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How To Find China Wholesale Suppliers And Import Direct From Chinese Factories

When it comes to finding products to sell online, your profit margins are amplified by how low you can drive your sourcing costs down.

For example, the typical retail markup for an online store is 4X. As a result, for every dollar it costs you to source an item, you need to charge 4 dollars!

On the flip side if you can shave a dollar off your costs, then you can potentially mark down your prices by 4 dollars or pocket the extra profit!

Because labor is an order of magnitude cheaper in China, it’s in your best interests to find China wholesale suppliers and import direct from Chinese factories.

Today, I will teach you where to find China wholesale suppliers and what to expect when importing direct from Chinese factories.

This post will be broken down into 3 sections

  • Where To Find China Wholesale Suppliers
  • What To Expect When Importing From China
  • How To Prepare Your First Shipment
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How To Find China Wholesale Suppliers – A Video Overview

Canton Fair

One of the best ways to find Chinese vendors is by attending the Canton Import And Export Fair.

The Canton Fair is held in GuangZhou, China twice a year (Usually during the end of May and the beginning of November) and is one of the largest sourcing shows (if not the biggest) in the world.

It easily trumps any trade show in the US and it’s so large that they have to split it into 3 phases.

The first phase covers electronics, the second phase covers consumer goods, gifts and home decor and the third phase covers textiles, garments, shoes and office supplies.

To give you an idea of the magnitude of the fairgrounds, the Canton Fair is equivalent in size to 218 football fields. Crazy right?

Now if you’ve ever tried to find a Chinese vendor or factory using an online directory like Alibaba, you probably know how time consuming it can be.

There are many companies to go through and it’s hard to gauge product quality by just looking at photos online.

In addition, language and cultural barriers can make communication challenging over email and text.

The best part about the Canton Fair is that it’s a place where suppliers and factory owners from all over Asia congregate and you can easily find a vendor that either carries what you want to sell or can make what you want to sell.

In addition, all of the vendors bring in samples of what they make so you can touch and feel all of the merchandise first hand before committing to a purchase.

Most of the suppliers at the fair are used to dealing with American and European companies so they have the experience and infrastructure to export products to wherever you live.

The other good news is that a good number of these vendors speak English…not good English mind you, but enough to communicate at a basic level.

If you require an interpreter, you can easily hire one for a very reasonable price (100 yuan = 15 bucks for the day).

Going to the Canton Fair sounds intimidating but it’s actually not that bad and it doesn’t cost nearly as much as you think.

First off, the Canton Fair is free to attend and the cost of living is much lower in China than in the US.

Second of all, I’ve published my full itinerary and a complete guide to the Canton Fair below. If you plan on going, you can simply copy my travel plans.

Here’s a podcast that I recorded about my last trip to the Canton Fair

Global Sources Tradeshow

Similar to the Canton Fair, the Global Sources Tradeshow is another gigantic fair where factory owners from all over the world congregate twice per year.

What’s nice about the Global Sources Tradeshow is that it takes place just BEFORE the Canton Fair in Hong Kong so you can easily hit both shows during the same trip!

While the Global Sources show is not as large as the Canton Fair, there are a few key differences that make the Global Sources show a must attend event.

First off, while there is some overlap with the Canton Fair in terms of suppliers, many of the vendors that attend the Global Sources tradeshow are unique.

Because Global Sources is a search engine for Chinese vendors like Alibaba, they also have a gigantic searchable database of manufacturers that you can establish contact with prior to attending the event.

In addition, Global Sources contains a much larger contingent of suppliers in certain key categories such as electronics and fashion accessories. So if you plan on selling anything electronic, Global Sources is the best show to attend.

The other key difference is that Global Sources provides a strong focus on education. During their show, they simulaneously run a conference that teaches you how to run a successful importing business.

The content of the event is fantastic and they invite successful ecommerce entrepreneurs from all over the world to speak.

But perhaps the best part about the Global Sources trade show is that there’s a very low language barrier!

Unlike China, everyone speaks English in Hong Kong and it’s generally much easier to get around as a result.

My advice if you decide to travel all the way to Asia is to attend both the Global Sources show and the Canton Fair during the same trip. Canton is only a 2 hour train ride away and it costs $30.

Below is an interview that I conducted with the CIO of Global Sources

Yiwu Wholesale Marketplace

The Yiwu wholesale market is one of the largest wholesale markets in China where you can find a variety of different products at really low prices.

Unlike China wholesale tradeshows like the Canton Fair or Global Sources which only occur twice per year, the Yiwu market is open everyday of the year except for certain Chinese holidays.

What’s also different is that the Yiwu marketplace is literally a place where you can physically walk away with goods that are ready to sell or have them shipped directly to your warehouse in bulk.

In other words, many of the goods are off the shelf and ready for sale.

In terms of products, you can find a bunch of suppliers that sell everyday goods like handbags, textiles, accessories, watches…basically commodity products that can complement goods that you already carry in your shop at really low prices.

It’s also important to note that the wholesalers at the Yiwu market are not manufacturers. Instead, most merchants in the market are trading companies or small retailers.

One thing that you have to be aware of is that you may find fake or knock-off brands at the Yiwu market so you have to be careful.

In general, none of the products at Yiwu will have a brand and any “well known brand name” that you see there will likely be inauthentic.

Overall, the products at Yiwu tend to be cheap, commonplace items that you can use as upsells or cross sells for your existing portfolio. They also make great items for a free plus ship offer or a giveaway.

What To Expect When Communicating With Asian Suppliers At A Tradeshow

Running our online wedding linens business for the past 10 years has required me to deal with many vendors across China, India and other parts of Asia.

And I’ve discovered that working with Asians is a lot different than working with Americans or Europeans:) Here’s a short list of what you need to be aware of when dealing with Asian suppliers.

Expect A Language Barrier

The key thing to keep in mind when communicating with Chinese suppliers is that they probably studied English in school.

They might not be able to speak or understand English that well, but they can probably read it much better than they can listen.

So when you are visiting your vendors, it helps to have everything written down or typed in English. If you go in there and start blabbing away, chances are that the vendor will only be able to pick up bits and pieces of the conversation.

They might nod and go “uh huh”, but in reality they probably have no clue what you are talking about.

The same goes for taxi drivers and directions. Have someone write everything down in Chinese if possible and if you have to speak, speak slowly and enunciate every word.

Expect Cultural Differences

One of the main cultural differences between the US and China is that Chinese people tend to be non-confrontational.

For example, Chinese vendors will rarely correct you, interrupt you, or let you know that they don’t completely understand you.

It is part of their culture to be polite and accepting. But if you are not careful, this one simple cultural difference can cause you a ton of grief when placing orders.

The biggest obstacle to overcome is that you might think you are communicating when in fact you are not.

For example, I could be discussing something with my vendor and they might be nodding and acknowledging everything that I’m saying but then turn around and do the complete opposite once the conversation is done.

The key is to ask direct questions and make sure that there is no misunderstanding. Ask, clarify and reiterate all of your points as many times as necessary and be sure to write everything down as well.

The important thing to realize is that your vendor is just trying to be polite so you can never assume that anything is clear unless it has been thoroughly discussed.

Contracts Are Not Final

In the United States, contracts are considered final. After a series of negotiations, the final contract is supposed to represent an agreement and acknowledgment of terms.

In Asia however, a contract is almost meaningless. When I deal with Chinese vendors, drafting an official agreement can often seem like a waste of time.

We might spend a day negotiating and agreeing on terms and pricing only to have everything change the very next day.

For example, one time we drafted a written agreement for a large handkerchief order only to have the supplier contact us a week later to tell us that they couldn’t manufacture some of the items we requested.

On another occasion, a supplier tried to raise prices on us after the fact even though we agreed on pricing long ago.

The key takeaway here is that the definition of a contract is different in Asia than it is in the US.

Don’t expect a written document to be the end all and be all of your negotiations. In fact, I would argue that drafting an agreement is just the beginning.

Don’t Make Assumptions – Be Specific

Here’s a general rule of thumb that needs to be ingrained into your head when importing from China. Never assume that the vendor knows what you want.

If it’s not spelled out in a document, then your vendor will get it wrong or cut corners.

For example, we import plain white handkerchiefs and you would think that it would be straightforward to describe.

After all, it’s just a piece of fabric right? But one time we negotiated a lower price and the vendor sent us handkerchiefs with paper thin fabric.

Because we didn’t specify the exact thickness of the material, the vendor met our price by cutting corners on the fabric.

Bottom line, go through your samples and specify every last detail of what you want. Assume that any aspect that is not explicitly spelled out will be made incorrectly.

The Main Benefit Of Going To A Live Tradeshow

Cultural differences aside, the key benefit of going to a trade show like the Canton Fair or Global Sources is that it allows you to make face to face contact with a large number of vendors and establish real relationships.

This is invaluable! By going to the fair, you can easily meet hundreds of factory owners in just a few days.

In fact, your relationship with your vendor is one of the key components to your success and face to face contact is essential.

For example when my wife and I first started our business, we communicated with our suppliers solely through email.

And many of these vendors didn’t give us the time of day until we physically visited them in their home country.

The difference was night and day and the overall demeanor of our suppliers changed once we met them in person.

Miraculously, our product quality improved and they became eager to help us out with special requests and designs.

The other thing to keep in mind is that most of the vendors who attend the tradeshows do not have a web presence so it’s next to impossible to find them otherwise.

While it can be intimidating to travel to China and attend the fair, it’s well worth your time. If you plan on going, then check out my itinerary!

China Wholesale Directories – Alibaba And Global Sources

If you are unable to travel to China or Hong Kong to attend the tradeshows, the next best way to find Chinese vendors is to use an online directory like Alibaba or GlobalSources.com.

Alibaba and GlobalSources are search engines for Chinese suppliers and you can instantly have access to tens of thousands of vendors at your fingertips.

Here’s an example of how easy it is to find a vendor using Alibaba.

Simply type in what you are looking for in the search bar and Alibaba will return a bunch of suppliers, prices and minimum order quantities.

By clicking a button, you can then send the vendor a message and establish contact. Here’s an example script that I use when contacting suppliers for the first time.

Hi “vendor name”,

My name is “name” and I’m a buyer for “store name”, a store in “your country” that sells “the products you want to carry”. We are interested in carrying many of the items that you have to offer.

Specifically, I would like to get pricing and availability for the following items

“list the items…provide photos if you have them”

“list the items…provide photos if you have them”

“list the items…provide photos if you have them”

If you could send us more info as well as your product catalogs and MOQ requirements we would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you,
“your name”

Once you’ve established contact, you can ask for samples, place orders etc…

In addition, Alibaba offers a service called trade assurance which acts like an escrow service so you don’t ever get scammed.

Sounds easy right? So what’s the catch?

The biggest caveat is that this process can take a while and communicating back and forth with suppliers requires patience.

For example, the time it takes from initial contact to obtaining samples can easily take weeks.

In addition, the language barrier can make communication challenging because you must describe exactly what you want to manufacture via email and live chat.

The other key difference between using a directory like Alibaba versus going to a tradeshow is that services like Alibaba tend to contain a lot of middlemen.

Because there is such a low signal to noise ratio for vendors on Alibaba, many of the higher quality suppliers don’t list themselves in the directories.

For example, none of our primary vendors advertise on Alibaba or Global Sources.

But that being said, as long you can make a profit with your suppliers, then that’s all that matters!

The Main Difference Between Alibaba And Global Sources

The two biggest online directories for Chinese suppliers are Alibaba and Global Sources. But there are some key differences between the two.

First off, Alibaba has many more supplier listings than Global Sources but it comes at the cost of quality. In my experience, there’s a lot more noise on Alibaba.

In general, Global Sources has a more involved vetting process which allows them to attract higher quality vendors.

In addition, I’ve found that the MOQs (minimum order quantities) for Global Sources vendors tend to be much higher than Alibaba as well.

But bottom line, your mileage will vary depending on what you want to sell. Give both services a try and see where it takes you!

1688.com

1688.com is a China wholesale supplier directory that is owned by Alibaba Group. In fact, 1688.com is almost exactly the same as Alibaba.com except that 1688.com primarily caters to Chinese businesses.

In fact, the entire website is in Chinese and you have to use Google translate or find someone who can read Chinese to help you find suppliers on their website.

Now why am I showing you a website that is completely in Chinese?

The reason is because sometimes Chinese vendors have inherent biases towards Americans, Europeans and other foreigners when they provide their price quotes on Alibaba.

In other words, sometimes identical vendors that you find on Alibaba and 1688.com will offer higher prices to foreign businesses.

Here’s what you can do to make sure that you are getting the lowest price.

Whenever you are done negotiating on price for a vendor on Alibaba, you should also contact that same vendor via 1688.com with a different email address to see if the quote is any different.

If the prices are similar, then it’s all good. But if the pricing is drastically different, then you should find out exactly why there is a discrepancy.

Overall, you can use a site like 1688.com in conjunction with Alibaba to help you get the lowest price.

China Wholesale Marketplaces – DHGate And AliExpress

While you should generally stick to Alibaba.com and GlobalSources.com for your China wholesale sourcing needs, I have been asked about both DHGate and AliExpress in the past so here’s my take on these 2 marketplaces.

Both DHGate and AliExpress are marketplaces of Chinese wholesalers and dropshippers and the closest comparison I can think of in the US is Ebay.

Basically when you make a purchase through DHGate or AliExpress, they handle the transaction and the seller ships the item. Both DHGate and AliExpress offer a refund guarantee on all purchases.

In terms of product sourcing, the prices that you’ll find on AliExpress and DHGate will tend to be higher than what you’ll find when sourcing direct from a manufacturer.

But the main advantage is that the MOQ will be much lower.

