Buying toys in China directly from the factory, paying low wholesale prices, and then selling the toys at a good profit in other countries is a really good business.
But, it is full of dangers and risks, and making a bad mistake can cost you.
I have 25 years experience buying toys wholesale in China. But some of these years I was also exporting toys from China, so I am very familiar with both sides of the business, and I am very well aware of every possible trick and consideration related to buying selling and trading toys wholesale.
My step by step guide will help you gain a deep understanding of how to source toys in China.
- First, you need to know where are the main toys manufacturing areas. Toy factories in China are mainly located in Guangdong province, in Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Shantou & Chenghai. These cities produce about 80% of all the toys sold in the world, with the main area being Chenghai. Because Chenghai is hard to say and hard to pronounce, most people referring to the Chenghai toys manufacturing hub talk about Shantou, which is the larger city close by, but in fact no toys at all are produced in Shantou, all the action is in Chenghai.
- Many years ago, buying toys wholesale in China was done by using sourcing agents. These agents would help the buyer by meeting him or her at the airport, and driving them to visit various toy factories. These days, the so called sourcing agents have morphed into being trading companies. Trading companies are more tech savvy, have better websites, they have English speaking staff, and are well positioned to help you buy toys directly from the factory. Many buyers will buy a container of assorted toys, where multiple factories are supplying the toys; the trading company will arrange the entire shipment, make sure all the various toys are ready at the same time, and they will collect the toys from the factories and load them into a container. They will also be in charge of the shipping arrangements and shipping documents.
- Doing business with a toys trading company makes a lot of sense, sure, they make a commission, but as a buyer in bulk, you are much better off dealing with a trading company.
- Keep in mind that toys come and go. Ideally you will establish a good relationship with the trading company, who can always update you about new best selling toys. A trading company will value your business, and will do their best to protect your interests; they will try to get you the best toys, at the best possible prices, with a fast as possible delivery date.
- Why is buying toys in China so tricky? China is a copy country. The moment a good toy hits the market, several factories will copy it right away. The toys will look very similar and unless you are very experienced, you will not be able to tell the difference. But in fact, the materials and parts will not be the same. Especially in the case of remote control toys, if you buy a container with defective batteries or remote control units that do not work, you will suffer heavy financial losses.
- Years ago, global buyers of toys in China used to visit the major trade shows. Canton fair is the main toy fair in China, and Honk Kong Toy Fair every January is also a very major toy fair, where toy exporters, manufacturers and suppliers from across China exhibit their toys. But these days, there is no need to go to China anymore. All you need is to find a site like this one, www.86.toys that lists all the major toy suppliers as well as the best selling toys. You can easily source and find professional toy exporters offering the best toys.
- What is the difference between remote control toys, radio control toys and RC toys? No difference at all. Any toy that is operated and controlled from a distance using a radio frequency and a remote control unit, is both a remote control toy and a radio control toy. RC toys is the abbreviation of both. If you are a toys wholesale buyer, you know that RC cars, RC boats, RC helicopters and all other kinds of RC toys are in fact the most popular kinds of toys. RC toys are just more exciting than other kinds of toys, and usually cost more, but also sell for more, offering better profits with bigger risks. (Are the batteries good? Are the motors good?).
- Chenghai is the main RC toys manufacturing area in China. In Yiwu, you will find cheaper toys that do not require a high technological level of expertise, like plastic toys, building blocks, outdoor toys, educational toys and so on.
- In fact, almost all toys made in China are plastic toys. So plastic toys as a category does not really indicate clearly the nature of the toy. Most of plastic toys are just, simple plastic, and easy to make. But the moment you want the toy to move or to fly, and you add a motor, batteries, frequencies, chargers…well, this toy now is very sophisticated and will usually be produced in a Chenghai (Shantou) toy factory.
- Alibaba, DHGate, Made in China, and multiple other B2B websites are in fact based on 4 words only: manufacturers, suppliers, wholesalers and exporters. What exactly is the difference? Anyone supplying toys in wholesale quantities is a supplier. Of course, toy factories, toy exporters, toy trading companies, they are all supplying toys and considered toy suppliers. When browsing for wholesale toys online, if you search for toy suppliers, this includes any kind of supply, and will cover factories, manufactures, exporters and wholesalers.
- The most popular remote control toys are: rc cars, rc boats, rc trucks, rc stunt toys, rc helicopters and drones. It is important to point out that many drones are just toy drones, but many of the drone factories in Shenzhen and Chenghai also produce professional drones with cameras.
- Be aware of customs requirements in your country. You will probably need to produce testing reports to prove the toys you are importing meet and exceed the safety requirements. You will be in very big trouble if you buy a 40 foot high cube container full of remote control toys that have not passed safety tests and do not have the necessary documentation, the container may be seized by customs causing you heavy losses of both your cost as well as loss of projected profits.
- Most importantly, and the best advice I can offer, is listen to your supplier. Your toy supplier will know which toys are the best selling toys, if several factories are making the same toy, your supplier will know which factory makes the best quality, and your supplier will also know which is the best and fastest way to ship the goods to you. Finding a good toy supplier is very difficult, but finding a good toys buyer is just as hard, and your supplier wants to have a good relationship with you, just as badly as you want a good relationship with the supplier. So listen to your supplier and take his or her advice about everything.