Jump to content

Importing - Help Required


  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 Beancat

Posted 18 February 2013 - 08:33 AM

Hi, I am thinking about starting an online business.  I don't want to specify the idea but it is related to parents' and baby goods in a particular segment of the market.

My question is, how do you find suppliers and what is the process for importing goods?  Do you actually travel to China etc or can you order samples from exporters?  How do you find reputable exporters and is their a reputable website to help navigate the regulatory side of importing (DFAT maybe?).  

Any help would be appreciated, thanks.
KH

#2 blackcat20

Posted 18 February 2013 - 08:43 AM

A lot of Tafes offer short courses, I'm sure I've seen some regarding importation. You might find that many manufacturers/wholesalers only sell to one local distributor and you'll have to buy through them.

#3 CallMeFeral

Posted 12 March 2013 - 11:05 PM

Alibaba is good for finding people, they will usually send samples - you would have to pay for them, but not exorbitantly.

Sorry, don't know about the rest!

#4 Three Of Hearts

Posted 11 April 2013 - 11:49 AM

QUOTE
how do you find suppliers and what is the process for importing goods?

We use alibaba mostly.  We never pick a business that has been on there for less than 3 years though.  They are the most trustworthy.  

QUOTE
Do you actually travel to China etc or can you order samples from exporters?

We have not traveled over there yet, although there are plans to later this year as we've found a few of our current suppliers have said they would like to meet us in person and talk better deals.  As for samples, we tend to get them sent over in one of our containers as you have to pay for them (generally more than you'd pay for them if you were buying a lot of them) and pay the shipping.  Depending on what you're thinking about this can get very costly if you have to use LCL all the time to get samples over, and air freight can be a killer.

QUOTE
Is their a reputable website to help navigate the regulatory side of importing (DFAT maybe?).

We pay a company that specialises in overseas freight to handle all of our importing.  They take care of organising the shipments, customs charges and take care of all the fees etc involved with importing.  We pay them directly for everything.

Hope that helps original.gif

#5 Unatheowl

Posted 11 April 2013 - 12:16 PM

We have done basically the same as Allie.  We have actually gone over to see the factories though.  If you deal with china for a while you get a sense of who is going to be dodgy and who isn't.  There is always a certain element if risk and if we have a series of bad events we drop the supplier.

#6 Beancat

Posted 14 April 2013 - 04:42 PM

Thanks everyone!  this is most helpful original.gif

#7 BJBubbles

Posted 16 April 2013 - 08:26 AM

We actually went and met the suppliers before we purchased from them, but we import wine so we really wanted to taste it first!  Also helped us set up a good relationship with them etc and allow us to see their facilities, meet the wine makers and feel confident with working with them.

We use a customs and shipping company that arrange everything - the even deal directly with our suppliers and arrange delivery to port in the home country, all the paperwork in that end, shipping to Aus, customs and taxes here and deliver to my warehouse in Melbourne.  Means I only have to pay my suppliers and then the shipping company. Breaks up costs too - suppliers are paid before goods are shipped and the shipping company is paid once goods have landed in Aus.

Good Luck! It's exciting starting a new business :-)


#8 AngryBird

Posted 16 April 2013 - 09:55 AM

Can I ask those who do importing for business - what insurance and other similar requirements are there, to cover you for items you import? At what point do you need an importing license?

#9 BJBubbles

Posted 16 April 2013 - 09:56 PM

Afrocircus - I "buy" insurance with my shipping company to cover the goods while in transit. I then have insurance on my warehouse to cover the goods when in storage - this is through the company I rent the storage space from.

From a license perspective, I don't think you need a license unless you are importing restricted goods, but I'm not positive on that.  I know I don't need a license to import wine, and as long as I pay all the taxes customs are happy with me :-)   Selling the goods is another issue as obviously for some things (such as alcohol) you do need a license!

#10 Three Of Hearts

Posted 17 April 2013 - 10:45 AM

QUOTE (AfroCircus @ 16/04/2013, 09:55 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Can I ask those who do importing for business - what insurance and other similar requirements are there, to cover you for items you import? At what point do you need an importing license?

We pay transit insurance with our complete business insurance through Elders.  This covers the goods whilst they are on the water and even right up to when the container lands at our doorstep (so if the goods made it all the way from China but were then damaged 5 minutes down the road from us they're still covered).  You also need manufacturers insurance (depending on what you're importing) as you are classed as the manufacturer when you import something.  This is also through Elders for us.

