HOW TO IMPORT FURNITURE FROM CHINA
Furniture is an essential aspect of any living space, from an office, to a shop, and even the home. Having good looking furniture is an important aspect for any place. However, most of the furniture available to buy in the USA is either too expensive, or the quality of the products do not match the affordability of the commodity.
Most customers, looking to buy wholesale furniture, balk out of the prospect of buying furniture in the USA due to these reasons. Additionally, they look to import furniture from other places, which will not burn a hole in their pockets. China, a rising global superpower, naturally rises to the top of the list, due to its high quality and inexpensive products. However, the question arises- How to import furniture from China?
How to Import Furniture from China
Chinese products are the rage in various parts of the world, including superpower countries like the USA, and other advanced nations such as Canada and Great Britain. Chinese products have the tag of being durable, long lasting, and of ultra-high quality, coupled with great prices. To import from China is a common practices for lots of companies in the west, and in US alone, the merchandises imported from China to US is worth of over 500 billion US dollars in 2017. Many companies buy wholesale furniture from China, and resell them in the USA at a profit. Also lots of famous chain retail stores like Ashley Furniture and Ikea furniture outsourcing manufacturing to China for saving the production cost. So naturally, every seller would want to know the secrets behind trading with one of the largest superpowers, and how to import furniture from China.
Shunde Wholesale Furniture Market
Foshan furniture market is by far the most comprehensive and largest market dedicated to furniture industry. Among the markets in Foshan there are many different wholesale markets that are known for different style ,e.g.,morden furniture market, antique furniture market , and etc. Firstly, visiting the Shunde Wholesale Furniture Market is a must for any seller looking to import furniture from China. Covering a space of 1,000,000 m2, the Market houses over a thousand factories, with over twenty thousand furniture sops, the seller is bound to come across something that is perfectly suited for their needs. The Market is open all year round, however, in addition, there are two major furniture exhibitions held in the months of March and August annually, also known commonly as the Dragon Furniture Fair.
The other most preferred option for sellers in the USA is Alibaba, the site which has become most famous for selling cheap and affordable Chinese products, at a great quality. Online sourcing platforms like Alibaba is a factory directory tool for sourcing products from China, which also has lots of variety in the furniture line and therefore it becomes a solution to how to import furniture from china. For a seller who cannot afford to go all the way to China and additionally pay for customs duty, insurance, and freight charges. All these additional headaches are removed when the seller orders the products online, as all the payments can be done in one go and at a single place, rather than sporadically, and makes the task of importing from China easier. However recently there are debates on is alibaba safe and legit. This is because the rising numbers of scams and frauds in the platform. Moreover, you are very likely dealing with traders and resellers on alibaba instead of real factory and wholesaler because the resellers and marketers spending lots of money on advertising on alibaba and using lots of efforts to rank high in all the keywords you might be searching for. How to use alibaba to find suppliers in China is a tutorial to distinguish the traders and real suppliers, and it is worth of reading since the same principle applies when searching for furniture supplier on Alibaba.
Another very popular method used by buyers in the western world is Sourcing. When a seller out sources the furniture shopping in China, he is essentially paying for another person to go to furniture fairs and shops, and buy the best quality furniture from there, and negotiate the prices with the Chinese merchants, and secure the best deal for the seller as possible. This is a also common approach regarding how to import furniture from china. Hiring a sourcing company is very convenient for those who don’t have a supply chain team in China to support the quality control and product inspection process. For example, when you are buying furniture in Foshan, consider to hire a local Guangzhou sourcing agent is advised, since Guangzhou is only half an hour away from Foshan by metro subway. Sourcing is an extremely popular method, especially for small and medium scale sellers from the United States, as travel to China is extremely pricy, and can burn a deep hole in one’s pocket. Additionally, being in China will obviously mean that the seller look at all the processes of production himself, and that he will naturally be want to be involved in everything that is going on. However, this may mean an increased focus in China, and his business back home may suffer massively, if there is no one trustworthy enough to handle it. Hence, sellers in the States often find it far simpler to outsource their furniture needs, and employ someone else to do their work for them.
