How To Buy From China : The Ultimate Guide 2021

How To Buy From China : The Ultimate Guide 2021

How to buy from China and making the difference ?

If you believe that buying from China is super simple, you’re most probably not going to make it through the first year.

On the other hand, if you think buying diretly from China is rocket science, you will never find the motivation and courage to start with.

Just like with the Ying and Yang concept, the reality is in the middle, it´s all about looking for the right balance.

Buying from China might be somewhat confusing, specially at the beginning. But in this rapidly connected world, businesses of all sizes have found that China based manufacturing is an important, if not critical, part of their ultimate business success.

That importance also creates risk, which must be neutralized. How? Well that´s exactly the reason why we are here.

How To Buy From China

The basics

At this point of history, Buying from China and reselling on the internet is a well-known way to run a successful business.

So much has been said, written and studied about this business model that all there is left in the game is to be clever with your main long-term business strategies.

Give us the chance to summarize the ideas that might take up from 4 to 8 years of hardworking experience, to just realize what we are about to tell you.

We actually know how to set up processes that achieve your desired business outcome, delivered on time, at the right price and quality products, while putting procedures in place.

Supplier mistakes will happen, the importance relies on how you deal with these issues, and how much time they take away from you.

If you are reading this, you know by now that you will have to take care of the custom procedures and define the best shipping method available for your specific needs and purchase volumes.

You also know it will take precious time and effort to learn all these new things (in case you didn´t learn these already), but it all will be worth when your business begins to escalate and especially when you feel the power to have things under control.

This feeling will ultimately give you the needed time for the real deal, to think of better products, to be able to customize them as you really wish them to be, to take the time to increase your Amazon sales rank, to develop a strong brand, in short, to be able to differentiate yourself from the rest.

Now let´s try to think this in a rational way, what are all the things that generally involves your business and specially what are the most time-consuming situations that always make you feel unmotivated? it´s complicated because there are literally a hundred different things to pay attention to, simultaneously!

So that´s an important question: how can I find the time to see everything in perspective and start to work smarter instead of working harder?

Suggested reading: The Profitable Products To Import From China

Suggested reading: Import Tax From China To US


Suggested reading: China Import Agent

Suggested reading: Best China Products To Import

Buying from China and reselling on the internet

Identifying the weak spots

So, let us know if we got this right, we believe that one of your main time (and mind) consuming issues is to deal with your suppliers, and to find the appropriate ones in the first place.

Then you have to be there for every little tiny detail, and still get the frustration to not receive the goods exactly as you needed. Even when you got your samples right.

Could be a quality issue, could be a packaging defect, could be the shape, the colors, the dimensions, could be that something doesn´t work, could be the shipping times, the after-sale service… could be a million things.

So you get back to your supplier and have to talk about this things he didn´t fully pay attention to, so you have to redefine the following purchase, make sure he got it right this time and pray for the next one to be ok.

Because if it´s not, then the real problem starts, trying to find a new supplier, getting to trust little by little a new person who lives 8000 miles away.

Never seen him before and still, to be prepared for all those very familiar and relatable worries that we all have in our minds from time to time “Am I really working with my ideal supplier” “might there be another options for me?

Sorry for the bummer, but statistically speaking, of course there are better suppliers out there for you!

How many people did you really got to know for a specific product? 2 or 3?  5? Maybe 10? Out of… how many? Probably thousands!? Did you take in consideration the supplier´s localization?

Did you know that every market and actually every product has it´s specific city or town for manufacturing under the best conditions?

Are you familiar with all these Chinese cities?

Of course there is room for improvement, and of course you should aim for absolute excellence.

Suggested reading: Best 20 China Manufacturing Cities

Identifying the weak spots

Bottom line

At last, the Real Question comes down to:
Who can I trust to be able to take the smartest commercial strategies on my behalf?

Let us tell you what you need from a partner in China. Considering how many different players are out there today, sourcing for a sourcing agent is already a deep sea to explore.

