In today’s fast-paced world, many businesses are coming up, and the demand for products has increased tremendously. One single country cannot be able to provide all these needs for its business class. Due to this, business people have opted to import whatever they require from other countries.
In the past, importation used to be a hectic process as there was the absence of the technology we have at our disposal in the current times. There is one country that stands out in this market, and this is China. The advantage of importing from China is that you have different methods to do so, either by yourself or using sourcing agents. You will notice that a huge percentage of items we buy usually have the words ‘made in China’. China is the largest exporter of goods in the world since 2009.
Despite being a major manufacturer of a vast category of items, China also has products that it’s known for. Everyone has preferences, and some people believe that when a certain item is not made in China then it may be substandard. As much as stereotypes also exist, there is no arguing that most of our households have these Chinese products, and they serve just very well. For the toy industry, many toys sellers source cheap and quality toys from China.
Why Import Toys from China
China is a leading manufacturer of toys around the world. The ‘made in china’ label is so common in toys that it is almost hard to believe that there are other manufacturers too. Anytime you search for any type of toy online, you will find it on Chinese vendor websites. China produces a large variety of toys. All you have to do is ask for it, and you have it.
Because of this, most local vendors opt to import toys from China. Everyone wants to try something that has been used and tested by someone else so as to avoid risk. China has made a name for itself, and the various manufacturers are reaping the fruits of this. They don’t even have to advertise and market themselves, just being based in China does it for them. This has helped even the upcoming companies in the country. However, there are strict measures you must take before you start your importation process.
Why are Toys made in China
China, as we have seen, is a leader in the manufacturing industry. We have outlined the various products manufactured in China, and it is clear that toys are a big part of this production. The toys business is a major contribution to economic growth, and it is very vast all over the world. It is estimated that 140millon children will be born in the year 2021 alone. So we can clearly understand why this market sector is very wide since most of these kids will be in need of these.
Parents like to go all out when it comes to their children, and one child can own as many toys as one parent can buy. Production has to be consistent due to the high demand across the world, and China has definitely managed to keep up with this. There are factors that give China an advantage when it comes to the manufacture of toys which include;
- Low labor costs: China is home to more than 1.3 billion people. Due to this large population, there is a huge number of laborers who want to make a living. When there is a high demand for jobs, the wages are usually relatively low enabling these toy factories to achieve bulk productions and keep to clients’ timelines without having to spend so much on paying their workers.
- Compliance: There are set standards for any product being manufactured, and they have to be strictly adhered to, and toys are not an exception. There are bodies that are in charge of inspection of these items to ensure that the manufacturers have adhered to the standards. China manufacturing companies have been known to follow these guidelines very closely. This is very important to ensure kids’ safety while playing with these toys.
- Skilled workers: The presence of people with the right skills and expertise in the production of toys has enabled China to produce some of the best toys. Toys made in China are usually very advanced and beautifully made. These skills are developed from a young age as there are institutions that teach these skills to children from a young age.
- The Corporate Ecosystem: These manufacturers are supported by suppliers, government agencies, and distributors. They are, therefore, able to remain on their feet most of the time. The government of China has put in place strict regulations that protect both the suppliers and the clients.
- Availability of raw materials: We all know that you need raw materials in order to produce an end-product. These raw materials are readily available in China and at very affordable prices.
- Equipment and machinery: China has some of the best machinery used in the manufacture of toys. The country is also known for manufacturing the most advanced machines in the world. The manufacturers, therefore, have easy access to this equipment.
Ease of Importing Toys from China
Long-distance trade has been in existence since around 3000 BC, when the first business occurred between Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley in Pakistan. Initially, these two types of trade were a very hectic process due to the lack of technology and various advancements in infrastructure that we have in existence now. Importation was associated with a lot of issues due to lack of proper communication between the manufacturers and their clients. However, this sector has improved tremendously, and this has been an advantage to the majority of local vendors. This is not to say that you will not face these importation challenges, it is just easier to handle them now.
Some of the major factors that have contributed to this ease in internal and external trade include;
- World-class infrastructure: The availability of good roads, railways and ports has made transportation easier therefore enabling cost effective and timely distribution of toys from China.
- Low costs: Due to bulk productions, the prices for the products are relatively low. When factoring in the cost of the product and importation, it is way cheaper to import from China if you want to make a good profit.
- Availability of Sourcing agents: Various companies have come up in China that assist clients to source the best toys manufacturers in China.
