A Safer Way to Import from China
Let Guided Imports handle all aspects of your company’s operations in China. Our tried and true process and tactics enable us to locate the most qualified and reliable suppliers capable of manufacturing your products. Then, we manage everything on location in China on our client’s’ behalf.
Don’t get lost in a sea of back-and-forth correspondence with countless suppliers, never knowing which are actually qualified and honest. Let our experienced multilingual sourcing and manufacturing specialists handle it for you!
You’ll work with a dedicated account representative who is accountable to you. We’ll clearly organize all information for you so you can be in complete control of all the important details without getting bogged down in unimportant minutiae.
What to Expect
If you choose to work with us, here’s what you can expect:
- Simplicity & Honesty – if something simply can’t be done, we will tell you and explain why. If it can be done, we’ll tell you what it takes.
- Organization & Reporting – You are provided access to a live report that is constantly updated throughout the entire process. You will always know exactly what step we’re working on, what is going on with your order and what we need from you.
- Communication & Expertise – You’ll have one dedicated and experienced account representative, completely accountable to you. Our representatives have the experience and skills to determine exactly what it will take to make your order successful. You’ll be able to speak with your representative via email and over the phone, assuring you easy access to consult about any aspect of your order at any time. We are here for you.
- Involvement Options– Your level of involvement is entirely up to you. Clients who prefer a more hands-on approach will receive constant updates at every step of the process. Or, let us spare you the insignificant minutiae so you have more time to focus on the big picture. This allows for the micromanagers to stay updated, and gives the macromanagers the freedom to delegate without missing out on the important details.
What Not to Expect
It is important to manage your expectations, so here is what you should not expect:
- Making the impossible possible – We’re not miracle workers; we are still working with Chinese factories. If something cannot be done, we’ll tell you upfront without giving you the runaround.
- Getting the lowest price every time – You get what you pay for in China. If price is more important to you than quality, we’ll be happy to work to get you the lowest acceptable price. But our goal is a fair balance between price and quality, but always tailored to your specific needs. This means protecting you from being overcharged or undercharged, where suppliers sacrifice quality to make up for lost profit. Our negotiators and sourcing agents are the best in the industry, and we’re often able to uncover unexpected savings. But our commitment to quality and offering a personalized service mean we do not offer any “lowest price guarantees.”
- Product Design – We are not a design company, and neither are Chinese production factories. If you need something designed, we’ll most likely refer you to a qualified design company, as this is a service we do not offer.
- Lightning Fast Speed – While we take very seriously the importance of getting your goods made quickly, rushing orders will almost always lead to costly issues down the road. Remember, we want to do things the right way and limit your risk. Over the years we’ve perfected our process to move quickly and efficiently, but at the same time making sure not to hurry suppliers more than what can be expected as this almost always compromises product quality.
- A Risk Free Solution to a Guaranteed Investment – Using our services means you are hiring us to act as your purchasing department. There is no such thing as a risk free solution to purchasing from China. We’ll limit your risk as much as possible. But, nobody can reliably guarantee you profits — especially in China — without at least a little risk involved. This is a fact, but don’t let it deter you from doing business in China. Guided Imports is the most recommended sourcing & supply chain management company in the industry for a reason: we treat every order as if it were our own. We have the experience, expertise, and relationships to minimize your risk as much as humanly possible and will do so in every step of the process.
Our service is a step by step process, meaning everything listed is included in the work we do to manage your production in China. Listed below are the individual stages that we can include in all orders we manage.
Click each stage to learn more.
Within three days of you ordering our service, we’ll deliver a Product Validation report. This section will give you a quick overview of the estimated costs, both high end and low end, to import your goods. You’ll be given an estimate on shipping costs across various methods of shipping. We’ll notify you of necessary product certifications, import requirements and possible import taxes.
By giving you a rapidly created report, estimating all the possible charges you may incur, we allow you to make important profit saving decisions early on, eliminating hidden and unexpected costs as much as possible.
In the event a product validation comes back and the numbers don’t look profitable, no problem! We’ll validate up to five individual products for you at no additional cost.
Please keep in mind, all information provided on the validation report is subject to change. We’re simply providing estimated prices after sourcing various types of suppliers, speaking with customs brokers and freight forwarders.
The import-export industry has a reputation for lack of transparency and bad business practices. We are working to change this paradigm by being as transparent as possible.
We will begin to work on the product sourcing report once you’ve confirmed the product from the validation report. After seven days, we will provide you with an even more detailed report, giving you factory information, initial pricing, product descriptions and specifications. You’ll be given a full rundown of the suppliers we’re working with, along with their contact information, available catalogs and websites.
We don’t stop there though! The product sourcing section of the report introduces up to five potential suppliers who are qualified to manufacture your product. This means they meet virtually all of your requirements and they have been vetted and checked to ensure there is no potential risk in doing business with them.
So what do you do with this information?
Well, that is absolutely up to you. However, we strongly suggest you allow us to handle the negotiation and production planning with the potential suppliers. We will keep you in the loop the entire way, but our experienced team of local purchasers is working on your behalf to ensure you receive best possible deals.