In fact, you can often buy products in single unit quantities which makes these marketplaces ideal for testing out new markets before committing to a bulk purchase.

Panjiva And Import Genius

Most people are not aware of this but every single shipment imported by sea is documented on the public record. And if you search this public record, you can easily find out where companies are sourcing their products from.

There are two main companies that allow you to conduct import searches for a monthly fee, Panjiva and Import Genius.

By typing in a business name, Panjiva will tell you every single sea shipment that company has made, where the shipment originated from and the manufacturer.

For example, here’s a sample bill of lading from The North Face that I obtained from Panjiva for free.

Crazy right?

So if you see a product online and you want to make something similar, you can easily find out where it was made and reach out to the exact same manufacturer!

Jungle Scout Supplier Database

While Panjiva and Import Genius were the first companies to offer the ability to search the US import database, Jungle Scout now allows you to search the public record at a far cheaper price.

What’s nice about the Jungle Scout Supplier Database is that with a few clicks of the mouse, you can easily figure out where your Amazon competitors are sourcing their products from.

In addition, you can see exactly what they are importing and at what quantity as well.

Below is a video that I created which provides a demo on how to use the Jungle Scout Web App. If you want to follow along with this tutorial step by step, Click here to sign up for the Jungle Scout Web app and save $20/month

What To Expect When Importing And Manufacturing Your Goods In China

While importing your goods from overseas is the best way to obtain quality products at rock bottom prices, there are several logistical issues you have to work out in order to be successful.

Below is a brief overview of what to expect when importing goods from overseas along with some tips on getting your goods to your warehouse.

First off, here’s what you should expect…

Long Lead Times

Most overseas vendors won’t even begin making your products until you actually place an order and put down a small down payment to cover the cost of materials.

Depending on the nature of your items, expect to wait anywhere from one to four months to get your products manufactured.

Very rarely will a vendor carry inventory and most goods are made to order so you must plan ahead.

When we order linens for our online store, the lead times are typically 3 months long so we always have to predict our demand way in advance.

A Large Minimum Order

If you are ordering products to be manufactured overseas, expect to place a fairly large minimum order. Every manufacturer will have their own MOQs(minimum order quantity) but don’t be embarrassed to ask before ordering.

If you are just starting out, make sure that you obtain samples first and validate that your product will actually sell BEFORE you place a large order.

These days, I rarely purchase less than 300 pieces of any new product but you can often negotiate lower minimum order quantities if the vendor believes that you are a serious customer.

Be sure to check out my free guide on how to negotiate MOQ with your supplier.

Payment Terms

Most manufacturers expect to be paid by wire transfer. Also, you usually have to put down some money upfront(usually 30%) to cover the initial costs and then pay the balance once the items are ready to be shipped.

If you are worried about fraud, there are escrow services like Alibaba trade assurance that will facilitate the exchange of goods and services.

But in general, transactions go much faster when there’s mutual trust between you and your vendor.

For example, we pay for all of our orders via wire transfer and our vendors don’t make us put up the initial 30% down payment.

However if you are just starting out, don’t be afraid of wire transfers. If you are apprehensive about sending your money overseas, consider asking to pay by Paypal instead.

Some vendors will accept Paypal if you cover all the fees but don’t count on it.

Quality Control

Quality control will often be an issue and you have to be very specific in telling the vendor EXACTLY what you want. In general, it ALWAYS pays to hire an inspector to inspect your goods at the factory.

After all, once your products get shipped to you, there’s not much you can do if you receive defective merchandise.

For the price of around $300, you can get a statistical sampling of your shipment directly at the factory and know what percentage of your goods are defective.

Catching manufacturing issues at the source will save you lots of headaches. It also keeps your vendors honest.

Below are some of the more popular inspection companies.

Language Barriers

Many vendors in Asia do not speak English very well. But as long as you restrict your communication to email and live chat, things will go much smoother.

Most vendors are able to read English much better than they can understand the spoken language. As a result, ask to communicate with your supplier via WeChat and Skype.

Preparing For Your Shipment

Once you’ve ordered your products and they are ready to be shipped, there are two main ways to get your goods into your home country, by air and by sea.

But before you initiate your shipment, make sure you ask for the following documents from your vendor. These will be required in order to clear customs.

  • A Commercial Invoice – The declared value of the items
  • A Packing List – What you are importing
  • A Detail Sheet – Outlines how the products are manufactured so customs can determine the duty classification
  • Bill of Lading – A legal document between the shipper of goods and the carrier detailing the type, quantity and destination of the goods being carried.

Note: Are you unsure which shipping method to use and how much it will cost? Do you want a good estimate of your real landed cost of goods? Click here to use my free import calculator

Shipping By Air

Shipping your items by air is by far the easiest option but also the most expensive. Expect to pay between 5-6x more to ship by air versus shipping by sea.

Personally, we use DHL for all of our international air shipments. Our vendors all have accounts with DHL and shipping with them is a breeze because they take care of everything.

Basically, the vendor provides DHL with all of the materials mentioned above and then DHL transports all of your goods directly to the address that you specify. You do NOT need a customs agent!

If this is your first time importing goods from overseas, you will be contacted by customs to provide your social security card or a company id number. Have this information handy once your goods have shipped and you are all set.

DHL will also send you a customs bill so that you can pay any and all duties associated with your imported goods.

Shipping By Sea

Shipping by sea is a much bigger headache but totally worth it if you are importing a large volume of goods. As mentioned before you can easily save between 5-6x compared to shipping by air.

The key to accepting shipments by sea is to hire a good customs agent. This is absolutely required especially if this is your first time importing by sea.

Do not try and do things on your own unless you know exactly what you are doing. This is what the customs agent will take care of for you.

  • Customs Documentation – They will take care of any and all documentation required in the entire process
  • Customs Entry – They will take care of getting your goods from the port directly to your office
  • Customs Duty – They will take care of calculating and billing you for any duties associated with your goods.
  • Customs Entry Bond – You are required to buy a bond that acts as insurance with Customs in the event you should default on the customs duties. Your customs agent will take care of this for you .

Of course all of these services come at a cost. Right now, we are using a company called Toll Forwarding as our freight forwarder and customs agent.

For our last sea shipment, we paid about 1800 dollars to transport over 6100 pounds worth of goods to our warehouse and the whole process took about 3 weeks.

To give you an idea of the difference in price, shipping a 35 pound box via air courier costs about $170 which makes it cost prohibitive for large shipments.

In general, it makes sense to ship your products by sea if your shipment exceeds 200lbs in weight. The tradeoff of course is time.

Whereas sea shipments can take over 3 weeks to arrive, shipping by air typically takes 3-5 days.

Conclusion

Because the cost of manpower is so much cheaper in developing countries like China, Thailand and Vietnam, it makes sense to source most goods from Asia.

Any product that requires a lot of labor to assemble like textiles and electronics can often be purchased at a fraction of the price.

As a result, you should definitely consider importing from China as a sourcing strategy. With higher margins, you can focus more of your dollars towards marketing and customer service.

Frequently Asked Questions About Buying Wholesale From China

What Is The Best Website To Buy Wholesale From China?

The best, most complete website to buy wholesale from China is Alibaba. However, Global Sources is also a great resource if you plan on sourcing electronics. You can also use tools like the Jungle Scout Supplier Database to look up suppliers of existing products being sold online.

How Can I Buy Goods From China?

The easiest way to buy goods from China is to first identify a supplier. Then, you should purchase a sample and iterate with your supplier until you are happy with the overall design of your product. Finally, when it comes to buying in bulk, you should enlist the help of a freight forwarder to help you import your goods to your home country.

What Is The Best Item To Import From China?

Because the wages in China are much cheaper than anywhere else, it’s to your advantage to import goods that require a high amount of labor to produce. For example, clothing, textiles, embroidery are ideal to import from China because the material costs are low and the fabrication process is manual. There are many types of products that fall into this category.

Do I Have To Pay Import Duty From China?

The answer is yes unless the value of your shipment is less than $800.

How Do You Buy Goods Directly From A Manufacturer?

Directories like Alibaba and Global Sources contain a large list of Chinese factories and manufacturers. Alternatively, you can find a sourcing agent to help you find suppliers for the products you want to sell.

Do I Need A License To Import From China?

There are no permits required for importing products from China unless you are bringing in hazardous or restricted materials. You will however, have to pay import duties depending on the types of products you sell

How Are Customs Duties Calculated?

The value of your shipment determines how much duty or taxes are assessed on your shipment. In general, duties and VAT are calculated as a percentage of the customs value of your goods. If there are any tariffs involved with your HS codes, they will be directly added on your duties.

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Related Posts In How To Find Products To Sell

About Steve Chou

Steve Chou is a highly recognized influencer in the ecommerce space and has taught thousands of students how to effectively sell physical products online over at ProfitableOnlineStore.com

His blog, MyWifeQuitHerJob.com, has been featured in Forbes, Inc, The New York Times,  Entrepreneur and MSNBC.  

He’s also a contributing author for BigCommerce, Klaviyo, ManyChat, Printful, Privy, CXL, Ecommerce Fuel, GlockApps, Privy, Social Media Examiner, Web Designer Depot, Sumo and other leading business publications.

In addition, he runs a popular ecommerce podcast, My Wife Quit Her Job, which is a top 25 marketing show on all of Apple Podcasts

To stay up to date with all of the latest ecommerce trends, Steve runs a 7 figure ecommerce store, BumblebeeLinens.com, with his wife and puts on an annual ecommerce conference called The Sellers Summit.  

Steve carries both a bachelors and a masters degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University. Despite majoring in electrical engineering, he spent a good portion of his graduate education studying entrepreneurship and the mechanics of running small businesses. 

10 Tips On Importing Alibaba Wholesale Products From China

If you are looking to import Alibaba wholesale products from Asia, then this post will teach you how to use Alibaba the right way so you don’t get ripped off.

But before you begin searching for Chinese suppliers, you need to be prepared. As a result, I highly recommend that you first…

With that in mind, Alibaba is one of the largest databases of Asian suppliers in the world. And it is by far one of the best places to find China wholesale vendors online.

But because Alibaba is so large, it is also filled with unscrupulous suppliers who will sell you junk or try to cut corners on quality. This guide will teach you the right way to use Alibaba and avoid the headaches.

Get My Free Mini Course On How To Start A Successful Ecommerce Store

If you are interested in starting an ecommerce business, I put together a comprehensive package of resources that will help you launch your own online store from complete scratch. Be sure to grab it before you leave!

Click Here To Download

What Is Alibaba?

Alibaba is a directory of Chinese suppliers where you can find factories to manufacture products for you at wholesale prices.

Almost every supplier that you find on Alibaba will allow you to place your own brand on your product which is a practice known as private labeling.

Because many suppliers on Alibaba are manufacturers or factories, they will usually force you to purchase a minimum order quantity with every order and you have to buy in bulk.

Now the MOQ (minimum order quantity) will vary from supplier to supplier, but in general, you should be able to find a supplier on Alibaba that matches the size of your business.

For example, when my wife and I first started our handkerchief store, we found vendors willing to sell us as few as a hundred units per order.

But now that our ecommerce business is much larger, we primarily work with vendors with minimum order quantities in the 10’s of thousands of units to obtain much lower pricing.

If this is your first time using Alibaba and you are having problems finding the right supplier, don’t get discouraged. After all, there exists an Alibaba wholesale vendor for every business size. You just need to know where to look.

Alibaba Vs AliExpress – What Should I Use?

Both Alibaba and AliExpress are owned by the same parent company (Alibaba Holdings Group) so it’s very easy to get the 2 platforms mixed up.

But AliExpress and Alibaba are different companies with completely different use cases.

Whereas Alibaba is a Chinese wholesale directory of factories and trading companies, AliExpress is more like a Chinese version of Ebay.

In fact on AliExpress, you can buy products in single unit quantities and factories often use AliExpress as a liquidation outlet for their products.

As a result, the prices on AliExpress will be much higher than Alibaba and in general, AliExpress is not a good platform to find long term suppliers for your ecommerce business.

Note: For more information about AliExpress, make sure you read my post on AliExpress Dropshipping and Oberlo Are Dead

Also, vendors on AliExpress will not allow you to customize their products (or attach your brand) so you can not private label products you find on AliExpress.

Bottom line, Alibaba is the platform that you want to use to find wholesale suppliers for your ecommerce business.

Can Anyone Use Alibaba And Do You Need To Own A Company?

You don’t need to have a company or any special credentials to use Alibaba. You don’t need a sellers permit, a website, a corporation….nada.

In fact, most Alibaba wholesale suppliers don’t care who they are working with as long you buy in bulk, pay on time and order on a consistent basis.

Remember, Alibaba is just an online directory for Chinese suppliers and it’s up to you to negotiate price and minimum order quantities.

Some of you have asked me in the past whether you need to have a custom business domain like [email protected] before contacting suppliers on Alibaba.

And while it certainly helps for credibility, I’ve had students in my class use their gmail addresses and it’s worked out just fine.

Is Alibaba Safe And Will You Get Ripped Off?

I’ve been using Alibaba for over a decade now and I’ve never been outright scammed.

As long as you follow the directions in this post, the chances of a Chinese supplier taking your money without sending you your products is extremely slim.

More likely than not however, you’ll run into quality control issues.

In fact, your primary concern when buying from Alibaba wholesale suppliers is that you’ll receive poor quality products that don’t match what you expect.

To prevent this from happening, you MUST follow the guidelines and best practices in this article when finding and ordering from Alibaba suppliers.

Alibaba Best Practices – The Right Way To Use Alibaba

Once you know which product you want to sell online, you should start by performing a search using Alibaba’s search bar.