- Good communication means: Due to modern technology, we have various means of communication that assist in the import and export process. Due to the long distance between vendors and sellers, a strong communication network is required. You can have video calls through skype, WhatsApp in order to keep track of your items.
Types of Toys made in China
China is known for the bulk production of toys. Other than that there is also a variety to choose from. There is such a wide variety of toys made in China in the market today. Toys are made considering so many factors, including gender, age, and cost. There are toys for girls and boys, toys for toddlers and older children, and they also vary in cost. Each and every parent should be able to choose the best toys for their kids.
- Educational toys: These are helpful to children learning different subjects or skills. They are mainly used by older children.
- Action figures: Action figures are mainly made for kids who are fans of a certain film, video games, or comic book characters.
- Electronic toys: These include gadgets like kindles that are used for learning, playing games, watching cartoons, and listening to music by toddlers and older children.
- Ride-on Toys: A good example of this are electronic toy cars that imitate driving a car. Kids enjoy experiencing things they see adults doing due to their highly curious minds.
- Musical instruments: These include toy pianos, guitars, and other instruments that kids with interest really enjoy. They begin to show passion for certain things at a very tender age, and this can be seen by the types of toys they love.
- Stuffed animals: A perfect stuffed animal can be your child’s best friend for life. They might outgrow it, but they will never forget it.
- Arts and crafts toys: Mostly used by school-going children who are learning certain skills. It’s all about learning and games, and of course, fun.
- Building toys: Legos fall in this category. They develop a number of skills while playing with these toys.
- Games and Puzzles: These test and improve their IQ. Teaches them about patience and the importance of finishing a task because the end result is a beautiful set of a solved puzzle.
How to Source for a Toy Factory in China
Finding an excellent China toy manufacturer can be an uphill task especially because of the distance factor. Most clients like to check out their items physically before purchasing them in order to ensure the quality of the products and also to avoid the risk of getting conned through online purchases. However, this cannot happen if you are planning to import toys from China as you can’t keep traveling to and fro all the time. That will not make economic sense to your business.
Luckily supplier sourcing has been made easier today due to certain aspects in the market today. You can now do this from the comfort of your home without worrying about any fishy business. We have sourcing agents in China who literally do everything for you. You don’t have to go through the stress of going back and forth with different suppliers. There are some very serious sourcing mistakes that sourcing agents can help you avoid completely.
The main services offered by these agents include:
- Analyzing and evaluating your project.
- They then develop a plan for finding your products.
- Research potential toy suppliers and contact them.
- Source for the best toy suppliers considering your preferences and guidelines.
- They obtain different samples for you to ascertain the quality of the product.
- They negotiate the prices on your behalf to fit your budget and advise in case of any additional costs.
- Advise you on the different shipping channels available, outlining the pros and cons of each and putting in the price factor too.
- They minimize your risks
- Conduct audits for verification in order to avoid scammers
- Prevent miscommunication due to language barrier
- They save you time and money
- Ensure you get quality toys and value for your money
- Lack of direct communication with your supplier
- They might disappear on you if its an individual and not a company
- May switch your supplier without informing you
- Some may give you over-quoted amounts
- You might land in the hands of a scammer
Finding a Sourcing Agent in China
A sourcing agent will help you find the best toy suppliers in China, but how do you identify a good sourcing agent who will not con you instead of helping you. If you are going to go through a sourcing agent, then you need to do thorough research about sourcing agents and ensure you get a good one.
It is always advisable to go with a sourcing company rather than an individual since companies are usually registered, an individual may not be registered. It is important to check certain factors such as;
- Check for references: Most clients give references to others when they have been served well. Check their various websites in the references section to see comments regarding the services offered.
- Go through the documentation carefully: Sourcing agents will give you some form of documentation, may regard shipping or other technicalities regarding your process. The secret is to go carefully look through these documents to get an idea of how well-versed the agent is.
- Ask to see a license: Chinese law is very strict in matters to do with work permits. You should be very wary when an agent starts to go back and forth about sharing their license with you. They probably do not have a permit to operate in the country.
- Analyze their experience: It is safer to choose a sourcing agent that has maximum experience in trading in the Chinese market. Ensure that they possess the necessary skills to aid in your process such as excellent negotiation skills because they will be doing that on your behalf.
- Location of the agent: A significant factor is ensuring that the sourcing agent is located in China and not sourcing your product online too. If they are not there physically then they will lie to you about important things such as quality.
