Moving To China

It is always a scary and exciting time for someone when they move from one country to another. There is always a lot of preparation that goes into making an international move. It is not at all a simple task. This post is written to help you get ready for moving to China from another country. It hopefully will give you a better idea of what items and things are available in China. My desire is that it would help you in a small way have a better idea about how to prepare for your move to China.

What things should I take with me to China?

When a person moves to China, they need to realize that they are moving to a country that is a mega-manufacturer of products and has tons of items available for purchase. More often than not China will have more different kinds of products available than the country you are moving from. You are moving to a country that often has more technologically advanced products than the country you are moving from. Therefore most of the things you will need you will be able to find available in China. Most things you will be able to buy at a store or online in China. Still though, there are a few things that you should consider bringing with you.

  • Expensive Electronics: Electronics such as Apple computers and phones though made in China are more expensive to buy in China than in the United States because of the import taxes. If you plan to buy expensive electronics, check to see if they are cheaper in your country or in China. You may want to bring these items with you.
  • Over the counter cold, allergy, pain, and other medications: Many of these medications will probably not be available at the local pharmacy in Dalian, so you should bring them with you.
  • Custom Kitchen Appliances: Appliances such as a food processor and stand mixer. These may not be available or will be very expensive to buy in China.
  • Tennis Shoes, Big Towels, and Large Size Clothes: (Most Chinese stores will not have your size if you wear large sizes). You may be able to find these items available, but it will be cheaper to bring these things with you.
  • Deodorant, Makeup, and Other Personal Care Products: You may not find the items you want or prefer in China, so it is best to bring these items with you.

There may be other things that you should bring with you, but this is a basic list that will hopefully get you started.

What things should I wait to buy in China?

The majority of things that you need can be bought in China. Whatever needed items that you do not decide to bring with you should be bought in China. You definitely wait to buy your car and appliances in China.

What are the pros and cons of taking a container of my personal items to China?

The advantages of bringing a container of your personal goods to China is that you would save the expense of having to buy new furniture and things when you arrive. You also can bring the things you like and are used to so that your new house feels more like home.

The disadvantages of bringing a container are the cost of shipping, the possibility of your container being held in customs for several weeks, and the possibility or your items getting damaged during shipment.

How much does shipping items to China cost?

As you can see from the sample quote below, it will cost about $2000 to ship a full container from the United States to Dalian, China. The price is less if you decide to ship a half full container. This price includes the drop-off and pick-up of your container at your port of load but does not include the fees you must pay to an agent in China to get your container through customs.

Screenshot 2015-09-15 17.11.04

Should I ship a vehicle to China or buy one in China?

You should not ship a vehicle to China. It will be much more cost effective to buy a vehicle in China. Cars are moderately priced in China, and you can buy a new car for an affordable price. In addition to significant shipping fees, you are going to pay at least 17% of the vehicle value if not much more in taxes. Also, the hassle or getting the car through customs will not make it worth it. It will be best to buy a car in the China.

What kind of vehicles are available in China?

Pretty much any kind of vehicle you want is available in China. You might not can find the exact model or style of car as a similar car in your home country, but you will be able to find something that is very similar. Most of your well-known car brands are available here. There are also Chinese car brands that make and sell many decent cars here in China. You may not have heard of these brands before. Some of the common Chinese brands are Chery, Geely, Dongfeng Motor, Foton, & BYD. I surveyed a local parking lot to see what brands of cars local people in Dalian were driving. In a small parking lot, I found among other brands of cars a Mercedes, Honda, Volvo, Volkswagon, Subaru, Chevrolet, BMW, Citroen, Toyota, Nissan, Audi, Buick, Ford, and Lexus. You do not have to worry about not being able to find a vehicle you like in China. There is an abundance of vehicles available.

What is the cost and availability of car parts in China?

Car parts are readily available in China for normal prices. If a local store does not have the parts you need in stock, you can always buy them online and have them delivered express delivery, and they will arrive in a couple of days.

How do we send our personal library (books) to China?

With modern technology, your best option is to get electronic copies of the books you like to read or will use. If you have a book on Kindle or other ebook programs, you should have no problem downloading and reading them once you are in China. There is no reason to ship over a whole shelf of actual paper books. They will only take up extra weight on your luggage.

How much are appliances (washer, dryer, refrigerator, etc.)?

Below I have posted some photos of average quality appliances that show the prices that a local appliance store has them for sell for.  It is sometimes hard to find a dryer for sale at an appliance store as they are not used that much in China. Therefore, I posted a picture of one I found for sale online. There is a variety of brands and prices of appliances for sale in Dalian. These photos are just a sample of what maybe someone might buy. The actual cost of the appliances you buy will depend on the quality and niceness of the products that you choose.


Front Load Washer ¥3699 = $607

Screenshot 2015-09-15 16.59.03

Dryer ¥2680 = $439


Refrigerator With Freezer Compartment ¥2990 = $490


Electric Powered Oven ¥7980 = $1308


Gas Powered Cooktop ¥3380 =$554