The benefits of importing from China to Australia will always centre on cost. Australia just can’t compete with ‘the world’s’ factory on manufacturing, clothing and printing so China becomes a cost-effective option for most businesses. However, if you don’t work with the right people, suppliers or materials, importing from China could end up costing you more than you bargained for. If you are looking to import to Australia for your company or for somebody else’s, here are some points you should consider.
Build Strong Relationships
Flying to China on a fact finding mission may not be realistic for most, but finding the most appropriate way to form a relationship with employees of the factory is a must. Whether by email, phone or Skype, you should aim to make a connection with at least two different staff members at each factory you plan to work with. By building a relationship with a manager and one other staff member you will be in a good position if one of the employees decides to leave, ensuring you will always have one reliable contact.
Get Your Quantities Right
Economies of scale will help confirm whether or not the price of importing is worth the hassle. There are some items where you’ll be surprised to hear how much you need to purchase before you begin to see any real savings. This will usually be reflected in the minimum quantity orders, which are a guide for factories in determining the value to them and to you.
Import A Sample
Your first dealing with suppliers should never be rushed. You will want to be happy with your contacts firstly and then request a sample of the product you are looking to buy. This will delay your turnaround time but may help to confirm that your merchandise, apparel or signage is fit for purpose. Going through the sample process is like performing due diligence as it will also give you further insight into how the factory delivers on their orders. Be aware that there is transaction fees involved when placing an order so a sample may only be appropriate for larger orders.
Know The Importing Regulations
If you’ve seen the program Border Security you know that bringing goods into Australia can be challenging to say the least. Knowing the laws or regulations for business imports is critical to avoid your products from being held up or your purchase resulting in a fine. There are fees in place to also deter companies from importing from overseas and keeping the work in Australia. For example, buying clothing will incur a 15% charge but metal is only 5%. Other things to consider are fumigation fees for wood products, GST and port charges. To get a better understanding, visit the Australian customs and border protection website.
Confirm Everything In Writing
To save yourself a lot of headaches, make sure that you confirm everything in writing or in the quote. You won’t be the first to receive a quote, with a very brief description, of the product you are looking to buy and then assumed that the supplier is on the same page. Never assume! If you’ve asked for a specific; product make sure the details, such as size, colour, weight, etc are all listed. This is the same for payment terms; the last thing you want is for a delivery not to be sent because they are still waiting on payment.
Transporting The Goods
There are two obvious options when transporting from China, sea and air. Deciding which is best for you will depend on the urgency of the delivery, the bulk of the order and how close your factory is to a port or an airport. Typically, sea freight can take 3-4 weeks to arrive and air freight is about a week. Then, also depending on the product, the port or customs will hold onto your stock for another few days at least. Before committing to an order also find out how many boxes will be used to transport your goods as well as the potential weight. As a rule anything over 5 or 6 boxes generally begins make the cost of air freight too expensive. If you’re unsure, contact a freight management company to confirm delivery costs.
Anybody can import from China but anybody can easily make a mistake. Do your research, ask questions and more importantly, be patient. If all else fails, contact the team at VooDu Marketing for your importing needs.