Tips For Buying Promotional Products From China
Posted by David Dawson PromoGifts Uk
Top on the list of those who export things world-wide, China is known for selling anything to anybody.
From Promotional products to fishing gear; if you look at the label, it most likely says made in China. In this article, I’m going to cover some tips you might want to remember when you’re dealing with this country that has risen to the spot of economic giant. If you are able to overcome the drawbacks, than it’s likely that you can make some money dealing with China.
26 tips so far… feel free to add any of your own after you have read through, if you have had experience in dealing with China or any other far east countries then please do add your comments below. We would love to hear from you.
1. The first thing you need to do is find an agent that you can trust. Although plane tickets to China might be a little to expensive for many face-to-face visits, meeting them at a local area (such as a trade show) would help you to know exactly what you’re dealing with. Agents from China usually place more trust in the customers that they have actually met in person.
2. Don’t rely on the prices of just one supplier. Get quotations and compare prices from a handful of different suppliers. If only one of six companies can provide you with a product, something maybe wrong and you might want to look into it before purchasing.
3. Always be on your guard when purchasing online. Many sites are full of companies that are nothing more than hoaxes, ready to grab your money and take off with it. When sending funds to them, be extremely careful the first time! If you’re nervous about a company, have them checked by your agent.
4. Services such as MSN or Skype (my special favorite since it’s free!) are very helpful when trying to communicate with those in other countries. Don’t use a phone unless you want your hair to go grey!
5. Be careful when sending money via Western Union. Some people have really been stung by paying for items only to find out that the factory was no longer in business.
6. Keep in mind that Chinese companies do not give 30 day accounts; in other words, unless you’re on amazingly good terms with a company, it’s unlikely that they will give you any credit.
7. Request samples or photos of the products you are going to purchase. It’s always best to see something before you have to lay down money for it.
8. Getting a bank account in China is a plus since it helps you in the case of any rush orders that you will need to process. However, since you have to own land in China to open an account, simply keeping funds on account with a trusted company or individual may be your best option.
9. When shipping goods to other countries, always get price quotes for shipping both by air and sea. Also check the duty rates in those countries. Promotional products tend to get grouped into different categories. Promotional clothing for instance, in the UK hold a 12% import duty.
10. Always get your own shipping quote when buying from another company. Sometimes using the shipping method the company you are purchasing from may not be the best way to save money. We use a company called horizon cargo in the UK (They are very good) and come personally recommended.
11. An import finance company (such as HSBC) will need to be found before you can start doing business. A finance company will help you pay your invoice from the factory in countries like China and then they will claim the funds back off you after your customer pays the invoice. Although there is a charge for this service, it will still be beneficial and something you need to look into.
12. Although it is a step than easily be skipped, please don’t forget to insure your shipping up to the value of the items. Although it may sound like a waste of money, it really is a lifesaver if your goods get lost or destroyed in their trip.
13. You need to find a trustworthy courier. Many people find UPS helpful in their international deliveries.
14. Always be sure to add extra time to your expected delivery date since often customs checking can hold up your items for several days. (Also allow for adverse weather)
15. When ever you have a chance, visit with the suppliers you use regularly. Once again, seeing those you work with personally is a good idea.
16. When you go to visit factories, take your trusted supplier along with you so that they will be able to help you better understand the factory and what its general reputation is.
17. Before you give over any money for items, be sure that all certification is verified.
18. When you are doing business with larger corporate clients, it is important that you should be prepared to provide them with factory audits. So, you need to find and employ a far east factory that does auditing services before hand. I have used asia inspection before. But I have had reports that they were quite rude when doing the inspection… there are other companies out there.
19. When you choose a courier, be certain to pick one that is prepared to help keep track of your business imports. It’s best if you can find a system that will be able to tell you things such as where your shipments are or alerts you with delays before you have to ask.
20. The cost of goods will increase by a large amount with the import tax. This can be a different value depending on the item.
21. Expect that, if you want to need to approve a product, you must give an extra two or three weeks to get the product.
22. The main concern of importers is usually, no surprise, the quality of a product. The majority of suppliers say that they will do checks on the products before the items are shipped. Although this is a good service, checking on the products yourself through a website offering sample services, is an even better idea.
23. Be careful around companies that do not have the right export rights. If they can only deliver products as Freight on Board-Hong Kong, then it is likely that they do not have the right licenses to ship to you.
24. When a retailer does not keep their products in stock but chooses rather to pass customer orders onto wholesalers and then the items are passed onto the customer, theis is called offdrop shipping.
25. When shipping over the sea, you are likely to have untold amounts of charges at the ship yard. Always be sure to expect this and calculate it into the price before you place an order.
26. Always be sure to keep authorized personalization documents with you, especially if you are buying brand name items. Custom officials are likely to be suspicious that these were paid for counterfeit checks; that is why having your papers together is always a must.
Thats it for now. Dealing outside of your own country buying goods is a continued learning experience. Companies in the promotional products industry are increasingly using product suppliers based in the far east… with these suggestions, I hope that your experiences doing business with China and other foreign countries is an easier and more productive event.
Posted by David Dawson PromoGifts Uk
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