The prospect of sourcing items from China is both exciting and daunting for most sellers, so when you throw trying to source branded items into the equation, it can make an online seller very nervous!
The answer is yes, you can import branded items from China, but it’s not easy.
This is because most branded items which come out of China are fake which makes sourcing genuine brands very difficult for retailers as many suppliers will try to convince you they are the real thing.
These days, it’s not just Louis Vuitton bags and Rolex watches that are replicated and sold as genuine in China. Here is a quick list of the most common replicas to come out of China:
- Consumer electronic goods such as iPods
- Designer Jeans
- Surf brand clothing like Billabong board shorts and bikinis
- Designer spectacles
- Cosmetics and skin care
- Computer software
- Brand name power tools
- CD’s and DVD’s
- Designer jewelry
So with that many fakes out there, how can you be sure you are going to get the real thing?
Firstly, genuine branded goods are not cheap! Wholesale authentic branded goods are only between 5-30% discounted from the local retail price Therefore, if a supplier is offering you for example, a tube of Crème de la Mer at the same price as a tub of Nivea face cream, it’s defiantly fake!
However, be aware that some sellers of replicas know that a higher price makes their items seem more genuine so they hike up their prices accordingly.
You also need to check the quality of the items. Do this by ordering a sample or two from your supplier and really analyzing the item. Check for things like the quality of stitching, the quality of the print in the design, the label and care instructions (poor English is a giveaway e.g “do no wash in washing machine”, or “dry cleaner only”).
However, keep in mind, that just like suppliers know all about what retailers look for in pricing, they also know that a retailer will largely judge whether an item is genuine based on the sample they are given, so sometimes you will be sent out a sample which is of much better quality than what you will receive if you bulk buy, and for this reason, you cannot rely on the quality of a sample item to determine whether a supplier is selling the real deal (Hey! Like I said, you can buy branded items from China, but it ain’t easy!).
Ask the supplier to supply photos of the stock you want to buy with their own company branding in the photo. This will prove whether they actually have the stock on site. Don’t feel like you are being pushy or rude by asking for this, as it is essential to ensure that you and your money stay safe from scammers.
Request to see their documentation from their manufacturer which authorizes them to resell the branded merchandise.
If you are still unsure, the best idea is to call the branded items local or national headquarters nearest you. You can find their contact details easily by doing a Google search, and they will be able to tell you if the name of the supplier’s company is one of their licensed distributors, which will mean you can finally put your mind at ease.
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