How to buy in China: 10 Tips to import and sell from home

China enjoys great popularity for sourcing abroad, mainly for new entrepreneurs and small businesses, which is why many want to learn how to buy from China .

Due to low manufacturing costs, competitive prices, and a large number of suppliers to choose from, people prefer to shop on websites in this Asian country from their homes.
You can get some great deals, as long as you know how to shop on these platforms. That is why we have prepared this guide to guide you on how to buy in China and the aspects that you should take into account when doing so.

Within this guide on how to buy in China we will talk about sellers, pages to buy in China, the ways to make the commercial transaction and everything you need to do before receiving the product.

In the same way, you will know some tips so that you do not run the risk of being scammed by malicious sellers, since if you decide to start earning money online , you must keep this factor in mind.

The first thing you should about how to buy in China

The deals found in China are undoubtedly one of the main reasons why shopping in this region of the world is so popular.

Chinese online stores offer literally everything from mobile headphones to a state-of-the-art television, to a variety of items for different uses.

This is one of the reasons why people want to learn how to shop in China, since it is possible to buy everything you have just read, just a fraction of the usual cost.

Why it is important to know how to buy in China from home:

You must consider that consumers, in their country of origin, enjoy rights (guarantees) when buying products online from their same region. However, the same rights do not apply when buying from a seller in China.

Fortunately, there are some sites that offer protections, but this is not the norm, regarding a refund in case of non-receipt of the order.

For example, buying fake products from a website in China may make it difficult to get a refund, as that country may have different rules.

This is why it is necessary to know how to buy in China.

Now, limited rights don't mean people shouldn't buy from China, just that they should be aware of the risks and spend what they're willing to lose.
While the low price of some products might suggest a purchase is an obvious one, there is a chance that problems could arise.

For example, shipping costs are included on many items but not on others, so prices can quickly go from being considered a great deal to overpaying.

Advantages of buying in China

The advantages of buying in Chinese online stores have to do with different aspects. For one thing, you can easily find access to plenty of cheap and fine products, and many of them are of high quality

Also, there are more than 10,000 shopping sites in China with different target customers, who have various items available.

Knowing the difference between them is a fundamental step in learning how to buy in China , and it will help you find the right places to shop.

Most of the products on Chinese shopping sites are much cheaper than those in your local market, even with shipping fees and costs included.

Disadvantages of buying in China

On the opposite side of the coin, the disadvantages of buying from Chinese sites are also evident:
  • language barriers,
  • long waiting times,
  • High international shipping rates,
  • counterfeit products and
  • Poor after-sales services, among others.
You should also keep in mind that not all sellers offer international shipping, which is why you should make sure you find a way to transport it before making a purchase.

When you learn how to shop in China, there are certain disadvantages that can be avoided. This is the common case of the risk of buying counterfeit products.

If you want to create a profitable work from home job , you must find reliable shopping sites in China that guarantee the quality of their products and can reduce the risks associated with this purchase.

On the other hand, you should bear in mind that purchases abroad, be it China or any other country, generally involve a more complicated process and a longer waiting time.

Like any business, knowing how to buy from China requires you to take advantage of its benefits, but also to identify risks such as poor after-sales services due to inefficient communication and many other factors.

How to combat these risks? Work with a reliable agent who makes things much easier for you when it comes to importing, carefully check the reputation of the sellers and use the web translator to overcome the language barrier.

In short, if you're interested in learning how to shop in China , we recommend doing your research to gather more information on Chinese shopping sites and tips for using them.

Pages to buy in China

Although Amazon is synonymous with online shopping in Europe and the United States, in China it is not the most dominant player in this sector.

Online shoppers have more than 10,000 China shopping pages to choose where to shop. We present the most famous to ensure a rewarding experience:

1. Salesshoo:

This is perhaps the best platform to start your dropshipping business. It's basically a vendor directory that allows you to find vendors, prices, and online stores in a matter of minutes.

It can even tell you the profit margins, comparing your suppliers and other useful information to start importing from China.

Link: Access Saleshoo


Taobao has become the largest C2C (consumer to consumer) retail site in China.
It is a kind of online fair where any company or individual can open a store. Here is a guide for you to learn how to create an online store step by step .

