importing products in small quantity from China

International trade is one of the most lucrative industries in today’s world and starting a business by Importing Products in Small Quantity from China is a great idea.

Products such as shoes, clothing, electronics, furniture, and many more are extensively made in China and are popular the world over.

Many people want to start a business by importing small quantities of products from China.

But the reality is importing small quantities from china is not an easy task and requires knowledge about different steps involved, such as higher shipping costs, the time frame of the delivery, etc.

In this article, we will guide you in importing products in small quantity from China step-by-step so that you can grow your import business from China. If you have any queries or need buying service, please feel free to contact us.

Table of Content

Chapter 1: Why You importing products in small quantity from China

Chapter 2: How to choose products to sell?

Chapter 3: How to Find Suitable Suppliers in China?

Chapter 4: Shipping small quantity from China

Chapter 5: 6 Suggestions for Starters When Importing from China

Chapter 1: Why You Start Business by importing products in small quantity from China

Different people have different perceptions of small business. Most sourcing agents portray small business owners as individuals who import less than $500,000 yearly.

However, this amount might be unreasonably high for some new business starters. We can define small quantity purchasers as those buyers who import less than $2000 per order.

There are 3 reasons why we suggest starting a business from buying small quantity.

1. Importing products with low startup costs

Businesses take time to grow and flourish. Starting to buy in small quantities is a good idea for beginners because it does not need high start-up costs.

It is advisable to import goods in small quantities and have them registered as your personal use goods. In this way, you can save money on paying customs duties.

However, make sure that you are not violating any rules and regulations for the sake of saving money.

2. Importing products that easy to sell

When starting a new business, you should consider the income and focus on your stock administration.

An excessive amount of stock implies that your cash will not be utilized effectively. Since it is easy to sell small quantities you should buy in small quantities in the beginning.

3. Market trial

Since you need to ensure quality is up to the standard before putting in a recurrent request for a bigger amount.

At the point when you are a newcomer to the business or you are selling smaller amounts on Amazon FBA, E-Bay, or even on your very own site.

You want to have a trial of your new product to make sure it sells well in your target market. You’ll need to put in a small sample order to test and approve your item.

This is a piece of the ‘secret ingredient’ that most new business visionaries miss. If these products sell well in your target market you can import these products in larger quantities.

Chapter 2: How to Choose Products to Sell?

China has the highest foreign reserves in the world. It has enormous resources and labor force. This makes china the ideal country to import from.

Importing products in small quantities from China is a genuinely economical method to start an import business.

Choosing the right product to import from China is one of the hardest decisions to make for a new business starter. Before making the decision to import products, pay attention to the emerging trends, products that are high in demand, and per-unit margin.

The first step, you need to take is to decide about the correct item, to begin with. As a new business starter, you should take the following points into account when choosing the right product for you.

1. Import products with high added value

Shipping has always been a major problem for small quantity buyers from China. That’s why high-added-value products are a better choice for small quantity buyers. It is better to choose a product that retails for more than $30.

This tip is valuable in case you’re simply beginning. A trade company makes money by selling items. Picking inappropriate items implies you are losing time and cash.

In case you want to be a successful merchant, the primary thing you have to do is to pick the right item for exchange.

You’d better collect as much information as possible about the goods you intend to import. Obtain descriptive literature, product information and if possible, product Samples.

This data will be useful when the time comes to decide the tariff classification. The tariff classification number (HS Code) will be utilized to decide the rate of obligation that will be applied to your merchandise.

Some high-value products to consider for import include Garlic Grater and Cutter, Printed T-shirts for kids, Elastic Jeans buttons, Cutlery for Kids, Mobile phone Holders, etc.

2. Choose a trending and interesting product

tending products

Try to find some interesting products instead of common products which are available everywhere. It is thought that products of daily use is a good choice and can be sold easily, but that’s not the case.

There are many people in the market who import these kinds of products and the competition is very high.

Start looking into what people are searching on the internet. The most ideal way is by utilizing keywords. Attempt Google’s Keyword Planner to see the prevailing trends among the consumers.

If you perceive that importing health-related items is fascinating, look for “medical aid units”. See what number of searches this keyword determines. Presently, look Amazon for that item and gauge potential income.

3. Select your niche

When you have done the keyword research, choose the right products and import them in small quantities for your target market trial. It’s very well-known for bringing in purses, garments, shoes, stationery, or hardware.

In any case, this example is about picking items from China that can be bought wholesale for selling. The thing that should be focused on is whether that item gives any benefit to you or not.

Common products that are used in daily life are not a good option for a new business owner so try to be creative when importing these types of products.

