Import Furniture From China:
The Evergreen Guide (2018)
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 from Furniture Market.
In this chapter, we’ll cover the basics.
First, you will learn the exact contents of the Chinese furniture market.
We will also show you how to properly purchase the products you need in the furniture market.
Look Into The Foshan Furniture Market.
We must correct the real name of Foshan furniture market here.
The Foshan furniture market that is searched on google is actually: Shunde Lecong international furniture trading center, you can simply call it Shunde furniture market or Lecong furniture market.
However, people are used to using the word “Foshan furniture market” to search:
Whatever word you search for, the furniture market you want to go to is like this:
You can refer to our article on the furniture market:
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)
So let us intuitively reflect the real situation of each store:
Click to enlarge view
(This analysis table represents Riwick on the analysis of furniture market, unofficial analysis. There is no commercial nature.)
From the analysis diagram, we concluded that:
- The Louvre, although the product freshness, service, and professionalism are leading other stores. Its high level of consumption has resulted in a relatively small volume of transactions relative to other markets. However, because of the attractions, the flow of people is high. Low-cost performance.
- SunLink(north), which can be said to be quite good, has a large number of people, with medium price and complete variety.
- Tuan Yi, the price is cheaper and the variety is quite complete.
But the style is relatively old, the update is not frequent.
- Red Star Macalline, 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, so store business is bad.
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, style updates are general.
- SunLink(south), I absolutely recommend this store.
It is next to the Tuan Yi, the price is similar to the Tuan Yi, many shops, the variety is full, the style is updated generally.
- In the Dynasty, 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.
Trait #2: Tips for Buying.
Bargaining or bargaining prevails in China.A bit of bargaining is expected and those who do not are considered foolish. I agree that most westerners think this is A bit disturbing because they have never experienced it in their own country.
Ask and Compare
The first hour or more should be spent taking prices from various sellers. Do not just ask price for the product you need. If you focus only on one product, the wholesaler may think you are interested and raise the initial price. So asking prices for a variety of products allows them to guess what you really want.
Take the business card of the seller you find interesting and the price tag on the back 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 steps. Remember to take pictures of your favorite products and stores.
It’s best to prepare a book for yourself and record the prices of your favorite shops and products.
Strive for Higher Profits.
Once you’ve identified the product you want 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, so the standby supplier is ready.
Furniture wholesalers usually give an initial price, so 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 quantity enough, you’ll get more discounts.
Once prices are agreed, 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 to sell.
At this point, you need to pay about 5% of the total price of the product as the initial deposit.
Trait #3: Final Words of Wisdom.
In China, negotiation is a normal part of everyday business.
It could be lots of fun and financially be rewarding provided you take it in a positive way.
Do not feel shy about haggling.
Ok, so that’s How to Import from Furniture Market.
In the next chapter, we will introduce How to Import from Furniture Factory/Manufacturer.
How to Import from Furniture Factory?
Factories can give you a lower price and a more stable source of goods.
Finding the right factory is more important than finding the right product.
In this chapter, we will guide you step-by-step how to find the right furniture factory.
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 continue to look at this furniture manufacturing distribution:
(Picture from canadawood.org)
One of the articles written by Dora Xue in the canadawood.org Blog mentions:
There are five furniture industry bases generated in China, after 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
The article mentions:
“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 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 Americas market.
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.“
The main export of Chinese furniture is these two Industrial bases.
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 the author’s article:
Import Furniture Factory From Online B2B Platforms
This is probably the fastest and most convenient method.
Alibaba undoubtedly ranked first on the Chinese B2B platform.
Regardless of the flow of visits by global buyers, the number of merchants registered, etc. are 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 strongly support this B2B platform giant.
How to use Alibaba?
In our view, Globalsources 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 is focused on small and medium-sized enterprises, while Globalsources is more focused on medium and large enterprises.
How to use Globalsources?
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, which 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 participates through Google and other search engines to establish its hold.
Import Furniture Factory From Exhibition.
China has a lot of furniture exhibitions every year. We recommend the following:
CIFF, which was established in 1998, is held in Guangzhou (March) and Shanghai (September) and is held every six months.
With the successful experience of the past 40 years, China International Furniture Fair has been widely accepted 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 Canton Fair, is 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 is held 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 increasingly 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.”
