risks you should know when importing from China

Risks to Import from China

23 Nov

To import from China could have more risks than you think. Most business owners are familiar with the dilemma of risks. Sometimes you just must take risks, while at other times, you can avoid them. Even though importing from China can help your business grow, there are several risks involved. When you shop locally, and a problem arises, you can deal with it right away. Even it turns out to be a complex problem, at least you do not have the language barrier as you have with China. But when to import from China, unless, of course, you know Chinese business practices inside out and have an excellent command of the Chinese language. However, if you can mitigate arising problems, you can build a lucrative business.

The breakdown of communication to import from China

As already mentioned above, communication is one of the main challenges when dealing with your import from China business. Even your business partner might be fluent in English, that does not necessarily mean that the business language is understood correctly as well. As a matter of fact, it happens between English speaking people as well: What you mean is not necessarily what the other person hears.

Sometimes a good relationship is difficult

While good connections all over the world and in all business-sectors are important, China takes relationships to the next level. Learning the art of Chinese business culture can take years, and you learn it only through direct experience. If you lack the right relationship, your order from China could be at risk. Your supplier might commit only to a part of what was agreed upon, while you might think everything was covered in the contract.

What if the goods are not what you ordered

Not getting was you have ordered from China might be your most significant stumbling stone. The unfortunate truth is that Chinese manufacturers may not take overly kindly to your complaint. The chances are that if you are a small business, your Chinese business partner will whether fixing nor refunding your shipment. On the other hand, if a manufacturer realizes that he might be losing more than just one shipment or the business with the American partner breaks down entirely; if there is too much at stake for the Chinese company, they might be inclined to fix the problem. As with every other business as well, triple check with who you want to do business to import from China.

You might be overcharged for all fees importing from China

With your Chinese business partner, you might not always be able to check the quality of the products you intend to buy. Unless, of course, you are on a Chinese business trip and see the goods firsthand. Other times it might take you several weeks to find the right business partner who agrees to manufacture the goods to a set price. Maybe you never find the right Chinese partner. The truth is, while you are looking for what you want, you are losing valuable business.

The freight costs to import from China

In America, bulky goods are shipped on water rather than air freight. While shipment is much cheaper than air, shipping costs can still be expensive. Particularly if you are paying the Less than Container Load (LCL) rate as opposed to the Full Container Load (FCL) rate. And sometimes you may need an express shipping. Here is the caculator from DHL to import from China.

Your product could be copied

The unfortunate reality when importing from China is that no matter how many trademarks you have for every part of your product, if someone in China wants to copy the product to sell it to a different market, they will.  Neither do you have the legal resources, nor can the breach of your IP be enforced.