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A Comprehensive Guide on Importing Furniture Directly from China

Author:

Ingrid

Mar. 07, 2024
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tAre you tired of overpriced furniture at your local stores?
Why not consider importing furniture directly from China?
With a vast range of indoor and outdoor furniture available, importing from China can be a cost-effective solution without sacrificing quality.

But how do you navigate the complex process of buying and shipping furniture from China?

In this guide, we’ll explore everything from finding the right supplier and paying for your order to shipping and customs clearance.
Get ready to learn how to import furniture from China like a pro!

1.Introduction to Importing Furniture from China

 

There are many options available when you want to import furniture from China. It’s less hassle too. So in this article, we’ll go more in-depth into the critical points in the China furniture market and how to order furniture from China. We will also cover essential topics, such as locating the right supplier, documents needed, shipping options, etc. So, keep on reading!

1)Why import furniture from China?

 

The furniture market accounts to yield a revenue of US $95.73 billion. This market will grow by 11.20% yearly from 2023-2027. This rate makes it possible for the growing number of buyers to import furniture from China. China is the best place to go if you rent office space, sell furniture, or even start a business. You can take advantage of the cost, the standard of the product, and the schedule. These factors are all potential for the success of your business.

2)Types of China Furniture Available to Import

 

There are different types of furniture in China that you can import.

      Indoor Furniture

  • Sofas and Couches
  • Bedroom Furniture
  • Hotel Furniture
  • Dining Room Furniture
  • Living Room Furniture
  • Mattresses
  • Wood Furniture
  • Metal Furniture
  • Children Furniture
  • Upholstered Furniture
  • Plastic Furniture
  • Wicker Furniture
  • Office FurnitureOutdoor Furniture
  • Garden Furniture
  • Outdoor Metal Furniture
  • Rattan Furniture
  • Gazebo Furniture

2.How to Import Furniture from China?

 

 

When planning to buy furniture from China, it will take a lot of work. However, there are different ways that you can do such as the following:

1)Chinese B2B Platforms

 

If you are wondering how to order furniture from China, primarily online, the answer is through these Chinese B2B Platforms. Most manufacturers and suppliers shifted their business to these platforms so customers like you can access them quickly and fast. Similarly, it is convenient for them to showcase their products and make transactions more convenient.

The most popular platform you can check out when buying China furniture is Alibaba. Buying furniture from Alibaba has many advantages since it is the leading platform. You can find thousands of manufacturers, suppliers, or trading firms offering various kinds of furniture here. The most important part to note when you buy from Alibaba is to check if they have the following info:

  • Company name
  • Scope of the products
  • Test reports on the products
  • Company certificates
  • Registered capital

If you think that Alibaba does not fit you, we suggest other B2B platforms, such as Made in China. This platform has a wide range of local factories and suppliers with top services. They also offer low prices, top packaging, and better customer service. You can also buy from Global Sources. You can find a complete set of products that suit your taste on this platform.

2)Sourcing Agents

 

Many buyers worldwide ask if they need a sourcing agent when buying Chinese furniture. The simple answer is yes. These agents know the local terms, laws, and customs. They can deal with the Chinese business culture because they speak the language and have been in this industry for many years. hey also know which supplier, manufacturer, or factory is best for you. They will even pay attention to your needs from start to finish.

These agents play an essential role in the success of your furniture sourcing. Unless you are familiar with the process, it might be best to work with an agent. We can guarantee that they won’t only look for the best prices for you but also check your paperwork, ensure the product quality, and even guide you for shipping.

3)Furniture Fairs

 

If you have yet to find the right supplier or even the right products, then it’s best to visit furniture fairs. Here are some of the fairs you need to check out:

Canton Fair

You may have heard about the Canton Fair by browsing the trade show options. This trade show is one of the most popular ones. This fair, held in China Import and Export Complex twice a year, features three stages. Among these stages, the second stage presents furniture of different kinds.

China International Furniture Fair

This fair is among China’s most prominent furniture fairs and takes place twice a year: in March and October. The event splits into two phases, each of which features different products. You can browse various types of furniture at this fair, mainly modern, classical, outdoor, office, and hotel furniture. You can also visit these fairs in two locations, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

International Design and Furniture Fair Hong Kong

IDFFHK is the trade fair that places a focus on interior design. This fair happens every two years at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. If you want to find the finest furniture design, then going to this fair is the most suitable option. They welcomed renowned interior designers to display their goods and creations.

HKTDC Hong Kong Houseware Fair‍

Another fair held in Hongkong is HKTDC. This fair exhibits more than 2200 brands of furniture goods and focuses more on houseware goods. You can attend this event during the third week of April, but you must pay HK$1000 ($15) beforehand.

