Ordering samples from China

Update date:
01 Dec 2023
Date of publication:
01 Jun 2023
Reading time: 3 minutes

When trying to purchase a particular product in China, it is worth importing samples first before the final order. This is extremely important due to the fact that a great many products in China that seemingly look good in pictures may actually be of poor quality. 

I have encountered situations where two Chinese sellers are theoretically selling the same product, but then it turns out that the quality is radically different. It doesn't always have to be this way though, some sellers sell the same product, they just charge a higher margin.

Above all, it is worth asking our shipper in China for photos of the goods on offer and, if it is a more technologically advanced product, asking for a more detailed specification to help us verify the product. 

The next step after checking the photos and possible specifications is to order samples. 

Free samples from China

With small and relatively low-priced goods, retailers and manufacturers often offer free product samples, but in this case you usually have to bear the cost of transport to Poland. 

There are situations where vendors charge much higher amounts for shipping samples than they actually should. The cost of shipping a small size box should be no more than US$50 - US$60. 

When we want to compare several products, there can be the problem of shipping, which we have to pay for several times from different sellers. However, we have a solution for this too. The best way is to send the goods to one place in China, in this case to one trusted person who will send everything together at a low cost. This will save a lot of money and time. 

If you do not have such a vetted person, please email us. We will help you download samples through our verified friend who will help you free of charge in this process. 

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Where to order product samples from in China, Alibaba or 1688?

There are several main trading platforms where we can order goods from a number of Chinese sellers and factories. The largest are:

Alibaba - With the help of this portal, we can import bulk quantities of goods from China from factories and retailers. The platform is mainly intended for foreign entrepreneurs ordering goods from China. Communication on the portal is in English. Manufacturers from other countries can also sell on Alibaba, the website is not limited to China only.

1688 - a portal very similar to Alibaba, where you can order bulk quantities of products. The main difference is that it is designed more for the Chinese market. The sellers on the site are oriented towards trading with Chinese entities. Communication as well as item titles and descriptions are provided in Chinese. Ordering and searching for suitable goods is therefore more difficult. To import samples, it is best to use a company to guide you through the process of ordering samples from a Chinese factory to 1688.

In conclusion, it is always worth limiting the risks, a thorough check of samples of goods will help to assess the quality of product samples and thus avoid many disappointments. I have encountered situations in which an importer may have ordered several thousand units of a particular product, which later turned out to be of mediocre quality. It is difficult to do anything about this later, because it is difficult to draw legal consequences from the Chinese company and the second thing is that sending the goods back will involve additional costs, which can sometimes exceed the value of the goods. 

Transport of samples from China

The most common form of transporting samples from China for small products will be this air transport. Shipping time is between 3 and 7 working days. For larger products it is worth considering ordering maritime transport (36-55 days) or rail (14 - 22 days ) .

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