Have you ever been thinking of importing toys from China to your country? It’s worldwide acknowledged that business related to women and kids are profitable and popular. Also the market will never die when a product is about women and children. And toys will definitely be the first product category coming to your mind when people are doing research. Even when we open the Amazon Best Seller link, toys and games are in the very first view.
And China is the largest export country of toys in the world. However, people face a lot of challenges when importing toys from China, as there are thousands of toy suppliers from different parts of China and millions of SKUs.
Is importing toys that complicated and troublesome? With years of experience in the toys sourcing business, this article is to help you face the problems when importing toys, and to locate the right manufacturing area of different types of toys. With the right place, it’s easier to get right price and product.
1. What Kind Of Toys To Import From China?
1.1 Categories of Toys
Do you know what are the categories under toys? We did not find the exact categories of them. But let’s have a look what are the categories under Toys & Games in Amazon.com. Here are the main categories.
- Arts & Crafts
- Baby & Toddler Toys
- Building Toys
- Collectible Toys
- Dolls & Accessories
- Dress Up & Pretend Play
- Games & Accessories
- Kids’ Electronics
- Kids’ Furniture, Décor & Storage
- Learning & Education
- Novelty & Gag Toys
- Party Supplies
- Play Vehicles
- Puppets & Puppet Theaters
- Sports & Outdoor Play
- Stuffed Animals & Plush Toys
- Toy Figures & Playsets
- Tricycles, Scooters & Wagons
Finding it hard to choose one from those categories? How to do market research and product research? How to choose the right and scaleable toy product? Those are the questions people are concerned in both offline or online business. For those who are running a general toy store, you could probably choose a large variety of toys and test them all. However, choosing a trendy item can help you scale the business in a short period. Here are 2 ways that we can know better about the current market. Let’s stay updated in the game by using the free searching tools below.
1.2 Use Amazon Best Sellers Ranking
Amazon.com now is the world’s largest online retail company. Their data can give you a very good idea of the behavior of the product in the market. To do so, it’s very easy. Let’s go the Amazon Best Sellers Page. Here you can have a glance at the top 100 hot selling products in each category.
Or we can go to the Amazon Hot New Releases Page, scroll down the left department side and click on the Toys & Games.
There you can have another 100 best selling new & future releases on Amazon. Focus on those 200 toys and have a brainstorm. Swimming in the toy world and dreaming of them. Also, you can use the tool below to further filter the right product.
1.3 Use Google Trends
Google Trends is not only an SEO tool but also a product research option. There are many professional product research tools out there, but Google trends is free and is handy at analyzing the seasonal trends of certain products.
From Wikipedia, Google Trends is a website by Google that analyzes the popularity of top search queries in Google Search across various regions and languages. The website uses graphs to compare the search volume of different queries over time. The interface of Google trends is very easy. Click here to know more about how to use Google trends.
You can customize the region, the period, the categories and the searching source. I like a lot the comparison of different keywords. You can see how the searching term behaved across time. It will also show you clearly whether a trend is on the rise or decline in real-time.
If you are in the toy business, you know hoverboard, balancing scooter, fidget spinner, finger monkey and laser tag. Throw them into Google trends and take a look. You can even compare them together.
Using Google trends, it can help you analyze the popularity of the product. But we are not saying that Google trends is everything. To locate your next skyrocketing niche, you’d better keep an eye on it. Play with Google trends, and don’t forget that there are ton of information in Youtube videos, Facebook groups, even Facebook and Instagram ads, etc.
2. Where To Source Real Toy Factories In China?
Is there a shortcut to find toy factories in China? The answer is YES. There are thousands of toy factories located in different parts of China. Instead of having a list of toy factories’ names, the understanding of the place of origin of various types of toys may help a lot to find the right manufacturer.
