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Thinking of Importing for the First Time?

Discussion in 'Import & Export' started by Import Expert, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. Elina Li

    Elina Li

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2014
    Messages:
    1
    Actually, the best way is to find a suitable supplier for a importer with small contract value per order, not a reputable Corporation in China. Because in currently situation in China, big and reputable company will ignore small orders, their sales men are very busy. If you do not trust a new supplier, why do not use L/C for payment?
  2. nayar ali

    nayar ali

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    Messages:
    13
    hey guys alot of info on here and im luvin it been reading for the past few months and absorbing all the info,
    i had a question, wondering if anyone can share their experince and what they did to get out of this scenario
    i am pretty clued up on the whole import cysle etc been reading up and doing bits n bats so thats ok, however ive hit abit of a platau whereby as like many of us i only had a little bit of cash to spend on inventory ...and so i have been getting stuff from the smaller sites aliexpress dhgate etc but alot of the prices on there for some good products which i can see of making a profit in are at near to retail prices and hence no profit margin once ive imported to uk! so i have meen contacting alibaba suppliers but even still it seems they cant even give a newbie any chances as the MOQs are really high which would mean id require loads of money to order the item ....however instead i would like to atleast test the item out and see if it sellls how quick etc and then order according to those statistics.....however when i ask for FOB for smaller quantities the shipping and item cost are 3 -4 times higher making the item unprofitable
    so seems like a vicious circle which i dont know how to get out seem like either i need loads more capital or carry on making a loss by ordering from the smaller sites? surely there must be SOME suppliers who work on a smaller MOQ basis to give us a chance?
    or am i banging my head against a wall :(
    i really need to make this a sucess so any advice would be appreciated or any mentors who would be willing to help
    thanks
  3. planner

    planner

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
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    6,793
  4. Pete

    Pete

    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    Messages:
    14,070
    And this - ********************************************************************************************************

    Many Chinese suppliers consider profits from shipping costs to be a major profit center. And when selling small quantities they add to their profits by charging often ridiculous shipping fees.

    But the real issue is realizing there is no one to help you on a low budget, simply because it is not profitable to do so. Just as you talk about having to sell at just about cost, I can tell you for a fact that 90% of the goods we sell are at 5% profit.

    I don't want to seem harsh, but your lack of capital simply puts you between a rock and a hard place. Emotions simply don't come into play. It's just facts that you can't buy 10s and compete with those who buy 100s or 1000s.

    Find some local products you can sell and build your capital, then see what you can do.
    Last edited: May 16, 2014
  5. Grantthebosun

    Grantthebosun

    Joined:
    May 22, 2014
    Messages:
    2
    Some cost items which should not be ignored;

    Duty, which is payable on the cost of the goods, freight to the UK and the insurance costs. You need to classify your goods and check the customs tariff for the duty rate from the country you are buying from.
    Marine insurance.
    VAT, which is payable on the cost of the goods, freight to the UK, insurance and the duty. You will get it back if you are VAT registered, but it will affect cash flow unless you operate a deferment account.

    Hope this helps
  6. Karma15

    Karma15

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2015
    Messages:
    4
    Hi All,
    Im new to this website but have found reading through some of the comments extremely helpful and refreshing. I am in the very early stages of planning and setting up an import business and am feeling pretty daunted by it all. I wonder if i gave you some information if you could advise at all please.

    I am currently a volunteer for an overseas registered NGO (India) i have been for some years now. The director of the charity (resident in India) and i would like to form a UK based limited company in order for me to import goods from India to sell on behalf of the charity.
    The charity is currently going through registration in the UK but as far as setting up an import company, i'm a little miffed to say the least.
    My colleague in India will also be a director of the company alongside me. He will ship all goods to me by air and will organise delivery to my door. Does this mean that he will also cover VAT and duty taxes or will i be expected to pay these?
    Shipments will be quite small to begin with i imagine. I expect around 50 - 60kg initially as it will be only clothing and handicrafts. I have managed a business before but never anything like i'm planning now.
    I'm assuming i'll need to check EU standards of products and i believe every product has to be coded also? Any idea where i can find this info?
    So sorry for so many questions, i've read about as much information as i can swallow from the Gov.UK site but its really not sinking in
    :(
    Any help or advice would be very appreciated.

    Thank you so much
  7. Import Expert

    Import Expert

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2011
    Messages:
    3,331
    Hi,

    It's not quite as daunting as you might think - simply something new.

    You (your company in UK), will need to pay Duty/VAT on arrival. If goods are being shipped via prepaid airfreight through to UK door then their should not be any more costs in UK - possibly a small admin fee.

    EU standards will only generally apply to things like foodstuffs, toys, electricals, etc. (anything that could pose a risk of injury/harm) - not really to handicrafts/clothing so you should generally be OK there.

    Once you have company set up, you will need to apply to HMRC for an EORI number before your first import arrives. This process only takes a few days and application forms can be found online.

