FAQs - SaviiSourcing
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Why can’t I just import directly without Savii Sourcing’s help?

There is nothing to stop you from trying to import by yourself except for the high risk of getting it wrong and wasting a lot of money and time.  We have built up our expertise, contacts, and trusted supplier relationships over more than 10 years.  Given the complexities of importing from China (and less so, Indonesia) and the potential for unethical traders to take advantage of new players we highly recommend that you don’t try to import by yourself.  What you will end up spending in time and money to secure a trusted agent (one that actually works with your best interests in mind), identify and vet product suppliers, conduct your own factory visits, etcetera, will far exceed the fee charged by Savii Sourcing.

Yes – you can find all sorts of products and manufacturers on Alibaba – ones that look like they can deliver what you want, in the quantities you want.  BUT, as so often is the case, the manufacturer is often just a trading company (middle man) with no control over the manufacturing at all.   Or, after spending hours finding a suitable manufacturer, you find that come your 2nd or 3rd order, the price jumps up, the MOQ jumps up OR they don’t even respond to you……. Even if you do find a reputable manufacturer, in our experience, you will nearly always pay more than if you approach the same manufacturer directly.

Doesn’t ‘Made in China’ mean poor quality?

Although you can still find very poor-quality items in China, its manufacturing industry has undergone a quality revolution. Top brands from every industry, including the building industry, now have factories in China including Blum, Bosch, Prada, Burberry, Bosch, Smeg. It’s not a question of “Can I buy quality products for my reno or build in China?’ but “Which of the many suppliers out there can provide me with the quality that I want?”
Our role is to minimise the risk to our clients. All of our suppliers are quality vetted, the products are checked before sending, the certificates of compliance are checked – everything that can be checked is – all in order to minimise the risk to you.

There are plenty of online resources that attest to the quality of Chinese manufacturing – see our ‘news’ section for more.

Where are your manufacturers located?

We will work with factories wherever they are based.  Our China office is in Guangzhou, one of China’s most important international transportation hubs and trading ports.  Our Indonesian office is in Bali.  However, we will search everywhere we can to find the right supplier for your needs.  If we need to jump on a plane and fly to YiWu for a factory visit, we will.

How much money will I save?

The larger your order from one supplier, the lower the unit cost of the product.  You will save from 20 – 70% on the cost of your products.  A mixed goods container will not receive the same savings as 5 containers of eco-decking, but the savings will still be significant.  Regardless, we are confident that you will be happy with the savings.

And don’t forget – we don’t take commissions or kick backs from the factories – the price you see on the quote is the actual price  – after we have negotiated the best possible price for you (without affecting the quality).

Is it important to visit in person?

By working with Savii Sourcing, we essentially work for YOU.  That means we help build relationships with the suppliers on your behalf.  Relationships are important to develop as a good long-term business strategy.

However, if you are planning on on-going orders – the we do suggest that you try to schedule an in-person visit.  Not only will it help with the business relationship, but you’ll get to enjoy yummy food and great hospitality.  Our Team on the ground will accompany you and ensure you have a great trip.


What products can I source?

You can source almost anything. HOWEVER, there are some products (e.g., wall paneling, gyprock) we recommend you steer clear of as we are yet to find suppliers who can provide them at the right quality. We’ll discuss your needs and let you know if we expect to encounter any issues.

What are the minimum order quantities (MOQs)?

Most factories will have their own Minimum Order Quantities.  It depends a lot on the products your are searching for – if they are stock products, then the MOQ will be much lower than an OEM product.  Our job is to find a factory who can meet all your requirements – MOQs, quality, specs etc.  We negotiate with the factory on your behalf to ensure we can find a win-win.  We have supplied clients with really low quantities of products (i.e. for a house build – 1 bath, 3 toilets, 300m2 of oak flooring) – it just means you pay a bit more (but still a lot less than sourcing locally).

Are the products made to Australian/NZ standards?