For example, if you want to import socks which everyone needs, you can think about importing products in small quantity from China and some special kinds of socks such as socks with good design. In this way, you can avoid the fierce competition that exists in the import business.

4. Choose a product with low risk

One dangerous circumstance you will confront when bringing in merchandise from China is that producer delivering something with materials that are risky to human well being, or items that can cause damage to the property Bringing in items that have the potential to hurt someone is one thing you should maintain a distance from.

Go for the items that are generally safe to use. One such item is lounge area furniture. As an importer, it is your responsibility that the products you order are safe to use and cause no harm.

5. Choose a product with small size

Products with large size or large packaging, similar to teddy bears or mugs, are not reasonable for importers of small quantities in the light of the fact that both express and air ship cargo expenses are charged by measurement weight.

his implies that your transportation cost is considerably higher than items’ worth, and if your competitors import through LCL Ocean Cargo which costs 80% less, you get no opportunity to compete with them in the local market.

Because of these facts, small-sized products are always a better choice for a new business owner.

Chapter 3: How to Find Suitable Suppliers in China?

Most small quantity purchasers discover Chinese providers on the Internet or visit certain business fairs in china.

Finding a decent Chinese provider is an intense assignment, except you go legitimately to certain spots like fairs or Yiwu discount showcase. Or on the other hand, you previously reached providers before coming to China.

1. Import products in small quantity from Alibaba

Alibaba sourcing

Alibaba is the biggest B2B (Business To Business) platform/Chinese import site on the planet. It connects suppliers and supplier catalogs with purchasers from everywhere throughout the world.

Alibaba has a huge number of items and thousands of suppliers. Thus, there is not much that you won’t discover on this platform.

Regardless of large quantity or small quantity purchasers, looking through Chinese providers on Alibaba is the best decision.

However, if you are purchasing a small amount, Alibaba providers presumably can’t sell you because they have higher MOQ(Minimum Order Quantity).

There are mainly two ways to find suppliers on Alibaba:

  • Using keywords to search for products on Alibaba

Use the keyword of the item you intend to import and make searches on Alibaba. For example, if you search for watches on Alibaba the result page will give you all items identified as ‘watches’ that are accessible on Alibaba.

alibaba website

You can select the suppliers’ option from the drop-down menu and choose the suppliers who deal in the product you want to import

importing products in small quantity from China alibaba

  • Searching verified suppliers on Alibaba

It is important to search for verified suppliers to shield yourself from tricks and from purchasing low-quality products. For example, when we search for watches we get 2996 suppliers.

We can limit this enormous number of suppliers. Select the option of “trade assurance” and “verified supplier” to narrow down the search results.

This gives 1116 suppliers. This step will safeguard you from the time of making payment until the delivery of your item.

2. Import products in small quantity from DHgate

importing products in small quantity from China DHgate

DHgate is a Chinese business-to-business (B2B) and Business-to-consumer online business site that encourages the sale of manufactured items from providers to small and medium retailers. The organization is situated in Beijing and is accessible around the world.

If the Alibaba provider’s MOQ is still difficult for you to reach, perhaps you can just go to DHgate and Aliexpress.

For the most part, DHgate watches out for the little amount of buyers whose purchasing amount is between Alibaba and Aliexpress. Aliexpress increasingly watches out for retailers, however, it claims itself for online discounts, and most Chinese suppliers know this.

A few providers on DHgate offer CE, RoHS, and FCC affirmed items. The most effortless approach to get rid of uncertified items is to type in the item name alongside the certificate of standard in the search field.

  • Selecting dependable suppliers on DHgate is a commercial center for a huge number of providers, like eBay. There are a lot of dependable providers, yet there are tricksters out there as well. Follow the tips given below to distinguish good providers and keep away from con-artists:

  • Utilize safe installment strategies, for example, Escrow installment.
  • Maintain a distance from providers with no purchaser input.
  • Maintain a distance from providers with just a couple of items in their DHgate store.
  • Maintain distance from providers with unimaginably low costs.
  • Check the DHgate provider purchaser comments, including the negative input.
  • If a provider demonstrates to be dependable, stick to them.
  • Try not to change providers all the time regardless of whether others might be a couple of dollars less expensive.

3. Import products in small quantity from Ali Express

importing products in small quantity from China aliexpress website

AliExpress is an online retail administration and is owned by the Alibaba Group. It is comprised of independent ventures in China and different areas, for example, Singapore and Brazil. AliExpress offers items to international online purchasers.

It encourages private ventures to offer to clients everywhere throughout the world. The most recent measurements show that the Chinese store is making more profit than Amazon and eBay together and is solidifying itself as the favored shopping stage in numerous nations around the globe.