Jinan Furniture Fair

Jinan Furniture Fair is one of the best shows if you want to find varieties of furniture. This fair will run on June 16-18, 2023. This show has eight divisions of areas:

  • Solid wood furniture
  • Office furniture
  • Upholstered furniture
  • Customized furniture
  • Two-hall furniture
  • Mahogany furniture
  • Smart furniture
  • Woodworking machinery and raw and auxiliary materials

Home Furnishing Expo Shenzhen

This fair happens every year in March and August at Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center. You can find more than 2,000 exhibitors in the home furnishing and interior designing field. It will be the best option if you’re looking for textiles, wallpaper, wallcovering, custom furniture, curtains, etc.

Shenzhen International Furniture Exhibition

This fair is the best link for China companies and furniture buyers around the globe. This fair also presents China’s top designers and firms to show their goods. You can expect to see types of furniture areas, such as in-home, architecture, design, interior, and more.

Interzum Guangzhou

Interzum is the largest trade fair in Asia because of its furniture production. This fair is also known for being outstanding in woodcraft equipment and interior design. If you’re planning to visit a trade show in China this year, this fair will take place on March 28 to March 31, 2023.

Global Sources Hong Kong Show

One of the largest B2B platforms, GlobalSources, also offers its trade show. You can register for their show categories if you are interested in buying home appliances and designs. We suggest Global Sources Smart Home & Appliances and Global Sources Home & Kitchen.

4)Furniture Malls

 

One method you can use if you want ready-made furniture is to go to various furniture malls. You can find a wide range of furniture and suppliers. If you are interested in visiting one, here are the following that you should check out.

Shunde Furniture Mall

The first mall on this list is Shunde, located in Foshan City. This mall features over 1 500 furniture companies and over 3,000 Chinese and foreign furniture dealers. As you walk into the mall, you will see the display stores that are 5 km long and have over 20 streets.

Louvre Furniture Mall

Another mall to check out is Louvre. You can buy high-end furniture that is high quality and for a lower price. You can also get the best experience while exploring this mall because the ambiance is cozy and simple. Of course, we must recognize how reliable the suppliers are and are known for being the best.

Tuanyi International Furniture City

If you want to buy the cheapest furniture pieces, then Tuanyi mall should be your option. You can find this mall in the district of Shunde, Lecong town. You can find varieties of furniture in this mall, such as sofas, bedding, and mahogany.

Foshan International Furniture Expo Center

Another mall that you can go to is the Foshan expo center. This mall is very convenient, especially if you really want to make the most of your time and effort in sourcing.

Sun-link Furniture Wholesale Market

The Sun-link market is also one of the most accessible furniture places to shop. You can find a wide range of products at a lower price. You can also visit trade shows here held in March and September. At the same time, this would be the perfect option if you’re looking to buy the best sofa in China.

This market has five divisions, which are:

  • Sofas
  • Hotel Furniture
  • Home Furniture
  • Modern home furnishings
  • Neoclassical Furniture

Lecong International Exhibition Center

This exhibition center is the first market in Lecong. This mall houses well-known brands like LiXing Furniture, KUKA HOME, Dious Furniture, etc. You will find the ones you’re looking for because this area has two blocks, A and B. And there are two floors for easy finding: trading floors, accessories, and Chinese-style furniture.

Red Star Furniture

Red Star Furniture is a shopping center with over 120,000-square-foot. With how big it is, they contain various brands. To be specific, they have a unique 2000+ Chinese furniture brand available. Some of the brands that you will see are brands like Zuoyou Furniture, Landbond Furniture, Hennesy, and Cheers Sofa.

 

5)Search the Furniture Regions in China

 

One of the ways you can take if you want to make the most f your furniture search is through furniture regions in China. Different areas of China are known to create the best furniture version. Some of the ones you can check out are the following:

The South of China (Pearl River Delta)

The South China region is the largest industrial furniture in China. This region is known for being the best because of its experience with manufacturing and exporting. You can find here the most advanced tools and techniques. Also, you will not have to worry about shipping your orders because it is close to Marco and Hong Kong ports. The only downside when sourcing here is that it is much more expensive than in other regions.

Central China ( The Western Triangle)

Another best region you can check out when looking for the best furniture is Central China. You can find good, mid-range furniture such as rattan, metal beds, and fabric furniture here.

Central Chinese Coast (The Yangtze River Delta)

This region should be your first choice if you want kitchen furniture, rattan, metal, and painted wood. The Yangtze River Delta is the fastest-growing region of furniture, mainly kitchen cabinetry. They have well-established production and easy transportation. You can be sure that you can find manufacturers who produce high-quality goods. However, others need to be more skilled and have low operations that you should watch out for.

North Coastal Region (The Bohai Sea Area)

Among the regions with plenty of resources is the North Coastal Region. This region is also famous for furniture types, including glass and metal. You can also find the best dining tables, chairs, and upholstery. And the producers have years of background to make that happen. This region offers low prices and a prime exporting location. However, you must be ready to face unsleek buildings and safety standards.