Our job is to find the products you want – and if you need them to meet specific standards, then that becomes part of our search.  Our China Team office will check to ensure that all compliance certificates are not fake.

However, there can be risk involved when buying any product from overseas, despite all the quality and compliance checks.  If you are considering a high risk product, then we recommend that you carry out you own independent testing on samples to ensure you are confident with the quality and standards prior to purchase.

How long does it take from when I place my order to when I receive my order?

Once you are happy with a manufacturer and wish to proceed with an order, the production time will vary depending upon the product.  Of course, if you are purchasing a ‘stock’ product, and it is currently ‘in stock’, then you can receive your goods in as little as 4-6 weeks.  However, we advise clients to estimate three months for the process should products need to be manufactured.

Am I taking jobs from Australians by sourcing from overseas?

Savii Sourcing is committed to helping Australian businesses to grow.  Australia imports a huge number of products from Asia –  we just cut out all the middle men to allow our clients to save ‘000s and help them to grow their business.

How can I protect my IP?

We are serious about protecting our client’s Intellectual Property.  We can assist with Non Disclosure Agreements for China and Indonesia – which are valuable if your product is unique or patented.

Do I need to trademark my brand?

We recommend trademarking your brand if it is unique or patented.  Unfortunately, there are a LOT of copycats in Asia.  It is useful to note that China’s trademark regime follows a first-to-file system and so does not recognise international trademarks if they are not registered in the mainland.

We can assist with recommendations for companies to do this on your behalf.

Can I source eco-friendly and fair trade products?

Absolutely, you can.   We can source all kinds of specifications for eco-friendly products – from packaging to flooring.  When it comes to ethical practices in relation to conditions of employment – you can specify your requirements as part of the factory search.  We will investigate (thoroughly) and provide you a report.


Do you take commissions from the supplier?

No, we don’t! This would reduce our independence and transparency. We are not tied to any supplier via secret commissions. It is fairly standard for secret commissions to be built into the quoted price in China – but it is not something that we participate in. It is in our interests to help you to get the best products and the best price possible – as this increases our chances that you will place a 2nd, 3rd, 4th order and so on.

I found an agent that only charges 1.5% commission – why shouldn’t I use them?

You can find ‘agents’ everywhere in China, promising the world, all for only 2% (or 3%, or 4%..) commission! Unfortunately, where you may ‘save’ on the commission, you end up paying for in the price of the product (via direct commissions paid to the agent by the supplier). You can’t be 100% sure what commission the ‘agent’ is adding, it can easily by 50% for some products!  These type of agents will generally steer you towards the suppliers who pay them the most direct commission. Are these the types of agents you want working for you? Will they really care about quality service and working on your behalf to find the best products possible? Will they check your orders with care before they are packed into a container? Don’t risk getting burnt as so many have….

How much will shipping and freight cost?

The cost of getting your goods from China or Indonesia to their final destination (i.e., building site, back yard, storage facility) will vary depending on factors such as which port you choose, the distance from the port to the final destination, whether you use rail or road transport, and the size of your container, if you are ordering a mixed container etc..
COVID-19 has seen freight prices rise substantially, however we are seeing prices start to settle and ease off.  ESTIMATES for 2021 (20 Foot General Purpose Container)
Shipping freight (China to Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne) AU$2,500
Road freight Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne metro AU$500 – 600
Road freight non-metro to within 250km of port AU$500 – 1000
The above figures are estimates only and we can obtain current shipping quotes at any time to ensure you know the full costs invovled.

We are flexible in regards to shipping costs.  We can arrange freight via our trusted networks in Asia – or you can arrange your own freight.  We don’t make anything from shipping (unlike others who receive rebates).  We can provide you with the details of Customs Service & Freight Forwarding agents who can provide you with accurate quotes.

There may also be a charge for local freight & consolidation, which depends on how many suppliers you source from (nothing if your goods come from one factory).  Estimate $900 – $1000.

How much will port charges and customs clearance cost?