By default, Alibaba will display every single supplier in its database that sells the product you want to source. But many of these listings will be middlemen or individuals trying to make a quick buck and not real companies.

As a result, the first action you should take is to filter out only verified suppliers (Gold suppliers) and vendors that support trade assurance.

What Is A Verified Or Gold Supplier?

A verified or gold supplier is a vendor that has paid Alibaba a premium membership fee and you can use this badge to weed out lower tier suppliers.

In order to be eligible to become a gold supplier, Alibaba performs the following checks

  • Onsite Check – An onsite check is a verification process where the supplier’s factory is checked by Alibaba’s staff to make sure that it’s legit. In addition, the supplier’s legal status is also checked to make sure it’s up to date.
  • A & V Check – An onsite check is also performed by a neutral 3rd party as an added level of verification

There is also an additional company tier called an “assessed supplier” where a mainstream verification company like Bureau Veritas goes through and assesses the supplier for their production capabilities, their certifications, and their R&D abilities.

An assessed supplier is the highest grade supplier that can be found on Alibaba.

I’ve attached a table for your review.

Bottom line, working with only verified (gold) suppliers will greatly mitigate any risk of getting scammed.

What Is Trade Assurance?

Trade assurance is a free order protection service where Alibaba acts as a 3rd party escrow company.

The supplier prepares the goods for shipment and you deposit your payment in a special account designated by Alibaba. As soon as the order is confirmed, the goods and the money changes hands.

What’s nice about trade assurance is that Alibaba guarantees your money back in the event of a supplier failing to meet the terms of the order contract. This includes delays in shipment, quality issues and processing problems.

Bottom line, trade assurance all but ensures that you will not get outright scammed by your vendor.

How To Choose A Supplier On Alibaba

Once you’ve filtered out the gold and trade assurance suppliers, you should pay specific attention to the price and minimum order quantities.

In practice, the numbers you see on Alibaba are never set in stone and you can always negotiate more favorable terms. However, the numbers will give you a general idea of the type of customer the supplier is looking to work with.

For example if you’re just starting out, you’re probably not going to be working with a vendor that has a 20,000 unit minimum order quantity.

Instead, narrow down the list of vendors to those who closely match your purchasing power.

Review The Company Profile On Alibaba

Once you’ve selected a bunch of vendors that you potentially want to work with, you should dig a little deeper and review their company profile.

Here’s what you should look for.

  • Payment Methods – Most vendors are used to being paid by wire transfer. But if this is your first time importing, you might want to look for vendors that accept Paypal and credit cards.
  • Transaction Level – How many transactions has the vendor conducted on Alibaba in the last 6 months
  • Response Rate – Is the supplier responsive to inquiries?

You can also click on the company’s profile page to get more in depth information such as company size and annual revenue as well.

As you can see, the information that can found on Alibaba is very thorough.

How To Contact Alibaba Wholesale Suppliers

There is a right way and a wrong way to contact Alibaba wholesale suppliers and it’s a lot like dating.

The reality is that most suppliers on Alibaba are flooded with hundreds of inquiries per day. As a result, your correspondence must stand out among the pack and you must be concise and professional.

Pretend that you are the supplier for a moment. Would you want to waste time speaking with a customer who doesn’t know what they want. Would you want to work with a total newbie?

The answer is no.

As a result, you must project confidence and act larger than you really are. You should present yourself as a buyer or a director of a larger retail organization.

Here’s a sample script that I use when first reaching out to a supplier.

Hi Chou Su Min,

My name is Steve and I’m a buyer for Bumblebee Linens, a store in the US that specializes in handkerchiefs. We are interested in carrying many of the items that you have to offer.

Specifically, I would like to get pricing and availability for the following items

“list the items…provide photos if you have them”

Please send pricing in 500,1000 and 5000 unit quantities. Also, if you could send us your product catalogs, lead times for manufacturing, and MOQ we would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you,
Steve Chou

How To Negotiate With A Supplier

When you are importing from China for the very first time, you probably have no idea what the “real” price of your products should be.

As a result, you should shotgun blast as many vendors as you can and obtain as many different quotes as possible.

Ultimately, the quotes that you’ll receive will fall under a bell curve distribution.

Some quotes will come back impossibly low.
Some quotes will come back really high.
But most quotes will fall within the same range.

In general, you should eliminate all factories with abnormally low bids because those suppliers likely sell low quality goods. Personally, I like to stick with the suppliers that offer mainstream pricing.

If I’m looking to produce a high end luxury product, then I might work with a more expensive factory but you have to go with your gut.

Bottom line, I generally do not negotiate on price until I’ve obtained samples of the product and until I know which factory I want to work with.

How To Ask For Samples

At this point, you’ve hopefully narrowed down your list of vendors to 2 or 3. It’s time to ask for samples!

Before you place a bulk order with any manufacturer, you must touch and inspect a finished version of your product for quality.

Here’s what to expect.

First off, the cost of your sample will be significantly higher than your quoted cost for a bulk order. And by significant, I mean a sample will often be 10-20X more expensive.

For example, we recently asked for a sample of a white linen napkin and it cost us $50 whereas our bulk price is typically $2 per piece. Do not balk at the sample price and do not try to negotiate!

In reality, your supplier will credit the cost of the sample towards your first bulk order but paying for samples is just a necessary expense of doing business in China.

Once you have your sample, you want to go through it with a fine tooth comb and document every last detail of what you want on a “quality control checklist”

For example with our white linen napkins, we specify…

  • Thread count – This is a general measure of the quality of the fabric
  • Specific shade of white – There are hundreds of shades of white so we have to be specific.
  • Material thickness – This is where vendors often cut corners
  • How it should be pressed – If we don’t specify the presentation of our linens, the vendor will just throw it in a bag all wrinkled.

Now there are many more line items on our quality control checklist, but hopefully you get the point.

Once you are happy with your sample, it’s time to place a bulk order.

How To Place Your First Bulk Order

If this is your first time importing from China, I highly recommend that you get your first order shipped by air courier.

Not only will you not have to hire a customs agent, but your goods will arrive on your doorstep within a week or less and you don’t have to worry about anything.

Often times, you can simply ask your supplier to ship the goods directly to you using their DHL or EMS account.

But once you have your first few successful shipments under your belt, you will eventually want to have your goods shipped over by sea which is substantially cheaper.

While the exact procedure for shipping by sea is beyond the scope of this post, you should definitely hire a reputable freight forwarder and customs agent to handle everything for you.

But beyond getting your goods to your warehouse, the most important factor to consider when placing any bulk order is quality control.

Before your goods ever leave a Chinese factory, you must hire an inspector!

A company like Asia Inspection (now called QIMA) will send a representative to your factory and examine a subset of your goods based on your quality control checklist.

The cost of this service is roughly $300 and the expense is well worth the cost. Once your goods pass the inspection test, you are finally ready to start selling!

Case Study: My Student’s First Experience Importing From China

Even though the instructions in this tutorial are fairly straightforward, you will always encounter some hiccups during the process.

As a result, I invited a student in my Create A Profitable Online Store Course, Josh, to provide a candid and realistic account of his first experience importing from China.

Now in my class, I have an entire module dedicated specifically towards helping students import goods from overseas that goes way beyond this post.

However, it’s one thing to learn and another thing to actually go out and do it. And Josh’s experiences just go to show that the best way to learn is to be aware of the guidelines, know what to expect and just take action!

A quick disclaimer: Josh had never done this before prior to joining my class and he was a bit intimidated early on by the process. But after going through it once, he realized that it wasn’t that bad.

The rest of this post is written from Josh’s perspective!

As Steve mentioned above, I recently completed the sample sourcing process and wanted to share some tips and mistakes I made along the way. Enjoy and please let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Tip #1: Never Assume Anything

When it comes to communicating with your vendors, you should never make any assumptions about product availability.

On multiple occasions I had vendors try to sell me products that were not displayed on their website. In contrast, I also requested samples of products that were displayed online but no longer available from the vendor.

Often times, a vendor’s website is not up to date and some vendors are better than others at maintaining their online offerings. I even had one instance where after paying for samples the vendor came back and informed me that 6 of the 9 samples ordered had been discontinued.

Moral of the story – Don’t assume something is or isn’t available. Make sure to ask and confirm prior to ordering and especially paying for any samples.

Tips on questions to ask:

  • Are there any new products or designs that are not currently displayed online?
  • Are there any products displayed online that were discontinued or no longer available?

Tip #2: Don’t Be Intimidated By Your Vendors

Most vendors that I dealt with responded in a quick and friendly manner, which reinforced the importance of relationship building. While in a few instances vendors seemed a little cold, most vendors were very eager to engage in conversation, answer questions and discuss samples.

For the most part, their written English skills were pretty darn good. Their ability to both send and receive emails exceeded my expectations. Also, make sure to be complimentary without overdoing it. For example: “I was looking at your catalogue and noticed you have some very nice products…”

Moral of the story – Vendors are real people just like you and me. Don’t be afraid to jump in and start a conversation.

Tip: All the talk these days is about Alibaba, but I actually had better luck with Global Sources. Make sure to give both websites a shot.

Tip #3: Trust Your Gut

Some vendors are almost too friendly. This is probably due to the cultural differences that exist but when I say too friendly I mean 2-3 emails a day, asking if you want to look at or buy something after you’ve explicitly declined or said no 3-4 times.

Editor’s note: I never use my main email address for Alibaba correspondence to avoid getting spammed by vendors.

While I’m sure most of these folks have good intentions, this behavior definitely raised a red flag due to the used car sales pitch (no offense to any used car salespeople)

Moral of the story – Trust your instincts. Give people the benefit of the doubt but go with your gut.

Tip: If you’re trying to source leather bags and the vendor is trying for the 4th time in 5 days to sell you cat beds, time to hit the spam button.

Tip #4: Be As Specific As Possible

Tailor your vendor inquiries for specific product categories. This might sound obvious but it’s important to be very specific from the start about what you are looking to buy including types of products, materials, size, color, etc.

As an example, I was searching for a variety of bags including leather bags. When I sent an initial email to one vendor who specialized in leather, I accidentally included photos of non-leather bags which caused some confusion.

I would also advise using an email template (I used the one provided in Steve’s course) but make sure to customize 10% of it to each vendor. If you want something made of polyester, specifically state in your email that you are looking for a polyester widget.

Otherwise, like me you might receive a different and most likely cheaper product or material than you intended.

Moral of the story – Don’t assume anything regarding product details.

Tip: Be very specific and ask the vendor to confirm product specifications before both production and shipping.

Tip #5: You May Not Get What You Expect

The ole saying, “ what you see is what you get” doesn’t necessarily hold true for Alibaba and Global Sources. Despite doing everything suggested above, there were a couple occasions where the samples I received were not the samples I ordered.

When I confronted the vendor as to why the products were different than what I ordered, the typical response was something along the lines of: “that product was discontinued or we only had this one other product ready for shipment…blah, blah, blah”

Moral of the story – You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Don’t be afraid to hold a vendor accountable. Some might disagree on this one but my thoughts are if they can’t get a simple sample order correct, the likelihood of screwing up a bulk order is probably be higher.

Tip: Confirm the sample order prior to shipment and request photos of the samples to ensure they are accurate.

Tip #6: Most Vendors Expect Wire Transfers

Payments! Most vendors will allow you to pay via PayPal. Some have PayPal but will not tell you unless you ask so make sure to ask. In fact, with most vendors, I used wording along the lines of: “Our company policy states that first time samples purchases be made using PayPal”.

While most vendors will accept purchases through PayPal, they definitely prefer and will default to T/T (wire transfer) or Western Union. I paid via Western Union for one vendor and didn’t have any problems. I found it to be just as easy as PayPal but with Western Union you have no recourse to get your money back. Once the money is gone, it’s gone.

Moral of the story – Pay for most samples using PayPal but don’t be afraid to pay via wire transfer or Western Union. It’s not the end of the world.

Tip: I would recommend paying via wire transfer (T/T) with one vendor just for the practice. If it makes you feel better, choose a vendor who you will be paying a smaller amount of money to for samples. Although just a suggestion, doing this will help to familiarize you with all the routing and logistics related to international wire transfers.

If you decide to pay via wire transfer, make sure and confirm that you have the exact wire information including beneficiary information, address, swift code and account number. This point can’t be emphasized enough.

I learned the hard way with one vendor and it cost me $75 in wire fees. If one character is incorrect, then the Bank of China might relegate your funds to the Chinese banking void for an unspecified period of time. Plus, you’ll have to pay additional fees to your bank to either recall or amend the wire.

Tip #7: Always Obtain Samples

Samples are an investment. Pharmaceutical companies are notorious for spending millions of dollars on R&D every year. Most drugs will not make it through clinical trials and some will not receive FDA approval, but the few that do make it past all the hurdles will make the investment worth it.

While purchasing samples can seem daunting, make sure to keep things in perspective. Compared to an initial investment for a Subway or UPS Store franchise, the risk/reward ratio is much higher for online stores, not to mention the difference in lifestyle.

Moral of the story – Don’t be afraid to spend money on samples. You have to know what you’re selling before you can sell it and you’ll learn a lot in the process. Be judicious depending on your budget, but don’t hold back for fear of failure.

Tip: Ask vendors what their top 5 products are in terms of sales. Take your time to find the products you like the most because more than likely there will be more products you’ll want to see in person than you’re willing to pay for. Pick the very best ones based on the photos, product descriptions and vendor recommendations.

Tip #8: Act Bigger Than You Are

In your emails to vendors, use the word “we” instead of “I” and “our” instead of “my”. Steve emphasizes this several times in his course. Not only does this make your company seem larger than it is but it also displays a sense of teamwork and unity.

