No matter if you know what kind of products to import from China, you always need to do a deep research before importing. Because you need to judge if the product is easy and cheap to ship from China, and if it’s profitable in the marketplace. You also need to verify if you are qualified to import and sell the products.

Many sellers never do any deep research, and they just buy and sell any product that seems good by their thoughts. But after they purchase those products, they find there’s almost no profit to sell these products. Because the shipping cost is too expensive, or they are not able to sell this product because they don’t have related certifications, or somebody else has a patent for this product.

They are going to lose thousands or even tens of thousands of USD because they haven’t done good product research before importing from China.

So in this post, we are going to talk about how to do deep product research before you purchase any products from China.

How to choose good products?

No matter if you are selling online or offline, we still strongly recommend you use some strategies or tools that are used for finding new products for e-commerce, because they are very good to use and can improve your efficiency.

It’s much better than when you are shopping on the street, and you suddenly see a product that looks cool, and you also want to sell that, too. And you think this product is going to be successful just by your thoughts without any research.

This is the biggest mistake that most new sellers are making at the beginning. No matter whether the e-commerce you do is Amazon FBA or dropshipping, the principles of choosing a good product that can bring you long-term business are quite similar.

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Here are four principles to choose a good product:

Provide a very good value to customers

Either satisfies the needs of this group or helps them fix the problem and also you’d better ask the right group of people whom your product is targeted to ask them if the product is good for them.

For example, if you are a man, but you want to sell makeup organizer products. Of course, you need to ask as many girls as possible to give you suggestions about if the products you choose are good to use for them.

Low availability for customers to get

That means you’d better choose some products, which are not so easy for customers to get in their daily life.

Just like what I’ve said in my previous post What Products Import from China, and I have mentioned that don’t buy very common products like towels, clothes, hoodies, and sunglasses. Because these kinds of products are dominated by big retailers.

These products are too easy for people to get, so why do customers buy from you? And I don’t see any people succeed by selling these products.

Choose improvement or unique products

Unless you develop brand new products, otherwise on e-commerce platforms or in the offline marketplace, it’s very normal that other people are selling the same products as yours. To stand out from others, it’s better to choose those products in which you can make more improvements or have the possibility to add your creativity.

For example, this bucket hat or makeup organizer bag, you can completely apply your own beautiful, cool designs on it. Therefore, you can sell at a higher price than your competitors.

Choose verified products

For new sellers, it’s better to choose some products that already have people selling them, as these kinds of products are proven to be successful because there’s a real demand in the marketplace. Maybe you can not earn a lot of money, but at least you won’t lose money.

Most of the new sellers lack insights into both customers and markets. It’s very dangerous to invest a lot of money in a product that no people are selling or buying.

So the first product that you are going to import from China is to help you gain experience to help you understand the whole process. Once you have enough experience in the market, then you can discover a new product that no one is selling, and the chance to become very successful will be much higher.

Where to find good products?

When you keep these four principles in mind, you can use some e-commerce tools to do product research.

Jungle Scout

The most used tool for Amazon sellers is Jungle Scout, you can discover product opportunities in any country. This tool charges $49 per month, and it also has 7 days for a free trial, it’s very worthy to invest no matter if you are selling on Amazon or not, because it can help you a lot to find good products.

Jungle Scout
Jungle Scout

Google search the Amazon best-selling new releases list

And also you can go to Google to search the Amazon best-seller list and best-selling new releases list, access to the Amazon page of these 2 lists, then you can choose the product category that you are interested in, to see if there’s any product can get your attention.

Amazon Best-Selling New Releases List
Amazon best-selling new releases list

Google Trend

Google Trend is another way to know the latest and most popular products. It shows how often a particular term is searched for in Google over a specific time period and in different regions. With Google Trends, we can easily see what topics are trending and compare the popularity of different search terms.

Google Trend To Find Popular Goods
google trend to find popular goods

In addition, you can also use some product searching tools which are often used by dropshipping sellers, but this kind of tools are quite different to use when compared with those Amazon product searching tools. By utilizing these tools, you can discover numerous product advertisements on Facebook that receive significant engagement.

For a profitable product, the video ads must be viewed 50,000, 100,000 times, or even more.