So, you will need someone with experience and to have the potentiality to be your One Stop Solution for every little detail you might require in the process.

Wouldn´t it be great to be able to rely on someone that knows and understands exactly what you are trying to achieve?

Someone who is actually in the country you are working with? Living on the same time zone where your suppliers are, so your project can keep going while you are resting?

Wouldn´t it be great to be able to rely on someone who understands the cultural matters that involve negotiation skills to get the best out of your suppliers, therefore your products?

Someone that can locate the right company for you, taking in consideration the best quality/price relation.

Someone that can actually take the time to do product consolidation in their own China based office?

Someone that can arrange quality inspections to make sure everything is supposed to be the way it was requested?

Someone with experience on Amazon FBA Prep Services, FBA Shipping services.

With sample and order consolidation capability, private label services, warehousing & distribution, quality product and professional photography services?

Suggested reading:How To Find Private Label Manufacturers : Super Guide

How To Find Private Label Manufacturers Super Guide 2020

Why us instead of another sourcing agent for importing goods from china?

LeelineSourcing could tell you that we have worked with over 2.000 clients.

We could tell you that all our service members have in average 6 to 10 years of experience working in the sourcing field.

We could also talk about our hyper efficient cost-benefit relation for companies of all sizes.

Yes, we could tell you we are the best, because we really are. But that wouldn’t be enough, it shouldn’t be enough. If we can´t prove it, probably we are not the best ones after all, so let´s go ahead and show you.

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Let us briefly summarize some data regarding supplier´s sourcing, totally free of charge. If you read until the end, you will see that even if you are an experienced buyer, you will find new concepts you never considered before, and actually you never read before, because simply this kind of information is not out there.

Let´s go on a step by step guide to make it simpler to tell you how to do it right!

Locating your Ideal Supplier:

Remember: The problem in China is not that it is hard to find a supplier; to the contrary, finding suppliers is easy. The trick is to know how to take a massive pool of vendors and narrow it down to the suppliers that are a good match for your particular project. Just keep in mind that If you don’t know exactly what you are looking for, any road will get you there.

Defining the Ideal type of supplier for your particular project

  • Engaging Potential Suppliers
  • Evaluating Quotations
  • Picking a Winner

Let´s go in more depth:

1. If you do the job as it is supposed to be done, an initial research will generate a list of (generally speaking) 30 to 60 potential suppliers using china wholesale websites like Alibaba, 1688, Global Sources, Made in China, industry directories, trade shows, and any other referrals you can gather.

The final number will be decided on context, depending on your specific product, but never go under 10 potential suppliers, otherwise you are merely relying on good luck, and this is something that rarely happens when doing business with China and therefore we should be avoiding at all cost.

2. Review the candidate’s websites against your desired attributes as explained in previous sections and narrow the field to 15-20 candidates.

3.At this point, the first contact is initiated by sending an e-mail or contacting the suppliers via Wechat (highly recommended to use on daily basis with your confirmed supplier).


The goal is to make the same request to all the candidates (you can save tons of time by sending just one e-mail with blind copy to all the potential suppliers).

You will see that some of them will not even take the time to answer, some will give us loose information that is not enough to consider them into the final round, and about 3 to 5 will actually understand and send you what we asked for. (yes, it´s a small percentage from the total).

On this initial e-mail we will request for product-specific information (price, pictures, minimum order quantitiesMOQ, lead time, packaging), thus starting the RFQ (request for quotation) phase.

Remember to include reference pictures, dimensions, colors and every little detail that you consider necessary on this first e-mail, so you don’t have to start answering questions to every supplier.

This e-mail should contain every single factor, ensuring that the potential supplier won´t need to ask you anything else, our goal is to receive a FOB unit price official quotation and a catalogue including the technical details of the product you are looking for.