-How to Select Reliable Suppliers on AliExpress

  • Check the merchant’s score. You will have the option to see the scores of the merchant with regards to “product as depicted”, “correspondence with clients” and “transportation speed”. If the scores are better than expected, they will be shown in green, if they are below normal, in red.
  • Check the reviews and comments posted by the customers. This will give you an idea about the nature of the item and the general fulfillment of the purchasers. It will likewise give you data about delivery time and if the item is as depicted.
  • Take a look at what numbers of individuals have purchased the item from the dealer. If there are great deals of offers and client evaluations are positive, you can be almost certain that you are managing a reliable vendor.
  • If you have any questions the best thing you can do is to straightforwardly contact the merchant so he can resolve them. You can ask for more information about the products.

-Payment Options on Aliexpress

AliExpress acknowledges Web Money, Western Union, Bank Transfer, Yandex Money, QIWI, DOKU, Mercado Pago, Ticket, and American Express. Never pay outside AliExpress provided that you have an issue with the merchant, they won’t have the option to resolve it.


The Escrow/AliPay strategy is fundamentally the same as PayPal. At the point when you use Escrow the cash is held by an outsider and will just discharge it once the purchaser affirms his/her fulfillment with the item.

Escrow is an extremely famous installment strategy on AliExpress because it ensures the protection of both the shopper and the vendor.

4. Import products in small quantity using China sourcing agents

These days, sourcing specialists/organizations play a very significant role in overseeing international supply chains. A sourcing operator is an individual organization that speaks to a purchaser to source wares, purchase items that are out of the purchaser’s range. Sourcing specialists/organizations are frequently required in global exchange.

  • Services offered by sourcing agents

In the customary feeling of the term, a sourcing specialist is just to source providers for his customer. The services offered by sourcing operators include choosing the suitable provider, value arrangement, following up creation, quality control, item testing, shipping methods, and logistics, etc.

A sourcing operator can be an individual sourcing specialist, who can be enlisted as a full-time specialist for you. This individual sourcing operator ordinarily has just a couple of individuals, as a rule work at a little office or home office. Some of them may have quite a lot of experience working in a sourcing organization.

5. Pay a buying visit to Yiwu and Guangzhou in China

  • Yiwu market

There are many discount markets in Yiwu city. Yiwu International Trade City is the biggest of them. The Yiwu International Trade City remains open the entire year, aside from national holidays. The Yiwu Wholesale Market is massive and is renowned for truly low-cost products.

Yiwu is renowned for its merchants, and they have a friendly attitude towards small quantity buyers. If you are planning to import small quantities from China then this is the place for you.

  • Guangzhou market

As the go-to city for shippers, Guangzhou is a world exchanging center point. It is renowned for the notable Canton Fair as well as assembling plants and discount markets for a huge swath of items.

The Canton Fair is the central hub for merchants, and consistently more than 180,000 purchasers make the journey to Guangzhou to source items from more than 60,000 providers. The Canton Fair happens two times every year and occurs over almost 2 weeks.

You can find products like jewelry, clothing, bags, hotels and restaurant supplies, auto parts, makeup, and personal care, mobile phone parts, etc.

Chapter 4: Shipping Small Quantity from China

Most merchants give little significance to how products are delivered from starting point to the destination. They don’t have the foggiest idea that utilizing an ill-advised method of transportation can expose products to harm during travel.

All things considered, it is critical to move cargo utilizing the correct method of transportation. This will help guarantee that the products land at their goal safely.

There are numerous expenses related to the transportation of products, including container charges, bundling, terminal handling, and agent charges. To get a total image of transportation costs, every one of these variables ought to be considered.

For transportation from China, you can utilize any of the accompanying delivery modes dependent on your sort of products, spending plan, and explicit needs.

1. International Express and Air Freight

International Express is considered reasonable for cargo less than 300kg, while air freight is appropriate for over 300kg. Airfreight cargo needs a similar import process as ocean cargo. You additionally need to get your payload at the air terminal.

  • Benefits of Air Freight

Airfreight is preferred when you are shipping time-sensitive, high worth, express or small quantities. In this case, air freight saves your time and cost on smaller things.

Like sea shipping which conveys products from seaport to seaport, air shipping ships from the air terminal to the air terminal.

Air ship cargo is without a doubt speedier than all methods of transport as it makes the delivery time shorter but it is also expensive. Moreover, risky items, for example, fluid, power, and items with battery can’t be dispatched via air freight.

2. Less than container load or LCL

LCL shipping is a proficient and savvy method for delivery of your goods the world over and paying just for the space that your products occupy in the container, as opposed to paying for an entire compartment when you don’t have the volume of goods to fill it.