Product price research

At this stage, you don’t need to know the exact price to purchase from China, because the rough price for reference is quite enough.

Let me tell you the simplest and quickest way to check the manufacturer’s rough price. That is going to Alibaba to search for this product and choose the ready-to-ship button, because for products with this ready-to-ship option, you don’t need to communicate with suppliers, and you can just click and finish the purchasing, prepare to make shipment and all the prices for ready-to-ship products, they are set for small quantity’s wholesale.

If you want to purchase from the supplier with a large quantity, for example, a few thousand USD, maybe the price just reduces like 10% or 20%. So the price of ready-to-ship products is quite enough for you to do the product cost and profit analysis.

However, for products on Alibaba, which don’t have ready-to-ship options, most of their prices are fake and they are incredibly low, to attract you to send an inquiry.

If you want to learn more about how to use Alibaba to source products, you can head to our other post for a detailed introduction to various aspects of sourcing on Alibaba.

Except for researching what is the rough price of Chinese manufacturers, there’s a very important thing you also need to know is what price range of the product that worth importing and selling. Here I can give you a very useful rule. Generally, for Chinese manufacturers’ wholesale price, you can multiply it 6 or 7 times, and that is the retail price for most wealthy countries.

Phone Case Prices On Alibaba/Amazon
phone case prices on Alibaba/amazon

For example, a Chinese manufacturer will sell a phone case for $ 2, but in American Amazon, it will be sold for $14. If you want to buy products from Alibaba and sold on Amazon, it’s very profitable. And the different between Alibaba and 1688. Which is more cheaper?

Of course, there are exceptions if the product’s value is very low. For example, a high-quality iPhone cable, from a Chinese manufacturer sells it around $0.3. But the retail price in the United States is about $3, which is 10 times.

But for high-value products, let’s say the manufacturer’s price is around $100, but the retail price in the United States is probably only like $200 or 300, which is only 2 or 3 times.

For products’ retail prices of less than $10, you usually need to achieve a very large selling quantity, then you can make good money. So if you are doing the wholesale business and you have a very good selling network, then you can do those products which has a retail price of less than $10.

If you are going to do the retail business, especially for e-commerce, you’d better choose those products that have retail prices over $20. Because you need to pay a lot of money on marketing to promote your products, this kind of cost sometimes will be more expensive than what you are paying for your products.

Ship and cost research

How to ship your products from China to other countries is a very complicated question.
Sometimes when you are doing product research and you think a product is very good, but in the end, it will be proven as a very bad idea because of the shipping issue.

The most commonly used shipping method is courier service, which is provided by companies like FedEx or DHL, and also sea freight, which is provided by numerous small freight forwarder companies.

You can just forget about air freight or railway transportation, because as a beginner, you won’t use these two methods for quite a long time until your business becomes very big. Let’s take shipping to the United States as an example. Courier service usually needs 7 days to send through the air, the price is around $6 to $7 for 1 kg.

But you will charge either the real weight or dimensional weight whichever is bigger. For example, you’re going to ship 10,000 disposable paper cups to the United States. The real weight of this whole shipment is around 45 kg, and the dimensional weight is around 105 kg, so the courier service shipping cost will be around $700, which means on average each paper cup needs $0.07 for the shipping cost.

However, the Chinese manufacturer’s price for each paper cup is only $0.02. So apparently, for big size but low-value products, you can not ship by courier service.

Paper Cup Prices From China
paper cup prices from china

In addition, products that contain lithium batteries, liquid, or powders, are not allowed for shipping by courier service, too. Even though there are some special ways that you can still ship them by courier service, it’s very hard to find them and the shipping cost will be, of course, doubled.

For products like nail polish, and hand sanitizer, you have to ship them by sea freight. So let me give you some basic information about sea freight shipping.

For shipping from China to an inland address in the United States, including all the import & export costs, it’s about $200 to $300 for 1 CBM, around 30 days to deliver from the port of China. Usually, sea freight shipping will have around 2 CBM as a minimum shipping volume, which is around $600 for shipping to the United States. For countries that are closer to China, the shipping cost will be much lower and also faster.

You can fit approximately 4,000 bottles of 250ml hand sanitizer or 10,000 bottles of nail polish into a space of 2 cubic meters.

