The Ultimate Guide for Importing Shoes From China

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The Ultimate Guide for Importing Shoes From China

Shoes are a great item to sell. They are one of the most popular necessities in the world. There are a vast number of categories as well. If your business is retail and/ or you specialize in selling shoes, you should consider importing from China. Footwear is not produced cheaper and in more varieties anywhere in the world than here. Depending on your business you might want to order high-end products or replica shoes. Perhaps you would like to get your hands on some custom-made shoes that would be representing your own business. Luckily, in China the possibilities are endless! In the following article, we are going to show you some of the best options for ordering shoes from China. If you use some of the tips and tricks are shown below you might find that you will save valuable time or money for your business. 


Things to Think About When Importing Shoes From China

While there are plenty of reasons to order from China, let’s take a look at what things to consider. It is always a good idea to do research. Besides conducting comparative analysis. Know your business mission and vision. Be sure about what you want and what you do not want your business to identify with. Shoes have an absolute vast variety in China. That is exactly why you need to know where to start. The choices are limitless. Are you operating a sports or leisure-focused store? Or perhaps selling something more high-end? Depending on what your business is like there are plenty of options. Replica shoes, branded shoes, and high-end footwear are all on the table. Know what you want.

Why Should I Choose To Import Shoes From China?

In short, because of lower prices and variety. China offers the highest variety in the world. This is true both when it comes to types of shoes, but also in terms of prices, designs, special deals, and customizable options. Especially when you run a small to middle-scale business, this might be a beneficial choice for you. Ordering in larger bulks might save you extra time as well as extra money. Therefore it could be a worthy option to consider looking into buying in larger quantities.

Which are The Most Best Ways to Import Shoes From China?

Again, this will depend on your business. If you operate a medium to large-scale business it will be most beneficial for you in the long run if you order in large bulk. However, when starting it could be different. If you just started up, you might want to consider ordering samples from your chosen supplier(s). This is also true if you have a well-running business already established. Because even still you might want to expand. Sampling could save you from a lot of headaches. This way you can see the product and test it out for yourself before you commit to larger spending. If you have the option it could also be a worthy option to consider going in person and checking out the factory in China. For this, you can also hire a third-party company that is specialized in ensuring that all your specific needs are met by the supplier company.

What Kind Of Shoes Can You Order From China?

There is an endless supply of shoes that you can order from China. Depending on your needs you can order low-priced replica items if you are on a budget. Or you can go all the way up on the scale and order luxury designer pieces for your business. Many sellers offer options for customizable footwear too. These can be custom-made to fit your business. For instance, if your business has logos that you want on them or if there is a need for special features such as safety shoes. Or perhaps shoes for special environments like heat, water, or cold. Some of the top shoes ordered from china are as follows:

  • Hiking Shoes
  • Sneakers
  • Flat Shoes
  • Kids and Baby Shoes
  • Safety & Industrial Shoes
  • Sports Shoes
  • Sandals
  • Boots
  • Wedges
  • Office Wear
  • Casual Wear
  • Designer Items
  • Wedding Footwear

What Is The Import Tax On Shoes From China?

Due to the high popularity and variety in which Chinese footwear comes indeed there is a heavy-duty implementation. An import tax has been specifically implemented with regards to shoes coming into the US from Chinese suppliers. The latest rate of this tax in 2019 was raised to 35%. However, this does not seem to slow down the trade as there still is significant demand and supply for shoes worldwide.

What Is The Paperwork Requirement Necessary For Importing?

Having the right documentation is always key. When it comes to importing shoes from China is also very important. The recent trade war has made it ever so nuanced of a procedure to have everything in order. Therefore now more than ever, you need to be prepared with all the right documentation. The lack of the correct papers might result in your business being fined and your shipment could be delayed. This, of course, would end up harming your customers and therefore your business in the long run. To help you avoid that we collected the top documents that are generally needed for importing shoes from China:

  • Inspection Certificate
  • Packing List
  • Insurance
  • Commercial Invoice
  • Documentation of Origins
  • Contract 
  • Ladin Bills
  • Sales Contract
  • Pro Forma Certificates

How Long Does It Take To Ship Imported Shoes From China?

The length of time it takes to ship from China can vary. There are always indicators on each platform as to what time frame to expect the shipment to be delivered. However, it will mostly depend on your location compared to the manufacturer. Besides, of course, also the means of shipping you choose. Airfreight can take as little as 2-4 business days. However, it is always a costly option. If you are on a budget, ocean freight might be the right choice for you. Though the delivery, in this case, could take between 2-4 weeks.

How Do I Choose The Best Shipping Company?