Taobao is part of the Alibaba Brands, although Alibaba does not own or operate the stores. This means that Alibaba only provides infrastructure and services that facilitate transactions on Taobao .

For their part, store owners take responsibility for the quality of their products, logistics, after-sales services, and other steps.

On Taobao it is possible to find almost everything you are looking for. Consumers are advised to be careful because just as there are quality products, there are also some counterfeit items.

This store arose in the first instance for national consumers and not all products can be shipped internationally. Accept Alipay or Visa and MasterCard credit cards as payment methods.

Link: Access Taobao


The Tmall online store is powered by Taobao's infrastructure and payment system.
However, it is characterized by verifying the rating of stores to ensure that all products are authentic and prevent consumers from receiving imitations.

It is considered by many to be a superior and improved version of Taobao, although the prices for the same products on Tmall may be a bit higher than on Taobao.
This B2C (business to consumer) website has become the most visited in China with more than 70,000 brands available.

Link: Access Tmall

4. Aliexpress

Aliexpress is known as the international version of Taobao as it focuses on helping Chinese businesses sell to customers anywhere in the world.

Its advantages are that the prices are generally cheap; however, it has less variety of items compared to Taobao and Tmall.

It offers people various payment options, among which credit cards stand out. Care should be taken on this site because some buyers have complained about buying counterfeit products on the site.

Like Taobao and Tmall, Aliexpress is part of the platforms developed by the Alibaba Group company, which serves customers with different needs.

Link: Access Aliexpress


The retail site is B2C in nature and works similar to Amazon's structure.
It has gained fame in China for having original products at market-competitive prices, as well as offering a generous refund policy and efficient logistics network across the country.

It is an excellent option for customers who are looking for electronic items, such as computers, cameras, cell phones, televisions and others.
Although in some cases the products may be a bit more expensive than on Taobao and Tmall, they are still much cheaper than other stores.

On the JD platform you get two types of stores: some owned and operated by and others owned by third-party owners. When it comes to expensive products, customers are advised to go for JD's own stores.


Joybuy can be considered the English version of JD as it has been developed with an emphasis on international buyers.

It stands out in the electronics market. Consumers have the ability to pay by debit card, credit card or using Paypal.
Foreign customers who do not know any Chinese language can browse Joybuy and Aliexpress, two online stores that are in English and more accessible in many ways.

In contrast, experienced shoppers who are fluent in the language, have a Chinese-speaking friend, or use translation tools have the advantage of visiting Taobao, Tmall, JD, and many other Chinese shopping websites, where a much wider variety of products is offered. products.

Link: Access Joybuy

Import from China:

Many entrepreneurs and businessmen have seen great profitable business opportunities by importing products from China.

So far we have seen where you can buy quality products at low prices in China, but what next?
Surely you have hundreds of questions running through your head regarding how to bring Chinese products to your country of residence. Next we are going to explain the complete process of how to buy in China.

1. Supply

The first step corresponds to the supply. You should get the store or a sourcing agent from China to help you get all the goods you need.
Try to be a reliable provider. Alibaba brands are a good option to do so.

2. Order

Second, place an order with the supplier, shipper, or exporter and identify the shipping terms that will be used. Once selected, request a proforma invoice specifying the details of the merchandise.

Keep in mind that the minimum order quantity (MOQ) is always one of the most important things to consider when learning how to buy in China, and especially when dealing with a high volume of products.
Some manufacturers have high MOQs that some small and medium importers cannot achieve. However, suppliers from China are flexible and a compromise can always be reached, especially if you are ordering a variety of different types of products.

Most likely, you are not in Chinese territory, so you have the option of hiring an agent who is in charge of verifying the quality and design of the products.
This person, known as a sourcing agent, can help you negotiate a better price and complete part of the transaction while there. In other words, he has the role of representing you in China.

3. Payment of merchandise

Third, comes the time of payment to Chinese suppliers. The best payment method will depend on the amount to be paid. At this point we must clarify that suppliers from China are known for their late deliveries, but not for being scammers.

