China’s domestic market for stones is one of its trade assets, especially regarding marble and granite products. The country ranked as the 4th largest granite exporter in 2020 and is one of the biggest global marble exporters.
It’s only normal that businesses and projects worldwide will wish to acquire natural stones from China, but the question is: how?
If you’re planning to order stone products from China, we recommend following these steps for a smooth and systematic process:
- Be informed of the laws and requirements for importing stone products from China
- Select your most favorable Chinese factory
- Coordinate the design and specific stone (for customized products)
- Confirm the design and check the quality of the stone (for customized products)
- Place your order
- Perform product quality inspection
- Calculate an estimation of your landed cost
- Arrange and prepare the products for shipment
Before you begin to place your orders, it’s best to research first the requirements in your country when it comes to ordering stone products from China. This is so you can have an overview of what you need to process and provide, especially for the customs department.
The necessities to be cleared by the customs will vary per country and product, but here are some of what we know about the United States:
- bill of lading for the stone products to be imported
- an invoice containing the purchase price of the products from China and their tariff classification
- detailed packing list containing information about the products
- statement of insurance premiums, if available
- other documents as specified by the law (e.g., import license)
China is generally welcoming regarding supplying stone products abroad, so we won’t have to worry about this.
Overall, it’s beneficial to secure a checklist of the necessary documentation and even hire the services of cargo experts to make you feel more guided throughout the process. Keeping yourself posted on the import restrictions is a must too.
At this stage, it’s time to select the factory or factories you want to order stone products from. You might be looking for a company that does ODM, OEM, or wholesale, but make sure to choose one that offers what you need.
We know that before you wondered how to import Chinese natural stone projects, you were already eyeing potential suppliers in the country (which made you interested in the first place).
If not, you might want to explore to ensure your target supplier is in China. Some of the websites where you can find Chinese stone product manufacturers are the following:
- Alibaba. An e-commerce and retail website, Alibaba has products from different country suppliers, but Chinese suppliers are the most abundant. They offer many stone products at different prices depending on the number of pieces you order. But most of them are trading companies.
- Made-in-China. This website contains Chinese companies specializing in industrial and construction products.
You will find a lot of stone product suppliers containing information about them such as licenses, the common destination of their projects (countries and regions), and contact details such as their own websites.
- Stone Contact. A business-to-business or B2B website for the stone industry is where you can find stone product manufacturers from around the world. Just refine the selection by selecting China as the source country.
- Google.com, you can get any information you need, including stone products.
Stone companies like us manufacture pre-made products such as marble tables, limestone cladding, waterjet medallions, mosaics, etc. While you can choose some from the catalog and order in bulk, you can also ask for customization.
We will divide this stage into two mini steps:
- Settling the design. As a client, you will communicate the expected design output particular to the stone product.
For example, in a marble table, we will need its shape, height, length, style of the base (four or three-legged, bistro), and the type of marble.
- Drawing the CAD. We will bring your design preferences to life using computer-aided design (CAD) to help both manufacturer and client visualize the product better. We will also need this to program the machine for cutting the stone.
This is the part where we ask for your confirmation for the CAD drawing of the stone product. If there are changes, we will also edit the design at this stage.
We also encourage you to be present when we pick the stone for your product so you can see the quality. You can send your sourcing agent to check the stone if physical presence is impossible.
Once the design of the stone products has been settled for both pre-made and customized variations, you can now proceed to place your orders. We would have already asked you about the projected quantity during the earlier stages, especially when coordinating the product’s style.
In placing your orders, you must specify the quantity of the products you purchase. This has to be exact to avoid last-minute changes and correctly calculate the price. Especially if the order is in bulk, there are potential price markdowns.
One of the most crucial tasks of an importer is product quality inspection, where you will check for damages or irregularities in the output. In Sinodec, we are very open to our clients inspecting their orders to promote transparency and trust between the parties.
Some of the ways we can do this are:
- On-site inspection. You will visit the China factory to check your stone product output.
- Inspection by the sourcing agent. If visiting China is not possible because of conflicts in schedule or financial constraints, hiring a sourcing agent to inspect the output on your behalf is another option.
This agent will also start with you, especially in coordinating the design and choosing the stone if the products are customized.
- Inspection through the product’s pictures. If the abovementioned options are not possible or not preferred, asking the company for the product’s quality pictures can be done.
- Inspection through a product sample. Some factories like Sinodec are open to sending a product sample to you abroad, although charges will apply for this option.
Another essential step is to compute the landed cost to prepare financially. Simply put, the landed cost is the overall cost of the importation process—from when it’s in the factory to arriving at the destination.
The landed cost will contain the following:
- cost of the stone products
- shipment costs
- insurance costs
- custom duties
- other related expenses
Being aware of your landed cost will allow you to strategize your business better in terms of setting the correct prices and earning back the capital; it lets you know where your money goes!
Once we finish the seven previous steps, we can prepare to arrange the stone products for shipment.
Since we’re talking about natural stones, they can be vulnerable during transportation. The factory will perform necessary measures to securely package the products to arrive at the destination intact and without damage.
China is one of the best exporters of natural stone products, and it’s expected that many businesses from different countries wish to find Chinese suppliers. The government promotes its stone trade, so the factories welcome overseas clients.
However, we still advise you to research your own country’s importation requirements so you can prepare them early on. Next, please choose your preferred Chinese stone company and coordinate your output expectations with them before placing your purchase.
Once done, perform a quality inspection on the products and calculate the landed cost before preparing for shipment.
Was the process of ordering stone products from China clear? Contact us immediately, or Let us know in the comments below.