We import from China on your behalf.
We offer consulting services in case of any questions that arise during the process.
Frequently asked questions
Could you explain what the service “we import from China on your behalf” is about?
You give us a product that you want to import from China, the target price and the minimum amount and we look for the supplier and take care of the whole importation process until it is delivered to your warehouses in Spain. This is our solution to any problem you might have.
What are the consulting services that you offer?
You want to start importing, but you have specific doubts about any particular aspect of it, such as which incoterms to use, the transportation, customs duties, looking for a supplier, cost evaluation… We will be happy to answer these questions.
What is the first step to start the importation process?
The first step is to find a Chinese supplier. It is crucial to know if they hold all the necessary licences and permissions to export. Once we find a Chinese supplier we need to negotiate the price. The price is one of the most important aspects to negotiate, not only for the sake of economical costs, but also because the agreed incoterm influences the place of delivery. Depending on the place of delivery of the goods, the costs of transportation may be higher or lower, which is why it is very important to look at homogeneous rates while comparing prices.
Another thing you need to know is the MOQ, or the minimum order quantity that a supplier is willing to sell you. It is crucial to understand that the higher quantity you buy in China, the more profitable your purchase is.
Once you agree on the price and the minimum order quantity it is important to sign a pro forma invoice that functions as a “contract” between both sides. Such invoice must include the delivery time, payment method, production time, etc. Once you have agreed on this, you should ask for a sample or a Golden Sample.
Why is a Golden Sample important?
When you start the importation process your Chinese supplier will ask you for between 30 and 50 per cent of the pro forma invoice. This is why it is essential for you to make sure that the sample meets your requirements.
To avoid mistakes we always recommend checking the quality using a Golden Sample to see if the rest of the production meets the quality standards.
The shipping can be done in full container loads or less-than-container loads. Less-than-container loads means the same container is used by various customers, but be careful with less-than-container loads for they slow down the importation process as consolidation and deconsolidation are needed. If you bring a full container, it is recommended that you inspect the load as Chinese factories are so big they can sometimes make mistakes and load containers with goods that are not relevant to your order.
How long does it take to finish the importation?
It takes around two to three months for Chinese factories to manufacture the products, and transport by ship takes a month. It is essential to be vigilant throughout the entire production process in order to avoid delays. Using emails and English tend to slow down the process.
Is the importation process safe?
It’s crucial to be familiar with the full importation process given that production in China is a complicated matter. There are many fake factories that use Internet (particularly the popular website Alibaba) to fraud potential clients. Spanish and European buyers have, on innumerable occasions, been victims of such scams.
The second most important part is to make sure that the imported goods comply with all European standards. The worst thing that can happen to you is for your local customs office to halt your shipment and tell you that you don’t have any goods in transit or that you’re missing something. Having your shipment stopped in a port will result in a high cost overrun. Every time the container moves, the port will charge you, but when the container is stopped they will charge you as well.
Once you pay your Chinese supplier, what else do you have to pay for?
You should pay for the transportation, the custom duties and the VAT on imports. The custom duties depend on the tariff headings that are assigned depending on the imported product.
Another cost to have in mind is the exchange rate. In China, transactions are made using USD, which is why you are exposed to exchange rate fluctuations. Depending on the amount of money that you’re managing, it might be a good idea to have exchange rate insurance.
Other things to keep in mind
Plan the production in advance, especially if this is the first time you are manufacturing this product in China. Be mindful of the holidays in which the factories are closed - the most important holidays are Chinese New Year, May 1st and October 1st. Other holidays that take place in September and April or May may vary depending on the lunar calendar.
Be sure to plan out transportation. Container prices are not fixed and the costs vary depending on the time of the year. Many shipping companies start off the month with high prices and lower them depending on the demand.
Be careful with the traders (they buy from third parties and do not produce their own products). It is only recommended to use the traders service if the production is very small (if factories’ MOQ requirements are not met) or if we find a very big trader that makes a big enough purchase to be able to offer us a better price than the factory itself.