If you don’t receive these, then the supplier is not being efficient and you can disregard this company, unless something else looks promising (like price/quality relation) In that case you want to go a little further and see if the supplier becomes more diligent in a future contact.

The results of the RFQ should help narrow the field to a handful of high-potential vendors.

4.The final phase is to verify that the information provided by the supplier during the research-review-contact phases is accurate and to select the supplier (or suppliers) with whom you will place the PO. You should have no further questions at this point.

Special tips:

5.Pay attention to the red flags!

As you know, a red flag is a piece of “negative” information that you should take in consideration when selecting a new supplier. A red flag tells us something is NOT GOOD about the supplier.
The more red flags your supplier has, the less chances to work efficiently with this supplier.

Supplier´s red flags examples:

  • Not responding e-mails in less than 24 hours. (Time inefficiency)
  • Not answering directly to the questions that the client made. (Communication inefficiency)
  • Companies not having its own export license. (Commercial inefficiency)


6.You are looking for a good chinese supplier, but are you a good potential client?

Now We will tell you how to negotiate with chinese suppliers.

Not a lot of people take in consideration this analysis when doing business with Chinese suppliers, once you understand this, you will be one step closer to commercial efficiency.

You might think this is crystal clear, I am the client, therefore I have the last word on everything and I should get anything I want, the way I want.

After all the client is always right! Right? Wrong…

Actually, there is a tricky situation you might not take into account, and it is that we are also being evaluated as a client, what´s the catch?

You are only being evaluated by the good, efficient and experienced companies, not the average Joe´s suppliers.

Of course, if you are dealing with just a guy trying to get a quick sale because he has too much times on his hands, well, you can´t expect much on your commercial partner, specially during the after sales process, which is vital if a problem occurs, and as you might realize, with these kind of suppliers you will have a few issues going on most of the times.

You want to work with someone who has mechanized processes, experience, and excellent communication skills, but as we told you, these suppliers will only work with efficient clients as well.

And they get to pick their clients. It´s not only a matter of volume and repetition equation for them, they want to work with structured people who know what they are looking for and are down to business without wasting valuable time.

How will they evaluate you? Very simple, with your presentation e-mail.

Suggested reading: How To Find The Best China Dropshipping Suppliers?

relationship with your free dropshipping suppliers

Here is a sample of a training course that only well-organized suppliers in China introduce to their sales representatives since day one.

Let us show you how they get to decide things like actually responding to your initial contact to begin with:

Chinese training course for sales reps:

How to identify and evaluate potential clients (Leads)

Pay attention at the initial contact!

  • Does the client knows what he wants?
  • Is he clear about what he wants?
  • Does he shows experience in international trading?
  • Does he shows knowledge in the market/product?
  • Is he giving you his business info?
  • Is the info you need complete enough to fulfill his request in 1 message?

Here is a slide with what is consider to be a Positive vs a Negative Lead from a Chinese supplier’s perspective.

Efficient Chinese suppliers already know the “X10 Formula”: for every 1000 leads (questions received), they will get 100 prospects (people making further questions) and only 10 real clients (people who actually buy).

X10 Formula

The chinese perspective for “what are overseas clients looking for in a supplier”

These china wholesale companies receive a lot of initial e-mail contacts every day.

So, they had to come up with a filtering scheme to decide which one they give priority to, and simultaneously identify which ones statistically speaking are not going to buy from them (or from anyone at all).

So, there you have a perfect example of why you should also be efficient when communicating with potential suppliers. Make sure everything they need is included and your answer rate will grow significantly, (specially the suppliers that you really want to work with).

If you need to see a perfect example of what is considered a positive or negative lead, here we have 2 e-mail examples. Check how your e-mails look like and compare them to ours.

Suggested reading: Best 20 USA Sourcing Agents

Chinese training course for sales reps:

Initial Contact. Example 1 

Hi, this is George

Can you tell me how much for the machine you have in Alibaba, code YZ2044.

