The end result
was; I was forbidden to sell the product and had the option of either
having them destroyed or shipped back to China.
While waiting for directions, my Customs Broker received a $2000
fine for importing them. It
has been 3 years and I am still waiting for direction on what to do with
the massagers. About a year ago, an FDA inspector came buy and confirmed I
still had the massagers, which I did.
My customs broker is arguing that we will destroy the product when
you give us directions AND refund her fine.
Otherwise she does not want to destroy the massagers until she gets
her money back. The amount is
too little to hire a lawyer and the total cost of the massagers is only
$300 for 100 massagers.