This is the most comprehensive guide to import furniture from China on the planet.
The best part?
We’re going to show you techniques for importing furniture from China that is working right now (in 2018).
Let’s get started.
How to Import Furniture from Chinese Furniture Markets?
In this discussion, we’ll cover the basics.
First, you have to learn the exact information of the Chinese furniture market.
We’ll also describe ‘’how to properly purchase the products you need in the furniture market.’’
Choose which furniture market?
There are thousands of furniture markets in China but the largest amount is in the Foshan market.
Fun fact: Those search on google with the term “China furniture market”, all result shows for the Foshan furniture market.
Because the market almost supplies 99% of the furniture needs amongst the world.
Look at The Foshan Furniture Market
Here, we must clear the history of the name of ‘’ Foshan’’ furniture market.
The Foshan furniture market generally search on google is Shunde Lecong international furniture trading center, you can simply call it the Shunde furniture market or Lecong furniture market.
However, people are used to using the word “Foshan furniture market” for searching:
Whatever terms you search for and If you want to go to the market then the market’s image would be like this:
You can refer to our article on the furniture market:
The furniture markets are mainly distributed beside in the Foshan South Avenue:
Trait #1: Furniture Market Analysis.
We took the main 6 different markets and analyzed them separately:
- Number of Shops
- Market Consumption Level
- Types of Furniture
- Human Traffic
- Deal Volume
- Product Freshness
- Professional Degree
(6 stores respectively Louvre, SunLink (north), SunLink (south), Red Star Macalline, TuanYi, Dynasty).
Thus, let us reflect intuitively to the real situation of each store:
(This analysis table represents Riwick on the analysis of the furniture market, unofficial analysis. There is no commercial nature.)
From the analysis diagram, we concluded that:
The Louvre (Rich place)
Though the product freshness, service, and professionalism all are leading other stores, its high level of feasting has caused in a relatively small volume of transactions that is comparative to other markets.
However, because of having this attraction, the movement of people is high in low-cost performance. (Rich place)
It’s the same as the Louvre. But the price of the product is more advantageous than the Louvre.
Tuan Yi (recommended)
The price is cheaper and the variety is moderately complete. But the style is relatively old, the update is not regular.
Red Star Macalline
It’s brand chain stores, but the geographical position is not good (completely independent, but look at the stores’ distribution) as a direct result of traffic is greatly reduced.
Thus store business is not good.
You might as well go to the past, after all, it is a big chain of furniture stores in China, big groups listed in both Hong Kong and Shanghai.
Prices aren’t low, the style updated and common.
I praise this store. It is next to the Tuan Yi, the price is similar to the Tuan Yi. They have varieties of style and the style is usually updated.
low version of the Louvre, the number of shops in general, the price between the Louvre and the north district. Style update fast, breed small.
After reading this article, we believe that you would perceive your own choice.
Trait #2: Tips for Buying.
Bargaining or bargaining prevails in China.
A bit of bargaining is needed and those who don’t do this the seller seems the customer is foolish.
I agree that most westerners think this is a disturbing attitude because they have never practiced something like this in their own country.
Ask and Compare
The first hour or more should be spent taking prices from various sellers. Do not just ask the only price for the product you want. If your emphasis only on one product, the wholesaler might think you are interested and he will increase the initial price.
Therefore, asking prices for the variation of products allows them to guess what you really want.
Take the business card from the seller and the price tag on the backside of the card. Furniture wholesale markets tend to be large, so it helps to get the business card from sellers so you can track your next steps.
Remember to take pictures of your favorite products and stores.
It’s best to prepare a hand note for yourself to record the prices of your favorite shops and products.
Strive for Higher Profits.
Once you’ve identified the product you need and studied the same wholesale price, be prepared to have at least two wholesalers start the process.
According to my experience, sometimes due to many external reasons, bargaining with the wholesaler is not smooth, hence the standby supplier is ready.
Furniture wholesalers usually give an initial price. Consequently, there will be enough price negotiations. Counter that with your own low ball figure that should be lower than what you expect to pay.
At the same time, if you buy more than a quantity, you’ll get more discounts. Once prices are settled, break the negotiation and ask the seller to prepare an estimate. It local lingo, it is called common “Fa Piao” which is nothing but an agreement of selling.
At this point, you need to pay about 5% of the total price of the product as the initial deposit.
Final Words of Wisdom.
In China, negotiation is a normal part of everyday business.
