Interview of a Cosmetics & Makeup distributor in China

Today, we have the pleasure to interview Steven, that manages a trading company in China, distributing and promoting cosmetics and Makeup products in China

Hello Steven, Thanks for giving us some of your time with this interview.

Can you please give us more details and information about your company?

We are a trading company and we represent and distribute local and foreign brands in China since 2014.
We are based in Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province, and we have a full team of 20 people that are working hard to sell and promote our brands.

What are your position and mission? (Are you the founder? )

I am not the founder, I am the general manager. I am in charge of full operation, from dealing with partners, managing sales channels, doing promotions, and managing our all team.

Do you sell beauty Brands offline or online?

In the past, we sell offline mainly, via the supermarket, stores. But this year, the main sales channels are online.

How many brands do you collaborate with at this moment?

At this moment we are working with 4 brands, that are in 4 special styles, Chinese traditional medicine soap and healthcare brand, a Chinese skincare brand, a Thailand mask brand and a Spanish makeup brand.

What kind of brands do you search for at this moment?

We are searching for makeup brands, and cosmetics from Europe countries, and Canada. There is a demand online now on many channels for good niche brands with good prices.

How do you sell products online in China?

We use Tmall and Taobao stores. We have several stores with a full team. We also use KOL to promote, doing live streaming. We have integrated our own KOL team to promote our brands.

Do you take all the brands? How do you select brands you want to collaborate with?

No, of course, I do not accept all brands. we only selected famous brands or brands with potential.
If the brand is famous, we resell the brand based on special collaboration. We have collaborated with Estée Lauder, La Mer, Shiseido, iHerb, etc.

If the brand has potential, we will ask to represent the brand and ask for promotion fees.

What do you mean Brands with potential?

If the brand is not famous, it is more complicated to sell in China you know.

If we think the brand has good products and potential, we are ready to invest in the brand but we want the brand shares the cost. We will use KOL and Tmall , Taobao to sell the products.
We will send the sample to KOC and KOL and see their feedback.
We will get a lot of reviews, and contact media, TV, journalists…

What are these promotion fees?

It depends, depends on the Budget.
It can be 300 000rmb and 1 million RMB if the brand is rich.

Ok, It is clear. So you ask samples, and if your networks of KOC, KOL, and resellers like you will collaborate with this brand?

Yes, and you know we also check if the brand is a bit popular in China. if some KOL/media speaks about the brand on Xiaohongshu, WeChat, and Weibo.

If we can see conversations with users that already like the products it is positive.

What is the amount of the commission that you take from Brands?

It really depends. For big brands, we only get 5% to 10%.
For quite a famous brand we can get 20-50% commission.
For new brands, we ask for 40-70% commission.

Can you confirm, for the new brand you ask for 40-70%? It means if you buy at 30-60 and sell at 100 correct?

It really depends on the operation and the sales amount.

When you deal with small and medium beauty brands, do you guarantee or estimate sales?

No, because in China it is too difficult to estimate and complicated.

If a brand put a 500 000 RMB fee, and give you 30% commission, you do not guaranty amount of sales.

It really depends. If the brand is famous, then we can guarantee a result. If not famous, it is not clear.

What do you recommend to Foreign Skincare or Makeup brands, if they just enter China?

Good question. I think foreign brands usually need to adapt and understand the Chinese Market.

  1. Understand the China market
  2. Adapt packaging, prices, content
  3. Use Chinese social media like WeChat, Weibo, Xiaohongshu, Douyin
  4. Collaborate with a star
  5. Get positive reviews from consumers, media and KOL
  6. Use Chinese sell platforms like Tmall, Taobao, VIP, Kaola, JD
  7. Collaborate with a local partner

Do you recommend they work with GMA? (and why)

Yes of course, because you are a very professional marketing agency, and have experience.

(Thank you, Steven.) What kind of beauty brands would you like GMA to recommend to you?

1. famous brands, 2. quite famous brands, 3. brands with potential, or 4. new brands?

All kind of brands is fine, we will study the possibility of partnership. But of course, we prefer to work with big brands.


Thank you Steven for your answer, and I hope it will “inspire” foreign Marketers to understand the Chinese way of doing business in China.
If you want to collaborate with this company of Steven, contact us.

Any questions for Steven, you can send a comment.

Further readings:


  • Atif Munir

    I want new products in pakistan for launch

  • Hello
    First of all very good article. I would like to get in touch with Steven, i am currently licensing my new cosmetic brand in china and looking for a collaboration regarding distribution and marketing.
    Many Thanks

  • Hi Olivier,
    we would be very interested in getting in touch with you to figure out, if there is a chance for a future cooperation.
    We develop and produce our anti-aging articlkes with a UNIQUE functionality of very low molecular hyaluronic acid exclusively in Germany.

    We ar looking for distributors in Asia but as well in other regions of the world as well.

    many thanks + best regards


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