TOYS IMPORTED FROM CHINA: THE COMPLETE GUIDE 2019

A two year old girl from South Africa walked out to the front porch of her dad’s house, in the video you could see the confused look on her face though it was her birthday she had a bemused countenance wondering why she had to leave her cartoon to come outside. She looked to the left and totally flipped out, the little girl was lost with emotions when she say the pink miniature sports car parked beside balloons with her name plastered on the wall.

Toys have this special emotion they trigger on kids, you can’t go wrong with gifting a child a toy whether they be plastic toys, electronic toys, mechanical toys or wooden toys. The kids will have a special connection with any toy. For an industry that produces for children, the toy business is no kids stuff. Grossing 26.5 billion dollars in the US not to mention 5% increase in its previous numbers, one can only imagine the endless opportunities available in this booming business.

As soothing as these figures look, all the toy products imported from China must comply with the regulations set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). This and other imperative features are contained in this comprehensive guide to toy importation from China.

BEGINNING

It would be very difficult to try to trace the origin of toy importation from China, one can say that the children had always had a craving for toys. No matter where they were or what they did children love playing with things. One can even say that toys are as old as man. The toy industry was not regarded as a “big business” until after the 1830’s when steamboats and steam trains were used as improvement in the distribution of manufactured goods. Early toy makers would use wood, tin or cast iron to make miniature soldiers, wagons and other simple toys. For many decades, the quality of toys have steadily improved from miniature soldiers to actual talking action figures. With the level of quality of toy production heightened throughout the years, it is no wonder toy import has evolved in the reputable business venture we now know it to be today.

China is the biggest export of toys in the world today, with a viable economy and technology to boast of it is no wonder that they are experts when it comes to toy exports. Importing toys from China takes a great deal of proficiency, versatility and creativity. A newbie may find it difficult if the idiosyncrasies of the Toy industry are not properly examined. There are a real few intricate elements that one needs to harness to comfortably establish a firm knowledge about toy importation from China.

Knowing how to research your market is one of the most important elements when thinking of toy imports from China. Using an efficient repository of trade statistics as well as relevant analytical tables, you can be able to properly research your market. Comtrade is one of such systems that give free access to detailed global trade date that will help you understand your market. Using Google trends is also an effective way of validating your product ideas, it gives you an insight on trends as they change from time to time. You can easily detect what type of toy you want to import based on its performance in the market.

After setting up the right kind of software to monitor the trends, you can then go ahead to decide what to import. There are various categories of Chinese toys available in the market, you have to select your niche from the product scope. It was aforementioned that there are four categories of toys: wooden, mechanical, electronic amd plastic toys. There are other categories of toys which will be highlighted in subsequent chapters.However, the product list below represents  a detailed description of toys ranging in those four categories.

TOY IMPORTED FROM CHINA? WHY?

In recent years the demand for toys has increased with the advancement of technology in the world more people are buying into the business venture. It is mind-boggling how kiddies stuffs interest a whole lot of adults, it goes beyond the kids alone but the manufactures and grownups also fancy toys. Take for example the Hoverboard which was like a new wave that hit the whole world was for people of all ages. Back in 2015, celebrities like Jamie Foxx who made an entrance using the hoverboard on the tonight shoe with Jimmy Fallon, Floyd Mayweather and a host of others were seen posting videos and pictures riding with their Hoverboards. This changed the way people viewed the Toy and the demand for it skyrocketed. So why do people import toys from China?

Asides from the aforementioned fact that products made in China can help influence the way things are done in the world, toys are imported from China for other reasons. One of which is the quality of these toys. There is a queer notion that products from China are always fragile and therefore not durable. On the contrary, products and toys imported from China have been guaranteed to have the best quality since the products pass through a checking process before they are imported.

Another reason why you should consider importing from China is you get the best price for top quality toys. The price for these products on very cheap in fact you can bargain the price per item if you are not satisfied. You not only save money but you have the luxury of getting more toys depending on your capacity. Aren’t you lucky? Imagine just starting up your business, the cheap prices of toys produced in China will ultimately help in growing your business as you can sell up to ten times from the price of the imported toys. 

WHAT KIND OF TOYS WILL BRING YOU BUSINESS

In business, products have particular seasons where they can flourish in the market. Identifying trends, anticipating results and applying the data from those results will help you understand what kind of toys will bring you business. Let’s go back to the hoverboard, in 2015 this product was a killer in the market. Everyone wanted a piece of the action but now the craze for the product is slowly diminishing and new toys are coming to take control. Just like the finger monkey which was a top seller on 2017-2018. However, it is not entirely important to worry about sale as customers will still want those products but creating a niche for yourself will go a long way in getting toys that will bring you business. There are several categories of imported toys from China to choose from, some of which will be listed below to aid your selection.