It could be a lot of fun and financially can be rewarding to you that you can utilize in a positive way.
Do not feel shy about bargaining.
How to Find The Best Furniture Factories in China?
Factories can give you a lower price and a more stable source of goods.
Finding the right factory is more important than finding out the right product.
In this section, we’ll guide you step-by-step on’’ how to find the right furniture factory.’’
Learn more about the distribution of furniture manufacturing workshops in China.
Learn more about the distribution of furniture manufacturing in China.
First, let’s look at the Map of China Manufacturing Distribution.
Furniture: Mainly in Guangdong and Hebei province, the rest in Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Shanghai, Chengdu, and Beijing.
What? Not detailed enough?
We look continue at this furniture manufacturing distribution:
There are five furniture industry centers produced in China after the years of development in the furniture industry. They are:
- Pearl River Delta Furniture Industrial Base
- Yangtze River Delta Furniture Industrial Base
- Bohai Sea Rim Furniture Industrial Base
- Northeast China Furniture Industrial Base
- Southwest China Furniture Industrial Base
2. Yangtze River Delta Furniture Industrial Base
Representative cities: Jiangsu Province, Zhejiang Province, Shanghai
Advantages: high product quality and operation management
The Yangtze River Delta Furniture Industrial Base is the fastest growing cluster in China.
This area enjoys a good manufacturing foundation, including a well-developed infrastructure, distinctive history and culture, and highly educated and qualified labor.
The furniture market in this area has distinctive features, such as a huge capacity for high-quality products and well-managed companies.
The output value of furniture accounted for one-third of the country’s total.
Most products are exported to the Americas and European markets.
1. Pearl River Delta Furniture Industrial Base
Representative cities: Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Dongguan, Shunde, Foshan
Advantages: industry cluster, industry chain and brand advantage
The Pearl River Delta Base is the biggest furniture industrial base in China.
This area is close to Hong Kong and Macau, sharing abundant labor resources.
As a result of a long history of furniture manufacturing, it gathers lots of industry clusters with completed supply chains, well-developed market, and brand advantage.
The output value of furniture accounted for one-third of the country.
Most products are exported to the Americas market.
These two Industrial bases are the main exporter of Chinese furniture. Guangdong is China’s leading furniture production and sales area.
It makes full use of its own advantages, uses modern information technology, constantly transforms and enhances the technology level of the furniture industry, and maintains its advantages in production and sales.
Shunde District of Foshan City will create an integrated base for furniture production, sales, support, and wholesale.
Lecong Town has become a relatively large furniture distribution center in the South.
Longjiang Town has become a major producer of furniture.
If you want to know more about it, you can read this article:
Find the Furniture Factories From Online B2B Platforms
This is undoubtedly the fastest and most convenient method.
Alibaba certainly is ranking on the first position of the Chinese B2B platform. Regardless of the flow of visits by global buyers, the number of merchants registered etc is far ahead of other Chinese B2B platforms.
Alibaba has always been committed to serving small and medium enterprises.
After all, many small and medium-sized enterprises in China now rely on the B2B platform to sell their products abroad. Therefore, most companies still support strongly this B2B platform giant.
How to use Alibaba?
In our view, Global sources is a smaller version of Alibaba.
Founded in 1971, this company has been dedicated to electronics, machinery, gifts and other industries. In recent years, there have been breakthroughs in other industries.
Alibaba focused on small and medium-sized enterprises, while Globalsources focused on medium and large enterprises.
How to use Global Sources?
Headquartered in Nanjing, Made-in-China was established in the year 1998. Their main profit model includes- membership fees, advertising & search engine ranking costs for providing value-added services, and certification fees which they charge to provide certifications to the suppliers.
According to third-party authoritative sources, Made in China website has nearly 10 million page views per day, out of which the major 84% chunk comes from international stations that have tremendous export trade opportunities in these views.
Although Made in China is not as much popular as other domestic giants like Alibaba and Global Sources, it has a certain influence on overseas buyers.
To note, for the overseas promotion, Made in China participating through Google and other search engines to establish their brand.
Find the Furniture Factories From Exhibition.
China organizes a lot of furniture exhibitions every year. We recommend the following:
CIFF, which was established in 1998 was held in Guangzhou (March) and Shanghai (September) and held every six months.
With the successful experience of the past 40 years, China International Furniture Fair has accepted widely as the wind vane of the Chinese furniture industry, the Asian furniture purchasing center and the world-class platform.
