The Complexities when you Plan to Import from China

import from China

The fact is when dealing with manufacturing and sales, businesses that import from China will achieve better profits than those that buy and sell only in the UK, just because the profit margins are larger from the cheaper costs of production there. But the key is to find reliable and quality suppliers. Sometimes you can do that through your own research but it also helps to have the help of an agent that has experience with dealing with China.

Start cautiously and build once you have more experience

You might see the figures, be new to the decision to import from China and rush into buying the stock because you can see so much profit to be made. The businesses that start more cautiously and with a limited range of products tend to last longer and see more success though. It gives you time to find suppliers you can trust. Be prepared though that most Chinese companies do not ship in very small quantities. They do expect a bulk order but that might vary from one supplier to another so check it out.

Logistics can be a problem

Logistics of importing from China can be complex so prepare yourself for that at first. It helps to be very clear on what you expect, the arrival date, how it is packed and so on. Do not expect things to be as fast and smooth as when you deal with a UK supplier, things are a lot different, it is not just the distance and the time it takes, the expectations and process are different too. There will be a period between the order and its production, then another between that and the delivery. Often when you import from China expect things to be made to order. Many do not carry finished goods. A lot also work on the idea of first come first served. This means if you are ordering for extremely busy times like Christmas, allow a lot of extra time!

Use a reputable agent

As mentioned you need to do your research and it does help to use an experienced and reputable agent who knows how to import from China successfully. Choosing to import blindly online tends to end up with poor results and that is where more of the unsavoury elements work. Watch out for requests for cash advances and email accounts that are hijacked. The standard payment form is a letter of credit, but there can still be issues even with this method. You might discover that boxes are not full of your product after the bank honours the letter so it is too late. You can look for contacts that you can trust in better places like trade fairs or from personal recommendations.


When you import from China there are some things to take care of and experienced export-import agents can help with a variety of issues. It might be well worth investing in one with a good reputation to ensure your business in China is more successful.


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