Sunglasses, which were once a luxury product, have now become a must-have accessory for all. As such, many fast-fashion retailers are capitalizing on the demand for trendy eyewear. Selling sunglasses can be a lucrative business, and many importers are exploring the Chinese wholesale market to increase their profitability. If you too are planning to start a sunglasses business, or if you are facing difficulties in importing sunglasses from China, this article will guide you on how to wholesale/import sunglasses from China and overcome all the challenges.
The guide includes：
- Different types of sunglasses
- How to find China sunglasses supplier
- Where will you find sunglasses manufacturers in China
- Certification and testing of products
- Packing of eyeglasses
- Shipping cost
1. Different types of sunglasses
- Some fashion sunglasses
- Sport sunglasses
Sports sunglasses are protective eyewear that is primarily designed to reduce the risk of eye damage while playing different sports.
- Polarized sunglasses & nonpolarized sunglasses
Polarized sunglasses are the ones equipped with special glasses that minimize glare and give you a clear and crisp view. These glasses are especially useful in protecting the eyes from UV rays of the sun.
Finding China sunglasses suppliers on the Internet is easy. However, you can also opt to visit China and explore your options. Most importers will initially choose to find sunglasses suppliers on the internet because they have a small business and the expenses that will be incurred on a trip to China can be used to purchase inventory.
However, if you go directly to China to find sunglasses suppliers, you can check the product in person, and choose the style & quality you want. It’s up to you to determine the best way of finding sunglasses that suits your requirements and business.
a. Find sunglasses suppliers in China
There are many wholesale glasses markets in China, but most of them are small. Majority of the sunglasses suppliers are concentrated in the Yiwu market and the Shenzhen/Guangzhou market. Both of these markets have different characteristics. So, you first need to understand the difference between the two markets and then determine the best place to shop sunglasses as per your business needs. Read on to know more about the Yiwu and Shenzhen market.
- Yiwu market
The MOQ of Yiwu’s sunglasses suppliers is relatively high and is usually around 600-1000. So, if you will be purchasing a large number of sunglasses, I highly recommend you to go to the Yiwu market.
There are many price levels of sunglasses depending on the material, style, and quality of the sunglasses you choose. For example, the conventional plastic frame sunglasses range from $0.5 to $1, while the metal frame sunglasses are $1-$2. Similarly, if you are looking for polarized sunglasses, you will probably pay more $0.6-$1.2 per pair.
If you plan on customizing the sunglasses by adding your logo on them or printing some pictures on the frames of sunglasses, the suppliers in Yiwu market can meet your needs. Usually, if you want to add a monochrome logo the price of a sunglass will increase by $0.03 per pair, and for printing on the frames, you’ll have to pay $0.07 more per pair.
The sunglasses in the Yiwu wholesale market are mainly for export. There is a wide assortment of trendy styles so you’ll get plenty of variety in the Yiwu market.
- Shenzhen/Guangzhou market
Shenzhen/Guangzhou has many wholesale markets for eyeglasses, such as Shenzhen Henggang Glasses City. But the wholesale market for eyeglasses here is different from the Yiwu market.
If you are in the market Shenzhen market for purchasing clothing or perhaps electronics (we have a guide on importing electronics from China), then I suggest you explore the sunglasses market of Shenzhen as well. Furthermore, if you have a small order, then Shenzhen is the best option for you because of lower MOQ. You can explore some retail and wholesale markets like the Shenzhen/Guangzhou market and Jiangsu Danyang glasses city.
In case you are worried about the quality of sunglasses available in these markets then it will entirely depend on the grade of the glasses you want and where your manufacturer comes from. Typically, the average quality of the sunglasses differs according to their manufacturing region. We will be discussing in detail about this topic in the next chapter.
b. Find China sunglasses suppliers online
You can go to Alibaba, Dhgate, Globalsource or Made in China to find reliable sunglasses suppliers. But most suppliers on these platforms are not manufacturers/factories. Usually, their MOQ is very low, but at the same time, their price is higher. Plus, they might not be able to meet your customization requirements.
It is difficult to find Chinese sunglasses manufacturers online primarily because these manufacturers are not good at online marketing and they mostly sell their products through trade companies. If you plan on placing a larger order and the suppliers on the sites mentioned above do not meet your requirements, the best way is to find a sourcing agent who can connect to a manufacturer on your behalf and procure products as per your requirements. A sourcing agent can quickly help you find several good factories in China for you to choose according to your needs.
c. Optical Fairs
In addition to visiting the wholesale market in China and searching suppliers online, you can also go to China fairs and find reliable wholesale sunglasses suppliers. I have listed some Chinese optical fairs for your reference below:
Canton Fair, Phase ♊
Address: No. 382, Yuejiang Middle Road, Haizhu District, Guangzhou
Period: 23-27, Oct. 2018
Address: Poly World Trade Expo Center (Pazhou Station, Exit C/D), Guangzhou
Period: 3-5, Nov. 2018
Address: Wenzhou International Convention & Exhibition Center
Period: 10-12, Mar. 2019
Address: Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre
Period: 7-9, Nov.2018
If you plan on importing sunglasses from China, any one of the three methods of finding suppliers outlined above will surely help you. However, if you are coming to China for the first time or are unfamiliar with Chinese wholesale market, I strongly recommend that you find a reliable sourcing agent to take you to the wholesale market or optical fairs for finding suppliers.
