You’ve heard it from us before, but we cannot stress this enough. When you’re importing your Private Label products:
- Assume nothing – all the time!
- Take nothing for granted – all the time!
- Be skeptical – all the time!
(If you’re new here, welcome! You can check our previous posts on product supply and importation here and here.) There are many reputable importers you can utilize to get your products on US soil, but it’s vital to do the proper research to ensure you don’t wind up with a scammer. Follow these 3 tips to find an importer you can trust.
Choose an importer who knows US import laws.
Your foreign supplier (or manufacturer, or broker, whatever the case may be) might claim to have intricate knowledge of US import laws, but you need to double check this for yourself.
Have they worked with US Customs before? Are they familiar with the proper paperwork? Can they file it correctly? How will they handle a freight discrepancy? The knowledge required for US importation is extensive! Don’t just blindly trust your importer knows the best way to ensure your goods will arrive safe and sound—research, research, and research some more.
Pick up the Phone.
To avoid detection and prosecution by authorities, scammers typically list false registration information in their online profiles. Fake company addresses, telephone numbers, and fax numbers are all common.
You may see a mobile phone listing, with the scammers trying to convince you to contact them solely by mobile phone. This is a huge red flag! Legitimate businesses normally use landlines for regular business operations. In China, scammers can buy massive amounts of mobile phone numbers without restriction…so beware a mobile phone-only business profile!
To check for yourself whether or not the listed details are legitimate, make a call to the company’s landline phone number. A standard Chinese landline will follow this format: 86 20 5555 5555. “86” is the country code for China, “20” (or some other 2 digit number) is the area code, and “5555 5555” is the phone number. You can verify the company’s location by cross-checking its physical address against the area code.
Once you reach a representative, ask for their company registration number and license number. They should be able to readily supply this information. If they can’t, then definitely proceed with caution.
Make sure you genuinely like your importer.
There are many reputable, competent importers available to help you get your goods to port, so take some time before you rush into a partnership with just any company. It’s important to build a positive working relationship with the importer you ultimately choose.
The best prices and the most extensive knowledge in the world won’t make you feel comfortable about working with an importer you dislike. Good communication skills and a positive attitude are both (often neglected!) qualities to look for in an importer. It’s especially nice if you have several avenues of communication you can use (QQ, Skype, telephone, and email all work well), and/or more than point of contact you can reach out to on an emergency basis. It helps your importation process go that much more smoothly.
If you put in your due diligence to find an importer who’s a great fit for your needs, you’ll be one step closer to a successful Private Label business venture. We’ve had a lot of fun on our thirty-five-year business journey. Join us in China at our LIVE event and let us share our experience with you. You won’t regret it!