 

3.Tips on How to Buy Furniture Direct from Manufacturer

 

Choosing the best furniture manufacturer in China takes a lot of work. That’s why you must take with you some vital points. The following are some of the factors to keep when looking for suppliers of high-quality furniture:

 

1)Read the Reviews of the Customers

 

The most basic one is checking the reviews left by previous customers. This step is crucial, mainly if you’ve never worked with a furniture company. You will need help figuring out their quality and even their ethics. you can get a sense of their services and how they treat their customers by reading their reviews. You can check out these reviews on many sites, such as their website, other décor or online blogs, and even discussion boards.

 

2)Availability of the Manufacturer

 

The time you receive your order will depend on how present your supplier will be. This factor will also affect your business and your customers. Before you work with a furniture supplier or factory, you must consider if they can always assist you. You can do this by asking questions. For instance, ask which shipping company they use to skip their companies. Or how often they respond to emails, calls, and inquiries.

 

3)Able to Customize

 

When it comes to furniture, you must have the chance to modify its design. Finding a supplier willing to meet your unique needs would be best. You can get your desired furniture if you change the layout, parts, and sizes.

 

4)Return Policy

 

There are times when the furniture you ordered needs to be corrected. Some of these errors are in size, paint, and design. You will have no choice but to use this furniture if the manufacturer does not permit their customers to return their orders. You have to ensure that your chosen partner will allow you to exchange the items with the right ones or provide you with a refund. If not, you will suffer more loss, lose a client, or get a bad reputation.

 

5)Trustworthiness

 

Many buyers should have checked if the manufacturer or supplier is trustworthy. One of the ways you can do so is to check their reviews. We guarantee you it will be worth it. Also, check if they receive honors for their efforts or see if they meet your standards.

 

6)Product Prices

 

One of the crucial things when buying furniture is to keep in mind the cost. To estimate the cost, you can compare prices from multiple suppliers. You may also decide on the market price of the furniture you plan to sell. This way, you have an idea of the budget and avoid downgrading the quality to cut costs. Also, consider many variables, such as delivery cost, budget, taxes, etc.

 

7)Warranty

 

You might pay a lot for furniture, only to lose money because the items are damaged. The problem is you cannot get a refund or replacement for these damaged items. To secure your investment, you need to choose a manufacturer who provides a warranty for their goods.

It will help if you inquire if the manufacturer offers a warranty and the duration of these warranties. You also need to understand the factors that these warranties cover. This way, you can determine if you are liable for paying damages or if the contract covers it.

 

8)Maintaining Regulations

 

It is best to work with manufacturers with ISO 9001 to prevent quality problems. It’s crucial to screen the suppliers who can offer product stability and consistent standard.

 

9)Minimums Order of Quantity (MOQ)

 

It would help if you considered the MOQ before choosing a manufacturer. It would help if you chose a manufacturer with low prices and high MOQs for wholesale.

 

10)Registered Capital

 

It would be best to work with a manufacturer with at least RMB 1,000,000 in registered capital. This capital would help you narrow down established and not established companies. You can ask the manufacturer to give you a copy of their business licenses or check it on their website. Those with less than RMB 1,000,000 is not manufacturers but trading companies.

4.How to Pay Your Suppliers?

 

There are many ways you can do to pay your manufacturer today. The times are now evolving, so it’s easy, quick, and more flexible to make payments. This section highlights some of the best and most widely used payment methods. Take note; these lists are practical and trustworthy.

1)Letter of Credit

 

One of the most preferred payment methods of importers and suppliers is a letter of credit. This option is among the safest methods, especially for large purchasers. If you purchase items priced at $50 000 or even higher, you can request that your supplier prefer this method. However, a letter of credit involves lots of paperwork and high bank fees. If you purchase below the recommended price, you should avoid this one.

2)Wire Transfer

 

As mentioned above, there are options unsuitable for small transactions, but not this one. Wire transfer will allow you to make a downpayment before a supplier can work on your order. You will pay the remaining balance later after the orders have been completed. The only downside is that you will risk losing the initial down payment. However, the manufacturer or supplier also stands to lose if the buyer is the one who fails to make payments.

3)Western Union

 

If you want to make transactions quickly, you can pay through Western Union. This method allows the exchange of money between two people. At the same time, it will give you a quick transfer of funds. This method is excellent, but you must remember that it also carries disadvantages, such as the fees charged per transaction.

4)PayPal

 

If you want to protect your bank and credit card information, it’s best to pay through PayPal. In every transaction, PayPal charges a small fee to the supplier. However, these fees will become the percentage of the overall amount owed. That means there is a chance that your supplier will charge these fees to your invoice.

5)Cash

 

Cash is a common way to pay your supplier. You can get many benefits, such as discounts, when you choose this one. You may also pay cash when a sourcing firm or agent stands for you. However, this method also carries risks like scams. If you want to use this, ensure that you trust the supplier and only pay for small purchases.

6)International Credit Cards

 

It is rare to use a credit card to pay for your orders. However, there is an exception if you only pay for small retail purchases.

