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Most Profitable Items to Import from China to South Africa

Most Profitable Items to Import from China to South Africa

In this article I want to share some facts about what you can import from China and sell for high profits in South Africa. Most of the items mentioned here are things which I have bought online and successfully sold the same item on the local market at a profit.

As an importer, your goal is to find products that local people need and do not get locally.

Top 10 Most Profitable Products to Import from China to Sell in South Africa

1. Tablet PCs

You’ll be surprised at the number of people who want to get their hands on an android tablet pc in SA, but due to our recession, they simply can’t afford them. You can buy anything from high-end tablets like Samsung Galaxy Tabs 10″ all the way down to cheap 7 inch tablets for under R1000 (including shipping).

2. Mobile Phones

Almost every phone that is sold in China is unlocked and will work on South African networks without any problems. Just make sure that you buy a quadband phone (850Mhz) that works here, also make sure your phones not locked by your local service provider (MTN, Vodacom etc.) Once again prices are very cheap when buying in bulk.

3. High-end Electronics

Everything from HIFI Systems, Audio Equipment, Television sets, Digital cameras and other high end equipment is exported to SA daily. Although some of this may be available here on the cheap, its always worth importing for people looking for quality items at reasonable prices.

4. Baby products (Buggies/ strollers/ car seats etc.)

If you’re having a baby soon or know someone who does you’ll understand just how expensive it can get when buying prams and related items in South Africa. You can source all these items including car seats with relative ease in China and once again they are very cheap compared to local prices.  In my opinion this is one of the best ways to make a quick buck.

5. LED Lights

LED lights are the latest craze in South Africa and everyone wants one, especially people who want to get away from high prices of electric usage during the night hours. You can buy batteries for torches/flashlights very cheaply in China and make up your own kits which you market locally under various brands. Some people even import full solar power lights with batteries at a fraction of the price you’ll get here!

6. Children’s Books & Toys

These are imported regularly into SA, however always remember that most products do have warranty issues which may ruin your margins. You will find that most children’s toys come with some sort of paper work however this is normally limited to chinese language only. You’ll have to rely on your own warranty procedures for these products to work in SA. Although a fairly new market, I’ve seen this start to take off within the last few months.

7. Household items

The list of household items that you can source from China is practically endless, everything from microwaves to mini-fridges and cooking utensils. In my opinion anything which is small and light will do well as long as it’s unique as most larger appliances are fairly easy to get hold of locally at cheap rates.

8. LED TVs & LCD Monitors

I know what you’re thinking – “LED TV sets already sell here!” Yes they do, however they require a fairly large upfront payment which many people simply cannot afford. Buying in bulk from China can really help your margins here, especially if you have a few people to buy off you at the same time.

9. Mobile phone accessories

When was the last time you saw someone using their mobile phone with no case, screen protector or any other accessory on it? The answer is probably never! People are always looking for these items and sourcing them locally is almost impossible due to licensing issues between local distributors and large multinationals. This market seems to be growing rapidly so get in there quick!

10. Sports Apparel & Sports Gear

There’s literally loads of sports gear that comes out of china every day which locals simply cannot get their hands on locally due distribution issues. Most people tend to import cheap sportswear and flog it off as a premium product locally. The other side of the spectrum is importing top end sportswear which requires a lot of research on your part to ensure its good quality.


In conclusion if you’re thinking of importing from China then get in there quick and don’t expect it to be easy! You’ll have to do a lot of research and be prepared to work hard for every rand you make. Always remember that heartache and frustration is part of the journey, so measure your goals accordingly before starting up a new import venture!

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