Happy Thanksgiving to those of you celebrating!
This week I’d like to answer some reader questions, a heatmap of China and Southeast Asian countries GDP growth so you can see which countries may be benefiting from the trade war, as well as a chance to meet me in Bangkok next week.
Do you think it’s still possible to find off-the-shelf products and bring them to the US market? I have actually customised most of the products that I sell or have sold in the past but I was thinking about shifting my strategy more towards selling pre-existing products without customising. Shorter lead time and less time and capital invested being the obvious reasons. This of course most likely requires searching in places where the big masses are not.
It’s getting harder and harder to sell off-the-shelf products and bring them to the US market to sell on Amazon. The main reason is the competition. Many many sellers from all over the world (including Chinese sellers) have made taking a me-too product without any modifications and selling it on Amazon extremely difficult.
In the past brands like YETI were able to do this with products like their insulated mugs which they sourced from Yiwu. But they have the right marketing team to support them. And the landscape has changed as this was probably at a time when there weren’t over a million new amazon sellers joining the game every year.
That being said if you are able to source off-the-shelf products from places where most competitors are NOT looking that this is still a viable opportunity.
For example at the Delhi Fair, I identified numerous products with great potential and are not easily found on Alibaba or in China – lower level of competition.
Hope that helps!
1) How should I trust to pay online wither to Alibaba or any other known website (which might not be known for us in Middle East)? And what if they delayed in delivery after the payment or what if it a fraud factory? I mean what we should keep in our mind before placing the order and pay.
2) I will be attending my first visit to china for the canton fair and I will buy really small amount of varies goods, as am just staring not yet aware our market requirement, so how should I trust the export agencies who will ship my goods to Dubai (factory will not deliver I think, coz i think they don’t deal much with small quantities order)?
So what if they (Agencies) have fake license and they disappear with goods and money? And I will be in Dubai then how to follow up : $ .so what do you advice on this?
I know business is always risky but I believe with some expert advice we can reduce that.
Thanks and appreciate your time reading this.
1) Alibaba offers trade assurance as a way of protecting the buyer.
Also, it’s smart to negotiate payment terms so you have leverage in case anything happens to your shipment.
2) I would due some due diligence on the trading company before anything changes hands. Ask for client referrals and speak with them.
Ask them to visit their offices and showroom to see if it fits what they are claiming.
Also you may consider hiring a 3rd party inspection agency like QIMA to research this business.
Hope that helps!
2018 GDP Heatmap of China and Southeast Asia
Also I’d like to share this Interesting heatmap showing of 2018 GDP growth in China and surrounding countries in Southeast Asian.
You can see that certain regions in China have stronger growth in RED and other regions are weaker in BLUE.
Vietnam and Cambodia, two beneficiary’s of the trade war, are both growing by 7% GDP in 2018.
Credit to Marco Förster from Dezan Shiras & Associates
Meet me in Bangkok next week
Finally, I will be attending the Sellers World Conference in Bangkok, Thailand on Dec 6, 2019. It would be great to organize a meetup to meet some of my readers if there’s interest. If you’re going and are keen to meet up, please hit reply and let me know when you are free.