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A lot can go wrong when you are importing. There are an infinite number of problems that can go wrong and for a newbie, it will be a headache, if not costly exercise if you lose your stock or if you have to deal with unfamiliar problems.

An example of an issue is the stink bug infestation that has been plaguing imports. See below for reference.


If you are merely importing small quantities, then the risk is lower and it may be worthwhile DIY. Assess the risk and proceed at your own risk is what I am saying.

A lot can go wrong with everything when you have never done it before. Sorry, but what you wrote is scaremongering. If the OP has been importing already and found good and reliable suppliers in China, they have already done most of the hard work.

The real issue here, as with every other decision in business is the reason for wanting to do it yourself as opposed to paying someone else to do it.

If it is purely because it might save a few $$, then there is a lot more that needs to be considered than just the direct saving from not paying someone else. The assumption here is that it is about saving.

A good broker, who does the job day in day out, will almost certainly be able to provide value above and beyond just a cost, that anyone doing it for the first time may not be able to match. Plus there is the time and effort involved that could be better utilized elsewhere – that is also a cost.

That said, learning the process is not a bad thing either, just to be aware of how it all works, especially at the early stages where quantities may be smaller (this part I agree with you about risk). Making a few mistakes isn’t all bad either, except for the part where it costs, but that is when lessons learned are more valuable.

Once someone has done something themselves, that is often the best way to find out why it is best to get someone else to do it.