Nowadays, as the second-to-none domestic industrial innovation leadership platform in China, the Shenzhen International Furniture Exhibition has rapidly developed towards strategic emerging industry exhibitions from professional furniture trade exhibitions.
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:
- The supplier shall be required to provide a business license with a registered capital of over rmb1 million. If the money is less than that, you should note that they may be traders, not manufacturers.
- 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 very different products, including terms such as “wholesale”.
- Quality management system, if necessary, you can ask the merchant to show it. But as far as we know, the average small and medium-sized furniture factory has not dealt with it.
Why is it important to filter suppliers first when buying furniture from Chinese suppliers? Since most furniture manufacturers are not geared towards developed markets, you need to provide the quality options and stability you need.
Quality management system
2. OEM/ODM, Samples
When we purchase furniture, we often need to customize our products.
For example 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.
Many times, we purchase for a furniture project.
The products we hand may not necessarily be visible 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 sample service.
Because in the sampling process, you must constantly confirm the manufacturer’s sample, and finally confirm the order.
We once had a client who asked for more than 80 samples for a hotel furniture project, which lasted for one year. The order was finalized.
We know a lot of countries have to furniture to specify 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 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 that you ask the factory to send you samples of some materials. Let you 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 a variety of different types of furniture, you can always reach a compromise.
In the retail area, please note that 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 in 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 their professional services, including product procurement, production management, quality inspection, transportation arrangements and product photography services.
For example, 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 the furniture market and the furniture factory, and now we start to choose the market or the factory. See the next chapter.
Choose Furniture Markets or Furniture Factory?
The furniture market can intuitively 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 we choose to purchase 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 to be used by 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, 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 that all 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 that need to be purchased.
So the furniture market is the best choice.
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 we need to go to the furniture market?
Our suggestion is that 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, you can quickly and intuitively find your product in the furniture market, meet some products that need to be customized, and directly inquire about similar-style furniture shops. They often provide OEM/ODM services.
Modern furniture custom factory showroom
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 businesses in China many 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:
- 1. Find problems with their product.
2. Show them the prices of competitors.
3. Strengthen your status with repeated orders, timely payment, and other prices.
Of course, we also recommend books for newcomers:
- Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion: A classic book on the psychology of persuasion. After reading this you will have all the tools you need to be persuasive in business and everyday life. Powerful stuff.
- Crucial Conversations by A Bunch of Guys: The only book you need when it comes to negotiations. I reference this one a lot.
Shipment And Payment.
The payment method, and the process, often have a major impact on the outcome.
Sea freight and shipping is not what should keep you up at night.
This chapter learns how 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, most people in the industry cannot 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 concerned.
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:
You must arrange transportation all the way from factories/warehouse in Foshan to the destination port. And you are responsible for all export process.
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, handling 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.
We will arrange shipment to your port of destination. But you need to manage the shipment from destination port to your warehouse and handle the import process.
One more tip for shipping:
If the CIF price is at a very low price, please pay more attention.
This is the method that forwarder uses to attract customers.
It will charge you 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:
We will introduce the two 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.
Almost all, that’s it. Although it is very common, it does not provide any protection itself.
This is different from the letter of credit.
We will review it slightly. However, this 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 advance payment before manufacturing, and a balance payment after completion – but before shipment (or at least before the issuance of the original bill of lading).
The timing of the second and final payment when and under what conditions are crucial.
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 have very thin profits.
Even if they would cut the buyer’s request and try to sell the batch domestically, they would almost certainly cause 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)
Unlike T / T, the letter of credit allows the buyer to force the supplier to fulfill certain pre-determined requirements before the transfer of funds, thereby adding an additional layer of security.
The key is not having to pay a deposit, which greatly reduces the buyer’s risk.
When paying by letter of credit, the question is under what conditions should the “release” payment.
The bank will automatically release the funds to the supplier, and then automatically credit the buyer after meeting these conditions.
Bankers are not industry experts. Once they receive the required documents, the funds will be transferred.
Before the transaction is completed, it is up to the buyer and the seller to negotiate which specific documents the latter must provide.
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 a sales agreement stating 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.
- The seller’s bank contacts the seller and advises the buyer.