In other words, we continue to act as your project manager, delivering detailed reports with as much detail as you need. At every stage we will present you with the next steps to keep the process moving and allowing you to focus on your sales and the growth of your business.
After you receive the product sourcing report, we’ll begin obtaining samples and shipping them to your door.
So now you have a detailed report of potential costs, a list of awesome, qualified suppliers tailored to your individual requirements and clear explanations of the benefits of each potential supplier.
Now it’s time to get some samples in your hands so the real negotiating can begin.
The goal of early production samples is to get a basic understanding of the quality level each potential supplier is capable of producing. We enable you to inspect each option, test it according to the very highest standards and determine which suppliers stay and which get the boot.
The sample ordering process is simple. In our report, we’ll notify you of additional costs that are charged by each supplier to purchase samples. We’ll assist you in purchasing the samples from all suppliers, we’ll have them shipped to our office in China, we’ll write up a quick report for you to look over and then box the samples all together and ship them to you.
We handle all of the sample ordering, consolidation and preparing for shipment. The only additional costs to your are the sample fees from the supplier and the shipping costs.
We can ship these samples to anywhere in the world, too!
Once you have received the samples, our support team will work with you to decide which ones make the cut and which don’t. Then we start negotiating with the suppliers we’ve shortlisted.
Our number one goal is to provide qualified suppliers that are capable of producing goods to your specifications. There are lots of different kinds factories in China, and they all have their own specific pros and cons. As an importer we understand that the most important number to you is the final number.
How much is this going to cost?
Our trained negotiators will work to get you the best possible deals. We are not miracle workers, and we know better than to negotiate rates that are impossibly low, but what we will do is ensure you’re getting the highest quality product for the best price.
In this stage, it is important for our team to handle the entire stage of the negotiation process. Our negotiations will last for a total of five days, and once the negotiation is complete, the production will be ready to begin.
We require that Guided Imports handles 100% of the communication and negotiation with the suppliers. It has been our experience that when customers become involved in the negotiations with the supplier, even when they have the best of intentions, this often creates confusion and can lead to a breakdown in relationships with suppliers. In the event a customer tries to negotiates directly with a supplier Guided Imports has provided, Guided Imports reserves the right to terminate the agreement with the customer. All monies paid to Guided Imports remain the sole property of Guided Imports; the customer will not receive a refund for the amount paid.
Once negotiations are complete, it is time to prepare the order!
Preparing the Production
Once negotiations have been finalized, it’s time to select a supplier and get ready to place an order.
Before placing the order, we like to prepare a Production Manual, which is a document written in both English and Chinese, that explains all the details we’ve negotiated. This is an added safety layer to ensure any bit of miscommunication is dealt with prior to the start of the production.
Production Manuals differ by product, but they will always include all the pertinent information for a successful production.
Once the Production Manual is complete, we request the supplier to sign off on it, and send a copy to you to do the same.
After the Production Manual has been signed off by both parties, we assist you in arranging the payment to the supplier. Remember, we are acting as your boots on the ground in China, so this means all payments run directly from you to the supplier, we don’t act as an intermediary.
Once the initial payment has been made to the factory, our team will begin managing the production.
Managing the Production
Delays and errors do happen. Anybody with importing experience can attest to this. We manage the entire production in order to stay on top of any potential errors or delays.
Our team keeps in contact with your factory throughout the entire production. We provide you with weekly reports on the progress of the order, and notify you of any change or cause for concern.
By closely monitoring every stage of production, we’re able to catch errors early on and prevent them from developing into catastrophic problems if left unattended.
If our team detects any issues, we’ll work with you to develop a plan of action to resolve them and keep production on track.
Inspections & Quality Control
Quality Inspection Services
Included in our full package sourcing services is an inspection service. We offer four types of inspections to choose from. Although our sourcing team will always recommend the most ideal inspection for your production, we’d like to explain the differences between the types of inspections, and their benefits.
Quality inspection is a procedure wherein the goods are checked, tested, or evaluated to ensure that a product has met the set of criteria defined prior to the start of a production.
The four types of Quality Inspection Services that we offer are:
Initial Production Check
During Production Check
Container Loading Check
1. Initial Production Check:
This evaluation is done before products are manufactured in order to make sure all the components and requirements are available and approved according to the importer’s requirements. The Initial Production Check will inspect machinery, measurements and special features, meeting safety requirements for products targeted for kids’ or home use and the like.
Benefits: Saves time and effort for both client and manufacturer so a product can be created without sudden changes in materials, design etc. in the middle of the production.
Ideal For: Complex productions requiring precision tools and large productions required to meet strict safety standards.
2. During production check :
This check is performed during production, inspecting the products as they’re made. This inspection acts as an on-site evaluation and determines whether or not the production is being manufactured properly and according to the importer’s specifications.
Benefits: Identifies potential delays and production errors that would otherwise lead to defects and poor quality.
Further production improvements can be made once products that pass and fail are identified.
Ideal For: Time sensitive productions and new or fully customized products.
3. Container Loading Check:
After production, the goods are packed and loaded to the container for shipping. This inspection provides assurance that the goods are handled properly and safely, and correctly loaded in a container. Improper container loading can result in goods being damaged during transit.
