How to import furniture with China sourcing agent?

Written by Posted On Thursday, 05 April 2018 01:41

China is home to a multitude of furniture manufacturers and is a product in which the country will be even stronger. The minimum order quantity tends to be very low and many suppliers allow customization even for small orders. I will say that the furniture is much friendlier for small businesses than for example the electronics and toys. In this guide, I will give you an introduction on how to import furniture from China.

How to find a good Sourcing agent?

If you are looking for a reliable agent to do the job for you, there are important things you need to consider. One of the most essential things to remember before hiring a China Sourcing agent is to find someone who has a deep understanding of the country or location where you plan to do business. Your agent must be well versed in your industry. Perhaps, you can ask a colleague if he or she can recommend a particular agent to you.

Another thing you need to consider is to find a reliable agent who has the knowledge and skills to bid several factories for you. Keep in mind that he or she does not have financial ties with any specific factory. In addition, you also need to choose an agent who can maintain ethical practices. It is very important to choose someone who always makes it a point to do business with maximum efficiency.

It is also prudent and practical to let your agent sign a non-disclosure agreement before giving you any confidential information about your latest product or service. Once the agent has signed the agreement, you must provide it with the necessary information, such as measurements, specifications, drawings, and other important information. You can search online and find a reliable agent who is able to do responsibilities and roles with professionalism. In order to make it easier and more convenient for you, you can search for a professional sourcing agent company online to be able to find the most reliable option. In most cases, these companies provide different types of services such as customs clearance, shipping and logistics, QC, quality assurance, price negotiation, supplier or seller selection, market research, Pre-placement of raw materials, etc.

However, there are a lot of companies that want the parts of China's origin and goods, but they are not so keen on creating a company-owned buying office across the country. This is where China's supply agents come in.

How products from China origin?

Social Media

Although not all providers are aware of their social media presence, they can be a good source of revisions and feedback from probable vendors. In addition, there are groups in LinkedIn that focus on suppliers from China, such as China Sourcing and China Supply Forum. You can also check for complaints against a vendor in the thymus report.

Trade Shows

By attending trade fairs, you get to know the legitimate suppliers. You can find them face to face and can thoroughly explain your company profiles, products, production capacities and other major business concerns. The Canton Fair is the largest trade show in China that is held twice a year. The East China Fair, on the other hand, is China's largest regional fair. Both fairs attract thousands of potential buyers. Chinese suppliers also attend industry-specific trade fairs in the United States, such as Las Vegas International Consumer Electronics Program (CES).

Hiring a purchasing agent

A Sourcing agent is someone who has the ability to help you with the procurement process. When you hire a sourcing agent, he can help with the entire purchase process of identifying a vendor all the way to shipping and logistics management.

Find a Chinese furniture supplier

It is difficult to get an idea of a product simply by looking at a photo and ordering samples of furniture is a very expensive company. Personally, I suggest you come here and visit a number of providers. When you plan your business trip to China, you basically have two options:

Trade fairs

Attending a trade truthful may be a terribly economical thanks to realizing the piece of furniture suppliers in China. you'll visit several suppliers and see their product samples under one roof. The drawback is that you can’t see your factory and an expensive shelf does not mean you are a "good supplier"

Independent business trip

Chinese suppliers are generally a little informal and are open to receiving customer visits. You can basically enter your office. However, visiting suppliers in China is an art in itself and you need to make some preparations before scheduling your flight.

  • Look for suppliers in Guangdong, Hong Kong, Shandong, and Shanghai. Suppliers on the East Coast have generally more experience and offer products with higher quality compared to the internal suppliers in Anhui, Henan, Jiangxi, and Sichuan.
  • Confirm product specifications, certifications and negotiate the price before you arrive in China. You will certainly want to eliminate "bad providers" as soon as possible and thus avoid spending your precious time visiting suppliers who can’t fulfill your request.
  • Ask your supplier to show you previous reports of fire retardant tests. Importing furniture that does not comply with the certification standards in your country is illegal.

Product customization and certifications

Importing furniture from China is nothing like driving Ikea, choosing your bookseller and having it delivered the next day. Chinese furniture suppliers are accustomed producing their product supported the customer's specifications. Keep in mind that some countries and markets have very strict regulations and, in the event, that your furniture you have to ensure that the foam is fire retardant.

During my time as a purchasing agent in China, I received more than once inquiries from European companies looking for "Chinese furniture wholesalers" with products in stock. They exist, but buying one of them has some disadvantages:

  • Wholesale furniture sellers buy and sell furniture made for the local market. These products probably do not comply with the American and European certification standards.
  • Forget about personalization and branding. The products are already made and it is not possible to return them to the factory to be modified.
  • Only a few local furniture wholesalers have the necessary licenses to export and a bank account in foreign currency.

One more thing! Some furniture is protected designs, but some Chinese suppliers do not hesitate to market them and export their unauthorized reproductions. This is especially common for classic designs like the Barcelona chair. Keep in mind that you, the importer, are always responsible and this responsibility can’t be given to a foreign supplier.


Furniture is a high-volume product so forget about air shipping. Even the viability of a shipping can be questioned. Another important thing is the export packaging. The furniture is heavy and stacking a lot of leather sofas might not be a good idea. Ask your supplier to clearly specify what type of export packaging you intend to use. I have seen Chinese suppliers use cheap and below-standard export packaging, which almost ruins the customer's order.

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