According to Zhengsourcing, importing from China or other countries is not as complicated as you might initially think if you follow the legal regulations and our tips. Thanks to the Internet and advancing globalization, however, it is becoming increasingly easier to import products from abroad and to communicate with your trading partners overseas.

In recent years, numerous online trading platforms have been established that make international trade and the import of all kinds of products possible for virtually everyone. By and large, most wholesale platforms like eBay work: There are a lot of manufacturers and sellers (especially from China) who offer their goods on the trading platforms at fixed prices. Customers, whether commercial or private, can then use this platform to buy their desired products from the dealers and have them sent to them. Since the prices for many products in China are very cheap, but the shipping costs are all the higher, importing from China via these trading platforms is particularly worthwhile for ordering larger quantities, as the shipping costs are then less significant. Most sellers offer different shipping methods (EMS, UPS, DHL Express, FedEx, China Post etc.), which also cost differently. We definitely recommend using DHL Express, as the service offered is not only very fast, but above all very safe. You also have great advantages in customs clearance, as DHL usually handles this, while so-called customs agents are ordered from other shipping service providers, for which additional costs may be incurred.

Secure payment through an escrow service

The payment of the ordered products is usually made against prepayment – therefore special care should be taken when selecting the suppliers or the trading platform. Many platforms have their own escrow service, which we strongly recommend. So you first pay the purchase price to the operator of the trading platform. Once the money has been received, the supplier receives a message that the payment has been received and sends the goods. Once you have received the goods, you have enough time to check them for quality and completeness. If everything is as agreed, you confirm receipt of the goods and the trading platform forwards the money directly to the supplier.

In the event of any problems with delivery, you are on the safe side as the supplier is forced to deal with your problems. Otherwise you will get your money back from the trading platform, which also acts as an intermediary in the event of a dispute and, in extreme cases, decides on the dispute and thus the whereabouts of the money. In principle, however, in the event of a dispute, the trading platforms act more in the interests of the paying customers, provided the information is correct and the error really lies with the supplier.

The payment methods on most platforms are quite varied, so that, for example, bank transfers, Western Union, PayPal, Moneybrookers, Alertpay etc. are offered.

Be careful with direct payments to the supplier

On some platforms or directly with suppliers that were found via search engines or in forums, payments can only be made directly to the supplier. We generally advise against newcomers to the import business! Once a payment has been sent directly to the supplier, you have no leverage and lose your negotiating position, especially in the event of a problem. However, PayPal is an exception due to the good buyer protection program. If you have difficulties with a delivery, the money can be reclaimed within 60 days. Serious retailers can usually also be recognized by the fact that they offer PayPal. Western Union, bank transfer and payment methods that do not have buyer protection are not advisable, even for supposedly reputable sellers.

Note import sales tax and customs duties

As cheap as the prices on the platforms may be, it must always be noted that import sales tax (import tax) in the amount of the statutory sales tax (value added tax) is due when importing products. This is usually billed to you at a later date by the shipping company. Furthermore, limitations and customs are observed on certain products. It may be that a product is cheaper in this country if you add duties and taxes to the product price.

The most common trading platforms for import

The following are large and internationally established trading platforms that can be recommended for imports from China or other countries.

  • Aliexpress (our recommendation!)
  • LightInTheBox
  • MiniInTheBox
  • Wholesale dress (especially for fashion)


Major Trading Platforms in China
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