7)Sourcing Agents / Companies

 

If you partner with a sourcing agent or company, you can ask them to pay for you. We recommend this method since the sourcing agents can make the arrangement alone. Your agents can inspect and verify if the products meet the criteria, and if they still need to, they will be the ones to reject them and ask for refunds. This way, you can make small payments and get a guarantee that it’s safe.

5.Documents Needed When Buying Chinese Furniture

 

If you want to import Chinese furniture, documents are crucial. There are different documents needed per the regulations of one country. However, you must submit the following paperwork to customs and pay the import taxes.

1)Packing List

 

The first one would be a packing list. This list includes all your orders to make it possible to confirm the shipment’s contents. Some of the information you need on this list are the product types, volume, and quantity information.

2)Commercial Invoice

 

Clearance customs will look for the commercial invoice to verify the shipment and your invoice. This invoice includes the value of the items you are shipping. You can ask your supplier about this and request them to send you a hard copy.

3)Bill of Landing

 

The bill of landing is a document that shipping companies issue as confirmation that they have received the goods they are shipping. This document is vital to clear customs, mainly if you ship furniture by sea. The shipping handler must present this landing bill when your cargo arrives at the destination port.

4)Certificate of Origin

 

A certificate of origin confirms whether the furniture you are importing comes from China. Customs will ask for proof, so your handler must present this.

5)Permit (Optional)

 

Permits are optional. There is no need for a permit for other furniture besides wood furniture. However, you must prepare for the following requirements mentioned above so that your orders will not get flagged by customs.

6.How to Ship Your Furniture from China?

 

The majority of the shipment leaving China make use of the ship or air method. However, you can ship your furniture order from China to your location differently. It depends on many factors you must consider in your sourcing process. If you are interested to understand more about the process, refer to the points below:

1)Methods of Shipping

 

There are different shipping methods you can choose from. As mentioned, ship and air are the most common. Importing furniture via sea freight is more affordable. This method also allows shipping large furniture or large quantities. Containers are also ideal for sea freight, so your packages are safe and protected. On the other hand, air freight is more expensive and can only ship furniture with more than 300 kg weight. Your orders will also arrive faster, between 2 and 10 days.

If you are looking for more options, you can choose express courier. This method is ideal if your shipping furniture with less than 20 kg weight. Your orders will arrive in 2–5 business days at your home. You can also ship via standard post, especially if small items weighing under 2 kg. The problem is your orders may take 2 to 5 weeks to be delivered.

2)Shipping Terms

 

Shipping terms, also known as Incoterm. This term is essential for you to understand your role in selling and contract negotiations. Some of the incoterms you need to be familiar with are the following:

  • Ex-works (EXW): According to this Incoterm, you are responsible for every aspect of shipping. You are picking up the item at the seller’s warehouse and arranging it for delivery to your location.
  • Free on board (FOB): The seller will pay for the shipping from their warehouse to the port. From there, you will pay for everything, including the ship transport.
  • Cost, Insurance, and Freight (CIF): This Incoterm allows the seller to deliver goods to the ship and arrange for unloading. The seller is also liable for paying the insurance and the ocean freight. However, the buyer’s responsibility is the cost of being unloaded from the ship once it has been docked.
  • Delivery Duty Paid (DDP): Based on this Incoterm, the seller agrees to cover and arrange the shipping. You will only pay them for the processes that they will do.
  • Delivered at Place Unloaded (DPU): This Incoterm means that the sellers bear the risks until the goods arrive and are unloaded.

3)Costs of Shipping

 

Numerous factors affect the cost of shipping. You have to consider aspects such as the quantity, method of shipping, and extra services. Even the incoterms will take effect, so you must consider if you want to save.

4)Time of Shipping

 

Shipping time will also depend on many factors, but the shipping method. As mentioned, if you choose ocean freight, the time it takes to acquire your order after placing it can range from 5 to 50 days. The arrival time also depends on how fast the manufacturer prepares your orders.

5)FCL vs. LCL

 

You can use two container shipping options for furniture, such as FCL and LCL. FCL refers to cargo that contains more than five pallets. On the other hand, LCL uses less than five pallets of shipment.

6)Size of Containers

 

The container size only matters if you ship furniture via ocean freight. You must pick the proper containers, so your furniture will not get damaged in shipping. There are different containers:

  • 20′ shipping containers carry heavier items
  • 40′ shipping containers hold large items
  • 40′ high cube shipping containers are ideal for carrying heavier and voluminous cargo

7.Step-by-Step Guide on How to Buy Furniture Direct from China

 

If you want a guide on the process of buying furniture direct from China, you can refer below:

1)Find a Chinese Manufacturer or Supplier

 

The first thing you need to keep in mind is to find a suitable manufacturer or supplier. The right partner will offer you fair prices, quality items, fast lead times, etc. On the contrary, if you choose the wrong one, you might get products at a low price but of cheap quality. This issue will cost you a lot of money and time. There are different ways to find a manufacturer or supplier, which you can read more about above.

