Most profitable products to import from China in 2021

by Tim Howard
most profitable products to import from china

Most of the products you see on Amazon?

They are all imported from China and sold for a slightly higher margin. Even the big brands that manufacture their products, manufacture them in China and bring them to the U.S. or U.K or Spain. 

The importing business has become competitive. With a lot of players trying to undercut the competition. But like in all businesses, there are opportunities, there is a silver lining. 

If you are able to find the most profitable products to import from China, you have an opportunity to make a killing!

What are the best items to import from China?

The most profitable products to import from China are Electronics & Accessories, Clothing & Apparel, Fasion Accessories, Makeup, Home Products. There are sub-categories of items in each of these main categories that have some profitable items.  

Why import from China though? Why not other countries. 

First, let’s look at some numbers. China exported about $420 Billion worth of goods only to the United States and $375 Billion worth of goods to the European Union. China exports to 50 other countries around the world. 

China’s advantages over other countries

  • Technical know how – China has technologies that other countries don’t possess to make high quality products. 
  • Economies of scale – China produces products in the millions, therefore the cost per item drops significantly. 
  • Skilled and Cheap labour  – China has labour that is super cheap and also skilled. That’s why smartphones from China are super cheap as their labour has the skills to make smartphones at a low cost.
  • Cheap and Fast Shipping – China is one of the few countries that has figured out cheap and quick shipping. Shipping is one of the most expensive aspects of import and with China, it’s just a fraction of the cost. 
  • Flexibility – Chinese manufacturers are able to create customizations like no other country on the planet. 

There’s a lot more. Let’s get to the most profitable products to import from China.

Best Products to Import from China 2021

Product category to importProfit Margin Range

Electronics and Accessories
40% to 60%
Clothing & Apparel

30% to 50%
Fashion Accessories

50% to 60%
Makeup

40% to 60%
Home Products30% to 50%

#1 — Electronics import from China 

electronics import from china

This one is fairly obvious. Electronics is ridiculously cheap in China. From power banks to smartphones to coffee makers to laptops to chargers and cables. 

Nowhere in the world can you buy a 10,000 mah power bank for about $5. But importing electronics from China may seem lucrative. 

It’s also super competitive. Unless you build a brand. 

Electronics exporters in China let you imprint your own brand name in your products, which makes you stand out from the crowd. 

The best part? They charge you only a one time fee for creating your brand name. After that the costs remain the same. 

CategoryCost per item (Purchase cost +Shipping Cost  )Potential Selling PriceProfit per piece
Power banks$5
$18
$13
Charging Cables $0.30
$5
$4.5
Phone Cases$0.50
$8
$7.5
Earbuds $20
$50
$30
Electronic Accessories (USB Hubs, )$10
$40
$30
Smartwatches$30
$70
$40

#2 — Clothing & Apparel import from China 

clothing apparel from china

China is one of the largest apparel exporters in the world. Why? They set the design and trend standard across the world.

Go to your nearby fashion store and check out the designs and see the ones on Aliexpress or Alibaba. They’ll be very similar. 

There are so many opportunities in Clothing space because there are many types of apparel. It’s a crowded market, but if you are able to create your own unique niche like focusing on tops or shirts or certain designs, you’ll be able to carve a niche for yourself. 

Another important and under tested market is apparel for kids. 

I would try to stay away from everyday wear, as these can be bought for cheap. So instead of shoes, you can aim for boots and there your competition is lower and margin is in tact. 

CategoryCost per item (Purchase cost +Shipping Cost  )Potential Selling PriceProfit per piece
Dresses$20
$50
$20
Unique Shoes $15
$40
$25
Unique Clothing$30
$70
$40

#3 — Fashion Accessories import from China 

fashion accessories import from china

Fashion accessories in China are super duper cheap. Check these Aliexpress jewelry for example. Some of these designs are absolutely brilliant and you get them for a few cents. Even if you charge a few dollars more, your margin is going to be pretty high. 

There are pendants, ear rings, rings and many more categories in the Fashion accessories space. There’s more fashion accessories such as nail art products to name one. 

CategoryCost per item (Purchase cost +Shipping Cost  )Potential Selling PriceProfit per piece
Pendants, Necklaces$.40
$5
$3.5
Earrings $0.10
$2
$1.9
Rings$0.70
$4
$3.3
Customized Jewelry$1
$10
$9

#4 — Makeup import from China 

makeup import from china

The Makeup space is generally very profitable. Small 100ml lotions are sold for $10 working up to $1 for every 10 ml. People are looking for cheaper Makeup options because it’s an everyday use product. There are many Chinese brands that are making a name for themselves. 