  • Benefits of LCL

It is a method of delivery that enables you to transport whatever measure of products you have. For this situation, you won’t need to fill up a whole container to have the option to transport.

You can deliver half or even a quarter of a container. LCL service is used when you don’t have a sufficient amount of goods to fill up a container. In this situation, you will have to find consolidation service providers that will help you in the process of shipping your goods.

  • All-in charges LCL services

When utilizing LCL, it is better to search for LCL companies that offer All-charges services. This sort of LCL organization is the best decision for small quantity purchasers.

They will deal with all custom and delivery procedures, and you simply need to get your freight in their distribution center. Their value is low even you send 0.5 CBM because the container is shared by 10 to 40 customers.

3. Consolidating goods from different suppliers

In case you are purchasing from various providers, at that point, you can consider merging them in one shipment, and you can reduce delivery costs. Since even utilizing international express, heavy cargo is charged at a lower price/kg than light one.

It bodes well for sea freight. If you import different unique items from different providers, every item at 0.5 CBM, you can consider uniting them together by LCL ocean shipping. By doing this, your transportation cost will be 80% less than the international express.

For consolidating your cargo you need an individual to consolidate your goods in China. You should find a reliable forwarder.

Most of the forwarders don’t have a warehouse, and they just pick up your cargo from the supplier and then send it to the LCL shipping company to load it in a container.

Chapter 5: 6 Suggestions for Starters When importing products in small quantity from China

When starting an import business there are various things you should consider. These include overseeing long-distance connections to sorting out global transport and customs clearance process.

1. Pay attention to the commission of agents

Most operators take a commission from purchasers. This implies they charge a rate dependent on the order amount.

This generally extends from 3 to 8%, contingent upon your request amount. For regular reasons, the commission as a rate is lower, the more you purchase. Presently, remember that the operator’s job is just to arrange the cost and manage the request terms.

It’s dependent upon you to confirm that the items coordinate your quality necessities and security measures in your market.

2. Sign an unmistakable agreement

This is the most significant way you can lower the risk when importing products in small quantities from China. You should sign an agreement unmistakably expressing the terms of installment and conveyance.

If any issue arises with your supplier, you can present these documents to the authorities concerned. Negotiate the best deal with your supplier and look into what value you can charge for a specific product and check whether this would be reasonable as an import from China.

If your overall revenues seem to be low, you may need to rethink your items.

3. Test the design and the supplier of the product

You have to see, feel and test your item before you go into large scale manufacturing. Structure, usefulness, and general quality must be ‘checked’ before you enter large scale manufacturing.

When purchasing certain items, you can’t begin manufacturing. So, you should get your item samples produced before you can move to the next stage.

Your provider must demonstrate that they can convey adequate item samples before you ought to focus on putting in an order. A provider’s capacity to create great samples ought to never be underestimated.

4. Get acquainted with rules and guideline

Prior to import from China, search for the guidelines and regulations that you have to agree to. Typically, import rules rely upon the kind of items that you are bringing in. For example, toys, footwear, furniture, or synthetic compounds all have guidelines on bundling and validity.

5. Make a long-lasting relationship with your supplier

Building up a strong association with your provider is significant in the import business. Social contrasts assume a vital job in purchasing or selling and setting up progressing relationship.

The Chinese business culture pursues a specific convention, that you have to learn as a merchant, and learning the Chinese business culture can take years.

The Chinese worth “guanxi” which signifies “relationship”. Making the correct sort of association with your supplier will assist you with reducing your Chinese importation dangers. So you have to build up an extraordinary working association with your supplier.

6. Things to avoid when importing products in small quantity from China

It’s not simply the base request amount prerequisites to mull over. A few items require lab testing and accreditation, which can be very expensive.

Item accreditation and lab testing are compulsory when bringing in hardware, kids’ items, beauty care products, and numerous merchandise.

These affirmation and testing costs are regularly included in a great many dollars – on a for every item premise.

An enormous level of things that we see around us is either made or assembled in China. China offers a very large variety of products. Here, you have a decision of what sort of items you should import.


The Chinese exchange sector is growing day by day and new trends continue rising. This implies there’ll consistently be new products available to purchase and sell.

This gives you an opportunity to offer various items to shoppers on various occasions. But before starting importing products in small quantity from China you have to see how bringing in products from China works. It’s necessary to realize the costs, the time span for conveyance and various other things.

If you have any queries or need buying assistance, please feel free to contact us. EJET is a sourcing company with 12 years of experience, we will provide a free consultation and reply within 24 hours.