2)Determine the Import Cost

 

When importing from China, it is vital to understand not only the cost of the furniture but also the cost of shipping them. Consider many factors, such as import expenses, incoterms, containers, etc. If you want to minimize the costs, allow your chosen supplier to give you similar quotes. You can also partner with a freight forwarding company, sourcing company, or your China buying office.

3)Negotiate with the Manufacturer or Supplier

 

You can first look up the supplier up potential furniture suppliers on the web and ask for their quotes. When they give you a price range, you can make your way to negotiate for a lower price. If you need help dealing with or talking to a supplier face-to-face, a sourcing agent can help you. This person or business can assist you in finding the furniture you need and negotiate for the best price possible.

4)Quality Assurance and Sample

 

One of the things you should never look out for is performing quality assurance before you give a signal to the factory to produce your products in bulk. Many factors go wrong with furniture. It is best to check and fix these errors to avoid problems. If not, having damaged furniture in a large MOQ will be a good use of money and bring many headaches. That is why samples are a must to see the item, how it assembles, the materials used, etc.

5)Check the Furniture Regulations

 

It would help if you made sure that the furniture complies legally with the laws and regulations of the exporting country. The following are the three points to remember:

  • Safety Compliance: These regulations will help the end customers. For the safety process, various materials need to undergo specific tests. Also, you will consider load, stability, structure, dimensions, and other factors.
  • Chemical Compliance: Chemicals used for furniture need to meet the set standard. Some of these are materials, adhesives, and paints.
  • Sustainability: More and more buyers are becoming concerned about furniture sources. They look into brands that produce those items cleanly and ethically.

6)Purchasing

 

In buying furniture from China, you have to stick to the right way. Among the most vital thing to note is having a contract in place. You need to incorporate the following in your buying contract:

  • Terms of payment
  • Amounts
  • Specifications for furniture
  • Agreed tolerances
  • Quality criteria
  • Terms of payment
  • Late penalties

8.FAQs

 

To know more about the proper way to import furniture from China, you can refer to more questions below:

1)Why partner with a sourcing agent or company when purchasing furniture from China?

 

Among the best things you can do if you want to buy furniture in China is to work with a sourcing agent or company. They are the ones who can help you with the process from the start until you get your orders. They will be the ones to arrange the suppliers, suppliers, payments, negotiation, etc. If this is your first time, you might need a helping hand.

2)What are the top Furniture Manufacturers in China?

 

Some of the top furniture manufacturers that you can check are the following:

  • Anji Hefeng Furniture
  • Foshan Mingjia Furniture
  • Artech Furniture Group
  • Foshan Mingjia Hotel Furniture
  • Teng Nuo Home Furniture
  • Foshan Rongbin Furniture Factory

3)How to import furniture from China’s business model?

 

There are two business models that you can choose from. Business model one tackles companies with one outlet and a store selling their furniture. They will only make small purchases from suppliers. So, this model is not suitable since they can import regularly and their market is small. In contrast, the business model pertains to businesses that sell items at high MOQ. This model allows you to buy goods from China because they require a large market.

Conclusion

 

There are many perks when you choose to import furniture from China. China is known to be globally competitive. Their market can offer you the best quality and customized furniture. Some of the enticing benefits when you buy furniture from China are:

  • Lower prices
  • Varieties of designs
  • Highest quality materials and products

Alongside its benefits, it’s also a place that is easy to source. You can partner with the right business to make your importing process a 100% success. JustChinait can be your option. Let us know how to support your sourcing and shipping!

 

The United States is among the largest importers of furniture. They spend billions of dollars each year on these products. Only a few exporters can meet this consumer demand, one of which is China. The majority of furniture imports nowadays are from China - a country that houses thousands of manufacturing facilities manned by skilled labor who ensure the production of affordable but quality products.



Are you planning to buy goods from

China furniture manufacturers

? Then this guide will help you familiarize yourself with everything you need to know about

importing furniture from China

. From the different types of furniture you can buy in the country to where to find the

best furniture manufacturers

in making orders and import regulations, we’ve got you covered. Are you interested? Keep on reading to know more!


Why Import Furniture From China


So why should you import furniture from China?


Potential of

Furniture Market in China


Source: 

https://pixabay.com/photos/kitchen-interior-design-room-home-1940174/


The bulk of the costs of building a house or an office goes to furniture. You can considerably reduce this cost by buying

Chinese furniture at wholesale

quantities. Plus, prices in China are, for sure, substantially cheaper compared to retail prices in your country. China became the largest furniture exporter worldwide in 2004. They manufacture the majority of products by leading furniture designers worldwide.


Chinese furniture products are usually handcrafted without glue, nails, or screws. They are made of high-quality wood so they are ensured to last for a lifetime. Their design is engineered in such a way that every component is seamlessly connected to other parts of the furniture without making the connections visible. 