In 2018, more than 6,000 outstanding exhibitors and 250,000 professional buyers from about 200 countries and regions participated in the exhibition with an annual exhibition scale of 1.15 million square meters.
China Import and Export Fair, also known as the Canton Fair, established in 1957.
Co-hosted by the Ministry of Commerce of PRC and the People’s Government of Guangdong Province and organized by China Foreign Trade Centre.
It holds in every spring(from April to May) and autumn(from October to November) in Guangzhou, China.
Canton Fair is a comprehensive international trading event with the longest history, the largest scale, the complete exhibit variety, the largest buyer attendance, the broadest distribution of buyers’ source country and the greatest business turnover in China.
The China International Furniture Expo, better known as Furniture China, takes the lead in the industry for over two decades.
As one of the world’s leading B2B trade fairs, over 100,000 participants are involved in the show every year.
- ACCESS to the whole value chain of the furniture industry.
- NETWORK with solution providers and key industry players.
- ENGAGE your business with Furniture China.
- DISCOVER a wider range of Contemporary Furniture.
- MEET the spotlight of this edition FMC/FMP.
Founded in 1961 as a vehicle for promoting Italian furniture and furnishings exports, the Salone Internazionale del Mobile is the international reference point for the furnishing and design sector.
In November 2016, Federlegno Arredo Eventi successfully finished its latest challenge: the launch of the first edition of Salone del Mobile. Shanghai, which was held from 19th to 21st November 2016 at the Shanghai Exhibition Centre.
- Classic – a timelessly fascinating category of products that fully reflect the value of artisan production and tradition.
- Design – products that embody functionality, innovation and a great sense of style.
- xLux – products that straddle classic elegance and contemporary design.
As the most successful commercial exhibition in China’s furniture industry, Shenzhen International Furniture Exhibition has followed the principle of “design-oriented, fashion-leading, and continuous innovation” by taking design as the bond.
It aims to fit into the urban culture; therefore, the Shenzhen International Furniture Exhibition has become a window for introducing Shenzhen to global furniture and design circles.
It has also become the strategic platform for “connecting international design resources with manufacturers in China” and “manufacturers of China seeking international and domestic markets.”
How to choose the right furniture factory?
1. Filter suppliers
If you choose to find suppliers in the exhibition, most of these exhibitors are quality furniture manufacturers.
But if you are looking for a vendor from a B2B platform, you must pay attention to the following points:
1. The supplier shall be required to provide a business license with a registered capital of over rmb1 million.
If the money is less than the mentioned amount, you should note that they may be traders, not manufacturers.
2. The scope of business may be more illustrative than the registered capital, and the business scope explains what the company is going to do. Look for “furniture” and “manufacture” or “production” to assess whether the supplier is a genuine manufacturer.
On the other hand, traders often have the business scope, including a wide range of different products, including terms such as “wholesale”.
3. If necessary for the quality management system, you can ask the merchant to show it. Nonetheless, as far as we know, the average small and medium-sized furniture factory has not allocated with it.
Why is it important to filter suppliers first when buying furniture from Chinese suppliers?
Since most furniture manufacturers are not gearing towards developed markets, you need to provide the quality options and stability you need.
2. OEM/ODM, Samples
When we purchase furniture, we often need to customize our products. For example –the size, material, style, etc.
At this time the furniture factory must be able to provide OEM/ODM services.
In this way, we can truly meet our requirements for products.
In maximum times, we purchase for a furniture project. The products we handover may not essentially be available in the market and most of them are specific products designed by our designers.
Then the furniture factory we choose must be able to provide a sample service. Because of the sampling procedure, you must confirm the manufacturer’s sample constantly, and finally confirm the order.
Once we had a client who asked for more than 80 samples for a hotel furniture project whatever lasted for one year. We gave and finally the order was confirmed.
We know a lot of countries have to import furniture under some laws and regulations, such as the Fire Retardancy Regulations.
This is a very important point, you have to know your country’s relevant laws and Regulations. Then ask if the furniture factory can provide these certificates.
Otherwise, the furniture you’re going to purchase is very difficult to import into your country. For example, the United States must comply with the California technical bulletin 117 (TB117). The EU must comply:
- EN 1021-1
- EN 1021-2
- EN 597-1
- EN 597-2
- EN 14533 and so on.
If the furniture factory can produce these certificates, we would suggest you to ask the factory to send you samples of some materials. In order to check with the local testing agency.