Moral of the story – Project confidence.

Tip: Here is an actual email I sent to a vendor after receiving samples. Notice the use of the word “we” and “our”.

Hi Tina,

We wanted to confirm that we received the samples today. Over the next couple of months we are going to be meeting with many of our customers to discuss your products and potential plans to move forward with larger purchases. We will certainly keep you updated on our plans.

We did have a few questions in the meantime:

1) Do you provide OEM service (logo)?
2) Can you manufacture according to specific size and color requirements? (For example if we wanted to purchase 5 different products, each with 3 colors and 2 sizes.)
3) What are the minimum order quantities and lead times for bulk orders?
4) How do you deal with product quality issues? For product YD0354, the zippers were very difficult to fasten and ended up breaking in one instance. For most products, we prefer one piece (like YD0316) instead of two pieces to make the assembly process as easy as possible for our customers.

Thank you!
Josh

Tip #9: Know The Difference Between Manufacturers Vs Trading Companies

In general, it’s pretty easy to tell if a supplier is a manufacturer or a trading company (wholesaler/retailer). I did however notice some very distinct trends between the manufacturers and trading companies.

As a general rule of thumb, the ones that say “Import/Export Co” are more than likely not manufacturers even if their company profile states manufacturer.

Along with the obvious things such as price and MOQ differences, trading companies definitely had more of a pushy sales approach while the manufacturers seemed more eager to build a relationship.

In the beginning however, it might behoove you to buy from the trading companies because they will offer lower minimum order quantities (MOQ). Just know that the FOB prices (price per unit) will be higher with the trading companies and there is a greater chance for complications such as running out of inventory (if they’re not creating the product then they have less control over the amount of inventory that’s in stock)

Moral of the story – Know who you’re dealing with in terms of the type of supplier and the pros and cons of working with a manufacturer vs. a trading company.

Tip: In some cases I politely asked certain vendors what percentage of their business was manufacturing vs. wholesale. Most reps were more than happy to share that information.

Tip #10: Be Prepared When Shipping Goods To Your Home Country

Oh the joys of international air freight! Most vendors will setup the shipping for you and all you have to do is provide your shipping address and phone number for confirmation. Just know ahead of time that it’s going to cost you and arm and a leg and that the cost of shipping might in fact be more than the cost of the actual samples.

Also, it’s a good idea to confirm shipping costs before paying for the samples. Some vendors will lump the two costs together while others will separate them out and surprise you at the last second.

Moral of the story – Shipping samples is expensive. If this depresses you, remember that samples (including shipping) are an investment!

Tip – Don’t wait until the last second to setup shipping accounts. As a rule of thumb, before you contact any suppliers, have your shipping accounts setup with UPS, FedEx and possibly DHL. UPS and FedEx can be done online.

DHL is a more involved process (felt like I was applying for a mortgage) that involves a phone call and you providing them documentation such as recent bills, invoices, etc. It’s a pain but necessary per DHL to prevent fraud and ensure accurate controls over shipping.

Note: Are you unsure which shipping method to use and how much it will cost? Do you want a good estimate of your real landed cost of goods? Click here to use my free import calculator

Conclusion

Because it was my first time importing goods from Asia, I made a few mistakes but I learned a lot in the process. Here are some questions I would ask yourself after you’ve received the samples:

  • Which vendors did you enjoy working with the most?
  • Which vendors were the most flexible and accommodating?
  • Which vendors wrote and/or spoke the best English?
  • Which vendors shipped the samples in a timely fashion?
  • Which vendors shipped samples that were packaged nicely?
  • Which vendors were the most accurate and paid the most attention to detail?

In the end, your experience will be different than mine, but I hope that the tips above can help you along your journey.

Ready To Get Serious About Starting An Online Business?

If you are really considering starting your own online business, then you have to check out my free mini course on How To Create A Niche Online Store In 5 Easy Steps.

In this 6 day mini course, I reveal the steps that my wife and I took to earn 100 thousand dollars in the span of just a year. Best of all, it’s free and you’ll receive weekly ecommerce tips and strategies!

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Related Posts In How To Find Products To Sell

About Steve Chou

Steve Chou is a highly recognized influencer in the ecommerce space and has taught thousands of students how to effectively sell physical products online over at ProfitableOnlineStore.com

His blog, MyWifeQuitHerJob.com, has been featured in Forbes, Inc, The New York Times,  Entrepreneur and MSNBC.  

He’s also a contributing author for BigCommerce, Klaviyo, ManyChat, Printful, Privy, CXL, Ecommerce Fuel, GlockApps, Privy, Social Media Examiner, Web Designer Depot, Sumo and other leading business publications.

In addition, he runs a popular ecommerce podcast, My Wife Quit Her Job, which is a top 25 marketing show on all of Apple Podcasts

To stay up to date with all of the latest ecommerce trends, Steve runs a 7 figure ecommerce store, BumblebeeLinens.com, with his wife and puts on an annual ecommerce conference called The Sellers Summit.  

Steve carries both a bachelors and a masters degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University. Despite majoring in electrical engineering, he spent a good portion of his graduate education studying entrepreneurship and the mechanics of running small businesses. 

US-China phase one tracker: China’s purchases of US goods

On February 14, 2020, the Economic and Trade Agreement Between the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China: Phase One went into effect. China agreed to expand purchases of certain US goods and services by a combined $200 billion for the two-year period from January 1, 2020, through December 31, 2021, above the 2017 baseline levels. This PIIE Chart tracks China’s monthly purchases of US goods covered by the deal, relying on data from both Chinese customs (China’s imports) and the US Census Bureau (US exports). It then compares those purchases with the legal agreement’s annual commitments, prorated on a monthly basis based on seasonal adjustments, above two baseline scenarios (see methodology below). As set out in the legal agreement, one 2017 baseline scenario allows for use of US export statistics and the other allows for Chinese import statistics.

By the end of 2020, China committed to purchase no less than an additional $63.9 billion of covered goods from the United States relative to these 2017 baselines. Defining the 2017 baseline using Chinese import statistics implied a 2020 purchase commitment of $173.1 billion. In 2020, China’s total imports of covered products from the United States were only $99.9 billion, reaching only 58 percent of the commitment. Defining the 2017 baseline using US export statistics implied a 2020 commitment of $159.0 billion. In 2020, US exports to China of covered products were $94.0 billion, reaching only 59 percent of the commitment. (More detail on 2020 is provided below.)

For 2021, China has committed to purchase no less than an additional $98.2 billion of covered goods from the United States relative to these 2017 baselines. Defining the 2017 baseline using US export statistics implies a 2021 target of $193.3 billion (blue in panel a). Defining the 2017 baseline using Chinese import statistics implies a 2021 purchase commitment of $207.4 billion (red in panel a).

THE LATEST NUMBERS FOR 2021

Through August 2021, China’s total imports of covered products from the United States were $89.4 billion, compared with a year-to-date target of $129.9 billion. Over the same period, US exports to China of covered products were $70.6 billion, compared with a year-to-date target of $113.0 billion. Through August 2021, China’s purchases of all covered products reached 69 percent (Chinese imports) or 62 percent (US exports) of the year-to-date target.

For covered agricultural products, China committed to an additional $19.5 billion of purchases in 2021 above 2017 levels, implying an annual commitment of $43.6 billion (Chinese imports, panel b) and $40.4 billion (US exports, panel c). Through August 2021, China’s imports of covered agricultural products from the United States were $25.3 billion, compared with a year-to-date target of $27.5 billion. Over the same period, US exports to China of covered agricultural products were $17.9 billion, compared with a year-to-date target of $20.0 billion. Through August 2021, China’s purchases of covered agricultural products reached 92 percent (Chinese imports) or 89 percent (US exports) of the year-to-date target.

For covered manufactured products, China committed to an additional $44.8 billion of purchases in 2021 above 2017 levels, implying an annual commitment of $123.1 billion (Chinese imports) and $111.3 billion (US exports). Through August 2021, China’s imports of covered manufactured products from the United States were $51.4 billion, compared with a year-to-date target of $80.1 billion. Over the same period, US exports to China of covered manufactured products were $43.8 billion, compared with a year-to-date target of $71.6 billion. Through August 2021, China’s purchases of covered manufactured products reached 64 percent (Chinese imports) or 61 percent (US exports) of the year-to-date target.

For covered energy products, China committed to an additional $33.9 billion of purchases in 2021 above 2017 levels, implying an annual commitment of $40.7 billion (Chinese imports) and $41.5 billion (US exports). Through August 2021, China’s imports of covered energy products from the United States were $12.6 billion, compared with a year-to-date target of $22.4 billion. Over the same period, US exports to China of covered energy products were $8.9 billion, compared with a year-to-date target of $21.4 billion. Through August 2021, China’s purchases of covered energy products reached 56 percent (Chinese imports) or 42 percent (US exports) of the year-to-date target.

For all uncovered products—making up 29 percent of China’s total goods imports from the United States and 27 percent of US total goods exports to China in 2017—the phase one agreement does not include a legal target. Through August 2021, China’s imports of all uncovered products from the United States were $26.8 billion, 13 percent lower than in 2017. US exports of all uncovered products to China through July 2021 were $20.1 billion, 2 percent higher than over the same period in 2017. (The August US export data for uncovered products will be available on October 5, 2021.)

Though the agreement also sets commitments for China’s purchases of certain traded services from the United States, those data are not reported on a monthly basis and are not covered here.

Note on Data Release: This update is based on August 2021 data released by US Census (September 24, 2021) and Chinese customs (September 20, 2021).

The numbers for 2020

Through 2020, China’s total imports of covered products from the United States were $99.9 billion, compared with the commitment of $173.1 billion (red in panel a). Over the same period, US exports to China of covered products were $94.0 billion, compared with a commitment of $159.0 billion (blue in panel a). In the first year of the agreement, China’s purchases of all covered products only reached 59 percent (US exports) or 58 percent (Chinese imports) of the commitment.

For covered agricultural products, China committed to an additional $12.5 billion of purchases in 2020 above 2017 levels, implying an annual commitment of $36.6 billion (Chinese imports, panel b) and $33.4 billion (US exports, panel c). Through 2020, China’s imports of covered agricultural products were $23.6 billion. Over the same period, US exports to China of covered agricultural products were only $27.3 billion. In the first year of the agreement, China’s purchases of covered agricultural products only reached 82 percent (US exports) or 64 percent (Chinese imports) of the commitment.

For covered manufactured products, China committed to an additional $32.9 billion of purchases in 2020 above 2017 levels, implying an annual commitment of $111.2 billion (Chinese imports) and $99.4 billion (US exports). Through 2020, China’s imports of covered manufactured products were $66.5 billion. Over the same period, US exports to China of covered manufactured products were only $57.0 billion. In the first year of the agreement, China’s purchases of covered manufactured products only reached 57 percent (US exports) or 60 percent (Chinese imports) of the commitment.

For covered energy products, China committed to an additional $18.5 billion of purchases in 2020 above 2017 levels, implying an annual commitment of $25.3 billion (Chinese imports) and $26.1 billion (US exports). Through 2020, China’s imports of covered energy products were $9.8 billion. Over the same period, US exports to China of covered energy products were only $9.7 billion. In the first year of the agreement, China’s purchases of covered energy products only reached 37 percent (US exports) or 39 percent (Chinese imports) of the commitment.

For all uncovered products—making up 29 percent of China’s total goods imports from the United States and 27 percent of US total goods exports to China in 2017—the phase one agreement does not include a legal commitment. In 2020, China’s imports of all uncovered products from the United States were $35.0 billion, 23.3 percent lower than in 2017. Over the same period, US exports of all uncovered products to China were $30.7 billion, 11.7 percent lower than in 2017.

Methodological approach

Assessing progress toward meeting the phase one commitments for goods trade requires information from both US export statistics and Chinese import statistics, given that the agreement’s Chapter 6, Article 6.2.6 states “Official Chinese trade data and official US trade data shall be used to determine whether this Chapter has been implemented.” One implication is that there are two sets of monthly data to track (Chinese imports and US exports). A second is that there are two different annual, and hence monthly, targets, since the 2017 baseline level of Chinese imports differs from the 2017 baseline level of US exports. Finally, the products covered by the purchase commitments are set out at the 4-, 6-, 8-, or 10-digit level in the agreement’s Attachment to Annex 6.1; these are then mapped to the US or Chinese trade statistics for 2017 and for 2020 and 2021. Starting with our update of this PIIE Chart on October 26, 2020, we have included US export product 8800 (in addition to 8802, aircraft) in “covered manufacturing” and the total, shifting it out of the “uncovered” category.

Each month’s purchase target is seasonally adjusted to reflect that month’s relative weight for those products in the 2017 trade data. Note that prorating the year-end commitment to a monthly target is for illustrative purposes only. Nothing in the text of the agreement indicates China must meet anything other than the year-end commitments.

For US goods exports, the agreement is estimated to cover products that made up $95.1 billion, or 73 percent, of total US goods exports to China ($129.8 billion) in 2017. Of the 2017 total exports of covered products, exports worth $20.9 billion were in agriculture, $66.5 billion were in manufacturing, and $7.6 billion were in energy. Products uncovered by the agreement—and thus with no targets for 2020 or 2021—made up 27 percent ($34.7 billion) of total US goods exports to China in 2017.

For Chinese goods imports, the deal is estimated to cover products that made up $109.2 billion, or 71 percent, of total Chinese goods imports from the United States ($154.9 billion) in 2017. Of the 2017 total imports of covered products, imports worth $24.1 billion were in agriculture, $78.3 billion were in manufacturing, and $6.8 billion were in energy. Uncovered products made up 29 percent ($45.6 billion) of total Chinese goods imports from the United States in 2017.