Thanks! George



You might think this is a perfectly valid contact e-mail. This person just needs to know the price for the machine, and he is providing the code, right?

Just give them the price and wait to see what happens, makes sense. But actually, from an experienced supplier´s point of view, this potential client will be marked as “low priority” 100% of the times.

If you take a closer look to the details, it comes easy to understand why.

  • He is not giving any information related to his business. Not including a website, country of import, etc.
  • He is not asking for volumes, he doesn´t seem to understand how important volume is for pricing, he is not asking for a specific term like FOB or CIF, therefore this person is not experienced in trading, most probably never made an overseas purchase before, otherwise he would understand that more questions will have to be answered before quoting. George is being inefficient with his own time.
  • He is not giving extra details for the product requested, assuming that 90% of the times there are things to take in consideration when quoting.
  • (This is a very straightforward example, there are several ways to reach the same conclusion).


Initial Contact. Example 2 

Hi, nice to meet you.

I am Martin from Luxure times (
We would like to receive your catalogue and a FOB Quotation: (1 full 20 feet Container) for outdoor tables, code YZ2044.
Dimensions: 40 x 72 x 37cm in aluminum only. (picture attached)

Looking forward for your quick response,

Best regards

Martin Johnson
Purchase Dept. Director.
Luxure Time Inc.
Tel/Fax: 1800-333-7364
Whatsapp: 13746398475
Skype: mjohnson81



Can you see the difference right away?

Do you see that this e-mail didn´t even take more than one extra minute to redact, and still everything is there to answer exactly what he asked for?

  • He is introducing himself and the company he works for, he is letting us now he is the Purchase Department Director (the person making the decisions).
  • We know that he wants to receive a quotation and a catalogue, for that he provided the exact quantity, product code, dimensions and material.
  • This person easily demonstrates that he knows what he is looking for, he knows what he needs from the supplier to make a decision and he doesn´t want to receive any more questions, he wants to solve this in just one e-mail. He is experienced and he will definitely evaluate potential suppliers that understand the efficiency game.

This is what good suppliers are looking for!
You can certainly aim for better business partners by taking the time to demonstrate diligence.

Otherwise you will have to settle for inexperienced suppliers trying to save the month.       

Follow these tips and you will certainly improve your overseas cooperation in a very short time. Guaranteed

We honestly wish you the best of the best on your journey to success.

Feel free to contact us for further questions. We are sure we can bring excellence to your business.

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8 Tips For How to Buy From china

Buying from China has proven a successful tactic of global sourcing for many businesses. Products made in China such as shoes, clothing, electronics, paper, home furnishings and many more are popular worldwide.

However, it is not an easy task, especially for the newbies. The importing process can be extremely complex, confusing, and costly. Expected gains can often be erased by long transit times, rising or fluctuating delivery costs, regulatory fees, and unexpected delays.

Here’s a step by step guide for how to buy goods from china, let’s check out how to buy from China, and what you can do to make the process more smoothly and efficiently.

Suggested reading: Chinese Trading Company

Infographic 8 Tips guide of importing process from china for newbies

Suppliers in China offer a wide variety of goods to suit every business need. Everything from lower-priced commodities to new arrivals in the market will give you a competitive edge.

According to a report analysis published in 2016, China’s export market is worth £2.94 billion. Therefore, it’s safe to say that it holds more than enough for every business owner to enjoy.

As a proven tactic of global sourcing for many entrepreneurs, buying goods from China will certainly diversify any business. However, for those who are new to the trade, the process may seem extremely complex, costly and challenging.

Factors such as fluctuating delivery costs and regulatory fees may hard to understand.worry not! Here are 8 important tips on buying goods from china.

1. Plan your import objectives

This is perhaps the most important starting point for any business that wants to buy goods from China.

Before embarking on the actual importation process, be clear about what you want to achieve.

Choosing the wrong products will make the business lose sufficient time and money. All successful importers know the importance of choosing the right products for reselling.