If you want to learn more about Tips imported furniture from B2B platform, you can read this article:
4.The minimum order quantity(MOQ)
When looking for Chinese furniture suppliers, MOQ is always one of the most important considerations.
For the overall sales, some manufacturers have a higher MOQ, but the price is low.
Chinese furniture suppliers are sometimes flexible, especially if you order diverse types of furniture, you can always reach a compromise.
In the retail area, please note the supplier is in stock.
Buying inventory is easy, but the price is usually 20% ~ 30% higher than the wholesale price.
Outsource the procurement to trading companies.
Procurement outsourcing is often seen in the import and export business of some large companies. Furniture imports and exports are also very common.
Even some family forms who need to purchase furniture from the Chinese furniture market, generally hire sourcing agents as shopping guides. Trading companies pay attention to service, and factories pay attention to prices.
Hiring a trading company often requires its professional services, including product procurement, production management, quality inspection, transportation arrangements, and product photography services.
For example, if you search on Google for “Furniture sourcing company”, “Furniture sourcing agent” and so on. You will find these companies easily. Professionalism is given to professional people. Isn’t this an important principle in our business?
To learn more, you can read this article:
We already understand the methods of importing furniture from the furniture market and the furniture factory. Now we start to choose the market or the factory.
See the next chapter.
How to Choose Furniture Markets and Furniture Factories in China?
The furniture market can instinctively experience various types of furniture products.
The furniture factory can give you insights into the various details of the product.
This chapter allows us to analyze how you choose them.
From the actual demand.
From the time when we choose for purchasing furniture from China, we must recognize our own needs and recognize our own role.
Purchase furniture for the home.
If the purpose of our purchase is only for use for our own family, then the furniture wholesale market is our best choice.
In the first chapter, we have clearly introduced the furniture wholesale market with various types of furniture for you to choose from, fully meet your needs.
What’s more, we have a limited number of furniture purchased by ourselves. There is no limit on the furniture market. You have to know all the furniture factories have MOQ requirements.
Like our customers, they came to China and did not purchase products from their own homes.
Furniture is just a part of it. There are many products need to purchase.
Purchase furniture for the Business.
For us, who are preparing to purchase the furniture business, purchasing from a furniture factory is certain. In the previous chapter, we have learned how to find a furniture factory. So do we need to go to the furniture market?
Our suggestion is you should go to the furniture market. If you are importing furniture for the first time, then you do not have a stable and reliable supplier. You can only understand these suppliers on the B2B platform or large-scale exhibition.
Instead of it, you can quickly and instinctively find your product at the furniture market, pick some products that need to be customized, and directly inquire about similar-style furniture shops. They often provide OEM/ODM services.
You can think of the furniture purchasing market as a furniture fair that will be open all year round.
When you confirm the product at the store, you can ask the store owner to take you to visit their factory. Their factory is often close to the furniture market.
Of course, if you aren’t purchasing furniture for the first time in China, you can directly contact the factory you have worked with.
Some suggestions on factory price negotiations
For some people who have been importing furniture from China multiple times, negotiations are already commonplace. Because often a good negotiation brings long-term benefits.
But for some novices, it is necessary to learn. The first chapter of the market bargaining skills you have to learn, and second, you need to consolidate your own negotiation price from the following points:
- Find problems with their products.
- Show them the prices of competitors.
- Strengthen your status with repeated orders, timely payment, and other prices.
Furniture Shipment and Payment.
The payment method and the process often have a major influence on the outcome.
Sea freight and shipping are not what should keep you up at night.
This chapter will describe how the sea freight works when shipping from China and Common payment methods when transferring funds to a Chinese supplier.
International Trade Terms, FCL, LCL, Bill of Lading.
For beginners, the term itself can be frustrating. Most importantly, maximum people in the industry can’t explain in simple English how the shipping process operates between 0 and 1.
There is a lot of knowledge that International Marine knows, but for furniture, we only need to learn the following:
When you start to import from China, shipping is an essential thing to be anxious.
You could choose the size according to your product volume.
- 20” GP container: 5.9*2.32*2.36m; Capacity: 25-28CBM; Payload:17.5 Ton
- 40” GP container: 11.6*2.32*2.36m; Capacity: 55-58CBM; Payload:22 Ton
- 40” HQ container: 11.6*2.32*2.68m; Capacity: 65-68CBM; Payload:22 Ton
- 45” GP container: 13.58*2.34*2.71m; Capacity: 78-86CBM; Payload:29 Ton
Please check the following information for more regular terms:
1, EXW( Ex-works)
You must arrange transportation procedures for all the way of factories/warehouses in Foshan to the destination port. Then you are responsible for all the export process.