CategoryCost per item (Purchase cost +Shipping Cost  )Potential Selling PriceProfit per piece
Eyeliner$1
$9
$8
Lipstick$2
$9
$7
Mascara$1.7
$7
$5.3
Foundation$3
$15
$12

#5 — Home products import from China 

home decor import from china

The home market is a massive space. From chairs to cutlery to bed sheets. Finding certain unique products is where you’ll win because people love to buy products for their home. Anything to make home life comfortable will sell. Businesses like IKEA have built a billion dollar empire with cheap home products. 

I’ve personally purchased so many products from China like cushions, rugs, mats and pillows. I’ve also purchased some home decor items. The truth is, China is also the design trend capital of the world. Whatever you see in the likes of the biggest brands in terms of home decor trends is pushed by China. So whatever you get is the highest quality.

#6 — Pet Supplies from China

Pet supplies is another big niche that has so much potential to be profitable for its user. The pet niche is gaining in popularity and is becoming quite big in terms of market size. People are also willing to pay top dollar for high-end pet toys and products. Importing pet products from China could be the next big leap for the next decade.

The Pet care business is a multi-billion dollar business with more people choosing pets over babies and are pampering their pets. Pets aren’t restricted to dogs & cats. And there are multiple products in categories such as pet Safety, et clothes, pet food, pet entertainment and so on. Again, this is a high margin niche.

#7 — Outdoor & Travel Products from China

After the start of Instagram, the world population that travelled doubled. People got more outdoors and went to different parts of the world. This is bound to increase after 2020 with many people looking to travel non-stop for at least a few years. This is another niche, people don’t mind paying top dollar for, to get high quality products.

The most popular Outdoor & Travel products to import are camping gear and camping equipment like solar powered batteries, large flashlights, camping tents, tactical bags, tactical knives, cooking gear and more. These sort of products are always in demand and are much cheaper from China with a high margin.

Take an example of the camping tent below. You can purchase this bulk for a much cheaper price than $108. You will get a good margin by selling it for around $170.

#8 — Kitchen Supplies from China

If you go through Aliexpress listings for kitchen gadgets, you’ll see how popular Kitchen items are from China. What people love is the unique products. When I say kitchen supplies, I’m not talking about the generic products like spoons. The ones that sell really well are Kitchen accessories like cutters, burn protectors and more. Check out the image below and see how popular Kitchen supplies are.

It’s quite profitable to import and sell because of their super cheap price. You can sell it at a decent margin and still sell at a high volume.

#9 — Lights & Lighting Accessories from China

This is honestly quite an underrated option. If you walk in to any light or lighting store in any part of the world and try to enquire about the rates, your jaw will be on the floor. It’s grossly expensive. The best part? You can beat all the retailers by selling lights and lighting products from your online or Instagram or Shopify store, but at a much cheaper price and a higher margin.

Lighting equipment like chandeliers and smart lighting have been in huge demand and it’s a great way to sell lights & accessories. It’s quite profitable as well.

Importing from China – FAQ’s

How to find Hot Products from China? 

The most hot products in China are the ones that are displayed on the front page of Aliexpress, DHgate and Alibaba. So if you want to find the best items to import from China, check out the home page of these websites. 

How to find the best selling products from China? 

There are a few easy ways to find the best selling products from China. All you need to do is to have an Aliexpress or Alibaba account. 

Using Aliexpress as a research tool makes sense as Aliexpress is a China to the world platform. Most of the orders on Aliexpress are from around the world and best selling products on Aliexpress is a good sign that it will do well in other countries. 

Step 1 : Search for your product or category. For example “power banks”. 

Step 2 : Click on “Best sellers”

Step 3 : Go through the listings and see how many orders and how many reviews are there. 

This number will give you an idea of the popularity of the products. 

You can do this exercise across product categories, by just entering the keywords. 

Is it profitable to import from China? Import Cost Breakdown

It’s super profitable to import from China because they offer the cheapest products at a certain product quality. Also, shipping is one of the most expensive costs during imports and China has nailed free shipping or cheap shipping options, which increases your margins. Even with import duties, products from China are still cheaper compared to any other country. 

Here is a how you calculate whether your product that you import can be profitable or not

Cost of Import from ChinaDetails
Pure Product cost This is the cost of only the product
Packaging CostA lot of importers require some sort of packaging to avoid packing it themselves on receipt of the goods
Customisation CostIf you need logo/branding or product customizations, then there is a Minimum order quantity and the cost is more,
Landing CostEither through Air or Ship, the product needs to arrive to the customs of your country. If you go through Air (Fedex), it’s a lot more expensive than Ship transport (Takes longer)
Import DutyThe cost of import duty can range from 15% to 30% and it depends on the country
Last Mile CostSometime the cost of reaching your warehouse or office might increase the cost (Generally borne by the shipping company)
Marketing CostThe cost of marketing your goods online or offline
Labour Costs & TaxesThe cost of your team, labour salary and tax on sale
Profit The profit is the selling price minus all these costs

Even after all these costs, it’s hugely popular to sell products from China, provided you add value to the products with great customer service and branding.

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