For both the US export data and the Chinese import data, the 2020 phase one commitments of additional trade (on top of 2017 baseline) are $12.5 billion (agriculture), $32.9 billion (manufactured goods), and $18.5 billion (energy). The 2021 phase one commitments of additional trade (on top of 2017 baseline) are $19.5 billion (agriculture), $44.8 billion (manufactured goods), and $33.9 billion (energy). These commitments are found in the agreement’s Annex 6.1.

US Manufacturers Can’t Stop Americans From Buying Chinese-Made Goods. Here’s What They Can Do

Walmart announced in March that it would dedicate $350 billion to buying American-made goods in the next 10 years. American manufacturers love to hear that kind of commitment to reshoring, especially from a company with the buying power to make a real difference.

American consumers probably love to hear it too. But when they actually go shopping, will they care?

Consider this: last year, following the early, terrifying months of the Covid-19 lockdowns, 40% of US consumers said they would not purchase products made in China.

And US imports from China did drop last year, by 3.6%. But look closer. In 2019, back before any of us had heard of Covid-19, Chinese imports fell by 16%, thanks to the Trump administration’s trade-war tariffs. And nearly all of last year’s drop occurred in the first quarter, when factories all over China shut down to slow the spread of the virus. Those supply chain disruptions probably had far more impact than American consumers’ determination to buy American.

Look even closer and you’ll see that the volume of imports from China actually increased last year in big consumer categories like toys, games and sporting goods (up 4%) and non-wool/cotton apparel (up 40%).

My conclusions are imprecise, I know – there are a lot of forces influencing the overall import numbers, from trade policy to supply chain issues to commodity prices. But I believe the numbers bear out my point: despite sentiments to the contrary, very few Americans stopped buying Chinese-made products last year.

What does this mean for the US manufacturing industry? First, we’ve got to acknowledge that no amount of patriotism will get Americans to stop buying Chinese products. And then, once we’ve accepted this reality, we’ve got to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset to identify new markets, invest aggressively (but smartly) in technology – and reinvent American manufacturing ingenuity.

Trump Flags and Glow-in-the-Dark Pandas; or, Why We Can’t Stop Buying Chinese goods

As Peter Hessler writes in a recent New Yorker piece on Chinese manufacturers, smart manufacturing entrepreneurs in China keep their finger on the American consumer’s pulse by monitoring Amazon data and reviews; they tweak their products and marketing based on feedback, sales data and trend monitoring. They were able to quickly shift their assembly lines from producing things like jewelry to making surgical masks. One factory manager estimated that 70 percent of his business came from selling Donald Trump campaign flags.

It’s not just ironic that the supporters of one of our country’s most vocal critics of Chinese manufacturing are buying their political swag from Chinese manufacturers. It’s also telling: even those Americans just aren’t willing to go to the trouble, or spend the money, to avoid buying Chinese products.

So when manufacturing leaders tell me they wish Americans would just stop buying so much stuff from China, or when I see someone rolling out another Made in the USA campaign, I shake my head and wish they’d focus on something more productive. (Quick note here that I’m not talking about the Biden administration’s Buy America program – that’s a good idea and it could have a big impact, in time.)

There’s no bigger advocate for American manufacturing than me. I spend most of my waking hours either thinking about how to help US manufacturers get more competitive or doing the work to help them get more competitive. It’s my job and, aside from my family, friends and team, nothing matters more to me.  

And yet when I needed to buy a last-minute gift for my five-year-old at the holidays, I bought it from China. The only way I could get a stuffed glow-in-the-dark panda in two days for less than $20 was to buy it on Amazon, and the only toy makers who could produce it for that price are in China.

A Chinese factory worker is welding at a plant in Huaibei, Anhui province, China on 15th April 2015. … [+] (Photo by Jie Zhao/Corbis via Getty Images)

Corbis via Getty Images

What American Manufacturers Can Do

The panda also represents the chicken-and-egg part of this problem. I won’t stop buying the Chinese panda until the American-made version is just as cheap and easy-to-buy. And American manufacturers aren’t going to invest millions of dollars to automate a stuffed panda line until they know that I will buy it from them. 

I believe American manufacturers can compete – and win. But trying to change consumer behavior isn’t the way. It just isn’t going to happen; if anything changes consumer preference on this front, it will be forces beyond our control: Chinese labor costs, shipping prices, global catastrophes (like a pandemic) and so on.

Instead, as a community we should put our energy into making sure manufacturers are focused on the things they can do to win, even for consumer products. I’ve seen, and written about, American manufacturers holding their own against cheap overseas competition, so I know it can be done.

How American Manufacturers Can Win: Identify Markets, Invest in Technology

It starts with overcoming the chicken-egg problem by studying the market to understand where there could be unmet demand. Then the manufacturer must be willing to make the investments that will enable them to meet the demand and either build brand loyalty or sell at a competitive price (or both).

Identifying a market means not only determining what product American consumers want or need, but also finding a niche that isn’t fully occupied by Chinese producers. If they already have the technology, and have built out the supply chains, your chances are slim – even if you make a superior product.  

The most important step for most American manufacturers, however, is investing in technology. Compatible robots, sensors that provide real-time production data and other automation and data-analytics technology can unlock the efficiencies domestic producers need to compete with China and other places where labor costs are lower than they’ll ever be here.

Those technologies also instill agility. The New Yorker story I reference above includes an anecdote about a manufacturer who switched from making bracelets to surgical masks when Covid hit. I’d be willing to bet she was able to do that because her factory ran on technology that allowed her to quickly reprogram her production line – without an expensive overhaul.

If American manufacturers invest in similar gear they can pivot just as quickly when consumer tastes change. And their success won’t be tied to Americans’ sentimentality.

How You Can Make Big Money Importing From China

My very first profitable business was importing products from China and selling them online – mainly through Amazon & eBay. I started out with counterfeits at 12-years old, and by the time I was 17 I had built multiple different e-commerce brands into an empire I was proud of.

I was incredibly confused when I was first getting started. I had hundreds of questions racing around my head:

A couple hundred dollars worth of imports 🙂

  • What product should I sell first?
  • How do I know which products will sell (and which won’t)?
  • How do I find a trustworthy supplier and negotiate with them?
  • How can I avoid scams and low-quality products?
  • Just how the hell do I get started?!

When you’re trying to start a new business from scratch, you’ll find your mind running in circles unless you have a clear direction to run into…

So my goal is to make this the definitive A-Z guide to starting an importing & e-commerce business from scratch. It’s what I would do, step-by-step, if I was starting from zero.

I’ll give you every step of the process, and also give some insights on the ‘why’ behind my strategy. I’ll also be adding to this over time (as I get questions from readers), so be sure to bookmark this for future reference.

Finally – I encourage you to follow this guide step-by-step, and to avoid jumping around. Importing products from China and selling them online is an incredibly simple business model – it’s only when you do things out of order that it becomes confusing & complex.

So without further ado – here’s the story of my rise & fall in the importing/e-commerce industry, and how you can launch this business for yourself 🙂

Basic Overview: Your Roadmap

First things first, let’s wrap our heads around the concept…

This is a simple business model that’s easy to overthink. There are lots of moving parts that can feel risky or confusing. It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes:

“Everything is simple until you make it complicated”

Understand that starting this business, like starting any business, will require taking some risks. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s easy to end up with $1,000 worth of iPhone knockoffs in your garage (or $1,000 worth of nothing at all)…

That being said – if you’re careful, have a solid roadmap (this article), and a bit of hustle – you can build a profitable business for yourself with a relatively small amount of time/work.

E-Commerce Empire Roadmap

It’s important to understand your battle plan before going off to war…

Here’s the basic game plan:

  1. Find a good product – You’ll need to brainstorm, research, and select a product(s) to import & sell. Most people find this step frustrating and overwhelming (with good reason), but luckily I have some tools that will help make this easy.
  2. Find a good supplier – Once you’ve decided on a product, you’ll need to source that product from a great supplier. It can take some digging to find them, but there’s ways to ensure you avoid the scams & increase your odds at finding an awesome supplier.
  3. Sell some samples – You’ll want to place a small sample order to test & validate your product (I’ll show you how I do it). This is part of the ‘secret sauce’ that most new entrepreneurs miss.
  4. Scale it up – Once you’ve validated your product, you can feel safe bulking up your order quantity & making changes to differentiate your products. We’ll even talk about private label branding & expanding your product line 🙂

Here’s the BIG pitfalls to avoid (all explained in more detail below):

  • Don’t buy in bulk from a factory until you have their samples in your hands and LOVE them.
  • Don’t let any supplier convince you they can’t ship small sample orders, they are just trying to squeeze you.
  • Don’t pay with any other method but Trade Assurance or PayPal for the first 3-months with your supplier. This eliminates a ton of risk.
  • Don’t buy from a company that won’t accept Trade Assurance or PayPal. What it really means is that they were shut down due to complaints.
  • Don’t buy counterfeit crap. Not that there isn’t money to be made, it’s just a bad business to build (and illegal).
  • Don’t buy a lot of inventory in the beginning. I started off buying 5-10 units at a time until I built up the money to reinvest into inventory.
  • Don’t give these suppliers your personal email. The email will be effectively nuked and unusable for years, trust me…

Well, I hope that gets you in the right mindset. Let’s get into the beef of it. BEEF.

GET THIS CHEATSHEET FOR FIGURING OUT PRODUCT WINNERS

Step 1 – Find a Good Product to Import & Sell

Finding a great product is typically the first & last place new entrepreneurs get stuck. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s easy to get lost in the abyss of product research…

Luckily, this is also where I can help you the most 🙂

 

I’ll show you how this works in a moment, but first let me tell you how I discovered this method…

My First Successful Product

When I got started, I went straight for counterfeits (purses, wallets, shoes, workout guides, etc). I made a KILLING selling these through eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, and in-person – but quickly decided to get away from them. I didn’t want to build a business on a questionable legal foundation, and you shouldn’t either.

I gave away these counterfeit businesses to two different friends. One friend had a ton of success selling workout guides via Craigslist in NYC and delivering them by foot. The other friend one was not so lucky. He was hounded by lawyers and even private investigators, until he was eventually sued into bankruptcy (and had to give up all his fancy toys that counterfeits paid for).

And that’s why you should avoid counterfeit products. Like dealing drugs – I’m not saying it won’t make you money, because it will. I’m saying you shouldn’t do it because selling counterfeits is not a business – it’s a limited-time hustle. So don’t do counterfeits…

Going ‘Legit’

Since I was already selling products online successfully, I figured it would be easy to switch from counterfeits to legit products. However, I found out finding legitimate products to sell is a much different game. I had quite a few failures before I began to figure things out.

Here’s some of the bad products I’ve imported (and why they were bad):

  • Patio Furniture – Numbers looked incredible on these – I could buy them WAY cheaper than they sold for. I bought & sold 10 units, shipped them to the customer, but 2 units were damaged in shipping. All profit (and then some) was eaten up dealing with returns.
    • Lesson learned: Avoid heavy & oversize products that are expensive to ship.
  • Toothbrushes – Again, the numbers looked great – I could buy these WAY cheaper than their sell price. I bought 25 and people simply would not buy them. When’s the last time you bought a toothbrush from a non-major brand?
    • Lesson Learned: Avoid commoditized markets with high levels of big-brand loyalty.
  • ‘Yes We Cannabis’ Shirts – Obama was running for office (Yes We Can), and marijuana legalization was a big topic – so I figured, how could I fail with these? Didn’t even test them, just bought 1,000 units (because I am smart like that). Sold 200 units, then ran out of necessary cash to continue marketing.
    • Lesson Learned: Scale up slowly to keep inventory risk low & retain cash for marketing/customer acquisition

I could go on all day about my early setbacks, but that’s not what you want to hear about 🙂

Giving Up & The Big Breakthrough

After hundreds of overwhelming hours spent researching & selecting duds, I was ripping my hair out. I was trying so hard to find the PERFECT product – one that would solve all of my problems. But all I was doing was losing money.

In a moment of desperation, I was about ready to call it quits. I was going over everything I had done, and all I knew was that it wasn’t working. After many hours of thought, I decided that I would give it one more shot. I knew that the business model worked, and that I was clearly doing something wrong. So I decided to switch it up…

Up until that point, I had tried to find products in the way that most people do. I was simply looking for products that I could buy for much less than they were selling for online. But clearly, that was not working for me.

What I realized is that sourcing products is not the tough part. The tough part is finding products that you can sell consistently. So I decided to flip the entire concept on it’s head, and instead try to focus on what people were buying. Instead of simply looking for cheap products from China, I was now searching for demand in the marketplace that I could sell into – and then worrying about sourcing the product later.

Simply put – it worked…

The first product that I worked for me were Motivational Pillows, which were cheap to ship & easy to make variations. From there, I was on a roll. I sold all sorts of random products, from Competitive Samurai Swords to LED Lightbulbs – and I was making good money with all of them.

 

Finding Your First ‘Beachhead’ Product

You’ll probably sell a collection of random products for a while, until you eventually stumble over what I call a ‘beachhead product’…

I use the term ‘beachhead’ as a reference to D-Day during World War II. When the Allies invaded the beaches of Normandy, they secured a foothold in Europe and then expanded throughout Europe.

That’s exactly what we want to do with our beachhead product – gain a foothold in our niche and expand out into a full product line/brand from there.

For me, my first beachhead product was a specific airsoft gun. I stumbled over the product and sold a few, as they seemed to be popular. Immediately after selling these airsoft guns, I had customers emailing me asking for more. They wanted BB’s, they wanted masks, they wanted vests – they wanted to give me money for all sorts of things. So I happily obliged 🙂

Airsoft quickly became my bread & butter. I eventually stopped selling most other products to focus specifically on my airsoft business, which was selling 15-30 airsoft guns daily right off the bat.