2,FOB ( Free on board)
The FOB price includes EXW price, trucking charge, THC(terminal handling charge), customs cost. Normally the trucking charge and THC will be depending on the total volume of the shipment.
We will arrange cargo to the port of Guangzhou or Shenzhen, handle the export process. Your own forwarder will manage to ship from Port Guangzhou/Shenzhen to your place.
LCL( less than container load) and FCL (Full container load,including 20GP,40GP, 40HQ, 45GP) are both available.
3,CIF( Cost , Insurance and Freight)
We will arrange shipment to your port of destination.
But you need to manage the shipment from the destination port to your warehouse and handle the import process.
One more tip for shipping:
If the CIF price is very low, please pay more attention. This is the method that forwarder uses to attract customers. It will charge a lot when picking up cargo at the port of destination.
Normally the charge of destination port can be asked in advance. If you could find a reliable forwarder at your side, FOB or EXW terms will be better than CIF.
If you are a newcomer to complete international shipping knowledge, you can click on this article:
Shipping rates, tax tariffs depend on logistics agents, location, season, etc. Please, contact us out for more detailed information.
Please choose your region on the left below and the port city nearest to your location or the city of destination on the right.
Attention: The calculator only provides estimated cost without customs clearance in the county of destination.
Shipping cost calculator
Here you can calculate the delivery cost of your products to the nearest port.
If you can’t find the port you need above, you can contact us.
Approximate shipping costs from Foshan (China) to Singapore (Singapore) are 1350$ for 20ft container and 1550$ for 40ft container.
Shipping time for furniture from China
Shipping time starts when a container leaves the port in China and ends when reaches the port of destination. Delivery time for furniture (or other goods) from China depends on the country and a city of destination.
For Northern and Southern America, African, Asian countries and UAE delivery time is about 30 days. For the rest of the countries, the delivery time is about 40 days.
We might follow the most common payment methods in the furniture trade：
Telegraphic Transfer (T/T)
The wire transfer is a standard bank transaction, placed either through the use of online banking or at a local bank branch. All Chinese manufacturers use bank accounts to accept this payment method.
Although it is a common process of transaction, it does not provide any protection itself. It is different from the letter of credit (LC), we will review it a bit. However, it does not mean that T / T must be an unsafe payment method.
Paying the right amount at the right time is the key to success
The standard payment period is a 30% deposit in advance before manufacturing, and a balance payment needs to occur after completion. But before shipment (or at least before the issuance of the original bill of lading), the time of the second and final payment should be if there are any crucial conditions.
This is all about giving incentives to suppliers to comply with your requirements. You can take this incentive before the compliance and quality are validated by fully paying the vendor.
Therefore, after the quality inspector approves the batch, and before the final laboratory test returns, the balance must be withheld. Although this payment method does not protect the initial deposit, the supplier still has a lot of losses, even if the deposit payment is guaranteed.
Chinese manufacturers usually gain very thin profits. Even if they neglect the buyer’s request and try to sell domestically, possibly, they would certainly fall in heavy losses. Since the transaction is not completed, the supplier can easily fail.
T/T payment process
- Deposit payment (30%)
- Production begins
- Production is completed
- Quality Inspection / Compliance Testing
- Buyer approval batch
- Delivery to the loading port (eg Guangzhou)
- B / L scan copy provided
- Loading and shipping
- Balance payment (70%)
- The seller sends the original bill of lading and other shipping documents (on request
Destination port unloading)
Letter of Credit (L/C)
It’s different from T / T, the letter of credit (LC) let the buyer ask the supplier to fulfill certain pre-determined requirements before the transfer of funds, thereby adding an additional layer of security.
It is not only for paying a payment, plus it greatly decreases the buyer’s risk. When paying using the letter of credit, there arises a question that ‘’after which conditions the payment would be released.
After completing the buyer’s conditions, the bank will automatically release the funds to the supplier, and then automatically credit the buyer after meeting these conditions.
Remember, bankers, are not business experts. Once they receive the required documents, they transfer the committed funds.
Before the transaction is completed, it is up to the buyer and the seller to exchange specific documents.
