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Kathy Creaner
  • Total posts: 152

Hi Bella

We import products from China to sell to retailers, so we’re probably exactly the type of people you’re looking to find. Along with other items, we import feather roses (six great colours in three styles), which we will be exhibiting at a wedding fair in Canberra in August.

I joined this forum so that I can learn about marketing so that I am able to better find people like you. :-)

I understand your concern about knowing whether the supplier is able to supply you with goods that meet your quality standards. There are lots of ways to check them out. There are organisations that will run checks for you, there are certifications that you can request, you can visit the companies and their factories yourselves (we do that, but it takes time and money – we learn more every time we visit China), you can develop a relationship with a sourcing agent either here or in China, or you can take a gamble (personally, I wouldn’t recommend that).

We always insist on samples delivered to Australia before we will commit to a big order, even after we’ve seen the quality in China. We walk away from suppliers who won’t provide samples. You have to pay more for the samples than you would for a full order, but it’s definitely worth the additional cost.

If you do put a buying lead on Alibaba or other sites, be prepared to deal with an avalanche of email. Even if you’re really clear about what you’re after, you’ll get emails about all sorts of unrelated items. The sales people working for the manufacturers are really keen to sell.

Don’t be afraid to keep asking questions. It helps you to practise making your requirements clear.

You’ll also need to learn how to get your goods into Australia. We tried a few different avenues. Our samples may arrive via courier or post, but our orders are larger and generally arrive as either a full container load (FCL) or a part container load (LCL). We have a great relationship with our freight forwarder.

I’m sure this is fairly overwhelming at first. The forum has lots of helpful info on it. Try searching the forum for the word “import” and you’ll find heaps of information. You’re welcome to contact me with any questions you can’t get answered about bringing products in from China.

Good luck with your business. I’m sure you’ll have fun, surrounded by all those beautiful things.