My First ‘Beachhead’ Product

As I sold more, my relationship with my supplier kept developing and my prices kept getting cheaper. I was easily undercutting all my competition with a great product, and still coming away with a clean $10-30 profit per unit. And best of all, I didn’t even have to touch the product – my supplier even handled all shipping & returns.

I had finally done it – and it all snowballed very quickly. Hundreds of hours of frustration finally worked, and it worked fast.

That’s Great – But What About Me?

Now that you know my not-so-smooth journey, let’s talk about how you can find good products for yourself…

Finding great products to import & sell really comes down to these 3-steps:

BRAINSTORM > RESEARCH > SELECT

So let’s get started…

Step 1a: Brainstorming Products

Your goal is to find a dream supplier for ANY product you are making money on, because then you can focus on growing the sales of your business rather than on customer service and shipping.

It isn’t easy, but if you follow my advice below you will greatly increase your odds of finding a great supplier and product.

Where and how to find suppliers

Your best friend in the importing business is AliBaba. I have used it for every single product I have ever imported. I use it for my own businesses, I use it for clients, and I know a ton of people that use it. It is an awesome resource.

Don’t fall into the traps of Doba, WorldWideBrand, Volusion, or whatever other scam solutions are out there to find suppliers. I made the mistake of trying all of these when I first got started, and just ended up wasting hundreds of dollars for little to no value. Just stay away from these, trust me.

With AliBaba, you will be looking at only Gold members. I don’t care how awesome of a deal you get from a non-gold member, or how many factory certifications they have, you DON’T buy from non-gold members. Just following this rule will help you to avoid 98% of the scams and bad suppliers. Any other certifications or whatever are just icing on the cake.

You really want to find a supplier that will do cheap samples, offers PayPal payments (even at an increased rate, use PayPal), and seems to respond to your communications quickly and effectively.

Open up AliBaba for now, as you will be jumping back to it frequently while researching product to know if you can make a profit. If you need more clarity, we wrote a detailed post to guide you with buying from Alibaba and avoid scams.

Where and how to find products

There are a few limits on what kinds of items you want to sell –

  • It needs to be small and light – Trust me on this, you don’t want to deal with the headaches that come with shipping furniture or kitchen appliances around the world. You want something that is going to be cheap to ship around, because shipping is going to eat your profit margins alive.
  • It needs to be a simple item – What I mean by this is you want something that is simple to manufacture and has a relatively high margin of error. Most of these factories are not going to have the highest quality standards in the world, so the greater the margin of error you can put up with while keeping your customers happy the better. Competitive katana swords did not have a great margin for error before customers started noticing, as they were vigorously slicing sh*t with them all day (slicing rolled up Tatami Mats to be specific).
  • Keep it in the $10-200 range – In my experience, it becomes very capital intensive and much riskier if you are selling items any higher than this. Higher ticket items are usually harder to ship, require higher quality control, and really magnify your mistakes when first starting out in importing. I have yet to find success outside of that price range, so I cant suggest you take any chances in it, but of course use your own judgement.
  • Don’t sell what you buy – Devan made a great point when I was speaking with him that you can’t sell items that you buy. Most of us buy electronics, clothes, food, and other essentials. I can tell you right now that you are not going to compete in any of those markets. You really have to niche down in this and find a nice little nook for you to sit in.
  • Don’t go seasonal – You want to find items that have a consistent base of buyers. I am sure there is a bunch of money to be made in selling Christmas stuff and winter clothes from Asia, but it is going to be extremely seasonal, and you are probably going to end up with a ton of worthless inventory.

Other than that, you are really free to explore whatever comes to mind.

What I would do is go onto a few sites and browse around –

  • Alibaba – You should have this open already, but I often look around AliBaba to see what items are being promoted and check around the sites below to see what kind of margins I could get. For instance, right now there is a 4 year Gold company (online now!) selling LED Light Bulbs for $2.65/unit. Even better, they do Escrow, and have onsite inspections from Alibaba. I can quickly go over to Amazon and see these same bulbs selling for $9.50 – 11.99, a VERY healthy margin! And that’s just the first thing I looked at! There is a niche right there.
  • eBay – Check out the completed listings on eBay to see what kind of prices you can consistently sell items for. I often use eBay auction descriptions also to gain some knowledge on a product if I see it is the exact same. Prices are the main thing here though, you get a really reliable indicator of demand. You have to click on the side bar menu to get to completed listings, here is a picture.
  • Amazon – I go to this page and check out all of the different tabs for “Movers & Shakers” and whatnot. I click around the categories and drill down to find things I think may not have a lot of importers in already. Again, typically weird items, like LED bulbs, skateboard parts, and katanas do well, so I try to find weird things that catch my eye and compare them against stuff on Alibaba.
  • Other tools – mySimon Top Searches, Shopzilla Top Searches, Kaboodle Hot Picks

Just keep looking through the market data on those sites and comparing it against what you can get from Alibaba. It may take some time, but eventually you will naturally learn what works and you will start finding great product opportunities left and right. If you really have issues finding a product, comment below or email me and I will see if I can help [will at startupbros dot com]

Eventually you’ll find some opportunities that you want to move forward with. The next step is to start talking to suppliers and getting your hands on some samples. Don’t worry, they all speak english (kind of)…

 Indentify & Mail Key Suppliers

Now that we have a product, we can start sorting through suppliers and contacting the ones that look promising.

All I would do is –

  1. Search for LED light bulb in Alibaba with the correct filters – You should have already been doing this before to check your product costs in the previous steps. At this point though, we want to switch to searching for “Suppliers” rather than “Products”, as seen in the picture below. I typically start with filtering by “Gold Supplier” and adding “Onsite Checked”, “Assessed Supplier”, and “Escrow” in that order until I am down to 20-30 suppliers. If there are still a ton, that is fine. Just try to find some way to narrow it down to the very best and take the 20-30 top ones.
  2. Contact the good ones – Now that you have a list of the prime suppliers for your product, you want to contact them and get some additional information. I usually just ask about their MOQ (Minumum Order Quantity), payment and shipping policies, sample policy, and a price list or product spec sheet. They usually have all of this on hand. IMPORTANT – Don’t use your personal email for this stuff, as it will be spammed into oblivion for years! Asia is not quite as serious about their emails as we are 🙂
  3. Converse, get a feel for things – Now see who messages you back and how serious it seems they are taking your business. Keep in mind that they are competing for your business at this point, and have no idea if you are looking to put in a $100 order or a $10,000 order. Their customer service at this point is a good indicator of where it will be in the future. Don’t be afraid to haggle and engaging in some price warring, they are much more used to that in China. It isn’t uncommon to see an item start at $200 and be sold for $20 in a Chinese tourist market. I could write a whole post on price negotiation, but the main thing with this is you have to low-ball your first counter offer to anchor the price possibility window at a lower level. You should get by fine with that.
  4. Samples! – Ah, finally….the fun part! Now we get to put in some small orders to get samples shipped directly to us. I usually get samples from 2-5 suppliers I am considering, but never just one. SERIOUSLY go over these samples when you get them. Also take note of shipping times, costs, damage, etc. Put the items through some stress, check every last nook and cranny of them. Think about how customers will be using them and push the item harder. You need something that is going to stand up if you are going to put your name behind it, so find something to be proud about selling.

*Note on Minimum Order Quantities* – I had a lot of people mention to me that the MOQ posted by many Alibaba manufacturers is extremely high, so I figured I would paste my response here –

The minimum order they list is generally not concrete, and is most of the time their average or desired order size. There is no way to know for sure without messaging the suppliers directly, which is why I go for 15-30 initially.

In my experience, Chinese factories will go through many hoops to work with you on order sizes, unless they are a MASSIVE factory that only ships via sea. If they use normal air shipping at all, they shouldn’t mind sending out even a single item via air (which is what they do with samples anyways).

Again, with some items it will be different than other. For instance I looked into selling LED lighting that attaches to the sides of buildings, and the margins looked great, but the MOQ ended up being somewhere around $5,000 of lights due to the purpose of the item (to run down entire high rise buildings). I skipped over that one.

Another option is AliExpress.com, Alibaba’s site for smaller orders. You will generally get better prices for the same amount on Alibaba if you are willing to put in the effort to communicate with suppliers, but AliExpress is always an option. So we wrote an article you can use if you choose to buy products on Aliexpress.

After all of this, you should have at least one solid supplier for a product you know will sell. Guess what’s next…

Step 2 – Selling Your Product Through Existing Sales Channels

At this point, you are going to have to make a decision about your inventory. If it were me, I would invest the couple hundred bucks and buy 5-10 pieces of my product to get started. You can certainly buy one at a time to start and that will work, it will just be a slower start.

I guess now is a good time to mention that I have not found drop shipping to be a viable option for somebody just starting out with a new supplier. The only times I have ever had successful drop ship relationships with suppliers is after a long and prosperous history, at which point they work with me to get their American distributors to drop ship. More on that later, but I thought I would mention it as you don’t want to do that just starting out, it almost always ends with unhappy customers and banned accounts.

Anyways, you need to get a few pieces of inventory and start selling them.

I only suggest using TWO of these THREE sales channels when first starting out – Amazon, eBay, Craigslist

Notice I did not say spam your friends on Facebook and every forum you can find about it. That is a ton of work and will produce very little result for you. Not once have a I tried to sell things to my Facebook friends, I barely even tell them what I am working on unless asked.

It is relatively easy to set up shop on all of these – I would just look at what the top sellers of your products are doing and then try to improve upon that. Most of the time, the copy text used in eBay and Amazon ads is free domain from the manufacturer, so you can get a lot from other sellers and simple Google searches.

Within a day or two after getting your product up, you should begin making sales. This is when things start to get really exciting. Just ship out your products at the closest post office and wait to see what happens. Make sure you ship as soon as you can and pack everything well obviously, but I am assuming you guys know how to ship things so I won’t go into much detail. Make sure you ship immediately, and make sure you pack it up well. I would also suggest throwing in a thank you note with a website or some way to turn these guys into recurring revenue (see below for more on this).

You should know pretty quickly if you are making money and what the problem areas are.

Within a month it should be painfully apparent if you need to find a new product or if you should scale up your current product.

If you can’t make a profit with your product on those sales channels, then I don’t think it is worth it to put any more effort into that specific product, and I would look for another product to sell.

Given that you are finding success with your product and have no deadly hiccups (lucky those don’t exist…), let’s move on to scaling this baby up.

Step 3 – SCALE!

After I had my airsoft guns up on eBay and Amazon, all I had to do was keep track of inventory and shipping.  Being 15 at this time, I was ecstatic.

I slowly started to add more products to eBay and Amazon, started sending out promotional materials with my shipments, began advertising, and started a brand name behind my online business. My 20 order per day average quickly swelled to 30, 40, 50 sales per day.

Keep in mind that NONE of this would be possible if I didn’t find an awesome supplier in the first place. If you’re reading REALLY closely you’ll notice that I was 15 now, and it took a full 2 years of many mistakes and marginal success before I got to this point. Hopefully from reading this article, you can skip most of those mistakes and get right to the success.

I didn’t really know what I was doing and was kind of just throwing money at things and seeing what works. It was an awesome learning experience for me, and I learned a ton about what works and what doesn’t work in marketing and growing online sales.

Here is the stuff that I did to scale up my sales that will probably work for you –

  • Advertising with Amazon and eBay – I always made a solid return with these advertising programs, specifically Amazon.
  • Listing yourself on other sales channels – I eventually made an eCommerce store so that my products could be listen through the primitive versions of Google Shopping, Bing Shopping, and every other shopping venue I could find online. If I could put my items up and sell through them, I did. And each new channel gave me a little bit of growth for free.
  • Brand yourself – The days of branding yourself as “GreatAirsoftCompany.com” are long gone. You have to find a good brand name that resonates with the crowd you are selling to, and it will exponentially reward you over time. You can read this post to see how I decide on brand names.
  • Aim for recurring revenue – I started seeing solid growth from including coupons and promotional materials in each shipment. Eventually, I set up an email and SMS subscription that would send them deals and updates on airsoft items. I also set up a monthly subscription for airsoft pellets, which I couldn’t sell on eBay due to very small margins. The key here is to focus on siphoning off buyers from the pre-existing sales channels into your own lists and databases. That way, you can market to them for free on demand, rather than having no way to contact them after their first order.

And the stuff that didn’t work

  • PPC Advertising – Advertising outside of where I was selling never worked for me very well on this, however I was also very young and didn’t know much about running PPC campaigns. If you are already good with PPC, then try it. If not, I wouldnt even try until you have some money to lose.
  • Social Media – Just isnt going to work for importing. MAYBE you can find a way to do this if you are a really, really good social media marketer, but 99% of people are not going to get any sales from social media with this.
  • Pretty much anything I didn’t mention above – If I didn’t mention it above, I didn’t make enough money with it to remember it. I would stick to just the things I know work, which are littered all over this article.

If you are unsure about a marketing method you are thinking about trying, just comment below or email me and I will tell you what I know about them…

Keep in mind that the only money I was putting into this was reinvested earnings. You can certainly spend out of pocket to grow faster, but my goal in this post is keeping your risks low while still growing, and bootstrapping (funding your growth from internal operating revenue)  is the best way I know to do that.

