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3 key factors to consider when sourcing furniture from China

What are the most important things to be taken into account when buying furniture from China?

Wholesale vs OEM furniture manufactures

When buying furniture from China there are two major options:

  • Wholesale

Wholesale factories normally have set quality standards and product specifications, so each piece of furniture is manufactured in accordance with them.

It is possible to make minor alterations in the design, such as adding your logo, changing color scheme or upholstery materials.

  • OEM

OEM manufacturers operate on a “make to order” scheme. The OEM process can be broken down as follows:

  1. The buyer provides the supplier with all the necessary details, such as design concept, material specifications, dimensions, applicable safety standards, and so on.
  2. The supplier manufactures a product sample for two reasons: First, to learn how to produce the product, and to show the buyer that they have the expertise to do it.
  3. Production begins. The supplier procures materials and components from its subcontractors. After this is done, assembly begins.

In short, the more details you provide the more accurate the end result will be.

Safety regulations for your country

Each country has different furniture regulations, which must be specified before placing an order. For example, in the European Union there are various compulsory fire safety requirements applicable to upholstered furniture, bedding and seats. Importing non-compliant items is illegal, and may, in a best-case scenario, result in fines and a forced recall.

Factory audit and market research

Factory audit is a must. It is the only way to verify whether a supplier is able to make a specific order according to your requirements. This service includes:

  • Assessment of the production capacities and the technology level of the factory.
  • Determining the degree of reliability and trustworthiness of the manufacturer as a possible business partner.
  • Highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the factory production process.

Also, it is highly advisable to conduct market research. Knowledge of the current market situation and average prices for your product will help you avoid unnecessary expenses on options or features you do not need.

Even if the supplier refuses to negotiate the price, you will have alternative options consider.


Sources: chinaimportal.com, simonsense.com