Importing From China: How Hidden Charges Turn “Cheap” Into Costly

You’ve seen the ads – massive savings importing direct from China. As a business owner, the temptation is real. Those shiny photos of jumping castles at half the price of buying locally seem too good to pass up. But before you whip out your credit card, there are a few harsh realities you need to know. Importing isn’t as cheap as it looks on paper. By the time your ‘bargain’ inflatable arrives on Australian shores, you’ll have paid far more than you ever intended. Hidden fees and unexpected charges have a nasty habit of turning an apparently cheap import into a costly mistake.

Low Prices on jumping castles on quotes: Why China Seems Cheaper but local suppliers competes with similar offers

The price of commercial jumping castles from China seems too good to be true. And often, it is. While the quotes look appealing on paper, hidden fees and charges frequently turn an apparently cheap import into an expensive mistake.

When you buy from Chinese suppliers, the initial product price is just the start. You’ll also pay for international shipping, which for oversized cargo like inflatables can cost a small fortune. Then there are customs duties and clearance fees, port and handling fees, and possible storage fees if your shipment gets held up. All told, these extras typically add 50-100% to the total cost.

What’s more, cheaper castles from China are usually lower quality. The vinyl and seals tend to deteriorate faster, meaning higher maintenance and repair costs. The inferior materials also pose safety risks to kids that outweigh any savings.

The truth is, you can often find similar or better deals from local suppliers. Australian manufacturers produce high-quality, durable commercial inflatables for competitive prices. They have lower overhead costs and don’t charge for international shipping or import fees. Purchasing locally also means faster delivery, better customer service, and compliance with Australian safety standards.

Examples of the price differences and how it all looks after all costs adds up

For example take our hottest selling party jumping castle combo 5.5mx5.5mx3.5m: You can find it cheaper from Chinese supplier. Average quote from Chinese supplier for this product is around 1950 Australian Dollars. You think our local suppliers keep big profit margins “we never over pay we buy from China” . But let us go further and investigate other fee involved in this whole process.

Shipping cost :250-300 dollars

And now the fun begins (Based on average price):

ACS Entry Processing Fee : $110-150

Port Service Charge: $90-110

Terminal Handling Charge: $30-50

Delivery Order Fee:$50

Sea Cargo Automation:$10

CMR Fee:$10

Terminal Security Fee:$20

Import Processing Fee:$10

Wharf/CFS Infrastructure Fee:$30-50

Import Handling Fee:$10

ISPS Security Fee:$15

China Import Service Fee:$80-100

Low Sulphur Surcharge:$5

Quarantine Compliance Fee:$15

Customs Clearance Fee:$150

Customs EDI Fee:$10

Quarantine Accreditation Scheme:$10

Disbursement Fee:$25-30

Tax ( Not GST) :$50-100

Total( Shipping and customs clearing) :980 Plus GST(costing on lowest on average)

Now your jumping castle has reached to a cost around 3028 dollars Plus GST.

And our price for this product price is $3000 plus GST . And we are 100% Australian owned and offer hassle free service .

When questioning Chinese suppliers, they might respond with “Just pay taxes at the destination” or “You’ll have to pay a fee, but it’s usually a few hundred.” If this information is inaccurate, can you take any action? Local suppliers like us are legally bound to declare the exact fee and are prohibited from overcharging.

While the lure of cheap Chinese imports is strong, smarter buyers look beyond the initial quote. Factoring in hidden fees, higher long-term costs, safety issues and the benefits of local sourcing, Australian inflatables suppliers frequently offer the best value. The next time you’re tempted by a bargain from overseas, crunch the numbers – you may find the real deal is right in your own backyard.

Hidden Shipping and Customs Fees at arrival port Australia

So you found an inflatable castle from China at an unbelievably cheap price. Fantastic! But before you whip out your credit card, it’s important to consider the hidden fees that often come with importing.

