Importing and Sourcing
Duty Calculator

A great website for looking up duty rates and classifications. Before importing any product, you should begin by figuring out its classification code and duty rate.

If you’re really stumped, Duty Calculator can also provide professional advice on classifying your products for a small fee.

alibaba Alibaba

The site for finding products and Suppliers in China. Lists tens of thousands of Suppliers. Often imitated, rarely duplicated.

Despite the odd horror story, scams are fairly to avoid with some simple due diligence (starting by only using Gold Suppliers). Poor quality products are not as easy to avoid, but that is importing from China

Additional Resources: Part 1: Alibaba Unofficial Guide, Finding SuppliersPart 2: Alibaba Unofficial Guide, Contacting and Negotiating with Suppliers

Here’s a list of tools apps, and blogs I use when importing products from China along with tools and apps I use to sell our products.

In the spirit of full disclosure, affiliate links have been added after I make a recommendation for tools I genuinely trust and recommend.

China & Culture : For those interested in learning Mandarin, this is an excellent site with a mix of free and paid content.


Import Genius: A website for looking up import records into the USA and other countries (great for doing Supplier research and competitor research)

Duty Calculator : A great website for looking up duty rates and classifications. Can also provide professional advice on classifying your products for a small fee.

Freight, Inspection, and Shipping

Shipping & Freight Resource (Blog): A fantastic blog regarding international freight and shipping.

Pro QC : A third party inspection agency I’ve personally used. Ranges from $300+ for a 1-day inspection.

Examine China: Order a background check on your Supplier for $99. Ensures you’re dealing with a legitimate Supplier in China and avoids any potential for scams.


Alibaba: The most popular and well known website for sourcing global suppliers (including non-Chinese). Any foreign company marketing internationally on the internet will likely be on

Smart Global Sources : Similar to Alibaba and Global Sources except it has tons of excellent articles.


C Trip : The best site for booking any travel in China (including planes, hotels, etc).

China Exhibition : A directory of many of the trade shows happening in China. If you’re going to China, I recommend planning to attend at least 1 or 2 trade shows while there.

Blogs & Info

China Business Cast : A monthly podcast for entrepreneurs doing business in China.

China Law Blog : One of the most respected sites regarding Chinese Law for international companies. Lots of other good anecdotes regarding doing business in China.

Quality Inspection : Excellent blog regarding ensuring quality shipments in China. Geared towards larger importers, but still excellent.