PRODUCT SCOPE FOR CHINESE TOYS

1 Infant toys

2 Teethers and pacifiers

3 Arts and crafts

4 Experimental sets

5 Stuffied and textiles toys

6 Rocking horses and ride-on toys

7 Games, puzzles and books

8 Toy chests

9 Magnetic toys

10 Toys guns and projectile toys

11 Costumes and accessories (eg Halloween costume , Mask)

12 Battery operated toys

13 Electrical toys

14 Tableware for kids

15 Bicycles and scooter

16 Activity toy for domestic use

17 Remote control toys

18 Doll and stuffed toys

19 Classic toys

20 Models and building toys

There are other categories of toys but from the list above it would be very easy for you to carve a niche for yourself and comfortably identify what toys to import with relevant data to support your decision.

WHERE TO BUY TOYS IN CHINA

One costly mistake toy businesses make is their haste in preparing a list of manufacturers in China before going to purchase the Toy products. As appealing as it might sound, it would be better to have some form of familiarity with the place of origin before you proceed to look for the manufacturer.

Getting to know the place of origin will afford you the opportunity of getting different suppliers. You then will be able to compare prices since you have the luxury of choice. There are two major Chinese toy markets: Guangzhou market and Yiwu market.

TOY WHOLESALE MARKETS IN GUANGZHOU

Suppliers in toy wholesale markets in Guangzhou are scattered, they stay in separate small buildings scattered in different corners. You have to keep your eyes peeled when coming to markets in Guangzhou, they small buildings are mostly situated along Yide road, Guangzhou where the classification of toys are mixed up. You probably will have to go with someone who is familiar with the place to make things easier for yourself. Also most Guangzhou natives hardly speak English, so you will need to go with a translator whether – locating one in Guangzhou or preferably online – who will serve as an agent

The MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity) is relatively low but the price is higher compared to the markets in Yiwu. Mostly customers from South East Asia and fee Europeans come to these markets to purchase toy products. There are also few factories here in Guangzhou, which may be a turn off to businesses looking to purchase toys in large quantities. So I would advise if you want to purchase toy products in large quantities maybe from $1000 per toy you could go to the Toy markets in Yiwu.

THE TOY WHOLESALE DISTRICT IN YIWU WHOLESALE MARKET

This is more or less a stark contrast to the Guangzhou wholesale market in China. Yiwu wholesale market has a lotto suppliers from different part of China, it is more central than Guangzhou wholesale market as the setting is like a large fair. The Yiwu market is divided into five districts, the China toy factories occupy the first District where you can find any toy you want. The market is more segmented than Guangzhou wholesale market as the toys are categorized into three : electronic toys, plush toys and ordinary toys. These toys all have areas designated for them.

The MOQ may vary in Yiwu wholesale markets as high-value toys may be relatively small while the MOQ for other toys range from $200 and above. This is also evident when it comes to the quantity of products you want to purchase and since the suppliers don’t know what your specific needs are he might as well offer the same price for both 1000 and 5000 products. It would be wise to go with an agent that knows the terrains of the market and the people as well to help you bargain properly.

You therefore need to have a lot of experience when importing toys from Yiwu market, some suppliers don’t provide certification and so it will be in your best interest to get sufficient information before engaging in any business deal here. Just like the setting of the Guangzhou wholesale market, finding a professional sourcing agent will be imperative for your business.

HOW TO SEARCH FOR TOY SUPPLIERS FROM CHINA ONLINE

The suppliers you encounter online are mostly trading companies, they will tell you they can produce any kind of toy you like but nosy cases it is not true. This is because many Chinese toy factories are small and they get their orders from trading companies. Some of the toy factories have their shops on Alibaba but hardly get foreign buyers. You can also find large scale toy factories in fairs such as global sources fair.

Alibaba

I don’t know of any B2B trading platform that is as large as Alibaba, most suppliers throng to Alibaba.com to enhance their businesses. It has thousands of suppliers in each product category which allows you search for whatever you want with more options to choose from. With the massive inflow of suppliers on Alibaba, it is very easy to get lost when searching for toy suppliers. Therefore the following are tips in searching for toy suppliers on Alibaba.

HOW TO FIND TOYS ON ALIBABA

  1. Gather relevant information about the product. Keywords are very important when searching for anything on the Internet these days. You need to know the particular word or the product you are searching for. Also, identify where the manufacturers are located in different parts of China so you can limit suppliers scope.
  2. Know what you need and choose an appropriate supplier in Alibaba. Choose thr requirement that favors you them search for the supplier that matches such requirement. Identifying trading companies is also very essential when searching for suppliers on Alibaba. Look for the company name and address and check for other products produced by that company.

 

GLOBAL SOURCES

This is yet another platform that allows you search for toy suppliers from China online. Global sources is a  Hongkong based business to business company with a very accessible website. There is a plethora of categories to choose from you can access any product by any time. However, you need to know keywords of the product to easily navigate through the system.

