There are new business opportunities every day if you’re looking for them. Importing from China can become a very important part of your business plan, if you know how to navigate through the process. Although it may be complicated, it is becoming easier due to the internet and the advanced technology in international trading.

Decide what products you’re wanting to market. There are many web listing services on the internet that will help you locate suppliers for the products you want to sell. They require that you register with your username, and then you tell them what products you’re interested in. They will match you up with several suppliers. You will get a lot of product supply information and possibly a price list.

Contact the list of the suppliers that best match your need and start a business relationship. Provide them with information about your company. The best suppliers already have a good deal of business, so sell yourself in such a way that they want a business relationship with you, as well.

Take the time to find out if the supplier qualifies for your specific needs. Find out how long they’ve been in business, the trade shows they attend and for how long, and the other companies they manufacture for. Check over and confirm all the details you possibly can.

When you’ve finally found the supplier that you want to do business with, then begin negotiating the price and the relationship of the trade business. Get some product samples; review the sample and the packaging the product come in. Look at any instructions that come with the samples. You may have to pay a small fee for this, but you want to be able to inspect the product yourself before entering into any agreements.

When you’re satisfied with the quality of the product, then you can begin to talk about shipping and terms of payment. Get all the information necessary to place a trial order. Remember, when you finally place a purchase order to include all the details. Leaving anything out leaves room for misunderstanding and/or error.

Learn what the different trade terms are and how to use them. Here are a few to start with:

  • FOB – Free On Board or Freight On Board
  • CIF – Cost, Insurance, and Freight
  • Landing cost calculation – the total cost of a shipment that has landed, including the purchase price, freight costs, insurance, and any cost the port of destination adds on. This may also have the customs duties and/or other taxes that may be placed on the shipment.

Any payment terms must be decided upon and understood between you, the importer, and the supplier, the exporter. You must also complete a risk assessment where you clearly look at all levels of risk involved. To help with this assessment, consult with an import management company and a freight forwarder for a complete and detailed listing of the costs and risks. The import management company that you choose can also assist you in negotiating the trade terms with your supplier.

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