However, Sourcing is not as easy as one might be led to believe. There are a vast number of things that can go wrong with this method. The first and foremost thing is obviously a lack of trust. In order to execute successful sourcing, the seller will need to have complete and utmost faith in the person they employ for the job, trusting him in every aspect, from the sales to the shipping. The person who is doing the job of Sourcing needs to be aware of the enormous responsibility on his shoulders. If a single thing goes wrong, all his efforts might go to waste, and the seller might lose everything, with all blame on him.
However, all fears aside, sourcing is nowadays the easiest, most cost effective method of importing furniture, and most sellers from the States employ this method of importing goods from China
Estimated times of Delivery
Lead time is also an important factor to consider when it comes to how to import furniture from China. Depending on the mode of travel used and the route taken, cargo can arrive at various times. By sea, the furniture ordered would take almost a month to arrive. If the cargo is set to arrive by air, the estimated time of arrival can be up to two weeks. The fastest mode of transport would be by International Express, which would take a week to deliver the furniture. However, most of the time, sellers have to wait up to forty days for the arrival of their goods. Depending on the requirements of the seller and the urgency of the products needed, they can stipulate on the cost and time of the arrival, and arrange for transport accordingly.
Getting the best price and offer is one of the key steps when it comes to how to import furniture from China. Once the products have been finalized, there comes the obvious matter of payment. Chinese merchants are notorious for delayed deliveries, but they have an honest reputation in the international market, and are not known to be fraudulent or scammers. Even if the product is late, unforgivably so, the seller can always rest assured that the products will be of a superior long lasting quality, and it will be value for money.
There are two common ways of payment of products to the Chinese merchants: PayPal, and International Wire Transfer. PayPal is a sort of online credit system, where one can link their bank account to PayPal, and engage in direct and secure payments. PayPal does, however, take a cut from the money that is shared. International Wire Transfer is one of the oldest and most trustworthy methods of banking available. In this method, the buyer invests in a down payment before production starts, and then completes the payment to the manufacturer. However, this is an extremely risky adventure, as both the buyer and the seller are set to lose, if for some reason the production stops, or the buyer does not want the products anymore, for whatever reason.
Both the PayPal and Wire transfers are easier to manage and carry out when the transactions are small or medium sized, as compared to large-scale transactions.
For large-scale transactions, people often prefer to use the Letter of Credit, a system of transaction most commonly used when the total amount is over fifty thousand dollars.A letter is issued from the bank of the buyer, assuring the payment will be made in full to the merchant, on time and on the correct date. However, if for some reason the buyer cannot complete the transaction, it will become the responsibility of the bank to cover for their client’s amount, and the bank is reimbursed at a later date. Lately, due to the complicated nature of international dealings, including problems of distance, a wide variation of laws in different countries, and difficulties in securing enough trust with the opposite party to transfer money directly, Letters of Credit have now become an immovable aspect in international trade, as they are the cornerstone of the continuous international trade.
Breaking Down the Appeal of Chinese Furniture
In 2004, China overtook Italy as the number 1 exporter of Furniture, and since that day, furniture export in China has steadily and largely grown by leaps and bounds, and has not looked back since. In the beginning, Chinese products were synonymous with large-scale productions and low quality products. However, that is not the case anymore. More and more Western world manufacturers and designers now order from China on a regular basis, even though the fact is not publicly acknowledged anywhere. With advancements in globalization, imports from China has become even more affordable and easier to manage, and slowly but steadily, China has become the go to place for furniture.
Chinese furniture appeals to a lot of collectors and art connoisseurs, mainly because of the way it looks. The Chinese do not believe in attaching their wood products with items kike nails and glue. They believe that it brings down the quality of the product, and it causes the product to rust and wear out faster. The Chinese employ an ingenious solution hen working with their furniture, which is to attach them with pieces of wood. And wherever possible, they try to remove the need for attachments altogether. Overall, they build their products in a manner that stipulates one complete finished product, which looks like it was carved out of a single piece of wood. Such exquisite and elegant works of art in their furniture is the main reason why Chinese furniture is so revered and sought after by top designers and furniture makers of the western world, and also explains why the Chinese furniture market is growing drastically every single day, and why it has a market value of 1 billion dollars in the international market.