Before importing party decorations from China, learn the limitations and risks. Check the most important factors to consider before ordering.
Importing Party Decorations from China to the USA – The Risks You Should Be Aware of
The United States imports many goods. But 20 percent of that importing comes from China, making China the largest trading partner for the US. It amounts to half a trillion dollars’ worth of goods, meaning the trade relationship is not expected to disappear anytime soon.
Despite this strong trade relationship with China, importing party decorations from the country can still be a mixed experience. While you might acquire some decent goods, you could also fall victim to scams, delays, differences in quality compared to US decorations, tariffs and restrictions.
Before placing an order from a Chinese-based party supply wholesaler, read up on these considerations to make sure you’re prepared.
What You Need to Know About Importing Party Decorations
While you can get wholesale party supplies for amazing prices from Chinese companies, there are many nuances to importing goods you should be aware of. While modern shipping capabilities have sped up the import process and technology has made it simpler to track and manage overseas orders, it still isn’t a perfect process. Here’s a look at the top considerations for imports.
1. Shipments Can Get Lost or Damaged
The farther goods travel, the more at risk they become of facing loss or damage along the way. While domestic freight can certainly experience damage or loss, international shipments go through an even more rigorous transportation process, that leaves them susceptible to such damage.
Paying for good insurance when purchasing international goods is smart. The big catch to this is that it will increase the cost of the goods. Many importers don’t provide such insurance, which means you might need to get it independently, which can also delay when you purchase the goods.
Even if the goods get lost, you can be left holding the bill if you don’t purchase good insurance. Damage comes in a broad spectrum. Some goods might still be useful to you while others might fall off the pallet, further reducing the savings you experience from importing the decorations.
2. The Goods Are Not High Enough Quality
Over the course of choosing to import party supplies from China, you’ll encounter poor-quality products at some point. It might not be your first order but at some point, you’ll discover a poor product you won’t ever want to order from the wholesaler again.
Hopefully, the product will still be usable to some extent, but you might find it lingering in your inventory. Or if you own a party supply store, it becomes something that lingers on your shelves and you end up taking a loss on to clear it out.
Even if you don’t find poor quality issues in your early relationship with importing party decorations, you’ll likely still experience product defects. The defect might be small or you might end up throwing out half the lot of goods that you ordered, which again, will decrease the value of your per piece goods.
Ordering product inspections can reduce the likelihood that you’ll get poor quality or defective goods on your shelves, but it also increases your expenses and will leave you wondering whether importing the goods is worth it. When signing contracts or placing orders, read the fine print to see what recourse you have with the supplier in cases when the goods do not meet your standards.
3. The Product Causes Harm to Someone
Different countries have varying rules for how safe a product must be and the warning labels that you must place on the goods. If you sell a product that causes personal harm or property damage and it did not bear the required warnings, you could be liable.
The cost of a personal injury or property damage case could be in the tens of thousands of dollars, all for you to save 10 cents per pack of streamers. That’s where you have to be very careful about what you sell or use to decorate your parties.
Personal injury law is complex as is product labeling. Before stocking a party supply store, you should meet with your attorney to discuss ways to minimize risks to your store and ensure you’re importing properly labeled goods.
Liability insurance can also provide some protection from such lawsuits and expenses. But you still want to proceed with caution when choosing what products to use in your business.
4. You Can’t Sell the Product Legally in the US
Some products never reach their intended recipient because they get seized at customs. That could be because the product doesn’t meet the requirements for the US for safety certifications or product labeling, as described in the last section.
Or the product could be protected under intellectual property rights, trademark law or patenting. The supplier might not know the product is patented in the US or it might be trying to undercut the patent holder in the US. Patent law doesn’t translate well to other countries, making this a complex issue where you can purchase the product from a supplier, but you can’t turn around and use it or sell it in your business. Then you have a pallet full of goods you can’t use in any way, making them worthless no matter the great deal you got on them because you imported the goods.
5. The Market Isn’t There to Resell the Goods
Ordering anything in bulk carries some risk with it because you don’t know whether it will be popular or if you can get the profit margins from it that you plan to. Sometimes you order a product for $1 that you believe you can turn around and sell for $5. But in the time it takes to get the product from another country, its popularity wears off and you find yourself selling it for $3 and realizing that the overhead, marketing and shipping to the customer cost you an additional $2.50. So in reality, you’ve taken a 50-cent loss on the product.
There are never guarantees that any product you purchase will earn the profit margins you think it will. But ordering domestically could allow you to test smaller quantities and get the goods quickly to test them out with less risk involved.
Party supplies are a highly competitive market. With that comes some unpredictability and you don’t want to find yourself with enormous stock of anything unsure of how you’ll move it.
6. The Supplier Accepts Your Payment but Then Disappears
There are so many scams out there for taking online payments and never delivering goods. Sadly, anyone can masquerade as a company claiming you can buy wholesale party supplies from China. But once they have your large order, the website and all forms of communication disappear.
You’re now out of money with little chance of ever seeing that product. It’s a challenging situation, but one that is far too common with the ease of setting up a website that looks legitimate.
Where to Buy Domestic, Reliable Wholesale Party Decorations and Supplies
If you’ve discovered that the risks of importing party decorations from another country aren’t for you, look to a reliable, domestic wholesale party decorations and supplies provider. SoNice Party is located in California and can meet your bulk ordering needs. Start your wholesale account now to experience the reliability and security you need to run your business.
Looking for information on how to start a successful party supply store? Here’s your 10-step guide to build your business.
Looking to stock your party supply store? Here’s a look at the best places to buy wholesale balloon supplies that will delight your customers.