The best shipping companies are always the ones that match your needs the best. If your order is time-sensitive, you need one that is quick and flexible to work around your needs. If you are willing to invest money and have some time as well, go for something high-end that will ensure high quality for your business as well. In any case, you need to conduct thorough research before you embark on a vast investment with a manufacturer. For this, the best option is to hire a third party, a sourcing agent for your business.

More detail for The Ultimate Guide for Alibaba Shipping

Should I Use A Sourcing Agent?

In short, yes. The reason being is that you might not always have the chance to conduct a factory visit yourself. Or you would have the budget for it but simply do not possess the time as you are busy running your business overseas. And even if you do, you might not be able to differentiate between the given supplier and its competitors. This is with regards to local customs, and regulations, quality versus pricing, and so on. A good sourcing agent or a third party is familiar with local customs. They know what to look for as well as what to avoid. They might be somewhat costly, but they will be worth their fees as they can prevent you from running into scams. Or simply, vastly different products from what your business and your customers need.

How Is The Buyer Protected While Importing The Shoes?

There are a handful of ways to ensure your business’ protection when ordering footwear from China. It is always a good idea to either go and visit the manufacturer in person. If you are unable to do this, it might be a worthy investment to hire a sourcing agent or third party to inspect your goods and the manufacturer. If you cannot do that either, ask for samples at least, and be sure to conduct thorough research. Check out the company’s reviews, get in touch with past clients, or contact them and ask all the questions you might have.

What Do I Look For In A Supplier?

Having the right supplier is key in conducting business. Especially when it is a mid to large-scale import-based retail business. Several suppliers in China might be a match for you. The difference is made by what you need versus what each one of these suppliers can offer. This could mean quality, reputation, or MOQ (minimum order quantity). It is therefore always a good idea to do thorough research before you commit. You will be able to find suppliers on China’s 2 largest platforms. Alibaba and AliExpress. To make it easier for you we have collected some of the top suppliers in one particular order:

  • Dashu Shoes
  • JinJiang Hobibear Shoes
  • Jinqiu Shoes
  • Wangdu Yuxing
  • Zhenlong Shoes
  • Quanzhou Suntop
  • Jinyin Footwear
  • Taizhou Ougang Shoes
  • Adit Shoes
  • Henan Huaying Shoes

What Is The Difference Between Wholesale And Retail Imports?

The main difference between Wholesale and Retail imports is that the retailer itself buys its goods from the wholesaler. You can get your orders shipped from both. However, the difference can be time or money sensitive. Sometimes a wholesaler can offer bulk deals or you might have a quicker time getting your goods delivered straight from them. A retailer though is closer connected to businesses in general.

What Are The Popular Platforms For Importing Shoes From China?

The top 2 platforms for importing shoes or other endless supplies of items in China are Alibaba and AliExpress. Alibaba was established in 1999. It is a wholesale company. Specifically, its selection of shoes is extremely high. Alibaba offers its services worldwide. AliExpress selects a wide variety of goods from its wholesalers and puts up good deals for the end buyers. They are well-known for their guaranteed security, provided when it comes to their buyers. Their state-of-the-art app is user-friendly and allows you to do your research and order from your phone quickly and safely.

Retail Or Wholesale?

In general, the wholesaler and retailer both can be used to provide goods to the end buyer, your business. However, there are a few key differences when it comes to the options and offers they can provide you with. While retailers usually obtain smaller quantities of products, wholesalers have large volumes of the same goods ready to be sold in bulks or customized deals. Retailers pay some additional fees for each item and are still able to make a profit at the end of the day.  The key difference is about how much you need for your shoes and how long you can wait. For medium and large-scale businesses wholesale import is the right choice. Some of the perks coming from ordering from Wholesale are:


  • Long term cost-effectiveness
  • Options for Bulk Purchases
  • High Quality
  • Vast Varieties
  • Customizable Design Options


In conclusion, no matter the type of shoes you wish to sell, it is important to map the market and its many many offerings. This is because this way you can find the right retailer or wholesaler for your specific need. If you are just starting in the business, be sure to have a third party, a sourcing agent hired. They will do their job and guarantee that your wishes are matched by the supplier be it a wholesaler or retailer. If you are unable to do this, try and conduct a personal visit. If this is off the table too, simply do deep research extended to every single aspect regarding your needs and what the supplier has to offer. See what previous customers had to say after they did business with your chosen supplier. Ask for samples. Or simply pick up the phone and start a conversation with their customer service representatives. A first impression can at times be a good indicator as to what the company you are about to do business with, stands for. This probably sounds like a headache but if you do one of the above, you will save yourself time and money. We hope this article was of help. Going through our frequently asked questions will surely provide you with some important perspectives to start with. 

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