- Production begins.
- Production is completed.
- Quality Inspection and Product Testing.
- Delivered to the port of shipment and shipment.
- Provide necessary documents (such as quality inspection reports, test reports, and transport documents) to local banks.
- If the conditions are met (ie, the correct file is submitted), funds will be released.
Payment Method Comparision
1. Accepted by all suppliers with a bank account
2. Low cost
1. Requires an upfront deposit payment
2. No payment protection
1. No deposit payment required
2. Puts pressure on the supplier to comply with buyer requirements
1. Rarely accepted for very small orders (e.g. Below $30,000)
2. Not accepted by all suppliers
3. High fees
Payment provider: never forward payment.
In order to get what you want, you have to give the supplier an incentive to follow your instructions.
How and when suppliers pay is crucial – and may be the deciding factor between success and failure.
By making full payment to the manufacturer, you will eliminate their incentive to comply with 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 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 viable option for the supplier.
Whatever you do, you must first complete the payment until the quality and compliance are verified.
For the initial furniture import business, we often encounter many problems.
We sum up these issues and make some suggestions.
For 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 sourcing products from China.
A good sourcing agent will really help you a lot.
Here is a good post 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 their services, but they are roughly divided into 4 points:
- 1. Help you find a read factory in China who manufacture your products.
- 2. Manage production of your products.
- 3. Inspect the quality of your products.
- 4. 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 freight forwarder in China can be a serious challenge.
If you choose to complete all the import process yourself, perhaps these shipping companies can help you.
Basically, 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 at 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 and is based on an online dashboard that connects importers and freight forwarders.
It is also the first company to achieve 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 allows importers to 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 in China is because 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 the mature industrial chain in China’s manufacturing industry cannot be completed in the short term by other third countries.
For example, a screw, the third country must import from China.
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, the composition of the sofa is roughly divided 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.
And 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.
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 quotation.
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.
Alibaba suppliers furniture quotes
2. Hire 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 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 to 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 11 o’clock in the evening on the 24th, we received the customer A at the airport as scheduled, and initially discussed the itinerary of tomorrow on the way to pick up the customer to the hotel. (Originally customer A was with his colleagues, but for some reason, colleagues could not come in. So as long as customer A came to China.)
4. Purchase journey begins
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 was 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 list 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 visited the exhibition hall of 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. The 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 unfortunately 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 purchase 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 the Mansion 12. The prices and quality of the products in the shop are very suitable. During the preliminary negotiations, we learned that this supplier not only owns its own production plant but also provides 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 voluntarily 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 budget. After 5 hours of negotiations until 8 o’clock in the evening, the general plan came out. Because there are several product prices and design changes, the customer needs to discuss with his team. After getting the supplier’s commitment, we will return to the hotel and plan to come back tomorrow morning.
In the process of going back to the hotel, did the customer and us study whether to choose Ekar furniture or the Mansion 12?
Our answer is Mansion 12.
- 1. The quality of the product meets our requirements.
- 2. The factory scale also meets the production schedule requirements we need.
- 4. We spent nearly 5 hours of negotiations and determined the prices of most of our products. And we are all satisfied with the price.
- 5. Only one day of purchase 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 finally finalized the order, and the total order amounted to approximately RMB 760,000.
Then the customer proposed to visit the factory again, so after we had finished our lunch, we continued to the factory to visit the production workshop and let us ensure that the quality of the products of his order was the same as that of the exhibition hall.
We began the return 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 returned to India, we quickly created a contract that was confirmed by the customer and the supplier.
The contract first requires the customer to prepay 20,000 RMB as the cost of the supplier’s CAD drawing.
After receiving the advance payment, the supplier began to make a product CAD drawing, which is expected to be completed on May 20 and will be sent to the customer for confirmation.
After confirmation, the customer will 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 is divided into 3 parts:
- 1. 30% deposit as supplier production.
- 2. During the production process, the customer pays 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.)
- 3. The customer confirms that all products are completed through us and is ready for QC. Pay 50% of the final payment. Shipment is completed and the transaction is completed.
The full payment method uses T/T payment. T/T 30% production, T/T 20% confirmation, T/T 50% balance.
Since this case is still in progress, we will continue to update it…..
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