3. Where are sunglasses manufacturers located in China / where can you find sunglasses manufacturers in China
When you purchase sunglasses from China, pay attention to where the manufacturer you are dealing with is located. Depending on where the manufacturer is located, the quality and price of the sunglasses will vary greatly.
Chinese sunglasses factories are mainly concentrated in three places, Taizhou, Wenzhou, and Shenzhen. So, I suggest that you find sunglasses suppliers in these places. It’s better to bring a sourcing agent or a Chinese translator along to communicate and negotiate with the suppliers easily.
a. Taizhou, Zhejiang
Taizhou is one of the largest hubs of sunglasses manufacturing factories. The majority of eyewear manufacturers are gathered in Duqiao Town. Here, most of the factories mainly produce sunglasses, but you may find a few manufacturers of optical glasses as well in Taizhou. However, the optical glasses manufacturers are not very professional, because they have only developed in recent years.
In Taizhou, more sunglasses manufacturers produce plastic frames. So if you are mainly purchasing plastic frame sunglasses, you can find Taizhou’s sunglasses factory. The price of sunglasses here will be lower and of course, the quality of glasses will be inferior compared to the sunglasses from Shenzhen/Guangzhou.
70% to 80% of the sunglasses manufactured in Taizhou is exported to all countries in the world. Therefore, the quality of sunglasses produced here can meet the needs of most importing countries. But if you want high-end sunglasses, we recommend you to explore Shenzhen.
b. Wenzhou, Zhejiang
Wenzhou is one of the largest eyewear producers in China, and mainly manufactures lenses and frames. There are many regular eyewear factories in Wenzhou, but the sunglasses manufacturers are mostly privately owned small factories. These small sunglasses factories produce more metal frame sunglasses than plastic frame sunglasses.
The quality of the glasses produced in Wenzhou is relatively good. But unlike Taizhou, Wenzhou doesn’t specialize in producing sunglasses. Therefore, the quality of Wenzhou’s sunglasses may not be better than Taizhou. Regarding price, Wenzhou’s rate will higher than Taizhou’s sunglasses. We did some research and found that most of the sunglasses in the Yiwu market are produced in Taizhou.
So, if you purchase a lot of sunglasses, or you mainly want metal frame sunglasses, you can find Wenzhou sunglasses manufacturers.
Shenzhen’s glasses factories are mainly concentrated in Henggang Town, Longgang District. There are 4-6 large factories with thousands of employees and more than a dozen factories with about 1,000 people. Most of them are small and medium-sized factories with 70-300 people. Many eyewear companies in Hong Kong or abroad are also processed in the large factories of Shenzhen.
Shenzhen produces high-end glasses, mainly optical glasses, and only a small part of sunglasses. Of course, the price of Shenzhen glasses is the most expensive when compared to the manufacturers elsewhere. If quality is your utmost priority and you also need some customization then Shenzhen will be the ideal place.
Take note, Shenzhen is a good option for large purchase. But if you only plan on purchasing a small number of sunglasses, then it’s better to look in Taizhou or Wenzhou.
4. Certification and testing of products
Sunglasses are medical products. Therefore, you must get the relevant certifications and testing to import sunglasses from China to your country. Usually, your sunglasses supplier is not aware of these and cannot provide you with these certifications.
The certificates required for exporting to different countries are different. Below, I have listed the certificates required for several major countries.
- US: FDA (Food and Drug Administration) certification, Drop Ball test
- EU: EN ISO 12312-1 certification
- Australia: AS/NZS 1067:2003 certification
- Russia: GOST certification
- Germany: TUV certification
Tips for FDA certification and Drop ball test:
FDA registration is not very complicated. Just take note of the following steps:
- Determine the classification of the product
- US companies outside the US must find a US Agent
- Pay the Annual Registration Fee
- Obtain the Payment Identification Number (PIN) and the Payment Confirmation Number
- Finish Annual Registration and update your registration information and the listing of manufacturers for your imported devices.
- Download your listing information from FURLS and get the registration number or the owner/operation number as well as the listing number of the device
Drop ball test
When doing the drop ball test, you don’t need to test every product individually. You can divide the product into a series or a unit and conduct the drop ball test for the entire series or unit. When the name, material, control method, installation method, and key components of the products are the same, they can be classified into the same unit.
5. Packaging of eyeglasses
The packaging is an essential aspect of every product purchase, especially if the product is fragile like sunglasses. However, many sunglasses manufacturers do not offer separate packaging. So, if you want a different eyeglass package, you will have to look for packaging suppliers.
There are two kinds of glasses packaging: spectacle case and spectacle pouch. The common spectacle case is made of plastic, paper, metal, leather, or EVA. The spectacle pouch is mainly made of cloth or leather.
The price of the spectacle case and spectacle pouch varies greatly depending on the material. Below, I’ve listed several common spectacle cases and spectacle pouch and prices.
6. The shipping cost of sunglasses
The packaging of the finished sunglasses by the factory is generally: 1 pair/ opp bag; 20 pairs/ box; 25 boxes (500 pairs)/ carton. The sizes of box and cartons may vary for different factories. Some factories provide 600 pairs/ carton; while some deliver 400 pairs/ carton. To explain better, I’ll take the example of one of my client who I helped purchase sunglasses.
Table 2：Shipping LCL price
|US||Europe||South America||Africa||Southest Asia|
Now, you can get started!
I hope this comprehensive guide will help you import sunglasses from China to your country easily.
If you have any problem or confusion after going through this article just leave a comment to let me know your issues. I will try my best to answer all your questions and solve your issues.