5 factors to consider before importing building materials from China


We have all heard about the lucrative cost savings that builders and property developers use from importing materials directly from China. But beware, It’s not all sunshine and rainbows towards profit heaven. Before flying into the storm, Here are 5 Factors to consider before importing from China.

  1. Cost

Its not uncommon to find an identical product that you see in Australia for 1/3rd of the Price, However there are numerous items to consider. USD to AUD conversion rates, Transport, Logisitics, Storage, Fumigation, Custom charges, GST, and Duty Taxes are just SOME of the costs that can quickly hike that price to unfeasible levels.

  1. Cashflow

You have ordered your product now the supplier is requesting a 30% (if your lucky) deposit before they commence manufacturing. The common practice is payment must be made in full before the good leave the factory. Good luck getting your bank or quantity surveyor to advance your progress payment when your goods are overseas.

  1. Time

As the old saying goes “time is money” and in this case it is totally correct. Once you have paid for your order in full it will then take 8 -12 weeks to arrive. China is 8000 kms and pending if the seas are as flat as glass then your shipment should arrive on time.

  1. Liability

Eventually something WILL go wrong. We have fairly strict standards and tolerances here in Australia, which is a good thing. However China has more of a ‘”relaxed” level of standards so basically anything is fair game. If your supplier can save a dollar, Trust me, they will! Quality can and will be compromised in some way, if not on your first shipment then on your following shipments. Best of luck claiming a defect or warranty for your product from your supplier – and why would they? You already paid them in full!

  1. Communication

although the Chinese try their very best to communicate in English, simple words can be misrepresented. Ensure all your information is marked in the clearest and most simple directions for easier translation. Get ready to dedicate a large amount of time and energy to communication.

In conclusion my suggestion would be to buy your products locally. Yes, the material may be imported from China, but that local supplier has ordered that product in bulk to make a small margin. That local supplier has also honed in their energy into Quality Assurance on a certain product not to mention the back and forth travels to perfect communications with their wholesale supplier. Better yet, they claim liability for the compliance of that product once its on your site.

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