However, if you want to learn how to buy in China successfully you must be careful of scams, false promises and deception.
Possible payment methods include: international wire transfer, letter of credit, PayPal, international credit cards, and cash, among others.

4. Reservation, charge and shipping

Now, how should you book, load and ship the imported products you buy in China? Regarding shipping management, when importing goods from China, you can let the supplier handle the shipping.

This mechanism is quite common for most first-time importers, as the process becomes simpler although you will probably end up paying more.

Importers have other shipping options that help save money and time. If you handle the shipment by yourself, you need to reserve cargo space directly with the shipping company and manage Customs declarations in China and your country.
You can also have the process taken by a local agent in your country, so you will have much easier contact with the person, and it is one of the options most used by small and medium-scale importers.

5. Delivery time

When you buy products from China, you must consider two elements: first is the time it takes the supplier to prepare the order, and second is the transit time.

Usually, Chinese suppliers deliver late, plus transit time, so it will take a while to receive your orders.
In conclusion, if it is your first time and you are learning how to buy in China, it is recommended that you hire a purchasing agent service, which can help you with the entire import process.

Tips for buying in China safely:

Shopping in China will be better if you take into account some tips to get the benefits and not make mistakes.
Similarly, the information in this article is intended to provide you with general guidance. Best practice is to check with your local customs authority and purchase small orders.
Pay attention to the following recommendations.

1. Know your import rights

You should know that there are many import regulations that apply to goods imported for commercial or resale purposes. And it is in the hands of the customs authority to qualify the nature of the products.

2. Identify the products you want to import

Focus on gathering as much information about the products you intend to import.
Review descriptive literature and information on the composition of the product. This is useful if you will be using them personally or reselling them.

3. Please make sure the products are allowed in your country

Some products cannot be imported, as different countries have different prohibited products. You should also make sure that the goods you want to import are subject to any government permits, restrictions, or regulations.

Importing products that are unsafe, do not meet health code requirements, or violate restrictions could cost you money in fines and penalties.

4. Classify the products and calculate the shipping cost

Determine the tariff classification number for each item you want to import. Along with the Certificate of Origin, it is used to calculate the import tax rate. Then the cost is calculated.

Keep your spending below the amount determined for VAT payment and avoid canceling customs duties.

5. Choose your cargo transport

There are many costs associated with shipping products, such as container fees, packaging, terminal handling, and broker fees.
Each of these factors must be taken into account to get a complete idea of ​​shipping costs.

Make sure the supplier agrees to ship on FOB terms from their nearest port or airport, as this will greatly reduce shipping costs and give you more control over the merchandise.

6. Track your cargo and wait for arrival

Shipping products internationally takes time; depending on the destination it can take from two weeks minimum. In general, it is recommended to place an order at least 3 months before you need the products.

During this period you should focus on reviewing invoices and product lists, plus you can resolve any issues that arise.

7. Receive the merchandise

When the products arrive at their destination, it is time to make arrangements for the customs agent to carry out the corresponding procedures.

If everything goes well, you are within your right to collect the shipment. You can also choose a door-to-door service and the shipment will arrive at the indicated address.

8. The quality of the products you buy:

Spend only the money you are willing to lose. In the event that the products are not what you want, or if they are defective, you may have to pay a considerable invoice for postal returns. You don't want to do that process.

9. Additional import costs:

Even if the prices seem cheaper than in your country, it does not automatically mean that they are cheaper.

Customs, shipping charges, and currency conversions are added to the price. It may not result in the good deal you expected.

10. Evaluate the seller's reputation:

Learning to shop in China means knowing that if a deal sounds too good to be true, be careful.
Cases of fake goods have been seen; that is, some sellers engage in counterfeiting to sell imitations. Use your best instincts and hesitate from time to time.

Lastly, check the comments and reviews of the seller and the products. Please contact the seller for complete information and pictures of the items.


Today, anyone through an e-commerce website has the opportunity to access a Chinese store to purchase an infinite variety of items, both for personal use and to start their own sales business.

Regardless of the location, China-made products will arrive at your doorstep so you can enjoy quality at low prices.
Since you know how to buy in China, encourage yourself by visiting different sites and following the safety tips, in this way you will create a successful business from home.

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