Great Supply of Furniture From China


Source: 

https://pixabay.com/photos/dining-room-living-room-modern-3108037/


A lot of furniture sellers go to China to get top-quality furniture in bulk quantities so that they can enjoy the benefits of discounted prices. There are around 50,000

furniture manufacturers in China

. The majority of these manufacturers are small to medium-sized. They usually produce brandless or generic furniture but some started to manufacture branded ones. With this great number of manufacturers in the country, they can produce unlimited supplies of furniture.


China even has an entire city dedicated to manufacturing furniture where you can buy at wholesale prices - Shunde. This city is in Guangdong Province and is known as the

“Furniture City”

.


Ease of Importing Furniture From China


Source: 

https://pixabay.com/photos/kitchen-furniture-house-cook-1224845/


Chinese furniture manufacturers are strategically-positioned in the country so importing is made easier, even for the

international furniture market

. The majority are located near Hong Kong, which you might know is the economic gateway to mainland China. The Port of Hong Kong is a deepwater seaport where trading of containerized manufactured products takes place. It is the largest port in South China and is among the busiest seaports around the world.


What Types of Furniture to Import From China


Source: 

https://pixabay.com/photos/kitchen-dining-interior-home-room-2400367/


There is a wide variety of elegant and

cheap furniture from China

you can choose from. However, you will not find a manufacturer that produces all types of furniture. Like any other industry, every furniture manufacturer specializes in a specific area. The most common types of furniture you can import from China are the following:

  • Upholstered furniture

  • Hotel Furniture

  • Office Furniture

    (including

    office chairs

    )

  • Plastic Furniture

  • China wooden furniture

  • Metal Furniture

  • Wicker Furniture

  • Outdoor furniture

  • Office Furniture

  • Hotel Furniture

  • Bathroom Furniture

  • Children’s Furniture

  • Living Room Furniture

  • Dining Room Furniture

  • Bedroom Furniture

  • Sofas

    and couches


There are pre-designed furniture items but if you want to customize yours, there are manufacturers that also offer customization services. You can choose the design, material, and finishes. Whether you want furniture that is suitable for homes, offices, hotels, and others, you can find the

best quality furniture manufacturers

in China.


How to Find Furniture Manufacturers From China


After knowing the types of furniture you can buy in China and deciding which ones you want, the next step is finding a manufacturer. Here, we will give you three ways of how and where you can find reliable pre-designed and

custom furniture manufacturers in China

.


#1 Furniture Sourcing Agent


Source: 

https://pixabay.com/photos/conference-room-table-office-768441/


If you cannot visit furniture manufacturers in China personally, you can look for a furniture 

sourcing agent

 who can buy your desired products for you. Sourcing agents can contact various

top quality furniture manufacturers

and/or suppliers to find the products you need. However, do take note that you will be paying more for the furniture because the sourcing agent will make a commission on the sale.


In case you do have time to visit manufacturers, suppliers, or retail shops personally, you might encounter problems in communicating with the sales representatives. This is because most of them do not know how to speak English. Some don’t even provide shipment services. In these instances, hiring a sourcing agent is also a good idea. They can be your interpreter when talking to agents. They can even handle exportation matters for you.


Sourcing agents usually ask for 3%-5% of the sale for handling shipment aspects. If you want to know more about 

finding a reliable sourcing agent

,

 you can read this article.


#2 Alibaba


Source: 

https://pixabay.com/photos/tables-chairs-furniture-indoors-2181979/



Alibaba is a popular platform where you can

buy furniture from China online

. It is the largest directory for B2B suppliers worldwide and in fact, the top marketplace you can rely on in finding cheap and high-quality products. It contains thousands of different suppliers including furniture trading companies, factories, and wholesalers. Most of the suppliers you can find here are from China.


The

Alibaba China furniture

platform is ideal for online start-up businesses who want to resell furniture. You can even put your own labels on them. However, make sure to filter your choices to make sure that you transact with reliable companies. We also recommend looking for

top furniture manufacturers in China

instead of wholesalers or trading companies only. Alibaba.com provides information about each company which you can use to find a good supplier. This information includes the following:


  • Registered capital

  • Product scope

  • Company name

  • Product test reports

  • Company certificates


Here is another article you can read on 

how to find reliable suppliers on Alibaba

.


#3

Furniture Fairs From China


The last method on how to find a trustworthy furniture supplier is to attend furniture fairs in China. Below are the three largest and most popular fairs in the country:


China International Furniture Fair



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The 

China International Furniture Fair

 is the biggest furniture fair in China and probably in the whole world. Thousands of international visitors attend the fair every year to see what more than 4,000 exhibitors can offer in the fair. The event takes place twice a year, usually in Guangzhou and Shanghai.


The first phase is normally scheduled every March while the second phase every September. Each phase features different product categories. For the

furniture fair 2020

, the 2nd phase of the 46th CIFF will be held on September 7-10 in Shanghai. For 2021, the first phase of the 47th CIFF will be in Guangzhou. You can find more information 

here

.


