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overseas suppliers - Made in China - Importing Options for Online Retailers

by Chris Malta

More and more online sellers are taking advantage of the low overhead costs and high profit margins that importing can yield. If you're interested in introducing importing into your E-Biz product sourcing strategy, international trade fairs can provide you a rich resource for unique new products and quality suppliers.

An International Trade Center
One of the best places to attend a trade fair is China, a global center for importing. In addition to offering extremely low manufacturing costs, China is improving in the technological complexity and design of the products it can supply. The advantages to attending a trade show in China are numerous:

    1. You have the opportunity to meet overseas manufacturers and suppliers face to face. This is particularly important because business in Asia is very relationship-driven. Talking to suppliers in person does a great service for starting those business relationships out right. It can help both sides feel comfortable working together across the globe much more effectively than an anonymous email.

    2. You have the confidence of knowing you're talking to real, legitimate suppliers. Always check a show's web site to see what measures they take in qualifying their exhibitors. States Peter Zapf of GlobalSources.com, whose company produces numerous sourcing fairs in China each year, "We visit each and every exhibitor before we allow them to participate in our shows. And we work closely with intellectual property rights organizations to ensure there are no violations, so our buyers feel can safe, knowing they're not sourcing products with potential legal complications."

    It's also worth noting that exhibitors make a real investment to participate in a show, even beyond the cost of booth space.

    They spend serious money building their booths, bringing out their products, and committing employees to represent them. That kind of substantial commitment acts as an additional filter to weed out fake suppliers.

    3. Chinese manufacturers often wait to unveil their new products until the trade shows, due to concern over their designs being copied by competitors. Attending gives you a first look at their innovative new products, even before they're available in their catalogs or on their web sites.

    4. Many shows include seminars designed to instruct retailers on the issues involved in importing. While attending a show will provide you with an invaluable importing education, these seminars can answer a lot of questions that may come up throughout the experience. Rather than just studying concepts, you'll get hands-on learning as you have the opportunity to put those concepts into practice.

Westerners may find it easier to attend a trade fair in Hong Kong than mainland China – particularly newcomers with very little importing experience. For U.S. citizens, traveling in Hong Kong doesn't require a visa, and the vast majority of folks speak English, making it less of a culture shock. Since most taxi drivers speak English as well, getting around without an interpreter is also less of a challenge.

Take It Slow...
Regardless of where you attend a trade fair, as you begin learning to import, it's a good idea to take things slowly.

You're crossing borders, languages, cultures and customs, so you have to expect complications to happen, and just learn from them when they do. The key is to over-communicate – communicate more rather than less. Encourages Zapf, "Make sure everything is clear between both parties and expectations are set as clearly as possible. Once you've figured all that out, importing offers huge opportunities to find great products to sell through your retail channels."

 
Archive List

ARTICLE ARCHIVE LIST

 

What is Drop Shipping?

Sell what Sells, NOT what's Cool

The Wholesale Misconception

Don't Get Taken by a Fake Suppli...

Wolves in Wholesale Suppliers' C...

Working Within the Process

Is Santa's Sleigh Big Enough for...

Beware of Drop Shipping 'Agents'...

Direct From The Factory?

4 Strategies for Seasonal Sellin...

3 Tools for Product Sourcing on ...

Tradeshows the Right Way - How t...

Tradeshow Sourcing - When the Sh...

Preparing for the Holiday Season...

What a Wholesale Supplier Expect...

Product Sourcing Using Trade Pub...

Tips for Finding and Getting Goo...

Storage Units Auctions - Buying ...

Starting an Antiques and Collect...

How EBay PowerSellers Source Pro...

How to Build Your Online Consign...

Dangerous Mindsets - Changing th...

Sourcing Customer Returns - Buyi...

Product Sourcing Strategies - Ne...

6 Common Product Sourcing Questi...

Increasing Your Profits through ...

Importing Basics - What You Need...

Selecting and Changing Your Prod...

The Inside Scoop on Trade Shows ...

How to Make Product Liquidation ...

Shopping with Uncle Sam - A Brea...

One Man's Trash... Could Be Your...

Our Town - Sourcing Products Loc...

An Intro to Closeouts - A Produc...

How to Find Authentic Suppliers ...

Beyond Borders - Sourcing Overse...

Heads or Tails? - How to Find Yo...

Five Holiday Trends - What Every...

Seeing the Whole Picture - A Who...

Drop Shipping Pros and Cons - th...

Far From Home - 4 Keys to Succes...

Product Sourcing Strategies for ...

The Ins and Outs of Importing - ...

How to Choose Your Product Lineu...

The Fine Art of Product Sourcing...

Sourcing The Secondary Market - ...

Local Sourcing Techniques - Prod...

Global Sourcing - Importing for ...

A Foreign Affair - Preparing to ...

Choose Wisely - How to a Pick Pr...

Made in China - Importing Option...

The Color of Money - How Color T...

The Nuts and Bolts of Liquidatio...

How to Break Into Importing - An...

Trend or Fad? What to Ask Before...

What Your Country Can Do for You...

Opportunities Abroad - China Sou...

Trade Shows Year-Round - What Pe...

5 Product Trends for 2008 that E...

Successfully Negotiating with Yo...

5 Strategies for Safely Sourcing...

Informed Compliance for e-Tailer...

Locate Qualified Drop Shippers f...

What is Product Sourcing? The So...

Where Do I Find Products to Sell...

Tips for Finding and Working wit...

A Beginner's Guide to Buying Dir...