5 Tips for Importing Products from Asia for Holiday Season 2018

Looking to outsource the manufacturing of your products to factories in Asia? Seeking an affordable vendor that will help you prepare for the Christmas rush? Preparing your Asia import for the Holiday season in advance is important. Most North American companies start planning for their next year’s sales the year before. Starting in advance will help you and your company avoid potential and possibly detrimental shipping delays and customs delays at the place of receipt.
The following are 5 things to consider now in preparation for next year’s holiday rush if you would like to outsource the manufacturing of products to factories in Asia. An outsourcing agent with experience manufacturing products in Asia will be able to assist with many of the tips provided below.

1. Knowing Transit Times

The transit times are very important to know. They may vary according to the port of origin and port of destination, but can take anywhere between 28 and 40 days. That timeline does not take into account the other procedures involved in international shipping, such as random customs inspections and stopovers. Knowing transit times well in advance will help you avoid missing the boat and potentially scrambling to find alternatives.

2. Locking Down Freight Forwarders

With your agent, you should start searching and locking down a freight forwarder months in advance. There are many advantages to doing so. First, it allows you to have multiple sail dates and times at your fingertips. Second, it ensures that your supplier has enough buffer time to prepare your merchandise without the “rush” feeling. Third, it means getting your shipment to the port in advance, which ensures your shipment will not be delayed due to random custom checks.

3. Developing a Plan

In many industries it is hard to predict what will be trending in the future. We recommend developing a plan. The best place to start is to talk to your market and that can be done through customer satisfaction phone calls to past and current customers, email surveys, and an analysis of competitors’ offerings. Then, form an idea of that you are going to sell based on the research you gathered. Contact your past and current customers again to see if they would be interested in buying such a product and what they think about your idea.
It is much easier to base your research and ideas on existing products introduced by competitors. It is not necessarily a bad thing because you know that customers are buying similar products and a market exists for your product. However, you would need to do a thorough SWOT analysis to pinpoint the weaknesses of your competitors in order to come up with a product that has a competitive edge.

4. Finding a Factory

There are many different factors to consider when choosing a supplier in China or other parts of Asia, and you will want to be very careful when choosing who you work with. There are many horror stories of distributors paying a purchase order from a supplier, only to have the supplier disappear without ever sending the product or to realize there are cheaper and better option. It is best to conduct thorough research on multiple suppliers before doing business with them. If you are not comfortable doing so, we recommend hiring a seasoned agency who can represent your interests, provide the right introductions and negotiate the best terms of the agreement. They will already have a list of suppliers that are trustworthy and have experience with manufacturing products for businesses in your industry.

5. Educating Yourself

Doing business in Asia is not the same as doing business in North America. You should always be aware of each country’s business etiquette, especially if you plan to visit them. This can help you avoid unintentionally offending someone you are doing business with. Here are a couple tips to get you started:
• Be prepared – Make sure that you have done extensive research on the company you will be dealing with in Asia, and that you do not visit them during their holidays.
• Marketing materials – Make sure you bring more than enough copies so that you do not offend anyone who has not received a copy.
• Gift-giving – Giving a gift can be a sign of the start of a prosperous business relationship for the Chinese. Find out if gifts would be welcomed by your Chinese associates and research Chinese gift-giving traditions.

About Luxe Global

Luxe Global is the chosen partner for many large and small companies who need assistance when buying or sourcing items from Asia. At Luxe, we have the most talented, tenacious and hard-working team, that is entirely focused on quality, accountability, service and integrity. This allows us to offer a customer experience second to none. With over 45 combined years of experience, we understand the entire sourcing process, and have talented people working exclusively for Luxe represented in China and other parts of Asia.

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