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How to Import Toys from China

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Updated on 28 Dec 2023
5 min read
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Most entrepreneurs, including Chinese suppliers, tend to avoid diving into toy importing and supplying business because there are many categories of toy products, and finding the right product to sell can be very difficult. Besides, several countries have lots of rules governing the importation of toys, which hinders or delays the importing process.


However, the importation of toys, especially from China, is not as difficult as many people think. In this article, we’ll focus on how to import toys from China and how to identify high-quality suppliers.


Figure out what type of toys you want to import


There are several types of toys manufactured in China and many different consumer trends. You need to figure out what you want to import, whether toy figurines, classic toys, baby toys, etc. Just like any business, you need to do your homework and figure out which toys are on-demand in the market.


Every year there’s usually a top-selling toy. For instance, 2013-14, it was loom bands; 2014-‘15 it was balancing scooters; 2017 -18 it was the fidget spinner and finger monkey.


If you can identify a potential toy and import it in advance against your competitors, you can make a huge difference.

Finding Toy companies and Suppliers


Many toys manufactured in China have a place of origin. Whether you’re searching for suppliers online via Alibaba.com or you’re in China, ensure you take note of the location of the supplier. Toys can be found in these five locations in China:


1. Chenghai


Individuals who want to purchase a large number of toys will love this city. Everything about it revolves around toys. Factories here normally send their samples to toy trading companies,


Individuals who want to purchase a large number of toys will love this city. Everything about it revolves around toys. Factories here normally send their samples to toy trading companies,


Most of the trading companies have their own showrooms where customers can visit, select the product, and place the orders. Chenghai is the best place to source electronics and plastic toys.


2. Yiwu


Yiwu city is where most low-cost toys (i.e. DIY kids’ craft toys) get produced. It’s also the place where most China toy suppliers gather. It’s the best market for foreign business to source all types of toys since the wholesale market in Yiwu is often a large affair.


3. Yangzhou/ Qingdao


While there are stuffed and plush toys suppliers in Chenghai and Yiwu, many suppliers of the toys can be found in Yangzhou. Also, stuffed toys are manufactured in Qingdao.


For businesses who want to import stuffed toys, the Yangzhou wholesale market for stuffed toys is the best place.


4. Yongjia


For playground and educational toys for kids, Qiaoxia, a tiny town in Yongjia, is the best place. Many factories in this town produce these toys.


Identifying quality and real suppliers


1. Research


Use trusted platforms like Alibaba to search for Chinese suppliers since this site has lots of toy suppliers. Look at their location. Suppliers who come from the region with fewer suppliers could be brokers, and they may not provide you with the best deals.


Keep in mind that most of the suppliers online are toy trading companies since toy factories in China are not that big. Also, most of the orders they receive are from trading companies.


However, some factories have established shops on eCommerce stores like Alibaba and DHGate, but they rarely take orders from foreign buyers. Renowned toy factories are also common in toy fairs, like Global Sources fair and Canton Fair.


2. Select the right supplier


Depending on price and quality, select several specific companies. Check their product to see if they’ve specialized in toys only, or they also have other products. Best go with a company that specialized in toy manufacturing alone.
Have a look at the product description. Trustful companies will have professionally written product descriptions, while the rest of companies will have wacky or no product description.


3. Communicate with potential suppliers


Real suppliers are always willing to provide potential customers with all the information on their toys. They’re ready to respond to questions and explain the features of the toys. Foreign customers must ask suppliers enough questions to determine if they’re dealing with professionals.


Comparing the terms of quality and price of the toys from several companies can help buyers identify the best supplier. Buyers can even go a step further and order a few samples to confirm the quality of products before purchasing the toys in bulk.


Problems That May Be Encountered When Importing Toys


Since most toys are produced for kids, most countries have safety standards and high requirements for toys. Buyers will also have to deal with customs clearance before they can bring their products into their different countries. Other problems associated with the importation of toys include:


1. Safety and Certificate problem


The certification and safety standards for imported toys vary depending on the country. In the US, the toys must pass three tests:


  • ASTM F963 tests: Flammability testing, chemical testing, and physical testing.
  • Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA)
  • Lead and phthalates test and labeling test

If the toys are exported to the European Union, they must have a CE mark and pass the Toy Safety Directive (EN 71- 1,2,3)


2. Design infringement problem


Toys factories that print famous animation characters on their products must get the animation company’s authorization. If they don’t, then their product will infringe on the company’s design.


All toys are examined by China custom and foreign customs, and those with no authorization get destroyed. Even if they bypass the customs inspection, the importers of the toys might face the same problem from the authorities if found selling unauthorized products.


It’s therefore wise to check if the supplier has authorization; if not, then importers should find other suppliers, as this could lead into serious legal problems.

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