Shopping Guide: How to Import LED Lights from China like A Pro
I bet you are wondering:
Is there an easy and fast way to import LED lights from China?
If so, you are not alone.
There are thousands of importers – both old and new – pondering the same thing.
We can all agree on this:
The importation of any products from a foreign country can be quite stressful and expensive – especially for a first-timer.
Because it entails a lot of requirements, activities, and processes for it to successful; all of which require the importer’s attention and effort.
From finding a quality manufacturer/supplier to getting your order delivered to your doorstep, a lot can go wrong in between.
You don’t want that, do you?
Despite importation being a daunting task, there are a few things you can do to smoothen and simplify it.
That’s what you are here to find out.
In this post, I’ll walk you through:
- All the necessary steps you need to take when importing LEDs from China.
- How to make the process smooth and stress-free.
- A few tricks and tips to do it faster than most.
- And so on.
So, stick with me till the end and I’ll show you better ways to get this done.
Let’s get down to it…
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Why Import from China?
Without a doubt:
This is a question I’ve heard uncountable times, especially, from people new to the industry.
It’s natural to wonder why you should buy LED products from China yet there are local manufacturers offering the same things.
To sum it up, the Chinese LED market is massive and comes with numerous perks.
Here are five good reasons why importing LED fixtures from China is a great idea:
1. Wide Variety of Options
How is this beneficial to you?
It’s quite straightforward; you get a wide variety of options to choose from.
Unlike smaller local markets dominated by one or two companies, the Chinese LED industry has hundreds of manufacturers and thousands of products on offer.
This means that it’s the only market you can rely on to have exactly what you are looking for.
Having multiple options means that you can go for the best products and most reliable companies available.
No limitations, bounds, or restrictions.
2. Highly Competitive Prices
One thing I’ve learned over the years is that China offers the most competitive prices in the world.
Well, most Chinese LED companies like ShineLong are big and process a lot of bulk orders.
Dealing with multiple bulk orders means that they can still make a decent profit off a single order even if their pricing is lower than that of your local manufacturers.
Another thing that allows these companies to offer good prices is the fact that a lot of the components used in LED fixtures are manufactured locally (in China).
This means that it’s easier and faster for them to source LED components than it is for companies from other countries that import these items from China.
3. Established Shipping Networks
Shipping is a critical part of the importation process and, thus, requires a lot of attention.
When you are dealing with countries that don’t have a strong LED industry, there are no guarantees that they’ll be able to ship your order in time.
In China, things are quite different.
Generally, due to the bulk exportation of LED products, Chinese companies have been able to come up with a fast, efficient, and secure shipping network that ensures all orders reach the customer in time and intact.
It’s the same thing with Japan and its massive car industry.
Most shipping companies that deal with Chinese manufacturers know how to handle, pack, store, and ship LED lights fixtures in bulk with minimal damage or loss.
Therefore, high chances are that you’ll receive your order in one piece and on time; allowing you to proceed with your projects without any delays.
Having a massive shipping network means that Chinese companies have more leverage over the freighting cost and can, therefore, get you great discounts depending on the volume of products purchased.
If you import LED lights from China, it becomes easier for you to cut down the overall cost of your project or purchase.
4. Ability to Meet Bulk Orders
Are you worried that your order will be too big for your local manufacturer?
Well, with Chinese manufacturers, no order is ever “too big.”
One of the biggest perks of dealing with LED manufacturers in China is that they have the capacity to deliver massive orders within a short time.
How do they do this?
For starters, they’ve invested a lot in new technology which enables them to work and produce quality LED products faster than manufacturers in other countries.
What’s more, China has a very productive and hard-working workforce committed to quality service delivery.
This means that they can build and manufacture just about anything within record-breaking times.
Basically, if you need 10,000 pieces of a specific LED fixture within a week, China is your best and only option.
5. Customizable Manufacturing
If you are looking for more personalized products, you can easily get customized LED lights from China.
As I’ve mentioned above:
Chinese companies have invested heavily in their manufacturing technologies.
Therefore, they can easily customize an LED fixture as per your preferences and still manage to do a bulk order in time.
All you have to do is to:
- Contact a company that offers customization services.
- Discuss what you are looking for.
- Place the order.
- And wait for them to work their magic.
You’ll receive customized LED lights on your doorstep within a very short time.
There are so many other reasons why dealing with Chinese companies benefits you.
Assuming that you already know this and want to import from China, how should you go about it?
If you are wondering the same, here’s a quick guide on what you need to do for a smooth and flawless process.
