Import From China Business

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A practical guide for starting a small business

Cheap Cosmetics

Cheap Cosmetics from China

Cheap Cosmetics or Discount Cosmetics from China are exported to countries around the world in excess of $0.5 Billion per year.  The cosmetics market from discount cosmetics to high end cosmetics in China began to take hold in the 1980's and received rapid growth (+35% per year) in the 1990's.  China's own growing affluence has driven the demand for cheap cosmetics within its own borders.  This opportunity has attracted global headquarters to establish their presence in China.  L'Oreal and Estee Lauder opened their skin and hair research facilities in Shanghai in 2005.  Shiseido has its facilities in Beijing.  Estee Lauder even moved its Asia Pacific headquarters from Singapore to Shanghai in 2003.  This trend indicates a positive future in China for Cheap Cosmetics or Make Up.

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Buy Cosmetics Not Fantasy

Smart consumers around the world are looking for a supply of Discount Cosmetics or Cheap Cosmetics as all the major branded cosmetic companies try to convince consumers that buying quality is not cheap.  It is estimated that only seven cents out of every dollar spent by the consumer on cosmetics go towards the ingredients.  The majority of the expenses for a product are for marketing and advertising glitz.  The Discount Cosmetics or Cheap Cosmetics market is for those women who do not want to fall into the advertising hype of buying fantasy.

Manufacturing Cheap Cosmetics in China

China has a long history of using cosmetics but modern cosmetics manufacturing begin in 1830 in Jiangsu province to serve the needs of the royal family in Bejing during that era.  Today, there are more than 3,000 factories and 600 organizations employing up to 6 million people within China's cosmetics market.  Skin care is the largest segment of the cosmetics industry within China.  The manufacturing sites not only have to supply the Chinese domestic cosmetics market, but they also have to produce low cost products for exports.  

China’s Brand of Cosmetics

Yue-Sai is China's most famous cosmetic brand.  Frustrated by not being able to find cosmetics that suited Chinese skin tones, American Chinese, Yue-Sai Kan founded her own company in 1992.  Yue-Sai Kan has a brand awareness of 95% amongst the Chinese population.  Yue-Sai's popularity has led to L'Oreal signing an agreement to purchase the brand in 2004.

Importing Cosmetics or Make Up from China

Importers who want to import cheap or discount cosmetics from China should be aware that many countries have rules and regulations on the import of cosmetics.  Within the United States, there is the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act which governs the manufacture, sale and import of cosmetics.   In spite of these rules, imported cosmetics from China and the rest of the world are flooding the U.S. market.  Most of them remain uninspected due to resource limitations.

In India, the import of cosmetics is controlled by the Drugs and Cosmetics Act which governs the quality and the safety of such products.

China's Own Regulations on Cosmetics

China has its own regulations and control of the cosmetics industry. Cosmetics are defined as common cosmetics (skin care, make-up, hair care and perfumes) and special function cosmetics (anti-perspirants, hair dyes, sun screens).   A pre-market approval from the government is a necessary step followed by authorization and registration for sale.  Ingredients, labeling and safety are audited by the government.

The import of cosmetics whether it is cheap or branded is more complex than most other products due to government regulations.

However, for those entrepreneurs who want to learn the trade, it is possible to import make up or cosmetics and make a profit from it.

Be patient and learn all the rules and regulations from your home country and from China to ensure your success.  

Import cheap cosmetics from China and good luck!

Final Thoughts on Importing Cosmetics