You can find a wide range of different products in China, but let’s focus on home improvement products for today. China is a famous manufacturing country and is known for its expertise and reduced costs, it’s obvious that importers want to collaborate with Chinese suppliers for their orders. However, to import products from China has to be prepared, especially when you come from another continent such as the United States.
How to find a supplier in China
Before importing anything from China to the US, you have to find the product you are looking for and the supplier who will provide it to you. Here is some advice to help you find the right supplier for your goods.
This step is time-consuming, but it will be crucial for the rest of the operations.
First of all, you have to decide for yourself the kind of product you want to import. In our case, we talk about home improvement products, but there are thousands of different products you can import.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of what types of products you can find :
- Bathroom products
- Kitchen products
- Plumbing parts (mixer tap, sink…)
- Electrical parts (chargers, plugs…)
- Storage boxes
- Spatial planning tools
- Small furniture
- Tools for housework
To help you choose between all these products, you can visit some websites presenting different home improvement products, and editing lists with the most useful items.
Now, you have an idea of the product you want to import. But in China, there is not only one supplier or manufacturer for each product, there are thousands. Obviously, not all manufacturers are the same, and you have to be careful because some of them will not be honest and will want to do everything they can to cut corners by reducing quality.
To find your supplier, there are different methods which are :
Internet: You can check marketplaces and directories such as Alibaba, GlobalSources, and MadeInChina. These websites are regrouping thousands of Chinese suppliers, stored by category of products, and prices. The advantage of this method is that you don’t have to move to China, you have many manufacturers in the same place, and you have all details about every supplier.
Trade fairs: This is a good solution if you can visit China. In fact, trade fairs are known for regrouping hundreds of suppliers simultaneously in the same place. By assisting to a trade show, you can save time, meet different suppliers, and see the products and their quality. You can check on the internet to find some lists of the best trade fairs in China.
Sourcing agent: This is the easiest method to find the best supplier for your products. By relying on a sourcing agent, you’ll save time and money. They’re experts and will provide you with their supplier database and select the one that fits your needs according to your specification sheet.
H3: Negotiate with the supplier
Once you have selected your supplier, you will have to negotiate with him on different points such as price, MOQs, quality, payment, and delivery terms.
You must be aware of the significance of negotiation in China; it is more than a practice; it is a true tradition. Remember that even if you concede on the price and terms, you must always negotiate in order to maintain your credibility.
H3: Control the quality of the goods
Before contracting with your supplier, it’s important to be sure of the quality of the product you are about to order by :
Rely on a quality controller: An expert who will visit the supplier and check the quality of the product
Laboratory control: The product will have to pass tests in a laboratory to verify if they are fitting the importer’s country standards and regulations.
Require samples: It’s important that you can see what products you are going to import from China to the United States, so you’ll have to require samples to check if the product respects your specification sheet and your agreement with the supplier.
H2: How to import from China to the US
Here are the final steps to prepare before importing your home improvement products from China to the US. Your products are ready, your contract with the right supplier, and you are waiting to receive your goods.
H3: Customs clearance
When you import products from China to the US, these products are subject to import duty and taxes, the rates of which are determined by the laws in effect at the time and agreements between both countries.
To be stress-free and to get more information about duties and taxes when importing products to the USA, you can check the official USA customs website.
When your products will pass customs clearance, there are documents that will be required such as :
- B/L, bill of landing
- Certificate of origin
- Packing list
- EORI (Economic Operator Registration Identification)
- HS codes
- Import license
- Customs declaration
The last step of this process is shipping. Your products are about to be sent, and you already have selected a transport method and agreed on an Incoterm with the supplier. This choice will have to be done at the moment of the negotiation. Import home improvement products from China to the USA, there are not many solutions, only two are possible :
This is the most common shipping method used between China and the USA. In fact, its biggest advantages are :
- The price: This is the less expensive shipping method
- The cargo volume: You can transport huge quantities of products
- Environmental respect: This is the most respectful method for the environment.
Of course, sea freight is not the faster method, it will take between 40 and 50 days for your shipment to arrive at the arrival port (for main transport only, this information does not include all the others logistics operations).
Ship your goods by air will have different advantages than sea freight :
- Delivery time: Air freight is the fastest method to ship products, it will take only a few days for your shipment to arrive from one airport to another.
- Security: There is no more secure shipping method than air freight
Sea freight will be perfect if you don’t have time to wait for your shipment and if you have enough money because it could be very expensive. The volume of your cargo will also have to be smaller than for sea freight.
You’re now ready to import home improvement products from China to the US. Don’t hesitate to rely on a professional to handle all these steps if you don’t have time to manage it. If you want to do it by yourself, keep these advices and be well-prepared, some operations will take time and energy, but this is the price you’ll have to pay if you want your company to sell high-quality products.