Chapter 2: How to Import LED Lights from China
For a first-timer, the whole process can be tiring, stressful, and filled with anxiety.
But, it doesn’t have to be so.
With a little bit of information and all the requirements, anyone can be able to make a quick and easy LED order importation.
Below, I’ll walk you through everything you need to do to achieve this.
1. Do Your Research
We’ve come a long way in regards to research.
Gone are the days when doing research meant writing and sending letters to companies that took months to reply; or having to travel from company to company looking for a decent one to handle your order.
Nowadays, the same research takes a matter of minutes on the web and in the comfort of your home.
So, why not start with it.
If I’m being honest, you must do some research before placing an order.
In doing so, you:
- Get to learnabout different products and the best options that are available to you.
- Compare local prices to what Chinese companies are offeringto see which one’s the most cost-effective choice.
- Can easily learn more about your manufacturer and how they treat and serve their clients. That way you’ll know if they are the perfect fit for you.
- Get to compare all discounts and incentives offered by different companies; so that you can find the best offer available.
- Learn about your local laws and whether you are allowed to import these productsinto your country.
A little bit of research will save you time, effort, and money; plus, it will help give you peace of mind.
2. Find the Best LED Manufacturer in China
Once you’ve done your research and established the basics of your search, the next step would be to find a suitable and reliable manufacturer.
This can be stressful.
Well, with hundreds of manufacturers and suppliers to choose from, it becomes a bit difficult to single out the best ones.
However, there are ways you can use to find a company you can deal with.
For example, you can:
a) Do a Quick Online Search
Search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing have made finding things and people on the internet quite easy.
And the best part is that their algorithms are tailored in a way that favors the best and most popular companies in the niche.
Therefore, if you went ahead and Googled the term “LED Lights Manufacturer in China,” you’ll find quite a number of top-ranking companies to choose from.
It’s a good place to start, right?
b) Check Out Their Company Websites
Assuming you’ve already found several good LED companies from search engines, the next thing to do is to look at what they have to offer.
You’ll be able to shorten your list even further.
Generally, you want to know which LED lights they sell, their policies, pricing, after-sale services, as well as any value addition packages they offer including customization.
Once you’ve listed all the perks each company has to offer and weighed them against the rest, it will be easier for you to get the top two or three candidates best suited for you.
c) Read Through Their Ratings and Reviews Online
Most clients and customers often leave valid reviews detailing their experience dealing with the company and using their products.
How is this important?
Well, for starters, it will help you know what kind of service you should expect; plus, the quality of the products these companies sell.
That way you’ll be fully prepared and aware of what you are buying/getting yourself into.
The company with the best reputation and highest-rated products will be the winner here.
So, now you have a specific company in mind.
3. Do an On-Site Visit to the Manufacturer’s LED Factory
When dealing with a bulk order, you have to be very meticulous.
Therefore, you should plan a trip to the LED light factory before you decide to commit to anything.
An on-site visit will help you see things like:
- The company’s manufacturing process.
- The materials they use; are they high-quality, durable, and in-line with your standards/specifications?
- Their manufacturing speed; i.e. do they have the capacity to get you the products you want in good time?
- How the management communicates and relates to clients; are they friendly, understanding, trustworthy, and reliable?
- How the fixtures look and feel; do they feel sturdy and look attractive or are they just cheap chunks of plastic?
- The fixtures’ performance; how much light do they yield? Is their color temperature what you are looking for? What about the features mentioned on the company website? Do they work or are they just for show?
- Check if the LED driver used is authentic and high quality; drivers help to regulate the power going into your fixture, hence, increasing its longevity. Therefore, you should ensure that they use the best one on the market e.g. real/authentic Meanwell drivers.
- Find out what shipping options they offer; i.e. do they ship by air or by sea? When should you expect your consignment? What about custom office/port clearance?
And so on.
An on-site visit gives you an even deeper look into the manufacturer and its products.
However, not everyone can afford to do this.
If you don’t have the time or money to travel to China, you can either:
- Send someone you know who’s currently living in China to do the inspection on your behalf or…
- Ask the manufacturer to send you a sample product so that you can inspect it for quality and performance from where you are; although, this option might cost you a small facilitation fee.
4. Negotiate Prices with Your Chinese LED Manufacturer
You want the best deal you can get, right?
If so, price negotiations will get you one step towards getting it.
In most cases, a Chinese LED manufacturer will offer you discounts depending on the volume of products you intend to buy.
The bigger the order, the bigger the discount.
The best part is that if you build a good relationship with them, you’ll get even bigger discounts in the future.
Price negotiation is not just about getting a good deal; it’s also about increasing your profits when you decide to sell the products you’re buying.
