Importers should evaluate the best practice and risks for importing goods from China. There are pitfalls and opportunities that they need to consider. They can find different routes to buy products from a source in China, through factories, wholesalers, agents and trading companies. Many factories don’t have export approval, so importers need to work with trading companies that add fees into the quoted prices or agents who operate on commission. Regardless of their preferences, importers should choose agents or trading companies that can eliminate the risks of obtaining products from China. These professionals are able to establish a direct link between foreign buyers and the actual manufacturers in China.

When importers go directly to China to find specific products, it is more likely that they will encounter people who don’t make these products. They may do their own deals through family, contacts and friends of the manufacturers. Without the help of a trusted trading company, it is more likely that importers will meet dubious traders and scammers. It should be easy to find a legitimate trading company if we are diligent enough. These trading companies are able to compensate the differences in business ethics, between foreign importers and Chinese manufacturers.

As an example, negotiating for the right price is something that many importers are not able to do effectively. Trading companies are able to offer much reduced prices, sometimes up to 20 percent less than the first quoted prices. These figures could be much higher for foreign importers who are not guided by reliable trading companies. Foreign importers may also not be aware of all the extra costs, like printing, packing materials, taxes, inland transportation and unexpected minor changes. These unexpected costs could hike the discounted prices back up to a level that is almost equal to the first quoted prices.

Trading companies could also deal with special rules that can be unique to each manufacturer or trader. As an example, importers could be required to provide 30 percent down payment before the product is shipped. Without trading companies, there could be no security and no favorable terms, which result in increased risks. Only bitter experience is to be gained when uninformed importers enter the Chinese trading market for the first time. It is likely that they will encounter pitfalls, despite exercising extreme caution. ensures that quality goods will arrive at the port of destination through long-term relationships with many legitimate manufacturers in China.