    Kind regards,
    Darren.
    Helen likes this.
  8. Karma15

    Karma15

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2015
    Messages:
    4
    Thank you so much Darren, is it really that simple? i was reading through the UK. Gov site and it was talking about codes for each product and notifying customs of the products before they arrive and all sorts of forms - my head was spinning (I have ME so trying to focus on too much info in one go is a nightmare!)
    I would much rather speak directly to someone (or by message in this case) who can help me to address the specifics step by step.

    I really appreciate your reassurance :)
    Have a wonderful day
  9. Karma15

    Karma15

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2015
    Messages:
    4
    Hi Darren,
    I hope i'm not being a nuisance. I'm after more help if at all possible.
    My company registration has finally come through and i am now ready to import. My circumstances are however slightly different to those mentioned above.
    The director of the charity that i volunteer for is based in India. He will be my export contact which is great because i've know him for several years and can trust him - half the battle won!
    I have received samples of items that i will be importing (majority clothing and handicrafts) and am happy with them but, i would prefer to have a UK courier service ensure that dead lines are met (as this doesn't seem to be of any interest to the export community of India haha) deal with duty taxes and also VAT etc.
    I am currently a 'one man band' and have so many other things that i have to handle and struggle at the best of times.
    Your company comes very highly recommended and i would very much like to discuss possibilities of using them. This is however my first time importing, i am feeling a little ignorant and slightly intimidated. I have read through the website but there doesn't seem to be a number i can call for assistance and i really prefer to speak to someone than try and explain myself via email.
    I am disabled so writing takes a very long time and concentration which is difficult for me but i need to be able to calculate costs etc before i can begin bringing in items.
    I am not expecting large quantities of anything - maximum 80 kilos initially and would like a fast turnaround so was thinking that sending by air might be best but i'm not sure how this will bode economically. I also need to know if Woodlands actually provide their services from India or whether i should let my colleague handle 'that end' of things.
    Do you have any suggestions at all and can you assist.

    Thanking you in advance
    Nickie
    Cody likes this.
  10. Import Expert

    Import Expert

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2011
    Messages:
    3,331
    Hi Nickie,

    No problem at all.

    We do have a service from India (air and sea), but much will depend on shipping method used, which will depend on the final order size. The kind of size you mention is around the minimum for sea freight and the maximum for courier. This leaves you commercial air freight as you mention, but due to faster transit times it can be a little expensive. Once you have final details then drop them over on an email to [email protected] or if easier, give them a call with the info on 01245 619705 and they will be able to give you an idea of prices.

    Kind regards,
    Darren.
  11. Karma15

    Karma15

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2015
    Messages:
    4
    Thanks Darren that's great. Much appreciated :)
    Cody and Import Expert like this.
  12. helloreader

    helloreader

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    Sep 29, 2015
    Messages:
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    very good article.
    Cody and Import Expert like this.
  13. SimonN

    SimonN

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2011
    Messages:
    2,162
    Shenzhen is on mainland China, not HK. BTW, you cannot source genuine branded electronics from China. Be careful.
  14. E-Spartan

    E-Spartan

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Messages:
    78
    Hello guys
    I really need your advise on shipping from China to UK. I have about 100 kg of goods which need to be shipped to UK. Can you please advise if it's better to use China post, EMS China or other couriers like DHL, UPS etc? Which are the cheapest from experience?
    Thank you in advance.
    Cody likes this.
  15. E-Spartan

    E-Spartan

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Messages:
    78
    Is this guy Darren still here? It's been almost a week now. Dropped him an email twice but he hasn't got back to me.
  16. Import Expert

    Import Expert

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2011
    Messages:
    3,331
    Hi E-Spartan,

    Yes I am here. Sorry I don't seem to have received your email - could you re-send please?

    [email protected]

    Kind regards,
    Darren.
  17. Lauren Hine

    Lauren Hine

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2016
    Messages:
    1
    Hi Darren, I'm hoping that I can chat to you about importing from outside the EU, brand new to the entire process....have everything at this end sorted and straight but wanted to ask a few things. Your company was recommended on a blog and you specifically. I will be using your companies services when I get to that stage but until then would love to drop you an email if possible? Thanks, Lauren x
    Cody and Import Expert like this.
  18. Import Expert

    Import Expert

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2011
    Messages:
    3,331
    Hi Lauren,

    No problem at all - you can email me at [email protected]

    Kind regards,
    Darren.
    Cody likes this.
  19. Damon Lang

    Damon Lang

    Joined:
    May 2, 2016
    Messages:
    2
    Which products do you import before?my friend
  20. E-Spartan

    E-Spartan

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Messages:
    78
    Hi guys and girls:)
    I need your help. I am ready to place an order with a supplier from China. The order is around £200. Should I pay him using paypal or should I ask for bank transfer? Which is safer option?
    Thanks in advance.
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