China Copper Scrap: Buying Scrap Copper from China

Apr 11, 2024 Chapter 1. Sourcing

Buying Scrap Copper from China:

China’s vast appetite for copper makes it a potential source for scrap copper imports. However, navigating this market requires careful planning and knowledge.

When it comes to importing any type of scrap, especially Copper Scrap, there are three critical parameters to consider. Drawing from my experience in China’s trading sector, here’s a hassle-free approach:


First and foremost, conduct a thorough background check of the supplier. Engage third-party SGS inspection certification and pre-shipment inspection of materials at the port. By involving port authorities and obtaining valid inspection certificates from SGS, you minimize the risk of wrongdoing.

Additionally, establish a performance guarantee deed with the supplier, withholding at least 25% of payment until the shipment reaches your warehouse. Ensure you have a reliable exporter/trader who can periodically visit the supplier’s warehouse to verify authenticity.

During the Voyage:

Select reputable shipping lines to minimize the risk of theft during transit, a common occurrence with copper shipments. In addition to sea voyage insurance, obtain theft insurance for added protection. Secure containers with pallet boxes, padlocks, or electronic locks to deter theft.


Hire a competent Customs House Agent (CHA) to oversee container movement at the port during unloading, ensuring no mishandling occurs. Given the prevalence of thefts during transit, consider accompanying the shipment yourself or sending a trusted representative. Opt for Inland Container Depot (ICD) clearance over port clearance for added security.

By adhering to these measures, you can mitigate the risks associated with importing scrap materials, particularly Copper Scrap, and ensure a smoother import process.




Steps to Consider When Buying Scrap Copper from China:

  1. Research Suppliers: Carefully research potential suppliers, focusing on their reputation, experience handling copper scrap exports, and certifications.
  2. Establish Clear Communication: Clearly define your desired scrap copper specifications (grades, quantity, etc.) and payment terms in writing.
  3. Quality Control Measures: Arrange for pre-shipment inspection by a reputable third-party company to verify quality and quantity.
  4. Logistics and Shipping: Plan logistics and shipping arrangements, considering factors like container type, customs clearance, and insurance.
  5. Payment Terms: Secure a payment method that protects you, such as letters of credit (LCs) or escrow services.

If you search for scrap on Alibaba and other sites, the listing price is always way off (as prices fluctuate so much). Once contact is made, you can negotiate accurate pricing.

Also, I always recommend using escrow for the first purchase. Escrow is a reputable third party that holds funds till delivery is confirmed (bank, title company, etc.).

Alibaba has trade insurance(costs a bit) so you can get your money back if scammed. Just remember to go through their site and not outside the site.



china raw material inspection



Beware of Frauds When Buying Raw Material from China

Are you aware of the potential risks associated with purchasing products such as A4 copy paper, aluminum, or copper wire scrap?

In regions like Hebei and Tianjin in China, there’s a prevalent occurrence of trade scams targeting such items.

we have uncovered numerous fraudulent companies in northern China while conducting factory audits or pre-shipment inspections on behalf of buyers. These companies, posing as legitimate suppliers, exhibit suspicious behavior upon learning about scheduled audits or inspections.

Despite confirming inspection schedules, they often withhold clear location details and insist on picking up inspectors from nearby stations, only to keep them waiting for extended periods with various excuses.

Eventually, when inspectors are taken to remote “warehouses,” they find only a few samples piled on the ground, devoid of proper packaging or markings.


Tragically, these issues are often discovered too late, after clients have already paid deposits.


China Copper Scrap scams



To safeguard your business against raw material fraud, consider the following tips:

  1. Exercise caution if offered prices significantly lower than market rates, as this could be a tactic to lure buyers into placing orders and making deposits before disappearing.
  2. Verify the legitimacy of potential suppliers by conducting thorough checks on their company profiles and conducting on-site audits to ensure the existence and legality of their operations.
  3. Investigate the financial credit status of suppliers before making any payments, as low credit ratings may indicate fraudulent activities.
  4. Opt for shipping companies of your choice rather than those recommended by suppliers to minimize the risk of goods being switched before shipment.


Should you require further guidance or assistance, do not hesitate to reach out to us anytime. Your business’s security is our priority.



Importing raw material from China has emerged as a widely successful strategy for countless businesses worldwide, with its popularity steadily increasing by the day. Chinese-made products enjoy widespread appeal across the globe.

Yet, mastering this endeavor remains a formidable challenge, particularly for newcomers. The intricacies of the importing process are remarkably complex and daunting, posing significant risks for those unfamiliar with its intricacies. A misstep in this arena can result in substantial financial losses.

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