Port charges vary little between Australian ports. However, due to Australia’s very strict quarantine laws, customs charges do vary based on factors such as the type of goods you import, how they are packed, and the final destination. Obviously, the more work your Customs Service Agent needs to do on your behalf then the greater their fee will be.
An ESTIMATE for 2020 (20 Foot General Purpose Container)
Landing and clearing goods with use of agent in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne AU$800 – 1200
Customs Service Agents can provide you with an accurate quote and advice on how to minimise the cost of landing your goods in Australia and clearing them through Customs.  We are happy to recommend agents if needed.

Do I have to pay GST?

Yes, depending on your country. The Australia/China Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) exempts you from paying Customs Duty, you will still have to pay GST (10%) on the cost of the goods you import as well as your transit insurance and shipping.

You will also pay GST on any invoice from Savii Sourcing.

What payment method can I use?

Your Purchase Invoices will be in $US and installments can be made via a number of  ways.  We recommend TransferWise.  Alternatively, you can use a direct bank Telegraphic Transfer (TT) direct to our China or Indonesia office.


Can I buy my own container rather than just hire one from the shipping company?

Yes.  Our Chinese business partner can help you purchase a shipping container.  The 2021 ESTIMATED cost of good quality new and used containers appears below:

Size New Used
20 Foot General Purpose $4,000 $2,500
40 Foot General Purpose $6,000 $3,500
40 Foot High Cube $6,500 $4,000
Do I have to fill up my shipping container?

No. However, it is much more cost effective to do so.  If you find you have a bit of ‘spare space’ in a container, we can suggest a range of products you may wish to ‘top it up with’.  We’ve topped up containers with everything from toilet paper to leather lounges!

How big a shipping container will I need?

Don’t worry about this – the factory (or we will) will advise the cubic metres needed to pack your order.  We then liaise with you to determine the best shipping option.

A 20 Foot General Purpose (20’GP) container has a volume of 33 cubic metres and will hold approximately 27-28 cubic metres of cargo – depending on the packing.
A 40 Foot General Purpose (40’GP) container has a volume of 67 cubic metres and will hold approximately 55-60 cubic metres of cargo – depending on the packing.
A 40 Foot High Cube (40’HC) container has a volume of 76 cubic metres and will hold approximately 65-70 cubic metres of cargo – depending on the packing.

Can I share my shipping container with someone else?

Yes. BUT you will be the only person we liaise with, take orders for, source products for, and accept payment from. You will also need to speak to your chosen Customs Service Agent & Freight Forwarder for advice on how a shared container will be dealt with at their end.

How long will I have to unpack my container once it arrives?

You will be allocated a specific amount of time (usually a couple of hours) to unpack your goods at their final destination. You will be charged an additional fee if you go over the allocated time allowed. Liaise with your Customs Service & Freight Forwarding agent to confirm your unpacking time and how to extend it.
Savii Sourcing can also help you buy a good quality new or second hand container in China so that you do not have to unpack straight away.

Who will take care of landing my order and customs clearance in Australia?

We recommend that you use a Customs Service Agent who will also be able to forward your order to anywhere in Australia, or store it for you if you need them to. We will provide you with contact information for several agents in our Information Pack.

Do I need insurance?

Insurance is highly recommended. You have the choice of the Savii Sourcing Team in China/Indo to organise this for you, or you can liaise with an Australian insurance broker – our clients receive information on what type of insurance to purchase in their Information Pack.   You will find useful information about marine and freight insurance at: https://ajg.com.au/

Depending on the insurance level required, you can expect to pay between 1 – 2% of the total value of goods.


Can I get some product samples before I place an order?

Yes, of course you can.  Our team will organise samples for you.  Some suppliers will charge for samples (cost deducted from 1st order) – others offer free samples (i.e. tiles).  You will need to pay for freight.  Samples can normally be arranged within a 1-week time frame.

Anything else?

If you'd like to ask anything else - just give us a call!

It’s pretty hard to cover everything – so don’t stress, if you have any other questions, just give us a call or send an email to hello@saviisourcing.com