We don't need to worry about importing licenses etc as we use a freight company to handle all our imports.  They take care of everything for us and we pay them directly.  This covers all the customs charges, import taxes, wharf fees etc

#11 Unatheowl

Posted 19 April 2013 - 03:06 PM

QUOTE (AfroCircus @ 16/04/2013, 09:55 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Can I ask those who do importing for business - what insurance and other similar requirements are there, to cover you for items you import? At what point do you need an importing license?


Hi, we pay marine insurance (which covers all forms of shipping/flying etc) and we got that through our broker.  We had an incindent where QANTAS handlers ran forklift prongs though about 50% of our shipment and we were advised that claims against cargo handlers are almost never paid (as they blame the airlines and the airlines blame the ground crew and no one ever saw anything anyway).  It is worth it.

You dont generally need import licence per se unless you are importing certain classes of goods.  We import some radioactive goods so we need a licence for that only.

#12 Beancat

Posted 19 April 2013 - 03:42 PM

I have found a couple of suppliers for my idea through Alibaba.  I have soooo much to learn!  When they say you need to purchase a minimum of 500 pieces does that usually mean 500 of the one item or a mixture of items from the same supplier as long as it comes up to 500?

My idea is an online business selling a certain maternity item that seems to be very few and far between here in Australia and where it is available it is really expensive.  What are you toughts about starting off small on ebay and then growing the business or should I just start my own online store?  Funds are fairly limited, so ebay might be a good start, but I really want this to be professional

#13 Unatheowl

Posted 19 April 2013 - 03:56 PM

QUOTE (Beancat @ 19/04/2013, 03:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have found a couple of suppliers for my idea through Alibaba.  I have soooo much to learn!  When they say you need to purchase a minimum of 500 pieces does that usually mean 500 of the one item or a mixture of items from the same supplier as long as it comes up to 500?


You would need to ask them - it is ok to do so.  I have found that being pretty honest and open with them helps.  I often start conversations with them just about general things as it helps to build a relationship.  In my industry, they really want our business so will be accomodating.  Also, I always offer to pay for any samples and am very polite.  Once I have bought something and I make sure I pay promptly and communicate well so that they know we are serious and not just trying to get free samples off them.  I have found that they will then offer me free samples or throw things in for free.  HAving said that, my industry is medical and highly competitive and I have no clue about yours.

Sometimes if I am trying to bring in a new product I will tell them just that, that we are testing the market and it has a potential sales of (whatever that may be).  If I am trialling samples I will give them detailed feedback about thier products.  Sometimes, I will send them examples of products we have here or changes that people have asked for.  It just shows that we are invested in the process.  Again, this works in my industry, I'm not sure about yours.

#14 Three Of Hearts

Posted 19 April 2013 - 04:24 PM

QUOTE (Beancat @ 19/04/2013, 03:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have found a couple of suppliers for my idea through Alibaba.  I have soooo much to learn!  When they say you need to purchase a minimum of 500 pieces does that usually mean 500 of the one item or a mixture of items from the same supplier as long as it comes up to 500?

Like Unatheowl said, you really just need to ask them.  I've found a lot of the time their minimums and pricing on Alibaba to be different to what they'll actually offer you.  But don't be fooled if you think its wrong either.  I was buying promotional gear one time and they said the price was 50 cents per piece dearer than what Alibaba said, so I told them I'd get it elsewhere and they quickly dropped the 50 cents off.  It's all really just a big learning curve!!

QUOTE (Unatheowl @ 19/04/2013, 03:56 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I often start conversations with them just about general things as it helps to build a relationship.

My DH does this too.  He finds them much easier to get along with if he has a chat with them first.  Sometimes they talk about random things like what they're having for dinner!  DH even has photos of some of our suppliers first borns etc.  The main thing is that they LOVE to feel like they mean something to you, and they get very upset very quickly if they think you don't trust them!!  We were having issues with a dodgy supplier who'd disappeared offline for 3 weeks so DH gave one of our good suppliers the factories phone number and he called and sorted it for us.  He now calls himself one of DHs "good friends" LOL!




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

How a pregnancy contract could work for you and your partner

The idea of making a 'pregnancy contract' with your partner may sound a bit silly at first, but it can help make the transition to parenthood a lot smoother.

Finding a mum-friendly personal trainer

Burping babies vs burpees – yes, new mums and personal trainers live in different worlds. But they can work together - once you find the right match for you and your lifestyle.

Ambulance service under fire: baby seats to go, response times 'worse than ever'

The NSW Ambulance Service is removing child-safety seats from ambulances, while the Victorian service is facing criticism over lengthy response times following the death of a three-year-old.

Alleged baby snatch incident a ?misunderstanding?, say police

Police say that an incident in which a man pulled on a woman?s pram while walking a popular Sydney route late last month was a misunderstanding.

