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Unlock the Secrets: A Comprehensive Guide on Importing Furniture Directly from China
tAre you tired of overpriced furniture at your local stores?
Why not consider importing furniture directly from China?
With a vast range of indoor and outdoor furniture available, importing from China can be a cost-effective solution without sacrificing quality.
But how do you navigate the complex process of buying and shipping furniture from China?
In this guide, we’ll explore everything from finding the right supplier and paying for your order to shipping and customs clearance.
Get ready to learn how to import furniture from China like a pro!
1.Introduction to Importing Furniture from China
There are many options available when you want to import furniture from China. It’s less hassle too. So in this article, we’ll go more in-depth into the critical points in the China furniture market and how to order furniture from China. We will also cover essential topics, such as locating the right supplier, documents needed, shipping options, etc. So, keep on reading!
1)Why import furniture from China?
The furniture market accounts to yield a revenue of US $95.73 billion. This market will grow by 11.20% yearly from 2023-2027. This rate makes it possible for the growing number of buyers to import furniture from China. China is the best place to go if you rent office space, sell furniture, or even start a business. You can take advantage of the cost, the standard of the product, and the schedule. These factors are all potential for the success of your business.
2)Types of China Furniture Available to Import
There are different types of furniture in China that you can import.
- Sofas and Couches
- Bedroom Furniture
- Hotel Furniture
- Dining Room Furniture
- Living Room Furniture
- Wood Furniture
- Metal Furniture
- Children Furniture
- Upholstered Furniture
- Plastic Furniture
- Wicker Furniture
- Office FurnitureOutdoor Furniture
- Garden Furniture
- Outdoor Metal Furniture
- Rattan Furniture
- Gazebo Furniture
2.How to Import Furniture from China?
When planning to buy furniture from China, it will take a lot of work. However, there are different ways that you can do such as the following:
1)Chinese B2B Platforms
If you are wondering how to order furniture from China, primarily online, the answer is through these Chinese B2B Platforms. Most manufacturers and suppliers shifted their business to these platforms so customers like you can access them quickly and fast. Similarly, it is convenient for them to showcase their products and make transactions more convenient.
The most popular platform you can check out when buying China furniture is Alibaba. Buying furniture from Alibaba has many advantages since it is the leading platform. You can find thousands of manufacturers, suppliers, or trading firms offering various kinds of furniture here. The most important part to note when you buy from Alibaba is to check if they have the following info:
- Company name
- Scope of the products
- Test reports on the products
- Company certificates
- Registered capital
If you think that Alibaba does not fit you, we suggest other B2B platforms, such as Made in China. This platform has a wide range of local factories and suppliers with top services. They also offer low prices, top packaging, and better customer service. You can also buy from Global Sources. You can find a complete set of products that suit your taste on this platform.
Many buyers worldwide ask if they need a sourcing agent when buying Chinese furniture. The simple answer is yes. These agents know the local terms, laws, and customs. They can deal with the Chinese business culture because they speak the language and have been in this industry for many years. hey also know which supplier, manufacturer, or factory is best for you. They will even pay attention to your needs from start to finish.
These agents play an essential role in the success of your furniture sourcing. Unless you are familiar with the process, it might be best to work with an agent. We can guarantee that they won’t only look for the best prices for you but also check your paperwork, ensure the product quality, and even guide you for shipping.
If you have yet to find the right supplier or even the right products, then it’s best to visit furniture fairs. Here are some of the fairs you need to check out:
You may have heard about the Canton Fair by browsing the trade show options. This trade show is one of the most popular ones. This fair, held in China Import and Export Complex twice a year, features three stages. Among these stages, the second stage presents furniture of different kinds.
China International Furniture Fair
This fair is among China’s most prominent furniture fairs and takes place twice a year: in March and October. The event splits into two phases, each of which features different products. You can browse various types of furniture at this fair, mainly modern, classical, outdoor, office, and hotel furniture. You can also visit these fairs in two locations, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
International Design and Furniture Fair Hong Kong
IDFFHK is the trade fair that places a focus on interior design. This fair happens every two years at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. If you want to find the finest furniture design, then going to this fair is the most suitable option. They welcomed renowned interior designers to display their goods and creations.
HKTDC Hong Kong Houseware Fair
Another fair held in Hongkong is HKTDC. This fair exhibits more than 2200 brands of furniture goods and focuses more on houseware goods. You can attend this event during the third week of April, but you must pay HK$1000 ($15) beforehand.
