The most common fear in importing from China is about the potentially high costs of bringing in goods back home. One of the first things you have to ask yourself is, “Will your quantities make up for the five thousand miles that your loot has to travel from China to Australia?”
The cost of importing will depend on the volume of products that you are looking to import from China. That volume will determine the size of the container that you will use to import the goods from China. A twenty foot container load of goods is the usual measure for feasibility. Filling one to the brim most of the time means you are following the right course.
Your “cost of goods” go down as volume of imports go up. The lead time to getting another order (up to 4 weeks manufacturing, 4 weeks to ship, and 1 week for delivery in Australia) at your doorstep, means that after you sell your first container, you may be out of stock for up to two months while you wait for your second shipment. Ideally, it is best to have enough supply to last through the time lag you may experience, until you can get fresh stocks with your next order.
Shipping rates fluctuate depending on supply and demand. Lower rates can be negotiated during lulls in shipping activity, and higher rates may be demanded during peak shipping periods. Additionally, freight charges vary depending on the size of your shipment, container sizes and the shipping company that you hire.
If you buy just a few items (less than a container), your shipment will be put in wooden crates, and the freight charges will be estimated based on the size and weight of the crates. For example, if the crates take up a quarter of a container, you will be charged slightly more than a fourth of the container price. Upon arrival at the Australian port, customs will calculate the duty on your shipment based on the customs levy for your specific product(s), and 10% GST on the total cost of goods including freight charges. Transportation fees to ship your products from the port to your door are generally charged on a dollar per kilometre basis.
Of course, this is a general rule. What if your product of choice is jewelry? Goods of high value are exempt from this.