Here are a few examples of these conditions:
- Bill of lading (issued on or before a certain date to avoid delays)
- Approved quality inspection report (to avoid shipping defective items)
- Approved laboratory test report (to avoid shipment of non-compliant items)
Letter of Credit Payment Procedure
- The seller and the buyer sign in a sales agreement uttering the conditions that must be met before the payment is released.
- The buyer contacts the local bank and applies for a letter of credit.
- The buyer’s bank contacts the seller’s bank (in China) and provides a letter of credit.
- Seller’s bank contacts the seller and counsels the buyer.
- Production begins.
- Production is completed.
- Quality Inspection and Product Testing.
- Delivered to the port of shipment and do the shipping process
- Provide necessary documents (such as quality inspection reports, test reports, and transport documents) to local banks.
- If the conditions are filled up (i.e., the correct file is submitted), funds will be released.
Payment Method Comparison
Payment provider: Never forward payment.
In order to get what you asked, you have to give the supplier an incentive to follow your instructions.
How and when the suppliers pay and may be the deciding factor between success and failure. By making full payment to the manufacturer, you will eliminate their incentive to obey the terms of the contract.
Yes, you can still find quality problems, but if the facts prove that a large number of units are defective – or worse, if the batch does not meet the requirements, you will leave little ammunition.
Although 30% of the advance payment is required, pre-production, but the final balance payment (usually 70% remaining) can only be paid in the following situations:
- A) The quality of the product has been verified.
- B)Compliance with all applicable safety standards and regulations (such as material restrictions and labeling requirements) has been verified.
We can learn from experience that Chinese suppliers are easy to deal with as long as the Chinese suppliers’ benefit – in this case, they get paid.
Of course, they may exit, you still lose the deposit, but selling these goods in the domestic market is rarely a feasible option for the supplier. Whatever you do, you must first complete the payment until the quality and compliance are verified.
Some Suggestions for Furniture Import.
For the initial furniture import business, we often meet many problems.
We sum up these issues and make some suggestions.
For the first time importers, try to find a furniture sourcing agent to assist you.
Although we have already described a lot of ways to find a good furniture supplier, for international trade, just good suppliers are not enough. You also need to deal with a series of product inspections, shipping, payment and more.
Then you need to find a sourcing agent in China. They will help you deal with everything in China and teach you how to obtain products from China. A good sourcing agent will really help you a lot.
Here is a good article on China Manufacturing: To Sourcing Agent or not to Sourcing Agent
What Kinds of Sevice You can Get from Chinese Sourcing Agent？
There are many types of services, nonetheless, they are roughly divided into 4 points:
- Help you find a read factory in China that manufactures your products.
- Manage the production of your products.
- Inspect the quality of your products.
- Arrange shipment of your products.
You can also learn more in this article: Best 10 China Sourcing Agent.
Freight Forwarders and Shipping Companies
Finding the right shipping company or cargo forwarder in China can be a thoughtful challenge.
If you choose to complete all the import process yourself, perhaps these shipping companies can help you.
Essentially, through the Freightos Marketplace, importers can easily compare, book and manage international shipments of more than 50 freight forwarders.
They are very focused on supporting small importers and provide some powerful support resources as well as live chat and phone support.
Freightos’ ordering process is simple, including streamlining the transfer of your documents to freight forwarders and centralized freight management.
Tryfleet.com is the official website of Fleet Logistics, a logistics and supply Chain Company that also provides transportation services by connecting freight services with customers and importers.
The fleet was established in 2014 as an online logistics market where you as an importer can contact shippers and other service providers.
This service can help you find the best solution for your cargo transportation within the best price and let you make an informed decision.
Flexport is a unique freight forwarding company, as many people often call it Ocean Uber. The company was founded in 2013 based on an online dashboard that connects importers and freight forwarders.
It is also the first company to achieve the digitalization of international shipping, allowing importers to more easily move goods to transparent areas.
The company’s regional China headquarters is located in Shenzhen, China. They also have another office in Hong Kong. This is a technology company that lets importers book, track and process their goods through an application or an online dashboard portal.
You can also access logistics and freight service providers on their online portal. Overall, the company is still young, but it is growing rapidly and is one of the best among importers’ digital services and online tools.
Furniture imports are changing.
As we all know, importing products from China is worth as Chinese products are cheap. The reason that leads to cheaper prices is that of cheap productivity.
However, with the development of productivity, cheap productivity has no longer become an advantage in China.
The cheap industry began to shift towards Southeast Asia and Africa.
Although the transfer of industries has caused a certain impact on Chinese manufacturers, these effects cannot shake the strong position of China’s manufacturing industry and will not change in the next 20 years or so.
