Getting the product right is vital to your Import from China Business. You must be
able to translate what the customers want to your supplier accurately. The supplier
will take your product requirements and convert them into a manufacturing process.
The goal is to deliver a product that mirrors what the customers need and willing
to pay. This will allow you to make a profit by importing from China. Done incorrectly,
you could end up with a product that is what you ask for but not necessary what you
Every product will be influenced by a number of factors which will impact the product
requirements. Here are some situations to be aware of:
1. Point of Purchase
Describe the location where the goods are purchased by your customers. Will the product
be part of a multilevel shelf with hundreds of other products similar to a grocery
store? Will the product be individually displayed in a boutique with individual
product demonstrations? These factors will likely influence the design and configuration
of the product that you wish to import from China.
2. Export Requirements
Are there any export requirements that you are aware of from your country of origin?
Do you need to consider the type of materials to use in your product? How will
wastes need to be processed? It is better to know these export requirements early.
You can factor this in during your discussions with the supplier from China.
3. Transport Requirements
It is vital to know how your product will be transported during the export import
process. Do you have special handling requirements such as those for fragile products?
Do they need to be packaged in a certain way? All these factors need to be conveyed
to the product supplier and shipper.
4. Customs and Other Agency Requirements
Does the Customs department in your local country have any specific requirements
for your product before they are permitted to enter? Marking and labeling requirements
are common. So you need to beware of these factors which will have a profound effect
on your product definition.
Is there a seasonality to your product? Is it primary used in the spring as in a
gardening product? Is it for teen proms during graduation time? The fluctuations
in seasonal demand should be taken into consideration as it drives manufacturing
and delivery of the goods.
6. Sales Requirements
Are there any unique sales requirements for your product which require consideration?
By understanding your local market for your product and how the product will be
marketed, you will be able to determine the product requirements. For instance,
will you need sample or trial sizes? Will the product be sold in singles or in multiples.
Lipsticks and other cosmetics are often sold in color themes or product combinations.
To ensure that your import from China business is successful, you should take into
consideration the above 6 factors as you are developing your product requirements
with your supplier in China.
Product Design & Specifications
There are various elements concerning the product that will influence the product
design and specifications.
Naming - If it is an existing product, what is the name of the product in the exporting
country? Does the product have a generic name? For instance, tissue is a generic
name for a paper product. If this is a new product that you are about to launch,
what will you call the product? Have you done a trademark search to make sure that
no one currently have rights to the name?
Specifications - What is considered a unit for your product that you are about to
import? Is it measured in ounces or grams? Are there different models to consider?
Will you carry certain models only? Will you sell certain models in certain geographical
Sizing - This is very important especially for the clothing industry. What sizes
will you carry? Shoes and clothing sizes vary by country. Make sure the Chinese
supplier produce sizes that are pertinent to your local market.
Electrical standards - If your product is electrical related, what is the voltage
in your local market (110 versus 220 volts). You may need a mixture if you intend
to market to multiple countries in the future.
Production Related Matters
Even though your products will be manufactured in China, you will still need to know
where the raw materials come from. What is the typical markup for the raw materials?
What is the condition of the manufacturing plant? Is it modern and clean or is it
dirty and unorganized? Who will be working in the factory to produce your products?
Do they involve child labor? Is the workforce stable? How much do the workers
typically get paid? Does the manufacturing process require the factory to use unproven
manufacturing techniques? What is the definition of a quality product? Make sure
that your supplier is in alignment with your expectations.
You must protect your investment and clearly have many of these issues documented
and worked out with your Chinese supplier.