Here is a general classification of toys produced in few major cities. And we will also dive into each manufacturing city to know more about them.
|Place of Origin||Toys Categories||Toys|
|Chenghai District||Remote control toys, Diecasts & Toy Vehicles, Toy figures, classic toys, models & building toys, Puzzles & DIY toys|
|Yiwu city||Classic toys, Plush toys, DIY craft toys, models & building toys||Yoyo, Balloon, Balls, Kaleidospce|
|Yangzhou, Qiangdao||Doll& Stuffed Toys, plush toys||Toy animals, Puppets, Mascot, Costume|
|Yongjia county||Outdoor & Playground Toys, Education Toys||Kid’s Slide, Seesaw, amusement equipment|
|Learning toys & Education Toys|
Toy Musical Instrument
2.1 Chenghai District, Guangzhou Province—— World’s Capital of Toys
Chenghai is a district in Shantou city which is located in Guangdong Province. It is referred to as the world’s capital of toys. Importing children’s toys from China, you may have been to many wholesale markets or trade towns, but you will end up with Chenghai District if you are buying in bulk.
What kinds of toy factories can be sourced in Chenghai?
There are small & medium sized factories, as well as huge manufacturers in Chenghai. They are capable of producing almost all types of toys. The main categories of toys are Remote Control Toys, Toy Vehicles, Building Toys, Puzzles & DIY Toys, electronic toys, high-tech toys, etc.
What’s the advantage of Chenghai toy factories?
Their advantage is easy access to all kinds of material. And there are hundreds of home-based workshops undertaking orders from larger factories. Due to the low cost of the material and management, the price of their finished products will be more competitive.
How does Chenghai Toy business work?
Same as most small and medium-sized factories in China, Chenghai toy factories do not have their own international sales team. They barely can communicate with importers. Therefore, numerous trading companies came to life. Some large trading companies even have their factories.
Those trading companies have strong sales and marketing team and establish showroom with samples coming from different types of factories. Customers can easily access to thousands of products by visiting the showroom. In the showroom, customers can get a quote by choosing samples, scanning barcodes.
There are samples can be taken away as well. Also, customers can have lunch, coffee and so on provided by the showroom. Some customers prefer staying in the showroom all day instead of finding factories, as they can have a one-stop buying experience there.
Also, many trading companies are entering into an international wholesale platform like Alibaba.com. Of course, there are toy factories on Alibaba.com as well. Let’s search for Chenghai Toys or Shangtou Toys in Alibaba.com, there are more than 500 results of toy suppliers.
2.2 Yiwu City, located the largest toy wholesale market
Yiwu is famous for the largest wholesale market. Statistically, there are around 2,000 toy shops in Yiwu international trade market district one. Some of them are factory outlets, some are trading companies.
What kinds of toy factories can be sourced in Yiwu?
If you ever had sourcing experience from Yiwu, you would know that Yiwu is a wholesale city. There are only small and medium sized factories producing small sized, low value and non techie classic, DIY toys like loom bands, magic sand, fidget spinner, etc. But there are many shops also have toys from Chenghai or other cities.
What’s the advantage of Yiwu toy Suppliers?
The toy suppliers in Yiwu city are more comprehensive in the toy categories. Customers can have one-stop buying of all kinds of toys. But toys made from Yiwu are usually of low value.
Maybe you are now confused about Yiwu and Chenghai. Where should you visit to source toys?
|Yiwu Toys||Chenghai Toys|
|Low value||High value|
|Low quality||High quality|
|Low MOQ||High MOQ|
|Less of Certificate||With Certificate|
Yiwu city is a place of sourcing low value, low quality, non techie small toys. Suppliers are asking low MOQ. Their package sometimes is Chinese or bilingual. And suppliers usually do not have any certificates for the products.
Chenghai district is a place specialized in producing toys. It produces high value, high quality, high-tech toys. Their MOQ is higher, but the product and package can be customized. Most of the factories or trading companies also understand what certificates would be requested.
If your business is focused on plastic toys, electronic toys, RC toys, and such high-end toys, and you are purchasing in bulk, Chenghai is a good place to go.
If you own a general store and toys are only a part of your business, Yiwu market is better. In yiwu market, you can have one stop shopping of all kinds of small commodities with low MOQ. It’s the best option of mixed container.
2.3 Yangzhou/Qingdao—Where Plush and Stuffed Toys Are Mainly Produced
If you are only looking for importing in bulk of plush toys, dolls or stuffed toys for kids, you need to have a visit the factories in Yangzhou and Qiangdao. Though there are such products in Yiwu and chenghai as well, the scale is not comparable.