- Interview the agent: This will help you gauge their knowledge of the Chinese toy market.
Factors to Consider when Importing Toys in China
There are various points to consider when sourcing toys in the Chinese market. Before closing on any transaction, you have to make sure that some things are agreed upon both by the seller and the buyer. This is very important, especially in international trade, because of the long distance between the two. The time and money spent in such transactions are too much for any careless mistakes that could have been avoided. You have to prepare a pre-order checklist to attain this.
- MOQ: This refers to minimum order quantity. A supplier should be clear on the minimum order a client has to make in order for the business to close. Most factories in China manufacture toys in huge bulks and therefore do not allow for small orders. This should be made clear to the buyer beforehand.
- Quality: A buyer, with the help of their sourcing agent, should be able to inspect the quality of the toys before importation. It is advisable to start by inspecting the raw materials being used for manufacture to ensure they are up to standard. The toys should then be inspected after manufacture to determine they are quality, and the last inspection should take place just before shipping, usually to confirm quantity too.
- Pricing: This is a very important aspect of trade. Both parties must agree on pricing before any other step is taken. It is a good thing that the toys price in china is relatively low, so most buyers get through this step after much negotiation. A sourcing agent is very critical in this process.
- Lead Time: A timeline should be agreed upon, from the beginning of production to the shipping. This enables both parties to plan themselves accordingly. In instances where delays occur, there should always be communication regarding the same.
- Custom duties: These are the costs involved in the shipping process. China has its own custom duty rates that have to be paid before any goods leave the country. Your supplier or sourcing agent will advise on these rates.
- Shipping: You should be able to decide on the best shipping method that will work for you even before the production of your toys begins. You can either use air, which is usually on the higher side cost-wise, by sea or by rail. Shipping by sea is one of the most commonly used methods because it is more cost-friendly.
China Toy Manufacturers
China has a wide variety of toy manufacturers across the various provinces in the country. Each manufacturer has specialised in the production of certain kinds of toys. When sourcing for toys, you should consider narrowing down to one manufacturer to avoid going back, and both with different manufactures as this can be very hectic for you.
These manufacturing companies have helped the Chinese economy a great deal by contributing to the general revenue and also creating lots of job opportunities for the citizens, therefore, lowering the poverty rates.
- Woodfield Toys Limited: They deal in the manufacture of plush and soft toys, which include; playmats, rattles, teethers. They export their toys to international clients like Disney, Walmart, and Target. They are located in Dongguan, Guangdong, Mainland China.
- Dongguan Yi Kang: They also manufacture plush toys and a range of other toys. They are known to produce around a million toys every single month.
- Yunhe Sally Craft Co. ltd: An eco-friendly manufacturer who is based in Zhejiang, Mainland China. Deals in the production of wooden and bamboo toys, 3D puzzles, wooden children’s furniture, and toy musical instruments.
- Zenit Industrial( Ningbo)Co. Ltd: Founded in 2017, they offer a variety of toys from bicycles to skates. They also manufacture wooden and plastic toys. Some of their creations are money boxes, dollhouses, and rocking horses. They are located in Nanhai Xin Qi Road, Beilunqu, Ningbo, China.
- Dongguan Changan Rongqi: A manufacturer of plastic toys including bath toys, floating toys, bath ducks, and LED flash toys.
- Rastar Group: Founded in 2000, Rastar Group is a manufacturer of electrical kids’ toys. Some of the products are transformable cars, ride-on cars, and robot series.
Toy Supplier Audit
It is advisable to do background checks before deciding on your toy supplier. Sourcing agents are in a better position to do this because they are on the ground and can gather as much information as possible. You can also run these checks over the internet by reading reviews and testimonials. However, we have to admit that some of these online reviews on the internet are cooked to give a business advantage. Ask your sourcing agent to supply you with this information before settling on a supplier for your toys.
This audit is important because there are instances where you find that a supplier is also outsourcing products and pretending that they are theirs. In such scenarios, you might end up with substandard items and end up running huge losses. Audits also help to determine if a supplier is known for using standard raw materials and if they are able to keep to the timeline. The overall goal is to find the best toy supplier who will be able to keep their end of the bargain.
The China toy market is huge and diverse. You may experience challenges as you venture into the idea of importing toys from China but worry not, with time everything will pick up and you will not regret your decision. All startups experience hiccups here and there as they try to keep up with market needs and demands. If you need any help in sourcing toy suppliers in China, check out our website for professional and top-notch services.