The majority of the exhibitors come from Hong Kong and China, but there are also brands from North American, European, Australian, and other Asian companies. You will find a wide variety of furniture brands in the fair including the following categories:


  • Upholstery & bedding

  • Hotel furniture

  • Office furniture

  • Outdoor & Leisure

  • Home Decor & textile

  • Classical furniture

  • Modern furniture


If you want to know more about the China International Furniture Fair, you are free to 

contact

 them anytime.


Canton Fair Phase 2


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The Canton fair, also known as China Import and Export Fair, is an event held twice every year in 3 phases. For 2020, the 2nd Canton Fair will be held from October to November in the China Import and Export Complex (Asia’s largest exhibition center) in Guangzhou. You will find the schedule of each phase 

here

.


Each phase displays different industries. The 2nd phase includes furniture products. Aside from exhibitors from Hong-Kong and Mainland China, international exhibitors also attend the Canton Fair. It is among the largest

wholesale furniture trade shows

with over 180,000 visitors. Aside from furniture, you will find a wide array of product categories in the fair including the following:


  • Home decorations

  • General ceramics

  • Household items

  • Kitchenware & tableware

  • Furniture


China International Furniture Expo


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This is a trade exhibition event where you can find reputable furniture, interior design, and premium material business partners. This

international contemporary furniture fair

and

vintage furniture fair

takes place once a year every September in Shanghai, China. It is held at the same location and time as the Furniture Manufacturing & Supply (FMC) China exhibition so you can go to both events.


The China National Furniture Association organizes the expo where thousands or furniture exporters and brands from Hong Kong, Mainland China, and other international countries participate. This allows you to explore a wide variety of furniture categories to match your specific needs:


  • Upholstery furniture

  • European classical furniture

  • Chinese classical furniture

  • Mattresses

  • Children’s furniture

  • Table & chair

  • Outdoor & garden furniture and accessories

  • Office furniture

  • Contemporary furniture


#1 Order Quantity


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Regardless of what furniture you are going to buy, it is important to consider your manufacturer’s 

Minimum Order Quantity 

(MOQ). This is the lowest number of items that a

China furniture wholesaler

is willing to sell. Some manufacturers will have high MOQs while others will have lower values.


In the furniture industry, the MOQ depends greatly on the products and the factory. For instance, a bed manufacturer may have a 5-unit MOQ while a beach chair manufacturer may have a 1,000-unit MOQ. Moreover, there are 2 MOQ types in the furniture industry which are based on:


  • Container volume

  • Number of items


There are factories that are willing to set lower MOQs if you are also willing to

buy furniture from China

made from standard materials such as wood.


Bulk Order

For bulk orders, some 

t

op China furniture manufacturers

 set high MOQs but will offer their products at lower prices. However, there are instances that small to medium importers are not able to reach these prices. Some Chinese furniture suppliers are flexible though and can give you discounted prices if you order different furniture types.


Retail Order

If you are going to buy in retail quantities, make sure to ask your supplier whether the furniture you want is in stock because it will be easier to buy. However, the price will be 20% to 30% higher compared to wholesale prices.


#2 Payment


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There are 3 of the most common payment options you need to consider:


  • Letter of Credit (LoC)

 

 - a type of payment in which your bank settles your payment with the seller once you provide them the required documents. They will only process the payment once they have verified that you have met certain conditions. Because your bank takes full responsibility for your payments, the only thing you need to work on is the required documents.

The first payment method is LoC - a type of payment in which your bank settles your payment with the seller once you provide them the required documents. They will only process the payment once they have verified that you have met certain conditions. Because your bank takes full responsibility for your payments, the only thing you need to work on is the required documents.


Moreover, LoC is among the safest payment methods. It is usually used for payments of more than $50,000. The only downside is it requires a lot of paperwork with your bank that might also charge you exorbitant fees.


  • Open Account

 

payment method gives the most advantage to you as an importer when it comes to cost and cash flow. 

This is the most popular payment method when dealing with international businesses. You will only make the payment once your orders have been shipped and delivered to you. Obviously, the open account payment method gives the most advantage to you as an importer when it comes to cost and cash flow.


  • Documentary Collection

Documentary collection payment 

is like the cash on delivery method where your bank works with your manufacturer’s bank for the collection of the payment. The goods can be delivered before or after the payment is processed, depending on what documentary collection method was used.


Since all transactions are done by banks wherein your bank acts as your payment agent, documentary collection methods pose less risk to sellers compared to open account methods. They are also more affordable compared to LoCs.


#3 Shipment Management

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Once the payment method has been settled by you and your furniture supplier, the next step is to know your shipping options. When you import any goods from China, not only furniture, you can ask your supplier to manage the shipping. If you are a first-time importer, this would be the simplest option. However, expect to pay more. If you want to save money and time, below are your other shipping options:


  • Handle the Shipping Yourself

If you choose this option, you need to book cargo space yourself with shipping companies and manage Customs Declarations both in your country and in China. You need to monitor the cargo carrier and deal with them yourself. Thus, it consumes a lot of time. Plus, it is not recommended for small to medium importers. But if you have enough manpower, you can go for this option.