The production of plush toys or stuffed toys is easier comparing to other types of toys. To reduce the cost on labor, some factories begin to move their workshops to inland provinces like Jiangxi, and even Shannxi.
If you have a large order of stuffed toys, it’s wise to visit Yangzhou or Qingdao. Before buying the tickets, you could simply filter a few factories from Alibaba and hire a translator or agent.
2.4 Yongjia, Zhejiang Province: China’s Capital of Learning and Playground Toys for Kids
To be exact, Qiaoxia Town, Yongjia County, Wenzhou City, Zhejiang Province is China’s capital of learning toys, educational toys, playgrounds for kids.
After more than 30 years of efforts and development, it has a total of 485 family education toys enterprises in Qiaoxia town, Yongjia County. They are specialized in developing and producing amusement toys, intelligence toys, stationery sports equipment at various levels. There are over 7800 specifications of the products. And it takes 60% share of the learning toy market.
2.5 Yunhe County——City of Chinese Wooden Toys
Yunhe is a county under Lishui city, Zhejiang Province. As a traditional industry of Yunhe, wooden toys have won the reputation of “home of Chinese wooden toys” and “city of Chinese wooden toys” for Yunhe.
There are over 400 wooden toy enterprises in Yunhe. Some factories dedicated in developing and producing wooden toys for world famous brands. You could also find a wholesale market for wooden toys. It’s easy to find a supplier or manufacturer there. But the main difficulty is communication. You’d better hire a translator with you.
All the factories are glad to receive customized orders. But if you just want to buy in small quantity to test, they are not willing to produce it. You could only choose ready made products from the wholesale market.
3. 6 Popular Toys Fair in China
Attending fairs can collect massive information about the trendy products. At the same time, you can build good relationship with some manufacturers. If you are importing toys from China, instead of visiting toys wholesale market, here are 7 toy exhibitions in China that you should not miss. In those fairs, you can not only meet up toy factories, but also know more about Toys importing service.
- China Yiwu International Commodities Fair
Address: Yiwu International Expo Center
Period: 21st – 25th, Oct. 2019
- Canton Fair
Address: No. 382, Yuejiang Middle Road, Haizhu District, Guangzhou
Period: 15th, Apr-5th, May. 2020
Canton Fair, also named China import and Export Fair, is a comprehensive international trading event. Toys will be exhibited in the second phase from 23rs to 27th, Oct.
- Shenzhen International Toy and Educational Fair Formerly Guangzhou International Toy & Education Fair now is moving to Shenzhen, China. Address: Shenzhen World Exhibition & Convention Centre,
Period: 6th – 8th, Mar. 2020
- China Toy Expo
The largest trade fair for toys and educational products in China. You can have one-stop sourcing of the full category of toys.
Address: Shanghai New International Expo Center
Period: 16th – 18th, Oct. 2020
- Beijing International Toys and Preschool Supplies Fair
Address: China International Exhibition Center in Beijing. 6 Beisanhuan east road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China.
Period: 11th – 13rd, May. 2020
- Hong Kong Toys and Games Fair
Address: Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Expo Drive, Wan Chai, Hong Kong (Harbour Road Entrance)
Period: 6-9 January 2020
4. How to search toy suppliers from China online
Are you going to start a toy business soon? Will you visit the toy wholesale market, toy manufacturing cities or trading fairs to make the deal? If not, you could search toy suppliers from China online.
There are plenty of Chinese toy factories and trading companies that list their products on Alibaba.com. After known the manufacturing cities of different types of toys, it’s easier to distinguish factories or trading companies.
Let’s take the example of searching wooden toys from Alibaba.com. We can go searching for either products or suppliers. The results are nearly the same, just different the way it displays.
There are suppliers from Yiwu, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Shantou, Guangzhou and so on. We can not decide that they are not real factories. But if you are specialized in wooden toys and just want to work in this line of business, then suppliers from Yunhe is better and it’s of higher chance to be a factory.