Shipping and handling alone can cost a small fortune. And that’s not even including port and customs charges once the shipment arrives in Australia. As an example, a standard 20ft container from China to Sydney is around $5000. Then there’s unloading and clearing the cargo through customs, which typically adds at least another $3,000-5,000.

Don’t forget the import duties and taxes. While goods under $1,000 are usually exempt, larger shipments incur a 5% customs duty on the total landed cost, including freight and insurance, as well as a 10% import tax on the shipment value. These charges are often overlooked when determining a product’s total cost from an overseas supplier.

Clearing your cargo through customs also requires submitting the proper paperwork, like a bill of lading, invoice, and packing list. If anything is missing or incorrect, your shipment can face lengthy delays and additional fees. It may even be denied entry altogether.

The bottom line is importing from China may seem like a bargain at first. But once you factor in the hidden costs around shipping, duties, taxes and clearing customs, the total price tag can end up similar to buying from an Australian supplier. And that’s not even considering the risks around quality, warranty, and customer service.

So do your homework and consider all the potential fees before choosing an overseas inflatable supplier. While China may be cheap, Australia could save you money, time, and headaches in the long run.

Port handling and customs clearing fee in Australia

When importing goods from China, the initial product price is often deceiving. Hidden fees accumulate quickly, especially when clearing customs in Australia. Be prepared for handling and clearance charges to potentially double your total cost.

Clearing Customs

Clearing your cargo through Australian customs involves fees for both the customs broker who facilitates the process, as well as the government. Fees are calculated based on the total value of your shipment. For goods over AUD$10,000, you’ll pay around 20-30% of the shipment value. So if you’re importing $20,000 of jumping castles, budget at least another $5,000 just for clearing customs.

Brokers also charge for their services to prepare paperwork, submit declarations, and ensure your goods meet regulations. Fees vary but typically range from $500 to $1000 per shipment for standard full container air or sea freight. The more complex your import, the higher the fees. If any issues come up during clearing that require additional work to resolve, expect higher charges.

It’s easy to be lured in by a cheap product price from China, but underestimating the additional importation expenses is a rookie mistake. Do your homework and get estimates from brokers for their fees before finalising a purchase. That screaming deal may end up costing you twice what you bargained for!

Port Handling Charges

Once your shipment arrives in Australia, port handling fees apply for unloading and transporting your containers. These charges depend on factors like:

  • The port of entry (fees differ between cities and states)
  • The size and number of containers
  • Additional services required (e.g. forklift, storage)
  • Time of day (after-hours unloading incurs higher rates)

You can expect to pay between $1000 to $5000 per container for standard handling. The total fees will depend on how many containers your entire shipment requires. Make sure any quotes you receive from suppliers or freight forwarders also include estimates for port handling charges so you understand the full cost.

By understanding all the potential fees involved in the import process, you can make a more informed decision about the true cost effectiveness of sourcing goods from overseas. While a product may seem cheap from China, the total expense after shipping and importing can end up similar to buying locally. Do a thorough cost-benefit analysis to determine what makes the most financial sense for your business.

Lengthy Transit Times and Delayed Delivery

The low price tags you see from Chinese suppliers often don’t reflect the true cost by the time the goods arrive at your door. Lengthy transit times and unexpected delays frequently lead to higher-than-expected fees that quickly add up.

When importing from China, you have to account for the time it takes to transport your order overseas and clear customs. Sea freight can take 4 to 6 weeks, while air freight typically takes 1 to 2 weeks. But that’s not counting the time spent waiting for your shipment to clear customs, which frequently exceeds the standard clearance period. These lengthy transit and waiting periods open you up to several surcharges.

Storage fees are commonly applied if your shipment sits at the port for an extended time. Demurrage fees are also likely if your container occupies space at the port for longer than the allowable free time. These unforeseen costs are often several hundred dollars per day and entirely out of your control.

Once your shipment finally clears customs, you’ll have to pay customs clearance and brokerage fees to process the necessary import declaration and release the goods. Customs may also decide to physically inspect some or all of your shipment, which leads to more waiting and additional exam fees. Sometimes shipments are held for weeks with no explanation, only to be released with demands for hundreds or even thousands of dollars in inspection charges.