Even as you bring you’re A-game to the bargaining table, be very cautious about how low the price gets.
If you insist on buying LED lights cheaply, your manufacturer may be forced to use poor quality materials so as to also get some profit from the deal.
And if that happens, you are going to feel the bulk of the pinch.
Mainly because cheap LED fixtures tend to die much sooner than their specified lifespan.
Ask for a discounted price, but keep your expectations and demands within a reasonable range.
To be on the safe side, look at how leading LED companies have priced products similar to what you’re looking for.
Then, get an average of all the prices you find.
With that in mind, your bargaining bid should not go below 85% of the average price of the fixture.
Don’t forget to inquire about shipping fees.
That way you’ll be able to calculate the total cost of importing LED lights from China.
5. Visit Your Local Customs Authority to Learn About Their Requirements and Fees
When moving products from one country to another, you have to deal with customs authorities.
These are the people tasked with:
- Receiving and temporarily storing your shipment at the landing port.
- Inspecting it to ensure you aren’t bringing in contraband.
- Collecting government revenues through importation taxes and excise duty fees.
- Keeping all records pertaining to the importation process and the products brought in.
- And so on.
One thing you should note is that customs authority requirements differ from country to country.
And that means that you have to visit your local office to get the full brief on what they expect from you and how to proceed with clearance once the shipment arrives.
They will help you to calculate how much money – in terms of duty fees and taxes – you’ll be expected to pay before picking up your shipment from the port.
Once you have all these details, the next thing you want to do is to get your pen, paper, and calculator ready.
6. Do the Math
Take it from me:
It is always wise to calculate your overall cost before placing any orders or making a purchase.
Well, you want to be sure that your purchase is within your budget; or in other words, you’ll be able to afford all the expenses that come with importing LED lights in China.
The last thing you want is to have a shipment of high-quality LED fixtures rotting away in a government warehouse just because you couldn’t afford to pay clearance costs.
So, proper budgeting is essential.
Calculate all the expenses you’ll incur and sum it up with the cost of buying the LEDs from the manufacturer to come up with a final cost.
Then consult your “finances”, “wallet” or “bank account balance” to see whether you can comfortably commit to the cost laid out on your table.
If the math doesn’t add up, you can either look for additional funds or reduce the size of your order to fit into your budget
If money isn’t an issue, then you’re ready to place the order.
7. Place the Order
You are almost done.
Here, you have to contact the manufacturer to place the order.
By now, you’ll have had lengthy discussions with them, so, they’ll know exactly what you want and how you want it.
In case there are any changes to the order you’d like to pass on to your manufacturer, this is the time to do so.
Well, once the manufacturing process has begun, there’s no turning back and, thus, there won’t be any room for modifications.
For security reasons and to ensure your commitment to the deal, manufacturers will expect you to pay a non-refundable deposit fee of between 25% and 30% of the order’s value.
Once you pay the deposit, the company will start manufacturing your products.
If you want, you can inspect the LED lights during the manufacturing process just to ensure that there are no flaws or issues needing correction.
When manufacturing is finished, you can then pay the remaining 75% or 70% of the order value so that the company can begin the exportation process.
8. Prepare To Receive Your Shipment
Once your Chinese manufacturer has shipped your order, the next logical step is to prepare for the incoming shipment.
- Clearing with your customs office.
- Making transportation arrangements.
- Preparing a suitable storage space for your new LED lights.
- Keeping track of the shipment to ensure that you’ll be at the port when it lands.
There are shipping arrangements that won’t require you to do any of the above. However, that will depend on the agreement you have with your manufacturer.
Some companies often handle everything and can deliver the products up to your warehouse.
As soon as you receive your order, it’s always wise to give it one last inspection.
Here, you want to check whether:
- All the LED fixtures are working optimally and as expected.
- The shipment contains any damaged items.
- All the items you ordered have been fulfilled.
- You have a warranty document with you.
If everything checks out, your importation process will be successful and complete.
Importation seems easy now, doesn’t it?
Without a doubt:
It’s much easier and faster to find a competent, reliable, trustworthy, and affordable LED lights manufacturer in China.
It’s the only place where you’ll have a long list of high-quality companies to choose from; plus, a wide array of products that meet your needs.
And the best part:
Is that now you know how to easily and affordably import LED light fixtures from China.
Before you leave:
ShineLong Technology Corp Ltd. is not only a pioneer in LED technology but also one of the biggest and best LED lighting companies in China. We offer you a wide range of fixtures for all kinds of purposes and at very affordable prices. Contact us today to place your order with us.