Cross-border trading has never been easier, you can now perform any B2B or B2C purchases from the comfort of your home. This has given rise to dropshipping business, which has surpassed over $150 billion in 2020.
In recent years, China has been the key contributor to the production of consumer goods, including high-quality indoor playground equipment. But importing is a complicated process; there are many variables that you should take into account. In this article, we will look in-depth process of how to import indoor playground equipment from China and start your own business today.
Step 1: Understanding the basics
Selecting a place for your indoor playground: The designer will help lay down a design for you but having fewer pillars will help a lot in the design. It is also good to make a CAD design of the whole floor, clearly pointing out the entrance and all the fire exits. This design will also be helpful during installation.
Various recommended themes: There is a wide selection of themes to choose from, the more popular options are jungle, pirate ship, circus, and space themes. Most suppliers may also cater to your request and offer theme customization so you can combine some of the themes to create something unique to your own taste.
Step 2: How to find a supplier?
Finding the right supplier for your business is very important. The first logical step to search for suppliers is google or Baidu, most popular suppliers have websites in English for you to browse through.
You can also search for suppliers on popular websites like Alibaba, Global Sources, and Made in China. You can also hire a sourcing agent if you need indoor playground equipment made on specific requirements.
What should be focused on when choosing an indoor playground supplier?
When choosing the right supplier, some key factors and each of these determines how efficient and capable the supplier is.
- Reliability: When choosing a supplier, reliability should be a primary concern. A good supplier will provide you with the best indoor playground equipment. Companies who are longer in business are also much more reliable than newcomers who do not yet have much experience to show for.
- Price: For any business, price is an important factor when choosing the right supplier. But price is often associated with quality, and a better quality product will cost you more. So the trick is to find the right balance between price and quality and make sure you do not jeopardize your company’s reputation with cheap products.
- Certification: A quick way is to see certifications that prove the integrity of the products. Certificates are essential for indoor playground equipment, lookout for TUV, GS-EN1176 certification. Different certifications are required in different countries so make sure the supplier has the appropriate certification that is needed in your country. For example, CPSIA and ASTM F1918, are needed for the North American market. Most suppliers have them on their website when it comes to certifications, so do check before proceeding with the suppliers; for more information on certification, click here.
- Warranty: Warranty is also not the same for every part, for example, components made by LLDPE (Plastic) and fiber have a 2-year warranty whereas, auxiliary equipment such as trampoline has 1 year of warranty. To check a detailed list of which parts cover how many years of warranty, please check here. Warranty is also not included for normal wear and tear.
- Overseas project: Different skill sets are required for handling overseas projects. Experience in working in countries like Australia or the European Union will definitely give the supplier a comparative advantage as rules and regulations in these markets are far more strict.
- Working in different countries gives suppliers a better perspective of what the markets demand and will also help them cater to their product for that specific market. So, before finalizing a supplier, ask if they have experience handling overseas projects and ask for social proof. Most suppliers will have then enlisted in their website under a project section like this one.
- Installation: Another very important aspect of importing indoor playground equipment is the installation process. You will need detailed documentation and videos explaining each step that goes into installing indoor playground equipment. Some suppliers have professional overseas installers who speak your local language to aid in the installation process. For suppliers who provide installation support for indoor playground equipment
Step 3: Contacting supplier
Your next step is to contact the supplier and request a sample. You can connect them through the website and send them an email or text via wechat.
- Sample of material: Not all indoor playground equipment is made equally, so it is important for you to understand the materials being used. Different suppliers use different materials, so check with the supplier if you have any specific material requests. Request a sample of materials for your indoor playground equipment to ensure that quality is not compromised. Inspect elements such as steel pipe. Also, check Connector, Platform, and Foam noodles if they are durable and pass all the quality inspections.
- Pricing for sample: Most top-rated suppliers will give you a free sample, but you would have to pay for the freight. This is a good indication of the quality of the product and the outreach of the suppliers.
- Production time: Time is critical based on the type of your business. Do note that due to the new legislation set by the Chinese government, suppliers are requested to set dual control of energy consumption and take precision to reduce air pollution as an initiative to go green. We, therefore, recommend you place an order as soon as you can reduce unnecessary waiting time.
- Payment terms: Discuss the payment methods, generally suppliers ask for 30% when production begins and the rest when the sample is delivered. Paypal is generally used for orders below $1000 due to the excessive fees. T/T, L/C, Western Union, and MoneyGram are the most popular options.
Step 4: Classification and calculation
It is important to understand import duties, port charges, VAT, and other taxes. Many factors can affect import duties. But each country has its own set of tariffs that you will be subjected to, and there are additional charges that you may need to account for, like GST taxs. For more information on import duties, consult with your freight provider.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted tariffs?
The pandemic had a major impact on tariffs and import duties for indoor playground equipment. Although the taxes for importing from China have not changed, the increased freight cost can affect the overall import duties.
Example: 2020 Freight Costs ( Before Coronavirus )
Product value: USD 10,000
- Freight cost: USD 1000
- Duty rate: 3%
Total: (10000 + 1000) x 5% = 330 USD
Example : 2021 Freight Costs ( After Coronavirus )
Product value: USD 10,000
- Freight cost: USD 5,000
- Duty rate: 3%
Total: (10000 + 5000) x 5% = 450 USD
Terms of international trade
It is important to know the terms of international trade before contacting the suppliers to buy indoor playground equipment.
- CIF: Cost, insurance, and freight (CIF) is an international shipping agreement, which represents the charges paid by a seller to cover the costs, insurance, and freight of a buyer’s order while the cargo is in transit.
- DDP: In a delivery agreement, delivered duty paid (DDP) refers to a situation in which the seller takes all of the obligation, risk, and costs involved with the transportation of goods until they are received or transferred by the buyer at the destination port. This covers any payments concerning shipping charges and export/import duties including insurance fees.
- DDU: Delivered Duty Unpaid (DDU) is an international commerce phrase that refers to the seller’s responsibility for ensuring that products reach their destination safely; the buyer is responsible for paying any applicable import taxes.
- EXW – Supplier is only responsible for the production and packing of the goods. It is up to the buyers to arrange the pickup from the seller’s factory or warehouse, deal with every following step and cover the corresponding expenses.
- FOB- After goods are ready, suppliers are responsible for loading the goods on the vessel or plane and covering the trucking fee. Buyer charges all other transportation costs and following expenses.
Step 5: Finding the Best Freight Forwarder
You can transfer indoor playground equipment around the world using a Freight Forwarder. They are responsible for getting the goods from the supplier to the destination location. As well as paying off any import duties that may be associated with your product.
How can Freight Forwarder help you?
After suppliers, a Freight Forwarder is an essential stakeholder in your business. They are responsible to
- pick up the product from the supplier
- provide you with any expert advise
- organize all documents
- Provide insurance support
- Deal with the costumes to make sure you do not have to take on the hassle.
In short, a Freight Forwarder will give you peace of mind and ensure your product reaches your destination from the supplier’s factory in a safe and timely manner.