Therefore, be sure to gather sufficient information about your goods of choice.

Also, obtain descriptive literature, product composition, and samples before making a final decision.

This is Crucial in furthering your understanding of the products as well as what you will get in return.

Remember to:

Choose a product that you are passionate about.

Choose a unique product that can be sold at a higher price.

Choose a product that has low shipping costs per unit and can be shipped in large quantities.

Once you have sufficient information about the products that you want to buy, learn about how they can be imported.

As you will be shipping in bulks, outsourcing the work to a freight forwarder is the cheapest way to go. However, if your packages are small and for personal use, Courier delivery services will work better in comparison to the use of big shipping agencies.

Suggested reading: Best 10 China Shipping Agents Help You Ship from China
Suggested reading: Best 10 Alibaba Freight Forwarders
Suggested reading: FBA Shipping From China to Amazon
Suggested reading: Best 10 Guangzhou Clothing Wholesale Market

2. Familiar with all rules and regulation

Before buying goods from China, research on the rules and regulations that you need to comply with.

Usually, import rules often depend on the type of products that you are importing. For instance, children’s products such as toys, textiles, and footwear, furniture or chemicals all have regulation on packaging and credibility.

3. Choose reputable Chinese suppliers

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that the importer is liable for all the goods that they choose to buy.

As such, any compliance irregularities will be directed towards you, not your supplier. To avoid any discrepancies, ensure that you work with a reputable Chinese supplier.

Also, make certain that the supplier equally complies with all set regulations.

4.Negotiate the right deal

Understanding your supplier’s priorities as well as your own strengths and weaknesses will allow you to negotiate the right deal.

For instance, you could offer to pay your suppliers more promptly in exchange for better prices.chinese suppliers believe in building goods business relationships.

As such, they will be happy to avail products to you regularly.

5.Have a clear contract in place

As with any other business transaction, importing goods from China should also involve a clear contract between you and the suppliers.

Clearly, state the payment and delivery terms that you have been agreed upon, the currency and payment method used.

To reduce any misunderstanding, ensure international commercial terms(ICT)of agreements are used on the contract.

6.Understand all commodity codes

Buying from China requires using the right 10-digit commodity code for your goods.

This will assist in filling out the paperwork accurately and even looking up important information such as duty rates and restrictions that apply to your goods.

7. Acquire an import license

It’s best to have a valid import license that will allow you to wholesale goods from China to your country of choice.
The license will ensure that you do not face any challenges during the process.

8. Be conversant with taxes and duties on imports.

All traders who buy goods from China have to pay a Value-added Tax(VAT) and import duty before being cleared for entry into their country of choice.

However, this is usually dependent on the classification of goods.

Follow these steps and you will benefit from importing goods from China. Whether you are a first-time importer or have been frequently using this process as a line of trade, these tips will always be applicable. They are exactly what you need to make your business thrive.

If you want to wholesale any kinds of products from China, Leeline sourcing will be your right choice, with over 10 years experience in the sourcing field, we assure you our service is reliable and efficient.

Contact us and learn more about our service, visit our website. or email us at [email protected]

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Article by:

Sharline Shaw

Hey I'm Sharline, the founder of Leeline Sourcing. With 10 years of experience in the field of sourcing in China, we help 2000+ clients import from China,Alibaba,1688 to Amazon FBA or shopify. If you have any questions about sourcing , pls feel free to contact us.

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Derek McDoogle
December 11, 2019 3:14 pm

My friend told me that he would like to start a retail business but he does not know much about importations. I like how you suggest choosing a product that can be easily sold and shipped in large quantities. I will recommend him to contact an import freight forwarder company to ask for shipping costs.

Poland apparel importers
August 29, 2018 7:15 am

China is a fast growing country and we know that the majority of the product are made in china so china can be best opting for import business and has a wide variety of products at good price and the need of is to plan the business objectives and start making the business successful.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x