To avoid the nasty surprises that often come with importing from China, choose a reputable freight forwarder and customs broker to handle the intricate importing process on your behalf. Ask about all potential fees upfront and build adequate buffer time into your shipping schedule in case of delays. Compare the total cost of importing with purchasing from local suppliers— you may find it’s worth paying a little more to receive your order on time and avoid frustrating fees.

While “cheap” Chinese goods may seem appealing, the hidden charges that emerge during transit and importing frequently make them more costly than sourcing locally. Do your due diligence to determine the true price of importing before getting burned with surprise surcharges and lengthy delays.

The True Cost of Importing From China to Australia

So you found an irresistible deal on jumping castles from a Chinese supplier and couldn’t pass it up. The prices seemed so cheap, you thought you were getting an amazing bargain. But once it’s time to import those castles into Australia, hidden fees start piling up and that “bargain” can end up costing you a lot more than you planned.

As the importer, you’re on the hook for all costs to get your goods from China to your business in Australia. First up, customs will charge you a processing fee, usually a couple hundred dollars, just for handling your imported goods. Then the Australian government charges a 5% duty rate on most items from China. On top of that, you owe 10% GST (Goods and Services Tax) on the total taxable value of your import.

Don’t forget about shipping and port handling fees once your goods arrive in Australia. Transporting oversized items like jumping castles requires special freight shipping, and costs vary depending on factors like fuel prices, the total volume and dimensions of your shipment, and destination charges. Ports also charge handling fees for unloading and processing your shipment. All told, shipping and port fees could add $1,000-$5,000 or more to your total cost.

The hidden truth is, once you account for all the additional charges to import from China, the overall price you end up paying may not be much different than buying from an Australian supplier. And with an Aussie company, you avoid the hassle of dealing with international shipping and customs, gain better quality control, and support local businesses.

For your business, the adage “you get what you pay for” is especially true. Don’t get lured in by seemingly cheap upfront prices from China. Do your research on the total costs involved and compare to local options. You may find that buying Australian-made commercial grade inflatables is actually the most budget-friendly choice, with the added benefits of guaranteed quality, fast delivery, and easy purchasing.

Why Support Australian Suppliers?

Buying from Australian suppliers makes good business sense. While imports may seem cheaper on the surface, hidden fees and charges often make the total cost much higher than expected. Supporting local companies generates more income and jobs right here at home.

Why pay more for Australian products?

For starters, Australian suppliers understand local regulations and standards. They can properly advise you on any safety or compliance issues to avoid potential legal trouble or recalls down the road. Buying locally also allows for better customer service, as suppliers are in the same time zone and can address any concerns or questions quickly.

Using Australian suppliers enhances your brand image. Customers appreciate businesses that support the local economy and community. Promoting that you source products locally can attract more customers and build goodwill. Australian-made goods are also often viewed as higher quality, which reflects well on your company.

Every dollar spent with Australian companies generates more income that circulates within our economy. This creates more tax revenue to support infrastructure and public services we all benefit from. It also creates more stable, higher-paying jobs for fellow Australians. While imports may be cheaper in the short term, the long term impact on our economy is far more costly.

Finally if you buy from Australian Inflatables final cost you pay will be almost similar as something you buy from china.

Hidden fees add up

Importing from overseas seems cheaper on paper, but additional charges are often not clearly listed upfront. Shipping and customs fees, tariffs, and port handling charges can increase the total cost significantly. The time and hassle of dealing with overseas suppliers, shipping delays, and clearing customs also adds hidden costs. By the time the product arrives and is ready to use, the total price is usually far higher than expected.

Supporting local companies is an investment in our community and future. While imports may appear more affordable, the hidden costs to our economy and job market are substantial. For the benefit of all Australians, buy from suppliers in your own backyard. Your business, customers and community will thank you for it.

