With international e-commerce booming up recent years, more international buyers import small orders of different goods from various Chinese suppliers, the international shipping cost from individual suppliers is extremely high if all the packages are shipped internationally separately every week.

Small order import is mainly suitable for high-value, low volume/weight goods such as electronic gadgets, flashlights, luxury goods, etc with which the shipping cost occupied only a small portion of the total import cost. Small orders are not suitable for goods like ovens, kitchenware, giveaway and premiums, etc due to the high international shipping cost and thus the low margin space you can keep.

A good China sourcing agent can provide well organized warehouse space to consolidate all the small order boxes and send them all within one shipment within a period of time, the shipping cost will be easily decreased by up to 50%.

Quality control is another big issue, many small order importers don’t take quality into consideration seriously and just buy non-branded goods to sell, this often leads to big loss eventually.

AliExpress for example, is the biggest source for small order purchasing from Alibaba Group, there are millions of suppliers on the platform. From our experience, a very big portion of the products sold over there are not in compliance with the laws and regulations of the importing countries, which can easily cause problems during customs clearance, bring difficulty in marketing and have customer complaints, this includes but not limited to safety (such as CE, FCC, etc), IP (intellectual property), mal-function of products and wrong packaging or labelling.

I’ve been hearing a lot of importers that don’t care about the quality at the beginning just because they were trying to buy small QTY, and later they put the label of “bad quality” to Chinese factories, but quality goods such as iPhones are all made in China! Indeed, Chinese factories can make premium quality products if proper quality control is taken place. Quality inspections cost money, but a reputable and long-term brand deserves.

Basically we strongly suggest our customers to work with manufacturers directly even if the order QTY is small. This should be the right way for importers with long-term strategies. It’s true that most direct manufacturers have much higher MOQ (Minimum Order QTY) for their customers, but in some cases, they can still accept small orders to fill their production schedules if the deadlines of their customer’s orders are not really tight, because they could combine them with other orders. It’s a little difficult to work with manufacturers at the beginning, but it’s still possible to find out. A professional China sourcing agent had a lot more sources that can help to identify the right factories to work with.

International transferring charge is also a big expenditure. In most cases, the supplier would not accept bank charges when the order QTY is small, and this cost may occupy up to 4-8% if you take into consideration of the frequent international transferring in a year, and this even doesn’t count for all the time consumed on these transferring. A reliable China sourcing partner will definitely decrease this cost substantially.

In summary, here is what a reliable China sourcing agent can do for you:

To reduce international shipping cost substantially;

To ensure good quality of the purchased orders and thus create a sustainable and great brand image;

To reduce international transferring cost and improve your fiscal data;

To get constructive support and consultancy on China supply chain management and long-term business development.


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