Most Chinese toy factories are small and they are not capable of producing multiple types of toys. If a supplier clarifies that they can offer all kinds of toys, probably it is not a factory. Of course, it’s not always the best option to work with a factory when you just start. Some trading companies have a better communication and understanding of your demand. It may also help the success of your business.
5. Problems when importing toys from China
Now you are confident in sourcing a kid’s toy factory and picking the trendy product. But that’s not all to ensure you have a successful toy business. Almost every region and country have strict and specific rules for toy products as they are normally used by children. Beyond this, like all other products, the toy products you order may also have infringement problems. Let’s focus on this two aspects and study on how we can avoid such problems.
5.1 Problem of Toy Compliance and Safety
Compliance and safety are the first problem among others. As this is not only a problem facing at the custom, but also could be causing serious consequences for the customers. Different regions have different conditions on importing toys. Most of them will apply US or Europe standards. Here are the details.
US toys need to be following a mandatory set of rules and regulations under ASTM F963 – Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety. And ASTM F963has several sections that address the mechanical or physical testing, flammability testing and chemical testing for toys.
To learn more about how ASTM international standards support consumer safety, you can visit www.astm.org. And for more information about the CPSIA (Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act) and compliance with the new law, visit www.cpsc.gov. And here is a list of CPSC-accepted labs that can be found labsearch. It can help you filter the CPSC-accepted labs by inputting the product name and place of origin.
First, all toys sold in the EU must carry a CE marking. By applying the CE marking to a product, the manufacturer declares that the product meets all the legal requirements for the CE market and can be sold throughout the European Economic Area.
Except CE marking, EN71 compliance is mandatory when importing toys to the European Union and it is a more complex factor then CE marking.
From Wikipedia, The standard has been published in 14 parts:
- EN 71-1: Mechanical and physical properties
- EN 71-2: Flammability
- EN 71-3: Specification for migration of certain elements
- EN 71-4: Experimental sets for chemistry and related activities
- EN 71-5: Chemical toys (sets) other than experimental sets
- EN 71-6: Graphical symbols for age warning labeling
- EN 71-7: Finger paints
- EN 71-8: Swings, slides and similar activity toys for indoor and outdoor family domestic use
- EN 71-9: Organic chemical compounds – Requirement
- EN 71-10: Organic chemical compounds – Sample preparation and extraction
- EN 71-11: Organic chemical compounds – Methods of analysis
- EN 71-12: N-nitrosamines and N-Nitrosatable Substances
- EN 71-13: Olfactory board games, cosmetic kits, and gustative games
- EN 71-14: Trampolines for domestic use
Among those, EN71-1,2,3 are of most importance. Chinese toy suppliers will not do all those tests and most of them are not EN71 compliant. So, EN71 compliance could be one of your filters to choose the toy supplier. However, EN71 is about the product, not the supplier. There are many chances that suppliers lower the quality as customers push on the price. And the product can not meet the quality standard in the end.
Strictly speaking, every batch of products produced by the supplier needs an EN71 test. In reality, not all customers request a separate certificate from the suppliers. If you are a small dealer, it could be fine if using the tests from the supplier. But if you own your brand and have a large batch of orders from China or other countries, you should go make the test in your name. And make sure to work with reputable test third parties like SGS, ITS, TUV to make the test more trustworthy.
5.2 Problem of Toy Infringement
Products with brand sell fast and with high profit. But infringement occurs easily when someone sells, imports, uses or makes a product that someone else invented.
From China wholesale market or small Chinese factories, you could find branded items easily, not only toys. There are also cases that the suppliers make slight changes on the product design or logo. Customers normally do not have profound knowledge about every product and they like to buy branded items.
To buy those products, you have to be sure if they are authorized. If they are not, there is potential risk that the products will be tested and inspected by both Chinese custom and foreign custom. Once it’s found out, the whole consignment will be detained and destroyed.
Toy business could be profitable. The main problems in importing toys from China are related to the quality, rules and regulations. And many customers are afraid of moving into toy business because of those problems. Some beginners even lost thousands of dollars in the first time of toy business. Finding the trustworthy supplier and working with them will be half success of your toy business. Are you ready to start? Explore the toy business now with MindenSourcing!