Jinan Furniture Fair
Jinan Furniture Fair is one of the best shows if you want to find varieties of furniture. This fair will run on June 16-18, 2023. This show has eight divisions of areas:
- Solid wood furniture
- Office furniture
- Upholstered furniture
- Customized furniture
- Two-hall furniture
- Mahogany furniture
- Smart furniture
- Woodworking machinery and raw and auxiliary materials
Home Furnishing Expo Shenzhen
This fair happens every year in March and August at Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center. You can find more than 2,000 exhibitors in the home furnishing and interior designing field. It will be the best option if you’re looking for textiles, wallpaper, wallcovering, custom furniture, curtains, etc.
Shenzhen International Furniture Exhibition
This fair is the best link for China companies and furniture buyers around the globe. This fair also presents China’s top designers and firms to show their goods. You can expect to see types of furniture areas, such as in-home, architecture, design, interior, and more.
Interzum is the largest trade fair in Asia because of its furniture production. This fair is also known for being outstanding in woodcraft equipment and interior design. If you’re planning to visit a trade show in China this year, this fair will take place on March 28 to March 31, 2023.
Global Sources Hong Kong Show
One of the largest B2B platforms, GlobalSources, also offers its trade show. You can register for their show categories if you are interested in buying home appliances and designs. We suggest Global Sources Smart Home & Appliances and Global Sources Home & Kitchen.
One method you can use if you want ready-made furniture is to go to various furniture malls. You can find a wide range of furniture and suppliers. If you are interested in visiting one, here are the following that you should check out.
Shunde Furniture Mall
The first mall on this list is Shunde, located in Foshan City. This mall features over 1 500 furniture companies and over 3,000 Chinese and foreign furniture dealers. As you walk into the mall, you will see the display stores that are 5 km long and have over 20 streets.
Louvre Furniture Mall
Another mall to check out is Louvre. You can buy high-end furniture that is high quality and for a lower price. You can also get the best experience while exploring this mall because the ambiance is cozy and simple. Of course, we must recognize how reliable the suppliers are and are known for being the best.
Tuanyi International Furniture City
If you want to buy the cheapest furniture pieces, then Tuanyi mall should be your option. You can find this mall in the district of Shunde, Lecong town. You can find varieties of furniture in this mall, such as sofas, bedding, and mahogany.
Foshan International Furniture Expo Center
Another mall that you can go to is the Foshan expo center. This mall is very convenient, especially if you really want to make the most of your time and effort in sourcing.
Sun-link Furniture Wholesale Market
The Sun-link market is also one of the most accessible furniture places to shop. You can find a wide range of products at a lower price. You can also visit trade shows here held in March and September. At the same time, this would be the perfect option if you’re looking to buy the best sofa in China.
This market has five divisions, which are:
- Hotel Furniture
- Home Furniture
- Modern home furnishings
- Neoclassical Furniture
Lecong International Exhibition Center
This exhibition center is the first market in Lecong. This mall houses well-known brands like LiXing Furniture, KUKA HOME, Dious Furniture, etc. You will find the ones you’re looking for because this area has two blocks, A and B. And there are two floors for easy finding: trading floors, accessories, and Chinese-style furniture.
Red Star Furniture
Red Star Furniture is a shopping center with over 120,000-square-foot. With how big it is, they contain various brands. To be specific, they have a unique 2000+ Chinese furniture brand available. Some of the brands that you will see are brands like Zuoyou Furniture, Landbond Furniture, Hennesy, and Cheers Sofa.
5)Search the Furniture Regions in China
One of the ways you can take if you want to make the most f your furniture search is through furniture regions in China. Different areas of China are known to create the best furniture version. Some of the ones you can check out are the following:
The South of China (Pearl River Delta)
The South China region is the largest industrial furniture in China. This region is known for being the best because of its experience with manufacturing and exporting. You can find here the most advanced tools and techniques. Also, you will not have to worry about shipping your orders because it is close to Marco and Hong Kong ports. The only downside when sourcing here is that it is much more expensive than in other regions.
Central China ( The Western Triangle)
Another best region you can check out when looking for the best furniture is Central China. You can find good, mid-range furniture such as rattan, metal beds, and fabric furniture here.
Central Chinese Coast (The Yangtze River Delta)
This region should be your first choice if you want kitchen furniture, rattan, metal, and painted wood. The Yangtze River Delta is the fastest-growing region of furniture, mainly kitchen cabinetry. They have well-established production and easy transportation. You can be sure that you can find manufacturers who produce high-quality goods. However, others need to be more skilled and have low operations that you should watch out for.
North Coastal Region (The Bohai Sea Area)
Among the regions with plenty of resources is the North Coastal Region. This region is also famous for furniture types, including glass and metal. You can also find the best dining tables, chairs, and upholstery. And the producers have years of background to make that happen. This region offers low prices and a prime exporting location. However, you must be ready to face unsleek buildings and safety standards.
3.Tips on How to Buy Furniture Direct from Manufacturer
Choosing the best furniture manufacturer in China takes a lot of work. That’s why you must take with you some vital points. The following are some of the factors to keep when looking for suppliers of high-quality furniture:
1)Read the Reviews of the Customers
The most basic one is checking the reviews left by previous customers. This step is crucial, mainly if you’ve never worked with a furniture company. You will need help figuring out their quality and even their ethics. you can get a sense of their services and how they treat their customers by reading their reviews. You can check out these reviews on many sites, such as their website, other décor or online blogs, and even discussion boards.
2)Availability of the Manufacturer
The time you receive your order will depend on how present your supplier will be. This factor will also affect your business and your customers. Before you work with a furniture supplier or factory, you must consider if they can always assist you. You can do this by asking questions. For instance, ask which shipping company they use to skip their companies. Or how often they respond to emails, calls, and inquiries.
3)Able to Customize
When it comes to furniture, you must have the chance to modify its design. Finding a supplier willing to meet your unique needs would be best. You can get your desired furniture if you change the layout, parts, and sizes.
There are times when the furniture you ordered needs to be corrected. Some of these errors are in size, paint, and design. You will have no choice but to use this furniture if the manufacturer does not permit their customers to return their orders. You have to ensure that your chosen partner will allow you to exchange the items with the right ones or provide you with a refund. If not, you will suffer more loss, lose a client, or get a bad reputation.
Many buyers should have checked if the manufacturer or supplier is trustworthy. One of the ways you can do so is to check their reviews. We guarantee you it will be worth it. Also, check if they receive honors for their efforts or see if they meet your standards.
One of the crucial things when buying furniture is to keep in mind the cost. To estimate the cost, you can compare prices from multiple suppliers. You may also decide on the market price of the furniture you plan to sell. This way, you have an idea of the budget and avoid downgrading the quality to cut costs. Also, consider many variables, such as delivery cost, budget, taxes, etc.
You might pay a lot for furniture, only to lose money because the items are damaged. The problem is you cannot get a refund or replacement for these damaged items. To secure your investment, you need to choose a manufacturer who provides a warranty for their goods.
It will help if you inquire if the manufacturer offers a warranty and the duration of these warranties. You also need to understand the factors that these warranties cover. This way, you can determine if you are liable for paying damages or if the contract covers it.
It is best to work with manufacturers with ISO 9001 to prevent quality problems. It’s crucial to screen the suppliers who can offer product stability and consistent standard.
9)Minimums Order of Quantity (MOQ)
It would help if you considered the MOQ before choosing a manufacturer. It would help if you chose a manufacturer with low prices and high MOQs for wholesale.
It would be best to work with a manufacturer with at least RMB 1,000,000 in registered capital. This capital would help you narrow down established and not established companies. You can ask the manufacturer to give you a copy of their business licenses or check it on their website. Those with less than RMB 1,000,000 is not manufacturers but trading companies.
4.How to Pay Your Suppliers?
There are many ways you can do to pay your manufacturer today. The times are now evolving, so it’s easy, quick, and more flexible to make payments. This section highlights some of the best and most widely used payment methods. Take note; these lists are practical and trustworthy.
1)Letter of Credit
One of the most preferred payment methods of importers and suppliers is a letter of credit. This option is among the safest methods, especially for large purchasers. If you purchase items priced at $50 000 or even higher, you can request that your supplier prefer this method. However, a letter of credit involves lots of paperwork and high bank fees. If you purchase below the recommended price, you should avoid this one.
As mentioned above, there are options unsuitable for small transactions, but not this one. Wire transfer will allow you to make a downpayment before a supplier can work on your order. You will pay the remaining balance later after the orders have been completed. The only downside is that you will risk losing the initial down payment. However, the manufacturer or supplier also stands to lose if the buyer is the one who fails to make payments.