Benefits: Minimizes the risk of product damage during delivery. Avoids delays resulting from products being left behind in factories when not correctly counted and packed.
Ideal For: Full container shipments of fragile and mixed weighted goods.
4. Pre-shipment inspection :
We perform this inspection just before your goods are shipped. This includes checking the total number of products, packing inspection, consistency of goods control, and checking documentations to make sure all legal paperwork is properly filed and requirements have been met. Inspectors usually request that 70% of the goods are to be packed prior to the inspection. This allows for an inspection of the packaging and product quality.
Benefits: Prevents potential financial loss from subpar quality and defective goods. This inspection is the preferred inspection as it covers multiple aspects of a production and determines if goods fail quality testing.
Ideal For: Private label products and other productions requiring an overall check prior to the goods being shipped.
Our support team will consult with you on the most ideal inspection for you order. Once we have decided on an inspection type, we’ll arrange to have an inspector visit your supplier. Once the inspection is concluded, we’ll send you an inspection report.
If the inspection receives a passing grade, the next step is to wire the final payment to the supplier in exchange for the goods.
In the event the inspection receives a failing or pending grade, we’ll work together with you, the supplier and the inspector to determine the best course of action.
Once the goods are fully paid for, the next stage is shipping!
We utilize local Chinese photography studios for all product photography. The process goes as follows:
Once your supplier has completed production samples, we place a request for your supplier to ship one completed sample to our office in Shenzhen, China. Once we receive the product, it is then delivered to the photographer for documentation. This process takes place towards the end of production, after the goods have passed their inspection.
Our affiliated photography studios are able to photograph in front of white, black and colored backgrounds. We deliver a total of eight photographs per product and can deliver in 300DPI or 4000 by 6000 pixels. Normal files are delivered in .jpeg format, however additional formats are available upon request.
At this time we do not offer product bundling, on-location shots, or modeling. All photographs will be taken from various angles with just the product in view.
Once your products have been produced, you may elect to have the products shipped directly to the Guided Imports warehouse, located in Shenzhen, China. There, we can assist you with FBA prep, packaging, and bundling multiple orders.
We include the costs of SKU labeling in our service. While material costs are the responsibility of the buyer, we’re able to offer unbeatably low prices for labeling.
We want to make the process simple for you. If you have a special request, whether it is including a special insert, custom packaging, or product consolidation, our team can work with you to make sure it gets done in China.
This means your goods will not only be ready before leaving China, but they will be able to be shipped directly to fulfillment facilities.
Logistics Management and Shipping
Whether you have a preferred logistics company you would like us to use, or you want to take advantage of the great rates we’ve already negotiated with forwarding companies, when your goods are ready to be shipped we manage the entire process on your behalf.
This means we help you fill out all necessary forms and documents, we work directly the the shipping companies so you don’t have to, and we provide you with round the clock updates so you can be certain you know where your goods are every step of the way.
Our Account Representatives are highly trained in logistics management and will consult with you on the best tactics for shipping your goods, both inexpensively and quickly.
Even More Ways We Help
If we can make something easier for you, we’ll do everything we can to make it happen. Here are some additional ways we can help bring your products to market.
While these added services are subject to additional costs, our intention is to save you time and money anywhere we can.
- White Glove Quality Control – Quality control inspections can only do so much. We can assist you with ensuring the utmost product quality by performing quality control inspections on each individual unit.
- Product Bundling – Want to put together a bundle of products? Regardless of whether the products come from different factories or the same factory, we can help make your bundle possible.
- Hiding Your Supplier– Worried about your competitors finding out about the source of your products? We can help you keep your supplier’s name off the Bill of Lading, and prevent prying eyes from seeing what you don’t want them to.
- Compliance Certifications – If we determine your product requires compliance certifications before being imported into your desired country, we can assist in the procurement of any and all required certifications.
Need something else? Let our Account Representatives know, and we’ll do what we can to make it happen!
You can purchase our service at anytime and use it whenever you are ready. Our orders do not expire.
When you’re ready to purchase our service, head to the ‘Let’s Begin’ section and select which products you’d like to order.
In order for us to begin the validation section of your service, we’ll need the exact product you intend to have made with all specifications and requirements in detail.
By having all product specifications ready, we estimate the total time our service takes to be at least three months. Because of this, you need to be ready to place your order with the supplier once you’ve confirmed your samples. Prices change as commodity costs fluctuate, so the price of an item today may differ from the price next month.
After placing your order, all you need to do is fill out the product intake form we provide you, then we begin.
Once we review your product information, we’ll pair you with an Account Representative. Our representatives usually like to schedule an initial call with you to kick things off and ensure we understand everything about your product.Let’s Begin
Understanding the Sourcing Report
Once you begin using our service, we will create a unique and comprehensive sourcing report. This report is where you will have access to all updates and information about your order. This live report is constantly updated as you work together with your Account Representative throughout the various stages of your order.
All key information goes into this report, providing you with a single place for all relevant information about your order.
Getting started today is the fastest way to see your products come to life!Let’s Begin