Importing LED Lights from China
Importing LED Lights from China may be challenging and difficult especially for beginners in international trading. It takes a lot of processes and it could be complicated and costly. Having no idea regarding the importing process may be a risk and lead to loss if not dealt with properly.
Choosing the right LED lights supplier and manufacturer takes a lot of care and attention. There may be manufacturers who lower their prices big time, but you would not want to settle on cheaper price with low quality. As they say, you get what you pay for.
If you are ready to start and venture into the Chinese market, here are a few guidelines to help you understand the importation process:
Do your research. Check first with your local supplier what products do they offer and their prices to give you an idea about what to expect, then compare with the Chinese counterparts the products and prices to see the differences.
Most of the time, the Chinese LED Lights manufacturers offer lower prices for a wide variety of products especially for wholesale, that is why many companies are interested in venturing into international trading.
Additionally, doing your research gives you a thorough understanding of the whole process of importation including ideas about which products are accepted and prohibited in your country.
2， Visit LED Lights manufacturer’s websites
Not all companies can afford personally going to China to find LED Lights suppliers as this could be too costly especially for the start-up companies. In this case, you can always take advantage of the technology. Many businesses do online marketing nowadays as this is already the trend in the business world. Almost all businesses have websites or social media pages to attract potential clients.
You may use of several search engines like Google to help you gain ideas about LED lighting companies and manufacturers in China. You just have to put in keywords, adding the word China to land on pages of Chinese manufacturers. For example, key in “LED light manufacturers in China”
3， Trade Expo
Trading expo refers to an all-in-one event organized wherein many companies put up stalls to display and promote their products. This is an advantage for companies looking for a manufacturer as they can compare and select from many stalls in the event.
Furthermore, this is great since you will be meeting legitimate companies so you will not worry about transacting with scammers. One of the ways to ensure attending a reliable event is through making a paid registration for such events like trading expo.
4，Go to China
After securing an inquiry from a potential manufacturer or supplier in China, it is best to go to China to personally see the company’s factory or warehouse to check whether they meet or even exceed your standards. Moreover, this is also a good move to have a thorough understand of all the processes and products of your chosen supplier.
5， Making inquiries
To inquire from your chosen supplier, the easiest way is to send a message in their websites. From there, you can easily find the products that you need so it matters that you know which products you are inquiring about. Take note of the specific details such as LED drivers, LED chips, what kind of materials they use, wattage, CCT, IP rating, voltage, etc. This is also to ensure that they use high quality materials, not substandard ones.
Before closing a deal with your chosen supplier, it is best to ask them about the trade terms they can offer or you can simple ask for InCoTerms (International Commercial Terms) quotation.
Normally, the prices quoted are based on InCoTerms.It means that for each InCoTerm quotation, this includes prices, rights, and obligations and other terms of importation. For example, your supplier will provide the following:
- you book shipping space loading at the port;
- deliver the goods to the port;
- deal with Customs export declaration
- pay for the fees at the port;
- you pay for the shipping fees and other fees once the cargo leaves;
- you pay for fees from sea freight charges to all fees required til the cargo reaches your warehouse.
Many supplies provide InCoTerms so it is very important that you have reviewed all the terms to avoid conflicts before and during the importation until the cargo arrives at its destination once you place an order. With this, you will be guaranteed and secured that your freight cargo will arrive safely. Also, it is best to ask your supplier provides “proforma invoice” which is document to be presented at every point of importation and for declaration purposes.
6， Placing an order
After your thorough research, inquiries, and personal checking of the supplier’s products, asked for samples, you are now ready to place your order. Pro tip: always make a trial import or purchase smaller quantities if it is a first purchase. Ordering in bulk may cause stress as you still have no experience regarding importation. With this, you will have a better understanding of the process and you may set your expectations about the lead time of the whole process. Once you are satisfied you may place bulk orders the next time
7， Make exact requests and clear communication
Part of the whole process of importation is making exact requests and clear communication with your supplier. Be specific regarding your requests and preferences be it product’s size, color, LED driver, wattages, among others. Remember that for the supplier to meet or exceed your expectations, all details and everything should be clear.
8， Mode of Payment
Nowadays, most companies and individual business owners use PayPal as a mode of payment. Aside from its legitimacy, it also gives convenience for both parties. So as a first-time buyer, it is recommended that you use PayPal.
On the other hand, if you are a veteran importer, you may use banks or letter of credit (LC). You are going to share some personal information such as account number, swift code, and address. It is important that you send or ask for accurate information to avoid conflict with the payment process.
9， Notice the quality
There is a saying that goes, “You get what you pay for.” In buying LED light products, you must bear in mind that it is best to choose the lowest price. Sometimes, lowest prices do not guarantee high quality products because chances are, the materials used are substandard that is why they offer prices that are too low for the products.
Again, it is very important to conduct your research, look for good reviews and proofs to make sure that you are getting high quality products.
Shipping is the most exciting part of the whole process because you will finally get your hands on the products you purchased. Once everything is clear and done, secure terms of agreement or the InCoTerm for the shipping process. This is to avoid conflict along the way. If you have the proper paperwork, then things will go smoothly.
Shipping options differ according to products purchased. If you ordered smaller quantities, they could be sent through air freight service like FedEx, DHL, etc. But if you have bulk order, you may ship a cargo parcel through sea freight options. In terms of bulk order, it is recommended that you hire a shipping forwarder from China.
Lastly, secure the paperwork, constantly track your parcel, identify who is going to shoulder the necessary fees and charges, or what fees you need to pay.
11，Commercial Invoice Declared value
Commercial Invoice (CI) refers to the paperwork with declared value of the products you purchased. The purpose if for local customs tax checking. There are some cases when buyers usually declare lesser value to lessen or avoid taxes. But you cannot guarantee that the customs will not find out what is the real value of your parcel.
12， Device a better and back-up plan
In the business world, time equals money. Even well-planned things can sometimes fail. Along the way, there might be conflicts and delays. Make sure that you have back up plan in case you encounter such conflicts because waste of time is a waste of money. Always try to identify the best ways you could possibly prepare for your business.
The main reason why business owners or some potential customers prefer importing LED light products from China is due to competitive prices around the world. This is to maximize the potential profit of the business owners. So, if you are planning to venture into the Chinese market you can refers to the above-mentioned guidelines in importing LED lighting products from China.