Path: Ask the Experts >> 

I'd like to import bathroom products and other furniture items from China to India. What advice can you give me?

Posted: 2012-02-27

Full Question

I would like to import bathroom products and other furniture items. I am new in this industry, so would even like to know from which Part of China to get a good quality and cheap products, which can be used, in construction industry. It is safe to buy products just by ordering it online, or shall I personally visit the company from whom I am taking products? I would like to know what are the import rates on all items from China are the same or different? Would it be cheaper for me to ship a container to Mumbai port, or on the Candla port which is situated her in Gujarat itself?

Answer

Let's look at each question individually.

1. I would like to import bathroom products and other furniture items. I am new in this industry, so would even like to know from which Part of China to get a good quality and cheap products, which can be used, in construction industry.

China is in a state of transformation now as factories are starting to leave the coast due to rising prices and move inland where costs are lower. But there remain many "areas of competency" along the coast that remain cost competitive due to scale, efficiencies, access to raw materials and product understanding, for example. So my suggestion is that you try to locate these centers of competency while exploring pricing at a national level. Research where the industry shows are in China for this particular product. The shows are often in the middle of the area of competency. Also, do a quick search at www.GlobalSources.com and note, which cities or provinces frequently come up in the search results.

I suspect your problem will not be finding suppliers, to the contrary, I think your task will so become how to pick the best supplier for your particular needs ("cheap and good quality," as you say) from a long list of potential suppliers. For your reference, the following article can walk you through the process of picking a supplier in China: http://chinasourcinginfo.org/2010/04/21/china-sourcing-successfailure-factors/. I think you will find it useful.

2. Is it safe to buy products just by ordering it online, or shall I personally visit the company from whom I am taking products?

In my opinion, based on 12 years in China, I would never buy from a factory unless my team or trusted representatives of my team have recently visited the factory to confirm they are qualified to meet our targets for quality, price and volume. Here is a link to a short video offering some tips for how to safely order from a factory: http://www.globalsources.com/ST/Videos/How-To-Evaluate-Chinese-Suppliers.htm. I think you will find it highly relevant to your situation.

3. I would like to know what are the import rates on all items from China are the same or different? Would it be cheaper for me to ship a container to Mumbai port or to the Candla port, which is situated here in Gujarat itself?

That is a good question, but unfortunately it is an India issue rather than China issue and I am afraid I am not experienced enough with India to answer your question. But I can certainly get you pointed in the right direction and help you find an answer. Because the regulations and taxes in India (anywhere actually) can change on short notice, you would be wise to develop a working relationship with a freight forwarder or customs broker based at your local port, who has experience dealing with China imports. They also go by the name "3PL" for 3rd party logistics service providers. These companies are the experts in this area and they make a living arranging shipments. A big part of their job is to stay current on the import taxes and duties. Not only can they quote on the costs of moving your goods to the ports you mentioned, but they can also confirm if there are any import taxes or duties.

Read the answer to "What's the best way to find freight forwarders in China?" on our Ask the Experts page to learn how to find a quality a 3PL.

Have another sourcing question? Submit your question to our sourcing experts.

* Your E-mail address:
(Required, but will not be made public)
* Your Question: