IMPORT GOODS FROM CHINA – Always wanted your favorite tablet pc, or that new touch screen phone that wont be in town for another 2 months?  You can do this yourself, cheaper.Most of these electronic goods are assembled in china,and all of great quality,the greatest multinationals have their factories in china,or some simply source the production to small third party manufacturers.Its when this happens, that we might occasionally find minor flaws,and  quality concerns in the product,but 90% of the time,china is your best bet.If the biggest gadget  players in the technology industry can rely on cheap labour in the east,I think you and me definitely can.

We start offby  scanning for a B2B site,based in china,there are plenty,,,

The biggest of these and the most popular is Alibaba founded by the great Jack Ma. Take the link to aliexpress, because the main site is for importers who take containers full.The interface is very user friendly,so we set up our account in a few minutes with basic login information.

Searching for our product wont be hard,for each product,there will be thousands of manufacturuers and traders.To get a better deal we clear off the traders and choose a manufacturer.Few points to consider before you make your selection.Check if the company has  a “verified” banner or gold star rating,this is given by alibaba to companies that have been on the listings since a long time,and who have been recommended with positive response by other users. This is to ensure that the company isn’t fraudulent,as  many people have been cheated in the past by ficticious companies who  create cheap on the fly  websites  to lure prospective customers,hire a small room in some shopping complex on the outskirts of a big city with a few mobile numbers,and they’re in business.They get a few orders,make some quick cash and disappear.Its virtually impossible to track your money once you wire it.Most people get the goods,but when  they open the case,its usually damaged,or its not what they ordered.Others times,the goods simply don’t reach them

So this is the only safety concern before you place your order,check the forums to see if the company has a good past report  from other users. Since this is only for personal use,try to find a  manufacturer that wil allow you to pay via credit card/paypal  or some sort of escrow service to ensure you wont lose your money.Aliexpress has a new escrow service whereby they act  as a middle party and hold the transaction money,until  you receive your goods,and only after confirmation,will they transfer it to the seller. Depending on the escrow service ,a small fee of about 6% is charged to the seller,which might have to be borne by you if the seller asks you to pay it,which most of them do;

You can then choose your delivery method,courier by big companies likeDHL,or FEDEX,TNT or a smaller service like hongkong mail etc,which are local.A cheaper alternative is EMS,but you are not  insured on EMS,and there are many reports about lost and damaged goods.

The courier service  depending  on the weight  and the carrier will cost you$35-$60,and once it reaches your local air cargo bay,the customs will levy the relevant duty on it.If the product is computer hardware related,it is custom free,the basic duty of 10% will be relaxed,but counterveling duty,cess and hanlding fees will have to be paid,which amounts to about 22% of the declared value of your product.The courier company will pay the duty on behalf of you,which you will have to reimburse,  cash on delivery.

This whole exercise might seem complex and daunting,but you have the choice to selct your own gizmo,each with unique specifications,from millions of brochures,and the choice is endless,and it still will cost you less than if you went to your retail store and bought it off the shelf,but its an experience I think every geeky tech gizmo crazy guy should try once.


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