However, for small businesses, these products may not be suitable due to the inability to ship them by air, and the minimum shipping volume required for sea freight being too high.

Using this information, you can estimate the sea freight shipping cost or courier service cost for each individual product.

Qualification research

Except for researching the product price or shipping solutions, there’s also another very important thing you need to do very deep research, that is, are you qualified to import and sell this product?

Certificate Of Conformity Research
Certificate of conformity research

Certificate of conformity research

For aspects like the import process or customs clearance, you need to research if your country needs any compliance certifications for certain products, especially for products like toys, electronics, medical products, and personal protective products.

Except for compliance certifications, you also need to research if there are any other requirements for importing the products you want to get. Maybe you don’t need to provide this kind of certification or qualification when you are importing a very small quantity, but it’s still recommended to do the research and get well-prepared. Otherwise, the risk that your product gets held by customs will be much higher.

The simplest way to do this kind of research is just to ask your freight forwarders, your Chinese suppliers, or your sourcing agent, just anyone who helps you ship the products and import the products to your country because they know it.

Patent research

Except for the requirements in the import process, you also need to research if there are any qualifications needed for selling in the marketplace. Especially when you want to sell some products on Amazon before you buy any products from Chinese suppliers, you must inquire Amazon about is there any certification or qualification needed for selling it, you also need to do a research about is there any other people having a patent for the product.

A lot of new sellers have made this kind of mistake, they purchased products from Chinese manufacturers first, and then they go to Amazon to create the listing. They found there are other people who have already had the patent for this product, that means they are not able to sell on Amazon at all, it also means they waste the money they paid for the manufacturer. For the past few years, there have been numerous Amazon sellers lost their business because of the patent issue.

But if you are selling products on your own website, for example, your own Shopify store, or sell products through your offline stores, you won’t have big problems about the patent issue if your business is not that big.

All charges

As the Chinese manufacturer’s wholesale price, you multiply it 6 or 7 times, which is a retail price for wealthy countries. So does it mean you will have a very high profitable rate of over 80%? Of course, it’s not. The manufacturer’s product price is just a very small part of the cost of your whole business.

So before you purchase any product from China, it’s very important to do a cost breakdown analysis as follows, then you will have a very clear understanding of if the product is profitable to import.

1. Product sample cost

You always need to get product samples from suppliers to test their quality, usually, it just costs like $50 or $100, it depends on how you are getting samples from how many suppliers or how expensive the product or shipping cost is.

If you want to customize products or develop a brand new product, then you need to invest to create a mockup, the mockup will cost you maybe just $100 or even hundreds of thousands USD.

2. Product cost

Product cost means the money you need to pay for the manufacturer to buy the whole batch of the products.

3. Certificate of conformity cost

If your country need a compliance certification for your product, but the supplier doesn’t have the certification for your country, then you have to pay from your own pocket to apply your own certification.

4. Shipping cost

Shipping cost is also a very big part of the total cost. Sometimes, if you ship some low-value products by air shipping, the air shipping cost will be even more expensive than the product cost.

5. Import tariff

For people who are doing the e-commerce retail business, the import tariff won’t influence your profit much. But for people who are importing large quantities, 10% or 20% in import tariff means huge money, every country has quite different import tariffs for products that are imported from China.

You can find the exact rate for different products by going to the tariff tracking website of your country, or you can also make a phone call to the customs of your country, and let them tell you where you can check the import tariff.

6. marketplace charge

Different marketplaces, different charges. For example, Amazon will take 15% to 20% of your sales price as a referral fee.

In addition, there are also fulfillment fees and storage fees. And also you need to prepare a lot of budget for promoting your products to get more sales. But anyway, no matter how you sell the products, a net profit which is around 20% to 30% is a quite good business, if your product is unique and you have your brand or you have applied your intellectual property, then you can have a higher profit.


Now you see, there are many important aspects that you need to research before you choose and import a suitable product to import from China. By applying our strategy, you will be one step closer to a successful trading business.

If you have any questions about how to do the product research, please contact us directly, we are happy to help you. After deciding on the product, then, how to find online suppliers? We will see the next post.

FURTHER READING


What Products Import from China

How to Find Online Chinese Suppliers

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