Many people want to start up their own business and import, but don't know what's the next step? As per my experience, below are the general steps:
1, Do some basic research of the products you need to import: Is it worth importing?( if hollow inside but not stackable, and takes too much space for the shipping, not suggested to import) Is it my favorite?(Only if you like it, you can stick with it)
2, Try to know what and how the products are made of? Whether a tooling/mold should be applied. How to get different pattern or color. No matter whatever you will do, be more professional.
3, Find what you decide to go for, and get quotes from several companies, not only to compare the price, but also to discuss more in the future to decide whom you will move forward with.
4, Ask customer references from the suppliers, and check their honesty. Scammers can be found everywhere, not only in China, so being careful is better. If they are real companies, their export records can be found by google, such as: portexaminder, tradesparq, tradesns, panjiva, importgenius, etc.
5, Ask for a PO/PI with all the details, including trade terms, payment terms, quantities, prices, etc.
6, Pay the deposit, better not to pay 100% in advance.
7, Ask for samples before mass production, to double check the quality and assembling,etc.
8, During the manufacturing, you can let the manufacturer estimate the packing, including carton size, how many pcs/carton, gross weight per carton, how many cartons totally. Then you can check which way is the most cost-effective for you: by courier like DHL? or by air? or by sea. If by courier, it is easy.
9, If by air or by sea, you need to find several forwarders or ask the manufaturer's forwarder to quote for the shipping. Also, remember to check their honesty. You need to let them know how and where you would like to ship: To door?or to air/sea port? Which sea/air port? What's the shipping address, and what's the consignee/notify party's information. Usually the consignee is the same as the notify party. But if you do not want your goods be shipped to you but to your customer, you can have your company as the consignee, and have your customer's company as the notify party.
10, Prepare to find a local Customs broker to clear the Customs for you, otherwise, you can not pick up the goods. Note: if you are American, remember to let them file the ISF for you, or you will be fined about 5000USD. Some forwarders can do it and some brokers can also do it. Ask them, and officially notify them to file the ISF for you within 48 hours before the vessel leaves the loading port.
11, Let the manufacturer contact your decided forwarder to transport the goods to the loading port's warehouse.
12, Let the forwarder notify you when the vessel leaves, and the ETA.
13, When the goods arrive at the sea/air port, your appointed Customs broker should clear the Customs for you, and then you can arrange the pick-up. If quoted to door, you can ignore this step.
If your trade terms with the manufacturer is balance paid before shipment, the balance payment should be done before NO.11; if balance paid as per copy of B/L, the balance payment should be done between NO.11 and NO.13, but before NO. 13, in case your goods can not be Customs cleared that extra demurrage fee will be charged.
Author: Vicky Liu --- Sales Manager of Respon Moulding Co., Ltd.