If you follow this tutorial, you will eventually be where I was – making a solid 50 orders a day. At this point shipping and inventory are going to really start taking a toll on you and your time. You’ll want to work on moving in one of two directions –

  1. Negotiate better terms with your supplier – Once my supplier knows I am a valuable contact who will make him solid, easy money day in and day out, I am his golden boy. Now you can start to negotiate prices and shipping terms. I usually try to get some price cuts, but my main thing is getting the factory to drop ship (generally through a US office or distributor). If the factory can ship to my customers for me and handle returns, my business is next to automated. This is where I got with the airsoft stuff, and I loved it. A true “4 Hour Workweek“.
  2. Start outsourcing the processes – If you cant get your factory to drop ship to customers for you, you are going to want to get rid of that aspect of your business somehow. You will be making enough money by now to hire somebody to do the shipping for you locally. Try to get somebody local (a friend or family member) to start, as it is much easier, safer, and cheaper to manage a friend than an employee. Hire a VA to send the orders to your friend, keep your listings running smoothly, respond to customers immediately, and order inventory.

If you get past this point, it is really up to you where to take it. I preferred to keep it at this level (automated cash flow), but you could certainly grow this as large as you wanted to. There is no real limit on how much money an importing business can make, and you have built a solid foundation to build off of.

New Post* The Ultimate Guide to Sell on Amazon in 2019

The Fall of My Empire

At this point, there was very little that could go wrong. Short of some horrible unforeseen event taking place, I had a steady stream of automated income coming in – one of the first ones I had ever built.

Then there was a horrible unforeseen event…

I don’t remember the exact circumstances, but the Chinese ports suddenly stopped shipping airsoft guns out. For over 3 months, I couldn’t get any airsoft guns out of China.

I know it was more than 3 months, because that is when I was forced to throw in the towel.

I searched around for a replacement supplier from anywhere I could, but the prices had just skyrocketed. On top of that, I had a bunch of orders I couldn’t fill and angry customers…

With many new projects sprouting up, and being only 16 at the time, I refunded everybody and moved on…
I did make enough money to invest elsewhere, most of which was lost on other ventures. I learned more than I did in my entire schooling career with this business, and I hope I communicated everything well enough to expedite your learning curve.

The only thing to do now, if you haven’t been this entire time already, is TAKE ACTION! If this strategy intrigues you, get out there and at least try to put this stuff into action. Make it happen!

Please comment below if you have any problems, questions, or suggestions with any part of this – I will be responding to everything immediately for the next couple of days.

Good luck, and talk to you below!

Note – I have since written a follow up to this post called “Step-by-Step Guide on How To Find A Profitable Product To Sell”

China’s Daigou, Shoppers Who Buy Goods Overseas, Get Grounded by Pandemic

Vivian Li, a stay-at-home mother in Shenzhen, used to make weekly trips abroad, leaving her husband in charge of their toddler and traveling to Hong Kong or Tokyo with two empty suitcases. She would fill them with Lancôme eye creams, Pola shampoos, Louis Vuitton handbags, and other products that in China were either much pricier or simply unavailable—sometimes clearing out the store shelves for items that internet celebrities had recommended. Then she would return home and send the goods via express delivery to clients who’d hired her to shop for them. Working as a personal shopper, or daigou, was a lucrative job for Li, 28, who could make more than 30,000 yuan ($4,626) a month from her travels.

Size of China’s Overseas Daigou Shopping Market

In yuan

Data: Proresearch

This army of gray-market surrogate shoppers has long been a feature of China’s retail sector, serving consumers who crave items that aren’t available locally or are sometimes significantly more expensive in the country. Despite the government’s best efforts to kill off the daigou trade through stricter customs checks and eased taxation rules for legitimate cross-border e-commerce channels, it grew to $40 billion in revenue in 2019, according to the consultancy Proresearch in Beijing.

Then came Covid-19. China slammed its borders shut to keep out the virus, putting a halt to most overseas travel—and the business of Li and other daigou operators. Although she places some orders through overseas partners, without Li on-site to personally vouch for the provenance of the products, many clients don’t trust the authenticity of the goods. That skepticism has led her to lose more than half her business. “Many of my daigou peers have exited the market,” she says. “I just hang in there hoping the border can reopen soon, but the longer we wait, the more likely my clients have found other channels and leave forever.”

The collapse of daigou has also left businesses, whether infant formula makers or cosmetics retailers, struggling. Before the pandemic, some foreign companies grew rapidly thanks to the trade. By selling to personal shoppers and letting them handle the delivery back to China, they didn’t have to invest in building local retail operations of their own. Companies could also avoid requirements to comply with Chinese labeling and packaging laws.

“The whole daigou sector has dried up,” says Sage Brennan, co-founder of China Luxury Advisors, a consulting company in Los Angeles. “A lot of consumers have gotten into more legitimate cross-border e-commerce, and that becomes easier as time goes on than relying on the gray markets.”

The Australia Post store in Chatswood near Sydney in 2019. Government-owned Australia Post has retail outlets in areas with large Chinese-speaking populations, where private stores catering to the daigou trade operate.

Photographer: Lisa Maree Williams/Bloomberg

Companies that counted on daigou sales are now saddled with excess inventory. “Daigou is unlikely to reach its heyday market size anymore even after the pandemic eases,” says Ethan Ye, a principal in Shanghai for consultants Oliver Wyman. One reason: Luxury brands that focused on expanding in China during the pandemic are putting more pressure on daigou rivals, says Max Peiro, chief executive officer of Re-Hub, a data analytics company in Shanghai. “More and more brands are taking active measures” against the gray-market sellers, he says. “They realize this is a situation they need to try to mitigate.”

One of the most popular daigou products is infant formula, and during the offshore shopping industry’s peak time, from 2010 to 2019, Australia, Hong Kong, and other places restricted the number of containers individuals could purchase to prevent daigou shoppers from buying up all the supply. But A2 Milk Co. in New Zealand downgraded its forecast in May for the second time in five months, after its revenue in Australia and New Zealand fell about 30% in the second half of 2020 because of disruption to daigou channels. The share price of the company, among the largest on New Zealand’s stock market, has fallen more than 60% over the past 12 months, compared with an 8% rise for the benchmark index.

The outlook for A2 and rivals Danone SA and Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc is grim as the delta variant spreads and travel curbs persist. “The longer this happens, the harder it will be for Danone, Reckitt and A2 Milk to rebuild China sales as their local customer bases shrink,” Bloomberg Intelligence analysts Catherine Lim and Kevin Kim wrote in a report published on July 5.

Even before the pandemic, there were signs the business faced tougher times. Worried about lost revenue, China’s government tightened customs checks and tax regulations. Chinese consumers also were gaining more options domestically, a result of the proliferation of cross-border e-commerce services and duty-free malls.

Some customers might be lost for good as travel curbs change consumer behavior. About 60% of Chinese consumers last year used cross-border e-commerce platforms, led by Tmall International and JD International, according to IResearch. Those online retailers had import sales of more than 200 billion yuan in 2020, and their sales should grow about 30% annually over the next two years, even as the pandemic eases, IResearch says.

Japanese drugstore operator Tsuruha Holdings Inc., popular among daigou customers for its beauty and personal-care products, is turning to online platforms. In September it opened a store on WeChat, the app that Tencent Holdings Ltd. owns, to deliver products directly to customers in China. At the top of every product page of its WeChat store are the Chinese words “Shipped from Overseas, Authenticity Guaranteed,” because even the most price-sensitive daigou consumers worry about fake products and shoddy quality.

To discourage customers from going back to daigou, some brands are offering more services designed to build longer-term relationships with individual consumers. Japanese cosmetics maker Shiseido Co. has appointed beauty consultants to provide one-on-one services to its Chinese VIP members and to send them free product samples. Shanghai-based Ushopal, founded in 2017, works with more than 3,000 online influencers and helps organize popup stores to promote items such as perfume from Juliette Has a Gun and lipstick by Suqqu. Customers placing orders via Ushopal’s cross-border e-commerce platform can get delivery in four hours from its Shanghai-area warehouse.

For luxury brands in Europe, daigou hindered efforts to build relationships with customers; the buyers purchased in bulk for clients, so the brands couldn’t identify them. “It’s all about knowing the local client now and establishing a long-term relationship,” says Jonathan Siboni, CEO of data intelligence firm Luxurynsight in Paris. “It’s more than just a one-off handbag sale.”

Some brands have raised prices in Europe to narrow the advantage over the prices of their goods in China, undercutting one of the main reasons the daigou started in the first place. “You don’t buy with daigou when you only have a price differential of 15% to 20%,” Siboni says. “There was a rationale if the differential was 50%, but that’s no longer the case.”

Still, Li and other daigou say they expect at least some customers will return. A Japanese beauty retailer Li works with is getting ready, opening several warehouses in China for some hot-selling products to shorten the delivery time to consumers. Li’s job will be to drum up business through her social network. It won’t be like the old days of overseas shopping, she says, but that’s all right. “Most customers are fine to pay” the import duties, Li says. “They still can’t find some of the products in domestic channels anyway.”

—With assistance from Bruce Einhorn, Daniela Wei and Angelina Rascouet

BOTTOM LINE –
Daigou shoppers, who make purchases offshore for customers in China, were a $40 billion business. The pandemic travel halt is fueling the practice’s decline.

Total Retail Sales of Consumer Goods Went Up by 12.1 percent from January to June 2021

In June, the total retail sales of consumer goods reached 3,758.6 billion yuan, up 12.1 percent year on year; It was 10.0 percent higher than that in June 2019, with an average growth rate of 4.9 percent in two years. Among them, the retail sales of consumer goods other than automobiles reached 3,371.9 billion yuan, an increase of 13.1 percent. After deducting price factors, the total retail sales of social consumer goods in June 2021 increased by 9.8 percent in real terms, with an average growth of 3.2 percent in two years. On a month-on-month basis, the total retail sales of consumer goods increased by 0.7 percent in June.

                                                                    

From January to June, the total retail sales of social consumer goods reached 21,190.4 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 23.0 percent, with an average growth rate of 4.4 percent in two years. Among them, the retail sales of consumer goods other than automobiles reached 18,999.7 billion yuan, an increase of 22.2 percent.

 

                                                                                 

According to the location of the business unit, in June, the retail sales of urban consumer goods reached 3,255.2 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 12.0 percent and an average increase of 4.8 percent in two years; the retail sales of rural consumer goods reached 503.4 billion yuan, an increase of 12.5 percent, with an average growth of 5.5 percent in two years. From January to June, the retail sales of urban consumer goods reached 18,409.8 billion yuan, a year-on-year growth of 23.3 percent and an average growth of 4.4 percent in two years; the retail sales of rural consumer goods reached 2,780.7 billion yuan, an increase of 21.4 percent, with an average increase of 4.0 percent in two years.

 

In terms of consumption type, the retail sales of goods reached 3,366.3 billion yuan in June, an increase of 11.2 percent year on year, and an average increase of 5.4 percent in two years; catering revenue was 392.3 billion yuan, an increase of 20.2 percent and an average increase of 1.0 percent in two years. From January to June, the retail sales of commodities reached 19,019.2 billion yuan, up 20.6 percent year on year, with an average growth of 4.9 percent in two years; the catering revenue was 2,171.2 billion yuan, an increase of 48.6 percent, and the scale was basically the same as that from January to June in 2019.

 

 

In terms of retail format, from January to June, the retail sales of supermarkets, convenience stores, department stores, professional stores and specialty stores increased by 6.2, 17.4, 29.5, 24.6 and 32.4 percent year-on-year respectively.

 

From January to June, China’s online retail sales reached 6,113.3 billion yuan, a year-on-year growth of 23.2 percent and an average growth of 15.0 percent in two years. Among them, the online retail sales of physical goods reached 5,026.3 billion yuan, an increase of 18.7 percent, with an average growth of 16.5 percent in two years, accounting for 23.7 percent of the total retail sales of social consumer goods; among the online retail sales of physical goods, the sales of food, clothing and consumer goods increased by 23.5, 24.1 and 16.7 percent respectively, with an average growth of 30.9, 9.8 and 17.0 percent respectively in two years.

 

Total Retail Sales of Consumer Goods in June 2021

 

 

 

 

tem

June

Jan-Jun

Absolute Value

(100 million yuan)

Y/Y

(%)

Absolute Value

(100 million yuan)

Y/Y

(%)

 

 

 

 

 

Total Retail Sales of Consumer Goods

37586

12.1

211904

23.0

 Of Which: Retail Sales of the Enterprises (units) excluding automobiles

33719

13.1

189997

22.2

Of Which: Retail Sales of the Enterprises (units) above Designated Size

14891

13.2

78939

26.4

   Of Which: Online Retail Sales of Physical Goods

- 

- 

50263

18.7

Grouped by Different Areas

 

 

 

 

 City

32552

12.0

184098

23.3

 At and Below County Level

5034

12.5

27807

21.4

Grouped by Consumption Patterns

 

 

 

 

 Catering Services

3923

20.2

21712

48.6

  Of which: Income of Catering Services of the Enterprises (units) above Designated Size

897

28.6

4945

56.3

 Retail Sales of Goods

33663

11.2

190192

20.6

  Of which: Income of Retail Sales of Goods of the Enterprises (units) above Designated Size

13993

12.3

73994

24.8

   Of which: Grain, Oil, Foodstuff

1419

15.6

8047

10.5

Beverages,

280

29.1

1354

29.2

Tobacco and Liquor

392

18.2

2268

32.0

      Garments, Footwear, Hats, Knitwear

1174

12.8

6738

33.7

      Cosmetics

379

13.5

1917

26.6

      Gold, Silver and Jewelry

240

26.0

1526

59.9

      Commodities

693

14.0

3540

22.9

      Household Appliances and AV Equipment

1105

8.9

4424

19.3

      Traditional Chinese and Western Medicines

504

8.5

2787

11.2

      Cultural and Office Appliances

433

25.9

1804

22.9

      Furniture

161

13.4

781

30.0

      Communication Appliances

659

15.9

3004

26.1

      Petroleum and Related Products

1823

21.9

9673

21.7

      Automobile

3867

4.5

21907

30.4

      Building and Decoration Materials

183

19.1

885

32.9

 

 

 

 

 

Notes: 1. The growth rate in this table are all nominal growth rate without deducting the price factor. 