Because of the mature industrial chain in China’s manufacturing industry cannot be completed in the short term by other third countries.
For example, a screw must be imported from China by a third party. Such an imperfect industrial chain led to changes in the import of these third countries from China.
Because the industrial chain is not perfect, but human resources are sufficient. Cheaper productivity has prompted some importers to open furniture processing factories in the local area.
For example, a sofa is divided roughly into the wooden frame, spare parts, leather cloth materials, sponges and so on. These importers often leave parts such as wooden frames and sponges for themselves, and other parts are imported from China.
Then all the accessories are assembled in their own factory and then sold to their local market.
What are the advantages of such an import method?
We continue to use the sofa as an example. A three-seat sofa with a length of 2.8 meters can only fit into 20-24 sets with a 40-foot high cabinet. In addition, if you just buy such sofa accessories, such as leather cloth materials and hardware accessories. The same 40-foot high cabinet can fit 200 sets of sofa accessories.
Another important point is that tariffs on finished products and materials are not the same. The tariffs on materials are much cheaper.
And these importers are only responsible for assembling the furniture, they do not need to spend too much time and money on the design template. These are completely outsourced to Chinese suppliers.
Of course, importers in this way must have sufficient productivity in the local area.
Bonus Tips, Strategies, and Real-Life Examples for Furniture Import in China.
How did our customer A spend 3 days in China,
found a good supplier,
and ordered 760,000 RMB to the furniture supplier?
Customer A is a local furniture supplier in India.
For the first time, we are going to import some classic European furniture from China.
Let’s look at how A works from 0 to 1.
1. Identify the project and get an initial understanding of the suppliers on the B2B platform.
Client A received a furniture project in November 2017.
After repeated studies, they finally decided to import the products of this project in Foshan, China.
Between December 2017 and February 2018, customer A and its team found 20 furniture suppliers from Foshan via the Alibaba platform
and the preliminary get these suppliers’ product quotations.
It took half a month to screen the 20 suppliers in the face of offers from so many suppliers, and 8 suppliers they thought were good.
From February to March they talked to the 8 suppliers about project requirements and prices.
In the end, only 3 suppliers were able to work out solutions according to their project requirements and budgets. This is a very important preliminary negotiation. Suppliers can make a win-win solution according to our requirements and budget, these suppliers are really worth working together.
2. Hire a sourcing agent to assist in purchasing.
Well, the supplier has decided, and the plan is there. All that is to be prepared now is to go to Foshan, China, to accept the supplier, and then make the final order confirmation.
However, as this is the first time to purchase furniture items in China, the distribution of factories in Foshan is completely unknown.
Although there is a lot of online strategies, suppliers have also given the factory address and contact information. But considering the language communication, the local area of familiarity and other factors. Customer A and their team decided decisively to hire a sourcing agent to help them.
Customer A approached us on April 5 through the Google search term “furniture sourcing agent” and sent us an inquiry on the same day.
Customer A stated the furniture items, they were going to carry out in the inquiry and wanted to hire us as their China purchasing agent.
And asked us to help them find out some of the classic European furniture suppliers, and customer A also shared some of the suppliers they found in Alibaba for reference and proposed a budget.
After receiving customer A’s proposal, we quickly look for the corresponding supplier. And in the 6th found two suppliers are able to make a budget for customer A, the supplier also quickly made the offer to send us.
After we received the offer from the supplier, we sent it to the customer for the first time. After seeing it, the customer expressed great interest.
3. Get invitations, prepare before purchasing, book airline tickets and hotels.
On April 10th, Customer A notified us via WhatsApp that they plan to visit Foshan, China from the 24th to the 27th of April. Because they are coming to China for the first time, they are asked to send them invitations in order to get visas.
The customer stated that the time was very urgent because the visa required some time and requested us to send an invitation to them as soon as possible.
We quite understand the requirements of our customers. For the first time in China, an invitation letter is indispensable. Therefore, on the morning of the 11th, we sent the electronic version of the invitation letter to our customers, allowing them to apply for visa procedures.
On the morning of the 13th, Customer A continued to tell us via WhatsApp that it is expected to arrive at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport at 10:30 pm on the 24th and return to India on the 28th at 1 am. Tell us about the flight number and the booked hotel.
Let us prepare.
At 10 o’clock in the morning on April 25th, we went to the hotel to receive customer A. According to the supplier we provided earlier and the itinerary that we consulted last night, we started the purchase journey.