  • Having a Freight Forwarder to Handle Shipment

In this option, you can either have a freight forwarder in your country, in China, or in both locations to handle the shipment:

  • In China

    - this would be the fastest method if you want to receive your cargo in a short time. It is used by most importers and it has the most affordable rates.

  • In Your Country

    - For small to medium importers, this would be the most ideal option. It is more convenient but can be expensive and inefficient. 

  • In Your Country & in China

    - In this option, you will be the one who will contact both the freight forwarder sending and receiving your shipment.


#4 Packaging Options

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You will have different packaging options depending on how large your cargo is. Products imported from

Chinese furniture manufacturers

that are shipped via sea freight are usually stored in 20x40 containers. A 250-square meter cargo can fit in these containers. You can opt for full cargo load (FCL) or loose cargo load (LCL) based on your cargo’s volume.


  • FCL

If your cargo is five pallets or more, it is wise to have them shipped via FCL. If you have fewer pallets but still want to protect your furniture from other cargoes, shipping them via FCL is also a good idea.


  • LCL

For cargoes with lesser volumes, shipping them through LCL is the most practical option. Your cargo will be grouped with other cargoes. But if you are going to go for LCL packaging, make sure to load your furniture with other dry ware products such as sanitary wares, lights, floor tiles, and others.


Take note that a lot of international carriers have limited liabilities for cargo damages. The usual amount is $500 for every container. We recommend getting insurance for your cargo since your imported products are likely to have more value, especially if you bought from

luxury furniture manufacturers

.


#5 Delivery


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For the delivery of your products, you can choose whether it will be via sea freight or air freight.


  • By Sea

When

buying furniture from China

, the mode of delivery is usually through sea freight. After your imported products arrive at the port, they will be delivered by rail to an area closer to your location. After that, a truck will normally transport your products to the final delivery location.


  • By Air

If your store requires immediate replenishment because of high inventory turnover, it would be better to deliver by air freight. However, this delivery model is only for small volumes. Although it is more expensive compared to sea freight, it is faster.


Transit Time

When ordering

Chinese-style furniture

, you need to consider how long your supplier will prepare your products along with the transit time. Chinese suppliers often have delayed deliveries. The transit time is a different process so there is a big chance that it will take a long time before you receive your products.


The transit time usually takes 14-50 days when importing to the United States plus a few days for the customs clearance process. This doesn’t include delays caused by unexpected circumstances like bad weather. Thus, your orders from China might arrive after approximately 3 months.


Regulations to Import Furniture From China


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The last thing we are going to tackle is the US and European Union regulations that apply to imported furniture from China.


United States

In the United States, there are three regulations you need to follow:


#1 Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)


There are 

wooden furniture products regulated by the APHIS

. These products include the following categories:

  • Toddler beds

  • Bunk beds

  • Upholstered furniture

  • Children’s furniture


Below are a few of APHIS’ requirements that you need to know when importing Chinese furniture to the US:

  • Approval for pre-import is required

  • Fumigation and heat treatment is mandatory

  • You should purchase from APHIS-approved companies only


#2 Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA)


CPSIA 

includes rules applying to all products for children (12 years old and below). You should be aware of the following major requirements:

  • Registration card for specific products

  • Testing lab

  • Children’s Product Certificate (CPC)

  • CPSIA tracking label

  • Mandatory ASTM lab testing


European Union

If you are importing to Europe, you must comply with REACH’s regulations and EU’s fire safety standards.


#1 Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH)

REACH

 aims to protect the environment and human health from dangerous chemicals, pollutants, and heavy metals by putting restrictions on all products sold in Europe. These include furniture products.


Products containing large amounts of substances like AZO or lead dyes are illegal. We recommend that you get your furniture cover lab-tested, including the PVC, PU, and fabrics before you import from China.


#2 Fire Safety Standards


The majority of EU states have different fire safety standards but below are the major EN standards:

  • EN 14533

  • EN 597-2

  • EN 597-1

  • EN 1021-2

  • EN 1021-1


However, take note that these requirements will depend on how you will use the furniture. It is different when you use the products commercially (for restaurants and hotels) and domestically (for residential applications).

Conclusion

While you have a lot of manufacturer choices in China, remember that every manufacturer specializes in a single furniture category. For instance, if you need a living room, dining room, and bedroom furniture, you need to find multiple suppliers that manufacture each product. 

Visiting furniture fair

is the perfect way to achieve this task.


Importing products and

buying furniture from China

is not an easy process, but once you have familiarized yourself with the basics, you can buy anything you want from the country effortlessly. Hopefully, this guide was able to fill you with all of the knowledge you need to start with your own furniture business.




A Comprehensive Guide on Importing Furniture Directly from China

A Complete Guide: How to Buy and Import Furniture From China

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