Import From China Business

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A practical guide for starting a small business

Start an Import Business
 

There are three key steps to starting an import business:

  1. Decide who is your target, the group of people that will buy your product.
  2. Based on your target’s needs, determine the product that you wish to import.
  3. Identify how you are going to get the goods into your country from China.

Do a Little Homework Researching

The first step to starting an import business is to clearly decide for whom are you trying to import your goods.   Is it affluent seniors, stay at home moms, or hip teenagers?   Look around. Check out trends.  Use your personal experience or your friends and family as a sounding board.  

Each of the target groups has special needs for goods that can be found and imported from China.  Sometimes step 2 can come before step 1.   You were venturing in a tiny shop full of goods in your local Chinatown.  You discovered this little cool widget that would be great for teens.   You decided to explore importing this item from China and market it yourself.

Who is my target?

Will Anyone Buy My Widgets from China?

Once you identified the product that you would like to import from China, you should explore its potential in your local market before you start an import business.  Here are some tips:

  1. Check out the competition - is there already someone selling a similar product?  You should clearly understand what you are up against.  

    It does not mean that you need to stay away from competition.  You can import a higher quality product.  You can import the product at a low cost and sell it more cheaply.
  2. What is the potential of the widget from China in my country?  Will there be enough people in my target within my local market to make this business idea worthwhile?
  3. Will I need to get someone in China to custom manufacture this product or can I import a product that is already made?
  4. How much will it cost me to import this product from China into my country?  What much will the consumers of my target willing to pay given my competition?  What are my other costs of running my business?  How much profit can I generate from each widget from China?

Photo Credits: Special moments - Simona Balint;  Oana - Adrian Boca

Getting Imported Goods Into Your Country

There are some basic steps to get goods into your country which I will explain in detail later.  Here is a quick summary for the United States.

  1. Where do I want the goods to enter my country, port of entry.  
  2. What is the class of goods and how much are the goods worth, examination and valuation.
  3. What is the tariff rate or the percentage of tax that will be charged, classification.
  4. Pay the taxes and take the goods, Payment and liquidation.  

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