If you want to make transactions quickly, you can pay through Western Union. This method allows the exchange of money between two people. At the same time, it will give you a quick transfer of funds. This method is excellent, but you must remember that it also carries disadvantages, such as the fees charged per transaction.
If you want to protect your bank and credit card information, it’s best to pay through PayPal. In every transaction, PayPal charges a small fee to the supplier. However, these fees will become the percentage of the overall amount owed. That means there is a chance that your supplier will charge these fees to your invoice.
Cash is a common way to pay your supplier. You can get many benefits, such as discounts, when you choose this one. You may also pay cash when a sourcing firm or agent stands for you. However, this method also carries risks like scams. If you want to use this, ensure that you trust the supplier and only pay for small purchases.
6)International Credit Cards
It is rare to use a credit card to pay for your orders. However, there is an exception if you only pay for small retail purchases.
7)Sourcing Agents / Companies
If you partner with a sourcing agent or company, you can ask them to pay for you. We recommend this method since the sourcing agents can make the arrangement alone. Your agents can inspect and verify if the products meet the criteria, and if they still need to, they will be the ones to reject them and ask for refunds. This way, you can make small payments and get a guarantee that it’s safe.
5.Documents Needed When Buying Chinese Furniture
If you want to import Chinese furniture, documents are crucial. There are different documents needed per the regulations of one country. However, you must submit the following paperwork to customs and pay the import taxes.
The first one would be a packing list. This list includes all your orders to make it possible to confirm the shipment’s contents. Some of the information you need on this list are the product types, volume, and quantity information.
Clearance customs will look for the commercial invoice to verify the shipment and your invoice. This invoice includes the value of the items you are shipping. You can ask your supplier about this and request them to send you a hard copy.
3)Bill of Landing
The bill of landing is a document that shipping companies issue as confirmation that they have received the goods they are shipping. This document is vital to clear customs, mainly if you ship furniture by sea. The shipping handler must present this landing bill when your cargo arrives at the destination port.
4)Certificate of Origin
A certificate of origin confirms whether the furniture you are importing comes from China. Customs will ask for proof, so your handler must present this.
Permits are optional. There is no need for a permit for other furniture besides wood furniture. However, you must prepare for the following requirements mentioned above so that your orders will not get flagged by customs.
6.How to Ship Your Furniture from China?
The majority of the shipment leaving China make use of the ship or air method. However, you can ship your furniture order from China to your location differently. It depends on many factors you must consider in your sourcing process. If you are interested to understand more about the process, refer to the points below:
1)Methods of Shipping
There are different shipping methods you can choose from. As mentioned, ship and air are the most common. Importing furniture via sea freight is more affordable. This method also allows shipping large furniture or large quantities. Containers are also ideal for sea freight, so your packages are safe and protected. On the other hand, air freight is more expensive and can only ship furniture with more than 300 kg weight. Your orders will also arrive faster, between 2 and 10 days.
If you are looking for more options, you can choose express courier. This method is ideal if your shipping furniture with less than 20 kg weight. Your orders will arrive in 2–5 business days at your home. You can also ship via standard post, especially if small items weighing under 2 kg. The problem is your orders may take 2 to 5 weeks to be delivered.
Shipping terms, also known as Incoterm. This term is essential for you to understand your role in selling and contract negotiations. Some of the incoterms you need to be familiar with are the following:
- Ex-works (EXW): According to this Incoterm, you are responsible for every aspect of shipping. You are picking up the item at the seller’s warehouse and arranging it for delivery to your location.
- Free on board (FOB): The seller will pay for the shipping from their warehouse to the port. From there, you will pay for everything, including the ship transport.
- Cost, Insurance, and Freight (CIF): This Incoterm allows the seller to deliver goods to the ship and arrange for unloading. The seller is also liable for paying the insurance and the ocean freight. However, the buyer’s responsibility is the cost of being unloaded from the ship once it has been docked.
- Delivery Duty Paid (DDP): Based on this Incoterm, the seller agrees to cover and arrange the shipping. You will only pay them for the processes that they will do.
- Delivered at Place Unloaded (DPU): This Incoterm means that the sellers bear the risks until the goods arrive and are unloaded.
3)Costs of Shipping
Numerous factors affect the cost of shipping. You have to consider aspects such as the quantity, method of shipping, and extra services. Even the incoterms will take effect, so you must consider if you want to save.
4)Time of Shipping
Shipping time will also depend on many factors, but the shipping method. As mentioned, if you choose ocean freight, the time it takes to acquire your order after placing it can range from 5 to 50 days. The arrival time also depends on how fast the manufacturer prepares your orders.