At the request of Customer A, our first stop had to visit the Louvre Museum Home Expo Center.
Here, customer A saw that the price and quality of the furniture market in Foshan are the most advanced products. Then we continue to follow the itinerary. Came to one of the lists of suppliers that customer A found on the Alibaba platform – Jinlaiwu furniture.
The product of this factory is aimed at the middle and low-end market. The product price is low, but the materials and quality do not meet the customer’s needs, but the customer also understands what the end product is like.
The second in the list – Ekar furniture. This supplier targets the mid- to the high-end market. We first have visited the exhibition hall in Ekar. The exhibition hall covers a wide area and is divided into two layers. Each style of product has different styles.
The quality of the products is very good. Customer A is very satisfied. Unfortunately, the products required by customer A are not displayed in the exhibition hall. It is necessary to go to the factory to see the actual samples.
Due to the time, we decided to let the supplier do a new project first. We will go past the factory the next day. On the way back to the hotel, we passed the SunLink Lighting City.
We spent 30 minutes turning around in it. But regrettably the price exceeded the customer’s budget, we can only ask our friends to find a table lamp that meets the customer’s requirements.
After that, we sent the customer back to the hotel and ended the first day of the trip.
On April 26th, customer A proposed to go to the furniture purchasing market again, and we also support customer A’s idea. So we decided today’s first stop – Sunlink North District furniture market.
In the market, we walked for nearly an hour and was eventually attracted to a shop called Mansion 12. The prices and quality of the products in the shop are very suitable.
During the initial negotiating, we learned that this supplier not only owns its own production plant but also provide ODM/OEM services for various types of products. And has done a lot of furniture projects on hotels, restaurants, and offices, even the furniture designers are hiring foreigners.
The shop owner also willingly invited us to visit his factory. Then we went to the supplier’s factory to visit the exhibition hall. The customer liked the products in the factory showroom and started to feel good about this supplier.
Then we went back to the mall showroom and the customer began to pick the products he needed and requested the store owner to make a plan.
At the same time, we recommend that customers use the quotes from Ekar Home as a reference to let them know about our project’s budget. After 5 hours of negotiations approximately it was 8 o’clock in the evening, the general plan came out.
Because there are several product prices and design changes, the customer needed to discuss it with his team. After getting the supplier’s commitment, we’ de return to the hotel and plan to come back tomorrow morning.
In the process of going back to the hotel, the seller asked the customer and us whether to choose Ekar furniture or the Mansion 12?
Our answer is Mansion 12.
- The quality of the product meets our requirements.
- The factory scale also meets the production schedule requirements we need.
- We spent nearly 5 hours of negotiations and determined the prices of most of our products. And we are all satisfied with the price.
- Only 1 day of purchasing time is left. If we go to talk with Ekar again, the time is not enough.
- The final customer agreed to our proposal and decided to place the order on the Mansion 12.
On April 27, after receiving the customer at the hotel, we went directly to the office of the 12th mansion and continued yesterday’s discussion.
After several discussions, we lastly finalized the order, and the total order amounted to approximately RMB 760,000.
Then the customer proposed to visit the factory again, therefore we had finished our lunch, we continued to the factory to visit the production workshop and to confirm that the quality of the products of his order was the same as that of the exhibition hall.
We were returning from our trip to the nearby mall to help customers buy gifts. After that, we sent customers back to the hotel and ended the three-day purchase journey.
5. Order follow-up
After the customer’s return to India, we quickly created a contract that was confirmed by the customer and the supplier.
Initially, the contract required to pre-pay 20,000 RMB by the customer as the cost of the supplier’s CAD drawing.
After receiving the advance payment, the supplier began to make a product CAD drawing, which was expected to be completed on May 20 and will be sent to the customer for confirmation.
After confirmation, the customer would make up the 30% deposit (200,000 RMB for the advance payment is also counted as a deposit) and the supplier will begin production. The customer payment method was divided into 3 parts:
- 30% deposit as supplier production.
- During the production process, the customer paid a 20% deposit through our confirmation of the factory’s production progress. (In this process, the customer will come to China again to confirm the supplier’s production.)
- The customer confirmed that all products were completed through us and were ready for QC. Pay 50% of the final payment. The shipment was completed and the transaction was completed too.
The full payment method uses T/T payment. T/T 30% production, T/T 20% confirmation, T/T 50% balance.
Now It’s Your Turn
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