We get numerous inquiries every week about buying small quantity items from China. The more significant part of them don’t have much pertinent experience, and merely consider it’s extremely basic. Be that as it may, it is never that simple. You will confront a wide range of issues, for example, shipping charge much expensive than the products themselves, or your request is substantially less than supplier’s minimum order quantity.

In this article, we will guide you how to order small quantity from China.

1. Definition of Small Quantity Order

I’d get a kick out of the chance to characterize clients who buy USD 5,000-50,000 (counting various types of items) in one request as Small Business. With this sum, the shipment volume, for the most part, is from 5CBM to a 40HQ compartment. This amount ordinarily can reach factory’s MOQ and can purchase from them directly.

4 to 5 CBM regularly will be the most reasonable least volume for LCL (Less than Container Load) shipping. If not as much as this, the average cost for every item will be high.

Little Quantity Buyers allude to the individuals who purchase under $3,000 per request, and who merely begin new business (I specified to start with) are adding a piece of them. This article will more concentrate on helping this gathering of individuals.
Small Quantity Orders refer to those order volume less than $3,000. This article will more focus on those sourcing.

2. What Products Suitable for Small Quantity Purchasing?

According to our experiences and the shipping cost concern, we strongly suggest that, if you want to import small quantity from from China, you’d better choose:

  • High-value products
  • Small Size products

3. How to Find Suppliers/Manufacturers for Small Quantity Orders?

Most small quantity buyers source Chinese suppliers on the Internet. The others come to China to attend China trading fairs. The cost of one-week visiting in China will be around $5,000. And it’s not easy to find a reliable and suitable supplier within one week. Please read another article to learn more about China Top 10 Trade Fairs.

That’s why so many buyers are trying on the internet. Here’s the list of the top B2B platform for sourcing products and suppliers.

  • Alibaba, Globalsources and Made-in-China
Alibaba.com is the most famous B2B platform in china but the suppliers there request high MOQ.
Globalsourcing.com and made-in-china.com are also good places where you have to try.

B2B platform Aliexpress
Aliexpress homepage

  • Aliexpress
aliexpress.com is more suitable for small orders.
  • 1688
1688.com suppliers offers lowest MOQ. However, the language is Chinese.

Please click and read how to find reliable suppliers on B2B platform, you will get more tips.

4. How to Lower supplier’s MOQ request?

MOQ makes it difficult when the buyers have limited funds, or simply want to play it safe by starting small to test the market before making larger purchases. The good thing is that MOQ’s are almost always negotiable.  There’s 3 ways to lower the MOQ request.

  • Limit product customization
  • Streamline the usage of materials and components
  • Offer to pay a little higher price

Click and read about how to lower supplier’s MOQ request.

5. Private Label Your Products

Label is a key feature of you products. It helps to market the product, attract the attention of customers, allow customers to tell it apart from other brands. Most buyers who imports from China and sell on internet or local market require to private label the products they want to purchase.
Here’s private label methods for your choices.

  • Silk Screen (Screen printing)
  • Thermal Transfer (heat transfer printing)
  • Molding
  • Laser Printing / Laser Engraving
  • Machine Embroidery
  • Sticker Label 
  • Woven Label 
  • Tag
  • Paper Cardboard
  • Customized Gift Box 
  • Printed Poly Bag

For small quantity orders, it’ll cost more money to do private label. Click and read more about private labelling for products.

6. How to Ship Small Order Products from China?

I need to state that shipping way is indeed a significant issue for small quantity orders as said first and foremost.

  • Global Express and Air Freight
Global express is reasonable for cargoes under 300kg, while air freight cargo is appropriate for more than 300kg. Be that as it may, air freight cargo needs a similar import and fare forms as ocean cargo. You additionally need to get your payload at the airplane terminal.
Hazardous articles, for example, fluid, power and items with battery can’t be sent via air freight.
  • LCL Companies
This sort of LCL companies is the best decision for small quantity buyers. They more often than not are spent significant time in specific ports or regions and offer all-in price shipping service. They will deal with all custom and delivery process.
  • Consolidate Cargoes/Products And Ship Together
On the off chance that you are purchasing from various suppliers, at that point you can consider combining them in one shipment, and you will spare transportation cost.


It bodes well for ocean cargo. If you import five unique items from 5 providers, every item 0.5CBM, at that point you can consider to solidify them together by LCL ocean shipping. By doing this, the shipping expense will be 80% not as much as express.
So you need someone to merge your cargoes in China. One arrangement is to locate a reliable forwarder who has its particular distribution center. Another Solution is you can pick one reliable supplier, and let the other suppliers send all the cargoes to him, at that point the forwarder can get cargoes together in one place.

Keen Sourcing is the leading sourcing agent in China. We offer product sourcing services, quality control and shipping management. Tell us what you want to source, we will handle everything till you get the products.