5)FCL vs. LCL
You can use two container shipping options for furniture, such as FCL and LCL. FCL refers to cargo that contains more than five pallets. On the other hand, LCL uses less than five pallets of shipment.
6)Size of Containers
The container size only matters if you ship furniture via ocean freight. You must pick the proper containers, so your furniture will not get damaged in shipping. There are different containers:
- 20′ shipping containers carry heavier items
- 40′ shipping containers hold large items
- 40′ high cube shipping containers are ideal for carrying heavier and voluminous cargo
7.Step-by-Step Guide on How to Buy Furniture Direct from China
If you want a guide on the process of buying furniture direct from China, you can refer below:
1)Find a Chinese Manufacturer or Supplier
The first thing you need to keep in mind is to find a suitable manufacturer or supplier. The right partner will offer you fair prices, quality items, fast lead times, etc. On the contrary, if you choose the wrong one, you might get products at a low price but of cheap quality. This issue will cost you a lot of money and time. There are different ways to find a manufacturer or supplier, which you can read more about above.
2)Determine the Import Cost
When importing from China, it is vital to understand not only the cost of the furniture but also the cost of shipping them. Consider many factors, such as import expenses, incoterms, containers, etc. If you want to minimize the costs, allow your chosen supplier to give you similar quotes. You can also partner with a freight forwarding company, sourcing company, or your China buying office.
3)Negotiate with the Manufacturer or Supplier
You can first look up the supplier up potential furniture suppliers on the web and ask for their quotes. When they give you a price range, you can make your way to negotiate for a lower price. If you need help dealing with or talking to a supplier face-to-face, a sourcing agent can help you. This person or business can assist you in finding the furniture you need and negotiate for the best price possible.
4)Quality Assurance and Sample
One of the things you should never look out for is performing quality assurance before you give a signal to the factory to produce your products in bulk. Many factors go wrong with furniture. It is best to check and fix these errors to avoid problems. If not, having damaged furniture in a large MOQ will be a good use of money and bring many headaches. That is why samples are a must to see the item, how it assembles, the materials used, etc.
5)Check the Furniture Regulations
It would help if you made sure that the furniture complies legally with the laws and regulations of the exporting country. The following are the three points to remember:
- Safety Compliance: These regulations will help the end customers. For the safety process, various materials need to undergo specific tests. Also, you will consider load, stability, structure, dimensions, and other factors.
- Chemical Compliance: Chemicals used for furniture need to meet the set standard. Some of these are materials, adhesives, and paints.
- Sustainability: More and more buyers are becoming concerned about furniture sources. They look into brands that produce those items cleanly and ethically.
In buying furniture from China, you have to stick to the right way. Among the most vital thing to note is having a contract in place. You need to incorporate the following in your buying contract:
- Terms of payment
- Specifications for furniture
- Agreed tolerances
- Quality criteria
- Terms of payment
- Late penalties
To know more about the proper way to import furniture from China, you can refer to more questions below:
1)Why partner with a sourcing agent or company when purchasing furniture from China?
Among the best things you can do if you want to buy furniture in China is to work with a sourcing agent or company. They are the ones who can help you with the process from the start until you get your orders. They will be the ones to arrange the suppliers, suppliers, payments, negotiation, etc. If this is your first time, you might need a helping hand.
2)What are the top Furniture Manufacturers in China?
Some of the top furniture manufacturers that you can check are the following:
- Anji Hefeng Furniture
- Foshan Mingjia Furniture
- Artech Furniture Group
- Foshan Mingjia Hotel Furniture
- Teng Nuo Home Furniture
- Foshan Rongbin Furniture Factory
3)How to import furniture from China’s business model?
There are two business models that you can choose from. Business model one tackles companies with one outlet and a store selling their furniture. They will only make small purchases from suppliers. So, this model is not suitable since they can import regularly and their market is small. In contrast, the business model pertains to businesses that sell items at high MOQ. This model allows you to buy goods from China because they require a large market.
There are many perks when you choose to import furniture from China. China is known to be globally competitive. Their market can offer you the best quality and customized furniture. Some of the enticing benefits when you buy furniture from China are:
- Lower prices
- Varieties of designs
- Highest quality materials and products
Alongside its benefits, it’s also a place that is easy to source. You can partner with the right business to make your importing process a 100% success. JustChinait can be your option. Let us know how to support your sourcing and shipping!