5 Reasons to Buy jumping castles from Australian Inflatables

Buying jumping castles from Australian Inflatables is a smart choice for your business for several reasons.

Quality and Safety

Australian Inflatables offers high quality, durable jumping castles that meet strict Australian safety standards. Their castles are double and triple stitched for maximum strength and durability, and made of heavy-duty, UV-resistant and fire-retardant materials. You’ll have peace of mind knowing their products have undergone rigorous testing to ensure safety.

Warranty and Support

Australian Inflatables backs their products with a comprehensive 24-month warranty. If there are any issues with stitching, seams or defects, they will repair or replace parts at no cost to you. They also have an experienced support team to help you with any questions about setup, transportation or maintenance.

Experience and Reputation

Australian Inflatables has been designing and manufacturing commercial-grade jumping castles for over 7 years. They have a proven track record of building innovative, high-quality products and delivering exceptional customer service. Their premium reputation in the party industry means customers will trust renting from your business.

No Hidden Costs

What you see is what you get with Australian Inflatables. There are no surprise fees or duties when importing, and shipping and handling within Australia is included in the listed prices. This transparency allows you to calculate your costs accurately and set competitive rental rates.

Wide Selection

Australian Inflatables offers jumping castles for all ages and occasions. Whether you need a small castle for toddlers, a huge one for teens or even an adult-sized one for a corporate event, they have options to suit any need. Their broad range of themes, from princess castles to Spiderman, means you’ll be able to find something for any party.

In summary, Australian Inflatables is an experienced, reputable company that produces high-quality jumping castles perfect for commercial rentals. Their products are safe, durable, backed by solid warranties and available at fair, transparent prices. For hassle-free, cost-effective jumping castles, Australian Inflatables is the smart choice.

FAQs: Why Is Buying Local owned jumping castles Better Than Importing?

Buying a locally-made jumping castle is a smarter choice than importing one from China. On the surface, the prices from Chinese suppliers seem much lower. But once you add in hidden fees for shipping, customs, and handling, the total cost isn’t that different. And local brands meet strict safety standards, are higher quality, and the companies provide better customer service.

Hidden fees galore

The cheap price you see advertised is not the final amount you’ll pay. There are many surprise fees that get tacked on, from exorbitant shipping costs to customs duties and brokerage fees. By the time the castle arrives, you’ve spent way more than you budgeted for. With a local brand, the price you see is the price you pay, with no hidden gotchas.

Safer and higher quality

Inflatables made in Australia have to meet stringent manufacturing requirements to ensure safety. Imported castles may be made with inferior materials and construction that don’t meet the same standards. Local brands also use heavy-duty, rip-stop PVC designed for commercial use, so their castles last much longer. An imported castle may start leaking and need repairs after just a few uses, becoming more costly in the long run.

Better customer service

When you buy from a local company, you get the benefit of their knowledge and experience. They can properly educate you on safety practises and how to properly set up and operate the equipment. If you do have any issues, they provide quick customer support and service. Good luck getting help from a Chinese company on the other side of the world!

Invest in your community

Finally, buying locally supports small businesses in your own community. The money you spend stays in Australia and helps boost the local economy. While saving a few dollars by importing may seem appealing, you get what you pay for. For a long-lasting, high-quality, and safe product, go with a reputable local brand for your jumping castle needs.

In summary, locally-made jumping castles from Australian suppliers are safer, higher quality, and provide better service in the long run compared to importing from China. Though the upfront cost may be a bit more, you’ll save money by avoiding hidden fees and costly repairs down the road. Supporting local businesses also helps strengthen your community. For the best value and experience, buy Australian-made.


So there you have it, the truth about importing from China. On the surface it seems like a no-brainer – the prices are unbeatable. But once you account for all the hidden fees and charges, you often end up paying the same as you would for a quality product made locally. As a business owner, you need to look at the total cost of getting your product to market, not just the upfront price tag. Do your homework and don’t get lured in by the illusion of an ultra-cheap deal from China. Your business, and your customers, will be better for it.