   2. For parts of data, the total is not equal to the total of sub-items due to round-off.

               

 

Annotations:

 

1. Explanatory Notes

 

Total Retail Sales of Consumer Goods: refers to the sales of physical commodity or the income of catering services sold or provided by enterprises (units) to individuals, social organizations for non-production and non-operation purposes.

 

Online Retail Sales: refers to the sales of goods and services got through public online trading platform (including self-built websites and third-party platform). Goods and services include physical goods and non-physical goods (such as virtual product, services). 

 

The total retail sales of consumer goods include online retail sales of physical goods, excludes online retail sales of non-physical goods.

 

2. Statistical Coverage

 

The corporate enterprises, industrial activity units or self-employed individuals which retail goods or provide catering services. Enterprises (units) above designated size refer to those wholesale enterprises (units) with an annual revenue from primary business of 20 million yuan and above, those retail enterprises (units) with an annual revenue from primary business of 5 million yuan and above, and those hotel and catering enterprises (units) with an annual revenue from primary business of 2 million yuan and above.

 

As the scope of wholesale and retail enterprises, accommodation and catering enterprises (units) above the designated size changes every year, the same period used to calculate the growth rate of retail sales per unit of consumer goods above the designated size is consistent with the statistical range of enterprises (units) in this period, and there is a caliber difference from the data released last year in order to ensure that the current year’s data are comparable with the previous years. The main reasons are as follows: some enterprises (units) reach the designated size and are included in the scope of the investigation every year, at the same time, some enterprises (units) withdraw from the scope of the investigation because their scale is smaller than the designated size, and there are also the effects of newly opened enterprises, bankruptcy, note (revocation) enterprises (units).

 

3. Survey Methods

 

All enterprises (units) above designated size are surveyed, while the data of enterprises (units) below designated size are collected by sampling survey.

 

4. Month-on-Month Figure Revision

 

According to the auto-revision function of the seasonal adjustment model, the growth rate of the total retail sales of consumer goods since June 2020 was revised. The revised figures and figures are as follows:

  

The Month-on-Month Growth Rate

of Total Retail Sales of Consumer Goods

 

Months

Growth Rate (%)

 

 

2020- June

1.02

July

0.35

August

1.00

September

4.19

October

0.37

November

1.25

December

0.89

2021-January

-0.18

February

0.99

March

0.91

April

0.26

May

0.81

June

0.70

 

 

 

90,000 Wholesale goods from China to Russia with guarantees. Full range of services for business

Wholesale goods from China to Russia at the best prices with guarantees and without risks

Business with China is a profitable investment. But the biggest risk is the start of cooperation with an unscrupulous company in China.

In practice, entrepreneurs are faced with a large number of pitfalls: when ordering goods from China in bulk, the buyer has every chance of getting in his warehouse for defective goods, re-grading, poor quality, inconsistency with the declared characteristics and, as a result, non-fulfillment of the order for the previously agreed conditions.

Therefore, the first and most important step in establishing business relations with Chinese suppliers and manufacturers is finding a reliable intermediary company with extensive experience and a proven positive reputation.

Easy China Business offers not just wholesale deliveries from China to Russia, but a full range of services for business: from product search, buyout and logistics, to full support of transactions in China.

Entrepreneurs who already have experience in ordering goods in bulk from China are aware that it is necessary to control all stages of the transaction – from the selection of products, ending with its verification, packaging and delivery to Russia.

But the most difficult of all the stages is the establishment of cooperation and the search for reliable partners in China.

It is not easy to work with suppliers and manufacturers from the Middle Kingdom, because due to the mentality, the Chinese themselves are inattentive to details and the concept of the importance of an indispensable characteristic for a product or the required quality of material for them is conditional and insignificant. Therefore, many do not risk working with China just for fear of falling for an unscrupulous supplier in China.

For the same reason, our company guarantees, first of all, the safety and reliability of your transactions.

How does Easy China Business achieve this?

Today, Easy China Business boasts a multinational workforce with extensive experience in working with China.

At the same time, most of the team lives in China, is fluent in Chinese and is familiar with the traditions of the Middle Kingdom, which is a huge advantage in working with Chinese partners.

Start your business with China with us, because we know how to safely and profitably supply goods in bulk from China to Russia.

Easy China Business offers the following services for business:

We guarantee an individual approach to our clients and complete security of transactions. Reviews about our work can be viewed at the link link

Prices

When placing an order for goods from China in bulk, prices are the first thing that worries most customers from Russia.

But it must be borne in mind that cheap products are not always a guarantee of getting more profit. Do not forget that when purchasing goods from China, the price may not correspond to the quality and decrease only due to a decrease in the quality of materials.

Buying cheap Chinese goods in bulk, you run the risk of getting defective or damaged products, or goods of poor quality and inadequate characteristics.

Therefore, we focus on the quality of goods and services and always warn our customers when checking goods in our warehouse in China.

We offer a loyal pricing policy and regular discounts for our regular customers.

Through Easy China Business you can order the following categories of goods from different Chinese manufacturers:

If you are interested in purchasing wholesale goods from Chinese brands Xiaomi, Baseus, Remax, Hoco, Topk, Totu and others, some prices can be found in the price lists on our site.

If you did not find the necessary positions in the catalogs, this is not a problem either. Our team will search for products you are interested in, and you can order them in bulk from a manufacturer in China. To do this, you need to fill out an application on the company’s website or write to the manager via online chat.

Intermediary of goods from China

If you have found a site of goods from China, but are afraid to receive a low-quality product, you need a reliable intermediary in China.

China manufacturers and suppliers may be inattentive and negligent with regard to product quality and performance.

Our task is to provide a complete transaction control system. We guarantee that you will not lose your investment and will be satisfied when placing an order for wholesale in China.

How to deliver goods from China for Wildberries

To sell on Wildberries, you need to study all the rules of the marketplace and find products that will be in active consumer demand. How to do it right? We will talk about this in detail in this article.

Wildberries is a popular marketplace with a huge audience.Every day, the site is visited by millions of potential buyers not only from Russia, but also from the CIS countries, and all these people come to the site with one goal: to find the right things and make a purchase. This gives you a great chance to make good money and grow your business with a minimum investment. To start making money on Wildberries, you just need to register, open your store and find a wholesale supplier of goods.

First of all, it is worth studying all the pitfalls of working with marketplaces, and there are a lot of them.In particular, you should take into account the numerous rules of the site, because without their knowledge, Wildberries may simply not allow your goods to be sold or block your store altogether.

You can familiarize yourself with the rules both on the site itself, but it will also be useful to read reviews and recommendations from sellers who are already actively cooperating with the marketplace. In them you can learn about the nuances in which it is very difficult for a beginner to figure it out on his own.

For sales to go actively, you need to thoroughly understand the question: what product is profitable to sell on Wildberries.To do this, you will have to spend time analyzing and studying the running commodity items.

The following groups of goods are excellently sold on the marketplace: clothes, shoes, kitchen utensils, little things that make a person’s life more comfortable. Of course, you can look for other product niches: for example, with low competition.
Great sales on Wildberries – Chinese goods. China supplies inexpensive and at the same time high-quality clothing, footwear, cosmetics, household items, and all these items are of great interest to the consumer audience.Selling Chinese goods on Wildberries is profitable, but where to find a supplier and how to organize the delivery of products to the warehouses of the marketplace?

You can find a wholesale supplier from China on your own, but this will take time. After all, you need a conscientious partner who will deliver goods on time, offering quality products with a minimum of re-grading and rejects. In addition, you will need to correctly draw up an agreement and receive from the supplier all the documentation for the goods, without which it will be impossible to sell products on Wildberries.

We know a simpler and more convenient solution that will help you quickly start active sales of goods from China on Wildberries: this is cooperation with us! We supply a variety of goods from China to the warehouses of marketplaces and take over the entire process of delivery and paperwork!

It is very easy to start working with us: you just need to make one call! 90,000 Repackaging Chinese goods under your own brand – efficiently and promptly

The trade in Chinese goods is booming – it is a very profitable business, and many are choosing this direction.There is only one caveat – goods from China are packed in boxes and bags, the inscriptions on which are made in Chinese. Such packaging will not only not help to sell the product, but, rather, will serve as a repulsive factor in the decision to make a purchase.

Repackaging Chinese goods will increase sales>
In this case, new packaging is needed and all problems will be resolved. Repackaging of Chinese goods is one of the areas of work of KAPITALPRODUKT LLC.
Co-packing is a concept that came to us from European marketers.This method allows you to solve a wide range of problems, including increasing the sales of the desired products.

Repackaging of Chinese goods can also solve additional tasks:

• repackaging of goods in accordance with the distinctive features of the company;
• sorting and changing the quantity of goods;
• modification of the complete set, rejection of elements damaged during transportation;
• preparation of new packaging;
• correction (or complete change) of errors in inscriptions.
• adding advertising products to the packaging;
• attachment of souvenirs, gifts and other additional items.

Copacking will help to promote the product and make it in demand
We offer a full range of repackaging services. Repackaging Chinese goods can be useful in the following cases:

• When conducting marketing campaigns. This can be creating gift sets, attaching leaflets and flyers, adding small souvenirs.Co-packing in order to make the labels on the packaging understandable in combination with such techniques will allow you to solve several problems at once:
• When changing the packaging. For example, a product has been received from China, and it must be put into different packages, boxes and boxes. Sometimes you just need to change the quantity of goods in the package, and at the same moment the design of the package and the inscriptions on it change.
• When changing the configuration and looking for defects. The main reason is finding and removing defective products. When delivering goods from China, there is a possibility of receiving some defective items.In addition, the goods may be damaged during transit and will be removed if repackaged. Copacking is also performed with the aim of changing the inscriptions due to possible errors.

At KAPITALPRODUKT LLC your goods will be repackaged with high quality and the necessary changes will be made in the inscriptions (when repackaging Chinese goods, they are usually completely changed). We understand how important it is to quickly release a product to the market and carry out all repackaging work quickly and efficiently.
At any time you can make the necessary changes and additions and get a package that will meet your requirements.

This is not about Alibaba. Chinese goods for Russians may rise in price

MOSCOW, January 12 – PRIME, Valeria Knyaginina, Tatiana Shmeleva. The nationalization of online retailer Alibaba, if it happens, will have no impact on the company and its customers. However, prices for Chinese goods in online stores may rise for very different reasons.

US may blacklist Chinese Alibaba and Tencent

Chinese authorities may nationalize online retailer Alibaba, which owns Aliexpress.Rumors about this appeared after the disappearance of the founder of the company, billionaire Jack Ma, who has not been in touch for two months. In early January, he was scheduled to attend his own Africa’s Business Heroes competition for African entrepreneurs, but he never showed up.

At the end of December, The Wall Street Journal noted that Beijing is seeking to scale down Jack Ma’s technological and financial empire and possibly increase the government’s stake in his business.Sources of the publication indicated that the campaign to strengthen oversight of the increasingly influential technology sector is aimed specifically at Jack Ma and his companies – Ant Group and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., which play a key role in the development of the Chinese economy.

The billionaire’s empire includes, inter alia, online trading platforms, payment and cloud services, operations in the field of wealth management, insurance and lending.

Earlier it became known that Chinese regulators demanded from Ant, a third of which belongs to Alibaba, to focus on its core business – payment service, and adjust operations in the areas of consumer lending, insurance and wealth management.

A number of experts associate everything that is happening with the fact that an antitrust investigation against Alibaba has begun in China. In their opinion, the relationship between Jack Ma and the Chinese authorities deteriorated markedly after the businessman’s criticism of the country’s financial policy.

REAL CAUSES

And yet, despite the primacy of the Communist Party, China is developing along the capitalist path. In this regard, the nationalization of Alibaba, even if it happens, is unlikely to negatively affect both the company itself and its customers, experts say.The country’s leadership understands that it is one thing to “siege” a businessman who openly criticizes the actions of the authorities, and quite another thing is possible claims from both international investors and end consumers.

“It is unlikely that the Chinese leadership will cut the branch on which it sits. In this regard, globally for people who buy something on the Chinese site, nothing will change,” said Vladimir Neryuev, vice president of business development at Sputnik marketplace.

Online retailers talked about how the pandemic changed consumer tastes

From an economic point of view, the claims of Chinese regulators against corporations such as Alibaba are caused by the desire to attract Chinese buyers, sellers and partners to the specialized services of each specific company, according to the head of iMARS China Alexander Kazyukhin.

“Tough competition policy is designed to cut off consumers from the services of competitors and” rally “them around the competitive advantages of each corporation. games and other services, “he told Prime.

The expert believes that the antitrust investigation itself and possible changes in the so-called “discriminatory rules” of each of the corporations should not affect the overall balance of power in the Chinese digital economy.Most Chinese users are accustomed to such “parallel universes of services” that have formed the corporations Alibaba, Tencent and ByteDance (the creator of TikTok), and have already made their choice in favor of certain marketplaces, social networks, payment systems and other electronic services.

GOODS FROM CHINA RISE IN PRICE

“The investigation should not affect the operating business of Alibaba in Russia – the platform Aliexpress and Tmall,” Kazyukhin said.

However, other factors can affect the price of goods purchased on online platforms.The first is the difference in exchange rates. Over the past year, the ruble has fallen by 15-20% against the euro and the dollar.

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