Ebola killed my aunt and is shutting down my country

Three weeks ago, my auntie, a midwife, developed a fever. Sitting here in Sydney basked in Australian sunshine, that shouldn't be big news.

The night my ovary burst

One mum shares her frightening experience and vows to never take her health for granted again.

Is e-reading to your toddler story time or just screen time?

When reading increasingly means swiping pages on a device, and we're advised to read to their children early and often, should parents be turning to e-readers for storytime?

Community mourns inspiring young dad

A young dad who fought a five-year battle with cancer has been remembered for his inspiring legacy at a funeral service attended by hundreds of family and friends this week.

Meningococcal kills Queensland toddler

Public health authorities say the death of a toddler in north Queensland from meningococcal disease highlights the danger the illness poses.

Nicole Kidman: 'I hope every month that I'm pregnant'

Nicole Kidman is hoping to add to her family, but says she's doubtful it will happen.

Recall: Aldi Wooden London Bus play set

Aldi has announced a recall of their popular Wooden London Bus play set.

Great gift ideas for first birthdays

From soft toys to balance bikes, here are some great ideas for first birthday gifts.

Mum learnt she was pregnant hours before giving birth

Kim Walsh arrived at the doctor with abdominal cramps. Hours later, she was cradling the baby experts told her she could never have.

How cancer has made me a better, happier person

I'm a far better person post-cancer than I ever was before. The goal now is to stay around long enough to find out who I can become, and what I can achieve.

Pete Evans says a paleo diet can prevent autism. He's wrong

Pete Evans is not a paediatrician or even a nutritionist or dietitian. So why should we believe his extreme views and remove food groups from our children's diets over the advice from those more qualified?

Let's get back to commonsense parenting

Forget the new 'Lawnmower' parenting trend; try using plain old-fashioned commonsense instead.

Woman sues after having a mixed-race baby

A US woman is suing a sperm bank after it sent her vials from African-American man, instead of the white donor she had selected.

Bonding ideas dad will love

Dad may not say it, but he could be feeling lost, confused and seriously left out. However, there are lots of things new fathers can do to be more included in the excitement of pregnancy and new parenthood.

The house that hope built for childhood cancer

Baby Laelani Baker was diagnosed with cancer before she was even born. Her heartbreaking story is just one of the reasons the Build for a Cure project is raising money for vital research into childhood cancer.

Does stay-at-home parenting get better?

Parenting doesn’t ever get easier; the challenges just change. But the challenges of caring for young children definitely lessens as they get older.

Inquest into the short and tragic life of Chloe Valentine

As the first phase of an inquest into the death of Chloe Valentine drew to a close, there was no doubt Chloe's life was marred by appalling neglect.

When mothers kill

The act of killing one's child is unthinkable for most, and a mother who kills her offspring has a special power to inspire shock and revulsion.

6 beauty tips for tired mums

For those of us with young children, eight hours sleep is a distant memory. And while we can’t do much to secure more shut-eye, there are some ways to fake it.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

16 parenting truths you won't find in the baby books

I am five years into this parenting gig and I’ve learnt that sleepless nights and changing dirty nappies are child’s play.

Win 1 of 5 Canon Powershot D30 cameras

Capture life more easily with the Canon Powershot D30. Shockproof, waterproof and dustproof, you can take it almost anywhere and shoot beautiful images, time after time. Enter now!

Best and worst potty party cakes

It's nice to celebrate a child making the shift from nappies to 'big kid' undies, but do we really need a semi-realistic used toilet cake to do it? Here are some of the best and worst cakes parents have used at 'potty parties' around the world.

7 tips for a financially festive Christmas

Plan ahead - and do it now - to ensure festive season expenses don't break the bank.

'Go the F*** to Sleep' author's new book for frustrated parents

A sequel is coming soon to the 2011 hit book 'Go the F*** to Sleep' - and this time, it's about mealtimes.

Great birthday party buys from Etsy

Handmade crafts to decorate and personalise your child's next birthday - from banners to cake decorations, we've got gorgeous party finds from Etsy.

Creative storage ideas for the kids' rooms

Creative and practical storage ideas for the kids' toys and books can also add some stylish decor to your home. Visit babyology.com.au for more stylish modern finds for hip kids & parents.

Awkward grandparents

When Grandma and Grandpa pose for a snap with the kids, things can get very weird, very quickly.

To the mum in the doctor's waiting room

Maybe the mum I saw in that waiting room, seemingly disconnected from her baby, doesn’t have the support she needs.

10 space-saving nursery ideas

Starting a family doesn't always mean moving into a bigger house - not yet, anyway.

 

What's in a name?

Baby Names

Looking for a classic name, or an unusual name? Our Baby Name Finder is for you, search or browse to refine your shortlist.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.