HOW TO FIND SUPPLIERS ON GLOBAL SOURCES

  1. Register online to easily access products on the site.
  2. Know the product you want to import from China by using relevant keywords in the search option provided.
  3. Once the product is found, click on the product and automatically it will bring information about that product. The key specifications, price, enquiries , delivery details and most importantly supplier details.

 

PROBLEMS YOU MAY HAVE WHEN IMPORTING TOYS FROM CHINA

You would agree that when you have a new born in the house, there are certain safety and precautionary measures to take. For instance baby-proofing electric sockets, cabinets, toilets and other places in the house. The same way it is extremely important to take note of some certain things when importing toys from China. Some stiff rules and requirements have to be placed to ensure the safety of the kids, if these rules and guidelines are not followed you could enjoy the major problems when trying to import toys from China.

PROBLEM OF COMPLIANCE AND SAFETY

This is one of the biggest issues when it comes to importing products from China, certification is of primary importance in this business. Different countries have varied certifications for their products. In the US, the products have to pass the first three tests of AST F963 which is broken down into mechanical/physical testing, flammable testing and chemical testing. The other type of best required is the CPSIA (Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act) which helps to test the labeling and lead. As a newbie, you will need to ask suppliers to present certification for their products which comply with rulers and regulations in your country to avoid any present and future hassles.

COMMODITY INSPECTION REQUIRED BY CHINA CUSTOM

Toys need to undergo commodity inspection when being exported to other countries, the procedure is usually from $200 – $300 for one container. The cost for shipping with less Container load may vary and depend on the volume of the toy product.

PROBLEM OF DESIGN INFRINGEMENT

Many kids will always prefer the fanciful designs of Avatar Aang or  any other popular cartoon character to a plan design. Hence, it is important for suppliers to get company’s authorization for designs on toys to avoid any issues. Selling an unauthorized product can eventually ruin your business, play safe and do the needful.

PROBLEM OF SHIPPING TOYS FROM CHINA

The size of the container usually determines the amount you are going to spend, if you plan on importing 3 CBM toys each shipment it would be better to buy from a local market than to import from China directly to avoid high cost and strict commodity inspection.

SOME COMMON QUESTIONS

It is only normal to have some questions to clarify whatsoever doubts that may be on your mind, we have therefore compiled a list of common questions people ask when importing toys from China. 

WHAT DOCUMENTS DO I NEED TO IMPORT TOYS FROM CHINA?

Let’s jump right in, these are the necessary import documents you need in this business

  • A receipt or a bill of lading listing the toys.
  • An official invoice that lists the country of origin purchase price, and tariff classification of the toys..
  • An arrival notice from a specified U.S. customs agent.
  • A packing that details your imported toys

As explained in previous sections, you have to be conversant with the various regulations guiding the Toy products you are willing to bring into your country and also in China.

CAN I IMPORT ELECTRONIC TOYS?

With the recent proclivity for high-tech and electronic toys, you will have to pay attention to the various guidelines governing the importation of electronic toys. All Wi-Fi enabled amd Bluetooth toys are regulated by the FCC ( The Federal Communications Council) which you have to get certification from to confirm the importation of your toys. The Food and Drug Administration in the US do not only oversee food and drug products but inspect imported electronic toys and products.. Some of the guidelines of the FDA for clearance approval are as follows:

  • The imported electronic toy or device must be safe.
  • The imported electronic toy or device must be durable and effective for regular use.
  • All labels must be proper and include information in English.

You have to also pay for the the electronic toys thereafter get a numerical classification for each product with detailed information of its use and components. 

CAN I IMPORT LICENSED TOYS FROM CHINA?

Intellectual properties are strictly guarded anywhere in the world  you could fave serious consequences if caught up have stolen intellectual works. That being said, there are some toys that are licensed that have trademark characters and logos such as Batman, Spiderman and others. Hence, getting a proof of trademark compliance in form of writing from the supplier will be very essential. Counterfiet amd fake licensed toys are available online thus you have to check the toys for compliance with Customs and Border protection if I’m the US or any other regulatory body in your country. 

CAN I IMPORT WOODEN TOYS?

If you must import Wooden toys you will need to get Timber and Timber Products Import Permit to accompany their shipments. The permit takes approximately one month to get amd can be got by filling the PPQ Form 58, which can even be filled online. Wooden toys will undergo the same level of sanctions as importing wood, wooden toys must undergo sanitization procedures. Heat and chemical treatments are required to protect the kids and people from pests and any other harmful substances.

CONCLUSION

I know it looks like there are many regulations, requirements and safety standards involved in importing toys from China but this guide will help you still make it. With the right connections and adequate research you will realize that the toy business is very lucrative.

Let us help you with your importing needs. We are guaranteed to making things easy for you.

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